Politics

Christian Family Coalition Descends on Capital, Opposes Sharia Law and Defends Right to Life

By: Eric Giunta | Posted: April 4, 2013 2:30 PM

Prayer Breakfast

Florida Leadership Prayer Breakfast at the Leon County Civic Center on April 4, 2013 | Credit: Ashley Beauchamp

In what was part breakfast, part legislative briefing, and part tent revival, several Florida legislators joined about 130 citizen lobbyists from South Florida to promote legislation banning sharia law and protecting the lives of newborns who survive abortions.

“We're promoting respect: respect for life, respect for American law, respect for marriage,” Christian Family Coalition (CFC) executive director Anthony Verdugo told attendees of the annual Florida Leadership Breakfast Thursday morning at Tallahassee's Civic Center, on why the sticker-badges they were wearing were marked with the word RESPECT. “We are the true human rights organization; we are the true social justice organization.”

The Coalition, which claims to represent about 5,000 citizens, mostly from Miami-Dade County, is spending the next couple of days encouraging legislators to support HB 1129/SB 1636 (“Infants Born Alive”) and HB 351/SB 58 (“Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases”).
Anthony Verdugo

Anthony Verdugo, Christian Family Coalition executive director



HB 1129, sponsored by freshman Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, would require doctors to provide reasonable medical treatment and health care to infants born alive during a botched abortion procedure. The bill unanimously passed the House Health and Human Services Committee later Thursday morning, and now heads to the full House floor for a vote.

HB 351 prohibits the application of “any foreign law, legal code, or system” in family law courts, if that foreign legislation runs afoul of U.S. constitutional protections and principles. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha, is commonly referred to as an “Anti-Sharia Bill.” It's modeled after legislation crafted by conservative activists who claim Islamic law, which discriminates against women and non-Muslims, is stealthily encroaching upon the American judicial system.

“This is not a blanket ban” on parties using foreign law to arbitrate their disputes, Metz insisted to attendees. “This is about family law procedures in the state of Florida, and it tells courts to use the Constitution as a filter through which that law can be applied.”

Metz explained that while his bill does not change the substance of Florida law – which is already established through “decades, if not centuries,” of court precedent – it does provide clarification for judges arbitrating family law disputes.

“The existence of religious freedom in our country does not justify or require the application of constitutionally-offensive foreign laws,” he said. “If you're coming to this country, you should have the expectation that your disputes are going to be settled according to the principles of American law.”

The bill's already made its way to the House floor; its Senate companion has one more committee stop in Children, Families, and Elder Affairs, where it is expected to fight an uphill battle for approval.

The breakfast was attended by several legislators, including Metz, Hays, and Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach; Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala; Ross Spano, R-Dover; Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton; and Jose Diaz, R-Miami.

House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Destin, were also scheduled to attend, but had to bow out at the last minute, Gaetz purportedly because of sickness. Weatherford was represented by Baxley.

“I want to thank you for being brave enough to stand up for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Hays, who's sponsoring the Senate companion to Metz's bill, told the audience, to shouts of religious acclamation. “Contrary to popular belief, He is not a stranger in the Capitol.”

“God has implanted people all over [the Capitol] to bring His truth and light. We are not alone; He's still in charge,” Baxley, an executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, told the crowd, during what amounted to a 10-minute sermon. “[God] has given us this precious gift called self-government, and He has raised up leaders like Speaker Weatherford, [whose] task for you is that you pray for us.”



Reach Eric Giunta at egiunta@sunshinestatenews.com or at (954) 235-9116. 

Comments (23)

S Mian
6:45PM APR 5TH 2013
Muslim are only one person of the population in country
And we are afraid of Islam .
Andrew
8:49AM APR 8TH 2013
The Muslims would expect us to respect their laws overseas, yes? Well, they need to return the favor if they move over here. We shouldn't have to change our laws to appease one group of people.
Saba Ahmed
12:30PM APR 5TH 2013
Why are they so scared of Islam, Sharia and Muslims?


However, those who have become believers (the Muslims), and the Jews, the Christians and the Sabaeans who believe in God and the Day of Judgment and strive righteously will receive their reward from the Lord and will have nothing to fear nor will they be grieved. - The Holy Quran 2:62

The believers, Jews, Sabaeans, and the Christians who believe in God and the Day of Judgment and who do what is right will have nothing to fear nor will they be grieved. - The Holy Quran 5:69

On the Day of Judgment, God will make truth and falsehood clearly distinct from each other to the believers, the Jews, the Sabeans, the Christian, the Zoroastrians, and the Pagans on the Day of Judgment. God is a Witness to all things. - The Holy Quran 22:17
Andrew
5:49PM APR 5TH 2013
I second that, what DO you have against American law?
Peter Hernandez
5:01PM APR 5TH 2013
My friend, why are so afraid of American law?
Saba Ahmed
6:18PM APR 5TH 2013
I don't think we can be friends if you are against Islam, my religion that I love so deeply.

The believers must not establish friendship with the unbelievers in preference to the faithful. Whoever does so has nothing to hope for from God unless he does it out of fear or taqiyah (pious dissimulation). God warns you about Himself. To God do all things return. - The Holy Quran 3:28

Do those who establish friendship with the disbelievers instead of the believers seek honor? Let them know that all honor belongs to God. - The Holy Quran 4:139

Believers, do not make unbelievers your intimate friends and supporters rather than believers. Do you want to establish clear evidence against yourselves before God? - The Holy Quran 4:144

It is Satan who frightens his friends. Do not be afraid of them (enemies) but have fear of Me if you truly believe. - The Holy Quran 3:175

Believers, have fear of God and always be friends with the truthful ones. - The Holy Quran 9:119

On your point about American law, well lets just say American laws are made by people and human beings especially attorneys are far from perfect. We believe Islamic Sharia gives divine guidance from God to live our lives with justice, equality, freedom and representative government. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) enacted the Constitution of Medina to show that the political power comes from the people. American Constitution is an evolving legal document. Muslims have no problem with it as long as our freedoms to practice our religion are guaranteed. Religious profiling of Muslims under the national security exceptions has to end for a progressive American future. Inshallah!
Steve
12:10PM APR 6TH 2013
After reading your latest post, i can see you have absolutely no clue as to what you are talking about. Which is exactly why we need ALAC.
Andrew
8:32PM APR 5TH 2013
No one is forcing you to abandon your practices. However, you do not have the right to force other people to follow your way of life either. Not everyone has to live life the same way, and nothing trumps the American Constitution over here. These are our laws, and we shouldn't have to amend them just because it bothers one group of people.
Andrew
8:15PM APR 5TH 2013
No one is forcing you to abandon your practices. However, you do not have the right to force other people to follow your way of life either. Not everyone has to live life the same way, and nothing trumps the American Constitution over here. These are our laws, and we shouldn't have to amend them just because it bothers one group of people.
Andrew
8:33PM APR 5TH 2013
And sorry about the double post.
Frank
7:41PM APR 4TH 2013
Of course, singling out one religion in America (directly or indirectly) would always be legal and ethical . . . . wonder how promoting this as legislation banning Catholic, Jewish and Protestant law would go over . . . . . and exactly where's the problem this is solving . . . . careful what can of worms you open up . . . . . can we ban magical words in law next . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Steve
5:07PM APR 5TH 2013
Steve, i can tell you have not even bothered to read the bill. What religion is being "banned"? The answer is None. When has Catholic, Jewish, Protestant law been used in a court of law? Never. How many times has foreign been applied in American courts? At least 50 times. Get your facts straight before you speak.
Frank
10:04PM APR 5TH 2013
And you didn't read my post . . . I commented about the promotion of this bill . . . . and proposed it be promoted other ways with a different spin . . . as to your truthiness other religious "laws" . . . you're just a wee bit in error . . . . for example, what would you call the legal recognition of a church marriage . . . . or, U.S. courts that have held that arbitration agreements providing for what is commonly referred to as “biblically based mediation” (relying on specified principles of the Christian Bible) are enforceable . . . .

Maybe you're just listening too much to Fox News, or totally partisan and oblivious . . . . either way . . . . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Steve
12:16PM APR 6TH 2013
If you read the bill properly, you will see that it does not prohibit the application of foreign law as long as it does not violate federal or state constitutional rights. It's a pretty simple proposition.
Frank
11:23PM APR 6TH 2013
Yes . . . so basically it's the situation now . . . . but with lots of red-herring, partisan, islamophobic smoke . . . . that's why I'm attacking the spin being put out on all this . . . such as the headline . . .

Why are our legislators squandering their time and energy on this, that resolves no pressing problem, rather than focusing on job creation and the real problems of the state . . . so much wasted energy (and our tax dollars) . . . . . . on nothing more than . . .

Pathetic nonsense . . .
Andrew
8:55AM APR 8TH 2013
If given the chance, Sharia Law would shred our Constitution to pieces, so that's why we oppose it. If Muslims want to continue their practices over here, fine, no one is saying they can't. But they are not allowed to force their way of life on anyone else. No other law here trumps the American Constitution.
Frank
10:54AM APR 8TH 2013
Just like now, Catholic, Jewish and other religious beliefs don't trump constitutional protections . . . . so why are some trying to make us believe that Islamic practices will trump the Constitution if we don't pass additional laws outlawing the practice . . . . because there is political capital to be made, racism and fear to be had, among the conservative, know-little followers . . . . that's the reason we're now hearing about U.S. Sharia trumping our laws . . . . not reality, but far rightwing truthiness and politics of the "Big Lie" . . . . . consistent with their crazy conspiracies over a black President's birthplace and their strident certainty that the U.N. is taking over the sovereignity of the U.S. through zoning and planning practices . . . . sad and just . . . .

Pathetic . . .
Andrew
4:50PM APR 9TH 2013
Wake up, there are some radical Islamists that woud love for us to do way with the Constituion. If that happens and Sharia Law IS passed, you really can kiss your freedoms goodbye. And the UN is completely corrupt. We should have cut all ties with them a long time ago.
Andrew
4:51PM APR 9TH 2013
*Constitution.
Frank
11:10AM APR 10TH 2013
Yes, except they're not our fellow Americans . . . and we already have courts that won't "do way with the Constituion" (sic, sic) . . . .this is all just a look-this-way! (not-that-way) red-herring technique of the far right you follow . . . . there's no substance here, simply smoke . . . . to divert your attention away from the real issues facing this country, and you've bought into this nonsense . . . .

Pathetic . . .
Andrew
3:38PM APR 10TH 2013
American or not, if you live here you should abide by our laws. Any country overseas would expect the same from us if I were to move over there. If I have to follow their laws over there then they should do the same over here.
Andrew
3:38PM APR 10TH 2013
American or not, if you live here you should abide by our laws. Any country overseas would expect the same from us if I were to move over there. If I have to follow their laws over there then they should do the same over here.
Frank
8:53AM APR 11TH 2013
Don't read well, do you . . . you mean, exactly like they do now without all this red-herring, right wing, not-like-us, conspiratorial nonsense . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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