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  • Religion & Faith

    News & Issues Affecting Religious Freedom

    Enlightened Rational Activism In Support of Judeo-Christian Traditions, Moral Principles, Traditional Values, Integrity, Virtue, and Civility in American Life and Government

    Contents--click headings to jump down

    Urgent NoticeYou have the constitutional right to freedom of religious expression--in private, in public, in church, in school, at work, at public meetings.  Read scriptures, pray, wear symbols anywhere ("certain restrictions apply").  Don't be deceived, threatened, or intimidated by the ACLU, secularists, atheists, or any other extremists.  Visit the organizations on this page for proof, to report abuses, to seek help.

    Jefferson and Washington on Religion

    "One of the amendments to the Constitution... expressly declares that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,' thereby guarding in the same sentence and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press; insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others."--Thomas Jefferson

    "Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." -/- "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness—these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens."--George Washington

    Religion & Faith Current Topics

     

    Review this page to ascertain that threats to religion & faith are numerous & relentless. The evidence is so overwhelming that this charge cannot be dismissed as paranoia or hysteria.

    World Observer  Research & Policy Position--Education Series:  Dealing with Sexuality & Religious Freedom Issues in Public Education

    Department of State:  Remarks at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting (Transcript)  You may also click on the images below to access the audio and video directly.

    video: high speed connectionvideo: dial-up speed connectionm3u

    Baptist Families Encouraged to Stay Active in Public Schools

    Southern Baptists Refuse to Back Pullout
    AP, Tim Whitemire, 6.14.2006

    A Missed Opportunity--Baptists Reject Exodus from Public Schools

    Hymn at talent show becomes court case
    A federal judge must decide whether officials at a New Jersey school went too far when they banned an 8-year-old girl from singing a hymn in a talent show.
    >> Read full story

    Rice Discusses Role of Religion in Her Life & in World Politics
    Baptist Press, 6.14.2006

    A Difference Worth Embracing  In what some are calling a "second front" in the culture war -- trailing in the wake of same-sex "marriage" -- the battle over homosexual adoption is increasing in intensity. Homosexual activists claim that scientific studies demonstrate there is no risk in allowing homosexuals to adopt. But the research says no such thing.   Read More

    Dribbling Circles Around Jesus What did Jesus mean when he said that we would do greater things than he did? Answered by Darrell Bock (page also includes numerous good questions about faith with links to the answers--recommended reading!)

    Judge: 'In God We Trust' stays  A federal judge in California has rejected an atheist's claim that the motto "In God we trust" violates the First Amendment separation of church and state.  >> Read full story

    Lawmakers Say Pledge Protection Act Needed Now More than Ever

    read more

    Sponsors pick Flag Day to unveil legislation to guard "under God" from activist courts.  Members of Congress told the nation today that, if we are not careful, the right of Americans to go public with their religion is in danger of being lost to activist courts. At a Capitol Hill news conference, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and Sens. John Kyl, R-Ariz., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said the country needs the Pledge Protection Act to safeguard our freedom. "We're very concerned that the Supreme Court might possibly say that the words, 'one nation under God' would be unconstitutional," Akin told CitizenLink. "I think that would be a tragedy and a travesty if it happens." The bill would keep the federal courts from taking cases challenging the Pledge.  read more

    Sex-Ed Advocates Tell Congress to Abandon Abstinence Ed  Democrats introduce a bill to cut funding for purity.

    Episcopal Church USA Considers Moratorium on Gay Bishops (14 June 2006)

    Church Forced from Its Building Over “Landscaping” Rule Wins Over Local Government  ADF, 6.14.2006

    When is a Song Too Religious - Even in After-School Show?
    Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey, 6.15.2006 (ADF)

    Prayer Vigil in Front of White House in Support of Mt. Soledad Cross and Religious Expression in the Public Square
    Christian Newswire, 6.14.2006

    South Dakota Churches Falsely Threatened With Loss of Tax-Exempt Status
    Lifesite, Gudrun Schultz, 6.14.2006  Legal experts say churches can speak out on abortion and homosexuality ballot questions, despite IRS warnings.

    Baptists to Weigh Public-School Exit Plan AP, Tim Whitmire, 6.14.2006

    Recent Developments In Religious Land Use Cases
    Religion Clause Blog, 6.14.2006

    Standing Up for Wiccan Rights  Christianity Today (?!)

    Kennedy to Cardinals: You're All Bigots!  by Richard Lessner

    'Passion' Still Beats the 'Code' After Day 15
    As reported here earlier, The Passion of The Christ, which IMDb ranks No. 10 in U.S. box office sales for all time, continues to outpace The Da Vinci Code's U.S. box office performance in head-to-head match-ups of day-by-day sales-a trend that continues to send Hollywood this unmistakable message: "Blasphemy doesn't pay."

    Catholic University Graduation Crowd Blasted for Heckling Student Speaker
    The New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is criticizing the actions of spectators and graduates who heckled a student commencement speaker at a Catholic university in Minnesota for airing some of his conservative beliefs.

    Panel Edits Ten Commandments: Committee Rewords Religious Phrases
    2theadvocate.com, Marsha Shuler, 6.7.2006

    Bible-Based Prison Treatment Program Shelved  NPR linked on How Appealing, 6.7.2006

    "'Pledge Protection Act' Threatens Rights Of Religious Minorities, Says Americans United" for Separation of Church and State  6.6.2006

    Catholic Charities in Boston Will Close on June 30, 2006  CWA, 5.31.2006

    Modified Image on School Yearbook Cover Upsets Some Parents: 'In God We Trust' Scrubbed from Image of Liberty Nickel  Agape Press, Jim Brown, 5.30.2006

    Bible Club Battles Maryland School District in Discrimination Suit
    Agape Press, Jim Brown, 5.30.2006

    City Bars Paintings with Bible Verses: 1 Piece Features Artist's Granddaughter, Quote from Psalms  WorldNetDaily, 5.31.2006 (Brett Harvey of ADF)

    Assault Against America's Christian Traditions Continue
    Renew America, Felicia Benamon, 5.31.2006

    Ten Commandments Litigation from Coast to Coast ACLJ, 5.31.2006

    Plugged In: X-Men: The Last Stand
    X-Men: The Last Stand does a better job of raising tough questions than it does answering them.  (WO:  Interesting and well-written commentary on social and moral issues presented in the movie.)

    Remaking Man in Our Own Image: C.S. Lewis' Conditioners and the World of X-Men 3: The Last Stand
    C. S. Lewis argued in The Abolition of Man that humans, unmoored from the restraint occasioned by fidelity to a transcendent moral order, would create a world of their own choosing. Humans think that by doing so they will be free to make of themselves what they will, but Lewis disagreed, noting "For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means, as we have seen, the power of some men to make other men what they please."

    Silent Mourning: The ACLU vs. Religious Freedom
    Breakpoint, ADF President Alan Sears, 5.29.2006 

    One Nation Under God

    Pledge Protection Act (HR 1100)

    Have you signed the Pledge Protection Act petition? Click here for information. Click here for a "One Nation Under God" bumper sticker.

     

    Survey Claims Nearly Half of Americans Are Born Again
    But experts say such numbers should be leading to a greater impact.

    Marriage Protection Amendment scheduled for vote in Senate 6 June--Take Action!  Send an email to your two Senators today.  If either of your Senators is co-sponsoring the Marriage Protection Amendment, he or she will receive a thank you. If either of your Senators is not co-sponsoring the bill, he or she will get the letter encouraging them to vote for it.  Click Here to Email Your Senators Now! 

    Scholars Ponder Same Sex Marriage Issues AP, 5.30.2006
    Some gay rights advocates agree that conflicts would be inevitable but argue that public interest in ending discrimination should take precedence over claims of religious freedom. "We are in a zero-sum game in terms of moral values," says Chai Feldblum of Georgetown University's Law Center, a veteran gay rights advocate. Government must choose sides . . . And Feldblum says that "without a doubt" that eradicating bias is "a compelling goal" for government. To her, that trumps a religious foundation for excluding gay couples.  Papers on Becket Fund Site also see 
    The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today Chapter Excerpt: The Silence (and the Silencing) of the Church

    WO Comment:  Feldblum's comment is disturbing and all the more so coming from a lawyer and an educated woman, more evidence that "educated" does not always make one enlightened.  Quite the opposite of her statement is true; religious foundations (morality) "trump" eliminating bias which is merely a "sub-set" of areas addressed by religious principles.  To suggest that the government should eradicate bias is absurd and the epitome of a radical "police state" monitoring thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes.  In fact, it is the purview of religious establishments, not the government, to address the "sins" of bias, intolerance, prejudice, discrimination, and the like.  Further, the first freedom of the First Amendment establishes the freedom of religious expression; there is nothing in any founding document that would suggest that government may dictate, control, or intrude on a person's beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, or values whether these are moral, appropriate, right, tolerant, justified, etc. or not.

    San Diego Cross Attracts National Followers
    Voice of San Diego, Will Carless, 5.30.2006 
    "The issue is really much larger than Mount Soledad," said Joseph P. Infranco, senior vice president of the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization that has also recently supported conservative battles over abortion measures and marriage amendments. It recently announced its support for the cross. "Our real concern is that, if there's a precedent established in Mount Soledad, it will be the basis for going after crosses in Arlington National Cemetery and in war memorials across the nation," Infranco said.

    Thomas More Law Center Asks Ninth Circuit To Halt Destruction of the Mt. Soledad Cross  6.6.2006

    Sign the petition to save the Mt. Soledad Cross & Veterans' Memorial

    U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Atheist's Claim Over Boy Scouts
    AP on Fox News, 5.30.2006

    Be Not Afraid: Is There Room for Catholic Teaching at a Catholic Commencement?  National Review, Colleen Carroll, 5.30.2006

    Court Refuses To Dismiss Conspiracy Claims By Christian Group That Opposes Homosexuality  Religion Clause Blog, 5.28.2006

    Kentucky: ACLU Sues to Halt Graduation Prayer
    AP on Lexington Herald-Leader, 5.17.2006

    LifeWay Survey Examines Top 10 Issues Facing Families
    Baptist Press, Brooklyn Noel, 5.9.2006

    1. Anti-Christian culture; 2. Divorce; 3. Busyness (sic); 4. Absent father figure; 5. Lack of discipline; 6. Financial pressures; 7. Lack of communication; 8. Negative media influences; 9. Balance of work and family; 10. Materialism.

    'World religions' Course Boosts Liking for Religious Liberty
    First Amendment Center, 5.8.2006

    Virginia County Giving Cowboy Church a Rough Ride
    A farmer in Bedford County, Virginia, has received a notice of zoning violation from his jurisdiction for allowing a "cowboy church" to hold services inside a barn on his property. In response, the religious-freedom advocate law firm Liberty Counsel has warned County officials of the farmer's basis for a federal lawsuit.

    Preachers' Speech Rights Violated at 'PrideFest' Event, Federal Court Rules  ADF, 5.9.2006

    SC: Apartment Managers Ban Bible Study In Commons Area
    Religion Clause Blog, 5.10.2006

    NC: School District Sued After Suspending Christian Student
    Agape Press, Jim Brown, 5.10.2006 (Dave Cortman of ADF)

    Christian Church Files Emergency Lawsuit to Stop the Ministry From Being Shut Down  Liberty Counsel, 5.9.2006

    Conservative American Baptists Set to Finalize Withdrawal from ABC (USA) over Homosexuality Issue  Baptist Press, Gregory Tomlin, 5.9.2006

    Liberty Counsel Announces National 'Friend or Foe' Graduation Prayer Campaign

    A Christian law firm and a Christian university have teamed up to educate public school officials about students' rights when it comes to graduation ceremonies. The result is the "Friend or Foe" Graduation Prayer Campaign, a joint project between and Liberty University and the Florida-based legal group Liberty Counsel.   Read More

    Traditional Values Newsend 

    SBC News Feed   

    Washington: Stop Homosexuality from Becoming a Civil Right  The people must secure the right to decide the fate of a sexual-orientation law

    The threat to freedom of religion cannot be dismissed as hysteria

    Escalating Church and State Clashes Over Gay Marriage Inevitable, Say U.S. Experts  “The impact will be severe and pervasive” 
    By Gudrun Schultz 

    BOSTON, Massachusetts, May 9, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Conflict between religious liberty and same-sex marriage is inevitably going to escalate, said leading religious liberty scholars from both sides of the issue, in an article by the president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, Maggie Gallagher.  In an article published by the Weekly Standard yesterday, Ms. Gallagher explored the question of state interference with the freedom of religious institutions who object to same-sex marriage. What she found, after speaking with a variety of experts in legal and academic fields, was a conviction among those tracking the development of the pro-gay movement in the U.S. that religious freedom was in danger of losing significant ground to the demands of the anti-discrimination campaigners.  “The impact will be severe and pervasive,” said Anthony Picarello, president and general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, one of the best religious liberty law firms and the only firm to defend all faith groups. “This is going to affect every aspect of church-state relations…because marriage affects just about every area of the law, gay marriage is going to create a point of conflict at every point around the perimeter.”  Marc Stern is general counsel for the American Jewish Congress. He agreed with Picarello that coming conflicts over same-sex marriage would be pervasive.  “Same-sex marriage would…work a sea change in American law. That change will reverberate across the legal and religious landscape in some ways that are today unpredictable,” he wrote in a paper for the Becket Fund.  The threat to freedom of religion cannot be dismissed as hysteria, he told Gallagher. “You look around the world and even the right to preach is in doubt. In the United States we are not foreseeably in that position. Fundamentally speech is still safe in the United States. Beyond speech, nothing is safe.”  Gallagher pointed out that it is not simply same-sex marriage but a specific vision of gay rights that has “placed church and state on a collision course.”  “Once sexual orientation is conceptualized as a protected status on a par with race, traditional religions that condemn homosexual conduct will face increasing legal pressures regardless of what courts and Congress do about marriage itself.”  Gallagher said legalizing gay marriage carries significant weight in the public perception of homosexuality and the impact on church institutions.  “Precisely because support for marriage is public policy, once marriage includes gay couples, groups who oppose gay marriage are likely to be judged in violation of public policy, triggering a host of negative consequences, including the loss of tax-exempt status.”  “Because marriage is not a private act, but a protected public status, the legalization of gay marriage sends a strong signal that orientation is now on a par with race in the non-discrimination game. And when we get gay marriage because courts have declared it a constitutional right, the signal is stronger still.”  Read the full article:
    http://weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/191kgwgh.asp       (c)Copyright: LifeSiteNews.com, a production of Interim Publishing.
    Permission to republish granted but acknowledgement of source (use LifeSiteNews.com) is *REQUIRED*

    Banned in Boston: The Coming Conflict Between Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty  Weekly Standard, Maggie Gallagher, 5.15.2006 (ADF)
    Just how serious are the coming conflicts over religious liberty stemming from gay marriage? "The impact will be severe and pervasive," [Anthony Picarello of Becket Fund] says flatly. "This is going to affect every aspect of church-state relations . . . Can a group--a church or religious charity, say--that opposes gay marriage keep its tax exemption if gay marriage becomes the law? "That," says [Marc Stern of American Jewish Congress], "is the 18 trillion dollar question." . . . Right now, [Jonathan Turley, George Washington U. Law Professor] notes, there is no clear federal public policy against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But such a policy is imminent, he believes, most likely within the decade.

  • Religious Liberty and Marriage Conference Hits Weekly Standard Cover, Becket Fund, 5.2006
  • Same-Sex Marriage has Serious Implications for Religious Liberty, Legal Experts Say, CNA, 5.8.2006
  • Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
  • Book: The Homosexual Agenda: The Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today
  • "Banned in Boston": Universities Prove Maggie Right
    PhiBetaCons Blog on National Review, David French of ADF, 5.8.2006

    Sign the petition to save the Mt. Soledad Cross & Veterans' Memorial

    God In The Classroom
    By Gina Parker
    Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Second Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in which the Court ruled a kindergarten student had a right to draw a picture of Jesus.

    'National Day Of Prayer' Events Politicize Religion, Divide Country, Says Americans United
    Americans U. for Sep. of Church and State, 4.27.2006

    WO Comment:  On the contrary, Americans United for Separation of Church and State along with the ACLU do more to divide the country than any day of prayer event could.  Take Action!--Get involved.  Stop the ACLU and the AUSCS!

    The Truth Project to Hold Inaugural Conference in Charlotte  Approximately 1000 Are Expected to Attend Groundbreaking Biblical Worldview Training.

    What's a Worldview Anyway?  "Worldview" is fast becoming a commonly used term. But do you know what it really means? Dr. Del Tackett shares four important points to keep in mind when seeking to understand the meaning of "worldview."

    Christian Students Considering Lawsuit Over Suspensions  Christian students who were punished by their California high school for protesting its celebration of an annual pro-homosexual event are threatening to sue over the incident.   Read More

    Liberty Counsel Defends Christian Businessman Ordered
    to Duplicate Homosexual Videos

    Hard for Christians to Get a Fair Shake from Media
    Citizen Link, 4.28.2006

    Bringing the Good News into Our Public Schools  This very special 20-page free report by Child Evangelism Fellowship will share shocking details regarding the status of the generation currently being raised in America. Find out how God has been forcibly removed from nearly every aspect of their young lives. Then, be encouraged as you learn of the landmark Supreme Court decision allowing Child Evangelism Fellowship to bring the Good News of the Gospel directly to children inside Public Schools. SPECIAL REPORT

    Bible-Reading Marathon Kicks Off Sunday

    Event culminates in the National Day of Prayer on May 4.

    Beginning Sunday morning, Christians will gather on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol -- and in front of public buildings and schools around the country -- to read the Bible out loud around the clock.The National Bible Reading Marathon began 17 years ago, according to the Rev. Mike Hall, who coordinating the Washington, D.C., event.  "We read continuously," he told CitizenLink. "We will start with Genesis 1:1 at 8 o'clock on April 30th. And at 1 o'clock on the National Day of Prayer (May 4), we will finish with the last chapter of Revelation."

    Freedom of Speech of Pastors under Attack

    Take Action!--Free Speech Denied to Pastors 
    Under the provisions of a 1954 law, the IRS currently has the right to censor the speech of pastors. The law directly violates the First Amendment. The law causes pastors to tiptoe around issues of the day, such as abortion and the role of faith in America at the risk of losing their tax-exempt status. But
    we can change the law through the Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act.  [MORE] 

    Sign the Petition to Protect Freedom of Speech for Pastors!

    DNC Chair Tells Churches to Shut Up When it Comes to Politics
    Howard Dean says tax-exempt status exempts Christian groups from speaking out.

    Campaigning from the Pulpit: Why Not?
    USA Today, Rick Garnett, 4.16.2006
    For starters, and with all due respect to Jefferson, the First Amendment does not constrain — in fact, it protects — "political" preaching and faith-filled activism. Yes, our Constitution preserves a healthy separation between the institutions of religion and government. This wise arrangement protects individual freedom and civil society by preventing the state from directing, co-opting or controlling the church. It imposes no limits, though, on conversations among religious believers — whether on Sunday morning, around the water cooler, or at the dinner table — about the implications of their faith for the controversies of the day. Our First Amendment protects religious freedom, individual conscience and church independence from government interference.

    ACLJ Legislative Updates
    4.17.2006  (Two issues:  Eminent domain and
    Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act proposed by Congressman Walter Jones.)

    Sign the Petition to Protect Freedom of Speech for Pastors!

    ADF Radio Clip:  The Case of the Confiscated Bibles
    Children at a local school are told that if they continue to hand out Bibles before school they face arrest. 

    WO Comment:  Secularist "reasoning"--freedom of speech applies only to liberals, secularists, atheists, gay activists, the ACLU, etc. not to conservative persons of faith.  And that freedom of religion clause--the Founders made a mistake.  We're pretty sure they meant to say freedom from religion.  Maybe we can't find the phrase "separation of church and state" anywhere in the Constitution or Bill of Rights but we're pretty sure the Founders intended to put that in somewhere.  Really.  Trust us, we're enlightened, you know!

    9th Circuit Hits Christians Again
    Infamous anti-Pledge court rules against a high school student's right to wear a T-shirt proclaiming the biblical view of homosexuality.

    Report On Future Of Religious Freedom In U.S.
    Religion Clause Blog, 4.21.2006

    FROM: Alan Sears, President, Alliance Defense Fund

    Please Be in Prayer for Brave Christian Students and the “Day of Truth”…
    Do these young people look like “hate-mongers” to you?  Do they look to be “intolerant” or “bigoted?”

    They don’t to me. But that’s what they’ve been labeled at their school.

    Why? 

    Because these courageous young men and women are the members of the Christian H2O club in a Midwestern city, who are participating in this year’s ADF “Day of Truth” co-sponsored by Focus on the Family, Exodus International, and the Southern Baptist Convention -- to proclaim Christ’s love for those struggling with or trapped in homosexual behavior.

    These students are an inspiration to all of us at ADF.  Despite their “Day of Truth” posters they put up around campus being ripped down and reports of participating students being physically and verbally intimidated by students and school officials in 2005 for taking a stand for Christ at their school, the H2O club ordered 98 “Day of Truth” t-shirts for 2006!

    This Thursday, April 27th, students across the country, will be joining together to exercise their First Liberty – religious freedom – and “break the silence” when it comes to a fair and balanced discussion of homosexual behavior in our nation’s tax-funded schools.
     

    Easter Candy Ban May Have a Bitter Ending for School
    The mother of a North Carolina second-grader is threatening to sue a public elementary school for prohibiting the boy from passing out Easter candy displaying religious messages.

    Separation of Church and State - a Mere Mantra, Not a Wall
    Free Congress Foundation, Marion Edwyn Harrison, 4.12.2006

    My Genes Made Me Do It: The Difference Between “Anything Goes” and Christian Inclusiveness.
    National Review, Father Thomas Williams, 4.20.2006
    The Church is absolutely inclusive toward persons (all are invited to enter) but not toward ideas or behavior. If our “inclusiveness” means that we are no longer able or willing to distinguish between good and bad behavior and to make universal moral judgments like “wife beating is bad,” then we have effectively abandoned morality. The UCC might respond that homosexuality is genetically determined. Science is ambivalent on the subject, and studies contradict one another. Yet, regardless of the biological component to homosexuality, the UCC would be missing the point. The fact of the matter is, we all are teeming with inclinations and tendencies — some good, some bad.

    Take Action!--Should we replace the birth of Christ to date time (BC/AD) with a secular dating method? Click to read the information and vote!

    Kentucky Education Officials Blasted for Modernizing Historical Dating System
    The Kentucky Board of Education is under fire for approving a new, more contemporary system of describing historical dates in its public school curriculum. One critic feels modernizing the system is an effort to conceal from students their culture's Judeo-Christian heritage.  >> Read full story

    Liberty Counsel Files in Indiana Case, Says Legislative Prayer Part of History
    A Christian law firm is defending the 188-year tradition of opening prayer in the Indiana Legislature. Liberty Counsel says legislative prayer is not unconstitutional and should be permitted.

    School Officials Ban Second-Grader from Distributing Easter Candy Containing Religious Messages ADF, 4.13.2006

    John W. WhiteheadThe Trial, Torture and Crucifixion of Christ

     by John W. Whitehead      (April 12, 2006)

    While the New Testament Gospels are the primary source for accounts of Jesus Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and death, his ordeal at the hands of Roman soldiers has been the topic of scholarly research for years.  Certainly, the torture Jesus endured was agonizing....  while much has been written about his physical suffering, questions remain. For example, why was he forced to undergo such intense torment? Why did the Roman soldiers torture him? And what was the point of it all?

    Mapping Religion in America
    RegionsofMind Blog, 4.24.2006

    Subsidiarity and Religious Establishments in the U.S. Constitution
    Duncan, Kyle, 52 Villanova Law Review __ (2006) Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=897785 

    Pennsylvania: District Accused of Equating Bible with Profanity
    WorldNetDaily, 4.22.2006 (ADF Ally Randall Wenger)
    See also: Lawsuit Stuns DASD Solicitor, Daily Local, Michael Crist, 4.24.2006

    Christians Attack Tolerance Policies
    Baltimore Sun, Stephanie Simon, 4.23.2006 

     

    "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." —Inscription on the Liberty Bell (Leviticus 25:10)  It's a wonder the secularists haven't tried to have the Liberty Bell melted down due to the "affront" of displaying a religious message!

     

    BILL MAHER THINKS CHRISTIANS CONTROL AMERICA

    Rick Scarborough, Vision America

    In response to Vision America’s hugely successful The War On Christians And Values Voter In 2006 conference at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, DC (March 27-28), comedian Bill Maher (an atheist) went after us on his HBO show “Real Time.”  After calling evangelicals “the party of paranoia,” “demagogues” and “con men,” Maher calimed that Christianity “has taken over all three branches of government” as well as “public schools” and “the best-sellers list.”

    Christians put “The DaVinci Code” on the top of The New York Times best-sellers list for the past two years? Christians control a public-school system devoid of Christian values, where children have been reprimanded for reading the Bible during recess? (And, WO would add, teachers, administrators, school boards, the ACLU, and judges are complicit in allowing gay activists to use public schools for homosexual/anti-religious indoctrination.)

    All three branches of government?

    The left has dominated the Supreme Court since the 1950s -- witness a Godless public square, abortion on demand, and the striking down of popularly enacted anti-gay rights laws. Yet all it took was two Bush appointments (one replacing a conservative), and suddenly we control a court that’s dominated by the thinking of David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, where the left still has a 5-4 majority..

    And Bill Maher thinks we’re paranoid.

    WO Comment:  For those who think there is no war on faith and no overwhelming disrespect for Christianity, the following is but one of many detailed on this page:

    Comedy Central censors Muhammad image, but 'South Park' episode depicts  Jesus defecating on Bush, flag    Read it here

    Jesus Yes, Mohammed No, on South Park
    CNSNews, Patrick Goodenough, 4.17.2006

    The Pope's Easter: Benedict XVI Takes on the Excesses of Secularization and Radical Islam.
    WSJ Op. J., Daniel Henninger, 4.14.2006

    Attorney: 8th Circuit's Graduation Prayer Ruling Discriminates Against Christians A civil liberties attorney is objecting to a federal appeals court's decision to side with a former teacher who complained about prayers at a graduation ceremony in an Arkansas school district. The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of Steve Warnock in his dispute with the De Valls Bluff School District, but denied his request to stiffen penalties against the district.  >> Read full story

    20 Reasons There Is Hope for America
    If you believed everything you read in the liberal press, you would think that Christian leaders were actively working in Washington to dismantle our government and set up a theocracy, similar to that in Iran. The facts, however, say something different -- but one thing is clear: the old guard of Christian political involvement has some powerful new members.

    The Jesus and Judas Papers: A Look at Recent Claims about Jesus
    Questions about history may be sincere, but make no mistake: there is an agenda at work.

    The Judas We Never Knew
    Disgraced disciple actually conspired with Jesus, according to newly released Gospel of Judas. Should we believe it?

    Catholic Group Criticizes Notre Dame Official's Response to 'V Monologues'
    A conservative Catholic group is criticizing the University of Notre Dame for once again allowing a controversial film festival and a vulgar feminist play on the Indiana school's campus.  >> Read full story

    Combating Defamation of Religion v. Freedom of Speech: Finding the Balance in a Democratic Society  Maxim Grinberg, (March 25, 2006).

    Religious Motivation vs. Traditional Religiousness: Bridging the Gap Between Religion and Politics and the Psychology of Religion
    Marie A. Eisenstein, 2 IJRR (2006)

    International Religion Indexes: Government Regulation, Government Favoritism, and Social Regulation of Religion
    Brian J Grim and Roger Finke, 2 IJRR (2006)

    Europe's Chastisement? -- How the Abandonment of Christianity May Be Leading to Disaster Several factors are playing a role in a major culture shift in Europe -- a "birth dearth," the collapse of family values, the abandonment of Christianity itself, and the "Islamification" of the continent.   Read More

    "Fair Dialogue with a Fanatic: A Contradiction": Princeton LGBT Center and the Religious Right  The Daily Princetonian, Damian Carrieri, 4.12.2006

    Connecticut: "Gay Students Protest Scalia Speech"
    365Gay.com, 4.12.2006

    WO Comment:  Interesting irony and hypocrisy.  The first article, "Fair Dialogue," berates religious people for wanting to participate in a fair dialogue at a gay event and denies them freedom of speech barring them from the event.  The writer admonishes religious "fanatics" for attempting to interfere in the freedom of speech of gays.  But apparently it is perfectly acceptable for them to interfere with the speech of others as indicated in the second article, "Gay Students Protest."

    National Rally on Separation of Church and State--April 18 in Danbury, Conn.
    U.S. Newswire, 4.11.2006

    "UCC Continues To Lose Churches Over Pro-Gay Stand"
    365Gay.com, 4.10.2006

    Christianity Today
    A Decisive Turn to Paganism
    Has the nation finally abandoned its Judeo-Christian heritage, or is there still hope?

    ADF Wins Case for Religious Freedom - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the city’s (Ithaca, NY) attempt to silence the Gospel in this case was unconstitutional!  The full text of the opinion can be read at Deegan Opinion.  Read the ADF press release...

    "Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies"
    LA Times, Stephanie Simon, 4.10.2006 (ADF)

    Ann Coulter New Book: "Godless: The Church of Liberalism"
    Drudge Report, 4.10.2006

    NC: Homosexuality vs. Christianity the Great Battle has Begun
    Christian Newswire, 4.10.2006

    God and the Founders
    MSNBC, John Meacham, 4.10.2006
    Battles over faith and freedom may seem never-ending, but a new book, 'American Gospel,' argues that history illuminates how religion can shape the nation without dividing it.

    Lawsuit Alleges City Resolution Labels Catholics as 'Outsiders'

    A resolution passed unanimously by San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has prompted a lawsuit alleging the city officials have launched a "startling attack" on the Catholic Church, its teachings and beliefs, and its adherents.   Read More

    The Catholic Church and Homosexuals
    Tidings, Fr. Richard P. McBrien, 4.7.2006

    Schools Around The Country Consider New Policies On Religious Issues  Religion Clause Blog, 4.6.2006

    'Bible Bill' Sponsor Touts Historic, Literary Value of World's Best-Selling Book
    A Georgia lawmaker is hailing passage of a bill to fund elective Bible courses in the state's public schools.

    Homosexual 'Pride' Event Pushed Back Into Closet, Says Christian Group
    The president of a Christian activist group is claiming victory after cancellation of an annual "gay pride" event in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Arizona Bill To Require Recognition of Student Religious Organizations Nears Passage
    Religion Clause Blog, 3.30.2006

    Click here to sign the
    Values Voters' Contract with Congress

    Navy Prayer Policy Prohibits Free Exercise of Religion; TRI Calls on Navy to Bring Policy in Line with Constitution

    In a recent letter to the Secretary of the Navy, John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, called on the Navy to bring its recently issued prayer policy for chaplains in line with the Constitution.  The policy, issued by Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter, prohibits Navy chaplains from using sectarian language in prayers in most situations other than formal worship settings. The policy also places the responsibility for determining what is and is not appropriate in such prayers on Navy commanders. Pointing out that by placing itself in the position of regulating prayer and interfering with the right of chaplains and service people to freely satisfy their consciences in matters of faith, Whitehead informed Secretary Winter that the Navy is in violation of federal law and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Click here to read more.

    ChristianityToday.com
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    The Original Puritan Work Ethic
    By valuing all of life in relation to God, Puritans gave sacred significance to every activity. 

    ADF Radio Clip:  Silencing the Church
    Alan Sears shares the details behind homosexual activist attempts to silence a church for their stance on the defense of marriage between one man and one woman. 

    Intolerant City
    San Francisco Chronicle, 3.28.2006
    THE IRONY was obviously lost on the clueless San Francisco supervisors when they passed a resolution warning that a Christian youth gathering could "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city." 

    Afghan Christian Convert Vanishes After Release
    AP on Christian Post, Amir Shah, 3.28.2006
    On Monday, hundreds of clerics, students and others chanting "Death to Christians!" marched through the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif to protest the court decision Sunday to dismiss the case.

    Staver: Teacher's Bible-Based Opinion on Homosexuality No Grounds for Discipline

    A Florida-based Christian attorney says a Miami public high school was wrong to publicly reprimand a teacher for stating her biblical opposition to homosexuality while being interviewed for a student video project that was broadcast throughout the school.   Read More

    The Original Puritan Work Ethic

    Judge Grants Injunction Allowing Child's Recess Bible Reading and Sharing
    A federal judge has ordered an elementary school in Knoxville, Tennessee, to stop prohibiting a fifth-grade student from reading his Bible with a friend during recess. But the dispute between the child's family and the school district is far from over.

    American Muslims are Gaining a Foothold in Politics
    USAToday, Jill Lawrence, 3.24.2006

    ADF Radio Clip:  Say a Prayer - Go to Jail
    Alan Sears addresses a recent case in which
    the ACLU demanded jail time for school officials who allowed a prayer before a school baseball game.

    City Hall Evicts Easter Bunny: St. Paul Civil Rights Chief Says Non-Christians Might Find the Holiday Decoration Offensive
    St. Paul Pioneer Press, 3.23.2006

    WO Comment:  We endeavor to use research and analysis to make comments that follow our criteria of rational, logical, reasonable, and fair.  However, the attack on the "Easter Bunny" is so absurd that we are, quite frankly, speechless.

    San Francisco City Government Calls Catholics 'Hateful, Discriminatory, Insulting, Ignorant'
    Lifesite, John-Henry Westen, 3.22.2006 

    Clerics want Christian Convert's Death
    AP on Jerusalem Post, 3.23.2006
    Afghan Judiciary Says Won't Bow to Convert Pressure
    Reuters, Sayed Salahuddin, 3.23.2006
    More articles on Google

    The Need for Wisdom in an Age of Intellectual and Spiritual Insanity  by Mark H. Creech
    Never has there been a day when wisdom, both intellectual and practical, was more needed than today. Yet, we're not seeing much wisdom. In fact, we're seeing just the opposite.  Only those whose judgment has been profoundly diminished -- whose ability to think and carefully weigh the facts, after witnessing the rioting of Muslims around the world over something as silly as a cartoon -- would still believe Islam is essentially a peaceful religion. Only those who are not thinking straight would believe redefining marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry could ever be in the best interest of the nation. Only those who've been brainwashed by the screwy philosophies of our time would defend abortion, pornography, euthanasia, gambling, premarital sex, stem-cell research on embryos, the legalization of drugs and prostitution, removing the influence of prayer, Bible reading, and the Ten Commandments from public life. This is all a form of madness!  Real wisdom comes from God. Those who turn from their sins to Christ, the living Word, find it. And those who live by the inerrant written Word, the Bible, discover it. Other voices are simply unreliable and can lead to a darkened understanding, a defiled mind and conscience -- much like what's demonstrated in the many arguments of the atheists, the evolutionists, the theological modernists, and the secular humanists of today. 

    Violating the Founders' Vision: The Catholic Charities Exemption Bill Threatens What this Country Stands For
    Harvard Crimson, Loui Itoh, 3.15.2006

    Harvard law student cites John Locke out of context and distorts Founders' philosophy to condemn religion and Catholic Charities and support homosexual and atheist indoctrination agendas.

    "Kids Take Back Seat to Gay Agenda"
    Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby, 3.15.2006
    On March 10, Catholic Charities of Boston had announced that it was being forced to shut down its highly regarded adoption services, since it could not in good conscience comply with the government's demand that it place children for adoption with homosexual couples. Caught between the rock of Catholic teaching, which regards such adoptions as ''gravely immoral," and Massachusetts regulations, which bar adoption agencies from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, the Boston Archdiocese had hoped to obtain a waiver on religious-freedom grounds. But when legislative leaders refused to consider the request, the archdiocese was left with no option but to end a ministry it had been performing for a century.

    Whereupon the Human Rights Campaign (gay agenda activists) issued its news release. It was headlined ''Boston Catholic Charities Puts Ugly Political Agenda Before Child Welfare."

    ''As much as one may wish to live and let live," Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon wrote in 2004, during the same-sex marriage debate in Massachusetts, ''the experience in other countries reveals that once these arrangements become law, there will be no live-and-let-live policy for those who differ. Gay-marriage proponents use the language of openness, tolerance, and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and discrimination . . . Every person and every religion that disagrees will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The ax will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don't go along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse to  compromise their principles."  The ax fell on Catholic Charities just two years after those words were written. 

    WO Comment:  The Human Rights Campaign's news release headline is irresponsible journalism because it is inaccurate and falsely places responsibility on Boston Catholic Charities.  The HRC offensively accuses the religious charity of having an "ugly political agenda" when in fact their only agenda is humanitarian, not political, serving children in need.  Indeed, the HRC and the state government are guilty of putting an end to Boston Catholic Charities' commendable efforts for the common good and public utility (usefulness).  The headline should read, "Human Rights Campaign and Government Put Ugly Political Agenda Before Child Welfare."  What have the HRC and the Massachusetts government done lately for the welfare of children?  Finally, the name of the organization, Human Rights Campaign, should be changed because it is misleading and dishonestly deceptive.  They deal with personal issues of sexual preference, not human rights issues.

    Also see related items:

    State Putting Church Out of Adoption Business
    Boston Globe, John Garvey, 3.14.2006

    Romney Bill Seeks Adoption Exemption
    Boston Globe, Jonathan Saltzman, 3.16.2006

    Catholic Charities Pulls Out of Adoptions
    Washington Times, Cheryl Wetzstein, 3.14.2006
    If other Catholic Charities agencies withdraw from public adoption, "you can't even begin to talk about what the impact of that will be nationwide," she said.

    Boston 'Gay' Adoption Row Reveals Growing Gap Between Church, Society
    Christian Post, Steve LeBlanc, 3.19.2006

    ChristianityToday.com Church Locator

    The Virtue of Justice
    CERC, Doug McManaman, 3.2006

    The Case of the Christian Camp Counselors
    State officials try to shut down a Christian camp for troubled kids because the counselors pray with the children. 

    WO Comment:  Apparently the state officials can disregard the First Amendment's guarantees regarding freedom of speech and of religious expression.  Why isn't the ACLU defending the Christian camp's rights? After all, this is a case of "separation of church and state," a concept that the ACLU invented and which doesn't appear in the Constitution or Bill of Rights.  Obviously the ACLU's interpretation of their "separation" slogan means the church should stay out of the government and even public life but the government can impose its will on the church and on religious expression.

    Alliance Defense Fund Radio Clip:  Their Tolerance is Silence
    Alan Sears talks about how Christians worldwide are facing criminal penalties for sharing the biblical position on homosexual behavior, and how it is beginning to happen here as well.

    Book: The Homosexual Agenda

    Queers, Steers, and Engineers: Various Denominational Statements on Homosexuality
    Townhall, Mike S. Adams, 3.16.2006

    New U.N. Human Rights Council Disappoints Christian Group
    Christian Post, Michell Vu, 3.16.2006

    Forum: Rethinking the first freedom  by Grace Smith

    Life and How to Live It, Part V
    Townhall, Mike S. Adams, 3.13.2006
    In fact, you could do it in alphabetical order – picking one blessing for every letter. If you follow my advice, your only problem will be choosing between the many blessings you have but rarely even think about. It happened to me a few nights ago when I took my own advice. There was a thanksgiving for my friends at the Alliance Defense Fund who are taking the campus cultural wars to a whole new level.  

    Three Words Worth Fighting For
    Rutherford Institute, John W. Whitehead, 3.13.2006

    Modernity's Assault on Truth
    Christian Post, Albert Mohler, Jr., 3.11.2006

    Truth's Assault on Modernity  

    City to Seize Church by Eminent Domain: Using Supreme Court Ruling to Remove Baptist Congregation
    WorldNetDaily, 3.11.2006 

    University Paper: Muslim Cartoons No Way but Cartoon of Jesus in Oral Sex OK

    By John-Henry Westen

    SASKATOON, March 6, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - For the second time in as many weeks, a Canadian university newspaper has published cartoons offending Christianity which make the cartoons from Denmark offending Islam pale in comparison

    The University of Saskatchewan student newspaper, The Sheaf, has published a cartoon depicting Jesus performing oral sex on a pig with the caption reading, "Go on, it's ok, it's kosher if you don't swallow".  The decision to publish the outrageously offensive "Capitalist Piglet" cartoon comes after the same newspaper refused to print the cartoons mocking Mohammed out of respect for Islam.

    Two weeks ago, a University of Toronto newspaper published a cartoon depicting Jesus and Mohammed Smooching with a view to promoting tolerance of homosexuality (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/feb/06022011.html )

    While The Sheaf claims to be independent, university students are required to fund the publication via their tuition.  With nearly 20,000 students, the paper receives approximately $120,000 from mandated student fees.

    A staff member for Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), an organization which works on campuses across the country, told LifeSiteNews.com, "it was totally distasteful and very hurtful to a lot of students."  CCO's Johnny Hickey, who works full time on the University of Saskatchewan campus said, "it was especially hurtful because last week the paper published an article saying why they didn't print the cartoons from Denmark."  He said that while students were "hurt, offended, and frustrated" he was nonetheless impressed that they were handling the situation without malice but with a determined effort to see justice done, demanding the resignation of the cartoonist.

    A local radio talk show is encouraging students to complain to the human rights commission regarding the offence.

    A website has been launched to confront the paper (http://www.boycottthesheaf.blogspot.com/ WARNING site contains photo of the cartoon), calling on those offended to contact the newspaper's advertisers and inform them of a boycott over their support of the paper which printed the offensive cartoon.

    University President Peter MacKinnon, in a communication to the university campus stated, "In the February 23 edition of the Sheaf, the editors explained that they would not publish the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. It is surprising that they did not exercise similar restraint in their decision to publish 'Capitalist Piglet' in the March 2 issue of the paper. This is a cartoon that is certain to cause distress to members of our community. It has divisive shock value only and does nothing to advance the understanding or debate for which universities should be distinguished."

    MacKinnon added, "The Sheaf should apologize to us all."  MacKinnon was not available for comment, and so could not address students' concerns that they not be forced to fund the paper, which has often carried offensive material.

    The paper's production manager, Liam Richards, told LifeSiteNews.com that the printing of the cartoon was "not an editorial decision but a mistake that resulted from a miscommunication."  However, when asked if the paper would accept any further submissions to the paper from the student responsible for the sacrilegious cartoon - Jeff Macdonald - Richards said the paper was still discussing the matter.

    To express concerns contact:

    University President Peter MacKinnon
    peter.mackinnon@usask.ca

    The Sheaf Editor
    editor@thesheaf.com

    (c) Copyright: LifeSiteNews.com, a production of Interim Publishing.
    Permission to republish granted but acknowledgement of source (use LifeSiteNews.com) is *REQUIRED*

    WO Comment:  The article above is very disturbing and the cited attack on and derision of Christianity is an outrage.  Such obscenity and lack of tolerance and respect for others is not characteristic of an enlightened, rational civil society.  In addition to writing the university president and the student newspaper, please use the "Contact" button top left to tell elected officials it's past time for them and the Supreme Court to revisit "freedom of speech" and establish clear and concrete guidelines to acceptable speech versus obscenity.  While the incident took place in Canada the same anti-Christian climate has reached intolerable epidemic proportions in America as well.

    ChristianityTodayStore.com

    Vision AmericaThe War on Christianity Rages Like…
    An Alabama Church Fire
    by Rick Scarborough

    Today is the day that America called burning nine churches a college “prank.”

    Everywhere I turn in the media I see attempts to turn this horrendous crime against Christianity into a mere “prank.”  Every news outlet from Fox to CNN has reported this as a teenage “prank.”  Let’s get something straight here:  rolling a house with toilet paper is a prank, torching nine churches is NOT a prank.

    Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said the church arsons did not appear to be “any type of conspiracy against organized religion” or the Baptist faith. With the arrests, he said, “the faith-based community can rest a little easier.”  With all due respect to the Governor, this was a “conspiracy” of three individuals planning these crimes and it was committed against “organized religion.”  Why the desire to minimize the crimes?  Why the desire to deny the obvious facts?

    This is not a prank and we should not be relieved.  Instead, we should examine ourselves, our culture, and our Nation and we should ask God why our college boys are torching our churches.  The War against Christianity is raging across this nation like an Alabama Church Fire.  Some want to minimize this war, others want to explain it away.  We must understand the times and we must have the courage to look at the facts and respond accordingly.

    Government Edicts on Religious Charities Attack Religious Freedom

    The Patriot Post

    "[R]eligious freedom is...being trampled in...Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, adoption agencies must be licensed by the state and adhere to the state's anti-discrimination laws, including laws prohibiting discrimination against gay couples. This puts Catholic Charities in a bind. The Vatican has called gay adoptions 'gravely immoral' and said that they do 'violence' to children. By 'violence' it means taking advantage of the children's 'dependency' to place them 'in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development.' At the same time, Catholic Charities wants to help children in need of a home... What motivates regulations like this one isn't the interests of the children—it's the interests of adults. Truth be told, Catholic Charities and other faith-based groups care a whole lot more about the children than those who enforce these kinds of rules... Doing good should not require doing violence to your conscience. Apparently, officials in Massachusetts have forgotten this, which puts them in very bad company indeed when it comes to religious freedom." —Chuck Colson

    WO Comment:  What about "separation of church and state" that the ACLU and other secularist organizations are so vehement about promoting?  Oh, right.  That only applies to keeping the church (i. e., religion) out of the state, society and public life.  It doesn't apply when it comes to the government dictating to the church.  This is another example of irrational and unjust subjective selectivity--the selective application of laws, rules, maxims, and policies to one person or faction but not to the opposing party.

    Muddying private affairs

    Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has directed his staff to draft "very narrow" legislation that would afford Catholic Charities an exemption from the state's anti-discrimination laws, allowing the organization to provide adoption services without serving gay couples.

    Top Story

    God by the Numbers
    Coincidence and random mutation are not the most likely explanations for some things.

     

     

    Negative Perception Of Islam Increasing
    Washington Post, Claudia Deane and Darryl Fears, 3.9.2006

    New Guide to Help Churches Stay Politically Involved, Law-Abiding
    Recently the Internal Revenue Service released a report showing that nearly three quarters of 82 tax-exempt groups investigated during the 2004 elections took part in prohibited political activity. But now, churches and nonprofit organizations have a new resource to help keep them out of trouble with the IRS. 

    Ministry Releases Annual List of World's Worst Religious Oppressors
    Open Doors USA has released its annual "World Watch List" of 50 nations where Christians face the most intense hostility and harsh treatment because of their faith. The list ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith; and for the fourth straight year, the communist nation of North Korea tops that list.

    Religious Freedom: Inherent Right or Gift of the State?
    First Amendment Center, Charles Haynes, 3.5.2006

    Pastor Forced to Foot Bill for 'Police Protection' During Pro-Family Rally
    A pro-family activist says it's outrageous that a pastor was charged thousands of dollars for a police detail to protect those attending a Christian event from homosexual activists who were demonstrating outside.

    Evangelist to Stand Trial for Ministering on Public Sidewalk, Federal Lawsuit Filed Repent America, 3.3.2006

    FLAME:  After Recent Murders of French Jews, Europeans Finally Acknowledge Muslim Anti-Semitism 

    A Depraved Nation  Renew America, Nedd Kareiva, 3.2.2006

    Does Today's FAIR Decision Implicate Christian Student Group Cases? Religion Clause Blog, Howard M. Freidman, 3.6.2006

    How Religious Liberty Claimants Fare in the Courts—Responding to the Critics and Closing Thoughts 
    Volokh Conspiracy, Greg Sisk, 3.3.2006

    Missouri Man Sues Over Firing, Claiming Religious Discrimination
    AP on KansasCity.com, Margaret Stafford, 3.1.2006 (Gary McCaleb of ADF)

    Missouri: ACLU Seeks to Prohibit Bible Distribution in Grade School
    AP on Joplin Globe, 3.1.2006

    The Twighlight of the Phobo-Philes
    CWNews Off the Record, Diogenes, 3.1.2006
    Multiculturalism, at root, is an assault on Christianity, and its enforcement of the norms of "diversity" and "tolerance" displays those Stalinist-style asymmetries we've all come to take for granted. But the enforcers overreached themselves. Having defined intolerance as synonymous with Christianity -- . . .  they had no weapon with which to combat hostility trained on them by non-Christians [i.e. Muslims]. 

    Agape PressFormer Intern Sues Ex-Employer After Being Fired for Sharing Her Faith
    A "straight-A" student has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Children and Family Services, where she interned in hopes of completing her master's degree in social work. The graduate student claims she was terminated from her internship position for refusing to refrain from sharing her faith with co-workers during her lunch break.

    Alliance Defense Fund Radio Clip:  Unto the Least of These
    Alan Sears discusses the distressing trend of cities taking steps to close down the work of faith-based homeless shelters. 

    Are You Considering Homeschooling?
    ConsideringHomeschooling.com, 2.24.2006
    94% of homeschoolers keep the faith and 93% continue to attend church after the high school years. But a shocking 75% to 85% of Christian children sent to public school drop out of church, and do not hold a Christian worldview after high school graduation

    VisionAmerica

    Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Partial Birth Abortion Case

    The United States Supreme Court has agreed today to hear an appeal in a Nebraska case that struck down the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The case, known as Gonzales v. Carhart, will be the first test of an abortion case under the new Supreme Court with its newest member, Justice Samuel Alito.

    In 2001, the Supreme Court struck down a Nebraska law that banned the grisly late-term abortion procedure with a 5-4 vote. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor cast the swing vote in that case. Now, with Alito on the bench in her place, we have every right to hope and pray that this barbaric practice of killing full-term babies will end.

    This issue, like no other, illustrates how outside the mainstream our courts have moved.  While Americans debate the right of a woman to have an abortion early in her pregnancy, there is almost universal abhorrence for the practice of sucking the brains out of babies just days before natural delivery would occur.  Yet, federal judges have twice blocked legislation banning such practice, though it passed with wide bi-partisan approval and overwhelming public support.

    Nothing in American jurisprudence is a slam dunk, and therefore Vision America calls on Christians around the country to pray that our Justices will rule justly this time.  We have far too much blood of innocent lives on our hands already.  It is time for a landslide of decisions that will ultimately overturn abortion to begin.

    AgapePressBush and Congress Urged to Protect Religious Freedom in U.S. Military
    A Navy chaplain who went on an 18-day hunger strike for the right to pray in Jesus' name says new guidelines adopted by the U.S. Air Force might be expanded to cover America's other armed forces as well. However, he believes those regulations would end up restricting free speech and religious expression.

    AgapePress:  Homosexual Activists' War Against Christianity

    "All churches who condemn us will be closed." That was what Michael Swift, a "gay revolutionary," declared in a February 1987 issue of the Gay Community News.   Read More

    Cardinal to Muslims: Reciprocate on Religious Freedom
    CWNews, 2.21.2006
     

    Townhall:  Explaining Jews, Part III: A very insecure people

    On Jan. 21 in Paris, a gang of Muslims intent on kidnapping Jews kidnapped 23-year-old Ilan Halimi. Reciting verses from the Koran in phone conversations demanding money from the family, they ultimately rejected the money and tortured Halimi to death. They kept him naked for weeks while they cut him up and finally poured flammable liquid over his skin and burned him alive.

    Townhall:  Death Sentence for a Whistleblower?

    By the end of the month, Bureau of Prisons employee Joe Mansour faces what could well be a death sentence. His crime? After being ignored by BOP higher-ups, he warned Congress and the public about the spread of radical Islam in the federal prisons—and his employers’ inability to cope with the growing crisis.

    Various Sources

    Atheists are Ripping a Page from the Gay Manual
    Link to article

    Thomas More Law Center asks court to rehear case on Nativity ban
    Link to article

    Christians, Islam and the Future of Europe

    9th Circuit Mulls Allowing Worship Services in Public Libraries
    AP on Mercury News, Justin M. Norton, 2.17.2006
    [Benjamin] Bull, chief counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, said allowing the services "would no more turn the meeting room into a church than allowing Narcotics Anonymous to use it would turn it into the Betty Ford Clinic." The Bush administration is not a party to the case, but submitted a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the church.

    Atheists Hoping to Assert Rights in Religious Era
    San Francisco Chronicle, Joe Garofoli, 2.20.2006

    A culture war is being waged by radical Islamists against a post-Christian West largely disarmed by multiculturalism

    Wiccans challenge Bible tax exemption - claim unfairly paid levy on satanic scripture 

    WO:  Wiccans and Satanists have a scripture?  Is it divinely inspired?

    Victory for Jesus: Court tells atheist it won't judge Christ's existence  

    WO:  Our taxpayer dollars at work.  Yet another example of time, energy, and money spent in court costs at taxpayers' expense on the irrational and useless rather than the common good.

    The Ashbrook Center

    President Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

    This Washington Post article summarizes this report, which provides grist for any number of mills. On the one hand, there are those who argue that what the Bush Administration’s "faith-based initiative is really all about is de-funding social programs and dumping responsibility for the poor on the charitable sector." The study shows that some categories of social spending declined from 2002 to 2004. Hence while the faith-based share of the pie remained the same (roughly 18%), the pie got some $230 million smaller over those three fiscal years.

    Others could point to evidence that more groups shared in the federal largesse, indicating the increasing vitality of the grassroots and a salutary movement away from the usual suspects to smaller, perhaps more innovative groups closer to the people they help.

    Stanley Carlson-Thies observes that the relatively constant faith-based share "gives the lie to alarmists" who think the administration is funneling vast sums to churches.

    Jim Towey, Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, doesn’t like the study at all:

    The study did not count grant-making programs that were created after 2002 and ignored such programs as Head Start, which he said was the second-largest source of federal funds for religious organizations, after the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 202 housing program for the elderly poor.

    "They have picked rotten cherries and come up with a rotten pie," Towey said. "They took a very small sample of programs and grants and are drawing conclusions that are completely inaccurate."

    Towey said the White House has been collecting growing amounts of data on grants each year, beginning with two federal agencies in 2002, five in 2003, seven in 2004 and 10 in 2005. When it issues its report for 2005 in March, he said, "we’ll look at 25,000 grants in just one year" and "will show there’s been an increase every year in the category of competitive, nonformula grants for social services."

    I’ll reserve final judgment until I see the White House report, though I would take issue with those who measure the character of a government’s "compassion" (as if a government can have compassion) simply by the amount of money it spends.

    And while I’m at it, here’s a commentary on the state of the faith-based initiative that doesn’t just look at money.
    Posted by Joseph Knippenberg

    Christianity Today

    How Not to Fight the Culture Wars

    The Nation's Public Sociologist Looks at America's Religious Diversity

    How Reality TV Actually Misrepresents Life 

    Bill Boosts Fight Against Sex and Labor Trafficking

    Islamic Law Isn't Always Violent, But More and More It Is

    Alliance Defense Fund    

    • Defending Our First Liberty
    • Conservative Alternative to the ACLU
    • Protecting Family, Faith & Freedom

    Secularists, atheists, gay activists, the media & others supported by the ACLU & similar groups & activist liberal lawmakers & judges seek to eliminate religion & faith from American life.

    ADF Attorney Mike Johnson: Public Prayer Must Be Encouraged, Defended  Shreveport Times, 5.3.2006

    Judge Orders San Diego Cross Removed: Gives City 90 Days in Case Brought by ACLU-Backed Atheist  WorldNetDaily, 5.3.2006

    ACLU Goes Back to Court Over Ten Commandments Monument at Capitol  WKYT.com, 5.4.2006

    Liberty Counsel and Dr. Falwell Launch "Friend or Foe" Graduation Prayer Campaign  5.4.2006

    6th Circuit Favors Homosexuality Over Chaplain’s Rights
    Baptist Press, 5.3.2006

    Free Speech for Sale: “Mr. Heterosexual” Must Pay ADF, 3.7.2006

    Calif. School Drops Ban on Religious References, Ensures Equal Rights of All Student Clubs ADF, 3.6.2006

    ADF Steps in After Atheist Entity Challenges Status of Collegiate Catholic Group  ADF, 3.3.2006
    University of Wisconsin–Madison officials warned against ceding to de-funding demand

    Court Grants Utah Highway Patrolmen’s Organization
    ADF, 3.2.2006  ADF attorneys to represent Utah Highway Patrol Association against
    atheist group suing to remove crosses honoring fallen officers 

    WO Comment:  Note the two entries above if you have any doubts that there is a serious battle against faith and religion being waged by atheists, secularists, the ACLU and other extremist non-believer groups.  Do not make the mistake of believing that these are merely a few isolated incidents and there is no cause for alarm.  These attacks are very widespread and in many cases they are succeeding in eliminating expressions of Judeo-Christian faith.  For this reason part of the mission of World Observer is to chronicle instances of these, to support organizations like the Alliance Defense Fund and others included here, and to encourage you to take action by spreading the word, writing Congress, writing to newspapers, and similar activities.

    ADF Radio Clip:  After School Bible Fellowship
    A young girl learns that her after-school Bible class will no longer be allowed, because of the “separation of church and state.” 

    WO Comment:  That's wrong, not to mention illegal, an infringement of freedoms of speech and religious expression, as the ADF and other organizations on this page can verify.

    Virginia: Judge Backs York School Over Teacher's Christian Postings
    AP on Virginian-Pilot, Zinie Chen Sampson, 2.27.2006
    Lee v. York Co. School Div. District, No. 4:05cv125 (E.D. Va. Feb. 23, 2006) 

    Religious Liberty in the Courts: Are Traditionalist Christians Now the Disfavored Group?  Volokh Conspiracy, Greg Sisk, 2.27.2006

    Supremes Give Religious Exercise Preliminary Win
    CWA, Jan LaRue, 2.27.2006

    Let Thy Words be Heard: Man Prohibited from Reading Scripture at Public Meeting is Vindicated ADF, 2.21.2006

    ADF President: Strong Religious Liberties Framework Contained within Supreme Court Ruling ADF, 2.21.2006

    Christian Law Center Seeks to Change American Culture: Thomas More Firm Takes Cases to Defend Country's Religious Underpinnings
    Detroit News, Tom Krisher, 2.11.2006

    In 'Files,' the ACLU Struggles for Religious Freedom, but Not for Balance
    Boston Globe, Joanna Weiss, 2.11.2006

    Bush Touts Religious Freedom, Says US is 'Nation of Prayer'
    CNA, 2.3.2006

    Despite Appearances, Science Doesn't Deny the Existence of God
    WSJ, Sharon Begley, 1.27.2006

    Efforts Continue to Allow Ten Commandments Displays on Public Property  AccessNorthGA.com, 1.31.2006

    Newly Revised Air Force Religious Guidelines Get Mixed Reviews
    Christian Post, Jason Davis, 2.10.2006

    Vision America

    Vision America's purpose is to restore the original American vision.  They campaign against attacks on religious freedom.  Their goal in 2006 is to stop activist judges who rule against Judeo-Christian principles.

     

    Also see Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration

    Judicial Activism Threatens Constitutional Freedoms

    Panel of experts recommends solutions to rein in the courts

    AgapePress

    • Reliable News from a Christian Source

     

     

    Comparing Islamic Fascists to Christian Conservatives

    The media has often compared Christian conservatives in America to violent Islamic radicals. Such comparisons are common today by those on the left, but nothing less than asinine -- and recent events on the world stage prove it.   Read More

    Ohio School Cans Lord's Prayer -- but 'Caving In' Not the Answer, Says Staver
    Agape Press, Jim Brown, 2.10.2006

     

    The Rutherford Institute

    Dedicated to the defense of civil liberties and human rights.  Issues include:  Free Speech, Religious Freedom, Church Rights, Parents' Rights, among others.

     

    Responding to IRS Report Citing Churches for Political Activities, TRI Issues Church Guidelines

    ACLU, PFAW Join Forces to Oppose TRI Lawsuit Over City Councilman’s Christian Prayers

    The Rights of Churches and Political Involvement

    First Liberties:  Volume 33 Now Available for Download

    TRI is still accepting applications for its 2006 Summer Internship Program for Law Students!

    The ACLU and their campaign to silence Christian prayers

    For the past several years, the ACLU has repeatedly threatened to sue Reverend Hashmel Turner, who is a part-time minister of a small church, and the Fredericksburg City Council unless Rev. Turner, an elected member of the Council, stops ending his prayers at Council meetings with the three words “in Jesus’ name.”  When Rev. Turner refused to give in to the ACLU’s threats, the Fredericksburg City Council went so far as to pass a policy banning Christian prayers of any kind.  Determined not to compromise his faith or deny God, Rev. Turner is willing to put himself in the line of fire so that Christians can continue to pray and worship freely. And because he has decided to take a stand against the ACLU, this courageous Christian has been silenced, discriminated against and made into an object of public scorn.  But he should not have to stand alone.   That’s why I’ve given Rev. Turner my word that The Rutherford Institute will stand with him and fight for his right to say a Christian prayer at the City Council meetings.

    WO:  If you are interested in supporting The Rutherford Institute in this cause for religious freedom, please visit their web site.

    Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act Defended In The United States Supreme Court

    ANN ARBOR, MI — The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has submitted a brief with the United States Supreme Court supporting the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Joining the Thomas More Law Center in the friend of the court brief are the Catholic League and the National Pro-Life Alliance.

     

    LifeSiteNews

     

     

     

    35% of Christian Families Have Been Harmed By Internet Material

    Cardinal Newman Society Campaign Against Offensive “Monologues” Achieves Results
     

    More Religion & Faith News & Issues

    Explore Christian History & Biography:

    FLAME        

    http://lists.christianitytoday.com/t/3988909/2407877/30907/0/

     

    Augustine of Hippo
    Architect of the Middle Ages

    "Mankind is divided into two sorts: such as live according to man, and such as live according to God. These we call the two cities. … The Heavenly City outshines Rome. There, instead of victory, is truth"

    Learn more about Augustine
    Read more entries from
    131 Christians Everyone Should Know

     

     

    Atheism

    "Atheism comes from, literally, the Greek word a-, 'the negative'; and theism, the word theos for 'god' —'negative God' or 'there is no God.' It is affirming the non-existence of God. It affirms a negative. Anyone with an introductory course in philosophy recognizes that it is a logical contradiction. It would be like me saying to you, 'There is no such thing as a white stone with black dots anywhere in all of the galaxies of this universe.' The only way I can affirm that is if I have unlimited knowledge of this universe. So to affirm an absolute negative is self-defeating, because what you are saying is, 'I have infinite knowledge in order to say to you, "There is nobody within finite knowledge".' Atheism, as a system, is self-defeating." —Dr. Ravi Zacharias

     

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    Christian Persecution Escalates in Muslim Regions...   For several years now, radical Muslims in northern and central Nigeria have been carrying out a 'holy' war, or jihad, against Christians. If you are concerned about the fate of persecuted Christians around the world, sign up for the free Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.

     

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    Features Include:

    • A full year of weekday and weekend devotions located near the designated Scripture readings.
    • Devotional material written by over 100 well-known Christian women.
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