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A man who can't be bought
January 31, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
A Mennonite pastor from Stuarts Draft, Va., is showing the kind of integrity that many people would not under threat of prosecution.
The Rev. Kenneth Miller has spent a week in a Vermont jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury about the actions of another man who allegedly helped hide a little girl and her mother from the mother's former lesbian civil union partner.
Last summer Miller was convicted of aiding Lisa Miller, the mother, who is not related to Kenneth Miller, by driving her and her daughter, Isabella, across the Canadian border in September 2009. Kenneth Miller is scheduled to be sentenced on March 4 for aiding international parental kidnapping. "If I were to bring testimony against a fellow member of Christ's kingdom, for honoring Christ's kingdom's laws, I would be disloyal to his kingdom and to Christ," Miller told the judge, according to an AP story. He said a week in jail only strengthened his resolve. He also understands he faces a stiffer sentence because of his actions now.
Kenneth Miller and other Mennonites who assisted Lisa Miller in hiding her daughter appear to believe that they are saving the girl from an "ungodly" life with her mother's former partner, Janet Jenkins.
The Miller-Jenkins custody case has been in the news for nearly a decade. Miller and Jenkins were joined in a civil union in Vermont at the time Isabella was born and courts have ruled that, because of that, Jenkins is the girl's other legal parent. The couple separated when the girl was 17 months old and Lisa Miller returned with the child to Virginia, where she returned to evangelical Christianity, renounced homosexuality and refused to let Jenkins see the girl.
At the time Lisa Miller and Isabella left the country, Lisa Miller was facing thousands of dollars of fines and was in violation of several court orders that she allow Jenkins to have visitation with Isabella. A judge awarded Jenkins sole custody of the girl soon after Lisa Miller and the girl left. Lisa Miller and Isabella, who will turn 11 in April, are believed to be living in Nicaragua and have received assistance from Mennonites living there. Janet Jenkins is suing the groups she believes aided Lisa Miller. Prosecutors are also apparently trying to win indictments against other people who may have helped Lisa Miller leave the country.
So far Kenneth Miller is not helping them, even though he's likely to pay a heavy personal price for the courage of his convictions. Regardless of what you think of the stance he has taken, there's a lot to be admired about a man who can't be bought.
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