Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Australia’s New Prime Minister is an Atheist

Julia Gillard told ABC radio in Melbourne . . . "I am, of course, a great respecter of religious beliefs, but they are not my beliefs."

-- From "'I don't believe in God,' says Australia's first female PM" by (UK) Daily Mail, Foreign Service 6/30/10

[The Prime Minister said,] "For people of faith, I think the greatest compliment I could pay them is to respect their genuinely-held beliefs and not to engage in some pretence about mine."

Ms Gillard’s views are in contrast with those of former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who was a regular at Canberra church services and opposition leader Tony Abbot, who is a devout Catholic.

Ms Gillard, who was born in the Welsh town of Barry, revealed she had been raised as a Baptist, before converting to Atheism.

The Australian Christian Lobby has since warned Australia’s first female Prime Minister that she may have turned off some of her Christian voters with her comments.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How Elena Kagan Helped 'Queer' Harvard Law School

While the liberal mainstream media claim ignorance of Supreme Court nominee Kagan's documented career (see CNN report below), other sources have been exposing her flaming radical liberal past, such as the Mass Resistance report below.

-- From "Kagan: Will she be a reliable liberal on the bench?" by Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer 6/27/10

Ideology is hard to characterize, particularly in judicial candidates who presumably are not disposed to view the law with a strictly political lens. The term "reliably conservative" or "reliably liberal" may be the best a president can hope for when considering candidates for the Supreme Court.

Elena Kagan has no judicial record that conservatives or liberals can easily fall back on when debating what kind of justice she would be.

As a White House lawyer and policy wonk in the mid- and late-1990s, she was involved in a number of hot-button issues such as late-term abortion, gun rights, affirmative action, and tobacco regulation. Memos from her government service reveal a politically pragmatic, cautious lawyer, whose views for the most part mirrored the president's. She comes across as a mainstream liberal, with little desire to passionately argue strong positions on contentious issues.

Kagan "is someone who was well known in the Obama White House," said Thomas Goldstein, a top Washington lawyer and founder of

. . . Unlike most past presidents, Obama has called upon his experience as a constitutional law professor to spell out the kind of justice he'd like to see, using "empathy" as a key barometer.

As for Kagan, some left-leaning groups are worried she could prove to be not as advertised. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "How Elena Kagan helped 'queer' Harvard Law School" MassResistance report on Kagan's extensive radical activities as Dean of Law School 6/28/10

Elena Kagan's extremely radical record as Dean of Harvard Law School (2003-2009) regarding the promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism has been largely untouched and ignored. Until now.

MassResistance has uncovered Kagan's record of bizarre and disturbing activities during that period, which we've compiled in a report, "How Elena Kagan 'queered' Harvard Law School. During that time it was clear that Kagan was committed to the radical campaign pushing acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism as "civil rights." - and changing the mindsets of generation of Harvard lawyers to embrace those views. Will she do the same to America?

Among the things we've uncovered (which are elaborated on in the report):
Kagan accelerated and legitimized the GLBT "rights" concept and law studies at Harvard Law School and in the larger university community.

Kagan encouraged Harvard students to get involved in homosexual activist legal work.

Kagan recruited former ACLU lawyer (and former ACT-UP activist) William Rubenstein to teach "queer" legal theory.

Kagan promoted and facilitated the "transgender" legal agenda during her tenure at Harvard.

Kagan attended functions of radical homosexual (GLBT) groups at Harvard University, absorbing and apparently agreeing with their goals.

Kagan followed the wishes of campus homosexual organizations -- within a month of meeting with a Harvard GLBT student group, she was agreeing with their demand to ban military recruiters on campus.

Radical "trans" activism at Harvard: Kagan's active promotion of the GLBT agenda at Harvard likely accelerated the campus environment that was becoming so "tolerant" of homosexuality and gender confusion that there was even a campaign during her tenure to make the campus "trans inclusive" -- using Harvard's "gender identity" nondiscrimination policy (in place since 2006).
To read the entire report above, CLICK HERE.

Young Student Opposes School Indoctrination

A Beverly Hills elementary student takes on the teacher and administration who taught the kids that the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) means that "Right-wing Nazis are taking office all over the place."

-- From "A Conservative Kid Tries to Survive in California School" by Sam Besserman, posted at American Thinker 6/27/10

My name is Sam Besserman, I'm eleven years old, I live in Beverly Hills, California, and ever since I can remember I have been subjected to political bias in school. The first time I noticed the bias was actually in preschool, where the teacher was reading a book about the importance of mothers and the inferiority of fathers. I tried to tell the teacher that dads might be just as important. The teacher responded in a sing-song, "No, listen to me, I'm the teacher." Of course, the girls loved the book and most of the boys hated it, except for a few who liked it and also wanted to become mothers some day. I was three years old and royally pissed off.

I had to listen to such feminist ideas every day, and at times, I actually bought into them. Months later, I still didn't know whether mothers were really more important than fathers. Once I even felt like going into the bathroom and trying to pull off my penis. It wasn't that I wanted to be a woman -- I had just lost my enthusiasm for my embattled gender.

The only male teacher I had might as well have been castrated. His voice was soft, his gestures were feminine, he didn't know how to run a class, and he had to rely on female assistant teachers to control the children. . . .

. . . It wasn't until the Democratic primaries ended in 2008 that things started getting really bad. Liberals everywhere -- but especially at school -- seemed empowered by the prospect of a black man becoming president, if for no other reason than the color of his skin. One day, during a game of dodgeball, the old assistant P.E. teacher yelled to the other students to "Get the Republican, get the Republican!" meaning me.

. . . This past year, however, I seem to have been subjected to the ultimate in ideological bigotry. My social studies and English teacher should win an award. After Scott Brown won the third big election since Obama became president, she told the class, "Right-wing Nazis are taking office all over the place." She also told us, "Racist bigots from the south are refusing to shake Barack Obama's hand." She lectured us about Mao Tse-Tung and failed to mention that he killed 70 million people. She also told us that Russia was better off under communism and that under communism, people could rely on each other. To her, the only problem with communism is that it hasn't been done right yet.

In an effort to stop her politicization of the classroom, I circulated a petition. . . .

To read all of this student's writing, CLICK HERE.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Supreme Court Ends Christian Witness on Campus

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that colleges are free to force Christian student groups to accept atheists or homosexualists in leadership positions, even if the intent of the dissidents is to destroy the organization.

UPDATE 3/23/12: Supreme Court Forces Atheists into Christian Clubs

UPDATE 6/16/14: Intolerance of Christian Clubs Now Rampant on College Campuses

UPDATE 6/29/10: Conservative Groups Blast Supreme Court’s Erosion of Religious Liberty

For background, read Christian College Clubs Must Accept Atheists?

-- From "Supreme Court rules against UC student group that excluded gays" by Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times 6/28/10

A University of California law school's refusal to give official student group status to a Christian society that excluded gays was a reasonable application of the school's nondiscrimination policy, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday in a 5-4 ruling.

The Christian Legal Society chapter had sued UC Hastings College of Law
, arguing that denial of school recognition and of access to state funding and facilities violated the group's 1st and 14th Amendment rights to free speech, expressive association and the free exercise of religion.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote in dissent that the majority ruling amounted to "no freedom for expression that offends prevailing standards of political correctness in our country's institutions of higher learning."

Alito, joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, noted that Hastings has more than 60 registered student groups and that in its entire history has denied registration to "exactly one: the Christian Legal Society." Alito said the majority gave public educational institutions "a handy weapon for suppressing the speech of unpopular groups."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Martinez Ruling a 'Serious Setback for Freedom of Expression'" by Chuck Donovan, posted at The Heritage Foundation 6/28/10

CLS v. Martinez case is narrow in a number of respects, but its thrust is worrisome for many reasons. The case involves a decision by a public law school, the Hastings College of the Law, to deny official recognition and potential funding to a student organization, the local chapter of the Christian Legal Society. The Supreme Court ruled that Hastings did not violate the free speech rights of CLS by refusing to recognize it on the grounds that it requires its members and officers to sign a Statement of Faith and affirm a Christian standard of sexual conduct.

. . . The very idea of expressive association – of clusters of students coming together to advance their particular legal views, social ideas, or religious commitments – would be a nullity if law school administrations could insist that every group must be equally open to those who share its beliefs and those who oppose them. Smaller organizations would be particularly vulnerable to being overwhelmed by a majority of dissident students if an organization were prohibited from having a mission and bonding its members to that mission.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Adult Stem Cell Success - No Embryo Killing Necessary

Dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of their own stem cells--a stunning success for the burgeoning cell-therapy field, Italian researchers reported Wednesday.

-- From "New England Journal of Medicine: Blindness Reversed in Dozens of Patients By Adult—Not Embryonic—Stem Cell Therapy" by Alicia Chang, Associated Press 6/23/10

The treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far. One man whose eyes were severely damaged more than 60 years ago now has near-normal vision.

“This is a roaring success,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Ivan Schwab of the University of California, Davis, who had no role in the study--the longest and largest of its kind.

In the study, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers took a small number of stem cells from a patient's healthy eye, multiplied them in the lab and placed them into the burned eye, where they were able to grow new corneal tissue to replace what had been damaged. Since the stem cells are from their own bodies, the patients do not need to take anti-rejection drugs.

Adult stem cells have been used for decades to cure blood cancers such as leukemia and diseases like sickle cell anemia. But fixing a problem like damaged eyes is a relatively new use. Researchers have been studying cell therapy for a host of other diseases, including diabetes and heart failure, with limited success.

Adult stem cells, which are found around the body, are different from embryonic stem cells, which come from human embryos and have stirred ethical concerns because removing the cells requires destroying the embryos.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Methodist Seminary Trains Pluralistic Clergy

Saying that not all Muslims – or Christians or Jews for that matter – believe their faith is the only way to God, the United Methodist Church's Claremont School of Theology has launched a program to train leaders for the often-conflicting faiths together.

-- From "Seminary introduces program of religious collaboration" by Michael Carl © 2010 WorldNetDaily 6/25/10

The unorthodox program was announced on the website for the school, and detailed in a statement released by school media-relations officer Claudia Pearce.

"Christians, Muslims and Jews will now have the opportunity to take classes together to learn about each other's religious traditions, to study topics that deal specifically with interfaith issues and to build bridges through coursework that assists them, our society’s future religious leaders, to act collaboratively in response to the various issues that face our society and world," the statement said.

. . . Christian cultural commentator and Cross Talk America radio host Ingrid Schlueter says the Claremont program is a clear compromise of the truth of the Gospel.

"Their new spiritual-blender approach to Christian theological education is to 'teach students to recognize the legitimacy and integrity' of other religious traditions. This, by definition, cannot be Christianity," Schlueter said.

"The founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, declared himself to be the exclusive way to heaven in John 14:6. The founder of Christianity further described the spiritual way to eternal life as 'narrow' in Matthew 7:14," Schlueter explained.

"Clearly Claremont is still teaching theology. It is not, however, Christian theology. It is the new, popular brand of universalism that rejects outright the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ in Holy Scripture and ventures into rank spiritual rebellion in the name of tolerance and cooperation. God's unchanging Word tells us that it is at the name of Jesus that every knee will bow and confess His Lordship. Not Buddha, not Krishna, not Allah or some other god cobbled together in human imagination," Schlueter said.

Schlueter said Claremont is not representative of the doctrine taught by Methodism's founder John Wesley.

"If John Wesley were alive today to see what his heirs were teaching, one could only imagine his anger and grief. Claremont is setting the stage for persecution of biblical Christians who refuse this apostasy. They are casting themselves as Christians, but theirs is a faith that is alien to everything Christians have lived and died for in the last 2,000 years," Schlueter said.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

IL Police Chaplain Rejected Amid Terrorist Connections

The Illinois State Police has revoked the appointment of the agency's first Muslim chaplain, citing only information revealed during a background check. A national Muslim advocacy group Wednesday blamed the move on Islamophobia.

UPDATE 8/30/10: Muslim organization CAIR sues state police

-- From "Ill. police revoke 1st Muslim chaplain's post" by Sophia Tareen, The Associated Press 6/23/10

Kifah Mustapha, a Chicago-area imam, was appointed the agency's first Muslim chaplain in December. Community groups had praised Mustapha's appointment as a nod to the growing diversity among the agency's nearly 2,000 officers.

But within days, the appointment came under criticism from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a Washington-based think tank.

The group alleged that Mustapha was linked to the Palestine Committee of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, a popular movement in the Muslim world that advocates the formation of Islamic governments in the Middle East. It also alleged he raised money for the Holy Land Foundation, a now-defunct Islamic charity whose founders were sentenced last year for funneling money to the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The group cited internal documents and a list of unindicted co-conspirators.

Mustapha hasn't been charged with any crimes. Messages left Wednesday for Mustapha weren't immediately returned.

According to a statement from the Illinois State Police, after Mustapha underwent training in December and was issued state identification and a bulletproof vest, it was discovered that he had not undergone background checks required to serve in the volunteer position.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fetus is Unconscious Says Pro-abortion Report - Feels No Pain

A new study put out by a British group of doctors makes the false claim that unborn children don't have the ability to feel pain . . . until the later parts of pregnancy, at about 24 weeks.

-- From "Unborn baby cannot feel pain before abortion limit: report" by Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor, London Telegraph 6/26/10

Research from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists . . . findings mean there is no scientific reason to reduce the abortion limit from the current 24 weeks, experts said.

It was found that connections in the brain are not fully formed until after 24 weeks meaning that the feotus is unable to feel pain and has no awareness.

It means that surgery conducted in the womb before 24 weeks does not need to be carried out with painkillers and has no benefit. It was suggested that because the feotus is effectively unconscious at this gestation, painkillers and anaesthetic may be harmful.

A second report also concluded that it would be unrealistic to determine a list of conditions for which it was 'acceptable' to abort beyond 24 weeks.

The question had been raised in response to concerns that women were aborting babies under the clause in the Act that they may be born with a 'serious handicap' but the feotus had in reality only minor abnormalities that can be corrected such as a cleft lip.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Study From British Doctors Claims, Despite Evidence, Unborn Children Can't Feel Pain" by Steven Ertelt, Editor 6/25/10

Dr. Steven Zielinski, an internal medicine physician from Oregon, is one of the leading researchers into the concept of fetal pain and published the first reports in the 1980s to validate research show evidence for it.

He has testified before Congress that an unborn child could feel pain at "eight-and-a-half weeks and possibly earlier" and that a baby before birth "under the right circumstances, is capable of crying."

Dr. Vincent J. Collins, Zielinski and attorney Thomas J. Marzen were the top researchers to point to fetal pain decades ago. Collins, before his death, was Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois and author of Principles of Anesthesiology, one of the leading medical texts on the control of pain.

"The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child's development in the womb," they wrote.

"Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body," they continued.

With Zielinski and his colleagues the first to provide the scientific basis for the concept of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center has provided further research to substantiate their work.

He has said he and other specialists in development of unborn children have shown that babies feel pain before birth as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

In Nebraska, lawmakers approved the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act by a large, bipartisan vote that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the well-established concept of fetal pain.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Study Exposes Liberal Indoctrination by Colleges

A new study by the National Association of Scholars has found that 70 percent of the summer reading books assigned to incoming college freshmen in the U.S. show a liberal bias and are not academically challenging, setting off a storm of debate in educational circles.

-- From "Study Finds Liberal Bias in College Summer Reading Lists, Stirring Debate" By Ed Barnes, 6/23/10

The report, "Beach Books: What Do Colleges Want Students to Read Outside Class?", surveyed 290 colleges and categorized their summer reading lists in broad terms, such as "multiculturalism, immigration and racism" (the most common category chosen by colleges), or "environmentalism, animal rights and food" (the second largest liberal category selected by colleges). The study found that "the choices by and large reflect leftist political perspectives."

"Even where the books themselves may convey more complex social views, most of the books on the list fit neatly with the agenda of the campus left: anti-Western, anti-business, multicultural, environmentalist and alienated. The books do signal what lies ahead for students in many colleges: a four-year program of more of the same," the report concluded.

The study did not look at the alleged bias of the assigned books individually, according to NAS spokeswoman Ashley Thorne, who helped create the list. "We looked at what the books were about," she said, and then categorized the general subject as either liberal or conservative.

"Only 2 percent of the books were considered conservative," she said.

. . . Peter Wood, president of NAS, stood by his group's report, saying, "Something is wrong when Frankenstein is the best book on the list; the only work of philosophy is The Communist Manifesto; and books on Africa outnumber books on Europe nearly six to one."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Path for Christian Persecution by Homosexualists: Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with supporters of same-sex "marriage" saying that the identities of signers of petitions protecting traditional marriage must be made public. The Court provided for a means for petitioners to beg to remain confidential if they can prove that the homosexualists will harm them once petition signers' names and addresses are published on searchable on-line databases.

UPDATE 8/11/10: Federal judge orders Washington state not to release petition signer names

UPDATE 6/26/10: Will death threats by 'gays' convince judges?

-- From "Court Rejects Secrecy on Ballot Petitions" by Adam Liptak, New York Times 6/24/10

People who sign petitions to put referendums on state ballots do not have a general right under the First Amendment to keep their names secret, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in an 8-to-1 decision.

The near-unanimity of the decision masked a deep division on a more focused question that the justices left for another day: Are there good reasons to protect the identities of people who signed petitions concerning a measure opposing gay rights and say they fear harassment and retaliation should their names be posted on the Internet?

The case came from Washington State, which allows voters to reject legislation through a referendum process. Last year, opponents of a state domestic partnership law known as the “everything but marriage” act gathered more than 130,000 signatures, enough to place a referendum on the November ballot.

Several groups had asked the state to turn over the names under its public records law, and two groups said they intended to post the names on the Internet. Their goal, according to a news release, was to encourage conversations among friends, relatives and neighbors that “can be uncomfortable for both parties.”

Protect Marriage Washington, a group that supports traditional marriage, sued to block release of the names, saying disclosure would probably result in “threats, harassment and reprisal.” It relied in large part on responses to the disclosure of the names of people who had provided financial support for Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that overturned a court decision allowing same-sex marriage.

A federal judge granted the request to withhold the names, but that order was overturned by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ref. 71 signatures are public, Supreme Court rules" by Janet I. Tu and Kyung M. Song, Seattle Times staff reporters 6/24/10

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Washington's law that says ballot-measure petitions are public records, the drawn-out battle over whether to release Referendum 71 petition signatures is not over.

The high court ruled Thursday in an 8-1 decision, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting, that disclosing the identities of petition-signers does not, generally, violate the First Amendment.

But the justices also said their decision "does not foreclose success" should Ref. 71 sponsors decide to pursue an exemption in a lower court — which the sponsors said they will do.

Those who want to keep Ref. 71 signers' names confidential now will have to prove in U.S. District Court that there is "reasonable probability" that disclosing the names will lead to threats, harassment and reprisals.

That's "a high standard to meet, and they just don't have the evidence to meet it," contended Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, who argued the case on behalf of the state in April.

. . . James Bopp Jr., the lead attorney for Protect Marriage Washington, said "supporters of traditional marriage have been subject to death threats, vandalism, and even the loss of their jobs" in Washington, California and elsewhere. "We are confident that the District Court will agree that these tactics have no place in the discussion of marriage and will prevent the release of the personal information."

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said the state has a strong interest in guarding against election fraud and rooting out invalid signatures on petitions — an interest that defeats the argument that petition disclosure is unconstitutional in all cases.

But he also said "upholding the law against a broad-based challenge does not foreclose a litigant's success in a narrower one."

Justice Samuel Alito, though, in his concurring opinion, seemed to find the argument that Ref. 71 signers would be subject to intimidation persuasive, and the state's interest in compelling disclosure inadequate, saying courts "should be generous" in granting exceptions to disclosure in such cases.

Thomas, the sole dissenter, wrote that the Public Records Act, which subjects all referendum and initiative petitions to public disclosure, is unconstitutional because there are less restrictive means to preserve the integrity of elections.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Homosexualists Exploit/Abuse Small Child for Gay Agenda

10-year-old Will Phillips was named Grand Marshal of the Fayetteville, Ark. Gay Pride Parade taking place on Saturday.

-- From "10-Year-Old Grand Marshal at Gay Rights Parade Sparks Controversy Across U.S." by 6/24/10

Ordinarily, the annual parade is pretty low-key, residents say. The mayor issues a proclamation, the police close a few streets and a few hundred people show up, something that Skip Descant, who covers the city for the Northwest Arkansas Times, says is a lot for a Saturday morning in the summer.

But the selection of young Will, who last November refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school to show his support for gay rights, has changed all that. This year the parade has drawn national attention, and it's promising to tread the line between farce and confrontation.

Will, who in March received the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) award for his stand, has complained that his support of gay rights has caused him trouble at school . . .

The American Family Association, based in Tupelo, Miss., has called Will's selection to be grand marshal “a form of child abuse,” and it has called on the city’s mayor to “cancel his plans to issue a proclamation celebrating homosexual behavior and gay pride.”

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

School Policy: Condoms to Kids Old Enough to Ask

Students in Provincetown [Massachusetts] — from elementary school to high school — will be able to get free condoms at school under a recently approved policy that takes effect this fall. The rule also requires school officials to keep student requests secret, and ignore parents’ objections.

It has also been named the nation's "best gay resort town" and a "number one destination" for same-sex weddings . . .

UPDATE 7/1/10: School policy changed to apply to fifth graders and older

UPDATE 6/24/10 late: Mass. gov. forces school to re-write policy

-- From "Tempest Over Kid Condoms Brews in Artsy Provincetown, Massachusetts" by Susan Donaldson James, ABC News 6/24/10

Just this week, the school board of Provincetown, a seaside resort that sits on the tip of Cape Cod, voted unanimously for a sex education policy allowing all children -- elementary and high school -- to seek out a counselor and obtain condoms.

But according to Superintendent Beth Singer, that policy was "misinterpreted and misunderstood," and today the world descended on the smallest school district in the state, asking why it was giving condoms to first graders.

And because school officials felt strongly that those who are sexually active should have protection, they had no "opt out" clause for parents.

In fact, Provincetown's elementary school -- all 85 students -- serves children in pre-K to grade 6, but will soon admit toddlers as young as 15 months.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Condoms, secrecy for Provincetown pupils" by Jack Nicas, Boston Globe Correspondent 6/24/10

"The intent is to protect kids," said School Superintendent Beth Singer, who wrote the policy that the Cape Cod town’s School Committee unanimously passed two weeks ago. "We know that sexual experimentation is not limited to an age, so how does one put an age on it?"

The policy, which requires school nurses to supply condoms to any student who asks, drew criticism yesterday from some parents, a family-advocacy group, and even the town manager, who expressed alarm that children would be able to acquire condoms beginning next school year.

Several high schools in the state make condoms available to students. While complete data were unavailable yesterday, Provincetown’s policy to make them available with no age restriction, and declare parents’ objections irrelevant, seemed to set it apart.

The policy, first reported in the Provincetown Banner, keeps parents from knowing if their children receive condoms, and mandates that school officials can choose to supply them even if parents object.

But Michele Couture, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said that when it comes to sex, safety is paramount.

"I don’t know, you don’t want to take away a parent’s right to decide what’s right for their child," she said. "But it’s unrealistic to think that a parent saying no to condoms means the child’s going to say no to sex. They’re still going to have sex; they’re just not going to have a condom."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Homosexualist Infiltrates Christian Therapy Group

A journalist writing for a homosexualist magazine secretly joined, under an assumed name, the Christian discussion group for the express purpose of disseminating confidential comments by a pastor who preached that homosexual behavior is sinful.

-- From "Minn. Pastor Likely to Keep Job Despite Gay Report" by Patrick Condon, The Associated Press 6/23/10

A Lutheran pastor ardently critical of allowing gays into the clergy is on leave from his Minneapolis church after a gay magazine reported his attendance at a support group for men struggling with same-sex attraction.

Church officials, however, said Wednesday that the Rev. Tom Brock likely will return to the pulpit at Hope Lutheran Church because he acted in accordance with his faith by attending the group.

A fixture on local cable access shows, Brock regularly broadcasts conservative views on homosexuality and criticizes the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for liberalizing its gay clergy policy. Lavender Magazine published a story last week about Brock's quiet attendance of the Faith in Action meetings, written by a reporter who falsely posed as a member of the group.

The Lavender article never explicitly said Brock confessed to homosexual activity. It quotes him at one point talking about a recent mission trip to Eastern Europe, of which he says, "I fell into temptation. I was weak."

Hope Lutheran's executive pastor, the Rev. Tom Parrish, said when confronted with the article, Brock "simply said he indeed has been attending this Christian group, both going there and being honest about temptations he has, and is being held accountable so he never would do anything with that temptation."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Outing case: Cries of 'hypocrite' for pastor, magazine" by Jeff Strickler, Star Tribune 6/23/10

When the magazine hit the newsstands, the story went viral on gay and lesbian Internet sites, with people expressing everything from glee to outrage that a man who has railed against homosexuality in his sermons and weekly radio and cable TV shows had been caught practicing what he preaches against.

But by midweek, the mood had started to shift. For starters, critics pointed out that the magazine did not have a direct quote from Brock saying that he had engaged in homosexual acts. The article implied that was the case by quoting him as saying that while on a preaching mission to Slovakia he "fell into temptation," but did not explain what that meant.

In addition, people started raising questions about whether the ends justified the means. Confidentiality is the bedrock of therapy, and even some gay and lesbian activists expressed concerns that the magazine's breach of privacy might keep people from getting therapy for fear of having their personal issues made public.

Jane Kirtley, the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota, said the magazine crossed the line.

"I'm a believer that the use of undercover reporting should be reserved only for the most important stories that you can't get any other way," she said.

One of the dangers of undercover reporting is the loss of credibility, she said. "Whenever you go undercover, you raise the question with the public: If you were prepared to misrepresent yourself to get the story, how can we be sure that the story is accurate?"

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Planned Parenthood Teaches Sex Acts in Iowa School

Parents are outraged after young teenagers were instructed on graphic sexual acts during a Planned Parenthood sex education class at the local high school in Shenandoah, Iowa.

“As far as we were concerned, it wasn't sex ed, it was sex demonstration.”

-- From "Sex ed class raises ire" by Elizabeth Ahlin, Omaha World-Herald Staff Writer 6/22/10

Some parents said they were shocked by the content of a two-week sexual education unit — comprising both abstinence education from a Christian group and instructions on sexually transmitted infections, contraception and reproductive anatomy. The district did not notify parents in advance about the curriculum, a problem that won't happen again, according to the superintendent.

Of particular concern, for some, was what they called the graphic nature of the curriculum offered by a Planned Parenthood educator.

Despite the protests, [Superintendent Dick] Profit said he received an equal number of calls from parents and students who said the instruction they received the Planned Parenthood representative was appropriate and positive. Those students, and their parents, said they had neither seen nor heard of anything troubling happening in the classroom.

[Parents] criticized Jennifer Horner, the Planned Parenthood educator, for using a phallic item to teach the correct application of a condom to the class, which contained both male and female students. Both parents said they were told that Horner equated condom use to abstinence, something Horner denies.

Horner said she discussed with students the definition of abstinence. She told the students that, in her class, abstinence means refraining from any activity that could result in a sexually transmitted infection or pregnancy.

Prior to Horner's unit, biology classes were led by an instructor from Bethany Christian Services. That group uses a federally funded abstinence education course, called Keyed-In to Abstinence, said Susan Hubbell, interim director of Bethany Christian Services. The program focuses on teaching students the consequences of premarital sex as well as how to resist sex. It also teaches students how abstinence can enhance future relationships.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Graphic Sex Ed Class Under Fire" by Todd Starnes, 6/22/10

[Colleen] Dostal’s 14-year-old son was one of a handful of eighth graders in the class. The students, she said, were given instruction on how to perform female exams and the instructor used a 3-D, anatomically correct male sex organ to explain how to use a condom.

But Dostal said she was most upset over the instructor simulating sexual acts using stuffed animals designed to resemble STD’s.

“I do not understand why any adult with a classroom of children would show them sexual positions,” she told Fox News Radio. “I think that’s horribly inappropriate.”

As for the photographs, “I believe some of those photos were pornographic,” she said.

“Had we known this was going on, I would have sat in the classroom or I would have pulled him out,” Dostal said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Supreme Court to Overturn Roe v. Wade: Walter Dellinger

Former acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger predicted Tuesday night that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark decision that gives women abortion rights.

-- From "Predicting an end to Roe v. Wade" by James Hohmann, Politico 6/23/10

The noted liberal scholar said the 1973 decision has become a “trophy” that the court’s conservative bloc could overturn if a Republican president chooses a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“I absolutely believe it,” Dellinger said during a forum cosponsored by POLITICO.

Such a decision by the Supreme Court would pour barrels of gasoline onto the now smoldering fires of the never-ending culture war.

Rachel Brand, the former assistant attorney general under George W. Bush who helped usher Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito through the confirmation process, demurred on a question about Roe’s reversal.

“Frankly it has not occurred to me that that is of any kind of reasonable likelihood any time soon,” she said. “But I will say that whenever Justice Kennedy retires, if the court looks anything like it does now in terms of makeup, that will be the mother of all confirmation fights. That will be brutal, and I wouldn’t want to be in my old job for that one.”

The hour-long debate between Brand and Dellinger about the future of the judiciary, before a packed George Washington University auditorium . . .

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Clinton Urges Youth to Embrace Homosexuality

At an event celebrating Gay Pride Month on Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton encouraged State Department employees to let teenagers know homosexuality is okay.

UPDATE 10/20/10: Hillary Clinton Encourages Teens to be Secure in Homosexuality

-- From "Obama, Clinton vow to defend gay rights, adding 'it's not who we are as Americans'" by Elise Labott, CNN Senior State Department Producer 6/23/10

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged to end violence and discrimination against gays and lesbians at home and abroad Tuesday, as the Obama administration moves to extend further benefits to gays working in the federal government.

"It's not right, it's not who we are as Americans, and we're going to put a stop to it," Obama told a raucous White House reception honoring Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.

Earlier, Clinton received several standing ovations from a standing-room only crowd of several hundred during her address at an event co-hosted by the State Department's Office of Civil Rights and GLIFAA, the organization for Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies. (Click here to view entire video)

The White House event invited politicians and government officials as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender American from across the country, including young people "who have stood up for equality," said White House spokesman Shin Inouye.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Hillary Clinton Urges State Department Employees to Let Teens Know It's Okay to Be Homosexual" by Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer 6/23/10

“We’ve come such a far distance in our own country, but there are still so many who need the outreach, need the mentoring, need the support to stand up and be who they are and then think about people in so many countries where it just seems impossible,” Clinton said.

“So I think that each and everyone of you, not only professionally, particularly from State and USAID and every bureau and every embassy and every part of our government have to do what you can to create that safe space, but also personally, to really look for those who might need a helping hand; particularly young people; particularly teenagers who still today have such a difficult time,” she added.

Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, in her remarks to introduce Clinton said the Obama administration is “trying to change the world” and that it feels good “to be on the right side of change.”

“So as we continue to advance LGBT rights in other countries, we also must continually work to make sure we are advancing the agenda here,” Clinton said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

White House Orders Redefinition of Family

Continually, President Obama advances the Gay Agenda as his homosexualist base complains that his incremental approach to the destruction of society is too slow. This week, government agencies will now recognize same-sex relationships and homosexual parenting.

UPDATE 6/23/10: Obama Expands His Pro-Homosexual Agenda by Regulation, ‘Interpretation’

-- From "Obama uses powers to expand federal rights, benefits for gays and lesbians" by Michael D. Shear, Washington Post Staff Writer 6/22/10

In the past year and a half, President Obama has quietly used his powers to expand federal rights and benefits for gays and lesbians, targeting one government restriction after another in an attempt to change public policy while avoiding a confrontation with Republicans and opponents of gay rights.

The result is that scores of federal rules blocking gay rights have been swept aside or reinterpreted by Obama officials eager to advance the agenda of a constituency that strongly backed the president's 2008 campaign.

Among the changes: Gay partners of federal workers will now receive long-term health insurance, access to day care and other benefits. Federal Housing Authority loans can no longer consider the sexual orientation of applicants. The Census Bureau plans to report the number of people who report being in a same-sex relationship. Hospitals must allow gays to visit their ill partners. And federal child-care subsidies can be used by the children of same-sex domestic partners.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department is expected to announce that federal officials have rethought the Family and Medical Leave Act, concluding that under the law, a gay federal employee may take leave to care for a child with a gay partner.

Individually, none of the changes is especially dramatic. But taken together, they significantly alter the way gays and lesbians are viewed under federal law.

The administration's effort, made largely under the radar -- and outside the reach of Congress -- has alarmed opponents of gay rights, who accuse the president of undermining traditional marriage even as he speaks about respecting it.

But gay rights advocates have greeted the changes as evidence that Obama has not abandoned them -- even as he has frustrated some by failing to act quickly on campaign promises to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act and bring an end to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay Workers Will Get Time to Care for Partner’s Sick Child" by Robert Pear, New York Times 6/21/10

President Obama will soon expand the rights of gay workers by allowing them to take family and medical leave to care for sick or newborn children of same-sex partners, administration officials said Monday.

The new ruling indicates that an employee in a same-sex relationship can qualify for leave to care for the child of his or her partner, even if the worker has not legally adopted the child.

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama plans to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocates to a White House reception celebrating June as “LGBT Pride Month.”

The Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, worked with the administration to develop the policy on family leave.

Federal law does not recognize same-sex relationships. But Labor Department lawyers have concluded that people in such relationships may nevertheless qualify for family and medical leave when they act as parents, sharing the care and support of a child.

The 1993 law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, allows employees to take time off for certain family and medical needs, including the care of a son or daughter with health problems.

Under the law, “the term ‘son or daughter’ means a biological, adopted or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.” The law does not define “in loco parentis.” But the relevant federal regulations say, “Persons who are ‘in loco parentis’ include those with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Obama to Meet With Grassroots Gay Activists" by Associated Press 6/22/10

President Barack Obama is chipping away at his long list of promises to gay voters but has yet to earn the full-throated backing of the reliably Democratic voting bloc.

The Obama White House has accomplished more than any other on gay rights, yet has drawn sharp criticism from an unexpected constituency: the same gay activists who backed the president's election campaign.

Instead of the sweeping change gays and lesbians had sought, a piece-by-piece approach has been the administration's favored strategy, drawing neither serious fire from conservatives nor lavish praise from activists.

The White House boasts a long list of accomplishments to tout during meetings with gay and lesbian organizations, but their reach is limited.

For instance, Obama signed a hate crimes bill into law, expanded benefits for partners of State Department employees and ended the ban on HIV-positive persons from visiting the United States. He referenced families with "two fathers" in his Father's Day proclamation last week and devoted 38 words of his State of the Union address to repealing "don't ask don't tell," the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Obama's allies say the small-bore changes are the best activists can hope despite Democrats controlling the White House, the Senate and the House.

"The reason why these policy changes are important is because we do not have ironclad LGBT majorities in either house of Congress," said Fred Sainz, a vice president at the Human Rights Campaign, Washington's largest gay rights organization, using the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Climate of Uncertainty for Gay Rights" by Eve Conant, Newsweek 6/21/10

Gay-rights advocates have seen significant progress on LGBT issues, yet still are not celebrating. Why is that?

. . . here’s the catch—the bigger issues are consistently on the verge of happening, but never seem to be a done deal. There is a divide between Washington insiders who understand that government is painfully slow to move, on any issue, and a newly activated core of gay activists who want immediate change.

If you look at timelines detailing the milestones over the decades in the gay-rights movement, you’ll see more and more markers after 2008, with the gay-marriage movement gaining more states and President Obama allowing same-sex partners of federal employees to receive certain benefits. Yet sometimes being so close to success, when it’s not fully achieved, is confusing, and upsetting.

Still, Fred Sainz, a spokesperson for the D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign, says that attention must be paid to the fact that significant strides are being made. “We have largely been in the wilderness the past 40 years since Stonewall. To see this much progress in one and half years makes your head spin.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Obama Praises Homosexuality on Father's Day

In his fathers’ day proclamation President Barack Obama made what pro-family leaders have said were a number of praiseworthy statements about fatherhood and the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. But at the same time the president drew sharp criticism for using the proclamation as an opportunity to show his support for homosexual parenting.

-- From "Obama Inserts Gay Dads into Father’s Day Proclamation" by Peter J. Smith, 6/21/10

“An active, committed father makes a lasting difference in the life of a child. When fathers are not present, their children and families cope with an absence government cannot fill,” stated Obama, whose own father was conspicuously absent for most of his childhood.

However, the president then made his plug for homosexual families as normative.

“Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian,” he said.

In late May, President Obama emphasized his bona fides with the homosexualist movement by proclaiming June – for the second year in a row – as “Gay Pride Month.”

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Redefining Christianity Congruent with the Liberal Media

Guaranteed to get the attention of the mainstream media is every brand of religion claiming to be Christianity that compromises the Gospel (e.g.: toward pluralism, universalism, etc.) and/or Christian leaders prone to hide from the controversy inevitable from challenging popular (sinful) culture.

-- From "Christians Find Their Voice Tackling Global Issues" by Dan Harris, Wonbo Woo and Christina Ng, ABC News 6/20/10

Could the so-called death of traditional Christian America in fact be a good thing ... for Christians? Young Christian activists who are calling for a renewal of their faith seem to think so.

"There's a new generation of Christians who are engaging the world in a different way, largely driven by the fact that we're in a different context than many Christians have had to live in, in quite some time," said Gabe Lyons, founder of Q. The website acts as a forum for people to come together and explore ideas about Christianity's role in a modern cultural context.

In what some are calling "post-Evangelicalism," a revised Christian mentality is making its way into the public forum.

If these young Christians get their way, the future perception of Christians is not as a knee-jerk association with hot-button social issues, but as a largely nonpolitical association fighting for justice, equality and the common good.

Notably missing? Abortion and same-sex marriage, the hot-button issues that surface with every election hand-in-hand with debates over the effect of "values voters."

They want to present a different and, they say, less judgmental face to the world.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Teaching Sex to 5-year-olds Reduces Teen Pregnancy?

Sex education should be taught to children from the age of five to give them the skills and confidence to delay sexual intimacy until they are ready, a British health watchdog said on Thursday.

-- From "Group says teach sex ed to 5-year-olds" By Tim Castle, Reuters 6/17/10

Inadequate sex education at a young age is widely seen as contributing to Britain's steep rate of teenage conception, still amongst the highest in Europe despite a 13 percent fall over the past decade.

The latest guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is in draft form and will not be compulsory, but the agency said it expected local authorities and others to follow it.

It cited research from the UK Youth Parliament showing that 40 percent of young people rated their sex and relationships education in school as poor or very poor.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Conservative Feminists Crash Liberals' Party

As a field of conservative women swept recent elections across America, liberal feminists find themselves trapped by the success of equality for women -- women very much unlike themselves.

-- From "Women candidates showcase new vision of feminism" by Karen Heller, Philadelphia Inquirer Columnist 6/16/10

This year, Republicans are fielding a healthy roster of women running for higher office. That's some measure of success, even if this wasn't what the movement's founders envisioned.

[Sarah] Palin has, as others have noted, repeatedly "dropped the F-bomb" - feminism. In a May speech to the Susan B. Anthony List, the right's response to Emily's List, Palin invoked "an emerging, conservative, feminist agenda," rattling old-school activists with her unwavering opposition to abortion rights, a bedrock of the conservative movement since its infancy in the 1970s.

Critics are livid, but this large field of female GOP candidates challenges the assumption that feminism only finds adherents on the left.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "No Mystique About Feminism" by Ross Douthat, New York Times 6/13/10

When historians set out to date the moment when the women’s movement of the 1970s officially consolidated its gains, they could do worse than settle on last Tuesday’s primaries.

It was a day when most of the major races featured female candidates, and all the major female candidates won. . . . Conservative Republicans endorsed by Sarah Palin, in many cases. Which generated a certain amount of angst in the liberal commentariat about What It All Meant For Feminism.

“Do you still cheer,” Slate’s Sara Libby wondered of Whitman’s and Carly Fiorina’s California victories, “if the [glass] ceiling is crashed by two conservative businesswomen?” On “Good Morning America,” Tina Brown fretted that “it almost feels as if all these women winning are kind of a blow to feminism.” Writing in The Daily Beast, Linda Hirshman declared that support for abortion rights and Obamacare were litmus tests for true feminism, as opposed to the “selfish” variety that triumphed on Tuesday.

The question of whether conservative women get to be feminists is an interesting and important one. But it has obscured a deeper truth: Whether or not Palin or Fiorina or Haley can legitimately claim the label feminist, their rise is a testament to the overall triumph of the women’s movement.

What Tuesday’s results demonstrated, convincingly, is that America is now a country where social conservatives are as comfortable as liberals with the idea of women in high office.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Pornography Unchecked by Obama Administration

Despite six federal obscenity laws currently on the books, illegal hardcore pornography is running rampant on cable television and the Internet -- and federal prosecutions are virtually nonexistent.

-- From "Activists Urge Government Crackdown on Pornography" AOL News 6/15/10

Anti-pornography activists gathered at the Capitol today to urge Congress to enforce existing laws governing obscenity and pornography.

During a panel discussion sponsored by the Coalition for War on Illegal Pornography, a loose group of national organizations, speakers urged legislators and the Obama administration to crack down on the adult entertainment industry, which they say openly flouts existing U.S. obscenity laws.

. . . the Supreme Court has ruled that most so-called hard-core pornography is illegal if it depicts sexual conduct, appeals only to the "prurient interest" and is judged to violate contemporary "community standards."

"We are now in the midst of a massive social experiment, as no other generation has been so bombarded with so much pornography," said Gail Dines, a professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College. "We have had our sexuality, and indeed our culture, hijacked."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ex-Porn Star: ‘Porn Destroys Human Lives and is Destroying Our Nation’" by Nick Dean, CNSNews 6/17/10

At a briefing held at the U.S. Capitol, researchers and activists, including a former porn movie actress, highlighted the finding of leading researchers on the harm and long-term effects that hardcore pornography has on its viewers -- especially children -- and called on Congress to make the Justice Department to crack down on those who make and distribute illegal pornography.

The group, which calls itself the Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography, is calling on the Obama administration, Congress, and the Justice Department to elevate the enforcement of obscenity laws it says are being ignored.

The group, meanwhile, is asking every member of the House and Senate to sign a letter to be sent to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to make obscenity cases a priority for the Justice Department.

Research has proven that 40 percent of first-time Internet porn views occur unintentionally while searching the Internet through a search engine. Another 12 percent come from misspelled words in Web site names. The average age when Americans first view pornography is now between 8- and 11-years-old . . .

Former porn movie actress Shelly Luben, founder and director of an outreach group to those working in the adult film industry offering a variety of support and a transition out of the industry, said that the adult film industry is a hostile and volatile industry for its performers.

Sixty-six (66) percent of actors within the porn industry contract herpes and 70 percent of the sexually transmitted infections contracted in the industry occur in women, she said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Friday, June 18, 2010

KY Court Considers Ban of Jesus from Highways

A Kentucky Christian's evangelism along Interstate 65, taking the form of billboards such as "Jesus Died for Our Sins," is considered a nuisance.

-- From "Billboards aren’t ads, but freedom of speech issue" by Bowling Green Daily News 6/18/10

Allen County resident Jimmy Harston isn’t doing any harm by placing religious billboards on his property or anyone else’s private property. He is simply a man who has a strong belief in God.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Highways takes exception. In 2008, it sued to have his signs along Interstate 65 taken down. He has lost two initial court cases, but his appeals are pending.

The Transportation Cabinet cites a law that no billboards should be erected 660 feet from the state highway for the use of profit. They say that Harston is in violation of the 1965 Federal Beautification Act, which says that if a state fails to maintain effective control of outdoor advertising, it could be penalized with reduced federal funding.

But Harston isn’t trying to make a profit from these signs. He is simply using land he owns and others’ land to put up billboards expressing their belief in a higher power.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

S. Dakota Pastor Defies IRS Muzzle

The Rev. H. Wayne Williams, pastor of Liberty Baptist Tabernacle in Rapid City, last month endorsed GOP state Sen. Gordon Howie in the South Dakota governor's race, in defiance of the Internal Revenue Service and a federal court ruling and in hopes of producing a landmark constitutional test case.

-- From "Pastor tests IRS by endorsing candidate" by Michal Elseth, The Washington Times 6/15/10

A South Dakota minister says he wants to do for religious freedom what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did for civil rights.

At issue is an IRS regulation called the Johnson Amendment, enacted in 1954, that says that 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the section of the tax code under which most churches file, cannot endorse a specific political candidate and retain its nonprofit classification.

Mr. Howie's campaign, which had actively solicited support from the state's pastors, touted Mr. Williams' endorsement in a press release last month.

Mr. Williams said he will fight for his right to speak from the pulpit whatever he sees most fitting for his congregation, regardless of the consequences.

The Rapid City pastor is working with the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative-leaning group that defends religious freedom.

Erik Stanley, an attorney for the organization, said the fund has been hoping that by encouraging pastors to break the federal tax code restrictions, they could get a test case to court and have the law declared an infringement of the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.

The ban on political campaign activity does not restrict leaders of organizations from expressing their views on political matters if they are speaking for themselves as individuals. Nor are leaders prohibited from speaking about issues of public policy. However, for their organizations to remain tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3), leaders cannot make partisan comments in official organization publications or at official functions of the organization.

The IRS has not indicated whether it will pursue an investigation of the South Dakota church.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pastors divided over Howie's pulpit challenge" by Mary Garrigan, Rapid City Journal staff 5/24/10

One Rapid City pastor has accepted gubernatorial candidate Gordon Howie's challenge to defy federal tax law and endorsed Howie from the pulpit.

However, other local religious leaders have dismissed Howie's Pulpit Challenge initiative as legally and pastorally irresponsible.

"The Johnson Amendment was merely a rider to a tax code. It is unconstitutional, impossible to enforce, cannot stand up in a court of law and has never been enforced on any church since its passage," said Scott Craig, a Howie supporter who recently moved to Rapid City from Hawaii to pastor the new Bighorn Canyon Community Church. In 2008, Craig was one of 30 pastors who endorsed John McCain over Barack Obama from the pulpit and provided the IRS with video and written documentation. None of those churches have faced revocation of their tax-exempt status to date, but the IRS said some investigations are still open.

Craig believes churches are constitutionally guaranteed their tax-exempt status as part of the founding fathers' desire to promote freedom of religion and freedom of speech, not as a reward for refraining from political activity as part of a church-state separation issue. "It's important for the nation to reframe this whole question, not as a church-state separation issue, but as a free speech issue. Specifically endorsing candidates from the pulpit is not breaking the law, as the nation has been led to believe," he said.

Craig [said] pastors have a responsibility to educate their flock on God's laws, including which elected officials do the best job of following those laws. Pastors who don't are "not doing their jobs."

Since 2004, the IRS has conducted "limited examinations" of allegations of political activity by tax-exempt groups but has proposed revocation of 501(c)(3) status in only a few "egregious" cases, according to a 2008 letter from Steve Miller, an IRS commissioner.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bible Ban by Idaho State Agency Challenged

Public charter school continues legal action against state ban of Bible as instructional text

-- From "NCA appeals court ruling on religious texts" by Jessie L. Bonner, Associated Press Writer 6/14/10

The Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based group of Christian lawyers, contend to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a federal judge erred when he threw out Nampa Classical Academy's case last year.

"A wholesale ban on books with religious content conflicts with established U.S. Supreme Court precedent," said David Cortman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund.

The academy sued the Idaho Public Charter School Commission in September 2009, saying the state had illegally barred use of the Bible as an instructional text. At the time, Cortman said he had never seen such a broad-reaching ban on using the Bible as a resource in public schools.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge dismissed the case last month, saying the ban did not violate the school's rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court banned ceremonial school Bible readings in 1963 but said "the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities" so long as material is "presented objectively as part of a secular program of education."

Public schools across the country have traditionally avoided Bible courses and the potential controversy but hundreds do offer voluntary classes to students.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Is Boise banning the Bible?" by Bob Unruh © 2010 WorldNetDaily 6/16/10

The dispute centers on curriculum plans adopted by Nampa Classical Academy, which was preparing for its instruction of more than 500 students. Officials obtained approval from the state board of education in 2008 and then followed up with positive responses from the Public Charter School Commission as it developed its standards and curriculum.

Then, last year, the state commission suddenly raised objections and prohibited the academy from using any "religious documents and text" in its curriculum or in its classrooms, even if used objectively as a resource.

State officials threatened they would not allow the academy to open if school officials used the Bible or other religious texts on their classroom resource list.

The ADF sued, but Judge Ed Lodge dismissed the complaint, ruling that the commission members "have control over the content of the curriculum."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Tea Party & Engaging The Culture War

Everyone knows that Americans rooting for the Tea Party movement tend toward the pro-life/pro-family/pro-marriage side of the hot button social issues, but establishment conservative leaders insist on coaching the Tea Party to steer clear to avoid typical liberal criticism, such as the first article below.

On the other hand, there's Congressman Mike Pence who disagrees, saying the movement is about "going back to the source of our greatness, which is our character, our faith, our belief in limited government.”

-- From "Culture war rages on in 2010 election, with female soldiers" by Susan Jacoby, posted at Washington Post 6/13/10

Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor at National Review, hailed this election as the year of the pro-life woman. "These women will make it easier for pro-lifers to discuss the issue in the terms we want to discuss it," she writes, "as a plea for justice for a vulnerable group."

. . . Mainstream journalists have taken great pains over the past year to distinguish between the Christian right and the Tea Party . . . though, there is a huge overlap between the Christian right and the tea party movement, between the Republican Party and the Tea Party. One of the signature achievements of the Christian right over the past 30 years has been to meld traditional anti-tax and anti-government positions with support for government intervention on behalf of the morality articulated by conservative Christians.

. . . Sarah Palin, the Tea Party's Red Queen, is the personification of the two strands in right-wing thought and politics.

. . . Born-again right-wing women like [former HP CEO, and now GOP Senate candidate from California, Carly] Fiorina, who was actually born in 1954, and Palin, born in 1964, are just young enough to have benefited from all of the opportunities that the feminist movement fought so hard to open to all women in the 1970s, without having had to contribute anything. The anti-government ideology of these women is particularly hypocritical, since they would be nowhere without the anti-sex discrimination laws that opened doors in education, employment and business to women of their generations.

. . . These right-wing women politicians are anti-feminists who have benefited personally from feminism. Now they are allying themselves with the Good Old Boys of right-wing religion and right-wing economics and calling themselves pro-life and "free market" feminists. And right-wing male blowhards, whose mouths are more accustomed to saying "feminazi" than "feminist," are eager to anoint these women as standbearers for the cause of Bible-based government intervention in Americans' private lives and government neglect of the public good.

Those atheists who are also libertarian conservatives ought to think about everything inside the package if they like the glittery anti-government wrapping enveloping Tea Party/Republican candidates this year. Whether that candidate has an XX or an XY chromosomal structure, he or she is equally beholden to people who want to make their morality the law of the land. These women, like their male counterparts, are opportunists with no shame. Let's give them a big shout-out for defining equal opportunity down!

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Tea Party Movement Shouldn't Focus Only on Fiscal Conservatism, It’s Also About Traditional Morality, Congressman Says" by Penny Starr, CNSNews Senior Staff Writer 6/17/10

The Tea Party movement and its grassroots political activists are defined by loyalty to the U.S. Constitution, limited government and individual liberty -- not social issues such as abortion. That's what one analyst argued at a gathering of conservatives in Washington on Wednesday.

Journalist and author Jonah Goldberg said the movement should avoid cultural issues such as abortion if it is to have continued success.

A conservative congressman, however, disagreed.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, said people are also drawn to the Tea Party movement because it embraces traditional American morality, including the sanctity of life and the traditional definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“One last thought to leave you with,” Pence said in his concluding remarks: “This is something I’ve said around the country at many Tea Party gatherings and grassroots gatherings. And it needs to be said, and that is, that what’s animating this authentic American movement is that our present crisis is not just economic and fiscal. It’s moral in nature.

“At the root of these times, I believe there are millions of Americans who see, in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street, people in positions of authority walking away from the timeless principles of honesty, integrity, an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” Pence said.

“I’ve talked to people in this movement that our leaders need to recognize that public policy alone will not cure what ails this country,” Pence said. “It’s going to take public virtue and a return to the institutions that nourish the character of the nation and reaffirm our commitment to the sanctity of life, the sanctity of traditional marriage, and to the importance of religion in every day life is also quietly central to this movement around the country.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.