A North Carolina county wants to resume its longtime practice of beginning government meetings with prayer, and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that bans prayers offered “in Jesus’ name.” As reported by The New American, in July the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ruled against the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ tradition of beginning their meetings with mostly Christian prayers offered by local clergy. Specifically, two area residents sued the county after attending a county board meeting on December 17, 2007, in which a local pastor “thanked God for allowing the birth of His Son to forgive us for our sins and closed by making the prayer in the name of Jesus,” according to an Associated Press report.
Writing for the majority in the Fourth Circuit ruling, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III noted that three-quarters of the prayers offered at the Forsyth County meetings between May 2007 and December 2008 were Christian themed, referring often to “Jesus,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Savior.” But “in order to survive constitutional scrutiny,” he explained, “invocations must consist of the type of nonsectarian prayers that solemnize the legislative task and seek to unite rather than divide. Sectarian prayers must not serve as the gateway to citizen participation in the affairs of local government. To have them do so runs afoul of the promise of public neutrality among faiths that resides at the heart of the First Amendment’s religion clauses.”
A top court in Brazil has weighed in on homosexual marriage, ruling that two women can legally tie the knot. According to the Associated Press, Brazil’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice (STJ) is the nation’s highest court to side for same-sex marriage. In May Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that homosexual civil unions could be recognized, despite the constitution’s restriction that such unions were restricted to a man and a woman. The high court stopped short of ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.
But in June “a state court judge ruled that two men could legally change their civil union into a full marriage,” reported the AP, and since then “several couples have petitioned to have their civil unions recognized as full marriages. Some of those have been approved at lower courts, others blocked.”
Two employees at the notorious Philadelphia “House of Horrors” clinic operated by late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell have pleaded guilty to murder in the deaths of a baby born at the clinic and a woman who had come for an abortion. As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, 34-year-old Adrienne Moton admitted that she killed a baby who had been born alive at the abortion facility, while Sherry West, 52, pleaded guilty to administering a lethal dose of painkillers and anesthesia to a 41-year-old woman who had come for an abortion.
The guilty pleas leave seven additional individuals to be tried in a case that has stunned even abortion supporters because of the evidence of the murders of both live-born babies and adults at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society. “Gosnell, 70, could face the death penalty if convicted,” reported the Boston Herald. “He is accused of cutting the spinal cords of seven babies born alive at his clinic.” He also faces a third-degree murder charge in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, the immigrant woman who died as a result of the drugs he directed West to administer.
An after-school Christian kids' club is suing the school district of Owassa, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa, for preventing the club’s organizers from promoting events at one of the district’s schools. According to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the conservative legal advocacy group that is representing the club, the district took away the Kids for Christ club’s right to distribute fliers, make announcements, put up posters, and other activities at Northeast Elementary School, arguing that the club, which meets outside of class time, is religious. Meanwhile, the district continues to allow such groups as the Boy Scouts and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), along with businesses such as a local burrito restaurant, to promote their activities.
“A Christian organization should not be targeted for discrimination when it is simply seeking to publicize its voluntary meetings just like other community groups do,” said ADF attorney Matt Sharp. “The district would have people believe that the Constitution requires a religious organization to be singled out in this manner when, in reality, the Constitution strictly prohibits this type of discrimination. The courts have repeatedly upheld this.”
The federal lawsuit is challenging the district’s policy on approved campus communications, which states: “No literature will be distributed that contains primarily religious, objectionable, or political overtones which may be beneficial to any particular group or business at the expense of others.”
Tim Tebow just doesn’t seem to get it. The NFL quarterback, whose mother ignored a doctor’s advice to abort him, and who himself has ignored critics who consistently minimized his college successes and predicted failure at the professional level, publicly thanked Jesus after leading the Denver Broncos to an improbable come-from-behind victory over the Miami Dolphins in his debut as a starting NFL quarterback October 23.
Tebow apparently does not yet understand that the liberal major media — which has successfully blockaded nearly every meaningful mention of God from their realm of influence — and the culture at large aren’t interested in his wholesome, guileless image and his desire to give credit where credit is due.
“First off, I have to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and my teammates … they believed in me for more than 60 minutes,” Tebow told reporters after a game in which he played poorly for 54 minutes, before engineering two touchdown drives — including his own two-point conversion — in the final six minutes, to tie the game at 15 and set up an overtime field goal for an 18-15 Broncos victory.
“You can’t lose confidence in yourself or you’ve lost already,” said Tebow. “When you get knocked down, you’ve got to keep getting back up.”
A housing manager in Britain has been demoted for speaking out against homosexual marriage. So now, aside from not being able to speak about the danger of Islam, Britons may not mention any problems with the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.
According to London’s Daily Mail, the Trafford Housing Trust socked manager Adrian Smith, a Christian, with a demotion and $22,000 pay cut for crossing what it says is the line between free speech and homophobia.
Problem is, Smith commented at his Facebook page, which is open only to friends, and did so on his own time. So he is taking his employer to court.
Equality Gone Too Far
Smith’s offense? He mildly opined that two men cannot be married. The BBC reported in February that although the government is permitting churches to perform legally binding cermonies, “[t]here are no plans to compel religious organisations to hold ceremonies”, noting that “the Church of England has said it would not allow its churches to be used.”
Smith saw the report and commented on his Facebook page thusly: “An equality gone too far?”
According to the United Nations, the Earth’s population will reach 7 billion by October 31. For the world body, however, that is not something to celebrate. In fact, the United Nations Population Fund is focused on ways to decrease the world’s population, and has selected October 31, “7 Billion Day,” as a day to raise awareness about “sustainable development.”
The United Nations has openly exclaimed that the world’s increasing population is a cause for concern. Likewise, the UN has advocated for its Agenda 21 program that seeks to bring about “sustainable development.”
On February 10, The New American’s William Jasper wrote of Agenda 21:
The UN’s Agenda 21 is definitely comprehensive and global — breathtakingly so. Agenda 21 proposes a global regime that will monitor, oversee, and strictly regulate our planet’s oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, aquifers, sea beds, coastlands, wetlands, forests, jungles, grasslands, farmland, deserts, tundra, and mountains. It even has a whole section on regulating and “protecting” the atmosphere. It proposes plans for cities, towns, suburbs, villages, and rural areas. It envisions a global scheme for healthcare, education, nutrition, agriculture, labor, production, and consumption — in short, everything; there is nothing on, in, over, or under the Earth that doesn’t fall within the purview of some part of Agenda 21.
Rev. Mark Collins of Yorktown, Texas, enjoys a national reputation as a portrayer of George Washington. Since July 4, 2002, Rev. Collins has formally played the role of George Washington at numerous historical re-enactments for churches, the military, schools, rallies, political parties, parades, and “home schooling” events (such as “Frontier Days”). Among his film credits, Rev. Collins portrayed George Washington in The Revolution, a 13-hour mini-series for the History Channel in 2006. He has also been cast as George Washington in a soon-to-be released DVD of the documentary entitled “Behold a Pale Horse,” which includes frank assessments of the direction and future of our Republic from several prominent leaders in the “freedom movement.”
The decisive role of earnest prayer answered by God’s Providence was vividly illustrated as the bedrock moral principle in the life of George Washington when Rev. Collins dramatically portrayed General George Washington before the mesmerized attendees of the “Business & Professional” Chapter luncheon meeting of The John Birch Society in Houston, Texas, on Friday, October 21, 2011. This reporter witnessed the noteworthy event.
The American Civil Liberties Union finally got its way. The pro-abortion wObama administration’s Health and Human Services Department, led by renegade Catholic Kathleen Sebelius, has cut off funding for the Catholic bishops' program to help victims of human trafficking.
The decision ends $2.5 million in funding for the bishops' office of Migration and Refugee Services, which provides help to women exploited by those who would force them into hard labor, and often into prostitution. The women become virtual sex slaves.
The ACLU sued the government in 2009, and having offered arguments in federal court just last week, pushed Sebelius and her boss into ending the subsidies.
Two weeks ago, Sebelius explained to a crowd of abortion proponents at a luncheon for NARAL Pro-Choice America that she and her allies were in a “war” for abortion.
A Florida elementary school principal has been targeted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFR) for promoting a regular prayer gathering at his school. On October 11 the Wisconsin-based secular watchdog group sent a letter to Ben Wortham, superintendent of the Clay County school district near Jacksonville, to complain about the weekly “Prayer Around the Flagpole” meetings that principal Larry Davis was allowing at Clay Hill Elementary School. FFR was particularly alarmed that Davis had promoted the prayer meeting, which is led by local pastors, in a school newsletter to staff members.
“Our prayer around the school’s flagpole event is to pray for the nation, for each other, and for the school,” Davis explained in the newsletter. The principal referred to a Pastor Steven Andrew of USA Christian Ministries, whom he said was “calling Christians nation-wide to bring back the Holy Bible and Christian prayer to schools.”
In the memo, Davis quoted Andrew as saying that the First Amendment was meant “for Christianity, not other religions,” and that America’s Founding Fathers “fought for God’s unalienable rights of Christian life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Declared Andrew in a September press release, “Freedom comes from obeying God. Let’s get active to bring back the Holy Bible and Christian prayer to schools.”