MORE INTOLERANCE OF CHRISTIANITY

If you don’t think we are continuing to lose our freedoms in America, think again. Here is another prime example of the attacks on personal freedoms. Michael Salman, who is a pastor, had a weekly Bible study in his home. One neighbor complained. One. From there on, Pastor Salman accomodated the city’s constantly changing requirements.    Pastor Salman explains everything he went through to  cooperate, but in the end, to no avail.

If this were a backyard barbecue, would the CITY OF PHOENIX have considered it a restaurant?


I have another question and I think we all know the answer to this one: if the Salmans were Muslim, would the city have prosecuted this man for having a gathering of friends and family at his home that was not open to the public?


So now he goes to jail, must pay a $12,000 fine, and be on probation just like any street hoodlum. This is a gross violation of the freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution (what’s left of it) and its amendments.
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WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

This man should have mounted his mailbox on the basketball post.  That way, it would have all belonged to the U.S. Postal Service by Federal law and there would not have been anything the DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION could have done about it.  

Did you notice the lie in which the DelDot official was caught?  She plainly said he could keep it if he wanted it, but they hauled it off anyway telling this man he could come pick it up later.  And there are those that wonder why so many distrust government? 

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER UNDER ATTACK

The very small (just over 16,000 total members according to their WEBSITE) left wingnut activist group FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION is now seeking to eliminate the National Day of Prayer.  According to their own news RELEASE on their website, they filed for a rehearing in the Seventh Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals in their challenge of the National Day of Prayer.  The court ruled on April 14, 2011 that the FFRF had no standing to challenge the National Day of Prayer law.  So, of course, they are trying it again to force their agenda on the overwhelming majority of Americans who have no problem with it.  


The court was right to start with as it is entirely optional for us to participate in National Day of Prayer activities.  There is no coercion whatsoever.  Judge Barbara Crabb, who had ruled in favor of this group whose membership is smaller than many Facebook pages, said she found “undisputable evidence of the plaintiffs’ sense of exclusion and unwelcomeness, even inferiority, which they feel as a result of what they view as the Federal government’s attempt to encourage them to pray through a statute and a presidential proclamation.” Now that’s some serious snatching at straws.  With that reasoning, I could easily file a lawsuit challenging many Federal laws and court rulings resulting from the leftist agenda that create a “sense of exclusion and unwelcomeness” and “even inferiority”. 


The FFRF has filed two other lawsuits.  They filed a taxpayer dollar wasting lawsuit in Colorado challenging the governor’s National Day of Prayer proclamations.  They’re trying the same thing in Arizona to try to stop Arizona’s governor annual National Day of Prayer proclamation.  In these lawsuits, the FFRF needs to read the TENTH AMENDMENT to the Constitution.  Even if the courts rule in their favor, states are sovereign and cannot be forced by any branch of the Federal government to stop observing the National Day of Prayer or anything else.  Individual states can do it if they want to with the elected officials in each state being accountable to the citizens in each state for their actions.


There is nothing in the National Day of Prayer law that is unconstitutional  Period.  The law does not require participation by anyone nor does it require any type of recognition by any individual American citizen.  It does not even establish a national holiday like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It would not surprise me if the FFRF filed a lawsuit challenging the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays if they are successful here.  Same principle according to their off-the-wall reasoning.  Federal law establishes both of these holidays.  Maybe that is their agenda by trying to get this set as a precedent.  Time will tell.

http://ffrf.org/news/releases/ffrf-files-en-banc-review-over-national-day-of-prayer/

REBUTTAL!

I haven’t done this in a long time, but Bruce Gourley, Director of the BAPTIST HISTORY AND HERITAGE SOCIETY, took the time to leave a well thought out comment with a somewhat opposing viewpoint.  His comment on my previous post is lengthy, so I won’t repeat it here.  Please read his comment first before reading this post.

First, the issue of schools renting church buildings isn’t a separation of church and state issue.  This has been ruled on by the Supreme Court in reverse a long time ago giving churches equal access to school buildings in which to hold services.  If a church were to deny a school access to its facility, but give access to other groups and organizations, that church would be open to a law suit.  This just exposes even more the Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s true agenda which is anything but religious freedom.

The First Amendment has been turned upside down for about the past fifty years by groups such as the ACLU, AU, Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) into suppressing the rights of Christians.  With a leftist activist judiciary in place in the U. S. Supreme Court for about the same length of time, these groups have violated the Constitution by bypassing entirely the legislative process which represents the will of the people.  A very glaring example of the anti-Christian agenda was a lawsuit in Louisiana about 2005, in which the ACLU sued an elementary school for displaying a Nativity scene.  What the ACLU failed to mention in their suit and court briefs was that there was also a Kwanzaa display, a display for a Mexican bilingual display, and a Menorah.  The ACLU lost that lawsuit, and should have.

I believe there are several reasons these groups use lawsuits rather than go through the various State legislatures and Congress to further their agenda.  One is that they know what the First Amendment says: “Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion . . . ”  So, they just bypass Congress.  The next reason is tied in to the first in a way.  Anytime polls are conducted, the overwhelming majority of Americans express a belief in God.  The statistics are anywhere from the mid-eighty percent range to over ninety percent.  Now whether or not they are living the life is another question and another sermon!  If any type of legislation were somehow attempted, these groups and Congress would risk a huge backlash.  Politicians want to keep their jobs, not lose them.  The last reason I believe is speed.  Since Supreme Court rulings have been unconstitutionally given the authority of law (as in “caselaw”), it is much faster to further an agenda through lawsuits and once a ruling is handed down, it is law.  Period.  We The People can’t vote on it or have anything to say about it.  Pretty dictatorial, isn’t it?  No where in the Constitution or any of its amendments, or anywhere else for that matter will you find Supreme Court rulings becoming law.  This concentration of power without representation is another reason America was founded.

While freedom of religion is an essential part of our heritage and the reason this country was founded, the short quote from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Baptist Association has been turned around to limit our right to religious expression to certain venues,  specifically out of the public eye totally whether or not government property is involved or not.  All it takes is one person to claim they are offended, and one call to any one of these groups to set the wheels in motion, just as in the case of the Christian flag in King, North Carolina.

In order to keep Jefferson’s position on the role of Christianity in government clear, here are a few historical facts that probably will not be found easily anymore.

First, Jefferson actually encourage local governments to make land available for Christian purposes in a letter to Bishop Carroll on September 3, 1801.  This letter is in the Library of Congress, #19966.  The Capitol building in Washington, D. C. was also a church building (as voted on by Congress) in which then President Jefferson chose to worship.  He even provided government paid musicians for the services.  He also had Christian services in the War Building and the Treasury Building.  He also closed all of his presidential documents with, “In the year of our Lord Christ, by the President, Thomas Jefferson.”   Jefferson proposed the Great Seal of the United States include a depiction of a Bible story and include “God” in its motto (August 20, 1776, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Report on a Seal for the United States, with Related Papers).  Jefferson also endorsed the use of a local courthouse for church services (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, to Dr. Thomas Cooper, November 2, 1822).  He even promised government business to a Christian religious school (letter to the Order of the Nuns at Saint Ursula at New Orleans, May 15, 1804).

The final clarification of Jefferson’s position on the role of Christianity in government.  Jefferson was quoted as saying, “[The] liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will, [is] a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.” Funny thing, the left now seems to believe that worshipping our Creator is “incompatible with good government.”  Continuing on, “No nation has ever existed, or been governed without religion.  Nor can be.  The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.”

The many writings of the other 250 or so men involved with the founding of America are along the same vein.  Our government was never intended to be run totally devoid of the Christian faith.  The term “separation of church and state” clearly meant the government would not establish an official national religion as had been the case in England to the exclusion of all others.  This concept was never intended to prohibit our elected officials from practicing Christianity in the performance of their jobs, praying to God in public, or local governments not being able to put out Christmas decorations.

If “separation of church and state” was intended to mean what is commonly found in textbooks and history books now, then why don’t the ACLU, the AU, the FFRF, and others not file lawsuits when Islamic imams are allowed in our schools for example? Why are there no lawsuits when public schools provide facilities for Islamic students to pray at their appointed times during the day?  Under the current misconception of “separation of church and state”, is this not the government “establishing” a specific religion?  Yet, students wearing clothing with Christian symbols to school (or these days, the American flag) are sent home.

No, clearly, Jefferson’s concept of “separation or church and state” was not a government devoid of Christianity.  It merely means the government can’t decree an official national religion outlawing all others.  Just as clear, it also doesn’t mean Christianity is only to be practiced behind closed doors.

The only “fabricated history” here is that of the Progressives, i. e. liberal leftists.  Historical records of the writings of the Founding Fathers, and the liberals’ favorite, Thomas Jefferson, totally contradict the revisionist history we see today have seen for the past few decades.  The only mockery of our nation’s founding principles are carried out by the leftist groups attempting to prohibit any mention of Christianity in the public arena.  This violates the will of the vast majority of Americans which is clearly unconstitutional, and such lawsuits making the Christian faith illegal except in private is a clear violation of the First Amendment they claim to be upholding.

I am not denying separation of church and state here, just the twisted context in which we find it today.  Comparing Islamic governments to the Christian faith in our government is comparing apples and oranges.  Just ask Jefferson.  Jefferson believed just the opposite. He believed the Christian faith to be our government’s best support.

Thank you very much for your thoughts, Mr. Gourley.  I always invite different points of view, and thoroughly enjoy the resulting discussions.  I invite you to stop by regularly, and comment often, whether you agree or not.

THAT PESKY FIRST AMENDMENT THING AGAIN!


by Katie Walker : Aug 17, 2010 : American Life League
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/9248014686.html

“We are so grateful to Tiffany for her courage in the face of injustice.”

Washington, DC)—American Life League celebrated a free speech victory after a federal court entered a judgment this past Thursday that a California elementary school and three school officials violated the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of a sixth-grade student who participated in ALL’s National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day (NPLTD) in 2008.

School officials barred Tiffany Amador from wearing her American Life League T-shirt at McSwain Union Elementary School in Merced, California. NPLTD (now a week-long event) was organized to increase awareness of the personhood of the child in the womb and the tragedy of abortion.

“So often, pro-life students learn that free speech is a constitutional right that, in practice at least, doesn’t apply to them,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “For too long, pro-abortion demagogues have had a stranglehold on the country’s educational institutions and have sought to stifle dissenting opinions—by force, if necessary, as seen in this case. We are so grateful to Tiffany for her courage in the face of injustice—both the bloody injustice of abortion and the tyrannical injustice of government institutions violating free speech rights.”

Abortion t-shirtThe shirt featured the word “ABORTION” over a series of panels, two of which depicted pictures of a developing preborn child and the third filled in with black. The caption read, “Growing…growing…gone.”

According to William J. Becker Jr. of the Becker Law Firm, representing Amador, the school claimed the images were “disruptive” because of their “graphic nature” but could not explain what made them so graphic that they would have caused any disruption, much less a substantial one, which the U.S. Supreme Court has held is a requirement for a school infringing upon a student’s expressive rights.

In addition to claiming that her First Amendment right of expression was violated, Amador, who has since graduated from the eighth grade, alleged in the lawsuit that her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure was violated when the school’s secretary forcefully pulled her into the principal’s office because of her shirt.

“Public school employees work for the government,” Becker said. “Any time a school official uses physical force to suppress non-disruptive student expression; the government has gone way too far in enforcing its own political views.”

Did you notice something? This elementary school girl was “forcefully pulled into the principal’s office because of her shirt.” So-called adults “forcefully pulling” a young girl who was not being physically disruptive. This shows just how angry the liberal left becomes when someone other than leftists express a viewpoint protected by the First Amendment. What’s more, the U. S. Supreme Court had already ruled that a school could not infringe on a student’s right to freedom of expression unless it caused a substantial disruption. The school violated many of Amador’s rights, and I think they knew it at the time. School officials at the very least should have known anyway.


If you have children in school, and if at any time you believe the school is infringing on your child’s Constitutional rights, then do some research and find out. Do not just take their word for it. Schools, just like any other governmental entity, oftentimes depend on the public’s lack of knowledge to run roughshod over our rights guaranteed by the Constitution.


SO WHERE ARE ALL THE PATRIOT ACT OBJECTORS?

This report came out in the Washington Post on July 29, 2010. The article, WHITE HOUSE PROPOSAL WOULD EASE FBI ACCESS TO RECORDS OF INTERNET ACTIVITY, reported that the Obama administration was attempting to make it easier for the FBI to force companies to turn over reports of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order. Let me say that again. Without a court order.

The Obama adminstration is asking Congress to amend the ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS PRIVACY ACT to include records of Internet activity during the upcoming fiscal year that begins October 1. The criteria for access would rest solely on the subjective judgement of FBI agents. Under this proposal, if an FBI agent believed he or she needed the information for an intelligence or terrorism investigation, then companies would have no choice to hand it over without a court order, warrant, your consent, or your knowledge. The demand for such information would not even have to come from FBI headquarters in Washington. Any FBI field office could do so on its own.

These requests, known as “national security letters”, are made by the FBI routinely now. According to a 2008 inspector general report, the FBI issued 192,500 national security letters between 2003 and 2006. The report did not show how many of these letters were for Internet information. What the Obama administration wants to do is add the words “electronic communication transactional records” to the list of types of information the FBI can obtain through the use of national security letters.

While administration officials and lawyers insist that the content of a person’s Internet activity records would not be included, the 2008 inspector general’s report showed there were numerous possible violations of FBI regulations which included the issuance of national security letters without even having an approved investigation to justify it. In other words, information was obtained with either no investigation in progress, or an investigation that was being done with proper authority within the FBI. There were two cases that were found where information was requested that was not even permitted under Federal law. Imagine that.

Michael Sussman, an attorney for the U. S. Department of Justice under the Clinton administration, expressed concerns about the addition of the new language. Mr. Sussman said, “You’re bringing a big category of data–records reflecting who someone is communicating with in the digital world, Web browsing history, and potentially location information–outside of judicial review.” Kevin Bankston, a senior staff attorney with the ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION who filed a lawsuit against AT&T for assisting former President Bush in his “warrantless surveillance program” also has similar concerns. Mr. Bankston said, “Our biggest concern is that an expanded NSL power might be used to obtain Internet search queries and Web histories detailing every Web site visited and every file downloaded.”


Now there you have major concerns about this proposal by two attorneys one of whom worked under a very liberal administration, and the other who filed a lawsuit opposing assistance given to the Bush administration’ s Patriot Act. Not exactly Tea Partiers. In addition, the U. S. Department of Justice’s own Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion on November 5, 2008, which are binding on the Executive Branch, that stated the four current categories of information the FBI can obtain with national security letters was exhaustive. Those categories are name, address, length of service, and toll billing records.

I have an additional concern about this. Remember when the Department of Homeland Security’s Janet Neopolitan issued a report last year that classified most Americans as threats to national security (see my post with complete details including a link to the report from April 16, 2009, click ENEMY OF THE STATE). If you believe in the Constitutional sovereignty of the states, oppose abortion, illegal immigration, and free trade agreements such as NAFTA (hey, the free trade thing includes a lot of you liberals!), oppose the expansion of entitlements, favor owning firearms to protect your family, stockpile food (which FEMA itself even says is a good idea in case of a natural disaster), or are a Christian, oppose the New World Order, then you are a “right-wing extremist” and a threat to national security. See how easy it would be for Big Brother to put you under the microscope for these security threats?

I wonder where the left’s “hue and cry” is about this? The liberal left in this country yelled long and loud about the Bush administration’s monitoring of telephone calls coming in to the Unite States originating in other countries from known terrorists and terrorist organizations. The leftists were on their soapboxes daily on the every news network there was screaming ad nauseum, “We are a nation of laws!” But these same people are strangely silent now. It’s been two weeks now since the story broke. If anything is being said at all, it is at nowhere near the level is was during the Bush administration. Double standard? Nah! What AM I thinking?

THE TRAMPLING OF FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

This isn’t surprising, but still needs to continually exposed. It seems the liberal activist judges in this country need to be made to take high school civics. I have posted numerous times before about the abuses of the judiciary and Federal government in denying Christians First Amendment rights.

“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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Rather plain English, very easy to understand? Definitely. But not to Federal district judge Paul D. Borman or the City of Dearborn, Michigan. Pastor George Saieg, a Sudanese Christian who immigrated to the United States to escape the violent and murderous persecution of Christians in the Sudan, was threatened with arrest by Dearborn Police for passing out Christian literature to Muslims outside of the Arab Festival there in 2009 which was in violation of an anti-First Amendment city ordnance prohibiting the passing out of literature within five city blocks of an event. Pastor Saieg has been passing out literature for years in Dearborn without any incident or interference from the government until now.

After a year of litigation, Judge Borman, a Clinton nominee (of course), sided with the city. Upon appeal, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnatti, Ohio issued a TEMPORARY ORDER stating Pastor Saieg could pass out his literature at this year’s Arab Festival held in June 2010. The Court of Appeals included a statement from Elrod vs. Burns (427 U.S. 347, 373, [1976] that said the loss of a First Amendment right, “for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.” That was June 17, 2010.

The very next day, four Christian missionaries were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct anyway for distributing copies of the Gospel of John in English and Arabic. The video camera that was recording the incident was confiscated and as far as I know has not been returned. Below is a video showing part of this incident, and the fact police arrived in force THREE MINUTES after the arrival of the missionaries AFTER the appellate court’s temporary injunction against Dearborn’s ordnance.


An interesting note here. Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad has been appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council. The Council provides advice and recommendations to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Neopolitan herself. As you may remember, the Department of Homeland Security under Neopolitan’s leadership criminalized conservatives, Christians, Tea Party participants, and anyone who opposes the Obama administration’s policies.

An examination of those serving on the Homeland Security Advisory Council reveals ties to the ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA (ISNA) and to the SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER, a far left-wing organization. Here is a fellow blogger who writes GATES OF VIENNA who researched each of the members of this Council. Click HERE to view the article. Judging from this line-up, I wonder what the real qualifications are to serve on this panel.

With every American Communist Liberties Union lawsuit, with every city or county ordnance or state law restricting freedom of speech, expression, and religion, no matter how trivial it may seem on the surface, is just another step in the process of losing these rights that are fundamental to the preservation of what freedoms we have left.

As the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said, “The loss of a First Amendment right, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.”