National Alliance Against Christian Discrimination
"Protecting and Promoting the Christian Faith and Our Religious Heritage."

Updates 7:

Disney Cancels Christians
The late Walt Disney once cited church and prayer as inspirations
for his professional success. Today, some believe Disney is 'crying from his grave' because Walt Disney World in Florida has eliminated its 28-year tradition of offering on-site religious services to Christian guests. Disney is now advising Christian guests to find other places of worship." (Religion Today. 12/19/02.)

Scholarship Funds Denied
"The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed suit in federal court charging the state of Kentucky with religious discrimination by prohibiting
state scholarship funds to be used by students who pursue a degree in religious studies.
State policy specifically states that Kentucky may not grant financial assistance to a student who is 'enrolled in a program of study leading
to a degree in theology, divinity, or religious education.'
'The state of Kentucky is systematically discriminating against students who want to pursue a degree in religious studies by denying them state scholarship funds, said Francis J. Manion, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. 'The state has in place a policy that discriminates against students who choose to pursue a degree in religious studies. If a student meets the residency and academic requirements needed to receive scholarship funds, those funds cannot be withheld because a student decides to study religion. Such a policy is not only unfair, it is unconstitutional as well." (Religion Today. 12/17/02.)

Leftist Religious Schizophrenia
"A quick glance at the American left reveals a movement in the midst of a nervous breakdown, displaying behavior that goes beyond inconsistency into the realm of bipolar moods and multiple personality disorders. Nowhere do these violently conflicting impulses manifest themselves more clearly than in the contradictory attitude toward religion.
On the one hand, leading commentators and activists maintain secularism's traditional hostility toward the very idea of applying religious values to public issues. On the other hand, the new re-energized 'Religious Left' openly invokes the name of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible in its desperate bid to advance a stalled agenda.
Consider a full-page ad in the New York Times that appeared in the first week of December, under the headline: 'President Bush: Jesus Changed Your Heart. Now Let Him Change Your Mind.' The sponsoring organization identified itself as 'Religious Leaders for Sensible Priorities' and bore the prominent signature of the Rev. Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches.
The ad also said, 'Your Iraqi war would violate the teachings of Jesus Christ.' Imagine the dismissive reaction if a conservative Christian organization had placed an ad suggesting that the foreign policy approach of President Clinton had 'violated the teachings of Jesus Christ.'
When Pat Robertson ran for president
in 1988, the mainstream media regularly questioned the very idea of a Christian minister making a bid for high office-even though another clergyman, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, ran for the White House the
very same year without incurring similar challenges to his mixture of politics and religion. The left is undergoing a full-blown schizophrenic break!" (Michael Medved. WorldNetDaily. "Liberals Show Schizophrenic Approach to Religion." 12/23/02.)

Non-Christians Demanded?!
"A federal lawsuit filed in New Jersey accuses Rutgers University
of discriminating against InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and violating the campus organization's religious rights. InterVarsity's Laura Vellenga says Rutgers demanded that the Christian group, which welcomes anyone as a member, allow non-Christians to run for its leadership positions.
When InterVarsity refused, she says Rutgers refused to let the Christian group use school facilities or student fees. Vellenga says no religious group can maintain its unique character unless its leadership positions are reserved for fellow believers." (Agape Press. 12/31/02.)

Sunday Work Lawsuit
"A suburban Detroit meat cutter fired for refusing to work on Sundays is suing Meijer Inc. in a case that's similar to a despite involving a West Michigan cake decorator who also lost her job at the giant retailer.
Pavle Doroslavac, 58, was hired at a Meijer store in Utica in September 1999. He said he told his boss he could work 'day or night' - any day but Sunday.
He said he had no conflict with management until January 2002 when he was suspended a day without pay for failing to work a Sunday. Doroslavac was suspended again in April and subsequently fired. He said his civil rights were violated.
Doroslavac even tried to line up another meat cutter willing to take his shift. That could become a key point. The U.S. Supreme Court has said an employer must try to accommodate the religious practices of workers if it does not pose a hardship to
the company." (The Grand Rapids Press. 12/27/02.)

CEO Prays and Is Fired
"A minute-long prayer invoking
the name of Jesus Christ has cost a Christian conservative his job, according to longtime political activist Dennis Mansfield. 'The irony is the very man being prayed for fired me,' Mansfield told WorldNetDaily.
Parents Television Council (PTC), hired Mansfield in September to serve as the organization's executive director, but abruptly fired him after he invited a colleague and Episcopal minister to offer a prayer closing an awards ceremony and fund-raising event on November 14th.
'It was a normal, ordinary prayer,' Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission and the man who delivered the prayer, told WND. 'I was praying for Brent Bozell to be healed. He'd had a heart attack the Friday before...and whenever I pray, I pray in the name of Jesus...I would expect people of other faiths to pray in the name of the one they believe in,' he added." (WorldNetDaily. 12/6/02.)

Religious Literature Ban
"A Christian couple has sued officials in a Tennessee community challenging an ordinance that prohibits placing literature on automobiles unless there is someone in the car willing to accept the material.
However, the Cleveland police department recently distributed literature on automobile theft by placing the materials on unoccupied vehicles. 'It amazes me that the City of Cleveland can choose to ignore the law and place literature on cars when they feel they have important information to get to the public,' said Mat Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel. 'Yet the city then denies
the rights of individuals to place their own literature on cars in the same manner.'
'The Constitution mandates that citizens
be treated equally in the area of free speech and that the government not be given special treatment,' he said. 'This ordinance makes the First Amendment a laughing stock
in the eyes of the general public. It is unconstitutional and must be stricken in
order to protect the rights of average citizens to engage in free speech.'" (Religion Today. 12/16/02.)

No Religious Candy Canes
"Several Westfield High School students who handed out candy
canes with religious notes to their classmates the week before Christmas are bracing for possible suspension from school after they return from winter break.
The students, who were forbidden by school administrators to distribute the candy and messages, are accusing school officials of violating their rights to free speech and expression. 'No matter what they do, we're not backing down,' Stephen Grabowski, 16, said recently. 'We really believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we're prepared to fight. They picked the wrong people to step on.'
Seven students this year handed out about 450 candy canes between classes and during lunch, Grabowski said. Taped to each was
a piece of paper that included a religious explanation for the candy cane's shape and colors. The J shape stands for 'Jesus,' or when inverted, symbolizes a shepherd's staff, Grabowski said. The white is for Jesus' purity, and the red is for the blood He shed, according to Grabowski.
'If an investigation determines students did pass out the candy canes, the students will be disciplined accordingly,' said Superintendent Thomas McDowell.
Erik Stanley, the Liberty Counsel attorney for Grabowski, said the students have a right to express their religious views at school. He is willing to take legal action against the

Mandatory Contraceptives
"A New York State law, taking effect on Jan. 1st, requires Catholic schools and other religious institutions to provide their employees with insurance coverage for contraceptives, is being challenged in the state Supreme Court on grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution.
Several Catholic and Baptist organizations from the state want the provision mandating contraceptive coverage, currently included in the Women's Health and Wellness Act, overturned and replaced with one containing
a full religious exemption.
Dennis Poust, spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents Catholic bishops in the state, said the mandatory contraceptive coverage for employees violates the religious institutions' constitutional right of freedom of religion."
(CNSNEWScom. 1/1/02.)

No Religious Book Reports
"Pen and paper weren't enough for 11-year-old Elizabeth Johnson to do her book report. She needed a lawyer. Sixth-grade teachers at Peak to Peak Charter School initially rejected Elizabeth's choice of the biblical Book of Exodus for her report.
The Boulder Valley School District (Colorado) changed its stance after an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, which specializes in religious-freedom issues, threatened to bring a civil rights suit.
Robert Corry, the Denver-based attorney
who represented Elizabeth, said schools can't discriminate against religious statements if they make an assignment involving expression. 'They have to treat religious speech the same way as every other kind of speech,' Corry said.
Teachers said that the Bible might offend other students of different religions. The
girl was also told not to bring her Bible to school." (Rocky Mountain News. 12/13/02.)

Banished Bible Club Sues
"A legal defense organization has filed suit against a Colorado school district because school officials allowed students to form a homosexual-related group but have disallowed the formation of a Bible club.
'This is a clear case of a school district discriminating against students who want to form a club based on their religious beliefs,' said Stuart Roth, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
The suit filed in the U.S. District Court in Denver against Monarch High School in Louisville, Colo., says the school district has violated the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Equal Access Act of 1984-a law that requires school districts to either allow all extracurricular clubs or none at all." (WorldNetDaily. 1/7/03.)

Media Religious Bias
"On December 31, 2002, The Gazette of Colorado Springs printed another religiously biased article. I wrote a "Letter to the Editor" but it never did get printed. Instead of blaming radical Muslims for the death of three Baptist missionaries, they blamed the Christians in this Islamic country for their "insensitivity." The following is my editorial that was overlooked, bypassed, censored, ignored, etc.:
"I am frustrated and outraged by the way the Gazette headlined (12/31/02) the killing of three Christian missionaries in Yemen. Instead of something consistent to reality like 'Intolerant Muslim Extremists Kill,' the subtitle on the subsequent page read 'Evangelicals Accused of Insensitivity.' There was nothing in that article that related to insensitivity on the part of Christians. These were hospital workers that, according to one Yemeni woman, 'treated and saved more children than she could count.' Why the senseless killings? One reason given was that the slain Bonnie Witherall 'combined preaching about Christianity with the distribution of toys and food to Muslim children.' Building hospitals, constructing universities, feeding the hungry, healing the sick...truly actions worthy of death? But wait, talking about Jesus of Nazareth is the reason they all deserved to die according to this article about Islamic extremism. God save America."
(The Salt Factor. Tom Pedigo. State Director. American Family Association of Colorado.)
State Board Stops Praying
"The Colorado State Board of Education agreed to stop praying before meetings after a member said it made her uncomfortable.
Board member Evie Hudak, a Democrat from Arvada who is Jewish, asked the board to replace the prayer at its monthly meetings with a moment of silence or an inspirational message.
Hudak said she has asked to change the practice for two years, but the Republican-led board did not heed her requests. After last year's elections, the board is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans."
(The Gazette. 1/17/03.)

ACLU Loses to the Big Ten
"A federal court dismissed a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that challenged a display of the Ten Commandments at a Kentucky courthouse. In the opinion recently, U.S. District Court Judge Karl S. Forester said the display at the Mercer County courthouse 'clearly has a legitimate secular purpose of, including but not limited to, acknowledging the historical influence of the Ten Commandments on the development of this country's laws.'
'This is a tremendous affirmation that the legal attack aimed at removing the Ten Commandments from places like the Mercer County courthouse is legally flawed and without merit,' said Francis Manion, senior counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a religious rights law firm that represented Mercer County in the case." (WorldNetDaily. 1/24/03.)

Evolution & Religious Bias
"Federal officials are investigating a Texas biology professor who refuses to write letters of recommendation for his students if they don't believe in evolution. A legal complaint has been filed against Texas Tech University in Lubbock and professor Michael Dini by
the Liberty Legal Institute (LLI), a religious freedom group that calls Dini's policy
'open religious bigotry,' the Associated Press reported.
'Students are being denied recommendations not because of their competence in understanding evolution, but solely because of their personal religious beliefs,' LLI's chief counsel Kelly Shackelford said.
The Department of Justice asked Texas Tech in a Jan. 21 letter to respond to the allegations. University officials said that the school stands by Dini, and his policies do not conflict with those of Texas Tech, the AP reported." (Charisma News. 2/4/03.)

Loss of Scholarship Bias
"A student should not lose a state-sponsored scholarship just because he or she chooses to study religion. Recently, Kentucky affirmed that basic right in response to a court challenge.
According to a report from Family News in Focus, Woods Nash earned an academic scholarship and elected to attend Cumberland College and study religion. But when he declared his major, the state cut the funds.
Frank Manion with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) took the case to federal court, alleging that it was a violation of Nash's right to the free exercise of religion. Manion says his client was being treated in a different way than every other students in the state simply because he chose to study religion.
Just six weeks after the case was filed, the state backed down from its earlier decision. Manion now has his eye on about 35 other states with similar statues on the books. 'We are prepared to do the same thing in other states that have similar provisions,' the attorney says." (Agape Press. 1/31/03.)

Removing Cross Gets Apology
"A New York bank has apologized for removing a cross and church steeple from a fifth-grader's contest-winning sketch that was used on a company holiday card. Gregory Paladino's drawing of a dove hovering over a snow-covered village won $1,000 for his Roman Catholic school in suburban Rochester. But before printing the card, the bank removed the steeple and cross, because the bank 'did not allow religious imagery.'" (Agape Press. 1/31/03.)

Bible Clubs on Hold
"Members of Colorado's Boulder Valley School District board say they are willing to change a policy governing student organizations to allow Bible clubs at middle and high schools. But the board decided to wait until mid-February to consider an appeal by two Monarch High School students.
The students filed suit after the principal and school superintendent denied their request for a Bible club while allowing other clubs to meet on campus, including Amnesty International and the Gay Straight Alliance. The proposed revision would allow Bible and other student-initiated clubs, provided a teacher or school staff member volunteers to supervise the club." (Agape Press News. 1/31/03.)

Banning the Name of Jesus
"The name of Jesus is set to replace the Ten Commandments as the new focal point for church-state clashes at city halls. While public displays of God's laws on civic property have been the center of constitutional disputes for the last couple of years, attention seems set to switch to local authorities' pre-meeting public prayers.
The debate has been sparked in California, where city councils have been trying to figure out how to ensure the name of Jesus is not invoked, following a state appeals court ruling that lets stand a ban on sectarian comments.
Several cities are set to back the city of Burbank, should it decide to go to the U.S. Supreme Court over a ruling that has barred prayers in the name of Jesus, on the grounds that it violated the constitutionally required separation of church and state." (Charisma News. 1/21/03.)

KSUT Yanks God Ad
"Dentist Glenn Rutherford has a message, one he likes to share. The trouble is that the public-radio station on which he wants to share that message says he can't. The message, which serves as the motto of his dental practice, is: 'Gently Restoring the Health God Created.'
'Our motto is not so much a statement of faith as an acknowledgment that we don't create health,' Rutherford said. 'We merely restore health which was imparted to us by
our Creator.'
Rutherford, who has his practice in Pagosa Springs, said the motto is on his office's letterhead and business cards. He wanted it as part of his regular on-air statement on KSUT, a public-radio station in Ignacio.
'I was called and told that there was a meeting of the radio's staff and they unanimously agreed that I can't put the word "God" in our sponsorship spot,' Rutherford said.
On the air KSUT often uses the slogan: 'Diverse programming for a multi-cultural world.' Rutherford said KSUT's actions are tantamount to censorship. He added that he refuses to run on-air copy on the station without his practice's motto being part of it." (The Durango Herald. 2/7/03.)

Teachers' Religious Rights
"The National Education Association has once again been ordered to accommodate employees who have religious objections to union affiliation. After learning that the Ohio Education Association had a pro-abortion and pro-homosexual agenda, Donna Barnes and Frances Phillips made known their objections to supporting such cases. The two Gallia County Public School teachers contacted the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, who filed charges, and the NEA then permitted their dues to be deferred to their own charities." (Agape Press. 2/5/03.)

California Denies Bible Club
"A California public school district faces a federal lawsuit after officials refused to let students at one high school form a Bible club. Christian students at the El Dorado High School in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District petitioned to start an on-campus Bible Club, but were told by the principal that the school would allow only curriculum-related clubs.
Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute says the school's actions are unconstitutional. 'This school district is presently allowing other non-curriculum related clubs to form, like the Key Club, National Honor Society, and Special Friends Club-so it's clearly an act by the school to discriminate against students who are Christians and who want to start a Bible Club,' Dacus says.
The attorney points out that the Equal Access Act requires schools to allow Bible clubs if other non-curriculum related clubs are permitted. 'Students can't be forced to sit in the back of the bus simply because they have a faith or because the book they want to study is the Bible,' he says." (Agape Press. 2/14/03.)

Student's Aid Pulled
"A junior at Ave Maria College
has filed a federal lawsuit against government officials after they yanked her from a state scholarship program because she declared theology as her major. Theresa Becker, a student at the Ypsilanti, Mich., school, has received financial aid from the Michigan's Competitive Scholarship Program for the past two years.
A state statute expressly prohibits distribution of scholarship funds to students who major in 'theology, divinity or religious education.' Becker qualified for the scholarship based on academic achievement in high school, receiving assistance in her freshman and sophomore years-before declaring theology as her major.
Her lawsuit is being represented by the Thomas More Law Center. 'The First Amendment was designed to prevent government from discriminating against citizens based on their religious activity and speech,' said Patrick Gillen, the law center's attorney handling the case for Teresa Becker. This suit needs to succeed, says the law center." (WorldNetDaily. 2/6/03.)

Teacher Barred from Bible Club
"A South Dakota public school teacher has filed a lawsuit against her district after officials prohibited her from taking part in an after-school Bible club. Sioux Falls teacher Barbara Wigg wanted to meet with the student-initiated Good News Club after class on her own time. But school authorities told Wigg that by taking part in the club on school property, she would be violating the Constitution.
Wigg is being represented by Florida-based Liberty Counsel. General counsel Mat Staver says teachers have every right to participate in such religious activities. 'Barbara Wigg is an individual when she is "off the clock."'
Staver explains, 'The school cannot control where she worships or what club she participates in-and indeed, in this particular situation, to do so violates her constitutional rights. We also believe that the new guidelines with regard to constitutionally protected prayer addresses this situation." (Agape Press. 2/24/03.)

Prison Fellowship Gets the Boot
"A liberal group is taking a Christ-centered prison ministry to court in Iowa, saying it is unconstitutional to rehabilitate inmates 'by converting them to fundamentalist Christianity.' The lawsuit was filed against Prison Fellowship and one of its programs, the Iowa InnerChange Freedom Initiative, by the group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
The suit claims the ministries violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by merging government with religion. Specifically, Americans United charges that InnerChange 'indoctrinates participants in religion, discriminates in hiring staff on religious grounds, and gives inmates special privileges if they enroll.'
For more than two decades, ministries such as InnerChange and Prison Fellowship have offered the hope of Jesus to those behind bars-and with positive effects on their lives. No inmate is forced to participate in any InnerChange program which is open to those of all faiths or no faith." (Agape Press. 2/26/03.)

Censored Christian Student
"A Christian student who was ordered to remove biblical passages from his graduation night speech will soon be appealing his case to the Supreme Court. Recently, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed by Nick Lassonde, who was a
co-salutatorian for the 1999 graduating class of Amador Valley High School in the San Francisco Bay area.
Lassonde had sued on the grounds that the school principal violated his freedom of speech by asking him to edit portions of his address that made reference to his faith in Christ and encouraged fellow students to turn to Jesus
for strength.
Under protest, Lasonde agreed to deliver the censored speech-but in defense of his religious freedom, he handed out uncensored copies of the speech outside the site of the graduation ceremony. The National Legal Foundation represented Lassonde in his appeal to the Ninth Circuit." (Agape Press. 2/27/03.)

World-Wide Antichristianism
There has been a rush in America during the last three decades to purge Christianity from the public square of ideas. There has been a revisionist understanding of the First Amendment and the supposed "separation of church and state." Our government used to believe in the accommodation of our religious heritage which moved to neutrality and in the mid-1960s moved toward hostility.
Multiculturalism has become worldwide
and most Western governments have embraced diversity and plurality but to the exclusion of Christianity. And now in the United Kingdom, they will tolerate anything except Christianity. The following news report is just the tip of the anti-christian iceberg:
"Schools across Britain have been ordered
by local authorities to abandon the ancient tradition of serving hot cross buns at Easter
so as not to offend children of non-Christian faiths. Some councils are refusing to hand out the traditional treats because they fear that the symbol of the cross will spark complaints from Jewish, Hindu and Muslim pupils or their families.
"Officials in the London borough decided to remove the buns from menus this year after criticism over its decision to serve pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. The Liverpool council told The Telegraph that the symbol of the cross had the 'potential to offend' and buns will no longer be served to children. A spokesman said: 'We are moving away from a religious theme for Easter and will not be doing hot cross buns.'
"Despite this particular ruling, the council confirmed that it will continue to organize special menus to celebrate events as diverse as the Chinese New Year, Italian National Day and Russian Independence Day." (The UK Telegraph. "Hot Cross Buns Banned: Councils Decree Buns Could Be Offensive to Non-Christians." 3/16/03.)

Good News for L.A. Group
"The second-largest school district in the nation has settled a year-old federal lawsuit brought by a Christian educational group that was forced to pay a fee to use school facilities when other youth-oriented organizations were not. The Los Angeles Unified School District announced recently it has backed down from the requirement of a fee for Child Evangelism Fellowship represented by the legal-defense group Liberty Counsel. This is in compliance with recent court decisions." (WorldNetDaily. 3/15/03.)

Military Suppresses Religious Symbols
"John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and constitutional attorney, says that chaplains are being asked to put their crosses in their pockets when in a Muslim country or around Islamic people. Whithead has asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to rescind an order preventing U.S. service personnel from showing an expression of their faith. This policy began during the Gulf War. (Agape Press. 3/19/03.)

Good News for L.A. Group
"The second-largest school district in the nation has settled a year-old federal lawsuit brought by a Christian educational group that was forced to pay a fee to use school facilities when other youth-oriented organizations were not. The Los Angeles Unified School District announced recently it has backed down from the requirement of a fee for Child Evangelism Fellowship represented by the legal-defense group Liberty Counsel. This is in compliance with recent court decisions." (WorldNetDaily. 3/15/03.)

Military Suppresses Symbols
"John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and constitutional attorney, says that chaplains are being asked to put their crosses in their pockets when in a Muslim country or around Islamic people. Whithead has asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to rescind an order preventing U.S. service personnel from showing an expression of their faith. This policy began during the Gulf War. (Agape Press. 3/19/03.)

Colorado Nixes God
"The Colorado senate killed a bill on 4/15/03 that would have allowed the national motto, 'In God We Trust,' to be posted in public buildings and public school classrooms. Opponents asked lawmakers to reject House Bill 1128 saying legislators were misusing the motto for a political agenda. The bill was amended to make the postings voluntary and remove a provision that would have allowed taxpayers to sue to get it posted. Senate sponsor Bruce Cairns, R-Aurora, said his bill was nonsectarian. 'This does not establish any one religion,' he said. Nevertheless, it was defeated." (The Gazette. 4/16/02.)

Reinstated College Professor
"A chemistry professor at the Mississippi University for Women (MUW) says she has mixed feelings about the school's decision to renew her contract just weeks after she was asked to resign.
In early March, in an effort to fend off an impending lawsuit, MUW announced it would allow Dr. Nancy Bryson to remain as head of the Division of Science and Math. In a statement, president Dr. Claudia Limbert said the school's change of heart 'reasserts MUW's absolute commitment to academic freedom and freedom of speech.'
Bryson maintains her prior dismissal was precipitated by an honors forum presentation she gave in February outlining flaws in Darwinian thought. She had been asked to resign just one day after her presentation. Dr. Bryson is disappointed with the reasons the school has given for reversing its decision, and says it is disingenuous for MUW to still claim that academic freedom is alive and well on campus. She believes the vice president of academic affairs initially asked her to resign because he received pressure from some biology professors to do so." (Agape Press. 3/17/03.)

ACLU & School Prayer
"The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a Nevada school district over its policy allowing prayer at graduation ceremonies. The Clark County School District's new policy allowing students to pray during commencement virtually mirrors the guidelines on school prayer recently issued by the U.S. Department of Education. But the ACLU claims the policy violates the separation of church and state. The ACLU is not against free speech, as long as it is not religious speech. This kind of crazy-making is part of the ACLU's long heritage." (Agape Press. 3/20/03.)

Religious Municipal Bonds
"There has been a major defeat for groups that oppose tax-free bond financing for church-affiliated colleges. Last year, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Christian school, David Lipscomb University, located in Nashville, can benefit from tax-exempt municipal bonds. The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed 12 years ago by a group called Americans for Religious Liberty. Just recently, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case. Lipscomb attorney, Bradley MacLean, says the case is significant because other court jurisdictions will look to the decision for guidance.
'If the decision had gone the other way, of course, it would have interfered with that
type of financing, which is fairly common,' MacLean says. Many church-related educational institutions throughout the country make use of tax-exempt bond financing-and according to MacLean, the federal court's ruling made it clear that religious affiliation is not a factor in deciding whether to provide such financing. MacLean says to exclude religious schools from such financing would be an unconstitutional form of discrimination." (Agape Press. 3/6/03.)

Newspaper Bans Scripture
"A Minnesota newspaper has banned scripture from its weekly church column, angering at least one pastor who has written a column for the paper for years. The International Falls Daily Journal has asked local pastor to refrain from quoting scripture in their columns. The new editor of the paper has told clergy members that using the Bible may turn off readers.
Pastor Larry Connors of the Evangelical Covenant Church has been writing in that column for nine years, but says he will be no longer now that he is not allowed to quote scripture. 'If you're going to have a church column, it only makes sense to me that you're going to use scripture,' Connors says. 'It would be like asking our medical doctors to
no longer use medical terminology to be able to diagnose people if you're going to write a column about disease or medicine.'" (Agape Press. 3/27/03.)

No Religious Bricks
"Several parents have sued a Virginia school district for removing from school grounds bricks that are inscribed with one-inch Christian crosses. The principal of Potomac Falls High School recently removed the bricks after a handful of parents said they were offended by seeing a cross on them. The bricks, purchased as part of a fundraiser, were located around the school flagpole and had been in the school's 'Walkway of Fame' for more than a year. But parents who purchased the bricks for their children say the principal violated their First Amendment rights.
John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, is representing the plaintiffs. He takes issue about the complaint of someone being offended because of the crosses. 'We think that the Supreme Court has been pretty clear that once a school opens up a forum-and that's what you have here, with different viewpoints, different names, and different symbols on these bricks-you can't discriminate against the religious symbols,' says Whitehead. The parents are seeking a permanent injunction declaring the Loudon County School System's actions unconstitutional." (Agape Press. 3/31/03.)

Halfway House Funding
"An appellate court has ruled that the funding of a Milwaukee faith-based program by the Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections is constitutional. A decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined that Faith Works Milwaukee is one of several choices given parole violators who are required to enroll in a halfway house contracting with the state.
The court compared allowing Faith Works among the choices of halfway houses to the use of vouchers for private school education. 'To exclude Faith Works from this competition on the basis of a speculative fear that parole or probation officers might recommend its program because of their own Christian faith would involve the sacrifice of a real good to avoid a conjectured bad,' the court ruled.
Laurie Gaylor with the Freedom from Religion Foundation told the Associated Press that her group considers it 'bad treatment to tell addicted men their addiction results from sin and belief in Christ is the solution.'" (Religion Today. 4/7/03.)

Church Can Now Worship
"A Chicago-area church prohibited from worshiping in its own building, but allowed to party there, has won its suit against local officials. Federal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ruled on March 31st that the City of Evanston violated the rights of Vineyard Christian Fellowship in denying the church's use of its own building for worship services.
Since buying a former office building for $1.2 million in 1997, the congregation has had to lease a local high school for weekend services. The congregation sued the city in 2001 over a zoning ordinance that permits parties, plays and pageants at the church's facility, but no worship or prayer meetings.
Vineyard's lawsuit contended that the ordinance violated the church's First Amendment and legal rights because although religious activities are not permitted in the area, cultural facilities are automatically permitted and membership organizations are allowed by special use." (Charisma News Service. 4/2/03.)

AIDS Pamphlet Too Religious?
"The American Civil Liberties Union asked the Department of Health on April 3 to remove some AIDS education brochures from circulation because they are full of Biblical messages. The pamphlets, with 'Florida Department of Health' printed on the cover along with the agency's logo, are titled 'A Christian Response to AIDS' and use Biblical passages to urge compassion toward people with AIDS and the HIV virus.
Health Department officials said the pamphlet, which has been around more than a decade, is on a list of AIDS education materials approved by the state for numerous community organizations to use. The brochure was first published in 1990 by the Channing L. Bete Co. of South Deerfield, Massachusetts.
Tom Liberti, chief of the Health Department's HIV/AIDS Bureau, said the material was approved again in 2000 about the time several church organizations became active in AIDS outreach. The Health Department answers to Gov. Jeb Bush, who has promoted the participation of religious organizations in solving some societal problems." (Herald Tribune. 4/3/03.)

Atheists & Mother Theresa
"The Freedom from Religion Foundation has asked the city bus system in Madison, Wis., to stop using an image of Mother Teresa on bus passes. The group of atheists and agnostics said that members of the public complained after seeing an image of the well-known nun on bus tickets for the month of April.
Anne Gaylor, president of the foundation, said Mother Teresa knew the depths of poverty caused by overpopulation yet 'campaigned throughout her life against contraception, sterilization and abortion, promoting Roman Catholic dogma. Women who ride the publicly owned Madison Metro bus service should not have to spend a month looking at her,' she said. Julie Maryott-Walsh, a spokeswoman for the bus system, said there are no plans to remove the Mother Teresa bus passes. Other figures in the yearlong series include Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt and Henry Ford." (Religion Today. 4/8/03.)

School Teacher Discrimination
"A case which could impact thousands of teachers in Texas is now before an appeals court. The case concerns a former teacher who was told by administrators she would not be considered for a promotion unless she removed her children from a private Christian school. In late March, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case of Karen Jo Barrow who, in 1998, was denied an assistant principal post in the Greenville Independent School District because she refused to remove her children from a private religious school. Barrow sued the district, claiming she had been discriminated against.
Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Legal Institute, which is handling the appeal for Barrow, says the case is solid. 'In this country, our children aren't wards of the state-they are children of the parents,' he says. The attorney says the government cannot blackmail teachers to take their children out of Christian schools." (Agape Press. 4/9/03.)

Freedom From Religion?
"Just as America's troops are giving their lives in Iraq to protect such basic human rights as the freedom of religion and free speech, the Maryland Senate made the most un-American move it has made in recent history. Maryland government officials attempted to censor the prayer of Rev. David Hughes because he wanted to end the prayer, 'In Jesus' name, Amen.' When the good pastor refused to delete what is an essential element of his Christian prayer, he was banned from praying at all. In other words, only those prayers receiving government sanction are permitted to be uttered in the Maryland Senate.
How can it be that there are still American government officials who don't understand the First Amendment? Thank the Good Lord there are protectors of the First Amendment who work everyday to preserve this most basic of American, and human rights. Among them are the American Center for Law and Justice, The Liberty Council, Pacific Justice Institute and the Rutherford Institute. A quick visit to the websites of these fine organizations reveals so many violations of First Amendment rights it
will make your head swim. Particularly disturbing are the many attempts by public-school officials around the country to silence religious expression by students."
(WorldNetDaily. "It's Not Freedom From Religion." Rebecca Hagelin. Vice-president of the Heritage Foundation. 4/8/03.)

U.S. Education Secretary Smeared
"Leftist civil liberties groups called for U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige to apologize or resign for comments in an April 7th Baptist Press article. In it, Paige was quoted as telling the interview that he believes in the importance of school that teach Christian values. Paige, however, said at a hastily called press conference on April 9th that he has no reason to either apologize or resign. He said he had intended to convey only that he, personally, would rather have a child in a college that emphasizes strong Christian values." (Maranatha Christian Journal. 4/17/03.)

Atheists Challenge Cross
"A large cross that has overlooked Ventura, Calif., for almost a century could be taken down if a small group of atheists and agnostics gets its way. Threatening local officials with a lawsuit, the protesters say the 30-foot-high monument violates the constitutional separation of church and state because it stands on city land, The Washington Times reported.
Among the options being considered by the city are selling the land to a private organization and moving the cross to a museum or other private site, the Times said. Erected around 1913, the illuminated cross in the city's Grant Park was preceded by three other crosses that stood on the site in the last 300 years.
Stan Kohls, one of those challenging the landmark, said that he had received a flood of threatening phone calls since making his complaint. The local newspaper has printed letters 'full of angry reaction to the threatened lawsuit,' the Times said." (Charisma News Service. 4/14/03.)

Barring Bible Clubs
"A public high school in Washington state has been slapped with a federal lawsuit for barring two Christian students from forming a Bible club on campus. The school has twice denied the club at Kentridge High School because of 'separation of church and state issues.' Also, the Kentridge principal is on record as saying that naming the club 'Truth' will make some students feel they are living a lie.
The Alliance Defense Fund, a national legal organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is representing the case. Robert Tyler, lead attorney for the students and legal counsel with the ADF said, 'The school can't hide behind the Associated Student Body procedures to treat these students like pariahs. Other student groups are allowed to meet during non-instructional time on campus and to receive school funds for operation.' Gary McCaleb, also with the ADF, says this is a clear case of discrimination against Christians and a violation of the students' freedom of speech and equal access rights."
(Agape Press. 4/9/03.)

Pledge & Prayer Amendment
"Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a leftist watchdog group, is criticizing a Republican lawmaker for introducing a school prayer amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Rep. Ernest Istook (R) joined eighty-eight co-sponsors on April 14th to introduce an amendment that would permit-but not mandate-prayer, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and posting the Ten Commandments in public places, including schools. The amendment would overturn restrictions imposed by court decisions.
Rep. Joseph Pitts (R), told the Pennsylvania Daily Local it was these
recent judicial rulings that prompted House members from both sides of the aisle to introduce the proposed amendment. 'This is one of the basic fundamental rights in the First Amendment-the right to free speech. This is free, religious speech,' Pitts said."
(Maranatha Christian Journal. 4/14/03.)

Campus Anti-christianism
"Seeking to 'level the academic playing field,' a national group has placed advertisements in major university newspapers urging students to report incidences of 'anti-Christian bigotry' on campus.' Students must understand that the protections of
the First Amendment do not stop at the university gate,' said Benjamin Bull, chief counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, the Arizona-based organization that purchased the ad space. The ads, which began running on April 14 in the papers of four state schools, encourage students who believe they have been singled out for unfair treatment to call an 800 number or send an e-mail to the organization.
'In recent years, extremist voices of the academic far left have sought to enforce a monopoly of thought and speech intended to crush dissenting views, especially traditional Christian views on many social and moral issues,' Bull contended. 'Our goal,' he said, 'is to level the playing field by ending discrimination against the expression of traditional values, make the campus a true marketplace of ideas, and end the ongoing intimidation by the political left.'" If you have been discriminated against as a Christian who is in college, call: 1-800-835-5233 or e-mail ADF at (WorldNetDaily. 4/15/03.)

Libraries & Religious Rights
"A Florida city has agreed to allow free use of a community meeting room for a discussion on America's Christian heritage. Twice last year, Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal defense organization, applied for permission to use the community room in the Dunedin Public Library for the presentation, but was told the presentation could not be held because of its religious nature. A federal lawsuit was filed and, as Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver explains, the lawsuit has now been settled.
'The city attorney stated (originally) that the city strongly believes in the separation of church and state and operates its facilities accordingly,' Staver says. 'Well obviously, after reading the lawsuit, he changed his mind-and now the library has settled the case. The library settlement results in the repeat of the policy, and now Liberty Counsel will be able to use the facilities.' Staver says many cities nationwide have similar unconstitutional policies. The settlement in Dunedin, he says, sends a strong message. 'People of faith can't be treated as second-class citizens,' the attorney says. 'You can't discriminate against people's viewpoints solely because of its Christian character or nature. Any public facility open to the community for various kinds of discussion or meetings cannot slam the door on people of faith. The First Amendment was primarily designed to protect freedom of religion.'" (Agape Press. 3/18/03.)

Cross Covered in Desert
“Their religious symbol has been hidden from view. But no one has told them they can’t pray here—at least not yet—so that is what a few dozen desert residents did on a cold Easter Sunday morning. ‘This is our closet church,’ said Mountain Pass resident Wanda Sandoz.
The congregation did not haphazardly choose this spot in the middle of Southern California’s Mojave Desert. On a very special rock, dubbed Sunrise Rock by locals, stands a 10-foot-high steel and concrete cross that has made this a place worthy of religious services, the people say.
The cross, erected by a group of World War I veterans in 1934 as a tribute to their fallen comrades, has become controversial in recent years. Now, unlike when it was built, it sits within a national park, the Mojave National Preserve. But because the cross is a religious symbol and because the National Park Service, which is in charge of the area, civil libertarians object to the cross’s presence.
Two years ago, after discussions with the Park Service failed, the American Civil Liberties Union sued in federal court to have the cross taken down. The organization won its legal fight, and a judge ordered the cross removed. But the area’s congressman, Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) has blocked the order’s enforcement, at least temporarily.
The debate stood that way for a while, until the Park Service last month put a tarp over the cross while the legal mess was worked out. So, on Easter Sunday, a thick, white tarp was held to the cross by a tightly wound steel chain padlocked at the bottom. At times, the cross resembled a kite, until the sun peeked over the mountains at 6:45 AM and the cross silhouette could be made out as the people prayed.” (Las Vegas Review Journal. 4/21/03.)

Silence May Be Golden?
“An Iowa school decided to reverse course after being sued for banning a student-initiated moment of silence from the upcoming graduation ceremony. The graduating class at LeMars Community High School in Sioux City voted overwhelmingly to include a 30-second moment of silence in their graduation ceremony in order to honor a deceased classmate and to reflect upon the past and future. But after two students objected, administrators banned the moment of silence.
A settlement agreement was reached in the federal lawsuit filed by the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy on behalf of seven graduating seniors. Under the settlement, the graduating class was allowed to include the moment of silence in their May 25th graduation ceremony.” (Agape Press. 5/16/03.)

A Schoolgirl & Christmas
“A Massachusetts schoolgirl now can bring her favorite Christmas book to school without fear of being reprimanded after a school district backed down from a policy that barred the student from sharing a book about the birth of Jesus Christ. The Leominster Public School District agreed to change its policy after a lawsuit was filed by the American Center for Law and Justice on behalf of Laura Greska. The settlement agreed that Greska, an 8-year-old third-grader, would be permitted to exercise her religious beliefs via speech (whether oral or written).” (WorldNetDaily. 5/18/03.)

Land Use Victory
“Judges have upheld religious liberties in two cases after Christians were denied full use of their land. In one case, a Kansas town has agreed to reverse its decision to evict a pastor from his church parsonage. The other case involves a Pennsylvania couple who has been given permission to hold a Christian concert on their private property after city officials tried to pull the plug on the event. These cases were represented by Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel.” (Agape Press. 5/9/03.)

Military Muted & Muzzled
“The Virginia Military Institute says it plans to appeal a recent decision that upheld a ban on school-led prayers before dinner at the state-supported institution. The tradition-rich school had held pre-dinner grace since the 1950s. But in 2001, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of two cadets who had complained about the prayers.
In January 2002, a federal judge ruled the VMI-led prayers violated the separation of church and state, and the Fourth Circuit Panel upheld that decision recently. VMI spokesman Col. Ken White says the Institute’s cadets, faculty members, administrators, and alumni are disappointed and unsure about the implications of the ruling. But White says the Institute plans to appeal. He says in the meantime, the evening meal prayer tradition is being carried out by individuals or groups of cadets at their tables.” (Agape Press. 5/6/03.)

Cross & Suspended Aide
“A Christian teacher’s aide in Pennsylvania has gone to court claiming she was unfairly suspended for a year without pay for refusing to remove a cross necklace. In her suit filed recently, Brenda Nichol, 43, of Glen Campbell, said school officials violated her rights to freedom of speech and religion, The Pittsburg Post-Gazette reported. Nichol refused to comply because the cross symbolizes her faith. She is being represented by the American Center for Law and Justice.” (Maranatha Christian Journal. 5/14/03.)

Community Center Victory
“It is a big victory for religious freedom in one Missouri city as officials have reversed their decision to reject a request by a local Christian citizen to hold a 9/11 Remembrance Service.
John Oster, the president of Liberty Landing, a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the foundations of American Liberty. Last year Oster asked officials in the town of Nevada, Missouri for permission to use a community room for a service which would include Bible reading and prayer. The officials informed him that he could not use the room for religious purposes.
Liberty Counsel filed suit on behalf of Oster arguing the City’s policy was unconstitutional. The City has now rescinded their policy and Oster has been given permission to use the facility.” (Agape Press. 5/15/03.)

Prayer Compliant Schools
“The Department of Education’s guidelines on constitutionally protected prayer and religious speech have resulted in a drop in complaints from public school students and teachers, Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice says.
The guidelines were released in February, and schools had until March 15th to tell their state education departments they are in compliance. State officials had until April 15th to submit that information to the federal government.
Most schools have complied, although many schools still have not, the Associated Press reported. The remaining schools are expected eventually to be in compliance and are receiving leniency from the education department, the AP said.” (Maranatha Christian Journal. 5/16/03.)

ACLU Chips Away at Granite
“The American Civil Liberties Union is asking that a Bible be removed from a granite memorial that sits in front of a Texas courthouse because it might offend non-Christians, reports the Houston Chronicle. County Judge Robert Eckels told the Houston Chronicle he would review the request but doesn’t think the memorial is a ‘violation of the separation of church and state or sponsorship of a religious activity.’
The memorial has been in front of the Harris County Civil Courts Building for 47 years and was built in 1956 to honor a business owner who helped the poor. It is maintained by a local mission group. The ACLU thinks the presence of the Bible sends a message that those practicing other faiths are not welcome in the courthouse.” (WorldNetDaily. 5/30/03.)

Country Song Dropped
“Daron Norwood’s song, ‘In God We Trust,’ made it to some mainstream country playlists and briefly enjoyed status as the most requested song before radio executives started dropping the song because it contains the name of Jesus. WSM in Nashville played the song for two days when it first came out but stopped because ‘It’s got too much Jesus in it.’” (Maranatha Christian Journal. 6/3/03.)

ACLU Loses to Big Ten
“The ACLU has lost one in Georgia. A federal court has ruled that having the Ten Commandments in a county seal does not violate the separation of church and state. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on May 30, 2003 that the display of the Ten Commandments on a Georgia county seal does not violate the First Amendment. The case was brought by the ACLU in its ongoing efforts to strip our nation of every vestige of its religious heritage.” (Traditional Values Coalition. 6/5/03.)

Graduation Religious Song
“A Wisconsin high school senior was able to sing a religious song during her graduation ceremonies. Last month, Rachel Honer—a senior at Winneconne High School in Winnebago County, Wisc.—informed the school’s principal that she wanted to sing ‘He’s Always Been Faithful.’
But school officials informed Honer she would have to substitute the words ‘He,’ ‘Him,’ or ‘His’ for the word ‘God’ in the song. Honer contacted The Rutherford Institute, which filed a lawsuit on her behalf. Rutherford president, John Whitehead, says the matter was quickly resolved thereafter when the educators became ‘educated’ on the issue. Whitehead says school districts nationwide need to stop discriminating against Christian students.” (Agape Press. 6/6/03.)

Celine Dion Song Banned
“Celine Dion has been banned from a high school in Virginia for being too Christian—or at least one of her songs has. Two students wanted to sing Dion’s ‘The Prayer,’ that mentions God once and speaks of faith and the presence of a higher power.
The students showed the song to Windsor High School principal William Owen
who gave the lyrics to Isle of Wight Superintendent Michael McPherson for a second opinion. McPherson then passed the lyrics along to an attorney who said it violated the separation of church and state.”
(WorldNetDaily. 6/8/03.)

Transit System Bans Bible
“A woman is suing Milwaukee’s transit system, saying her rights were violated when a driver refused to let her hand out Bibles. Gail Anderson, 56, filed a lawsuit this week in federal court in Milwaukee seeking to overturn the transit system’s distribution ban on advertising and literature. The lawsuit says Anderson was on a bus last summer when she offered Bibles to passengers. The driver asked her to stop, ordering her off the bus when she refused.” (The Gazette. 6/11/03.)

New York Church Victory
“A small evangelical church in New York has won a large First Amendment victory. For nine years, the Bronx Household of Faith was barred from meeting for worship services in a New York City public middle school. That all changed recently when the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a New York City school board policy that barred religious instruction and worship from school buildings.
Jack Roberts, pastor of the church, says his church’s court victory is already impacting other congregations. Two years ago, in the Good News Club v. Milford case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Milford, new York School District violated the free-speech rights of the Christian club’s members by denying them access to school facilities used by other groups.” (Agape Press. 6/18/03.)

Pennsylvania’s Big Ten Stays
“To add to the First Amendment confusion, a display of the Ten Commandments may remain on a Pennsylvania county courthouse, a federal appeals court ruled on June 26th. The decision by a three-judge panel was rooted in the plaque’s historic nature.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled the plaque, which was given to the courthouse by a private group and placed on an exterior wall in 1920, may remain displayed on the Chester County courthouse because it does not endorse religion and has a secular purpose.
The county commissioners refused in 2001 a request to remove the plaque from the building, which is located in West Chester, Pa. Sally Flynn, a Chester County resident, and the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia sued in federal court and won. The Third Circuit overturned the decision but acknowledged other federal appeals courts have split the last two years over public display of the Ten Commandments.” (Maranatha Christian Journal. 6/29/03.)

Alabama’s Big Ten Must Go
“A federal appeals court ruled on 7/1/03 that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is not above ‘the rule of law’ and must remove a 2 1/2 ton granite monument depicting the Ten Commandments that is in the rotunda of the judiciary building in Montgomery.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta unanimously affirmed an order from U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson that the monument violates the Constitution’s prohibition on government promotion of religion.
Chief Justice Roy Moore vowed on 7/2/03 to keep the monument in defiance of the federal appeals court order. ‘We must defend our rights and preserve our constitution,’ Moore told reporters. ‘For the federal courts to adopt the agenda of the ACLU and to remove the knowledge of God and morality from our lives is wrong.’” (WorldNetDaily. 7/3/03; The Gazette. 7/2/03 .)

Grand Canyon Secularized
“Succumbing to complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Park Service (NPS) removed plaques with biblical psalms at popular viewing areas of the Grand Canyon, citing concerns that it may violate the separation between church and state.
Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said three bronze, religious-oriented plaques were removed from the frequently visited areas of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. The Interior Department determined that the plaques, which had been on display for more than 30 years and quoted Psalms, were not appropriate for federal public facilities, Oltrogge said.
NPS said the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in Phoenix placed signs on the buildings in the late 1960s. Letters of concern and a recent inquiry by the ACLU prompted park officials to review the situation. In a prepared statement, members of the sisterhood said they were shocked.” (Charisma News Service. 7/16/03.)

Wisconsin’s Big Ten Must Go
“A Wisconsin judge has ruled that the display of a Ten Commandments monument in the city park of downtown La Crosse was unconstitutional and it must be moved. Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb made the decision in the case involving a monument installed by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles in the 1960s. The suit, filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, prompted the city to sell the parcel of land around the monument to the fraternal organization. But Crabb said that was not enough to remove the violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
The Foundation called the decision a victory in a case that dates to 1985. Initially dismissed in 1987, the Foundation filed a new suit in 2002. La Crosse Mayor John Medinger was disappointed with Crabb’s decision. He added, however, he was not surprised. Some community members want the city to appeal but he will suggest that the monument be moved to the property of a local church.” (Religion Today. 7/17/03.)

Florida Church Embattled
“A Florida church has filed a federal lawsuit over attempts by county officials to evict the church from its own property—and for the time being, it can stay, says a federal judge. Ten years ago, Open Homes Fellowship bought property in Orlando with assurances from county officials that it had proper zoning to locate and minister on the property. But last summer, Orange County officials cited the church for operating without proper zoning approval, saying it would have to apply for a special exception permit to operate its successful drug and rehabilitation program.
Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel says the county’s actions are unfair and unconstitutional. ‘The zoning officials began to scout the local areas of the county for different churches, and they saw that Open Homes Fellowship was in an area which they don’t want it to be,’ he says. ‘So they have taken unilateral action against this church and brought it to a hearing.’
At the initial hear, Staver pleaded with the court not to evict the church but his argument fell on deaf ears, and the court proceeded with the action of eviction. In response, the church filed a federal lawsuit against county officials. Staver now says a federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing the church from being evicted for its property.” (Agape Press. 7/17/03.)

College Book Liberal Bias
“Emphasizing the problem of religious bias in college history books, professor and author Burt Folsom told an audience of young people recently to be more aware and alert of what they are reading and to be unafraid to challenge the views of educators.
Folsom, a professor of American history at Hillsdale College, spoke to attendees at the Young America’s Foundation 25th Annual National Conservative Student Conference,
a week-long event that brings together young conservative activists from across the nation.
Folsom described the bias against religion, saying: ‘Christianity as usually viewed is very unimportant as a theme in American history.’ Ranging from a discussion of the religious motivations of Columbus to the religious revival of the 1740s, called the Great Awakening, Folsom criticized what he saw as the diminished role authors gave to religion in affecting history and frequent mischaracterizations. ‘Christianity is a significant theme in American history,’ Folsom said, adding: ‘It is, however, tremendously neglected in the textbooks.’” ( 7/23/03.)

Silence Anti-Gay Christians?
“An official with the Alliance Defense Fund says if Christians continue to ignore the threat posed by homosexual activists, the Church in America will eventually be silenced on the issue. Craig Osten, co-author of a new book titled The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principle Threat to Religious Freedom, says: ‘You could give the homosexual activists whatever they want today—marriage, all the benefits, everything—but they will not be satisfied until the Church is absolutely silenced on this issue. The bottom line is that as long as the Church says that homosexual behavior is sinful, they feel stigmatized.’ Osten asserts that the Gospel is confrontational and needs to be proclaimed in this age of political correctness if the Church is to continue to have a voice at all.” (Agape Press. 7/23/03.)

No Christian Brick In Park
A Chicago family is taking a local part district to court after they were told they couldn’t use the word ‘Jesus’ in an inscription on a brick purchased to be included in a walkway in a neighborhood park.
Mildred Tong wanted to buy a brick for placement in Seen Park that would send a message to her children about their faith, reports WMAQ-TV. She wanted to remind her children that ‘Jesus is the cornerstone’ of their lives. But parks officials turned down her request.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is helping the family with the lawsuit. Chicago Park District personnel say they suggested the Tongs change the word ‘Jesus’ to ‘God.’ but that they refused. The suit, which was filed on 7/22/03, seeks $1 in damages. The family is hoping simply to be able to inscribe their original message on their brick.” (WorldNetDaily. 7/23/03.)

Judge Rules Scouts Religious
“The city of San Diego is contemplating an appeal of a federal court decision that recently ruled the Boy Scouts is a religious organization. This means public facilities can discriminate against the Boy Scouts because the group would be considered a ‘state-sponsored religion’ which would naturally conflict with the supposed ‘separation of church and state’ issues. This ruling was supported by the American Civil Liberties Union.” (WorldNetDaily. 8/6/03.)

Churches Eliminate Crosses?
“An interfaith group founded by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon is spearheading an effort to have Christian ministers remove crosses from their churches, calling them a symbol of oppression and perceived superiority. Mainstream Christian leaders call the request ‘outrageously bigoted.’
Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr., of the independent Imani Temple African American Catholic congregation in Washington, D.C. says, ‘The cross has served as a barrier in bringing about a true spirit of reconciliation between Jews and Muslims, and thus, we have sought to remove the cross from our Christian churches across America as a sign of our willingness to remove any barrier that stands in the way of us coming together as people of faith.’
Stallings serves as the national chairman
of the executive committee of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, an organization that began as a project of Moon’s Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. (FFWPU). ‘A history of religious intolerance, forced conversions, inquisitions and even racism as used by white supremacists follows the cross through Christian history,’ added Stallings.
Rev. Phillip Schanker, vice president of FFWPU said, ‘It’s a matter of overcoming the religious arrogance, the religious chauvinism, the narrow-mindedness, the judgmentalism that often comes from insecurity.’ Schanker also accused those who disagree with the anti-cross movement of overreacting.” ( 8/22/03.)

Wesley Clark & The First Amendment
“Democratic presidential candidate, Wesley Clark, was leading the pack of 10 Democrats seeking the White House according to a Newsweek poll.While the nation has been engulfed in a debate about church-state relations this summer, Clark was sounding off in a radio interview about the subject. Here’s what he said on WGCU 90.1, a public radio station in southwest Florida:
“I grew up believing that one of the basic principles in our country is that we would keep church and state separate...And we learned that in order to have freedom of religion, you’ve got to protect the state from the church...I think that it is better for our democracy and better for our religion if we keep the two separate.”
Actually, most non-revisionist historians will recognize that Clark has the uniquely American concept of freedom of religion exactly backward. The founders weren’t trying to protect the government from the church—far from it. They were trying to protect the church from the government.
Even more to the point, none of our founding documents—not the Constitution, nor the Declaration of Independence—mentions ‘separation of church and state.’ Therefore, it
is difficult to imagine how this might be ‘one of the basic principles in our country.’
When Clark talks about separation, it is not just religion and government, but religious values and government. I guess that’s how Clark, supposedly a Catholic, justifies and rationalizes his support for abortion on demand and homosexual domestic partnerships.
Clark apparently wants to go further than any prominent member of even the God-phobic Democratic Party has gone—excluding religious values from the public square and from public policy.” (WorldNetDaily. 9/23/03. “Wesley Clark on Church and State.” Joseph Farah editorial.)

Nativity Scenes Protected?
“Christmas bells will soon be ringing, and American cities both large and small will sparkle with holiday exhibits featuring dazzling lights, ornaments, and trappings of the season on properties both public and private—but, what about the Nativity scene?
Publicly-sponsored Nativity scenes are installed and maintained by public officials on public property. Such displays are deemed constitutional if a secular symbol of Christmas is included within the same parameter of view (a Christmas tree placed beside the manger, for example.)
Senior Litigation Counsel Mike DePrimo, American Family Association Center for Law and Policy, says: ‘In numerous cases, the Supreme Court has made it clear that religious expressions must be given equal place alongside secular expressions in government settings.’” (Agape Press. 10/13/03.)

Court Favors Censorship
“The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a federal judge’s decision that a New Jersey school system acted constitutionally in prohibiting a 4-year-old student from distributing some pencils bearing a Christian message at a spring class party. A three-judge panel of the Third Circuit unanimously affirmed the school system had not violated the child’s rights under the First Amendment’s religious free exercise.” (Maranatha Journal. 10/13/03.)

America’s Religious Culture War
“Those who continue to deny that America is in the throes of a culture war and that secularists are taking aim against Christianity and its values are either not reading and watching the news or are in major denial.
The secularist obsession to achieve a strict separation of church and state is not only not mandated by the Constitution, it is at war with the Constitution’s very designs about religious freedom. In the name of promoting religious liberty, the enemies of Christianity are using the First Amendment Establishment Clause as a weapon to suppress Christian religious freedom.
Christianity, to the secularists, is a disqualifying attribute for public office.
And if Christians somehow slip through the screening obstacles, they must keep their Christian beliefs strictly to themselves. Ask Undersecretary of Defense Lt. General William Boykin, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Rick Santorum, William Pryor, David Hager, Jerry Thacker and the countless other Christian appointees and officials whose public service has been opposed by those who believe Christians shouldn’t be allowed to participate in government or the political process.” (WorldNetDaily. David Limbaugh. Editorial. “A Week in America’s Culture War.” 10/18/03.)

Free Speech? It Depends!
“We have the sad spectacle of an American military man, Lt. Gen. William Boykin, deputy undersecretary of defense, dragged across the carpet recently for what he said in speeches to Christian religious groups. What did he say?
He said we’re a Christian nation with Judeo-Christian roots. We’re in a battle against Satan and God will not fail us. He also said, in reference to a Muslim warlord in Somalia in 1993, that ‘my God was a real god and his was an idol.’
Oops! Can’t go around saying things like that. No one is bigger or better than anyone else. What do you mean Christians have God on their side? What an outrage that a military man might believe in God and actually talk about it publicly. Freedom of speech, indeed—for thee but not for me. Keep your eye on those homeland color alerts.” (WorldNetDaily. Barbara Simpson. Editorial. “General! Shut Your Mouth...Sir!” 10/20/03.)

Church and Military Separation
“Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on 10/21/03 that the Pentagon will launch an internal investigation into a senior military intelligence official who publicly described
the war on terrorism as a battle between ‘a Christian nation’ and Satan.
Rumsfeld said: ‘I think it’s appropriate’ to investigate the comments from Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, an evangelical Christian who serves as deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and war-fighting support.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, speaking to the Senate floor, recommended the Pentagon reassign Boykin pending the outcome of the investigations. The comments from Boykin, at churches and prayer breakfasts, have drawn outrage from Muslim organizations, Democrats and civil rights groups.” (The Gazette. 10/22/03)

Judge Roy Moore Ousted
“Alabama’s nine-member Court of the Judiciary removed Roy Moore from his position as chief justice on 11/13/03 for defiance of a federal judge’s order to move his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state courthouse. With a unanimous vote, the panel concluded Moore violated judicial ethical standards and removed him halfway through his six-year elected term. Moore reacted to his removal by reading from the court transcript. ‘It’s about whether or not we can acknowledge God as the source of our law and our liberty,’ he said. ‘That’s all I’ve done. I’ve been found guilty.’” (WorldNetDaily. 11/13/03.)

Professor Wins Damages
“An Indiana jury has awarded a former part-time professor at DePauw University $10,401 in damages after she alleged that she was demoted for apparently keeping copies of a conservative Christian magazine in her classroom. The six-member Clay County jury decided 10/31/03 that the Methodist-affiliated school improperly followed its faculty handbook policies when it reduced the duties of Janis Price. Price sued the university in 2002, claiming the school violated her rights when her job and salary were reduced. At the time, DePauw did not want her to continue teaching one of her classes. Her lawyer, John Price, who is not related, argued that the school reduced her duties because she had made an issue of Teachers in Focus that addressed homosexuality in the classroom available to her students. The attorney said some of the students thought the magazine, a publication of Focus on the Family, was offensive. The university intends to appeal.” (Religion Today. 11/12/03.)

Anti-Christian New York City
“A federal judge heard oral arguments on 11/13/03 on a motion to temporarily restrain New York City from enforcing a ban on nativity scenes in its public schools. In 2001 and again last year, officials with the Catholic League attempted to convince New York City public school officials to allow Nativity scenes as part of Christmas displays. Under current policy, city officials only allow Christmas trees and similar non-religious symbols in displays commemorating the Christian celebration, while they encourage display of the Jewish menorah and the Islamic star and crescent during their respective holidays. Robert Muise is an attorney with the Thomas More Law Center, which is suing the City
of New York. The attorney contends that the city’s ban on nativity scenes is both discriminatory and unconstitutional. ‘This policy, both on its face and as applied, promotes and endorses Judaism and Islam, and shows disfavor or hostility to Christianity
—and the Constitution forbids that,’ he said.” (Agape Press. 11/13/03.)

National Day of Prayer Trial
“A federal judge has ruled that National Day of Prayer events on city property in Tucson, Arizona, should be treated like those of other groups. Judge Frank Zapata ruled on 11/10/03 that the city’s policy—denying fee waivers that were granted to other groups from religious events—was discriminatory and unconstitutional. Benjamin Bull of the Alliance Defense Fund, which represented the National Day of Prayer organization, calls it ‘a huge victory for free speech and a defeat for those who would like to censor Christian voices.’ According to the attorney, ‘The court’s decision established once and for all that local government cannot discriminate against the National Day of Prayer or other Christian groups in accessing a government facility.’” (Agape Press. 11/11/03.)

Threatened By Christmas
“The Colorado ACLU is threatening to sue a school if the principal refuses to censor Christmas for its students. In a joint letter with the Anti-Defamation League, the state American Civil Liberties Union alleged ‘Jewish students no longer feel safe or welcome’ at the Elbert County Charter School in Elizabeth, Colorado. The November 10th letter demands Principal Les Gray censor Christmas and insists the school ‘must take immediate steps to comply with the constitutional separation of church and state.’
It insists the school must ban all references to Christmas in its annual holiday program, including secular songs such as ‘Jingle Bells.’ ‘This is the same old ACLU ploy of fear, intimidation and disinformation,’ said Barry Arrington, the attorney representing the
principal and the school. Arrington works with the Alliance Defense Fund and said that
the ‘ACLU’s suggest is outrageous and inflammatory.’ (WorldNetDaily. 11/21/03.)

University Forced Secularism
“A Christian student group has filed a First Amendment lawsuit against a university in Minnesota in a move designed to protect the group’s right to remain distinctively Christian. The University of Minnesota is requiring the Maranatha Christian Fellowship to sign an ‘equal opportunity statement’ which would not allow the group to demand that its members and leaders be Christians. At least two U.S universities, Tufts and Rutgers, have already tried to kick student groups off campus because the groups required their members and leaders to be Christians. Attorney Jordan Lorence with the Alliance Defense Fund believes the university is acting unconstitutionally. He says he wonders if the school will require the campus animal-rights group to allow meat-eaters as members, and the campus communists to have college Republicans leading them.” (Agape Press. 10/27/03.)

No “Christian” School Speakers
“A Montana school board is being accused of violating the First Amendment rights of a Christian youth speaker who was prohibited from addressing a middle school in the state. Last fall, school board members denied motivational speaker Jaroy Carpenter permission to speak to students at Dillon Middle School. Carpenter, who was initially approved by the board, often gives secular speeches in public schools as well as religious presentations at Christian youth rallies. Carpenter had been asked to help Dillon’s students who were coping with a string of teen suicides and automobile deaths. But board members later retracted their permission, telling him that his affiliation with a Christian group called the ‘Dawson McAllister Association’ precluded him from speaking to the students. Attorney Casey Mattox with The Rutherford Institute says the school board violated the youth speaker’s First Amendment rights. He was censored because he is a well-known Christian and because of that, he was denied permission to speak.” (Agape Press. 11/14/03.)

Censoring School Beliefs
“A California school district may soon find itself in federal court after officials told Christian students they could not express their religious beliefs in a senior-class photo.
Recently the senior class at Fountain Valley High School gathered for a group photo for the student yearbook. Several Christian students decided to wear T-shirts to the photo shoot that, when placed together, expressed message such as ‘Jesus Loves You’ and ‘Jesus is the Way.’ However, the students were told by school officials that they could not express any kind of religious message in the photo. They were forced to step out of the photo. Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute feels the school officials censored the religious expression of the students. Dacus notes that Fountain Valley High administrators did not exclude other students who wore clothing with sayings, name brands, and logos. Nor did the school interfere with Muslim students who wore headscarves for the photo. But the students who wanted to express their faith by participating in a group Christian message were not allowed to do so.” (Religion Today. 11/10/03.)

Senator Wayne Allard & Religious Liberties
“Colorado Senator Wayne Allard has introduced a bill that, if passed, will have an impact on people of faith. Allard says the Religious Liberties Restoration Act is intended to protect America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. According to Allard, the way the courts
are going now, ‘they want to remove the Ten Commandments and...take things like the national motto as well as the Pledge of Allegiance away from us because of a reference to God.’ The senator feels the courts are acting inappropriately and has introduced the legislation to reign them in and say to them: ‘Let’s defer this to the states—that’s where it belongs.’ The bill would authorize Congress to limit the courts’ ability to rule on such religious matters, an action many religious leaders have been asking Congress to take
for years.” (Agape Press. 11/3/03.)

The Big Ten in Texas Wins
“The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion recently holding that a stand-alone Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds in Austin, Texas, is constitutional. The Fifth Circuit covers the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The 42-year-old monument was originally donated to the State by the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1961. The granite monolith is more than six feet high and three feet wide. It is one of 17 monuments and memorials on the grounds of the State Capitol. The donation of the Ten Commandments was part of a youth guidance project to give the youth of the nation a code of conduct by which to govern their actions. A man filed suit to have the monument removed because he claimed the sight of the Ten Commandments disturbed him. The Court concluded its opinion by noting the Ten Commandments influence on American law and stated: ‘There is no constitutional right to be free of government endorsement of its own laws.’” (Maranatha News. 11/17/03.)

Protesting Anti-Gay School Vouchers
“A private Baptist school will appeal a decision by Denver Public Schools (DPS) and Jefferson County officials to reject its voucher-program application because the school would expel students for homosexual behavior. The DPS rejected Silver State Baptist School in Lakewood citing its discipline policy called for automatic dismissal for ‘premarital sex, homosexuality and sexual perversion.’ Under the state voucher program, a school board can reject a private school’s application if it advocates or fosters ‘hatred of a person or group.’ DPS President Elaine Berman believes the school’s policy does promote hate.” (The Gazette. 10/23/03.)

Colorado Senator Bias Alert
“The president of the Colorado Senate is going to bat for college students in his state who are discriminated against for their conservative or Christian beliefs. State Senator John Andrews has sent a letter to the leaders of Colorado’s 29 public colleges and universities, opening an inquiry into whether the state’s public educational institutions have policies in place to protect academic freedom on their campuses. The Republican lawmaker is asking the schools to inform the state legislature of what policies they have to protect against bias imposed on students because of their political or religious beliefs, and to explain how they deal with instances of discrimination against students for their beliefs. He also wants school presidents to describe what steps they are taking to promote intellectual diversity in the classroom and in departmental recruiting. The schools have until December 1st to respond to his letter.” (Agape Press. 11/19/03.)

Calvary Chapel On Display
“A federal judge ruled on 11/19/03 that Broward County officials cannot exclude a religious-themed display with the message ‘Calvary Chapel says Jesus is the Reason for the Season’ at the popular Holiday Festival of Lights. U.S. District Judge William Zloch ordered the county to allow the display at the drive-thru holiday light show at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek, Florida. Calvary Chapel filed a lawsuit against the county after negotiations broke down earlier this year on efforts to reach a mutually acceptable message. The officials had expressed concerns that people would think their county was favoring one religion over another or pushing the Christian faith.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 11/19/03.)

Straight Bishop Ousted
“An Episcopal priest who clashed repeatedly with the Diocese of New Hampshire over its election of a gay bishop has been removed from his church. The Rev. Donald Wilson was dismissed from the Church of the Redeemer after responding in an ‘insubordinate way’ to a request to meet with Bishop Douglas Theuner. Theuner objected to Wilson’s declaration in a letter that because of his ‘greater loyalty to our Lord,’ he would have no loyalty to Bishop V. Gene Robinson (the openly gay cleric). Wilson opposed Robinson’s consecration for biblical reasons. In New Hampshire and elsewhere, some conservatives say they will not recognize Robinson and have asked for pastoral oversight from bishops who share their belief that homosexuality is a violation of Scripture.” (ABC News. 11/7/03.)

Library Upset About Jesus
“The library board of a Connecticut community has overturned a ban on an artist’s paintings of Jesus that were deemed ‘upsetting.’ Earlier this month, they voted unanimously to allow artist Mary Morley to display her religious paintings
of Jesus at the Meriden library as part of her ‘Visions, Hopes and Dreams’ exhibit. Library director Marcia Trotta last month asked Morley to omit three paintings from her show, which depicted the Crucifixion, the Nativity and Jesus carrying the cross to Calvary. Library staff worried that having all the paintings of Jesus in the display area would lead some library patrons to believe the city favors Christianity over other faiths.
However, the library board said Morley should be allowed to exhibit all of her paintings. Morley, who hired an attorney and was ready to file a free speech suit against the library, said she was pleased with the board’s decision.” (Charisma News Service. 12/30/03.)

College Campus Bias
“Conservative students say they have faced discrimination and are being ostracized on Colorado’s college campuses because of their political and religious beliefs. ‘As a Republican and a Christian, I have been discriminated against in the classroom,’ Kelly Maher said in December before a bipartisan panel that state Senate President John Andrews, R-Centennial, assembled. Andrews is leading an investigation into whether the state’s 29 colleges and universities have policies that protect diversity of thought and whether they are enforced. Students reported conservative authors are left off readings lists, and professors have been known to promote their own politics and deride conservatives. Maher, of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, said a presentation she gave on higher education was marked down 10 points because her instructor said it was biased.” (The Gazette. 12/20/03.)

Gay Diversity Violates Christian Rights
“A federal judge in Detroit has upheld the constitutional right of a Christian student to express her religious beliefs in opposition to homosexuality during her high school’s 2002 ‘Diversity Week’ program. The case involved a federal lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm, on behalf of student Betsy Hansen, whose religious views against homosexuality were censored and excluded from the program held at Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High School. During the program, Pioneer High School officials prevented Hansen from expressing her Roman Catholic view on homosexuality at the ‘Homosexuality and Religion’ panel, and they censored a speech she was asked to give on the topic, ‘What Diversity Means to Me.’ School officials claimed Betsy’s religious view toward homosexuality was a ‘negative’ message and would ‘water-down’ the ‘positive’ religious message that they wanted to convey—that homosexual behavior is not immoral or sinful. Judge Gerald Rosen’s 70-page opinion began with blistering criticism of the school: ‘This case presents the ironic, and unfortunate, paradox of a public high school celebrating “diversity” by refusing
to permit the presentation to students of an “unwelcomed” viewpoint.’” (WorldNetDaily. 12/7/03.)

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