Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Last Five Months - 11/08-3/09

Bible Club Bullied
“A university in Ohio has threatened the future of a campus Bible organization for requiring voting members and office holders be Christian. According to Campus Bible Fellowship representative Gary Holtz, his group had been a registered student organization at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, for more than 30 years. Upon seeking re-registration for 2009, however, the university denied the Bible group’s access to facilities, student club fairs, advertising venues and recruiting opportunities—essentially blacklisting the club—because of CBF’s requirement that voting members adhere to a doctrinal statement and a belief in Jesus. A Christian rights group is now helping them.” (WorldNetDaily. 3/3/09.)

State High School Bans Prayer
“The Illinois High School Association is being challenged on policy that bans Christian schools form offering a prayer or any religious message over their public address systems when they host association events on their own property.
‘It is blatantly unconstitutional for public school officials to come into private schools and enforce a policy prohibiting them from expressing what’s central
to their religious beliefs,’ said David Cortman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).
The ADF wrote to association chief Marty Hickman recently after several private schools complained about the new restrictions. ‘In enacting the policy, the IHSA was purportedly concerned that allowing private host schools to conduct customary pre-game prayers violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause,’ the letter said.
The ADF is trying to persuade the IHSA that prayers on private school property is constitutional. ‘There is a strong likelihood that the IHSA’s new policy violates the First Amendment rights of private Christian schools that host IHSA state series events,’ the letter said.”(WorldNetDaily. 3/7/09.)

You Flunk!…If You’re Anti-Gay!
“Jonathan Lopez, a Christian student at the Los Angeles Community College District, has sued the school saying that a professor kept him from finishing a classroom speech about his religious beliefs and opposition to same-sex unions. Lopez has said he was discriminated against because of his religious views.
Lopez said the professor, John Matteson, told him to ‘ask God’ for his grade and later threatened to retaliate against him for complaining. College officials said in court filings that disciplinary proceedings have begun against Matteson but declined to be
more specific.
Lopez is being represented by the Alliance Defense Fund. Attorney David French said he believed the Lopez suit struck a chord because conservative and religious voices are often silenced on liberal college campuses. The suit seeks to strike down a university code prohibiting speech that could offend classmates.” (The Gazette. Colorado Springs, CO. 3/8/09.)

Elementary School Blots Out God
“An elementary school in Tennessee, after successfully rebuffing an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit over religious expression on campus, has nonetheless ordered the words ‘God Bless the USA’ and ‘In God We Trust’ covered up on student-made posters in the hallway.
Administrators at Lakeview Elementary School in Mr. Juliet, Tenn., told parents that the posters, promoting the See You at the Pole student prayer event, mentioned ‘God’ and are therefore precluded by school board policy and prohibited in the always as inappropriate.
‘Christian students shouldn’t be censored for expressing their beliefs,’ said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum in a statement. ‘It’s ridiculous as well as unconstitutional to cover up these references to God and prayer—one of which is the national motto.’” (WorldNetDaily. 3/3/09)

ACLU & Memorial Crosses
“A Denver federal appellate court will heard arguments on 3/9/09 on the religiousness of 12-foot-high crosses used to honor deceased Utah troopers along state highways. A federal judge in Salt Lake City in 2007 ruled that the crosses are not an illegal public endorsement of religion and are used to communicate a secular message—that a patrolman died or was mortally wounded at a particular location.
Texas-based American Atheists in their appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, reject arguments that the cross ‘now falls into the category of the no-longer-religious Christmas tree.’ In court documents, American Atheists attorney Brian Barnard acknowledges that crosses are common in government-owned cemeteries, but argues the case is about public rights of way. Barnard wrote: ‘The information conveyed by such a speedy drive-by is “Christianity” and “Utah Highway Patrol.”’ (The Salt Lake Tribune. 3/9/09.)

Coach Can’t Bow Head In Prayer
“The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a case involving a high school football coach’s effort to respect his players’ tradition of stopping for a moment of prayer prior to games, leaving in place an appeals court decision that essentially mandates a school policy of ‘hostility,’ according to The Rutherford Institute.
‘This decision undermines a time-honored tradition that has less to do with religion than it does athletic tradition,’ said John Whitehead, chief counsel of The Rutherford Institute which argued the case on behalf of Coach Marcus Borden of East Brunswick High School in New Jersey.
‘It’s a sad statement on our rights as Americans that schools are no longer bastions of freedom. We’ve become so politically correct and secularized that religious individuals who seek the same First Amendment rights as others are censored,’ Whitehead said.
A federal court of appeals concluded the high school coach broke the law routinely when he would bow his head or ‘take a knee’ while his team prayed before games—a school tradition of 25 years.” (WorldNetDaily. 3/3/09.)

State Senator Sues God?
“The state Court of Appeals has dismissed former Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers’ lawsuit against God. Chambers sued the Almighty in 2007 to prove the point that everyone has a right to their day in court. The right embraces every person, Chambers said in his appeal, whether powerful or powerless, lionized or loathed, heralded or hated, Bible thumper or Bible burner.
Douglas County District Court Judge Marlon Polk threw out the lawsuit because God could not be served a legal notice. Also, Polk dismissed the suit with prejudice, meaning Chambers could not bring another lawsuit on the same claim. The Court of Appeals vacated the district court order, at the same time as dismissing the suit.” (Lincoln Journal Star. 2/28/09.)

Pro-Life Pastor Gets Sentenced
“A pro-life black pastor has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for sharing a pro-life message outside local abortion centers. Pastor Walter Hoye was previously found guilty of violating what pro-life attorneys call an unconstitutional city law designed specifically to target him. The ordinance prohibits contact within eight feet of women entering abortion businesses without their consent. Recently, Hoye was sentenced by Judge Hing of the Alameda Superior Court to serve 30 days in county jail. Hoye will also be forced to pay a $1,130 fine.” (LifeNews.com. 2/19/09.)

Encyclopedia Too Christian?!
“Wiley-Blackwell, a major academic publisher, is recalling copies of Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization and scrapping the print run after critics said the entries were ‘too Christian’ and ‘too anti-secular.’
The publisher was set to release the four-volume encyclopedia in February after it was completed last September
of 2008. But a small group of critics that included contributors and some members of the editorial board objected to the final version.
‘They determined that the Introduction and many of the entries were ‘too Christian, too orthodox, too anti-secular and too anti-Muslim and not politically correct enough for being used in universities,’ said the encyclopedia’s editor, George Thomas Kurian, sounding angry in an e-mail sent recently to nearly 400 contributors.
Blackwell subsequently decided to suspend the publication, recall copies already distributed, and destroy the existing print run. Kurian called the move the ‘first instance of mass book-burning in the 21st century.’ Now, the book’s publisher and editorial director want to ‘de-christianize’ all 1,450 entries in the encyclopedia to make it politically correct before it can be reprinted, according to Kurian.
Kurian also said the press objected to ‘historical references to the persecution and massacres of Christians by Muslims, but at the same time wanted references favorable to Islam. And to make the treatment even “more balanced,” they also want the insertion of material denigrating Christianity in some form or fashion. All these I have refused to do,’ stated the encyclopedia’s editor.” (Christian Post. 2/13/09.)

State Trashed Church Rights
“An appeals court ruled the state of Montana violated a church’s First Amendment rights to encourage its members to support traditional marriage. The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals reversed the state’s determination that the church was an ‘incidental political committee’ because members promoted and signed petitions supporting traditional marriage, and the pastor also encouraged it.
The complaint against Ferry Road Baptist Church of East Helena was sparked by a complaint from a homosexual activist group, the court ruling noted. The Alliance Defense Fund took up the fight for the church by filing a lawsuit in 2004 after the state issued its ruling against the church.
‘Churches shouldn’t be penalized for expressing their beliefs. They should never be forced to forfeit their free speech rights just because the government decides to enact unconstitutional laws requiring them to remain silent on social issues,’ said ADF Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt, who litigated the case.” (WorldNetDaily. 2/27/09.)

Professor Demeans Christian
“A student at Los Angeles City College has filed a lawsuit against the institution after a professor called him a ‘fascist bastard’ and told him to ‘Ask God what your grade is’ following the student’s speech about morality. The case has been filed by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Jonathan Lopez after his encounter with Professor John Matteson in a speech class. The lawsuit alleges Lopez was participating in a class assignment to give a speech on ‘any topic from six to eight minutes.’ During his speech on God and morality, the professor interrupted him and refused to allow him to finish his speech and then publicly humiliated and demeaned him with foul language and then dismissed the class.” (WorldNetDaily. 2/13/09.)

Police Restricting Law-Abiding Christians
“Officials in Ithaca, New York, have agreed again not to enforce an ordinance limiting the speech right of Christians after they were caught ignoring a court order that banned the restriction.
The Alliance Defense Fund, which won the previous case against the city, said the new development came recently in the form of a consent judgment signed by U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby.
City police officers last summer told Jim Deferio he would not be allowed to talk about his Christian faith at Ithaca Commons, even after they were presented with a court order that prohibited them from enforcing the unconstitutional ‘noise’ limit.
‘Police officers cannot overstep their authority, defy a court order, and illegally suppress Christian speech,’ said Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Nate Kellum.” (WorldNetDaily. 2/16/09.)

Christian Music Prohibited
“A Southern California counselor with nearly two decades of experience with foster children is challenging a decision that she be punished after four teens she took on an approved day-long outing encountered a beach festival—and heard Christian music.
The 18-year employee, according to the lawsuit, took four teen girls from the Orangewood Children’s Home, which was launched as a private facility but now is owned and run by Orange County. ‘What happened to this counselor was insane and unjust,’ said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, who is defending the counselor. ‘Allowing teenagers to overhear a few minutes of Christian music while at the beach should not result in a sex-week suspension,’ insisted Dacus.
According to the lawsuit, at the beach, the group encountered a ‘Surf Jam’ taking place at the Huntington Beach Pier. The group also overheard Christian music for about 10 minutes while they were eating. After the outing, the counselor was ordered into a ‘disciplinary meeting’ that focused on the inappropriateness of Christian music.” (WorldNetDaily. 2/19/09.)
Editor’s Note: Sure, why not! Young people listen to heavy metal and rap that condone violence, sex, drugs, rape, killing of police, suicide...but Christian music is “inappropriate.” PLEASE...just stick a fork in me and call me done!!!

Colorado Lawmaker Under Attack for Morality
“Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, stood before the State Senate on Feb. 23 just before it passed SB 88, a bill granting insurance benefits to homosexual partners of state employees. He read scripture to lawmakers calling homosexuality a sin and abomination and opposed the bill. Now ‘gay’ activists have countered with an aggressive, full-fledge attack against him. (WorldNetDaily. 2/26/09.)

Stimulus Earmark Could Ban Worship
“President Obama’s proposed economic stimulus plan makes a deliberate—and unconstitutional—attempt to censor religious speech and worship on school campuses across the nation, according to a lawyer who argued related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court 20 years ago and won them all.
‘This isn’t like a convenient oversight. This is intentional. This legislation pokes its finger in the yes of people who hold religious beliefs,’ said Jay Sekulow, chief of the American Center for Law and Justice.
The problem in the proposed bill comes from a provision that prohibits uses of funds for any religious activities or instruction. The targeted religious speech already has been approved by the majority of Democrats in the U.S. House—all GOP members opposed it.” (WorldNetDaily. 2/7/09)
Gays In; Christian Out!
“A New York school district faces a lawsuit for encouraging students to explore homosexuality while trying to prevent them from studying the Bible. The action has been brought by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of a student identified only as A. Q. against the Lindenhurst Union Free School District near New York City.
The suit alleges the district allows and encourages homosexuality by providing special services to organizations including the Gay-Straight Alliance, Key Club, Chess Club, Fishing Club and Ski Club. It contends the district illegally has discriminated against students seeking a Bible Club, instead forcing them to apply for permission to use school facilities as an outside group.
The public interest law firm said for more than four months, Lindenhurst High School officials repeatedly have refused to grant official recognition to the club because of its religious nature, despite the presence of other non-curriculum-related student clubs that are given benefits and privileges. In fact, the lawsuit said, the district refuses to permit members of the Bible Club to use classrooms to meet on the same basis as other clubs.” (WorldNetDaily. 2/6/09.)

No Intelligence for Intelligent Design Speaker
“Ben Stein described the brouhaha over his de-selection as commencement speaker at the University of Vermont as ‘laughable’ recently and called the whole episode ‘pathetic.’Stein said that describing his views as ‘antithetical to scientific inquiry’ was ‘a wildly unfair characterization.’ He said he was by no means ‘anti-science,’ as some of his critics have described him.
Stein’s comments came a day after UVM President Dan Fogel announced that Stein, whom Fogel had invited to address UVM’s commencement in May, would not be coming after all. Fogel said that his selection of Stein generated an intense protest, that he received hundreds of angry e-mails over the weekend. ‘I feel sorry that Dr. Fogel is caught in the meat grinder of political correctness,’ said Stein.” (Burlington Free Press. 2/3/09.)

Christian Speech Curtailed
“A college’s ban on free speech—except for two selected hours per week—has been eliminated in a settlement with the Alliance Defense Fund, which took up the cause on behalf of a student threatened with arrest and expulsion for sharing the story of Jesus Christ.
‘Christian students shouldn’t have to face jail and expulsion for expressing their beliefs on a public college campus,’ said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Heather Gebelin Hacker. ‘We are pleased that Yuba College officials have finally agreed to recognize that its campus policies cannot strip away the free speech rights of students with religious viewpoints,’ she said in a recent interview.” (WorldNetDaily. 1/27/09.)

Prayer Intervention Refused
“U.S. Supreme Court justices have refused to intervene in a case that seeks to restore Christian references in prayers at city council meetings in Fredericksburg, Va., a decision that
allows them to avoid overturning a former member of the high court bench: Sandra Day O’Connor. ‘This is a very sad day for freedom of speech,’ said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. ‘This was a case that cried out for justice, but as Justice Thurgood Marshall once said, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”’
The case involved Fredericksburg City Councilman Hashmel Turner, who was banned from ending prayers ‘in Jesus’ name.’ Rutherford attorneys asked the court to review and overturn the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which included an opinion by O’Connor asserting it is fair and reasonable to exclude ‘in Jesus’ name.’
O’Connor said the prayers actually were ‘government speech’ and, therefore, not protected by the First Amendment. Rutherford lawyers said the city’s attempt to dictate the content of prayers violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment as well as Turner’s free speech and free exercise rights. (WorldNetDaily. 1/16/09.)

Bible Giveaways School Ban
“A Southwest Florida man who in past years has been allowed to distribute free Bibles to high school students on Religious Freedom Day was turned down this year by the district’s superintendent. In November of 2008, Jerry Rutherford, president of World Changers, submitted his request to set up tables offering free Bibles to students on Religious Freedom Day. But Supt. Dennis Thompson, who had allowed the activity in the last two years, denied his request recently. The school board said it would stand behind the decision made by Thompson.” (The Christian Post. 1/17/09.)

“No!” to Religious Choice
“The ACLU, on behalf of an offended parent, is suing an elementary school district for allowing its students to attend a non-taxpayer-funded religious education program that meets on campus. For the past 55 years, the Huntington County Community School Corporation of rural Indiana has permitted students in its eight elementary schools to attend religious study groups through a ‘released time’ program. While a 1952 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legally permits ‘released time’ instruction, the ACLU cited the fact that it is on school property which is a violation.” (WorldNetDaily. 1/6/09.)

Military Bows to ACLU Against Gideons
“Americans entering the military often receive Bibles, courtesy of the Gideons International. But the Gideons have been told that while they can leave complimentary Bibles at most military induction stations, they cannot stay on the property to ‘proselytize’ or preach to the recruits. Daniel Trew, public information officer for the Military Entrance Processing Command, says the policy was recently established after concerns were raised by the American Civil Liberties Union. ‘We can not allow the Gideons to share their faith on government property because the applicants could perceive that this is being allowed under the auspices of the Department of Defense,’ said Trew. (OneNewsNow.com. 1/17/09.)

Unfair Fairness Doctrine
“As the National Religious Broadcasters convened recently in Nashville, an ominous shroud cast by political chatter about the re-imposition of the so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine’ in the nation’s capital hung over the gathering.
NRB President Frank Wright said he sees the move as a credible threat under a Democrat-dominated Congress and with President Obama in the White House. Representing 1,400 organizations, including large ministries and TV and radio stations, NRB said it is ‘girding itself for a major battle over broadcasting freedoms,’ and was prepared to go to court, lobby Congress, or take its message to the public.
Wright said he expects religious broadcasters, largely Christian, to be particularly hard hit because of the doctrine’s requirement for so-called ‘balance.’ If an opposing view must be found for every matter of controversy, Christian broadcasters could find themselves in the unenviable and untenable position of seeking out other religious viewpoints—Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist or atheist—to counter what ministers of the Gospel say on the air.
‘I have had a number of conversations with NRB members who operated under the old “Fairness Doctrine” regime,’ Wright said. ‘What happens is there is a chilling of free speech because the license-holder tends to take off the air the programmer whose content is deemed to be controversial.’” (WorldNetDaily. 2/7/09.)

Child Evangelism Denied Access
“Child Evangelism Fellowship has filed a lawsuit against the Cobb County school system for the right to use school facilities free of charge. The group is accusing the district of violating First Amendment rights because they are no longer allowing the group to host after-school meetings in classrooms, free of charge. Matthew Staver of Liberty Counsel is representing them.” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1/16/09.)

Gay and Atheist Similarities – an Editorial
“Recently, I noticed a similarity between atheists and homosexuals that hadn’t occurred to me before. It has to do with the way they wage their wars. Basically, they erect straw men, put
words in their straw mouths, and then engage in battle with these creatures they’ve cobbled together with spit and glue. Homosexuals like to picture themselves as the innocent victims of the oppressive majority. This brings me to atheists and their own brand of hypocrisy and lies. It’s silly enough when they feel they can use logic to disprove the existence of God. But it’s worse when in voicing their angry opposition to organized religion, they begin sounding exactly like the religious zealots they claim to despise.” (WorldNetDaily. “Gays and Atheists: Joined at the Lip” by Bert Prelutsky. Adapted and condensed. 1/14/09)

Semi Billboard Wins for Now
“A New York man has won a battle with the New York Department of Transportation over a trailer he parked on his private property along a public highway that was targeted because of its Christian message. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed suit on behalf of Burritt and finally reached an agreement with the NYDOT to allow the trailer to stay until a formal decision can be reached in a state district court.” (WorldNetDaily. 12/23/08.)

Stopping Presidential Prayers!?
“The Freedom From Religion Foundation which includes 29 members as
co-plaintiffs are in a federal lawsuit, Newdow v. Roberts, filed on Dec. 30, 2008 by attorney Michael Newdow in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking to enjoin the Presidential Inaugural Committee from sponsoring prayers at the official inauguration. The 34-page Legal Complaint also punctures some supposed myths, documenting that for most of our country’s history, no clergy led prayers at inaugurations.
The lawsuit similarly seeks to enjoin the Hon. John Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, from adding the religious phrase, ‘So help me God,’ to the Presidential oath of office. Named as defendants are Justice Roberts, and inaugural committee officials as well as Rev. Rick Warren and Rev. Joe Lowery, who are acting as agents of the state in being invited to deliver the invocation and benediction.” (Freedom from Religion Foundation news release. 12/30/08.)

Lesbians vs. a Christian Organization
“A church organization has been caught up in a discrimination case brought by two lesbians who were denied permission to rent the Christian group’s facilities for a ‘ceremony’ after the meaning of ‘equal’ was changed by the state, according to a warning from Liberty Counsel.
The situation involves the United Methodist Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, which has been accused by the government in New Jersey of discriminating against a self-described lesbian duo, Luisa Paster and Harriet Bernstein, were denied permission to rent the church pavilion.
The pavilion is a church-owned beachfront property near Asbury Park and had been open to the public for decades under an agreement reached between the church and the local government then. But in 2007, years after the original agreement was adopted, the state set up a same-sex civil union law and the duo then demanded permission to use the pavilion. When they were refused they filed a complaint alleging the new definition of ‘equal’ was violated.
The state Division of Civil Rights now has issued a Finding of Probable Cause against the Camp Meeting Association. The state said the camp was violating
the public accommodation provisions of the state’s Law Against Discrimination. ‘The clash between same-sex unions and religious freedom has arrived, and that clash will increase,’ said Mathew Staver, chief counsel of Liberty Counsel.” (WorldNetDaily. 12/30/08.)
Editor’s Comment: Hey, wait a minute, so what’s happening to the liberal’s war cry of, “Separation of Church and state?!” It all depends whose ox is being gored!

Vote for California’s Prop. 8? You’re Fired!
“Protests following the passage of California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, made news headlines, but the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) reports a growing number of cases where those opposed to the ballot measure have taken out their anger more quietly: by harassing—and even firing—employees who voted for it.
PJI, a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in religious freedom, is representing a San Francisco woman who was fired for voting for Proposition 8, but whose name remains confidential to protect her privacy and legal case.
‘Californians have been shocked by the aggressiveness of radical homosexual activists who have ousted several individuals from their jobs and livelihoods based solely on their support for traditional marriage,’ states Brad Dacus, president of PJI. ‘These tactics of fear and intimidation in retaliation for supporting a lawful ballot measure are completely unacceptable.’
The Los Angeles Times report the story of El Coyote, a coffee shop that became a target of protest after the manager’s name was put on a blacklist for giving $100 to support Prop. 8. Mobs of protesters harassed and shouted at the customers.” (WorldNetDaily. 12/20/08.)

No Room for Christian Fun
“The Louisiana American Civil Liberties Union fired off a letter to the mayor of Thibodaux, La., warning that the small town’s promotion of a city festival featuring Christian bands may be a violation of the First Amendment. The Thibodeauxville Festival, which draws nearly 12,000 people to the town whose population barely exceeds 14,000, has featured food, fun, festivities, street dancing and bands from a variety of genres for the past 16 years. But when the ACLU spied the city’s seal on a flier that also promoted the Christian bands performing at the festival, it took action. Marjorie Esman, executive director of ACLU Louisiana told a news station in New Orleans, ‘We wrote a letter to the mayor asking him for the future to not include religious expression in the event.’” (WorldNetDaily. 11/11/08.)

College To Drop Speech Ban
“A court has told Yuba Community College officials to halt their enforcement of rules banning a student’s Christian testimony while the dispute over their threat to expel him moves through the court system, according to the Alliance Defense Fun. The Christian legal firm said a federal judge has issued an order to the school in Marysville, Calif., to suspend their policies under challenge in court.” (WorldNetDaily. 11/13/08.)

Atheist Group Files Suit
“They brought their anti-God billboards to Colorado. Now they’re bringing a lawsuit. Recently, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit in the state court in Denver, claiming (of all things) that Gov. Bill Ritter showed ‘governmental preference for religion in issuing National Day of Prayer proclamations’ in connection with the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
The lawsuit—which was filed on behalf of four named plaintiffs from Colorado and the group’s 400-plus members—seeks to declare such proclamations in violation
of the Colorado Constitution and seeks an order to keep Ritter from issuing them in the future.
Ritter’s spokesman, Evan Dreyer, said: ‘In previous challenges in other states and on the federal level, these complaints have been rejected, and we fully expect that if they persist with this, it will meet the same fate. This is a proclamation. It’s not an executive order, not a statute and doesn’t carry the force of law. It doesn’t violate the state constitution. Precedent is in our favor.’ (The Gazette. 11/14/08.)

Freedom from Religion In Colorado Springs?
“An atheist group known as Freedom from Religion has brought its message to Colorado Springs recently in the form of billboards proclaiming ‘Imagine No Religion’ and ‘You Don’t Believe In God. You Are Not Alone.’
‘This is an alternative message that people need to hear in Colorado Springs, the hotbed of the Christian right,’ said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the billboard’s sponsor. Since October 2007, the group has paid for provocative anti-religious billboards in nine states. It erected an ‘Imagine No Religion’ billboard in downtown Denver last summer.” (The Gazette. 11/6/08.)

Activist Gays Attack Old Lady Carrying Cross
“An elderly woman who attended a gay rights protest carrying a cross to voice her support of the new California ban on gay marriage was attacked by demonstrators and now may press charges.Palm Springs Police Department spokesman Sgt. Mitch Spike told FOXNews.com no arrests had been made and added that victim Phyllis Burgess still is deciding whether she’ll press assault charges. Carrying a large, foam cross, Burgess, 69, showed up at the rally where radical gays were protesting the approval of Proposition 8—the ban on same-sex marriage. She was there to show her belief in traditional marriage. Within minutes, however, angry protesters swarmed around the Palm Springs resident, yanked the cross from her hands and trampled on it.” (Fox News. 11/13/08.)

Gay Activists Disturbing Churches
“Worshippers at a Bible-teaching church in Lansing, Mich., were stunned recently when members of a pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization named Bash Back interrupted their service to fling propaganda and condoms around the sanctuary, drape
a profane banner form the balcony and feature two lesbians making out at the pulpit.
According to Nick De Leeuw, ‘Prayer had just finished at Mount Hope Church when men and women stood up in pickets across the congregation, on the main floor and in the balcony. “Jesus was gay,” they shouted among other profanities and blasphemies as they rushed the stage, and began other obscene acts and gestures in front of the whole congregation—including children.” (WorldNetDaily. 11/11/08.)

Gay Anarchy and the Christian Church
The following article is taken from WorldNetDaily commentary (11/17/08). “If Democracy Doesn’t Work, Try Anarchy.” Exclusive: Chuck Norris scolds bitter activists for intimidating and harassing Proposition 8 supporters.
1) “Protestors of California’s Proposition 8 shoved aside a 69-year-old woman bearing a cross, reportedly spit on her and stomped on her cross. They then aligned themselves in a human barricade, blocking the media from getting to or interviewing the elderly woman.
2) Prop. 8 supported, Jose Nunez, 37, was brutally assaulted while distributing yard signs
to other supporters after church services at the St. Stanislaus Parish in Modesto.
3) Calvary Chapel Chino Hills was spray painted by vandals, after they learned that the church served as an official collection point for Prop 8 petitions.
4) Letters containing white powder (obviously mimicking anthrax) were sent to the Salt Lake City headquarters of the Mormon church and to a temple in Los Angeles.
5) A 25-year veteran artistic director for the California Musical Theatre, who also happens to be a Mormon, was muscled to resign because of his $1,000 donation to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California.
6) A pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization named Bash Back marched into the middle of a church service, flinging flyers and condoms to the congregants and hanging a banner from the balcony and featured two lesbians in provocative positions at the pulpit.
These ‘tolerance-preaching’ activists have also taken their anger to the blogosphere, where posts have planted ideas like burning churches to storming the citadels of government until society is forced to overturn prop 8.
What’s wrong with this picture? Lots! Bullying techniques cross the line!!”

Halloween Jesus Nixed
“A Paramus middle school student was sent home on Halloween after he came to school dressed up as Jesus for the school’s Halloween dress-up day. For a few hours, Alex Woinski was the messiah of West Brook Middle School, but like the real Jesus, Woinski was condemned, so to speak. Decked out in sandals, a robe, fake beard and thorns, the 13-year-old joined 500 other students at this school’s Halloween celebration, and on this day, he was the chosen one—to go home! ‘It was supposedly offensive to some students,’ Woinski said, when asked what school officials told him the reason for being sent home was.
The school says the costume was a disruption and denies its religious nature had anything to do with it. Principal Joan Bore said too many students were drawn to the costume, and that’s reason enough. Woinski’s parents believe it was political correctness gone amok. ‘I think the whole freedom of speech and expression has definitely had a damper put on it, and this is proof of that,’ says Kim Woinski, Alex’s mother.” (WCBS TV. 10/31/08.)
Editor’s Note: Satan, demons, ghouls, murderers—yes; Jesus—no. Make sense?

Colorado’s Bible Ban & Tim Gill
“Tim Gill, the secretive Colorado software multi-millionaire and behind-the-scenes ‘gay’ activist who has boasted of his strategy to buy up campaigns for pro-homosexual candidates soon may be learning he cannot buy the First Amendment. Gill, whose strategic campaign donations in 2004 largely are credited with turning the GOP majority in the Colorado statehouse into a Democratic bastion and whose work in 2006 helped install Democrat Bill Ritter, a vigorously pro-abortion campaigner, in the governor’s office, has been blamed by Christian organizations for the 2008 success of a new Colorado law that bans the Bible in the state.
But the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado and Liberty Counsel are teaming up on a soon-to-be-filed lawsuit expected to highlight the apparent First Amendment violations of SB200, the state law that bans references to homosexuals that could be perceived as ‘discriminatory’ and raises the issue of whether the law applies to the Bible’s label of homosexuality as an ‘abomination.’
The protection for homosexuals is wrapped up in a ‘gender’ discrimination ban that widely was publicized as the ‘bathroom bill’ because it also allows adults who say they are a particular sex to use public restrooms designated for that sex, whether their physical characteristics match that sex or not.
‘Section 8 of the bill makes it a crime to publish or distribute anything that is deemed a discrimination against the homosexual and transsexual lifestyle,’ said a statement from the Christian Family Alliance. There was an exception for churches and church organizations. However, lawmakers then attached to the bill a state ‘safety clause’ which is supposed to deal with laws that are fundamental to protecting the lives of residents. That, he said, simply stripped away any potential allowances for churches and church groups.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/9/08.)

School Charity Omitted – Indirectly Religious
“A classroom project aimed at helping less fortunate children turned into a bigger lesson recently at Stratton Elementary School when the teacher and principal realized the charity elected was part of an evangelical Christian organization. The fourth-graders were looking for a community-service type project, and one parent suggested Operation Christmas Child. They eventually realized that the organization was a part of Samaritan’s Purse and cancelled it to find a more appropriate and secular project for the children.”
(The Gazette. 11/1/08.)

Forbidden Graduation Speech Redux
“The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is being asked to affirm free speech rights for a student punished for expressing her religious faith at her graduation.
The dispute involves Erica Corder, a valedictorian at Lewis-Palmer High School in Colorado Springs in 2006. Her complaint, handled by the non-profit group Liberty Counsel, alleges school officials intimidated her and coerced her into writing an ‘apology’ after she briefly shared her faith about Jesus Christ.
Corder said officials withheld her diploma until she issued an apology, and the school ‘continues to portray her as a student who engaged in improper conduct because she mentioned Jesus Christ during her speech.’ Mathew Staver, chief of Liberty Counsel, contends the school district had no right to coerce Corder to speak against her will when she was no longer a student. ‘The school district compounded its unconstitutional censorship of religious viewpoints by forcing an exemplary alumnus to “confess” to the school’s own crime,’ he said. ‘Graduation was over. The lights had been turned off. The people were gone. Erica graduated and yet the school officials falsely claimed this straight-A student could not graduate because she mentioned the name of “Jesus” in her 30-second speech,’ Staver said.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/11/08.)

Victory in Jesus’ Name
“The judges on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have used a case from Cobb County, Georgia, to proclaim that praying ‘in Jesus’ name’ is acceptable at county board meetings when other constitutional provisions are followed. The ruling this week sets up a conflict with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which concluded in an opinion written by ex-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that city officials properly excluded from a rotation of leaders for opening prayers at a municipal meeting
a pastor who prayed ‘in Jesus’ name.’
‘Finally an appeals court with some common sense has ruled what I’ve been saying all along. The government cannot parse the content of anybody’s prayer, nor forbid prayers offered ‘in Jesus’ name’ in legislative bodies, or by government chaplains,’ said Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt.
Klingenschmitt was discharged from the U.S. Navy in a dispute with his commander over praying in uniform ‘in Jesus’ name,’ although he later won a victory in Congress that now allows other chaplains to pray as their conscience dictates.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/30/08.)

Victory for U.S. Capitol
“Documentation of the Christian heritage of the United States will be restored, at least partly, to a new $600 million Capitol Visitors Center in Washington which earlier had been scrubbed of references to the religious faith and influences of the Founding Fathers. The center, with acres of marble floors and walls, initially had only photographs of Earth Day, information about an AIDS rally and details about industry with nothing about America’s Christian heritage. The plans drew objections from members of Congress and even drew an inquiry from Chuck Norris about whether he could help fix it.
Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va, has announced that the Committee on House Administration and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee have agreed to include references to the nation’s religious history in the new project. According to Forbes, officials have now agreed to the research and development of a permanent religious history display and have agreed to make every effort to erect the display as soon as possible.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/30/08.)

Victory for Church Bulletins
“The Supreme Court of Florida has turned back a case that could have threatened churches with liability over the content of their Sunday bulletins and left prayer requests subject to litigation by anyone ‘offended’ by virtually anything, according to the law firm handling the case. ‘Under a “false light” case, the truth may not be a defense. Someone can bring a lawsuit against you even when you state a truthful statement, with no damage,’ Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel said recently. The restrictions would have left church newsletters, websites, e-mails, even a prayer request, subject to litigation. However, the state Supreme Court, in a 5-0 ruling, doesn’t recognize the ‘false light’ claim.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/24/08.)

Victory for Christian Bride and Groom
“‘Do you, Party A, take this Party B to be your lawfully wedded spouse?’ Nah! Never did sound right. So the state of California is now changing the way people can identify themselves on its new gender-neutral marriage licenses. Now the bride and groom can legally choose to be called, well, the ‘bride’ and ‘groom.’ Or, for that matter, the bride and bride. Or the groom and groom. Since June 17, when gay marriage became legal in California as the result of a state Supreme Court ruling, two gay people did not want ‘bride and groom’ designation so the state legally adopted Party A and Party B. In any case: No more Party A, Party B only—the outcry was too loud!” (Santa Cruz Sentinel. 10/7/08.)

Spanking May Bring Jail to Pastor
“A Wisconsin pastor has been charged with felony physical abuse of a child after he spanked his 12-year-old son for lying and a teacher notified social services. Barry W. Barnett Jr., 43, of Poynette, Wis., is free on a $10,000 bond, but he could face up
to three years in prison and fines for disciplining his son, the local Portage Daily Register reported.
At the pastor’s hearing, Barnett’s son said his father was right to spank him. ‘He gave me a chance to tell him the truth, and I just kept lying to him,’ the boy said. The boy said his father gave him two ‘swats’ that ‘hurt a little’ on his rear end in June. He told authorities both he and his dad cried while he was disciplined.
One of his siblings mentioned the spanking to a teacher, who called social services, according to the report. A June 7th report from the Divine Savior Healthcare emergency department had medical paperwork that said the boy told physicians he didn’t think he was abused and he loves his father. The documents show the boy’s doctor does not believe he was abused, and he called the vent a ‘social services fiasco.’
Barnett is a pastor at Lighthouse Family Ministries in Poynette, Wisconsin. A father of nine children, he founded Guardian Christian Academy. A judge ruled recently that the case will head to trial. Now jurors at the Columbia County Courthouse will decide whether the spanking constituted ‘reasonable discipline’ permitted under state law. The pastor’s 21-year-old daughter, Amber, stood outside with a sign that read, ‘Thank you for spanking me, Dad’ as a showing of support for her father.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/25/08.)

Christians Be Careful With Fragile Gays
“A Christian college student who was accused of a felony hate crime and faced up to three years in prison after a confrontation with a homosexual who got ‘in his face’ has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count, and the hate crime has been dropped. According to a report in the Champaign, Ill., News Gazette, Parkland College student Brett Vanasdlen, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to two years of court supervision. Vanasdlen made a comment after seeing two gays holding hands. One of the gay guys grabbed Vanasdlen by the shoulder and shouted at him. Brett told him to go away and then pushed him away. The homosexual fell to the ground and called police. Vanasdlen not only was the only one arrested, he was accused of a felony because the victim is gay.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/22/08.)

Taking “Christ” Out of a Christmas Parade
“A disagreement over the name of a boat parade has ignited fireworks in Patchogue—but the result is likely to leave parade goers with less sparkle than last year. Brookhaven-based Fireworks by Grucci has decided to pull out of Patchogue’s Nov. 23 parade because of the Greater Patchogue Foundation’s decision to rename the event the ‘Patchogue Holiday Boat Parade.’
Last year the event, which has had several names in about 15 years of existence, was called ‘Patchogue Christmas Boat Parade.’ Village officials said Grucci’s decision means there will be no fireworks at this year’s event. The Greater Patchogue Foundation decided to change the name because the use of ‘Christmas’ garnered complaints from people who wanted the event to ‘be more inclusive,’ said Charles Baker, president of the chamber. Grucci, which donated $5,000 in fireworks to last year’s parade, will not assist with the event if ‘Christmas’ is not in the title.” (Newsday.com 10/23/08.)

Roadside Memorials Offend Atheists
“When members of the Utah Highway Patrol lose their lives in the line of duty, their families often place roadside memorial crosses in their memory and honor. Now support for those memorials is flooding into the 10th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals in Denver, to which an organization of atheists has appealed a court ruling that the memorials are not constitutional.
The Alliance Defense Fund is representing the Utah Highway Patrol Association against demands from American Atheists. ‘It’s ridiculous that
a small group of offended atheists would seek to stop the families of slain troopers from honoring their loved ones as they see fit,’ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione. ‘Stamping out these symbols of sacrifice is the first step to forgetting the people who daily risk their lives to keep America safe, he said.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/30/08.)