Pro-life zealot

Banned from Washington D.C.
Rives Grogan at previous intervention

Rives Grogan at previous intervention

The following comes from a January 31 posting on Fossey Faithbook.

All of us who attended Protestant Sunday schools remember the story of Zacchaeus, a wealthy tax collector and a man of short stature, who climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus.  When Jesus saw Zacchaeus perched high in the tree, he called out to him: “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your home.”

I thought of Zacchaeus while I was reading the Washington Post account of Rives Grogan, a 47-year old California pastor, who was arrested in the District of Columbia for climbing a tree near the Capitol reflecting pool to protest legalized abortions during President Obama’s inauguration ceremony (Hermann, 2013).

Mr. Grogan had been arrested before in the District of Columbia for his protest activities, and Judge Karen Howze, a local magistrate, banished him from the District.

The Washington Post, to its credit, said Judge Howze went too far.  “[I]t is almost unheard of for courts to banish individuals from states and localities,” the Post noted (Editorial, 2013).  After all, Americans have a constitutional right to travel.

Like millions of Catholic Americans, I oppose abortion; but I’m not willing to do much about it. I am certainly unwilling to get arrested for climbing a tree to shout my protest during President Obama’s inauguration.

But Mr. Grogan, apparently not a Catholic, is willing to endure criminal prosecution and  even banishment to protest legalized abortion. On this issue, as St. Paul put it, he is apparently willing to become a fool for Christ.

From the Los Angeles Times account:

Grogan, who is back in Los Angeles this week, said he sees civil disobedience as a way to draw attention to the antiabortion cause. When not protesting, he said, he runs the New Beginnings Christian Discipleship out of his home, which also serves as a boarding house, near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Grogan, who said he was holding an antiabortion sign while up the tree, refused police orders to climb down, climbing higher after the fire department arrived with ladders. He was “jeopardizing his own life and the life of others if the tree branch he was on had broken,” a police report said.

As it was, some branches broke off, authorities said, contributing to a charge of destroying government property.

“The suspect remained in the tree and continually yelled during the entire inauguration,” according to the police report. After the swearing-in, Grogan climbed down and was arrested, police said.

To read the entire Fossey posting, click here,


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  1. Tom Byrne says:

    First: I hope that insolent judge’s ruling was challenged. Second: I can praise a man’s zeal while questioning the effectiveness of his tactics. While we inevitably will irritate or even enrage those we wish to convert (or rather prick their not-completely-silenced consciences), merely irritating them by interrupting a public ceremony many consider a tradition to be respected no matter who is the president may leave lingering memories of the interruption only, while the message is forgotten. What then is gained? Would not a silent protest with large signs have been more effective?

    • Abeca Christian says:

      I applaud this pastors actions! He can not be banned! How about the gay activist or the PETA activist? Why haven’t I heard of them getting banned?

      Praise Jesus for good men like this pastor and for all the excellent Catholic pro-lifers too!

  2. That moron judge has no authority to rule against the … is it the fourth … Amendment to the Bill of Rights that guarantees us freedom of assembly … or is that under the First Amendment? If he had been endangering or seen as a threat to the president, then the indictment should have been according, but it wasn’t.

    • That judge should be sent to prison for treason, in that she used the force of the govt to violate the Bill of Rights of the Constitution … the punishment for which can include the death penalty. These tyrants need their come uppance, just the same as evil bishops need to be thrown to the wolves.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Skai I agree with you, this pastor needs a good lawyer… I know that they have good Christian ones that will fight this!

  3. The United States has become a police state. Where is there a law forbidding people from climbing a tree? Almighty God will NOT be blessing our nation, which boasts of ponography, abortion, and gay rights. And, where are the clergy? Silent as usual. May God have mercy on us. Ave Maria Purrissima!

    • There was no law. It was the action of … your phrase, Jesusita … a police state. He put himself in jeopardy of a drone strike with a hellfire missle.

  4. What law did he break? Sitting in a tree? Yelling out during the innaurgation? Did he harm anyone or himself?
    What was this judge thinking?

    The innaurgeration is NOT a ‘PRIVATE’ gathering that was being disrupted. If the President wants it private it should be held within the White House property or he should rent a room somewhere.
    There are always protestors of one type or another at innaurgerations.
    And the judge does not have the legal right to ban anyone from Washington DC. – It is not her private property.

    People need to read the US Constitution and the State Constitution that they live in. If people do not know their legal rights, they will have no legal rights.

    This is what happens when politicans (who forget they are not kings but supposed to represent the people) vote to go against the will of the majority on moral issues. – abortion, pornography, and same-sex marriage.

    Obama does not adhere to the Constitution/law. He merely writes himself another executive order. Why doesn’t the judge have him arrested?

  5. St. Christopher says:

    If our Catholic bishops were as faith-filled as Pastor Grogan — not himself a Catholic — there would be no abortion on demand, no homosexual marriage, not so many divorces, and all the rest. Pastor Grogan, meet Rev. Hoye — hopefully two future Catholic bishops or cardinals. Nope, I would rather joke and eat with President Obama, the greatest enabler of abortion and homosexual rights of any US President, than actually dirty my hands with living the Faith. Better to party, or to attend make-up important functions with my other do-nothing bishops than actually go on TV, or some media, and name names and protest and maybe get sued, or even arrested. Gosh, that would be embarrassing, and people would call me names, and not invite me to those swell parties, where they all swoon over me as an important “church figure”. Better tone down that upcoming homily, a bit too judgmental; and I do need to watch out for those traditionalists — always asking for a Latin Mass (don’t they know that this is over, wait until Benedict dies, whew!!).

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      But St. Christopher, they attend annual Marches at which they are put on an unearned pedestal!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Technically speaking, Grogan is a Catholic, since there is only one Church and he’s (assumably) baptised. Baptism is a powerful sacrament, and obviously provides some souls with more Gospel clout than cardinals and other bishops who entertain … what is it, five … several sacraments … well, five if they really make good acts of contrition in the confessional, but this is certainly in doubt from the behavior of so many of them. So, we safely can say that a cardinal enjoys at least four sacrament, and yet there are souls who enjoy only one sacrament who advance the Kingdom of God beyond the puny visions of these slothful bishops who waste their sacramental graces.

      • When push came to shove in England under Henry VIII, all but one bishop found himself with no solid Gospel ground to stand on, and like grass drying up in the burning sun, they withered away into dust instead of graduating into Heaven.

  6. Stephanie says:

    This man has more guts than all of our bishops and cardinals combined.

  7. Juergensen says:

    Hey, this guy is not being “pastoral”!

  8. In doing this the judge showed her own prejudice. This man probably pricked her not dead yet conscience, but it made her angry, so she struck out with excessive vengeance at the source of her anger. It might be a lose lose situation for her and others like her, taking away much needed business from Washington D.C. Although I consider President Obama a presidential looking man, as some have said, his lack of good moral sense and choice of good heroines and mentors for his daughters just amazes me. He recently said that he considered one well known singer a good example for his daughters. Although the singer is quite beautiful, she was recently at a Superbowl Half time dressed in attire that was only suitable in the boudoir in front of ones husband. Quite frankly, considering the time and place, it only made her look cheap and vulgar. Women can look quite queenly and extremely beautiful without wearing such inappropriate attire in front of the whole world. That is the type of virtue that I believe President Obama should be instilling in his lovely daughters.

    • I wouldn’t call it being “dressed” at all. She was undressed, rather, not completely but still on the undressed side of the dividing line between dressed and undressed.

      • Well, Skai, I was putting it as politely as I could. From what I read there was a lot more wrong with the whole thing. One Catholic blogger who used to be in the entertainment field, and was glad she left it, wrote an article about it entitled “Making Hell Look Cool.”

        • Actually her article is “Trying to Make Hell Look cool”.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anne T., she was in the adult entertainment field — a stripper. She is now a Catholic. She is very honest about her past.

          • Yes, Anonymous, she was. I finally read the link to the story of her life she posted — rather quickly and not all of it but enough to see that she was a pole dancer or such. Thank God she got out of it before she ended up dead by a drug overdose or alcoholism. Quite often many of the women who get into the entertainment field are used by men who hook them on drugs and alcohol, and then, quite frankly, as much as pimp them out to line their own pockets. One tried it with me when I was younger and quite attractive, but luckily I had read a lot of Christian literature, even when I did not go to church, and I was forewarned, listened to the good advice and never got into any kind of illegal drugs. Though I am Catholic, I will always be grateful to the decent Protestants whose books kept me out of drugs and bad behavior. They were life savers and have contributed to my long life, along with the faithful Catholic priests and nuns I have known.. Also my grandmother had told me, “Ladies do not go to bars,” so I have never felt comfortable in them for any length of time, although I know some decent women do go to bars at times, but they are not women who hang around bars too much. That kind of behavior only gets the woman deeper and deeper into trouble. The only time I am in a bar is with my husband or family, for a short time and in one that is connected to a restaurant.

          • Perhaps a better word for those women who hang around bars is “misguided”. I should have been a little more charitable in my post as there but for the grace of God could have gone I.

  9. John Feeney says:

    Another government official violating the Constitution. More proof that the real America no longer exists.

  10. If the story of Zaccheaus were to play out in this instance President Obama would have asked to go to the Pastor’s home for dinner. Then he would try to convince the Pastor to amend his ways, but in this case Obama would have a change of heart. He would pass an executive order outlawing abortion all 9 months of an unborn babies life. He would then atone for all of his sins by closing PP, by defending DOMA, and working with congress to pass a legitimate budget based on American, Christian principles. The End.

    • I like your version of the the Zacchaeus story, lisag. It seems Archbishop Dolan’s did not work. At least not yet.

  11. While I am not completely sure how this may apply in DC as it is not a State. I recently heard an interview with a Sheriff who stated that a Sheriff takes an oath to uphold the constitution for the citizens whom he serves. He said that individual states have sovereign rights apart from the Federal Government and that Sheriffs have a responsibility to disobey an unconstitutional law set forth by the Federal government. He sees the police state coming and he is begging his fellow law enforcement officers to up hold the constitution no matter what illegal laws are passed or imposed on the people. To this end, if Mr. Grogan does return to the DC area no law enforcement officer should ever lay their hands on him since Judge Karen Howze’s ruling is unconstitutional.

    • The judicial branch cannot enforce any law whether valid or not. The enforcement is up to the executive branch.

      • Skai, yes you are right about that, although American’s profound ignorance of the Constitution has made them think that the judicial branch has that power. What I was pointing out is that since our law enforcement officers also take a vow to uphold the Constitution, then they cannot follow an unconstitutional order by a judge.

  12. When George Bush was being inaugrated, hippy skum lined the parade route and in totaly disrespect, gave the finger to him, Nothing was done about this obscene gesturel; but if any dares to peacefully, without any obsentity, protest what Obama does, then they are treated to Nazi style persecution. Unfair, you bet it is, and more of this will happen because the United States will soon no longer be the land of the free, ad the home of the brave. The Soviet dictator told us WE WILL BURY YOU! Well, we are buried. Ave Maria Purrissima!

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