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Illinois lawmakers consider resolution banning certain free speech



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SPRINGFIELD – Before ten Illinois lawmakers left the Capitol last Friday afternoon, they filed a resolution that would ban citizens with deeply held religious beliefs from freely expressing those views and conveying those views to their elected officials at the State Capitol. 

Members of the Illinois Legislature's Jewish caucus released a press statement condemning Illinois Family Institute and its sister organization Illinois Family Action – calling for the State Police to investigate the group's "pattern of hate speech and imagery" as posted on their website and social media pages.

The Jewish caucus press release, first posted on the CapitolFax website published by longtime Springfield writer Rich Miller, said:

On March 20th, Illinois Family Action posted an article comparing Democrats to Nazis. Under pressure to remove the post from its website, a second post appeared the next day, with even more hateful language comparing reproductive rights to the Holocaust. A third social media post unleashed a vicious attack on state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a member of the Jewish caucus, and an openly gay state representative who is a strong supporter of a women's right to choose.

“We consider an attempt to use Nazi imagery and a genocidal equation on matters regarding a legal right to health care service, clear cut hate speech,” said state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz. “This pattern of hateful actions are exactly what ignites a call to action for violence."

“We call on the Illinois State Police to do a full investigation of these incidents,” said state Rep. Jonathan Carroll. “These two organizations maintain full credentials as lobbyists to freely move throughout the Capitol complex.”

“We can’t ignore the horrors of recent synagogue and mosque shootings. They are fresh in our minds,” said state Sen. Laura Fine. “Words matter. Words such as these incite hate speech and lead to violence.”

“Dr. Barnett Slepian was murdered in cold blood in his home by sniper fire while celebrating the Sabbath with his children and wife,” said state Rep. Yehiel Kalish.  “He was gunned down because he provided a full range of reproductive health care to his patients.”

The Jewish caucus will be filing a joint resolution to make clear the Illinois General Assembly objection to this hate speech and encourage an investigation.

The members of the Jewish caucus in the House are Jonathan Carroll, Kelly Cassidy, Daniel Didech, Sara Feigenholtz, Robyn Gabel, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Will Guzzardi, Yehiel Kalish, and Bob Morgan. The caucus also includes state Senator Laura Fine.

Each of the House members listed in the Jewish caucus signed onto HJR 055, a resolution entitled "Illinois Family Action – Hate Speech

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The offense the Jewish caucus expressed stemmed from an article Illinois Family Institute posted comparing the Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews to America's abortion industry's slaughter of millions of unborn babies since the 1973 Roe vs Wade legalization of abortion. A piece written by Teri Paulson entitled "Why Is Legalized Abortion Called a Holocaust?" included these words the Jewish caucus found offensive: 

Here’s the critical question: What will the rest of us do? Will we follow in the footsteps of the average German citizen during WWII? Most of them shut their eyes, closed their ears, and sang a little louder in church when the cattle cars full of Jews on their way to the concentration camps rolled by. Will we do the same? Will we simply allow this to blow over in a few weeks, or will we learn something from history and resist?

The Democrats have crossed a terrible line. They should hear us roar. Will they?

The original version of Paulson's article was entitled “Democrat Politicians and Nazis: Is There a Difference?" featuring a chart comparing Nazis to Democrats. Illinois Family Institute deleted the original version and reposted the piece with a different headline and different featured photo, the Sun-Times reported. 

'It’s becoming a distraction so I took it down, until we can come up with a better headline or flesh it out,” [IFI Executive Director David E.] Smith said.

“It asked the question, Democratic politicians and Nazis, is there a difference? And considering the abortion holocaust that our country is going through and the push for extreme late abortion legislation, we were asking the question,” Smith said.

Later, he emailed the Sun-Times to say he had republished the article, with a “better headline and better graphic.”

The next day, Illinois Family Institute posted a subsequent article doubling down on their position of comparing the Holocaust to America's position on abortion. In that second piece, IFI author Laurie Higgins said while "revealing" IFI redoing its original article on the story, the Sun Times changed their own story on the situation. In the second version, they removed a quote from State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, saying, "[IFI] is a group promoting violence and hate speech and they have people on the payroll wearing badges bypassing security [at the Capitol] walking in and out of this building every day. And I think that should be examined."

Higgins' piece then went on to explain her criticism of Rep. Cassidy as a "feticidal maniac." 

In response, the Jewish caucus introduced a resolution condemning Illinois Family Institute (and Action), calling for drastic measures such as banning the group's lobbyists from access to lawmakers, condemning those opposing many of those same lawmakers' proposals to expand abortion practices by filling the Capitol last Wednesday with protesters and more. 

Former State Rep. Jeanne Ives – now held by many in the state's conservative movement as their de facto leader – expressed outrage with HJR 55's introduction, writing on her Facebook page, 

As American citizens we have the right to free speech, the right to assembly, and the right to petition our government. I will not be silenced…

After learning several Republican lawmakers are considering supporting the resolution, Ives gave an ultimatum:

… If any Republican dares to vote for HJR 55, I will not support them. This bill is about silencing American citizens and taking away our rights. It is about making government the determinate of what words can be said. How dare they even suggest it. And how dare Republicans even consider voting for it.

Monday morning, IFI author Laurie Higgins wrote a lengthy, formal response to HJR 55, which at one points says: 

The central issue is not whether the Nazi Holocaust is an apt analogue for America’s feticidal holocaust. The central issue is whether humans in the womb are persons with intrinsic and infinite worth. If they are, the analogy does not belittle the extermination of Jews by Nazis. If humans in the womb are persons with intrinsic and infinite worth, calling their extermination “health care”—as the resolution’s sponsors do—is an appalling horror.

The resolution is sure to result in contentious debate as the Illinois General Assembly decides what they will consider "hate speech," and what type of language and grievance they intend to ban at the Illinois State Capitol – and throughout the state. 

Illinois Review
Illinois Review
Founded in 2005, Illinois Review is the leading perspective and source of conservative news, opinion and information in Illinois. Follow Illinois Review on X at @IllinoisReview.


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  1. It’s interesting that FIVE of the ten sponsors of this tyrannical resolutions are freshman. One of the gang of ten who concocted the sham resolution to silence Illinois Family Institute and Illinois Family Action, spanking new State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, just told a constituent that we called him a Nazi. To be clear, in two articles, we compared the dehumanizing, anti-life positions of the Democratic Party to the dehumanizing, anti-life positions of the Nazi Party. If that makes Democrats uncomfortable or angry, so be it.
    As I wrote today, that analogy is neither reckless nor new. Nor is it anti-Semitic as the gang of ten bizarrely claim in order to silence those who expose the similarities. Carroll doth protest waaay too much, methinks. Lying lawmakers in Springfield, IL have just shown Illinoisans the totalitarian stripes on their dark underbellies–again.

  2. Resolutions are not laws; they differ fundamentally in their purpose. And they are not capable of changing the free speech language in the state constitution.
    Many in the state legislature can’t seem to follow the logic that if you don’t follow original meaning of the state constitution’s Bill of Rights, then you have made a change, an unlawful one. I used to think it was ignorance, but now believe they think we are stupid and they are above the constitutional law which created state gov’t and tells them what they can and cannot do. No branch of the state government has the authority to change the state constitution with state statute or resolution. It must be done as stated in Article 14 of the Illinois constitution.
    All persons may speak, write and publish FREELY, being
    responsible for the abuse of that liberty. In trials for
    libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, when published
    with good motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a
    sufficient defense. (Source: Illinois Constitution.)

    As Orwell put it, “The farther a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”
    Democrats hate the truth!

  3. Recently congressional House Democrats again blocked a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require medical professionals to give the same medical care to a baby who survives an abortion as they would to any other baby of the same age, and to take the baby to a hospital. Why doesn’t a born alive baby have a right to healthcare? How is that too much to ask? After all the Democrat stated many times that healthcare is a right. The definition of murder is the taking of an innocent life, I ask you, is there a more innocent life than that of a new born baby? I have noticed some democrat policies parallels with the Nazi party of Hitler’s Germany. Please note, I am not saying democrats are Nazis. The Nazis were socialists; the National Socialist German Workers Party. The democrat party pushes for socialism. Both the democrat party and Hitler’s Nazi party provide support for abortion policies. Both the Nazi party and the democrats are anti-Jewish Israel. Recent anti-Semitic comments by a couple of democrat congressional members should have been met with strong condemnation by house speaker Nancy Pelosi and the democrat party, it was not. Both the Nazi and the democrat party’s policies support gun grabs. Both the democrat and Nazi parties support big oppressive government. Both parties support censorship, limited free speech, and limited freedom of religion. Both parties get media propaganda support for their respective parties, the Nazis controlled the media in Hitler’s Germany. The liberal media in the US appears to be an arm of the Democratic National Committee. The democrat’s Russian collusion hoax, their President Trump smear campaign proves that. I’m waiting for apologies from them, but not holding my breath. In my opinion, history will judge the democrat party harshly. The democrat party needs to turn from these evils and rebuild their moral foundation, because it is crumbling.
    “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    Bonhoeffer stood against the evils of Hitler’s Nazi Germany and he would stand against Illinois’ abortion holocaust. Why? Because Silence in the face of evil IS itself evil… we will not be silenced by fake hate speech legislation.
    “He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it” – MLK
    Illinois Liberals are ideologically driven deceivers and have no love for the law. They are unconcerned with whether their desires for government action are legal. Their basis for what is right or wrong is how strongly they ‘feel’ about it. If they think something ought to be this way or that, then they don’t care what the Constitution says or the reasons it was written that way.

  4. “We can’t ignore the horrors of recent synagogue and mosque shootings. They are fresh in our minds,” said state Sen. Laura Fine. “Words matter. Words such as these incite hate speech and lead to violence.”
    “Dr. Barnett Slepian was murdered in cold blood in his home by sniper fire while celebrating the Sabbath with his children and wife,” said state Rep. Yehiel Kalish. “He was gunned down because he provided a full range of reproductive health care to his patients.”
    The Jewish caucus will be filing a joint resolution to make clear the Illinois General Assembly objection to this hate speech and encourage an investigation.

    Margaret Sanger, hero of the Illinois abortion supporters wrote in her book Pivot of Civilization, calling for the: “Elimination of ‘human weeds’ … overrunning the human garden; for the cessation of ‘charity’ because it prolonged the lives of the unfit; for the segregation of ‘morons, misfits, and the maladjusted’; and for the sterilization of genetically inferior races.” Margaret Sanger wrote in her autobiography that she addressed a Klu Klux Klan rally in Silver Lake, New Jersey in 1938. Margaret Sangers’ magazine The Birth Control Review published an article by Nazi Party member Ernst Rüdin, one of the “fathers of racial hygiene.” Margaret Sanger, who promoted “eugenics” and “forced sterilization” to eliminate inferior races. Yet Sanger is held up as a hero of the left… Question: why doesn’t the unborn baby have any rights? If an abortion just involved a woman’s body, “maybe” liberals would have an argument. But it doesn’t. An abortion involves two human beings, the woman and her unborn baby. And the whole purpose of an abortion is to destroy that unborn baby’s life. Many decades ago now, scientists discovered that a human life beings at the moment of conception, complete with his/her own unique DNA. Once the left gets abortion on demand in the nation, they will begin “weeding” out who they think are unfit to live, like old people in nursing homes…. Hitler had the same policies. A real shame that Illinois democrats can’t take the moral high road from Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Illinois democrats teach human life has no value and then feign surprise when big cities like Chicago has 100’s of murders. Abortion and democrats alike are deserving of our hatred for causing people to not value human life. Abortion is man’s inhumanity to man but democrats lie and call it reproductive rights! It sickens me to know people on the left who try to justify the murder of an unborn baby. Of course, they don’t allow the unborn baby a “right” to life, every sane person knows life begins at conception and knows the democrats teach children to NOT value human life by example OF MURDERING UNBORN AND SOMETIMES BORN BABIES.
    The definition of murder is the taking of an innocent life, there is not a more innocent life then that of an unborn or new born baby’s.

  5. Right to choose Strawberry or Vanilla ice cream.
    Chose to Kill or not to Kill a baby or an old person is not a right. It is murder.
    Margret Sanger taught Adolf Hitler Killing the useless and defenseless is OK.
    Love Saves Lives
    Carl Lambrecht

  6. First you must understand that “reproductive rights” is a euphemism for “Abortion.” Likewise “a woman’s right to choose” means “Abortion.” 6 million Jews lost their lives in the Holocaust. 61 million yet to be born babies lost their life in abortions. The IFA articles were tastefully written, honest and not hateful. The Democrats response is carefully crafted wordsmithing to obscure the truth. The affect is chilling.

  7. Perhaps the 177 Illinois State lawmakers should spend some time on the out migration issue, cutting taxes, shrinking government, and fixing the pension mess.
    A couple years ago the 177 lawmakers took time to make pumpkin pie the “official state pie.” It’s hard to believe this is what they do in Springfield as people leave the state while the rest pay massive taxes and are seeing their home values stagnant or decreasing.
    Instead they are working on this and taxing grocery bags. When will it end?
    The 177 lawmakers should be ashamed of themselves.

  8. Thank you Laurie, for your bold example the rest of us are committed to following. The comparison is fair, though ugly. But killing innocent babies on the altar of convenience is even uglier. That must continue to be spotlighted – the state of the state is because people with this ugly outlook on the world are lawmakers. God help us get out of this human disaster in the making.

  9. The anti-American & Totalitarian Liberals/Democrats, hate the 1st Amendment more than they hate the 2nd Amendment. But more than anything else they hate the truth. That’s whey they react to the truth like Dracula reacts to a crucifix.