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

Updates 8:

Democratic “Religious” Code Words
“Senate Democrats have established new code words in their war against those who are devoutly religious. William Murray, director of the Washington, DC-based Religious Freedom Coalition, says Democrats in the U.S. Senate have instituted new code words to justify their bigotry. The code words involve the phrase: ‘deeply held beliefs.’ ‘Deeply held beliefs’ are the code words for ‘bias against those individuals who actually believe the Bible,’ Murray says. ‘It’s a buzz phrase for bias against Catholics who obey their church doctrine.’ According to Murray, the code phrase ‘deeply held beliefs’ is being used by Senate Democrats in their filibustering sessions to prove that some judicial nominees are unfit to serve on the federal bench—particularly on the Circuit Courts, which he points out is the primary recruiting ground for the U.S. Supreme Court. Murray believes pro-abortion Democrats are afraid religious judges will overturn Roe v. Wade and end legalized abortion in the U.S.” (Religion Today. 1/6/04.)

Student Suspended for God
“A high school student dismissed from his school broadcast program for signing off with ’God bless’ is rallying community members to his side. James Lord, a senior at Dupo High School in Belleville, Illinois, was suspended for one month from his daily news broadcast on the school’s closed circuit television after signing off his Dec. 17 broadcast. Lord told his student audience: ‘Have a safe and happy holiday, and God bless.’ School Principal Jonathan Heerboth has said Lord’s comment was inappropriate for public school, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Lord says he plans to appeal the suspension because he claims it violated his First Amendment rights. Geoffrey Surtees, a lawyer with the Virginia-based American Center for Law and Justice who is representing Lord. Jame’s mother, Beverly Lord, called the school’s decision harsh and a suppression of free speech, the paper said.” (WorldNetDaily. 1/21/04.)

Former Presidential Candidate on Biblical Gays
“Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said that his decision as governor to sign the bill legalizing civil unions for gays in Vermont was influenced by his Christian views. ‘From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality
is a sin, He would not have created gay people,’ said Dean. Dean’s comments come as gay marriage is emerging as a defining social issue of the 2004 elections.” (The Washington Post. 1/8/04.)

School Prohibits Fliers
“The Broward County (Florida) School District is being sued in federal court after a student was told she could not distribute an invitation for a meeting at her church to classmates. The lawsuit was filed by John Curran along with his daughter Christine, who took a flyer to school when she was a student at Driftwood Middle School in Hollywood, Florida. The flyer was an invitation to hear a Christian youth speaker at her church. As Christine was heading to class, a teacher saw her handing out the flyers and confiscated the material, claiming school guidelines had not been followed.The suit states that Christine was told by school officials that she could not pass out the invitations. Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel says the school district’s policy is unconstitutional. ‘The school’s policy allows blatant censorship of religious viewpoints,’ said Staver. The legal expert says public school students have the right to distribute religious literature at school, as well as the right to be free from discrimination based upon the content of the literature they are distributing.” (Religion Today. 1/20/04.)

Supreme Court Anti-Christianism
“On Feb. 25, 2004, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states can discriminate against religion when making public funds available to their citizens. In a 7-2 decision, the Court overturned a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that ruled Washington State had violated the U.S. Constitution by excluding theology majors from a state funded scholarship program. Brian Fahling, Senior Trial Attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy (CLP) said, ‘Today’s decision marks a dramatic and troubling departure from the Court’s recent decisions prohibiting states from using religion as a basis for denying funds otherwise available to their citizens.’ The case, called Locke v. Davey, involved Washington State’s Promise Scholarship Program that assists academically gifted students with postsecondary education expenses. The Washington State Constitution prohibited students from pursuing a devotional theology degree. Joshua Davey was awarded a Promise Scholarship and chose to attend Northwest College, a private, church-affiliated institution that is eligible under the program. When he enrolled, Davey chose a double major in pastoral ministries and business management-administration, only then learning that he could not use his scholarship to pursue that degree. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Rehnquist described Washington’s religious discrimination as of a ‘far milder kind.’ ‘We believe,’ said the Chief Justice, ‘that the entirety of the Promise Scholarship Program goes a long way toward including religion in its benefits. The program permits students to attend pervasively religious schools, so long as they
are accredited.’ However, Justice Scalia took issue with the majority’s ruling: ‘Let there be no doubt: This case is about discrimination against a religious minority…What next? Will we deny priests and nuns their prescription-drug benefits on the ground that taxpayers’ freedom of conscience forbids medicating the clergy at public expense?’ Attorney Fahling said he also shared Justice Scalia’s concern that ‘the Court had read the Constitution to permit the government to discriminate against religion.’” (AFA Center
for Law & Policy News Release. 2/25/04.)

State Snubs Christian Ranch
“The state of Michigan has stopped referring troubled teens to a Christian residential program because of the religious teaching to which the young people are exposed. According to a statement from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal group assisting the organization, Teen Ranch has ‘an extremely low recidivism rate.’ The nonprofit organization helps teens recover from abuse, abandonment and delinquency. ADF says in November, the Michigan Family Independence Agency decided to stop referring young people to Teen Ranch because of ‘vague allegations of teens being exposed to unwanted religious instruction.’ The religious-liberty group sent the agency a demand letter recently saying the state opens itself up to legal action if it doesn’t reverse the decision. ‘This state action hurts Teen Ranch, but the most serious harm is to the abused and hurting youth who have been denied the love and hope that Teen Ranch offers,’ said Gary McCaleb, senior counsel with the ADF. Also saying, ‘The agency misread state law: Michigan statute prohibits direct state funding of specific religious activities, but there is no prohibition of religious activities themselves.’ Added McCaleb, ‘The agency’s refusal
to place residents at Teen Ranch violates a multitude of constitutional principles. The
key question is whether the government may single out a religious program in the course
of distributing government funds to serve its valid, secular public interest and discriminate against it. No!” (WorldNetDaily. 1/30/04.)

PETA Pig Billboard
“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
is preparing to put up what they call ‘faith-based billboards’ before Easter, one of which features a photo of a pig and the caption, ‘He died for your sins—Go vegetarian.’ PETA says the obvious reference to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion is meant to generate compassion for the countless animals killed in the meat-eating culture. ‘We have a number of faith-based billboards,’ PETA spokesman William Rivas told WND. ‘We certainly plan on using the pig ad for the Easter period.’ Rivas says there are people who ‘always voice their concern’ about the group’s controversial billboards, but he wasn’t too worried about opposition. ‘All our billboards are meant to promote compassion,’ he said, ‘compassion for all God’s creatures.’” (WorldNetDaily. 3/1/04.)

Religious Must Provide Abortions
“In a 6-1 decision closely watched by other states, California’s Supreme Court became the highest court in the country to rule a private charity must include birth control coverage in its health care plan in spite of its moral opposition to contraception. The ruling, on 3/1/04, not only could affect thousands of workers in church-supported institutions across the state, but likely could be emulated by other states, according to the ACLU, which filed briefs against the Catholic Charities. Richard Ackerman, legal counsel in the case, told WND that this decision could have greater impact that the U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that struck down Texas sodomy laws. The court’s reasoning in this decision calls into question any exemptions to laws or regulations that conflict with religious or moral belief, Ackerman explained. Justice Janice Roger Brown—the lone dissenter—wrote, ‘The government is not accidentally or incidentally interfering with religious practice; it is doing so willfully by making a judgment about what is or is not a religion.’” (WorldNetDaily. 3/2/04)

Newdow Loses One More
“Just a day after arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court that the phrase ‘under God’ in
the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, nationally known atheist Michael Newdow has failed in his attempt to stop congressional chaplains from offering prayers on Capitol Hill. U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy dismissed the lawsuit brought by Newdow, who has filed a number of cases claiming violations of his constitutional rights, Reuters reported. In filing his suit, Newdow had hoped to stop congressional chaplains from espousing particular religious dogma as well as take away their taxpayer-supported salaries. According to the news service’s report, Newdow said he had suffered ‘personal reproach’ from the prayer by the then—Senate Chaplain Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie on June 27, 2002, which was offered in response to Newdow’s winning an appeals court ruling in the Pledge of Allegiance case. Newdow also lost a case in which he claimed having a prayer at President Bush’s inauguration violated the Constitution.” (WorldNetDaily. 3/25/04)

Mancow – Maniac or Monk?
“Mancow Muller, a radio shock jock, who has been the target of a listener’s crusade against alleged on-air indecency for the last five years, is about to fight back by taking his accuser to court. The nationally syndicated morning personality is expected to file a $3 million lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on 3/23/04 against David Smith, the Chicago man whose Citizens for Community Values has lodged 66 complaints about ‘Mancow’s Morning Madhouse’ with the Federal Communications Commission. Acting on Smith’s complaints, the FCC so far has cited Muller six times for indecency, resulting in fines totaling $42,000. Among other claims, the lawsuit will charge Smith with business interference and filing ‘spurious complaints’ with the FCC that are ‘repetitive, malicious, untrue, and designed merely for the purpose of harassment and to cause Muller economic ruin.’ ‘Judgment day has come for those who hide in the shadows, twisting Bible verses. I have garnered a massive war fund and will not quit until my First Amendment right to free speech is restored.,’ said Mancow. ‘Why is the focus on the guy who is blowing the whistle instead of the guy who is breaking the law?’ Smith said. ‘I am simply following the procedure set up by the FCC to file grievances. Mancow is trying to censor his critic, which is ironic for a free speech advocate in a democratic society.’” (Chicago Sun-Times. 3/23/04)

Pro-Life Shirt Barred
“A Virginia high school student was barred from wearing a shirt with a pro-life message because it violates the school’s policy against profane or obscene language. The shirt says: ‘Abortion is Homicide. You will not silence my message. You will not mock my God. You will stop killing my generation. Rock for Life.’ Profane or obscene?! Thomas More Law Center sent a demand letter to school officials insisting that this message could not possibly be considered lewd, vulgar, profane or obscene. The letter emphasized other students at the school were allowed to display various message on their clothing, including an image of a marijuana leaf. The school has ten days to reverse their decision or face a lawsuit.” (WorldNetDaily. 3/12/04)

The Passion of the Christ a Hate Crime
“Claiming Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ has resulted in ‘hate crimes’ against Jews, a nonprofit organization is seeking online signatures for a petition asking Attorney General John Ashcroft to ‘evaluate possible actions’ against the filmmaker.
According to a statement from the Messiah Truth Project Inc., a nonprofit group that states its purpose is to ‘combat the deceptive missionary techniques of evangelical Christian denominations and the Messianic movements,’ says that ‘The Passion through purposeful rewriting of the Christian Gospel mythos has, itself, become an anti-Semitic diatribe.’ The organization claims the movie has caused crimes against Jews, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries throughout the United States.’ The group’s petition says that ‘Gibson’s movie violates state and federal hate crime statutes for the purposeful encouragement of anti-Semitic violence. We implore U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to evaluate action against the perpetrators involved and those responsible for the work itself.’ The Messiah Truth Project has failed to cite specific incidents of violence attributed to a perpetrator who had viewed the film.” (WorldNetDaily. 3/16/04)

A Rabbi’s Christophobia
“After ten white swastikas were spray-painted in early March on BMH-BJ Synagogue in Denver, Rabbi Daniel Cohen said the vandalism ‘might have been sparked by the movie “The Passion of the Christ.” There’s a lot of crazy people in this world.’” (The Denver Post. 3/7/04) Editor: Uh-huh!

AFA Cadets Scolded
Top commanders at the Air Force Academy admonished cadets recently for using academy e-mail to urge others to see Mel Gibson’s movie about the crucifixion of Jesus. In an e-mail obtained by the AP, Superintendent Lt. Gen. John Rosa said the cadets’ use of e-mail to tout the film and a poster display in the cafeteria were ‘inappropriate and I regret any perception of intolerance these actions may have created.’ Spokesman Johnny Whitaker said that one academy graduate complained to Rosa the action was insensitive to cadets who are not Christians. The effort to get cadets to see the movie violated rules against product endorsements. ‘It is troubling to me that there are AFA students who think it is appropriate to encourage masses of people to go to this movie,’ said Rabbi Stephen Foster of Denver.” (The Gazette. 3/5/04)

Priest’s Prayer Raises Fuss
“A Colorado Springs priest who delivered the daily morning prayer in the House caused a ruckus among lawmakers on 4/13. The prayer is normally a nonpartisan appeal to God to provide House members with wisdom and forbearance. Father Bill Carmody of Holy Family Catholic Church asked God during his prayer to ‘change and convert’ all representatives to ‘be the antithesis of John Kennedy’ and allow religion to influence and guide their votes. ‘44 years ago, John F. Kennedy made a pledge to the nation that he would not allow his faith to influence his decisions as President...sadly, politician after politicians has followed in his footsteps...this has led to a vacuum of morality in public debate,’ prayed Carmody. House Democrats responded like bulls to a red cape. ‘I hope that we will not invite anyone like that again to the floor to speak to us,’ said Rep. Alice Madden, D-Boulder.” (The Gazette. 4/14/04.)

State Motto Stays
“In a reversal of a lower court’s ruling, a federal appeals court has decided in a 9-4 vote that Ohio’s state motto, ‘With God, all things are possible,’ is constitutional after all. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that the state motto does not violate the constitutional separation of Church and state, as the lower court had said. The ACLU filed the original lawsuit opposing the biblical quotation as the state motto in 1997. They will appeal to the Supreme Court.” (Religion Today. 3/20/04.)

Florida Pulls Website Link
“Visitors to an official state Web site recently found a link to a Christian prayer group. On the home page of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice, a link titled ’National Day of Prayer’ led readers to the Florida Prayer Network. The site encourages people to pray and invite Jesus Christ to be their personal Savior and Lord. The site also announced locations of Christian speakers at the Capitol in observance of the National Day of Prayer. Some civil-liberties activists said they were disappointed that a branch of state government would help promote one particular religion—Christianity. The Web site had no information about other religions. ‘Florida has no business promoting prayer events for the National Day of Prayer on any of its official Web sites,’ said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. ‘I was really shocked.’ State officials quickly removed the link on April 30th after they were contacted by The Palm Beach Post, saying it was posted by accident.” (Palm Beach Post. 5/1/04.)

A Big Ten Reversal
“A federal appeals court has tossed out an earlier decision that a Ten Commandments monument must be removed from an eastern Nebraska city park. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order on 4/6/04 saying the full court will review a February ruling in which a three-judge panel of the court said the monument in Plattsmouth violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The ACLU sued on behalf of an atheist Plattsmouth resident who contends the monument is unconstitutional. The 5-foot tall, granite monument lists the Ten Commandments and is emblazoned with two stars of David. In 2002, U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf of Lincoln rejected the city’s argument that the monument is protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom. He ordered the removal of the monument, saying it ‘conveys a message that Christianity and Judaism are favored religions.’ The three-judge panel agreed in a 2-1 decision, saying the monument’s ‘message is undeniably religious.’ The American Center for Law and Justice, a group that focuses on family and religious issues, has asked for the review. ‘This is a very important and encouraging development that clears the way for another opportunity to prove that the display of the Ten Commandments is not only part of our heritage and history, but constitutional as well,’ said Francis J. Manion, senior counsel for the group representing the city of Plattsmouth.” (Napa News. 4/8/04.)

The Passion Not to Play on TV
“Despite being the year’s biggest box-office blockbuster so far, ‘The Passion of the Christ’ seems unlikely to find a home on the four biggest broadcast networks. Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions has been shopping the movie to TV. Only ABC has confirmed turning it down, but executives speaking on condition of anonymity said it was doubtful for CBS, NBC and FOX, too. The movie’s graphic scenes of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion were said to make broadcasters skittish, particularly in the post-Janet Jackson era when government officials are closely watching what goes on television. This movie has earned over $360.9 million domestically since its Feb. 25th opening.” (My Way. 4/20/04.)

The Obnoxious ACLU
“I am not a religious man. I’m neither proud of that nor ashamed. I merely state the fact to establish where I’m coming from. I have friends who are believers and friends who are not. Where religion is concerned, I believe in live and let live. I only wish that the American Civil Liberties Union shared that attitude. I don’t like to describe myself as an agnostic or an atheist because I don‘t care to align myself with the people whose own religion consists of a profound antipathy to everybody else’s. Having said all that, I wish to announce that I despise the ACLU for its relentless attacks on Christianity and Judaism. It’s bad enough that they will wage battle on behalf of any busybody looking to banish Christian and Hanukah symbols from public places, including one’s own front yard. However, these very same lawyers will eagerly go to the mat to safeguard a Muslim’s right to wear a disguise on her driver’s license, a Navajo’s right to smoke peyote, and a cultist’s right to ritualistically slaughter small animals. The problem with the ACLU is that it is composed in equal measure of self-righteous fools and fascistic bullies. If the authors of the Constitution had ever, in their worst nightmares, envisioned a group as vile as the ACLU, I feel certain that they would have rephrased the First Amendment to read: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Period! And we’re not kidding, so help us God!’” (WorldNetDaily. “The Most Obnoxious Group in America.” Burt Prelutsky. 4/7/04.)

Rep. McDermott Removes God
“I imagine that Rep. James McDermott has heard from many of his trendy
liberal friends who have been telling him what a brave and courageous soul he is for snubbing the phrase ’under God’ when he led the House of Representatives saying the Pledge of Allegiance on April 27th, 2004. Rep. McDermott, a man who does pledge allegiance to Planned Parenthood, the Feminist Majority and other dictatorial abortion-rights groups in our nation, contended that he refused to utter the words ’under God’ because the courts are presently considering whether the phrase is constitutional. He was referring, of course, to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found the two words to be unconstitutional. A decision on that ruling is pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.” (WorldNetDaily. 5/1/04. Dr. Jerry Falwell. “One Nation...Increasingly Divisible!”)

Gays Target Baptist Church

“Homosexual-rights activists filed a complaint against a Baptist church that held an event to support a proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The liberal Montanans for Families and Fairness charge that Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church in Helena, Montana, failed to report to the state commissioner it used its nonprofit resources to support the proposed constitutional ban, according to the Billings Gazette. The situation is under review by the state political practices commission, which could result in fines and loss of the church’s nonprofit status with the IRS for engaging in political advocacy.” (WorldNetDaily. 5/29/04.)


Loud-Mouthed Gay Protesters

“Hundreds of pro-gay protesters tried to shout down religious leaders speaking against gay marriage to a crowd of thousands gathered at Seattle’s baseball stadium on 5/1/04. Protesters gathered in the stands after chanting and waving signs at participants as they arrived for the rally at Safeco Field. About 20,000 to 25,000 people attended the ‘Mayday for Marriage’ worship service and rally, organized by conservative Christian churches around the state in support of traditional marriage. ‘This is a place where we’re taking a stand,’ Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, told the crowd. ‘If gay marriage happens, the culture war is over and everything associated with it is lost. As religious participants arrived in busloads, they had to walk between sign-carrying protesters lining the sidewalk outside the stadium in this liberal city. Police estimated 1,500 gay rights protesters showed up outside the stadium, waving signs and chanting, ‘Bigots go home!’ as they marched back and forth out front.” (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 5/1/04.)


Salvation Army Stands Strong

“The Salvation Army is vowing to stand by its Christian principles in a pending battle over the more than $250 million in contracts it has with New York City. The city is on the verge of passing a law which would force entities with city contracts to write same-sex benefits into their hiring policies. New York City is the Salvation Army’s largest area of ministry, with soup kitchens, thrift shops, and recovery centers ministering to tens of thousands. But Army spokesman Major George Hood tells Family News in Focus that they will not compromise. ‘Our existing policy is that we will not sign any contracts that require domestic-partner benefits, or contracts that force The Salvation Army to change its spiritual integrity,’ he states.” (Religion Today. 5/27/04.)


Christian Club Victories

“The threat of a federal lawsuit has prompted a New Hampshire high school to permit a Christian student club on campus. However, an attorney representing the Christian group says the school may still be engaging in viewpoint discrimination. If a school has one non-curriculum related student club, they can’t deny other such student clubs on the basis of the viewpoint of the club or because it might be religious in nature. Upon threat of a lawsuit, the school had a change of heart and decided to permit the club.” (Agape Press. 5/19/04.)


National Day of Atheism

“Congress established the National Day of Prayer in 1952, and in 1988 specified it be observed the first Thursday in May. But, if it were up to Steven Neubauer, the steps of the Pennsylvania state Capitol would have been empty on May 6, 2004. There would not have been a government-endorsed National Day of Prayer rally there, nor would there be the National Day of Reason counter-rally that his own Pennsylvania Nonbelievers Inc. planned on the same day on the same steps. But as long as people gather at the Capitol to pray, Neubauer said, his group will come together to say that elected officials should not be encouraging it. ‘It isn’t up to the government to endorse these things,’ said Neubauer, an East Manchester Township resident and president of this group of 400-member atheists, secular humanists and agnostics. Neubauer’s hour-long rally promoted the need for a greater separation between church and state and the power of ‘reason’ to overcome our struggles.” ( York Dispatch. 5/5/02.)


Crosses Illegal at Gay Day

“Before they could get one of their trademark 10-foot wooden crosses fastened together, two men were arrested by Dayton police officers on charges of disorderly conduct at a recent Gay Day gathering. The men often travel the nation preaching and carrying the crosses to bring attention to Christianity. Police say eight other Gay Day demonstrators left quietly. ‘This is the first time I’ve been arrested for being a Christian,’ said Michael Siemer after his release. ‘I think it’s a really bad thing that we can be arrested for expressing our views.’ The two arrested Christian men expressed concern because they say they were on private property, across the highway from the gathering at the park, and without being read their Miranda rights. Siemer said he plans to file a complaint against Dayton Police Chief Kenneth Walker.” (The Tennessean. 5/9/04.)


Film Mocks Conservative Christianity

“A noted movie critic says the new film ‘Saved!’ is a sad, bigoted, anti-Christian movie that mocks the Christian faith. Ted Baehr, the founder of the Christian Film & Television Commission ministry has come out swinging against the MGM movie. ‘Saved! Is a hateful, politically correct movie,’ Baehr declared. ‘It is being heavily marketed to the community it mocks to lead Christian youth astray and make them resent their own faith.’ The movie, which stars Mandy Moore and Macaulay Culkin, tells the story about self-righteous Christian youths in an uptight Christian school. Baehr urges religious leaders to warn their congregation about the movie.” (WorldNetDaily. 5/13/04.)


Moral Moorings Mangled

“A Christian author and speaker is sounding a rather fatalistic tone when it comes to homosexual ‘marriage’ in America. Os Guinness says the nation apparently doesn’t have the moral strength to reverse the legalization of same-sex unions, precipitated by the events in Massachusetts. ‘There are moments in peoples’ decline when they finally draw the line, but the signs are with same-sex marriage in the nation that won’t happen,’ he says. ‘And what we’re seeing politically and in the polls is that the American center is very soft and is not going to make a stand.’ Americans, he says, seem resigned to just living with the concept of same-sex marriages. ‘Any pretense of a moral majority has long since gone,’ he says, adding that he is disappointed at the lack of moral leadership coming from Capitol Hill.” (Agape Press. 5/21/04.)


Stop Praying Warns ACLU

“The American Civil liberties Union sent a warning letter to the La Mesa City Council on 5/4/04, urging the panel to discontinue invocations that include specific references to Christianity. The ‘prayers’ must be non-sectarian or be eliminated. Mayor Art Madrid acknowledged the constitutional violation. The ACLU said Councilwoman Ruth Sterling has used the name of Jesus Christ and other language unique to Christianity during the invocation prior to council meetings. Sterling said she plans to continue to do so.” (SignOnSanDiego News. 5/4/04.)


The Ten Commandments & Pin Firing

“A former executive in the Hoover, Alabama, Chamber of Commerce claims he was fired because he refused to remove a Ten Commandments pin from his lapel. The former Chamber employee says his case should serve as a wake-up call for Christians. Christopher Word, 23, served as membership services director for nine months before he was fired. Word says his boss, Chamber director Bill Powell, voiced concerns about the pin as a possible political statement in light of the controversy over former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Word says Powell gave him an ultimatum—remove the pin at work, or lose his job. Word contends that his firing demonstrates the perilous times in which we live, calling the action a ‘drastic change’ from the normal course of events.” (Agape Press. 5/21/04.)


Cross Removal in Los Angeles

“The ACLU is demanding the removal of a tiny cross that is among other historic symbols on Los Angeles County’s official seal. ‘The cross is an impermissible endorsement of Christianity,’ said the ACLU Foundation of Southern California to county officials. The cross was incorporated into the seal to represent the area’s settlement by Spanish missionaries who, in the 1700s, founded two of California’s famous missions in what is now Los Angeles County. The cross panel is one of six panels around the seal’s main figure Pomona, a Roman goddessof fruits and trees.” (The Sacramento Bee. 5/25/04.)


Graduation Prayer Cut

“A lawsuit threat from the ACLU of Indiana has prompted a high school in the Indianapolis area to drop its tradition of prayer at graduation. After receiving a complaint from one student who did not want an invocation at this year’s graduation ceremony, officials at Avon High School decided there would be no public prayer at the program. The decision came under advice from the district’s legal counsel and pressure from the ACLU, which is assisting the 18-year-old student. But, according to new education guidelines released last year, U.S. schools could lose federal funding if they choose to bar students from praying at graduation.” (Agape Press. 5/25/04.)


A Graduate’s Faith Denied

“In a dramatic about-face, an Iowa high school has permitted its valedictorian to deliver a speech that expressed his Christian faith. HLV Junior-Senior High School in Victor, Iowa, had told graduating senior Matthew Reynolds his commencement speech must be secular in nature. Principal John Long told the student an address containing his religious views would violate the alleged ‘separation of Church and State.’ Kevin Theriot, Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance of more than 700 attorneys who defend religious liberty threatened to sue the high school for violating his client’s free-speech rights. After that, the school officials relented and allowed Reynolds to give his speech in which he thanked Jesus Christ for his success.” (Agape Press. 5/26/04.)


OK Governor OKs Motto

“Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed into law in early May a measure that allows every classroom, cafeteria, and auditorium to display posters bearing the national motto ‘In God We Trust.’ This phrase is now legal to post in all public school classrooms. Patty Morton is president of the group Oklahomans for Patriotic Values, which worked for two years to get HB 2477 passed. The mother and pro-family activists says, ‘Satan has been in control of the nation’s schools for too long—and it is time to take them back.’ Morton shares that is was a long hard fight and thanks the American Family Assoc. for helping.” (Agape Press. 5/7/04.)


Censoring Moral T-Shirts

“A San Diego school district is being sued after a student was suspended for wearing a T-shirt displaying the messages ‘Homosexuality is Shameful’ and ‘Our School Embraced What God Has Condemned.’ He wore it on a pro-homosexual ‘Day of Silence’ observance in April. During this national event, high school and college students were urged to show support for homosexual, bisexual and transgender students. The Poway Unified School District is accused of violating the 16-year-old sophomore’s civil rights. The Alliance Defense Fund says these public school officials engaged in unconstitutional suppression of speech. According to the lawyer, Robert Tyler, a school administrator told the student to ‘leave his faith in the car’ since his faith might offend others.” (Agape Press. 6/4/04.)


Gays In; Clergy Out!

“The Windsor Locks School District ( Connecticut) has caved in to the demands of the ACLU, which recently threatened the district with an injunction if its officials allowed local clergy to give a biblical presentation on homosexuality at Windsor Locks High School. This past May, the school district permitted a group called the Stonewall Speakers to visit the high school and promote the homosexual lifestyle. Some local clergy and members of the public felt the pro-homosexual presentation needed to be balanced. The school district agreed to allow a group to come into the school and present a religious perspective on the issue. However, when the ACLU threatened legal action, district officials decided to cancel the planned clergy presentation.” (Agape Press. 7/1/04.)


The Big Ten Stays in Utah

“Despite a liberal group’s efforts, a Ten Commandments monument that has stood for more than thirty years in a public park in Utah will not be removed. The Society of Separationists sued the city of Pleasant Grove City, Utah, and several of its officials, claiming the monument installed in 1971 by the Fraternal Order of Eagles violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, federal district court judge Bruce Jenkins dismissed the lawsuit.” (Agape Press. 6/2/04.)


Los Angeles Too Godly?

“The city of Los Angeles may have to change its name. Also, cities like San Francisco, San Diego, and Santa Barbara could be looking for new monikers. The reason? They all have religious meaning in their names.Los Angeles refers to the ‘City of Angels,’ while the others refer to names of saints. In fact, the official name of Los Angeles is ‘The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Little Portion.’ According to the Los Angeles Daily News, a strong legal argument could be made to force municipal name changes, based on the argument the names violate the so-called separation of church and state. This issue is being raised in the wake of the decision recently by Los Angeles County to remove a small cross from its official seal. Ironically, the most prominent image in the L. A. County seal is one of Pomona, the pagan Roman goddess of fruits and nuts, though the ACLU did not object to the goddess in its push to have the cross removed.” (WorldNetDaily. 6/13/04.)


Mojave Cross Covered

“A federal appeals court ruled on 6/7/04 that an 8-foot cross in the Mojave National Preserve is an unconstitutional governmental endorsement of religion. Ruling 3-0, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court that ruled against the cross, which has become a war memorial and a place of worship at a Southern California desert site known as Sunrise Rock. The case was brought by the ACLU on behalf of a retired National Park Service employee who objected to the religious symbolism of the steel-pipe structure, which sits about 10 miles south of Interstate 15 between Las Vegas and Barstow. The cross, the subject of constant attack by vandals, was constructed in 1934 by a group of World War I veterans. A plaque they placed nearby says the cross was intended as a memorial. Now, the cross has been covered in a heavy tarp since a federal judge in Riverside sided with the ACLU in 2002, ruling that the ‘primary effect of the presence of the cross’ was to ‘advance religion.’ ‘We think this opinion makes it clear that the government has an obligation to take down the cross as soon as possible,’ said Peter Eliasberg, an ACLU attorney.” (The Gazette. 6/8/04.)


Army Reverses Medal Stance

“The Army has reversed its stance and decided to continue helping a nonprofit group distribute honorary medallions that cite a Bible verse. Fallen Friend, which since 1995 has distributed nearly 2,000 medallions to survivors of soldiers, police and firefighters killed in the line of duty, recently was told by the Army that it could no longer help forward the medallions because the inscription ‘John 15:13’ was inappropriate and might offend some families. The chief of the Army’s Casualty Operations Division notified Fallen Friend President Bob Parker of the Army’s change of heart just recently. ‘Upon further evaluation, it has been determined that while there is a Biblical reference on the medallion, this reference is not of such nature that it is likely to be offensive to most next of kin,’ Lt. Col. Kevin Logan wrote in an e-mail. ‘I am sincerely sorry for any inconvenience our earlier decision made on you and your organization.’” (The Tennessean. 7/3/04.)


College Censors Christians

“Penn State University says it already has ‘too many’ Christian clubs and has denied recognition of a new one—resulting in a lawsuit being filed against the school, alleging the action violates First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. In April, the Disciplemakers Christian Fellowship applied for registered status on the Penn State campus. But the university official who approves religious student groups refused the Disciplemakers’ request, saying there were ‘too many Christian groups anyway and they were beginning to compete’ and that the new group failed to show it is sufficiently ‘unique’ from existing religious campus clubs to warrant the recognition. The Center for Law & Religious Freedom, which filed the lawsuit, says the university is on ‘constitutional quicksand’ when it assigns one person the task of deciding whether one group of Christians has a different message from another. A spokesman for the Center says the school’s ‘uniqueness requirement’ is just another form of discrimination against religious views that Penn State supposedly wishes to discourage. The school currently recognizes more than 600 different student clubs.” (Agape Press. 6/24/04.)


Court Sidesteps “Under God”

“The United States remains one nation ‘under God,’ at least for now. The Supreme Court declined on 6/14/04 to rule on whether the two-word phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance violates the constitutional separation of church and state in public schools. Rather, the court ruled 5-3 that a California atheist had no legal standing to challenge the oath’s recital in his daughter’s elementary school class because he lacks legal custody of the girl, who lives with her Christian mother.” (The Gazette. 6/15/04.)


Public Park Bans Baptisms

“A Virginia church recently got into some hot water for conducting river baptisms in a public park. Last month, officials of a park just outside Fredericksburg, tried to break up the ceremony, claiming it might be offensive to nearby swimmers or other people using the park. Todd Pyle, senior pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Stafford County, was able to finish baptizing 12 new members of his flock, but then he was asked to leave. ‘These people are being discriminated against because of the content of their speech,’ said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, who heads the Christian Defense Coalition. ‘It’s one of the most egregious violations of the First Amendment I have ever seen.’” (Religion Today. 6/10/04.)


Los Angeles Cross Now Gone

“Despite more than a thousand protesters voicing their support to the contrary, the three Democrats on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors reaffirmed their decision on 6/9/04 to remove a tiny cross from the county’s official seal. The American Civil Liberties Union had threatened to sue the county if it did not remove the cross, describing it as an ‘impermissible endorsement of Christianity’ - and the Board of Supervisors succumbed to that threat recently and voted 3-2 to remove the symbol. Randy Thomasson, executive director of Campaign for California Family says the outpouring of support for keeping the cross fell on deaf ears—and that the ‘outrageous’ vote to remove the cross from the county seal demonstrates that ‘anti-Christian arrogance is king’ in Los Angeles. “ (Agape Press. 6/9/04.)


After School Bible Club

“The three-judge panel of a federal appeals court has ruled that an evangelical group’s plan to distribute fliers to students in Maryland elementary schools is not an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. That decision reverses a lower court ruling blocking the access of Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) of Maryland to the Montgomery County Public Schools’ take-home flier program. CEF is a respected national organization that has provided its ‘Good News Clubs’ program for more than 60 years, offering Bible stories, songs, games and other fun activities for children. The program does not allow any child to participate without parental permission. A lower court had barred CEF from giving literature to students inviting them to attend after-school Good News Club activities, even though other community organizations were allowed to circulate their fliers freely through the program.” (Agape Press. 7/6/04.)


No More Bible Classes

“ A federal appeals court recently upheld a court order that stopped 50 years of teaching Bible classes in the public schools of Rhea County, Tennessee—the home of the ‘Scopes Monkey Trial.’ A three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld a February 2002 ruling by U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar of Chattanooga. Edgar ruled that the ‘Bible Education Ministry Program’ violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.” (Agape Press. 6/10/04.)


Keep Faith Out of the Workplace

“A public employee in California is suing his employer, claiming the state has singled him out for discrimination because of his Christian faith. Dan Berry is a longtime employee of the Tehama County Child Protection Services Agency in Redbluff, California. Earlier this year he noticed fellow employees expressing their personal opinions and beliefs by posting personal items in their private work cubicles. The state worker began displaying a Bible in his cubicle and meeting with fellow workers during lunch for prayer. He was told to stop praying and to remove his Bible. A judge recently sided with the state against Berry.” (Agape Press. 5/35/04.)


Judge Must Restore Oath

“The North Carolina Supreme Court recently ordered a district court judge to restore references to God in the words said when he enters the courtroom and when witnesses who swear to tell the truth. Judge James Honeycutt had taken it upon himself to change courtroom procedures set down in state law. The court ordered Honeycutt to stop using an oath he had revised himself to remove the phrase ‘so help you God,’ and administer the oath that is spelled out in state law. Honeycutt also had stopped asking that the oath be sworn on a Bible.” (The Associated Press. 6/29/04.)


Nativity Scene May Be Back

“A Florida town has paid attorneys’ fees and apologized to the two women who were told they could not donate a nativity scene for display alongside two government-sponsored Jewish menorahs during this past Christmas season. Palm Beach officials permitted the public display of menorahs at a number of prominent public locations. The city should have given all religious symbols equal treatment. By refusing to act on the Christian residents’ request to erect a display, the officials brought on legal action that never should have become necessary. To the residents, this was religious discrimination.” (Agape Press. 7/2/04.)


Professor Demoted for Religious Views

“An Ohio college has been sued over its decision to punish a philosophy professor for divulging his Catholic beliefs to students. Professor James Tuttle has charged that the college demoted him because he disclosed his religious views. James Brown, the dean of arts and sciences at Lakeland Community College, is the individual who stripped Tuttle of his seniority. Brown would not comment on the lawsuit.” (Agape Press. 7/7/04.)


Court Judges Judge

“Recently the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that Justice Court Judge Glen Wilkerson did not violate the Code of Judicial Conduct by writing a letter to the editor of his local newspaper in which he referred to homosexuality as a mental illness. Wilkerson also repeated his opinion in a radio interview with Mississippi Public Radio. After hearing pro-gay activists present their case, the Commission had recommended that Judge Wilkerson be disciplined for his comments. However, on July 1 the Court ruled in a 5-2 decision that Wilkerson’s speech was protected by the First Amendment. (Agape Press. 7/7/04.)


Dems Religious Aide Resigns

“The director of religious outreach for the Democratic Party says she resigned in early August because of criticism about her support for removing the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance. The Democratic National Committee is seeking a replacement for the Rev. Brenda Bartella-Peterson, who quit after serving less than two weeks in the newly created position. The Catholic League, a conservative anti-defamation group, criticized the political views of Peterson, an ordained minister in the Disciples of Christ Church. Peterson resigned and cited ‘recent negative publicity’ from the brief in the pledge case that she and 31 other members of the clergy signed.” (The Gazette. 8/8/04.)


Victory for a Student

“Christians have prevailed in an 8-year court battle with the University of Wisconsin. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has awarded attorney’s fees to those who represented former UW student Scott Southworth. In 1996, Southworth filed a lawsuit against the school, challenging the constitutionality of its funding system for student groups. He and his legal counsel contended that the University of Wisconsin was perpetuating a fee system that allowed student funds to be directed toward certain student groups, based on the views expressed by those groups. The lawsuit challenged the unfair nature of the mandatory student fees and policies used to support controversial or liberal campus groups while they limited or denied funding for other conservative groups on campus. Attorney Joshua Carden with the Alliance Defense Fund represented Southworth in the lawsuit. He says the university particularly treated campus religious groups unfairly, discriminating against them by excluding their eligibility to receive student funds. Carden says, “As a school group, you couldn’t get funding unless you adhered to their ideas of what a good little student group should be. So the Socialist Part would get funded, the Green Party would get funded—all of the left-leaning clubs would get funding. But if you were Christian, you’d get nothing. The 7th Circuit judges ruled that the school’s decisions were based on viewpoint discrimination and that the school must change how things will be done from now on.” (Agape Press. 8/2/04.)


Judges Banned from Scouts

“Judges are on the front line of battles about legal rights for same-sex couples and never should belong to an organization that discriminates against gays, supporters of a proposed change to American Bar Association ethics rules argued recently. Judges are prohibited from joining clubs that discriminate based on race or sex. An ABA panel is debating whether to make groups that discriminate against gays off-limits—like the Boy Scouts of America. This would mean that a judge could not formally be a part of this group.” (The Gazette. 8/7/04.)


Victory for an Evangelist

“A dispute has been resolved between the YMCA and a Georgia evangelist who says his membership was revoked because he was witnessing for Christ. Earlier this month, Larry Lee—founder of Down to Earth Ministries—says his membership to the East Cobb YMCA in Marietta was revoked by club officials who were upset that he witnessed to two teenagers outside the facility. Now Lee says his membership was reinstated in early August after a face-to-face meeting with local YMCA officials. Lee shares that he has agreed not to witness to teenagers on YMCA property. However he says he will be allowed to talk to adults about Christ.” (Agape Press. 7/27/04.)


Victory for a School District

“A federal judge has ruled that an Arizona school district violated the free speech and equal protection rights of the parents of two students by censoring their religious message in a school fundraiser. The judge said the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix acted unconstitutionally when it barred Paul and Ann Siedman from including the word ‘God’ in publicly posted messages to their children in the district’s ‘Tiles for Smiles’ program. The fundraiser allowed members of the community to purchase a tile that would then be inscribed and displayed on the interior walls of the school. Attorney Peter Gentala with the assistance of the Alliance Defense Fund says: ‘What this case stands for is the proposition that public schools are not religion-free zones. It is inappropriate to single out religion for removal from public schools.” (Agape Press. 8/4/04.)


End-Times Persecution

“Three alleged vandals slit the tires of a bus owned by a Christian tour company in Skagway, Alaska, scrawling ‘Satan rules’ and ‘Satan is King!’ on the side of the vehicle. The vandalism occurred recently at a hotel in which the tourists were staying. Six of the bus’ tires were destroyed. The bus belongs to Christian Tours—a name prominently displayed on the side of the coach. Though the graffiti might be considered a ‘hate crime’ in some jurisdictions, there are no such statutes in effect in that judicial area. Thomas Harp, a Skagway resident said, ‘There is an unspoken hatred towards Christians in this town.’” (WorldNetDaily. 7/22/04.)


In God We Trust City Seal Must Go

“Either the members of the Oceanside, California, city council don’t read the news—or they don’t care what the ACLU thinks. The city fathers of this Southern California coastal community decided recently to make official what they first considered almost two years ago: adding the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ to their city seal. According to a press release from the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the unanimous vote on July 7 was greeted with applauses, cheers, and whistles from the standing-room-only crowd in the city council chambers. The PJI calls the move ‘courageous’ in light of recent threats levied by the ACLU against the City of Redlands and the County of Los Angeles regarding religious symbols. If a lawsuit does emerge, the PJI says it is ready to represent Oceanside without charge.” (Agape Press. 7/22/04.)


Moral Issues Under Fire

“Barry Lynn’s Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has filed an IRS complaint accusing an Arkansas minister of violating tax rules against endorsing candidates. The group says that during a July 4th sermon, Pastor Ronnie Floyd of First Baptist Church of Springdale showed a picture of President Bush and said, ‘One candidate believes that marriage is a God-ordained institution between one

man and one woman and has proposed a constitutional amendment protecting marriage.’ With a photograph of John Kerry on the screen, he said, ’The other candidate was one of only 14 U.S. Senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.’ Floyd later urged members to go to tables in the church and register to vote.” (Agape Press. 7/22/04.)


Christian Seniors Denied a Room

“A Florida retirement community has been accused of violating state law and the Federal Fair Housing Act because the facility’s management banned a group of seniors from meeting for worship in the common areas of the community. For several years members of the Savanna Club Home Owners Association in Port St. Lucie, Florida, have met in common areas of the retirement community for worship services. However, last month the board of the homeowners association voted to ban any religious services from the common areas. The Department of HUD will review the complaints.” (Agape Press. 8/6/04.)


Christian Protesters Thrown Out

“Five members of a Philadelphia based Christian activist group were thrown out of a Philadelphia Phillies game in early August. The group was there to protest what had been billed as ‘Gay Community Day.’ The game began with a homosexual men’s chorus singing the national anthem and a lesbian throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Then during the fifth inning, the Repent America group unfurled a banner which read: ‘Homosexuality is sin; Christ can set you free.’ Michael Marcavage, director of Repent America, explains what happened next. ‘Within a few moments, a security officer approached us and demanded that we take the banner down,’ he says. ‘Moments later, two homosexual men stood up and they began to passionately kiss in front of our banner—then two lesbian women stood up and did likewise as the crowd cheered them on.’ Three homosexuals tried to tear down the banner and a scuffle pursued. Marcavage says, ‘The security decided they were going to remove us from the stadium instead of those who were acting disorderly toward us.’” (Agape Press. 8/10/04.)


A Pastor Vows Not to Stop

“A California pastor says he will keep opening his church doors to the homeless, despite increased scrutiny from city officials. On any given night, 70 to 80 homeless people are allowed to sleep in the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park. But recently, Pastor Wiley Drake says city officials have notified him they are reviewing his occupancy and land use permits and other paperwork. Drake says city officials are upset because his church is not far from Disneyland, which is often touted in advertisements as ‘The Happiest Place on Earth.’ He believes the officials are quite unhappy with having a ministry to the homeless in such close proximity to the amusement park and resort area, and that they are employing intimidation and harassment to try to stop the church from doing its outreach to this needy community in that location. But the pastor notes that he has fought off previous efforts by city officials to evict the homeless from his church, and he says those who have a need will continue to receive help. ‘We just will not turn anyone away,’ Drake says. “We will always find a way to help them.’” (Religion Today. 7/28/04.)


Cross Stalemate in San Diego

“The 43-foot-tall concrete cross has stood atop Mount Soledad for more than 50 years. Now that cross could go to the highest bidder, who could then choose to remove or retain the structure. The controversy is all the result of a lawsuit brought against San Diego by an atheist who contends California’s constitution prohibits religious symbols on public land. San Diego City Attorney Casey Gwinn proposed to ‘let a private property owner decide whether to keep or remove the cross to avoid preference for or hostility against religion.’ The city attorney recognizes that a decision by the council needs to be made by August 3 to allow enough time for this initiative to be brought before the public in the November elections. Because the initiative involves the sale of public land, the vote would require a two-thirds approval.” (Agape Press. 7/23/04.)


The Big Ten Appealed

“The highest court in America has been asked to clarify conflicting rulings that have been handed down by several U.S. circuit appeals courts concerning Ten Commandments displays. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a January 2004 appeals court decision banning Ten Commandments monuments at four public schools in Adams County, Ohio. The case stems from a 1999 lawsuit filed against the school board over those displays, which resulted in a lower-court ruling that the displays were unconstitutional. According to the ACLJ counsel, Frank Manion, he believes the case should have ended when the county changed the display in 2002. Also, the Sixth Court’s decision conflicts with other decisions involving display of the Ten Commandments in the Third, Fifth and Tenth Circuits. The legal group says such conflicts in the federal circuits often result in the Supreme Court taking a case to resolve conflicting decisions.” (Agape Press. 7/14/04.)


City Council Removes Jesus

“A federal appeals court recently upheld a judge’s ruling that prohibits the Great Falls, S.C., Town Council from opening its meetings with a prayer that mentions Jesus Christ. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that such prayers amount to an unconstitutional government advancement of one religion: Christianity. Darla Kaye Wynne, a Wiccan high priestess (a witch), sued the town after its leaders refused to open meetings only with nonsectarian prayers or to allow members of different faiths to lead the prayers. U. S. District Judge Cameron McGowan of Rock Hill, S.C., ruled last year that the prayers violated the First Amendment’s establishment of religion clause. The appeals court agreed, citing U.S. Supreme Court rulings that allow only generic prayers by government bodies. (Daily Press. 7/22/04.)


IRS Church History

“From the founding of our country until 1954, churches and other nonprofit organizations were permitted to expressly endorse or oppose candidates for political office. That changed when Lyndon Baines Johnson ran for U. S. Senate. He was opposed by a nonprofit organization (not a church), and after he won the election, he proposed legislation to amend the Internal Revenue Code that prohibited nonprofit organizations, including churches, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. The code was amended in 1954 without any debate regarding the impact of the bill. There is still some confusion over what a church and a minister can and can’t do in terms of endorsement or opposition to certain legislation. Since 1954, only one church has ever lost its IRS tax-exempt letter ruling, but even that church did not lose its tax-exempt status.” (National Liberty Journal. Sept. 2004.)


Christian Teacher Canned

“An Iowa middle school teacher has been terminated from his job over his refusal to remove items from his office that symbolize the Christian faith. School officials told music teacher Luke Miller having faith-based posters, gospel tracts, and a picture of the Lord’s Supper was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Miller, who has been a teacher for 10 years, says administrators knew about the items in his office for a long time, but chose to confront him about them one week before classes started. School officials claimed allowing him to have the items in his office violated the so-called separation of Church and state. Miller says unless God leads him otherwise, he will probably leave public education for good. According to him, the situation is unlikely to be any different anywhere else in the U.S.” (Religion Today. 9/1/04.)


Pre-Game Prayers Gone

“A public school district in Louisiana has agreed to stop allowing prayers before football games and other school events. That settles most of the demands in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against the Tangipahoa Parish School Board. A federal judge will be asked to decide whether prayers can be said at school board meetings. “ (Agape Press. 8/26/04.)


School Defies ACLU

“A Delaware school district has defied a demand by the American Civil Liberties Union to stop opening school board meetings with prayer. Despite the ACLU’s threat of a lawsuit, the Indian River School District in Wilmington began its monthly business meeting recently with prayer. John Whitehead is president of the Rutherford Institute, which has offered to represent the district. He says the ACLU’s scare tactics are not going to affect the small community. ‘There comes a time when you have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough,’ Whitehead says. There’s a good chance the ACLU will sue, noting the group issued yet another threat at the last board meeting.” (Agape Press. 8/25/04.)


Pledge Law Unconstitutional

“A Pennsylvania lawmaker who sponsored the state’s Pledge of Allegiance law is expressing disappointment with a federal appeals court decision that declared the legislation unconstitutional.” (Agape Press. 8/25/04.)


Post Office Dumps Holy Bear

“HolyBears, Inc., the Texas-based designer/marketer of a line of plush toy bears with inspirational and patriotic messages, recently announced the U.S. Post Offices in Louisville, Kentucky, will cease carrying the company’s products due to the threat of an American Civil Liberties Union complaint. The teddy bears are being sold by the U.S. Postal Service and include the God Bless America bear and the God Bless Our Troops Bear, as well as other designs that honor religious and family themes as well as life-cycle events. But a Kentucky resident found the bears offensive and threatened to go to the ACLU. After conferring with attorneys, the Louisville Postal headquarters issued a memo directing employees to take the bears off the shelves and return them to the company. Kentucky postal workers and local customers were dismayed by the decision, as well as HolyBears spokesman Eric Caroll. A number of national leaders have praised HolyBears for its promotion of family values and patriotism, including President George Bush, Senator John McCain, and Kentucky’s own Senator Jim Bunning.” (Agape Press. 8/26/04.)


Bible on Monument Stays

“An appeals court has temporarily blocked a judge’s order to remove a Bible from a monument outside Houston’s Harris County courthouse in Texas. Federal Judge Sim Lake had given the county until midnight recently to remove the Bible after attorney Kay Staley sued, claiming it was offensive to her and other non-Christians. But a three-judge panel of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the Bible can stay put for now. Staley accuses county officials of wasting taxpayers’ money on appeals so that they can portray themselves as ‘pro-Bible, pro-God.’” (Agape Press. 8/25/04.)


Private Schools Struck Down

“A Florida appeals court has struck down a law that lets students from failing public schools attend private religious schools at taxpayer’s expense. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court swept aside a major hurdle to voucher programs, ruling that such use of tax dollars does not violate separation of Church and state. But a Florida judge said the program violates the state constitution, which bans the use of tax dollars on religious schools. The appeals court voted 2-1 to uphold that decision. Governor Jeb Bush says he is disappointed and warns it could threaten other programs, such as Florida’s lottery-funded ‘Bright Futures’ scholarships for college students. Some 600 Florida students attended private schools using vouchers last year. Those students can be taught religion but cannot be forced to pray, worship, or profess a religious belief.” (Agape Press. 8/17/04.)


Christian Job Persecution

“A devout Christian working at MIT claims co-workers wore phony clerical collars, called him Jesus and blasted the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ during a 15-year campaign of harassment and ridicule against him. In a discrimination lawsuit pending in federal court, machinist Mark A. Peterson contends supervisors at the school’s Lincoln Lab in Lexington joined the harassment, ‘openly telling jokes about God’ and refusing to reprimand workers who spit in his coffee and left a noose on his workbench.

‘Employees and/or supervisors at MIT Lincoln Lab have harassed Peterson because of his religious beliefs (Christian), including assaulting him with a chemical, vandalizing and stealing his property, tampering with the machines he was working on and making verbal threats,’ the suit says. The nine-page lawsuit filed earlier this month also names Peterson’s union, the Research Development and Technical Employees’ Union, claiming leaders took part in the harassment and did not represent him properly in grievance procedures in 2003. Peterson claims the trouble began in 1987 when he and another Christian employee began meeting during breaks to read and discuss the Bible. He says he was told not to bring his Bible to work again.” ( Boston Herald. 8/2//04.)


Religion-Free Universities

“A conservative civil liberties group has settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of a missionary who was prohibited from distributing religious literature on a college campus. Officials at the University of New Orleans said the Christian tracts might be offensive. ‘This is an important resolution that protects the First Amendment rights of our client,’ said Stuart J. Roth, senior counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed the lawsuit a year ago on behalf of the missionary. ‘The university setting is designed to accommodate a wide variety of political and religious views. Our client was prohibited from exercising her constitutional rights, and that is why we went to federal court on her behalf. We are now pleased to announce that a settlement agreement has been reached and that the university will now permit that religious speech to occur on campus,’ Roth said.” ( 8/17/04.)


Anti-Christian Campus Bigots

“A North Carolina congressman is calling for an investigation into a decision by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to deny recognition to another Christian student group. UNC recently froze funding to the Alpha Iota Omega Christian fraternity, claiming the group’s desire to limit its membership to Christians constitutes ‘ discrimination.’ The fraternity refused to sign a ‘diversity statement’ that would force it to admit non-Christians as members. Republican Congressman Walter Jones says the incident is yet another example of a taxpayer-funded university not recognizing the constitutional rights of students. The North Carolina lawmaker believes UNC is engaging in blatant anti-Christian bigotry. Jones perceives the UNC situation as ‘an extension of the extreme left in this country trying to undermine the Judeo-Christian principles of America.’” (Agape Press. 8/13/04.)


A Democrat’s Faith vs. a Republican’s Faith

“It was quite telling that the strongest religious statement made at the Republican convention came not from a Republican but from a Democrat, Georgia Senator Zell Miller, who claimed, among other things, that the current President is the same person on Saturday that he is on Sunday morning. Convention speeches are carefully managed. And I suspect that a shrewd Republican handler ensured that the convention’s most emphatic statement in support of Bush’s faith be offered by a Democrat. Why? Because the Bush team has learned a crucial lesson: The press does not express outrage when Democratic politicians, unlike Republican politicians, talk about God. Consider the example of the two most recent presidents, Democrat Bill Clinton vs. Republican George W. Bush.

The under-reported story at the start of convention week was Bill Clinton’s Sunday talk at the radical Riverside Church in New York. Clinton addressed the congregation during the worship service. He accused Republicans of bearing ‘false witness’ and being ‘the people of the Nine Commandments.’ The pastor introduced Clinton as part of an announcement of the church’s Mobilization 2004 campaign, the kind of political activity that drives liberals wild when done by Republicans or conservative churches. Liberals in the media must ignore the Clinton-Riverside incident. Otherwise, they would not be able to portray George W. Bush as a man who, uniquely in their view, drags God into politics for his own purposes. Here’s the reality: Though clearly a devout Christian, Bush is no more outwardly religious than the vast majority of this nation’s presidents, including the most recent.

I researched the Presidential Documents—the official collection of every public presidential statement. An examination of the mentions of Jesus Christ by George W. Bush and Bill Clinton showed that through 2003, Bush cited Jesus, or Jesus Christ, or Christ in 14 separate statements, compared to 41 by Clinton during his eight years in office. On average, Clinton mentioned Christian in 5.1 statements per year, which exceeded Bush’s 4.7. Bushes biggest year was 2001, when he mentioned Christ in seven statements. This was the tragic year of September 11; he was especially introspective, and often looked upward for strength. In 2002, he cited Christ in five statements. Most interesting, in all of 2003, the Presidential Documents displayed only two statements in which Bush mentioned his Savior: the Easter and Christmas messages. It may be reasonable to conclude that the hostile press reaction to Bush’s mention of Jesus has pressured him into silence.

Such pressure was never placed on Bush’s Democratic predecessor. President Bill Clinton’s top year for Christ remarks was 1996—the year of his reelection campaign—when he spoke of Christ in nine separate statements. Clinton mentioned Christ almost twice as much in election years.In addition, the Presidential Documents list only three incidences of Bush speaking in a church through his first three years. By contrast, Clinton spoke in churches 21 times, with over half in election years. And often what he said and did in these churches was blatantly partisan, from identifying New York’s Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo as a ‘prophet’ to instructing worshippers to go vote. No politician in modern times mixed politics and religion with complete impunity to the extent Bill Clinton did. And while George W. Bush was pilloried for having the audacity to cite Jesus as his favorite philosopher in Iowa in December 1999, nary a reporter raised an eyebrow when presidential candidate Dick Gephardt said that he thought ‘Jesus was a Democrat, I think,’ to his Democratic voters in Iowa in 2003.”

(This lead article was adapted from a column in: Grove City College magazine. Faculty Opinions. Dr. Paul Kengor. “Talking About God: Rev. Clinton vs. Rev. Bush.” 9/3/04.)


Roosevelt Quote Raises Ire

“A public-interest law firm is trying to prevent a courthouse from removing a religious quote by President Theodore Roosevelt by warding off a threatened lawsuit with legal action of its own. The Pro-Family Law Center is suing the operators of the Riverside County Historic Courthouse in California and the Anti-Defamation League, which vowed to sue recently if the quote is not removed. Roosevelt’s statement, ‘The true Christian is the true citizen,’ is engraved in gold on a mahogany wall at one of the courthouse departments. The Roosevelt quote is one of many, some secular in nature, that reflect the personal and diverse philosophies of the nation’s past leaders, including Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. The quotes have been displayed since 1930 without any formal complaint.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/1/04.)


Prosecuted for Reading Bible

“An evangelical activist is being tried for reading the Bible at a meeting of the Lansdowne Borough Council in Pennsylvania. According to the News of Delaware County, the president of the council called Lansdowne resident Michael Marcavage’s reading ‘hate speech.’ Marcavage, who is director of the organization Repent America, faces charges for disrupting a public meeting. Marcavage’s attorney, Steven Shields, said, “The council president, who I believe is Mr. Council, said that’s hate speech. What better way to squelch the messenger or silence the message than to arrest the messenger?’” (WorldNetDaily. 10/1/04.)


Petition to Reclaim Cross

“The battle to keep a cross on the Los Angeles County seal is still being waged. Recently, by a 3-2 vote—and in an effort to avoid a threatened lawsuit by the ACLU— L. A. County supervisors voted to remove a small cross from the official county seal. Now the Thomas More Law Center is mounting a petition drive to reinstate the original seal. Richard Thompson, a legal representative for the group, commented, ‘We said that by removing the cross from the seal, they were showing a hostility towards Christians and Christian symbols and the history of Los Angeles County, which has a lot to do with the Catholic missions that were there for centuries.’” (Agape Press. 9/27/04.)


See You At The Poles Victories

“Millions of Christian students were able to gather on their public school campuses last week to pray as part of the annual ‘See You at the Pole’ observances. But students in at least two schools had to threaten legal action for their right to assemble and pray. In Arizona, a high school principal wanted to restrict the rally to a limited time and ordered students to end the rally well before school began. Meanwhile, in Michigan another high school principal allowed students to organize a See You at the Pole rally, but forbade them from advertising the event using posters on campus. Brad Dacus is president of the California-based Pacific Justice Institute, which was involved in both cases. He describes what happened after his firm sent legal demand letters to the principals, clearly explaining the law regarding equal access.‘The good news is the principals, once they understood the law, went ahead and allowed these clubs to go on and have the same rights and access to the facility as any other club,’ Dacus says. The Arizona rally was permitted in its entirety, and the posters in the Michigan school were permitted to be put up the same day the letter was received.” (Agape Press. 9/22/04.)


Excluding Teacher Training

“A lawsuit threat has prompted a New York school district to rethink it’s decision to exclude a teacher from leading community education classes on religious topics. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) sent a demand letter to the Patchogue-Medford Union Free School District, accusing it of violating the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of longtime teacher Bruce Bennett by shutting him out of a program that provided education classes of all kinds for the community. Bennett has been teaching in public schools for 15 years and has degrees in biblical studies and social science. The ADF, a group specializing in legal defense and religious freedom advocacy, took up Bennett’s cause not long after one of its officials allegedly told the teacher, ‘I don’t care if I’m violating the law, you’re not coming into the program.’ But ADF senior counsel Gary McCaleb says he is glad the school district reversed its course after receiving the demand letter from the Christian legal group, despite the district official’s original determination to exclude the religious classes from the program. The Alliance Defense Fund fights for religious freedom through strategy, training, funding and litigation.” (Agape Press. 9/17/04.)


School Teacher Victory

“It’s being hailed as the first ruling of its kind in the nation. A federal appeals court has cleared the way for a South Dakota public school teacher to participate in an after-school Christian club for elementary students. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a decision by the Sioux Falls School District to bar Barbara Wigg from involvement in the Good News Club violated her right to ‘engage in private religious speech on her own time.’ The district had argued Wigg’s involvement in the club was an unconstitutional establishment of religion. Her attorney, Mat Staver with Florida-based Liberty Counsel, says the ruling is an extension of a 2001 Supreme Court decision that allows students to take part in after-school Christian clubs led by an adult. He calls it a ‘great victory’ for many people.” (Agape Press. 9/7/04.)


University of Iowa Victory

“Earlier this year, the Center for Law & Religious Freedom intervened at the University of Iowa and came away successful. That school had rejected a ‘recognition form’ submitted by the chapter because it did not contain language consistent with the university’s membership clause. The membership clause requires that campus organizations not ‘discriminate’ against any individual based on creed, religion, or ‘sexual orientation’ - provisions with which the Christian law group refused to agree. The law center argued that the First Amendment protects a religious student organization’s ability to define its identity and mission through membership and leadership qualifications—such as sexual abstinence and adherence to a statement of faith based on the Holy Bible. As a result, the University of Iowa relented and agreed to recognize a Christian Legal Society chapter on campus and allow it to retain its religious identity.” (Agape Press. September 2004)


Passing Out Fliers Victory

“A Baptist church is now able to distribute brochures in one Arkansas school district. District officials are being praised for reversing their decision denying the church that right. Recently Anthony Shepherd, the children’s pastor for the First Baptist Church of Cabot, Arkansas, attempted to hand out flyers in local schools informing students about the Upward Basketball Program. But Shepherd was told by school officials that he could not distribute the brochures. The alleged reason? School officials cited the so-called ‘separation of Church and state.’ Shepherd then contacted the American Family Association’s Center for Law & Policy and attorney Brian Fahling wrote a letter to the district, outlining the church’s rights under the First Amendment. Fahling explains the school reversed its position when it understood the law.” (Agape Press. 9/30/04.)


A High School Group Fights Back

“A religious liberty group is appealing a federal court ruling in Washington State that upholds a high school’s decision to deny recognition to a nondenominational student Bible club. Since 2001, Kentridge High School in Kent, Washington, has twice barred students from starting the Truth Bible Club. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Bible club leaders, arguing their equal access rights were violated. A district court, however, has granted summary judgment in favor of the school, which claims the club violates the so-called ‘separation of Church and state.’ ADF attorney Gary McCaleb believes the school is engaging in illegal discrimination, but he says , ‘Unfortunately school administrators have done this almost since the Equal Access Act was implemented in the 1980s.’” (Agape Press. 9/30/04.)


Atheist’s Silence Denied

“A federal judge has refused to stop the Omaha World-Herald from naming an atheist who sued over a Ten Commandments monument in a Plattsmouth, Nebraska, city park. The ACLU filed suit in 2001 on behalf of the man who opposes the display of the Ten Commandments monument, which has been in the city park since 1965. In a prepared statement, the man said he will consider moving his family away from the Plattsmouth area as his life has been threatened.” (Agape Press. 9/22/04.)


Mormon Against Orthodox Christians

The Christian Legal Society is asking a federal court to reinstate its chapter at the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. CLS was kicked off the Washburn campus and stripped of its funding for the year after the Student Bar Association early this month upheld a religious discrimination complaint brought by a Mormon student who disagreed with the Apostle’s Creed, which is a part of CLS’s group statement. Again, this school, like others around the nation, tried to force ‘non-compliance’ or no requirements if the group was to be considered. Steve Aden, chief litigation counsel for the Center for Law & Religious Freedom, believes the university’s non-discrimination policy was applied unconstitutionally. Now CLS is hoping a federal judge will reinstate the group and restore its funding.” (Agape Press. 9/23/04.)


A Student’s T-Shirt Fight

“A federal judge is hearing a case involving a Christian student who was suspended by his California high school for wearing a T-shirt displaying the messages ‘Homosexuality is Shameful’ and ‘Our School Embraced What God Has Condemned.’ In early June, 16-year-old Chase Harper filed a lawsuit against the Poway Unified School District, claiming it violated his right to free speech and free expression. Harper had worn the shirt in April during an annual pro-homosexual event known as ‘Day of Silence.’ The district argues the T-shirt amounts to ‘hate speech’ and is disruptive to the way Poway High School functions. When confronted by a school official in April, Harper was told to ‘leave his faith in the car.’ The Alliance Defense Fund maintains the school’s actions amount to unconstitutional suppression of speech.” (Agape Press. 9/22/04.)


A Music Teacher’s Pay Cut

“A music specialist employed by the Idaho Falls School District #91 is suing the district for refusing to accept graduate credits and cutting her pay after she voiced personal religious objections to teaching rap and rock music. Kay Bannister, who recently began her 36th year as an educator, teaches music to approximately 2,400 students in Idaho Falls each year. Mediation is forthcoming before she proceeds to court.” (Agape Press. 9/2/04.)


Gay Anti-Clergy Bigotry

“A Michigan high school is paying a high price for censoring a Catholic student’s views against homosexuality during the school’s annual ‘Diversity Week’ program. Judge Gerald Rosen recently ordered the school to pay more than $100,000 in attorney fees to the Thomas More Law Center, which represented the student. Judge Gerald Rosen ruled that Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor violated the U.S. Constitution’s establishment clause by holding a one-sided forum on ‘Homosexuality and Religion’ that only included pro-homosexual clergy members. The school had rejected the student’s request to include a panel member who was against it.” (Agape Press. 10/11/04.)


Too Many Christian Groups

“A public university in Pennsylvania has been hit with a federal lawsuit for requiring another Christian group to allow homosexuals and other non-Christians to become officers. Pennsylvania State University denied official recognition to the DiscipleMakers Christian Fellowship, arguing the university already had too many Christian groups on campus. Recently, however, after they relented and let the group on campus, they again told the Christian group that it would lose recognition again if it selected its officers on the basis of ‘sexual orientation or religion.’ This prompted another lawsuit.” (Agape Press. 10/14/04.)


Christian Quote Controversy

Despite the threat of a lawsuit, a county board decided recently to continue allowing the public display of a quote by President Theodore Roosevelt that is favorable to Christians. The Anti-Defamation League vowed to sue Riverside County in California if the quote is not removed from the historic county courthouse. Since 1930, the quote has been engraved on a wall with other sayings, some secular in nature, that reflect the personal and diverse philosophies of the nation’s past leaders, including Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. The Roosevelt quote reads: ‘The True Christian is the true citizen.’ The ADL claims that the quote ‘marginalizes’ non-Christians coming into contact with the courthouse. On Oct. 19, at its regularly scheduled meeting, the board of supervisors affirmed the historical cultural significance of the quote and said it would be willing to risk a lawsuit.” (WorldNetDaily. 10/20/04.)


Christian Brick Will Stay

A federal court has found a Virginia high school guilty of viewpoint discrimination against religious expression. The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Rutherford Institute, which challenged Potomac Falls High Schools decision to remove bricks engraved with the cross from a school walkway because one couple complained. Judge James Cacheris ruled in favor of plaintiffs.” (Agape Press. 10/13/04.)


Nativity Scene Must Stay

“After a ten-month battle, a city in Michigan has agreed to allow a religious-themed Christmas display on public property. Earlier this year, several community activists and religious leaders in Troy, Michigan, asked their city council for permission to erect a Christmas display in the Peace Garden, a piece of public property in the city’s downtown area. Initially, officials were reluctant to grant the request, fearing any display bring a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, charging the city with violating the so-called separation of Church and State. But eventually, according to Pacific Justice Institute president Brad Dacus, clearer heads prevailed. The city council voted to approve the religious-themed display although it will be funded by private donations.” (Agape Press. 10/6/04.)


Nativity Scene Constitutional

“Bruce Barilla of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, finds himself in ongoing spats and controversies. His ministry encourages national, state and local governments to recognize Christian displays publicly—like nativity scenes. In many instances, displaying a nativity scene is legal. Assistance in legal matters concerning Christmas displays is available from the American Family Association’s Center for Law & Policy.” (Agape Press. 11/3/04.)


Anti-Christian Oscars

“Millions of people surely believe that Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ deserves best-picture Oscar nomination. Despite shattering box-office records and dominating headlines for months, this film faces a real obstacle in the race for Hollywood’s top prize. All say that a ‘Passion’ best-picture nod is almost unthinkable. Hollywood, with its Jewish roots, did not experience ‘The Passion’ as a transcendent religious and emotional event, as so many other viewers did. Some haven’t forgiven Gibson for even making the film. ‘I’ll tell you why “The Passion” won’t be nominated,’ snaps one industry executive. ‘Happily, there are too many people in the Academy who believe the Holocaust actually happened.’ (Editors Note: Huh?!) While the rest of the country forked over $370 million to see ‘The Passion’—making it the highest-grossing foreign-language film, religious film and Gibson film ever—many within the industry did not, out of protest either over its alleged anti-Semitism, its explicit violence or Gibson’s refusal to disavow his father. ‘A lot of older Academy voters, who are largely Jewish, refuse to even see this movie,’ says one Oscar-campaign vet. ‘There’s a level of animosity toward this film that is very real. Should ‘The Passion’ get shut out, the Academy could be in for a PR nightmare. There’s concern that some Christians could protest and—worst-case scenario—boycott the Oscars. ‘The born-agains will come out screaming that it’s another case of censorship,’ says one source.” ( 10/18/04.)


Hostility Towards Christians

“Thanks to the efforts of a Texas-based legal group, the nine members of one Senate subcommittee now have in their hands a document that outlines literally hundreds of examples of violations of individuals’ religious freedoms in the United States. In September, the U.S. State Department reported in its sixth Annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom and the Liberty Legal Institute in Plano, Texas, revealed a ‘widespread religious hostility’ across the U.S. To view over 50 pages of these examples, go to: The report is entitled, ‘Examples of Hostility to Religious Expression in the Public Square.’” (Agape Press. 10/21/04.)


Saving Mt. Soledad’s Cross

“Christians in the San Diego area have an opportunity to show their support for a decades-old monument whose future is in limbo. The historic cross, located on Mount Soledad overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is at the crux of a legal battle between the City of San Diego and Philip Paulson, a local atheist. This litigation has been going on for 14 years. The ACLU contends that the cross should be dismantled or moved. The cross has been in its present location since 1952. A local church sponsored a rally to retain the cross should the land be sold to the highest bidder.” (Agape Press. 10/28/04.)


Boy Scouts Lose Military Aid

“The Pentagon has agreed to warn military bases that they should not directly sponsor Boy Scout troops, partly resolving claims that the government has improperly supported a group that requires members to believe in God. The settlement came as a result of a 1999 lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Illinois complaining that the government ‘should not be administering religious oaths or discriminating based on religious beliefs.’ The rule supposedly does not prevent service members from leading Scout troops unofficially in their free time.” (The Gazette. 11/16/04.)


ACLU Loses Christmas Case

“The Constitution allows a Rhode Island city to have private religious holiday displays on its front lawn, a federal judge ruled recently in a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). ‘The ACLU long ago decided it wanted to be Uncle Scrooge and expend its energies saying “bah humbug” to public Christmas displays, but they are out of touch with the 96% of Americans that celebrate Christmas,’ said Gary McCaleb, senior counsel for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund. Private citizens will pay for the Christmas public displays.” (WorldNetDaily. 11/16/04.)


Garrison Keillor’s Bigotry

“Speaking in the aftermath of the presidential election, Democrat radio host Garrison Keillor says he is on a quest to take away the right of born-again Christians to vote, saying their citizenship is actually in heaven, not the United States. Keillor, host of the popular National Public Radio show ‘A Prairie Home Companion,’ made the comments during a speech at Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and during his radio monologue the Saturday after the election. According to a report in the University of Chicago’s Chicago Maroon, Keillor told the audience: ‘If born-again Christians are allowed to vote in this country, then why not Canadians?’ Though Keillor’s comments about disenfranchising born-again Christians apparently was made in jest, posters on were not amused. ‘Replace “born-again Christians” with “black people” and Keillor should get a sense of the depths of his bigotry,’ said the post.” (WorldNetDaily. 11/15/04.)


Parents Demand Christmas

“A group of parents is upset that little—if any—discussion of Christmas is allowed in their Maine school district’s classrooms. In 1994, the Scarborough ( Maine) School District banned all Christmas celebrations. However, since the policy was adopted, talk about Hanukkah and other non-Christian holidays has been allowed in the district. And, according to area parent Lisa Lowry, even though the schools’ policy was amended two years ago, the teachers are still afraid to discuss Christmas. As a result of this situation, Lowry says Scarborough kids are coming home afraid to say ‘Merry Christmas.’ A particular concern to the Scarborough parents is the fact that the schools go beyond merely suppressing the Christian holiday to expressly discriminate against it. The parents are asking the district administrators to allow Christmas celebrations back into classrooms.” (Agape Press. 11/9/04.)


City Council Bans Prayer

“A South Carolina town will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower federal court’s ban on praying in the name of Jesus at city council meetings. The Great Falls town council voted 6-to-1 for an appeal in the lawsuit brought by Darla Wynne, a Wiccan high priestess. Town attorney Brian Gibbons filed the case.” (Agape Press. 11/17/04.)


ACLU Slams Constitution

“In a season typified by lawsuits against manger scenes, crosses and even the words ‘Merry Christmas,’ a California case is taking the ‘separation of church and state’ one step further—dealing with whether it’s unconstitutional to read the Declaration of Independence in public school. Attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed suit recently against the Cupertino Union School District for prohibiting a teacher from providing supplemental handouts to students about American history because the historical documents contain some references to God and religion. ‘Throwing aside all common sense, the district has chosen to censor men such as George Washington and documents like the Declaration of Independence,’ said ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb. ‘The district’s actions conflict with American beliefs and are completely unconstitutional.’” (WorldNetDaily. 11/23/04.)


ACLU Threatens Abstinence

“The ACLU has threatened to sue the state of Louisiana because a state website promoting abstinence mentions God. In a six-page letter, the ACLU claims the state abstinence program has violated a 2002 court settlement by invoking the name of God and quoting biblical passages on the program’s taxpayer-funded website, reported the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The liberal legal group says it will take the Governor’s Program on Abstinence back to federal court in 30 days if religious references are not removed from the site. Even so, the site,, continues to mention God, with one personal testimony from a girl who said she thanked God after she chose not to have sex.” (WorldNetDaily. 11/19/04.)


ACLU, Congress and the Cross

“As part of its massive omnibus spending bill, Congress has acted to designate a disputed area in San Diego, California, as a national veterans memorial, a move that helps those hoping to save a 43-foot tall cross that has stood for 50 years. The Thomas More Law Center, a law firm that has been involved in the fight to save the cross, announced recently that Reps. Duncan Hunter and Randy Cunningham, both Republicans representing districts near San Diego, inserted the memorial designation in the spending bill, which passed both houses of Congress on Nov. 19th and is expected to be signed by President Bush.Phillip Paulson, the atheist who mounted the 15-year legal battle—with help from the American Civil Liberties Union—told the San Diego Union-Tribune: ‘Jihad Jesus Republicans need to understand that the separation of church and state has kept this country from getting into religious wars.’” (WorldNetDaily. 11/24/04.)


University Snubs a Company

“Applegate Insulation, located in Wisconsin, was recently dropped from the University of Wisconsin’s annual list of environmentally friendly companies. The Green List, as it is called, honors and supports companies and organizations that have taken steps to reduce waste and pollution with the health of the environment in mind. But the reason that the company has been dropped has nothing to do with the environment. It instead has everything to do with the fact that they are a Christian company. In a series of emails from the UW offices said, ‘We will not be able to list your company on our listing of green building products because of the explicit religious principles on which Applegate is based.’” (Business Reform. 10/28/04.)


Target Boots Salvation

“Target stores nationwide have banned the Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign. They have told the bell ringers that they are no longer welcome. Target spokeswoman, Jennifer Hanson, said that allowing the Salvation Army to collect funds as a mission of hope for the hungry, the homeless, the homebound, and the helpless would violate their ‘no solicitation’ policy. Target’s new policy is new this year and opposite of that with community-minded giants like Wal-Mart, J. C. Penny’s, and Big Lots. These stores believe the Salvation Army serves a critical need by offering kindness to families in need. ‘Last year, bell ringers raised about $8.8 million nationally outside Target stores,’ Major George Hood, Community Relations Secretary for the Salvation Army U.S.A. said. Target’s change adds pressure on the charity as it faces budget cuts from other sources and an increasing demand for services. ‘We’re going to lose 112 days of food service for the hungry because of Target’s decision,’ Russ Russell, Salvation Army executive director for development told The Detroit News. Because of Target’s decision, 6,000 people, including children, will be forced to go elsewhere to find help.”(American Family Association’s Action Alert. 11/26/04.)

Eliminating Christmas 2004 & Our Religious Heritage

I would like to revisit last month—the Christmas holidays—December 2004. What was reported in the media? Let me give you some headline “sound bites” for an overview:

*Nativity Removed to Avoid ACLU in

Beaver County , Pennsylvania . (WorldNetDaily. 12/18/04.)

*Anti-Christmas District Hit with Federal Lawsuit: School officials banned carols, even for instrumental groups in South Orange-Maplewood School District in New Jersey. (WorldNetDaily. 12/20/04.)

*New England Nativity Nixed by ACLU Lawsuit in Balch Elementary School in South Norwood, Massachusetts. (Agape Press. 12/21/04.)

*Students Claim Student Newspaper was Censored because of Christmas References at Pueblo East High School in Colorado.” (Agape Press. 12/30/04.)

*Nativity Banned but Muslim, Jewish Symbols Allowed in New York City, New York. (WorldNetDaily. 12/10/04.)

*School Censors Christmas from Student Performance at Lakehoma Elementary in Mustang, Oklahoma: Superintendent leaves references to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. (WorldNetDaily. 12/10/04.)

*Justice Opens Probe Into School District: Federal attorneys look at allegations of officials of the Plano Independent School District in Plano, Texascensoring Christmas, squelching religious rights. (WorldNetDaily. 12/16/04.)

*Schools Prohibit Christmas Colors: District targeted with lawsuit after officials require white-only supplies for “winter” party in Texas. (WorldNetDaily. 12/15/04.)

*School Program yank Christmas carols at a Palm Beach School District in Florida. ( Palm Beach Post. 12/16/04.)

*Atheists ask City Council to

take down Christmas Tree in Bellevue, Washington. (KOMO TV news. 12/15/04.)

* Pasco County Bans Christmas Trees from Public Buildings in New Port Richey, Florida.( Tallahassee Times. 11/16/04.)

*School’s “Inclusive” Holiday Program Challenged for Excluding Christ in Chicago, Illinois. (Agape Press. 12/8/04.)

*President Bush White House’s Christ-less Christmas: Official commemorations in Washington D.C.emphasize Santa, Rudolph over Jesus in 2004. (WorldNetDaily. 12/21/04.)

I have about one hundred more articles with similar anti-Christian headlines. Were there any victories? Some. For instance…

*Group Sings Carols in Front of the ACLU Office. (WorldNetDaily. 12/4/04.)

* DenverBacktracks on Christmas Song:

But Christian church group still excluded from Parade of Lights. (WorldNetDaily. 12/3/04.)

*New Jersey Mayor of Bogota Sponsors “Illegal” Caroling: Governor candidate invites rivals to sing banned Christmas songs outside school. (WorldNetDaily. 11/17/04.)

*For Conservatives, “Merry Christmas” becomes a Cause: Christian groups press businesses. ( Boston News. 12/15/04.)

We are now into the new year of 2005. What will be in store for Christians and the religious landscape of this nation? Well, I have a prediction, and that is: The Secular Left will continue their relentless and hateful assault against all things Christian, sacred and traditional in this country with numerous successes despite a Republican majority.

Again, am I just exaggerating to make a point? I wish I was just exaggerating. In fact,

I am truly concerned as I see America’s Christian heritage continually being eroded

and eliminated from the public square and our national conscience. As secularists succeed in their mission, immorality and indecency will escalate. We need Christians who are willing to come alive in 2005—in word and in deed! (The Salt Factor. 1/2005.)


DeBerry’s Sensitivity Training

“ Air Force Academy football coach Fisher DeBerry has been counseled about the insensitivities associated with hanging a sign in the Falcon Athletic Complex promoting Christianity. DeBerry, who has coached academy football for 21 years, hung the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ ‘Competitor’s Creed’ on Nov. 17 after the team’s captains voted this fall in favor of it. The 2 1/2-foot by 5-foot banner states, ‘I am

a Christian first and last...I am a member of Team Jesus Christ.’ The banner went up in the locker room Nov. 17. When Athletic Director Hans Mueh saw the poster, he notified academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. John Rosa Jr. The banner was removed on Nov. 19 and DeBerry was not disciplined. DeBerry has signed a five-year contract extension for his coaching job.” (The Gazette. 12/1/04.)

State Aid Discrimination

“ Colorado is discriminating against religious schools and universities in its state student aid programs, a lawsuit filed in federal court charges. Colorado Christian University says it applied to participate in the programs in September 2003, but last month, the application was denied on the sole ground that the school was ‘pervasively sectarian.’The Center for Law & Religious Freedom of the Christian Legal Society, which filed the suit on behalf of the school, alleges Colorado’s exclusion of the school and its students

from state aid programs violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise and Establishment clauses in addition to the Equal Protection Clause. The suit against the Colorado Commission on Higher Education asked the court for review.” (WorldNetDaily. 12/10/04.)


Anti-Scouting Discrimination

“Under pressure from gay and atheist parents, Portland school officials are considering a policy that would ban the Boy Scouts of America from recruiting students during school hours. Under the proposal, non-school groups would be allowed to send literature home with children, but the flier or pamphlet would need to be accompanied with a disclaimer, warning the groups’ values may be offensive.The Boy Scout oath requires members to affirm ‘a duty to God’ and calls for scouts to keep themselves ‘morally straight’ - values which gay parents and atheists say are inherently discriminatory.” (Associated Press. The 12/13/04.)

Prayer Poem Peeves Public

“A high school principal apologized recently for reading a poem called ‘The New School Prayer’ over the school’s intercom, which brought complaints from some parents who said it violated the principal of separation of church and state. Tommy Craft said he wanted not to promote religion but to provoke thought and discussion among students about the changing political climate in school when he read the poem. The poem, which has circulated on the Internet since at least 1992, refers to prayer not being allowed in school although students can ‘dress like freaks, and pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks,’ or ‘elect a pregnant Senior Queen.’” (The Gazette. 11/30/04.)

Banning Bible Camp

“The parents of an elementary school student who was told not to distribute invitations asking classmates to join a Bible club sued the school district in federal court in mid-December, claiming their right to religious freedom had been violated. The lawsuit says the Gilpin County RE-1 School District violated constitutional rights protecting free speech and religion. Robert and Patricia Unruh say the district barred their daughter from distributing the invitations based solely on their religious content. Other groups, such as the Girl Scouts and Little League, are allowed to advertise in such a way, the suit says.” (The Gazette. 12/16/04.)

Newspaper Insert Uproar in Colorado Springs

In December, dozens of evangelical churches and some Christian organizations pooled their resources to include a New Testament in the daily Gazette newspaper. Holy cow! (Please excuse the Hindu form of cursing.) What an uproar this caused! By reading some of the Letters to the Editor, you’d think the religious community distributed pornography. probably would have been more welcomed over the Word of God come to think of it. (Sarcasm intended!) The Free Thinkers (that is, atheists, agnostics and unbelievers) responded with venom. The cry went out: “Send us sample toothpaste, breath mints, soap, AOL cds, intrusive advertising in our local paper, but keep religion out of it!” How did the Gazette respond? Here is a portion of the Editorial Page by Editor Sean Paige:

“As believers in a free press and free expression; as merchants in the marketplace

of ideas; as opponents of discrimination in all its forms; and as a profit-driven company—what else could we do but accept this promotion? The real betrayal of principles, the real hypocrisy, the real demonstration of bias would have been for The Gazette to have shunned this particular advertiser simply because it was promoting religious ideas or because the product might be thought controversial by some.” (The Gazette. 12/23/04.)


Colorado Fire Official Burned

“A state official has apologized for sending an e-mail urging colleagues to follow Jesus. The note was sent from his work account to staff and fire chiefs across Colorado. Paul Cooke, director for the Colorado Division of Fire Safety, wrote that Jesus’ words and works are ‘central to our lives and must guide us and inspire us.’ This was a part of his Christmas greeting sent during December. Lance Clem, spokesman for the State Department of Public Safety, said the message violated department policy against personal messages in e-mail. Clem said Cooke does not face disciplinary action. Cooke, who has headed the Fire Safety Division for 13 years, issued a statement of apology to those who may have been offended.” (The Gazette. 12/29/04.)


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