Back in 2009, we started covering the saga of Lisa Miller, a self-declared former lesbian who became a hero to the Religious Right for defying court orders to allow her former partner, Janet Jenkins, to see their daughter. After the couple had separated, Miller moved from Vermont to Virginia, where she joined Jerry Falwell’s church, renounced her homosexuality and then refused to allow Jenkins to see the daughter they had together. During the legal battle, Miller was represented by Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and lawyers affiliated with Liberty University, both of which are connected to Falwell’s church.
Eventually, due to her intransigence and refusal to follow visitation orders, a judge in Vermont ordered Miller to transfer custody to Jenkins, but Miller refused and instead disappeared. Eventually it was discovered that Miller had kidnapped her daughter and fled the country and, according to an FBI affidavit, wound up at a home in Nicaragua owned by Philip Zodhiates, a Religious Right activist whose daughter just so happened to be an administrative assistant at Liberty University Law School, where Miller’s Liberty Counsel attorneys, Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen, both worked.
In 2016, Zodhiates was “convicted by a federal jury of international parental kidnapping and conspiracy to commit international parental kidnapping” and sentenced to three years in prison. Zodhiates is appealing his conviction.
Linda Wall, who is an anti-LGBTQ activist and was a close friend of Lisa Miller, appeared on the “Focal Point” radio program yesterday to discuss the Miller saga with Bryan Fischer, who has been a vocal supporter of Miller’s decision to kidnap her daughter and flee the country from the very start. Wall attempted to paint the prosecution of Zodhiates as an example of anti-Christian bias, insisting that Zodhiates had done nothing wrong and was simply giving Miller and her daughter a ride to the airport so that they could go and serve the Lord.
“He simply gave a ride to them from Lynchburg, Virginia, to Buffalo, New York,” Wall insisted. “When these people were doing their Christian duty and [living] their Christian life, there was nothing wrong with Lisa leaving the country. Nothing had transpired in a court. She had a legal passport, her daughter had a passport, they simply decided, ‘We’re going to go serve the Lord.’ And these people were simply helping her go fulfill the call on her life to bring her daughter up in the ways of the Lord.”
Wall’s claim is ludicrous, of course, as Miller had been ordered to hand over custody of her daughter on January 1, 2010 but that never happened because she had already fled the country, with the help of Zodhiates and others, rather than comply.
Wall went on to reveal that Religious Right activists working on behalf of Miller have informed the White House of this “atrocity” and are “working with the Department of Justice” to get the charges against everyone involved in the case dropped on the grounds that they violate the Constitution’s guarantee of a free exercise of religion.
“We have some things going on behind the scenes that we’re encouraged with this administration,” she said. “There have been Christians freed in other countries who were arrested for their faith and I don’t see why the same can’t be done right here in America.”