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Archive for March, 2013

Muslim Mobs Destroy Christian Town in Pakistan

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on March 30, 2013

Muslims-Burn-Christian-Homes-in-Lahore-Pakistan-Burned-Down-Christian-Persecution-e1364051835192Hundreds of Christians in Lahore, Pakistan had their homes burnt down and later clashed with police who provided no protection after a dispute in which a Christian man was accused of blasphemy of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The rampant persecution against Christians in Muslim nations continues to be inflamed with little government help on the way.
Joseph Colony, an area of Lahore, where the attack took place has been ravaged by the destruction from the mob of angry Muslims who burnt down homes and businesses while the authorities told local police to let the angered Muslims “let them vent their grief and anger.”

According to reports:

Shahid Imran, a Muslim barber in Joseph Colony in the Badami Bagh area, on Friday (March 8) accused his Christian neighbor, 26-year-old Sawan Masih, of blaspheming Muhammad. Imran alleged that Masih, who runs a small billiards business, had “ridiculed” Islam’s prophet by saying that Jesus was the greatest prophet ever.
Soon after, crowds of armed Muslims began gathering in the area of about 200 Christian families, mostly sanitation workers, demanding that Masih be handed over to them. They besieged his house and started pelting it with stones, damaging the windows and door. Masih had fled the area as soon as news reached him about Imran’s accusation. (source).

 Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code calls for death or life imprisonment for those accused of blaspheming Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. These laws have emboldened the Muslim communities to attack those with vigilante or mob violence against those who are suspected of speaking out against Islam. And such was the case in Joseph Colony, where the angry mob rushed to Masih’s home. Efforts to calm the crowd were futile. Soon police arrested Imran’s father in hopes that would ease tensions but soon they were accused of being “blasphemers.” While he was taken into custody the crowd went on the attack.

Christian Persecution in Restricted Nations | Bible verses on persecution.

The police stood by idly while homes, stores and churches were destroyed.

Despite a heavy police presence in Joseph Colony, the crowd started to destroy property. prompting the order from the local government to “let them vent their anger.” Approximately 170 homes, 18 shops and several churches were burned down and destroyed. Many of the homes were looted before being destroyed by the rioters.
“I have been robbed of all of my life’s savings,” Yousuf Masih said, standing close to his burned house.
Area resident Haroon Masih wept as he described how the raiders broke the locks of his door and stole the dowries of his four daughters that he had been gathering for several years.

“They made off with everything valuable I had and then simply set the house on fire,” he said. “My new rickshaw was also burnt to ashes.” Residents also showed Morning Star News gas pipelines that had been sawed off to ensure maximum spread of fires.

Jesus Christ prophesied that all Christians should expect to be despised, rejected and hated in the world.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. – John 15-18:21.

Double Standard Imposed

Families in Joseph Colony returned to destroyed homes. All because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

Families in Joseph Colony returned to destroyed homes. All because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

In response to the destruction of the Christian neighborhood, approximately Several hundred Christian protestors blocked a highway, demanding that the police take some action to stop the destruction. According to police officials, they uprooted a fence and burned an electric generator. Rather than letting them “vent their frustration” police responded by using tear gas on the crowd and arresting 150 protestors.

The government has offered 200,000 rupees ($2,000US) as compensation to each family, which was immediately rejected by the people of Joseph Colony:

“It is like poison to us,” they screamed as Christian Senator Kamran Michael and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah visited the area late Saturday night amid heavy security.

The crowd shouted slogans against Michael and the Punjab government, believing Islamic leaders would have heeded them and holding them responsible for doing nothing to stop the violence. The two officials were forced to leave the area after just a few minutes.

The Punjab government later raised the compensation amount to 500,000 rupees, and the checks were handed out to victims. (source).

Pray for the Christians in Pakistan who suffered this horrific attack and for others who may be in danger as well. It is difficult for some living in certain parts of the world to grasp a reality where just being known as a Christian literally puts your home, family and life in jeopardy. But this is the reality for millions of Christians worldwide today. Pray for the failure of their persecutors and for the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to lead them to repentance.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.- Romans 8:35-37.

Courtesy of http://beginningandend.com/muslim-mobs-destroy-christian-town-in-pakistan/

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Missouri Mayor to Install National Motto ‘In God We Trust’ Inside City Buildings

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on March 26, 2013

st-peters-moCity buildings in St. Peters, Mo., will begin displaying the national motto “In God We Trust” in April – a decision alarming to atheists who believe the motto is unconstitutional.

Inspired by similar efforts throughout the nation, St. Peters, Mo., Mayor Len Pagano and members of the Board of Aldermen had voted (five voting yes and three absent) on Jan. 10 to approve the display.

“When I heard this idea at the National League of Cities conference, I thought what a great way of showing patriotism,” Pagano said. “I have found that it’s something the community at large thinks is the right thing to do, and we are leading the way by being the first city in St. Charles County to display ‘In God We Trust’ in city buildings.”

On March 12, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, sent a letter to Pagano and the Board of Aldermen asking them to honor the “constitutional principle of separation between church and state,” and to reconsider their decision to display In God We Trust in five city buildings, including St. Peters City Hall, the aldermanic chambers in the city’s justice center and the municipal courtroom.

Dan Barker, co-president of the Wisconsin-based FFRF, a nonprofit organization that represents atheists and agnostics, told The Christian Post that his organization sent out 2,500 letters last year challenging the display of religious messages on city property.

“What is their intent,” asked Barker, who believes St. Peters’ mayor must have a religious agenda behind his actions. “Because of all the things that the city has to do, why would they do that?”

In Barker’s opinion, the city can recognize that religion is part of people’s lives in the community, but he also believes it has no place in city business.

Barker said that lawsuits challenging the use of the motto In God We Trust on city properties have increased in number in recent years. Although his group cannot litigate every case, Barker said they could file a complaint against the city of St. Peters, but instead they’re waiting to receive a response from Pagano’s office.

On Feb. 1, FFRF filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York claiming the motto In God We Trust violates the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

In the letter to Pagano from Annie Gaylor, co-president of FFRF, she claims: “Statements about a god have no place in government buildings. Elected officials should not use their government position and government buildings as a place for promoting their religious views.”

She continues, “More than 638,000 Missouri adults identify as non-religious (American Religious Identification Survey 2008). Aldermen are elected to represent all residents of St. Peters, including those that do not believe in a monotheistic god or any gods.”

“Additionally, it does not inspire confidence that city officials apparently feel ‘In God We Trust’ must be displayed at the municipal courthouse and in the Board of Aldermen meeting room in order for you to make the right civic decisions.”

“The history of the motto, ‘In God We Trust’ evidences no secular purpose; on the contrary, the motto was first adopted during the Cold War as a reaction to the purported ‘godlessness’ of Communism. America’s original motto was purely secular, i.e., ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (‘out of many, one’), which was selected by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.”

According to In God We Trust – America, the national motto is displayed in over 300 cities. The national movement, founded by Bakersfield City Councilmember Jacquie Sullivan, aims to get the motto in as many cities throughout America as possible.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/missouri-mayor-to-install-national-motto-in-god-we-trust-inside-city-buildings-92451/#UtUa0RZTb5TiySbJ.99

Posted in Faith Issues in Our Times, Hot Legal News, National Heritage, Religious Freedom | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Our Religious Heritage

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on March 25, 2013

in god we trust By Jay Sekulow

As one of America’s most radical atheists sues to remove the National Motto — “In God We Trust” – from our currency, I thought I’d bring back two of my favorite blog posts from the Washington Post. I wrote these when American Atheists sued to remove the Ground Zero Cross from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and the posts help illustrate the extent of our nation’s religious heritage – and the radicalism of those who seek to erase that heritage. Please enjoy:

It is with the utmost urgency that I write this blog.

A group of atheists have filed a lawsuit to prevent the inclusion of the historic Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. We have learned from their lawsuit that they, “have suffered, are suffering, and will continue to suffer damages, both physical and emotional, from the existence of the challenged cross.” Atheists have reportedly endured cross-induced, “dyspepsia [upset stomach], symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.”

In order to ensure that atheists in America never again experience any of the aforementioned ailments, I need your assistance in writing “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists.”

To help you get started, I’ve identified things that must be removed or altered immediately to rectify the government’s continued disregard for the hurt feelings of godless Americans.

-The new Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial includes much of “Dr. King’s Spiritual Presence” by permanently inscribing portions of his sermons on the memorial inscription wall.

-The Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

-The National Motto: “In God We Trust

-“Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance

The National Day of Prayer

-“Seven in Heaven Way” street sign honoring seven firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11

-Original copies of the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives, which reference “our Creator” and “Nature’s God”

-The Chaplains Corps of each branch of the U.S. Military

-All “Religious” Artwork in the National Gallery of Art

-The Latin phrase “Laus Deo [Praise be to God]” on the cap of the Washington Monument

-Surviving copies of The National Anthem, which includes the phrase “In God is our trust”

-On the Lincoln Memorial are etched the word of the Gettysburg Address (“this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom”) and his Second Inaugural Address (“with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,”) which are replete with references to God

-The Jefferson Memorial’s dome includes this inscription about God, “I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” There are other references to God in the memorial

-On the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery is inscribed, “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God”

-The federal courthouse containing the Court of Appeals and the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia contains a sculpture, which includes a cross and the Ten Commandments

-The south frieze of the U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom depicts Moses holding the Ten Commandments

-The metal gates on the north and south sides of the U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom contain the Ten Commandments, as well as the doors leading to the courtroom

-The east facade of the outside of the Supreme Court shows Moses holding the Ten Commandments

-The Library of Congress Jefferson Building contains a large statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments and the Apostle Paul over looking the rotunda

Inscribed on the wall of the Cox Corridors of the U.S. Capitol is the phrase “America! God shed his grace on Thee”

-The chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives features Moses.

-The Prayer Room of the U.S. Capitol contains the phrase “Annuit coeptis” (translated “God has favored our undertakings”) and the words of Psalm 16:1

-The House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol contains the National Motto “In God we trust

-Inscribed in the Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol are the phrase “Annuit coeptis” (translated “God has favored our undertakings”) and the National Motto “In God we trust”

-The Emancipation Proclamation featured in the National Archives invoking “gracious favor of Almighty God”

-The United States Department of Veterans Affairs chaplains program

-“Christmas” and “Thanksgiving” are official federal government holidays

-The U.S. Constitution itself references “Year of our Lord

-Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892), where the Supreme Court declared that “this is a Christian nation”

Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952), where the Supreme Court declared, “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being”

-The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial with thousands of white crosses over each of the graves represented at that cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is replete with religious symbolism complete with a list of authorized religious emblems

Please leave your additions to “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists” in the comments section below.

In response to my request for comments, new suggestions poured in:

Less than two weeks ago, I asked you to assist me in finalizing “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists.” As you know,American Atheists continue to suffer from Ground Zero cross-induced, “dyspepsia [upset stomach], symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.”

You immediately grasped the urgency of my request and submitted your well thought out additions to the Guide in a most timely manner. Below, you will find “The Updated Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists 2.0,” updated with suggestions from commenters.

We no doubt have failed to identify every possible thing that must be removed or altered to correct the government’s malicious disregard for the hurt feelings of godless Americans. But, if we successfully remedy all the government-sponsored wrongs listed in this updated guide, we will be well on our way to protecting atheists from references to America’s religious history and Judeo-Christian heritage.

In fact, American Atheists have acknowledged the accuracy of the guide. One commenter on the American Atheists’ blog writes, “I have to agree with almost every item in the list in the article.”

For your ease of use, everything in the updated Guide is categorized and acknowledges the hardworking patriots who contributed. Everything that appeared in Guide 1.0 is italicized:

Historical Documents, Songs, and Speeches:

Songs with religious references such as The Star-Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, God Bless America and official songs for each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces (r8arnhart, HUACNOW)

Public references to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have Dream” speech that include the quote, “Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” (sofsu)

Copies of the Mayflower Compact, which mentions God numerous times, are found in public museums and libraries across America (ag1986)

Any official documents containing “A.D.” dates, which refer to the Latin term “Anno Domini” (In the year of our Lord) (nesquire)

President John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.”

Jefferson’s Bible displayed at the Smithsonian

National Motto – “In God We Trust”

Pledge of Allegiance – “under God”

Declaration of Independence – “our Creator” and “Nature’s God”

Emancipation Proclamation – “gracious favor of Almighty God”

National Anthem – “In God is our trust” (HUACNOW)

Public Buildings, Displays, and Money:

All coins and currency containing the phrase “In God We Trust.” (goldblattp, WKJR, darthofer, ag1986, grep_boy, chance175)

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial – sermons and religious references

Nativity scenes that appear on public property across America every Christmas season. (Sherry Forrester Leslie)

The Library of Congress Bible Collection with “1,500 editions of the Bible in more than 150 languages”

The National Cathedral – Chartered by Congress in 1893 and home to many significant presidential affairs of state from Thanksgiving services to funerals

The National Park Service has designated St. John’s Church, where Patrick Henry delivered his “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death” speech, as a National Historic Landmark.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial – thousands of white crosses

Tomb of the Unknowns – “American soldier known but to God”

Prayer room of the U.S. Capitol

Evergreen Chapel at Camp David – President Obama’s church

Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Lincoln Memorial – Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address are replete with references to God

The floor of the National Archives contains a medallion with the Ten Commandments

Doors leading to U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom – Ten Commandments

Zion National Park

A steel covered World War II Bible displayed at the National Museum of American History which was originally advertised to “protect from bullets” when carried in one’s pocket on the battle field.

Arlington National Cemetery is replete with religious symbolism (michsmith7)

Religious artwork in the National Gallery of Art

Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia – cross and Ten Commandments

Cox Corridors of the U.S. Capitol – “America! God shed his grace on Thee”

East facade of the outside of the Supreme Court – Moses holding Ten Commandments

House of Representatives chamber – Moses

Jefferson Memorial’s dome – “sworn upon the altar of God”

Cap of the Washington Monument – “Laus Deo [Praise be to God]”

Library of Congress Jefferson Building – Statute of Apostle Paul and Moses holding Ten Commandments

Senate Chamber – “In God we trust”

Seven in Heaven Way” street sign

South frieze of the U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom – Moses holding Ten Commandments (johnstern100)

Constitutions, Laws, and Cases:

Many state constitutions that reference God, such as the Massachusetts Constitution that declares that, “the encouragement of arts and sciences, and all good literature, tends to the honor of God, the advantage of the Christian religion, and the great benefit of this and the other United States of America.” (jinxmchue, HUACNOW)

Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005) – permitting Ten Commandments on government property

Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, 555 U.S. ___ (2009) – permitting government to display Ten Commandments and reject other monuments

U.S. Constitution references “Year of our Lord

Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892) – “this is a Christian nation”

Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952) – “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being”

Cities and Geographical Names:

City names honoring Christian individuals, such as San Antonio, TX, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, San Jose, CA, Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Monica, CA, St. Augustine, FL, St. Louis, MO, St. Paul, MN, and St. Petersburg, FL. (Chris Prevas, Denise Brown)

City names with Biblical or Christian significance, such as Bethlehem, PA (birthplace of Christ), Corpus Christi, TX (Latin for “the body of Christ”), Los Angeles, CA (meaning “the angels”), Philadelphia, PA (mentioned in Revelations as a city with a godly church), Providence, RI (providence assumes a God that cares about mankind), Sacramento, CA (meaning “the holy sacrament”), Salem, OR (from the Hebrew term for “peace with God”), Santa Fe, NM (meaning “holy faith”), and Bethesda, MD (named after the Presbyterian church in the area). (peterschamberlain, Chris Prevas)

Public Oaths and Ceremonies:

The use of the Bible for the presidential inauguration and prayers offered during the inauguration. (renia216)

Supreme Court opens with “God save the United States and this Honorable Court

Judicial oaths sworn by court witnesses often invoke God or the Bible. For example, witnesses in Pennsylvania courts are required to place their hand on a “Holy Bible” and swear “by Almighty God, the searcher of all hearts, that I will, and that as I shall answer to God at the last great day.” (renia216)

Washington’s Inaugural Prayer, which references God as the “Divine Author of our faith.” (Way4JC)

Holidays:

Christmas and Thanksgiving are official federal government holidays (don61)

White House Easter Egg Roll (Forgod2)

Public Programs and Observances:

National Day of Prayer (Forgod2)

The Chaplains Corps of each branch of the U.S. Military

House and Senate Chaplains who open each day in prayer

There you have it. This (incomplete) list from almost 18 months ago helps demonstrate the breadth of our religious heritage. America was founded by – and is still inhabited by – a deeply religious people with a distinct Judeo-Christian heritage. That’s simply a fact, and one does not “establish” a religion by acknowledging our actual history and culture.

Courtesy of http://aclj.org/in-god-we-trust/complete-idiots-guide-religious-heritage

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Real Bullies: The Homosexuality Is Normal Movement

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on March 25, 2013

bullyThink of us as crew members on the starship Enterprise of the Star Trek TV show, boldly going where no one has gone before. Folks, this is what it feels like challenging the Homosexuality Is Normal Movement. It is extremely dangerous.

Homosexual activists attempt to humiliate and politically destroy anyone who dares even criticize their agenda. Meanwhile, the MSM (mainstream media) casts us who believe marriage should remain between one man and one woman as the aggressors, as hate-filled villains.

Have the Homosexuality Is Normal Movement stolen our kids? Despicably, while we were not looking, homosexual activists sneaked their agenda in the back doors of our elementary schools, indoctrinating our kids early. Unquestionably, lack of access to your child for indoctrination contributes to the Left’s hatred for home schools and their relentless attempts to close them down.

Here is another example of homosexual activists’ in-your-face, aggressive indoctrination of our kids. A Massachusetts charter school, grades 7-12, will host a production of the play “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” a retelling of the biblical story of Genesis with gay characters. Keep in mind, folks, that American schools have a cow when a kid brings a Bible or wears a t-shirt with religious, patriotic, or U.S. Military images. And yet, this school gleefully hosts a play which blasphemes Christianity while promoting homosexuality.

Our forty-year-old son and twenty-year-old granddaughter support homosexual marriage. Their attitude is What’s the big deal? It is only fair that gays be allowed to marry. America’s youths are parroting the liberals’ argument that opposition to same-sex marriage is discriminatory and bigoted. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, support for gay marriage is at 65 percent among those 18 to 29 years old. The gay marriage approval rating is probably even higher among high school kids.

A twenty-something-year-old Christian youth pastor picked me up from the airport in California. Justifying his support of same-sex marriage, he said, “God does not care who we love.” Wow, I could hardly believe my ears. This young man, who claimed to be a minister of God, chose to ignore the Bible and spout the liberal pop-culture spin.

From cooking shows to home improvement and everything in between, it has become difficult to watch TV without the Homosexuality Is Normal agenda being forced down your throat. If you do not believe that these people are outrageously aggressive, listen to this. The Green Street United Methodist Church will not perform heterosexual marriages until gays can marry.

Folks, I have dear friends and beloved relatives who are homosexual. I am loving and kind to their mates. My 85-year-old dad has been a Christian pastor over 50 years. Dad said he loves the homosexuals in his life, but they know where he stands on this topic, which is the biblical view.

Dad’s tolerance is not enough to please the aggressive Homosexuality Is Normal Movement bullying America today. They seek to politically bend Dad’s arm behind his back, forcing him to declare homosexuality normal, against his faith.

My point is, homosexual activists are extremely aggressive while portraying themselves as innocent victims of an intolerant society. In reality, we who believe in traditional values are the ones being bullied. The MSM gang vilifies anyone who dares to stand up for traditional marriage. Come hell or high water, they are going to make us embrace homosexuality as being normal by severely punishing those who refuse to comply.

And will someone please tell me why homosexual activists are so hell-bent on forcing Christian institutions to betray their faith by embracing the homosexual agenda? Homosexual activists have sued the Boy Scouts of America and launched a war on the Catholic Church.

No one is opposing homosexuals doing their own thing. Rather than aggressively trying to infiltrate the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church, why not form their own Fabulous Scouts of America and the Church of If It Feels Good, Do It and leave Christian institutions be?

Christian institutions are simply saying you cannot come into our house and force us to change the rules – especially when those rules come from God. And what is the MSM’s response to Christian institutions defending their religious freedom? The MSM campaigns to brand the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church intolerant haters. We are living in crazy, insidious, evil times, folks.

The Homosexuality Is Normal Movement takes no prisoners – not even new Pope Francis. They have already begun finding fault with him because he is against gay marriage and gay adoption.

Question: will homosexual activists get away with branding the pope a hater?

The Homosexuality Is Normal Movement is not made up of passive, well-meaning victims simply seeking tolerance and their place in the sun. They are relentless, viscious, and hell-bent on forcing all of us, particularly Christians, to say their behavior is normal.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/real_bullies_the_homosexuality_is_normal_movement.html#ixzz2ObVYHdl4
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Religious Free Speech Victory at Sinclair Community College in Ohio

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on March 18, 2013

standupfreespeechMarch 12, 2013 — Sinclair Community College (SCC), of Dayton, OH, agreed to settle a federal lawsuit brought by the Thomas More Society and Ohio attorneys Curt C. Hartman, Christopher P. Finney, and Bradley M. Gibson, in response to actions by the college to prohibit students from distributing literature and displaying signage on campus.

“We are pleased that Sinclair Community College decided to join with its students to promote free speech instead of silencing or trying to control the content of their speech,” said Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society. “At its core, the university campus provides a place for students to debate and grapple with ideas, including ideas that may not be popular in certain quarters. Freedom of expression is an absolutely fundamental value in a democratic, self-governing society and indispensable to the educational process.”

The case was filed last summer in U.S. District Court, on the heels of a “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rally opposing the U.S. Health and Human Services conscience-oppressing abortifacient-sterilization mandate. The rally had been organized and sponsored by members of the student body of the Dayton-based school.

Sinclair’s campus police forbade student-generated signage during that rally, and the lawsuit by the Thomas More Society and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) alleged that the campus police had continued to engage in systematic censorship of free speech as at previous student-led rallies. The suit also alleged that students had been barred from distributing informational brochures to their classmates.

The lawsuit alleged that police stated the practice of disallowing signs and brochures was supposedly intended to comply with a school policy barring “disruptive behavior,” even though censoring the content of signs or brochures was nowhere addressed in the actual wording of the policy cited. It is fundamental First Amendment law that the content of free speech, no matter how “offensive” it may be to certain onlookers, deserves the very highest degree of legal protection, despite the fact that some of those hearing or seeing the speakers’ message may be “disruptive” and seek to impose their “hecklers’ veto” against the speakers. Here, the police — as is all too common — were the sole folks within hearing or sight of the pro-life messages displayed on the “offensive” signs who sought to enforce their own “hecklers’ veto.” In every such case, the Thomas More Society will hasten to support the right of pro-life speakers to have their “say,” loud and clear, in America’s public forums!

As a result of the lawsuit, SCC has adopted a new policy recognizing and allowing for the exercise of broader First Amendment Rights of students and groups hosting expressive activities on campus. The college also agreed to pay $9,000 to cover the plaintiffs’ costs and attorneys’ fees.

Thomas More Society recognizes and applauds the fine legal work provided by lead attorneys Chris Finney and Brad Gibson of the law firm of Finney, Stagnaro, Saba & Patterson Co., L.P.A., based in Cincinnati and Columbus, OH, and Curt C. Hartman, of Amelia, OH, which led to this very positive result. In addition, the Thomas More Society appreciates the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for writing to SCC President Steven Lee Johnson last year, asking Sinclair Community College to disavow the censorship of TVC’s event by the SCC police and to promise never to enforce such a ban against signs in the future.

A copy of the settlement letter can be found here.

Courtesy of https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/news/

Posted in Attack on Christianity, Faith Issues in Our Times, Hot Legal News, Religious Freedom, Tim's Blog | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Missouri Atheist Group Says It Will Take Part in St. Patrick’s Day Parade Despite Ban

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on March 18, 2013

st-patricks-dayAn atheist organization in Missouri banned from taking part in a citywide St. Patrick’s Day Parade has stated that it will participate despite the ban.

According to Fox 4 of Kansas City, the leader of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition announced earlier this week that his organization would hold an event along the parade route titled “Ask an Atheist.”

“We want to help people understand that atheism is not a negative worldview,” said Josh Hyde, vice president of the KCAC, in a statement.

“As atheists, we believe it is up to us – not a deity – to make the world a better place, which is why we do volunteer work, raise money for charity and work to promote equality and human rights.”

Last month, the KCAC submitted an application to be part of the city’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, set to be held Sunday.

However, the application was rejected. Sarah Hargreaves, a member of the KCAC, told Fox 4 that the rejection was “discrimination.”

“The idea that they are presenting now that this is a very Catholic event and they were celebrating the patron saint and his Christian legacy, I think makes for a good response but I don’t think that’s their reason,” said Hargreaves.

“I think people on the parade committee are personally offended by atheists in a similar way that there are people in this country that are offended at the existence of people who are gay.”

Organized by a group of private volunteers since the 1970s, Kansas City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is listed on its website as a nonprofit 501C3 corporation.

In addition to the parade, festivities included in the celebration include a Gaelic Mass at Redemptorist Catholic Church and a food drive. Fr. Patrick Tobin will be this year’s Grand Marshall.

Erin Kiekbusch of the parade board of directors forwarded a statement to The Christian Post from the 2013 Parade Co-Chairs Sharon Bundy and Anne McKeown.

“Kansas City’s parade celebrates the Feast Day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and the Christian teachings and beliefs that he lived and suffered for. The Atheist Coalition’s published mission is to advance godlessness through activism,” reads the statement.

“[Its] stated intent regarding the 2013 parade was to carry banners with phrases such as ‘positively godless’ and ‘morals without mythology.’ It was with respect for the legacy of St. Patrick that the parade committee turned down the Atheist Coalition’s application to participate in this year’s procession.”

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/missouri-atheist-group-says-it-will-take-part-in-st-patricks-day-parade-despite-ban-91982/#2clzsT10wFhSc0D7.99

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