The Supreme Court has declined to take up the appeal of a lower court ruling that bans crosses placed along Utah’s highways in honor of fallen state troopers. The justices ruled 8-1 on October 31 not to hear the appeal filed by Utah and a state troopers’ group that had wanted the court to overturn the decision and give more leeway on the display of religious symbols on public lands.
Reported the Associated Press: “Since 1998, the private Utah Highway Patrol Association has paid for and erected more than a dozen memorial crosses, most of them on state land. Texas-based American Atheists Inc. and three of its Utah members sued the state in 2005.” Two years later a federal court upheld the constitutionality of the crosses, but that ruling was later overturned by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver.
In April the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) took up the case on behalf of Utah and the Highway Patrol Association, asking the Supreme Court to review the case. ADF Senior Counsel Byron Babione expressed his disappointment in the High Court’s refusal. “One atheist group’s agenda shouldn’t diminish the sacrifice made by highway patrol officers and their families,” he said. “Thirteen heroic men fell, leaving their survivors to mourn and memorialize their loved ones, and now those widows, children, parents, colleagues, and many more must suffer through losing the very memorials that honored those heroes. Justice is not well served when unhappy atheists can use the law to mow down memorial crosses and renew the suffering for the survivors.”
When word surfaced from Politico last Sunday of sexual harassment allegations against presidential contender Herman Cain dating back to the late 1990s, questions naturally arose as to the source of the leak. The fingers have pointed in a number of directions, most notably to two of Cain’s Republican rivals, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.
And in the midst of questions of who is responsible for the breaking story, another female National Restaurant Association (NRA) employee has levied allegations against Cain, as have others not employed by the association.
On Sunday, Politico broke the story that during Cain’s 1996-99 stint as president and CEO of the NRA, he had been accused of sexual harassment by two different women. According to Politico, the two women ultimately left the NRA with financial settlements and signed agreements not to disclose any details regarding their departure. Politico reported today that one of the women received $45,000 (Cain had said she received three to six months of pay), while the other woman received $35,000 — equivalent to a year's worth of pay — according to a New York Times story earlier this week.
Cain’s campaign chief of staff Mark Block flatly accused Perry’s campaign of being the source behind the leaked information. In a town-hall meeting Wednesday night, Cain stated, “We’ve been able to trace it back to the Perry campaign that stirred this up in order to discredit me, my campaign, and slow us down.”
Sexual corruption in the Catholic priesthood goes even deeper than anyone thought. Yet while the scandal of homosexual priests molesting teenage boys has nearly bankrupted some parishes in the United States, the sexual perversion in Germany is making the German bishops a mint.
LifeSiteNews.com reported early this week that the German episcopacy is peddling pornography and satanism through a major publisher it owns.
Even worse, the bishops can’t claim they didn’t know what the publisher sells. Concerned lay persons have been trying to stop it for at least a decade.
According to LifeSite, the German bishops are 100-percent owners of the second largest publisher in German, Weltbuild. Reported LifeSite:
It is wholly owned by the German bishops and has a $1.7 billion annual turnover. Its 2,500 porn titles (with covers too sexually explicit to reproduce) include perverse sexual fantasy of every type. WELTBILD also sells books promoting Satanism, the occult, esoterism, and anti-Christian atheist propaganda.
And that isn’t the only perversion the bishops are peddling. They also own 50 percent of another bookseller that publishes pornographic novels.
The U.S House of Representatives voted 396-9 on November 1 to affirm “In God We Trust” as the official national motto of the United States. Reported the New York Times: “The resolution … is designed to clear up any confusion over the motto’s official status and to encourage schools and other public institutions to display it, said Representative J. Randy Forbes, Republican of Virginia and the measure’s sponsor.” Forbes explained that “what’s happened over the last several years is that we have had a number of confusing situations in which some who don’t like the motto have tried to convince people not to put it up.”
A Federal Communications Commission ruling on closed captioning of television programs could jeopardize the continued broadcast of shows produced by “some 300 small- to medium-sized churches,” according to Politico. At issue is whether or not these programs should be exempt from FCC requirements for closed captioning. “The Telecommunications Act of 1996 required the FCC to establish a suitable timetable by which television broadcasters and equipment manufacturers would be required to provide closed captioning,” explains the Christian Post. “The FCC required broadcasters to fulfill the closed captioning requirement by January 2006,” the report adds. However, the agency exempted certain religious broadcasters from the requirement under the so-called “Anglers Order,” named for the ministry, Anglers for Christ, that had requested the exemption.
A dozen nurses in New Jersey have filed a law suit against their employer, charging that they were forced to assist with abortions. According to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the conservative legal advocacy group representing the nurses, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) initiated a policy in September requiring that nurses serving in its Same Day Surgery Unit to assist with abortion procedures or face losing their jobs.
ADF noted that “federal law prohibits hospitals that receive certain federal funds from forcing employees to participate in abortions. UMDNJ receives approximately $60 million in federal funds annually. In addition, New Jersey law states, ‘No person shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of an abortion or sterilization.’”
On October 14 UMDNJ began scheduling nurses to go through training for assisting with abortion, with the trainees required to actually help out with the procedure. When one of the nurses objected to the requirement, explaining that abortion conflicted with her religious beliefs, a supervisor responded that the medical facility had “no regard for religious beliefs” of its employees, reported ADF.
It was a first last weekend, both for San Diego, California’s Patrick Henry High School and for the nation. On October 30, the school’s student body crowned self-described lesbian Rebeca Arellano their homecoming “king” at a school pep rally, naming Arellano’s “girlfriend” Haileigh Adams, also a student at the school, homecoming queen. The bizarre turn of events apparently marks the first time that a pair of homosexuals have been crowned royalty in the peculiarly American homecoming tradition.
“Thanks to every single one of you!” Arellano wrote on her Facebook page, according to ABC News. “You guys made this happen and we are all part of something huge. I can’t fully express how grateful I am. I am completely shocked that this happened.” Added Arellano of Adams, “My girl looks absolutely flawless.”
Predictably, the pair received overwhelming support both locally and nationally, with Arellano’s Facebook page covered with congratulations, reported ABC. Teachers at the school made sure their approval was apparent as well, with one teacher telling Arellano, “Today school is a bit better because of you girls.”
When news broke of two women making sexual harassment allegations against GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain, the women's identities were kept confidential to protect their privacy. Days after the story broke, however, one of Cain’s accusers — frustrated because of Cain's constant denials of such inappropriate conduct — indicated that she wanted to come forward and tell her side of the story. Yesterday evening, however, the Washington Post reported, “Joel P. Bennett, a lawyer representing one of two women who made the claims against Cain, said Tuesday that his client is barred from publicly relating her side because of a non-disclosure agreement she signed upon leaving the National Restaurant Association, where Cain served as president from 1996 through 1999.”
On Sunday, Politico reported that during Cain’s tenure as president and CEO of the restaurant association, two women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them “angry and uncomfortable.” Reports indicate that the women ultimately left the restaurant association after they signed non-disclosure agreements and were given financial payouts to settle the matter.
The story almost immediately went viral, prompting often-inconsistent answers from the Cain campaign. Cain attempted to explain his inconsistencies by asserting that because a significant amount of time had passed, he could not remember the details of the charges lodged against him. “When I was initially hit with this … I didn’t recall it right away,” he told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham this morning, adding that he was “not changing the story but trying to fill as many details as I could possibly recall.”
What will the Arab Spring mean to Christians in the Arab world? Persecution of Christians in Muslim countries has been well documented; however, ominous signals are emerging of escalating violence against them — even in schools. Egyptian media reported that as a result of a fight over a classroom seat in a school in Malawi, Egypt, on October 16, a Christian student was killed.
The news source Copts Without Borders, which covers stories affecting Coptic Christians around the world, described the killing very differently, reporting that the student was murdered because he was a Coptic Christian wearing a crucifix. Activist Mark Ebeid acknowledged that this conclusion was reached reluctantly: “We wanted to believe the official version because the Coptic version was a catastrophe as it would take the persecution of Christians also to the schools.”
Parents of Ayman Nabil Labid, the slain Christian student, have broken their silence and confirmed that their son was killed "in cold blood because he refused to take off his crucifix as ordered by his Muslim teacher." Ayman’s father, Nabil Labid, noted that the boy also had a cross tattooed on his wrist, in keeping with Coptic traditions, as well as another cross which he wore under his clothing.
Ayman’s classmates, who were at the hospital where Ayman was taken and at his funeral, told his parents what they had seen in the room when the attack occurred. They recounted that Ayman was told to cover his wrist tattoo. His mother continued: “The teacher nearly choked my son and some Muslim students joined in the beating.”
A three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that it is permissible for the state to acknowledge its dependence upon God. The decision overturns a 2009 lower court ruling that a state law requiring the acknowledgement of God “created an official government position on God.”
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Kentucky state lawmakers issued a legislative “finding” that “the safety and security of the commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance on Almighty God.” And in 2006, as it passed legislation creating the state Office of Homeland Security, the legislature included a requirement that the executive director acknowledge “dependence on Almighty God” in training manuals and on a plaque at the entrance to the department’s headquarters.
In 2008, after a group of individuals challenged the legislation in a lawsuit, 35 of Kentucky’s 38 state senators and 96 of its 100 state representatives signed friend-of-the-court briefs defending the law.