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Archive for September, 2011

Teachers Told Not to Bow Heads or Pray in Public: Run and Hide if you Want to Pray

Posted by faithandthelaw on September 28, 2011

A Tennessee school district is under fire after a group of middle school football coaches were reprimanded for bowing their heads during a post-game prayer and teachers were warned to hide from students if they chose to pray during a nationally organized prayer event.

Sumner County school officials sent guidelines to staff members in advance of today’s “See You At the Pole” prayer event. Christian teenagers around the nation are gathering around their campus flag poles before class to pray for their schools, the nation and each other.

“When a teacher or administrator participates in events such as See You at the Pole, it is possible for a student to confuse a teacher or administrator’s personal speech with their official speech,” read a portion of the guidelines obtained by The Tennessean.

Teachers have not been banned from praying, but if they do – it must be done out of sight and earshot of students, the newspaper reported.

Sumner County school officials declined multiple requests for interviews.

“To tell the teachers that they cannot attend ‘See You At The Pole,’ which occurs before school hours, just doesn’t seem to be constitutional,” David Landrith, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church, wrote on his blog. “This is the United States of America.”

Landrith said he is a “pro-school” pastor and typically doesn’t get “fired-up” about politics. However, he decided to speak out once he began hearing reports that rights of Christian students and teachers have been under attack.

“Teachers have expressed to me that it is being communicated to them that they cannot do certain things: things like wear or display a cross, have a Bible on their desk in their office, have Scripture verses displayed in their personal work space, listen to Christian music in their office, or participate in a prayer at a Christian organization such as FCA or Bible study,” Landrith said.

He also alleged that one high school has forbidden students from handing out fliers about a Bible Study.

“You can’t ban people from practicing their faith in the marketplace – whether it’s a Muslim, Buddhist, or a Christian. Christianity should not be favored over other religions. However, Christians should have the same rights as everyone else.”

The prayer warning came just days after a group of football coaches at Westmoreland Middle were reprimanded after they joined their players for a student-led post-game prayer in the end zone.

The coaches were summoned to the principal’s office after someone witnessed the coaches bowing their heads – and notified school authorities.

“The idea that a coach or teacher cannot bow their head out of respect for student-led prayer is, quite frankly, ridiculous,” Landrith wrote.

However, an attorney for the school district told Fox News Radio there is not a ban on teachers or coaches bowing their heads.

“They were not told to not bow their heads,” David French, an attorney with the American Center for Law and Justice. “They were reminded that student-led events must remain student-led. Teachers cannot give the appearance of endorsing the student’s message.”

The school’s new policy prohibits staff members from engaging in “any conduct that creates an appearance of endorsement of the organization’s or club’s messages or ideas.”

The policy was written in response to a lawsuit filed last May by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleging the school district has endorsed Christianity and violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The American Center for Law and Justice is representing the school district in the lawsuit. The ACLU declined to comment for this story.

“This whole tempest is the poisonous fruit of the ACLU tree,” French said, suggesting the school system is being especially cautious in light of the lawsuit. “It’s easy to imagine in a scenario where they are dealing with this incredibly aggressive attack from the ACLU that a public prayer would cause people to question it.”

The four coaches who bowed their heads were required to sign a letter stating that they understood the school’s policy. French said it was not a formal reprimand.

“There was no admonition against bowing,” he said. “They were asked to sign their understanding of school board policy regarding student participation.”

However, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Fox News Radio, the coaches were threatened with losing their positions of they violated the policy.

“If I fail to follow board policy, then I realize that I will not be allowed to serve as a coach,” the letter read.

So, are teachers and coaches allowed to simply bow their heads and join students in prayer?

“It’s a gray area,” French said. “It’s very contextual. With those guidelines in place, the staff members have to be cognizant of their surroundings and appearances and perceptions.”

The key, French said, is the student’s free speech rights.
“This is a policy that protects religious expression,” he said. “It doesn’t inhibit it.”

But that’s not how many Christians in the community feel about the rules.

“The House and Senate open with prayer,” he said. “The White House sponsors a National Day of Prayer,” Pastor Landrith said. “Good grief, even our presidents are sworn into office with their hands on a very visible Bible. But somehow in Sumner County our teachers cannot be a part of a student-led prayer effort?”

Courtesy of
http://radio.foxnews.com/2011/09/28/christian-teachers-coaches-under-attack/?test=latestnews

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Student Punished for Christian Beliefs About Homosexuality Pushes Back

Posted by faithandthelaw on September 27, 2011

Fort Worth, TX — On Tuesday, high school freshman Dakota Ary was given in-school suspension for stating in class that he believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith. Liberty Counsel is representing Dakota in this case, demanding full vindication and a full retraction of the suspension. If the school board does not comply, a lawsuit will be filed for violation of Dakota’s First Amendment rights.

Dakota was in a German language class at Western Hills High School on Tuesday when the topic of homosexuality arose. “I’m a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong,” Dakota said to one of his classmates. His teacher overheard the comment, wrote Dakota an infraction, and sent him to the principal’s office. The class topic was religious beliefs in Germany. During the discussion, one student asked what Germans thought about homosexuality in relation to religion. Another student then asked to hear some translated terms such as “lesbian.” These questions provoked the conversation about Christianity and Dakota’s expression of his opinion to one classmate.

The discipline referral form says the comment was out of context, even though the lesson for the day was on religious beliefs. The teacher charged Dakota with “possible bullying” and indicated, “It is wrong to make such a statement in public school.” Last week, the teacher displayed a picture of two men kissing on a “World Wall” and told the students that homosexuality is becoming more prevalent in the world and that they should just accept it. Many of the students were offended by the teacher’s actions and his continually bringing up the topic of homosexuality in a German language class.

Matthew Krause, Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, along with Dakota’s mom, Holly Pope, met with school administrators Wednesday morning. Krause states: “Just because you walk through the schoolhouse doors doesn’t mean you shed your First Amendment rights. Dakota wasn’t disrupting class. He wasn’t bullying or harassing anybody. He was just stating his personal opinion on a topic somebody else brought up and in a civil and respectful manner.”

Liberty Counsel recently defended Florida Teacher of the Year Jerry Buell, after he was suspended for a comment he made outside of class on his personal Facebook page, expressing his disapproval of legalized homosexual marriage in New York. After a week-long “investigation,” the Lake County School Board fully exonerated and reinstated Buell.

Harry Mihet, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, commented: “The double standard advocated by homosexual activists is mind boggling. Jerry Buell was suspended for opposing same-sex “marriage” outside of class. This teacher in Texas is actually bullying his students into accepting the homosexual lifestyle inside the class, and yet it is his student, not him, that gets suspended. We will vigorously defend and restore Dakota’s constitutional rights.”

Used with permission of Liberty Counsel.

 

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Atheists ‘Picket’ San Diego Creation Museum Celebration

Posted by faithandthelaw on September 27, 2011

SANTEE, Calif. – About a dozen atheists holding disparaging signs towards creationism and Christianity demonstrated during the opening of the Human Anatomy Exhibit by the Creation and Earth History Museum in San Diego County Saturday.

  • Creation MuseumThe full day of events planned at the museum by its owners, the Life and Light Foundation, included celebrating National Museum Day. About 1,500 people attended the celebration, many of them parents wanting to show their children the new exhibit and addition of the museum’s Dinosaur Garden.

    In the early afternoon, atheists from various parts of Southern California assembled in front of the museum located about a 20-minute drive from San Diego. Signs included one asking, “Why Hasn’t Evolution Eliminated Creationists?” Another sign held by an atheist stated, “Thou Shall Not Lie – Creationism is NOT Science.”

    Orange County atheist group leader Bruce Gleason, who organized the field trip for his “Backyard Skeptics” to the museum event, told The Christian Post that teaching creationism harms the country.

    “We think that creationism is actually dumbing down our kids and the United States,” Gleason said. “It’s dumbing down most every home school child in the South that is taught that God created the world instead of inspiring them to think more creatively.”

    As sign holders began walking back and forth on the sidewalk in picket-like fashion in front of the museum, several Christians began engaging the atheists in one-on-one debates.

    Russell Marechale, a resident in neighboring Lakeside, brought some middle-school-age children from his church to attend the event. Later, he said he felt compelled to engage a few of the atheists in conversation.

    “I just felt like I had to respond to the one sign about humanism and morality,” Marchale said. “I asked them, ‘where does morality comes from?’ I just wanted to help them realize that deciding what’s right and what’s good doesn’t come from us, it comes from above.”

    In the middle of a busy day, museum manager Jayson Payne appeared to take the atheists’ demonstration in stride. He said he welcomes everyone from the community, no matter what their beliefs.

    When asked by CP about the atheists assembled in front of the museum, Payne said, “We just want to love them. In Acts 9, there’s the story of Saul. God changed his life, took the scales off his eyes. We just need to love on them so they can see the love of Christ. We hope they come to the reality of a Creator and hope their hearts will be softened by this event and future events.”

    Contact: alex.murashko@christianpost.com

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Christian Soccer Camp Case Requests Supreme Court Review

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on September 27, 2011

Kansas City, MO – Today Liberty Counsel filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Victory Through Jesus Ministry Foundation (“Victory”) in its lawsuit against Lee’s Summit School District. Victory offers Victory Soccer Camp (VSC), a Christian summer sports camp program, throughout the Midwest. The district refused to include the soccer camp’s flyers along with the other information given to students about secular community activities for youth. The petition asks the High Court to review the decision of the federal court of appeals, which incorrectly held that a school district’s granting access to a “backpack flyers” literature distribution forum to dozens of special interest groups did not open up a forum for similar groups to distribute information to students. The court also incorrectly concluded that a policy, under which school administrators could decide that literature could be distributed based upon a “symbiotic” relationship with the district, an official’s affiliation with the organization, or “to be fair,” was a reasonable and objective policy that did not vest unbridled discretion in school officials. The district discriminated against Victory by allowing other nonprofit organizations, including another local soccer program, to be promoted through take-home flyers placed in the students’ backpacks. The district refused to allow the Victory flyers to be distributed, because the organization is not on the district’s list of approved nonreligious organizations. The district’s censorship of the flyers is unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. The Supreme Court returns to session the first week of October. Later this fall the High Court will decide whether to review the case during this term. Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: “Christian organizations must receive equal treatment under the law. Religious speech is not an orphan to the First Amendment. These are simple and settled concepts. What possible reason, other than pure censorship, could there be for banning flyers announcing a Christian camp while allowing flyers announcing secular camps?”

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ACLU Tries to Force Rhode Island School to Remove Prayer Banner

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on September 21, 2011

The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is seeking a permanent federal injunction to force the city of Cranston, RI to remove a Christian prayer banner painted on a wall in Cranston High School West.

Image shows part of the 8-by-3-foot prayer banner. Jessica Ahlquist, a sophomore at Cranston West, is filing suit with the ACLU over the high school banner.

The banner at Cranston High School West encourages students to strive academically and begins with “Our Heavenly Father” and ends with “Amen.”

Last year, the ACLU asked the school to remove the banner after a parent complained, but school officials voted in March to keep the banner, which has been displayed since the 1960s.

The decision by School Committee members to leave the mural alone is “based not upon some desire to inject religion into the public schools, but on their belief that school history and tradition should be maintained,” they say. The mural was a gift from the school’s first graduating class.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit in May on behalf of Jessica Ahlquist, an atheist who says the banner is offensive to non-Christians. Attorneys Lynette Labinger and Thomas Bender claimed in a brief filed Friday in preparation for an Oct. 13 court hearing that Ahlquist is being deprived of her rights under the 1st and 14th Amendments.

Courtesy of http://www.christianlawjournal.com/culture/religious-freedom-news/aclu-force-rhode-island-school-remove-prayer-banner

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Illegal badgering of Christian groups proves costly to University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted by faithandthelaw on September 19, 2011

MADISON, Wis. —The University of Wisconsin-Madison has agreed to cover legal costs racked up as a result of its latest multi-year effort to discriminate against Christian students in Badger Catholic v. Walsh. ADF has been involved in six different lawsuits involving the state university system’s relentless discrimination against Christian and conservative groups.

 “Universities should recognize the constitutional rights of Christian students and ministries just as they do for all other students and campus groups,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence.  “Sadly, the University refused to do so, and instead squandered money by trying to defend the indefensible:  blatant, unlawful discrimination against Christian students and ministries.”
 
In September 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that University of Wisconsin-Madison officials violated the First Amendment by refusing to fund certain events of Badger Catholic, a registered student group, while providing funding for the events of other student organizations. The university refused to provide funds from student activity fees because the student group’s events contained religious expression, including prayer, worship, and proselytization. In March 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the decision, allowing it to stand.
 
ADF filed this lawsuit after the university violated the terms of a settlement agreement reached in a previous lawsuit on behalf of the same group when it was known as the Roman Catholic Foundation. The federal courts again agreed with ADF and the university will cover nearly $500,000 in legal costs incurred as a result of the university’s refusal to obey the U.S. Constitution and repeated judgments against it in federal court.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.
 

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City demands Christians get permit for Bible study

Posted by faithandthelaw on September 19, 2011

By Bob Unruh
© 2011 WND


One of San Juan Capstrano’s historic buildings

Chuck and Stephanie Fromm already have been fined $300 for holding Bible studies for their friends at their home, and they face the potential for additional fines of $500 for each study held, according to a legal team taking their case to court.

The newest conflict over Bible studies in homes in America arose in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., where city officials say city code section 9-3.301 prohibits religious organizations in residential neighborhoods without a conditional-use permit, a sometimes very expensive procedure.

The code cites “churches, temples, synagogues, monasteries, religious retreats, and other places of religious worship and other fraternal and community service organizations.”

You don’t need a permit to study America’s REAL Christian history – get the celebrated classic documentary, “Christianity and the American Commonwealth,” today only, for just $4.95!

But a Bible study in a home?

“Imposing a heavy-handed permit requirement on a home Bible study is outrageous,” said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, which is working on the case on behalf of the Fromms.

In a city so rich with religious history and tradition, this is particularly egregious. An informal gathering in a home cannot be treated with suspicion by the government, or worse than any other gathering of friends, just because it is religious. We cannot allow this to happen in America, and we will fight as long and as hard as it takes to restore this group’s religious freedom.”

WND has reported on similar issues in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and in Gilbert, Ariz.

In this case, the city is demanding that the home Bible study is banned because it is a “church,” unless it purchases a ‘Conditional Use Permit” from the city.

Pacific Justice said it has represented larger churches that have been required to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of the permit process on such items as engineering and traffic studies, architectural designs. The process includes public hearings and ultimately can result in a rejection by the city.

Pacific Justice says the Fromms already have been fined $300, and an appeal to the city was denied.

The organization points out that the city was founded as a Christian mission in the 1700s and is home to California’s oldest building still in use, a chapel where Father Junipero Serra celebrated mass.

Pacific Justice said it is appealing the city’s demands to California Superior Court in Orange County.

A message WND left with the city did not produce a return call.

A report from the city’s Dispatch newspaper said that Fromm, publisher of Worship Leader Magazine, wanted to hold Bible studies on Wednesdays that drew some 20 people, while similar studies on Sundays attracted up to 50 to their acreage that includes their home, a corral, a barn, a pool and a huge back yard.

The newspaper said city records showed someone complained, however, and a code enforcement officer first gave them a verbal warning and then issued citations in May and June.

“We don’t like lawsuits, but we have to stand up for what’s right. It’s not just a personal issue,” Stephanie Fromm told the newspaper. “Can you imagine anybody in any neighborhood, that one person can call and make it a living hell for someone else? That’s wrong … and it’s just sad.”

A trial is scheduled for Oct. 7.

The case is similar to a previous dispute in San Diego County. There, officials apologized after a code-enforcement officer tried to shut down a Bible study.

Read more: City demands Christians get permit for Bible study http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=345073#ixzz1YQOOkkMv

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Disney movies: Divine or diabolical?

Posted by faithandthelaw on September 19, 2011

When my wife and I were new parents, our parents (the generation today in their 60s) didn’t understand: Just because something is animated doesn’t mean I want my children watching it.

Not even if it’s from Disney.

Sometimes, especially if it’s from Disney.

What Grandma and Grandpa failed to understand is that “made for children” sometimes means “targeted at children,” and even though Walt’s company produces moving, funny, musical, quality animated films, there’s good reason to ask: Just what medicine is going down with that spoonful of sugar?

For in any film, subtle messages, key conversations and prevailing themes reflect the worldview – meaning the faith, philosophy, morals and sometimes even definition of what is and isn’t truth – of the film’s makers.

As an adult, I watch a film with a measure of discernment, rejecting the preachings of worldly wisdom and false religions with the hope the movie will allow truth or a reflection of God to shine through.

Children, however, don’t have that level of discernment, which is why I’m all the more cautious about recommending a film targeted at tots.

So what of the classic, box office double smash “The Lion King,” now released in theaters again, this time in 3-D?

The music is still amazing, the story powerful, the voices and acting fantastic. The 3-D effects, alas, are often clumsy, sometimes enhancing the film but other times so disjointed and distracting it looks like watching “The Lion King” through a Viewmaster. The effects also dull the rich colors. It’s not a bad idea to re-release this classic Disney flick, but the studio should have left the 3-D technology in the box.

But what about worldview? Is “The Lion King” a divine classic or a classic example of the demonic?

The plotline, for those who haven’t seen it in theaters or video already, revolves around the son of the king of the beasts, who is tricked by the king’s evil brother into believing he’s responsible for his father’s death. The little cub then runs away into a “carefree” world devoid of duty and worries. But when he’s reminded of his father’s love and that he is made in his father’s image, the prince returns to seek forgiveness, redemption and the righting of wrongs too long left unhealed.

This marvelous tale, alas, also contains a ton of religious and occult themes.

But for just a while, let us leave aside the movie’s pantheistic “circle of life” theme, the witch doctor’s divination, the astrology, the Buddhist meditation, the theme of evil being the king’s “brother” (a common false teaching in several religions) and the humanist notion that we find God by looking within ourselves (the flip opposite of the biblical understanding that we find our true selves by looking to Christ).

Yes, for just a while, let’s leave all that anti-biblical, false religion aside.

What’s left is an incredible story of the son of the King (a biblical parallel if I ever saw one) who was shamed by evil (one of Satan’s most favorite tricks to drive a wedge between us and God) into running away from his responsibility and forgetting his identity as a child of the father (another profoundly biblical analogy).

In the end, the boy remembers his father’s love and the mark of his father on his life (now, that’s sounding biblical again), picks up his responsibility, confesses his sin and finds redemption.

Stripped of all the mumbo-jumbo, “The Lion King” is a magnificent reminder of the story of mankind and the battle we all face each and every day, a battle in which we are attacked by a living evil that would try to strip from us the love of our heavenly Father and bury us in shame.

It’s an inspiring, rousing and almost worshipful celebration of the truths of Scripture.

But now, let’s put that amazing story in the same context the makers of “The Lion King” put it in.

The cub is lost. And how is he found? By a witch doctor’s divination.

How is he guided? By the stars.

What is his father’s key message to him? Look inside yourself.

And what is the primary theme? “We are all connected in the great circle of life.”

All those great themes, all those great parallels, swim in a sea of pantheism, Buddhism, paganism and humanism. Yes, the story preaches Christ, but the preacher uses the language of anything but.

Now, what do you do with that? Using biblical terms, do you sort the chaff out and enjoy the wheat? Or does a little yeast spoil the whole dough?

I guess the answer is closely related to just how discerning you are. How good of a worldview “sorter” are you?

And to that end, then, when you consider “The Lion King” is an animated Disney movie, I’d suggest you ask the same question of your children and grandchildren. Just how discerning, or impressionable, are they?

Content advisory:

  • “The Lion King” contains no profanity or obscenity.
  • The film’s only sexuality is found in a scene in which the betrothed Simba “pins” his future mate, and she gazes up at him with a bit of animated “bedroom eyes.” There’s also some kissing and nuzzling among the lions.
  • There are several scenes of violence, including animals fighting and dying, some of which could be frightening for small children.
  • Most of the film’s myriad of religious themes are discussed above, though there is also a scene that may be interpreted as insulting Islam. When the evil Scar gathers his minions, he stands atop a sharply pointed peak of rock that resembles a steeple or minaret. At the peak of his “I am evil” song, Scar scales the minaret, which just so happens to be framed with a crescent moon perched at its top. Intentional or not, it could be seen as symbolically depicting Islam as evil.



Drew Zahn is a news editor for WorldNetDaily and co-editor of “Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching.” Follow Drew on Twitter and Facebook.

Read more: Disney movies: Divine or diabolical? http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=346233#ixzz1YQ2w90OW

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Campaign Encourages Return to Public Prayer Life for America

Posted by faithandthelaw on September 11, 2011

When the jobs vanish, the banks close, the government cash-dispensing programs dry up and the world seems to be crumbling, where should Americans turn?

As they have in past times of crises, to God, according to a campaign that is dedicated to raising prayer to the heavens from every county across the nation.

It’s the “Cry Out America” effort that explains that American Christians already know that “hope is not found in government, nor is it found in finances.”

This weekend is the 10th anniversary of the Islamic terror attacks that rocked the continent and cost nearly 3,000 lives in Washington, D.C., New York City and Pennsylvania. So the Awakening America Alliance is staging its fourth annual “Cry Out America” prayer program, encouraging prayer at county courthouses across the nation on Sunday.

Explore the origins of the Lord’s Prayer, with “A Prayer to Our Father.”

“The Awakening America Alliance believes that America could be on the verge of a sweeping move of God’s spirit that will touch every state, every county and every heart,” organizers explain.

“There is an obvious sweeping move of God across America through these nationwide 9/11 Cry Out America prayer gatherings that know no age, gender, denominational or race boundaries,” a spokesman said in an email to WND.

They report that partners have promised prayer events in at least one county in every state of the union, as well as in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In South Carolina, every county has at least one prayer event being planned.

Billy Wilson, chairman of the Awakening America Alliance, told WND the “attacks on our nation on Sept. 11, 2001, were the wakeup call of a lifetime for all of us.”

“On this 10th anniversary we invite believers across America to unite with us in issuing a spiritual wakeup call for a new Christ awakening in our generation during countywide prayer gatherings and by praying in their local churches on 9/11 during the Cry Out America initiative,” he said.

Wilson said that so far there are more than 2,300 official prayer points in more than 1,300 counties set up for Sunday. That’s more than one-third of all the nation’s counties.

The effort gets its marching orders from the Old Testament prophet Joel: “Over 2,600 years ago, God prescribed in Joel 1:14 how we are to return: ‘Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.’

“In obedience to the Lord, we have gathered here on this occasion to do exactly that,” the organization says.

Wilson told WND “some gatherings will have over 3,000 people present and others will be as small as a handful.”

“Last year we had one gathering with one person praying on the steps of the Reno, Nev., courthouse and another with just two people gathered.”

He said the average is about 100 people.

WND has reported on numerous efforts in the U.S. in recent months to restrict Christian prayer. Wilson noted that the “greatest struggles have been for local organizers to help local officials understand that this is not only legal but a protected right for public assembly.”

“Overall, there is a resistance to prayer in public space, but our county coordinators have proven themselves courageous and shown spiritual savvy in getting things done,” he said.

The Awakening America Alliance hopes that this is only the beginning of a spiritual awakening across the country.

“Most impressive to me have been several accounts where politicians, first-responders, service personnel, ministers and Christian believers have all literally lain on their face in the public square and in public view to say to God that we are humbling ourselves, repenting of our wicked ways and asking for His gracious help and for a new awakening. If this were to happen across the nation and in Washington we would see a huge turnaround in this nation,” Wilson told WND.

Wilson said he hopes to encourage grassroots Christians to call for more public prayer. According to the Star-Tribune of Chatham, Va., there were 500 people on the courthouse steps in a recent show of support for a decision by the county board of supervisors to continue allowing prayer at meetings.

Supporters sang hymns and held signs that read, “We Support Praying in the Name of Jesus Christ.”

The ACLU started the controversy by sending a letter to the county last month warning board supervisors that Christian prayer violates the First Amendment.

Said Rev. Doug Barber, “We’ve gotten off the pews tonight and we’re standing up for Jesus.”

Wilson said that 10 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks “our nation needs God’s protection and grace more than ever.”

“We welcome every concerned believer to join us in prayer for America during their Sunday services and united in countywide prayer gatherings,” he said. “Together I believe we can see America turn around and witness a new spiritual awakening in the 21st century.”

A year ago, there were prayer events in about 1,000 counties.

Read more: What if government can’t fix America’s troubles? http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=343401#ixzz1Xg6gZ9sO

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Witchcraft Repackaged: The Word of God and Harry Potter

Posted by faithandthelaw on September 1, 2011

By John Lynn

The fact that any Christians
would not recognize J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books
(and the corresponding movies) as a ploy of the Devil to introduce witchcraft to
millions of people, especially children, is a sad testimony to the dearth of
biblical knowledge in the Church today. The fact that some go so far as to
endorse the books as advancing good-versus-evil “Christian” principles is even
more discouraging.

For example, in John Granger’s article titled Harry Potter and the Inklings: The Christian Meaning of The
Chamber of Secrets, he misses the boat by not seeing how Satan often
tries to get people to choose between two alternatives, neither of which is
true. In this case, the Devil promotes the whole modernistic, naturalistic,
materialistic, no-spiritual-dimension belief system and then comes along with
Rowling’s supposedly Christian antithesis to that. Granger says that “Rowling
asks us to look at the world magically,” and he speaks of her “edifying use of
magic in literature.” If God’s Word is true, both of those things are exposed as
untrue. Granger uses no Scripture to document his assertions.

We don’t need J.K. Rowling to lead an attack on
modernism, etc., as we already have Jesus Christ and the Word of God, which has
none of the harmful side effects that come with ingesting Harry Potter.

Perhaps there are some Christian principles (e.g.,
good versus evil) woven into the H.P. narratives, but really, how many people,
especially kids, do you think will come away with a Christian orientation or
hunger and pursue that hunger by delving into the Bible? I’d say few, if any,
for it doesn’t give them any real direction. And I think that even those who do
notice anything akin to Christian ideology will be drawn in by that and then led
astray by the more powerful message Rowling is promoting, which is that magic is
anything but evil.

If we allow God to speak for Himself, we can see
things as they really are. First, what does He say about Satan, His arch-enemy?

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

13 For such men are false
apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade
as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions
deserve.

God makes it clear that the Devil is the Master
Counterfeiter. The main characteristic about a counterfeit is that it looks a lot like the real thing. You or I would be
fooled by an excellent counterfeit $20 bill. Why? Because we have not
sufficiently studied the genuine article in minute detail, but the women I once
saw at the U.S. Mint in D.C. could quickly go through bills and pull out the
bogus ones—it was amazing. Of course they had been there 20 years.

There is no such thing as the “good magic,” “good
spirits,” “good force,” etc., that Rowling promotes in the H.P. series. That
rhetoric is a trick of the Devil to entice people into his realm of the
spiritual, but it wouldn’t work if people took even a quick look at The Book.                                                                                                                                                    For example, here are some things God says about
what Harry Potter, many kids’ new hero, epitomizes.

Deuteronomy 18:9-15

9 When you enter the land
the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of
the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you
who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or
sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11
or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD,
and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those
nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before
the LORD your God. 14 The nations you will dispossess
listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD
your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The LORD
your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers.
You must listen to him.

I included that last verse because it is a major Old
Testament prophecy about JESUS, who is the true “good force” who would come to
destroy the works of the Devil, the bad force (1 John 3:8).

2 Kings 17:13-17

13 The LORD warned Israel
and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe
my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your
fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked
as their fathers, who did not trust in the LORD their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made
with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless
idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them
although the LORD had ordered them, “Do not do as they do,” and they did the
things the LORD had forbidden them to do. 16 They
forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two idols
cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the
starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They
sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and
sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to
anger.

All those things come from the same source: Satan,
and they are all tied together, in that one thing is designed to lead to
another.

Jeremiah 14:14

Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are
prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to
them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the
delusions of their own minds.

Ezekiel 21:21

For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the
road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots with
arrows, he will consult his idols, he will examine the liver.

If the king of Babylon is
into those things, we should avoid them.

Acts 8:9-13

9 Now for some time a man
named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of
Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and
all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This
man is the divine power known as the Great Power.” 11
They followed him because he had amazed [KJV=bewitched. Greek=to put one out of
his mind] them for a long time with his magic. 12 But
when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and
the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed
Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

Acts 16:16-18

16 Once when we were going
to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which
she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by
fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and the
rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are
telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up
for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to
the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At
that moment the spirit left her.

The above verses show that evil spirits are behind
all such occult practices. It seems like God wants to make it crystal clear that
having anything to do with such “curious arts” is like playing with
fire.

Two more things I found, one from each side of the
force, so to speak. I thought the second one was an extremely interesting and enlightening testimony, from
which I learned a lot.

(1) “Harry in an absolute
godsend to our cause,” said High Priest “Egan” of the First
Church of Satan in Salem, MA. “An organization like ours thrives on new
blood – no pun intended – and we’ve had more applicants than we can handle
lately.”

(2) Harry Potter? What
Does God Have To Say?

I am writing this urgent message because I was once a
witch. I lived by the stars as an astrologer and numerologist casting horoscopes
and spells. I lived in the mysterious and shadowy realm of the occult. By means
of spells and magic, I was able to invoke the powers of the “controlling
unknown” and fly upon the night winds transcending the astral plane. Halloween
was my favorite time of the year and I was intrigued and absorbed in the realm
of Wiccan witchcraft. All of this was happening in the decade of the 1960’s when
witchcraft was just starting to come out of the broom closet.

It was during that decade of the 1960’s, in the year
1966, that a woman named J.K. Rowling was born. This is the woman who has
captivated the world in this year of 2000 with four books known as the “Harry
Potter Series.” These books are orientation and instructional manuals of
witchcraft woven into the format of entertainment. These four books by J.K.
Rowling teach witchcraft! I know this because I was once very much a part of
that world.

Witchcraft was very different in the 1960’s. There
were a lot fewer witches, and the craft was far more secretive. At the end of
that spiritually troubled decade, I was miraculously saved by the power of Jesus
Christ and His saving blood. I was also delivered from every evil spirit that
lived in me and was set free. However, as I began to attend fundamental
Christian churches, I realized that even there witchcraft had left its mark.
Pagan holidays and sabats were celebrated as “Christian holidays.”

As time went on, I watched the so-called “Christian”
churches compromising and unifying. I also watched with amazement as teachings
from Eastern religions and “New Age” doctrine began to captivate congregations.
It was a satanic set-up, and I saw it coming. Illuministic conspirators were
bringing forth a one-world religion with a cleverly concealed element of
occultism interwoven in its teachings.

In order to succeed in bringing witchcraft to the
world and thus complete satanic control, an entire generation would have to be
induced and taught to think like witches, talk like witches, dress like witches,
and act like witches. The occult songs of the 1960’s launched the Luciferian
[“Lucifer” means “light-bearer”] project of capturing the minds of an entire
generation. In the song “Sound Of Silence” by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, we
were told of seeds that were left while an entire generation was sleeping, and
that the “vision that was planted in my brain still remains.”

Now it is the year 2000. All of the foundations for
occultism and witchcraft are in place. The Illuminists have to move quickly,
because time is running out.

It was the Communist revolutionary Lenin who said,
“Give me one generation of youth, and I will transform the entire world.” Now an
entire generation of youth has been given to a woman named J.K. Rowling and her
four books on witchcraft, known as the Harry Potter Series.

As a former witch, I can speak with authority when I
say that I have examined the works of Rowling and that the Harry Potter books
are training manuals for the occult. Untold millions of young people are being
taught to think, speak, dress and act like witches by filling their heads with
the contents of these books. Children are obsessed with the Harry Potter books
that they have left television and video games to read these witchcraft
manuals.

The first book of the series, entitled “Harry Potter
and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, finds the orphan, Harry Potter, embarking into a new
realm when he is taken to “Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” At this
occult school, Harry Potter learns how to obtain and use witchcraft equipment.
Harry also learns a new vocabulary, including words such as “Azkaban”, “Circe”,
“Draco”, “Erised”, “Hermes”, and “Slytherin”; all of which are names of real
devils or demons. These are not characters of fiction!

How serious is this? By reading these materials, many
millions of young people are learning how to work with demon spirits. They are
getting to know them by name. Vast numbers of children professing to be
Christians are also filling their hearts and minds, while willingly ignorant
parents look the other way.

The titles of the books should be warning enough to
make us realize how satanic and anti-Christ these books are. The aforementioned
title of the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, is a real
giveaway. The second book was called “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”,
while the third book was entitled “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of
Azkaban.”

Sadly enough, this blatant witchcraft has been
endorsed by well-known and respected “Christian” leaders, such as Dr. James
Dobson and Chuck Colson, who have proven themselves to be modern day Judas
Iscariots. Nothing could be more obvious than that Harry Potter books are pure
witchcraft and of the Devil. The “Christian” leaders, however, defend them by
saying that good magic always wins and overcomes evil magic.

This is the oldest con game ever hatched out of hell.
As a real witch, I learned about the two sides of “the force.” Apparently, so do
many “Christian” leaders. When real witches have sabats and esbats and meet as a
coven, they greet each other by saying “Blessed be”, and when they part, they
say “The Force be with you.” Both sides of this “Force” are
Satan. It is not a good side of the force that overcomes the bad side of
the force, but rather it’s the blood of Jesus Christ that destroys both supposed
sides of the satanic “Force.”

High-level witches believe that there are seven
satanic princes and that the seventh, which is assigned to Christians, has no
name. In coven meetings, he is called “the nameless one.” In the Harry Potter
books, there is a character called “Voldemort.” The pronunciation guide says of
this being, “He who must not be named.”

On July 8 at midnight, bookstores everywhere were
stormed by millions of children to obtain the latest and fourth book of the
series known as “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” These books were taken
into homes everywhere with a real evil spirit following each copy to curse those
homes. [MY NOTE: I don’t know if there is a spirit with each book, but evil
spirits DEFINITELY “ride on” every occult object they can, like books, amulets,
pagan art objects, etc., and that is why in Acts 19 the people burned all that
stuff. That’s how some idol statues talk, bleed, etc. This stuff is REAL, and
not to be messed around with!]

July 8th was also the 18th day (three sixes in
numerology) from the witches’ sabat of midsummer. July 8th was also the 13th day
from the signing of the United Religions Charter in San Francisco. Now we have
learned that the public school system is planning to use the magic of Harry
Potter in the classrooms making the public schools centers of witchcraft
training.

What does God have to say about
such books as the Harry Potter series? In Acts 19:18-20, we read the following: “And many that believed came, and
confessed, and showed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts
brought their books together and burned them before all men: and they counted
the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily
grew the Word of God and prevailed.”

As parents, we will answer to God if we allow our
children to read witchcraft books. The Word of God will prevail mightily in your
life only if such things of Satan are destroyed.  (Pastor David J.
Meyer)

Does all this mean that everyone who reads HP will
become seduced into practicing witchcraft? No. But the books build a desire to
practice spiritual magic (witchcraft). For some, that will remain a fantasy.
Others, however, will begin to practice by casting spells, and their desire to
live out this fantasy will lead them into a belief system that promotes, either
indirectly or directly, the worship of Satan. Such indirect worship via
actionable spells and other spiritual manifestations will likely lead to misery
and destruction like that of the direct worshiper of the Devil.

The evil spirits behind witchcraft are the
counterfeit to the God of Abraham, the Father of Jesus, and His angels, and are
in the HP books/movies being introduced to a generation that is embracing them
as good spirits whose power is to be coveted. These children have a genuine
desire to power up and be like Harry and Hermonie and defeat evil and do good.
Many will rise to positions of great power and become accomplished Wizards in
the coming years. Most will rely on that power to help them in time of need
instead of praying to the true God, and when they do, they will find emptiness
when they most need help.

The spiritual seduction of witchcraft will not lead
to genuine good in a practitioner’s life, as that is against the Devil’s nature,
which is to steal, kill, and destroy. Direct or indirect orientation to, and/or
worship of, the Devil by practicing spells and witchcraft, whether via white or
dark magic, will lead only to harmful outcomes.

The Word of God is the most exciting, meaningful,
applicable, and well-written literature on the planet. I pray that you will read
that to your kids rather than the deceptive fantasy of H.P. Unlike the
fabrications in H.P., records like Elijah and the prophets of Baal, the parting
of the Red Sea, et al, really happened, and they
illustrate the goodness and the power of God as He opposes and overcomes the
evil of Satan.

The following verse is a concise exhortation that, if
we adhere to, will bring great blessings to our lives: “Submit yourselves, then,
to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

We must first recognize
this wicked being before we can resist him, and I pray that what I have shared
with you will help you do both.

http://www.thelivingtruthfellowship.org/tltf/Spiritual_Warfare/Entries/2011/8/24_The_Word_of_God_and_Harry_Potter.html

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