To Brittany McComb, We Are Your Microphone!

The U.S. Supreme Court and government officials are about to find out that the result of a shut off microphone during high school valedictorian Brittany McComb’s speech and testimony to Jesus is a voice louder than anyone can imagine.

Rutherford Institute to Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court on Behalf of High School Valedictorian Censored, Silenced for Referencing Christ

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.
— (The Rutherford Institute) The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed the First Amendment case of a high school valedictorian whose microphone was turned off after she began speaking about the importance of religion in her life during her graduation speech.

In issuing an unpublished decision in the case, the Court ruled that school officials did not violate the First Amendment rights of Brittany McComb when they cut off her microphone. McComb, who is currently studying at Oxford University, plans to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court with the help of The Rutherford Institute.
brittany censored

“This is a very important free speech case that will affect the rights of all persons across America,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “If government officials can extinguish speech by turning off microphones at public assemblies, then none of us will have any rights.”

In the spring of 2006, Brittany McComb was one of three valedictorians chosen based on their grade-point averages to give a speech at Foothill High School’s annual commencement ceremony. Each valedictorian was provided with “suggestions” for crafting their speeches. However, school officials neither encouraged nor forbade the students to include or exclude religious content from their speeches. In her speech, Brittany reflected on past experiences and lessons learned at school and wrote about the emptiness she experienced from accomplishments, achievements, and failures in her early high school years. She then mentioned the fulfillment and satisfaction she later came to experience in something greater than herself, namely, in God’s love, and Christ.

Upon receiving a copy of Brittany’s draft speech, school administrators proceeded to censor her speech, deleting all three Bible references, several references to “the Lord” and the only mention of the word “Christ.” Believing that the district’s censorship of her speech amounted to a violation of her right to free speech, on June 15, 2006, Brittany attempted to deliver the original version of her speech in which she talked about the role that her Christian beliefs played in her success. The moment Brittany began to speak the words, school officials cut off her microphone. Despite extensive jeers from the audience over the school officials’ actions, McComb was not permitted to finish her valedictory speech.

With the assistance of The Rutherford Institute, Brittany McComb filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Foothill High School officials in July 2006. In June 2007, the U.S. District Court for Nevada rejected the school district’s second attempt to have the case dismissed and affirmed that the lawsuit raises substantial claims of infringement of McComb’s right of free speech. School officials subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeals to have the case dismissed.

source: The Rutherford Institute News

image source: The REBELution
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BLOGGERS FOR BRITTANY MCCOMB


Colorado Right: Liberal Free Speech Suppression

Sunlit Uplands: Christian Valedictorian Case Headed for Supreme Court
Rosemary’s Thoughts: Valedictorian’s Free Speech To Be Defended
Freedomthirst: Don’t Say That Name!

Related:
Free speech ‘gutted’ in valedictorian speech case, http://bit.ly/415kH

DIGG!

Light Overcoming Dark in Congo, Africa

On the international news front, this story of the horrific violence in the Republic of Congo also includes the story of hope found in Camille and Esther Ntoto, field supervisors for Light of Africa Network.
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Camille and Esther Ntoto

In Democratic Republic of Congo, Rape Leaves Horrifying Trail Violence against women used as instrument of war

By Mark Ellis
Senior Correspondent

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA — (ASSIST News Service) Sifa fled from the fields near her village after she heard the sounds of the screaming and commotion. By the time she reached Kiwanja and her mother’s tearful embrace, she had already been raped by soldiers on a dirt road. Compounding the ordeal, her father died in the assault.

“We want women and girls to talk about the sexual violence,” says Esther Ntoto, who serves with her husband Camille as field coordinators for Light of Africa Network.

Over 5.4 million have died as a result of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which some have termed “Africa’s World War.” This makes it the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II, with a death toll exceeding Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda and Darfur in Sudan.

Beginning in 1998, the conflict has involved seven foreign armies. Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting continues in the mineral-rich eastern portion of the country. The prevalence and intensity of rape and other sexual violence in eastern Congo has been described as the worst in the world.

“One out of three women have been raped in the Eastern DRC,” according to Camille, citing figures from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Some suffer from fistula, a medical condition resulting from a tear between the birth canal and anal cavity. “The soldiers finish their atrocious acts by shoving objects into their private parts, leaving these women in a very bad situation.” The shame resulting from their infertility or incontinence causes some to be shunned and cast out of their villages.

The mission of Light of Africa Network is inspired by Psalm 82:

“Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and needy; save them from the hand of the wicked.”

The Ntotos live among the rape victims and disaster survivors, conducting Bible studies, individual counseling and prayer sessions. “The hospitals take care of the medical needs and their psychological counseling, but I thought it is also good to do Bible study,” Esther says. “We meet every other day and we also have prayer,” she says. “We have seen drastic changes in their countenances.”

Recently, Esther led a woman to the Lord at the hospital, only to discover she was missing the next day.

“Where is the lady who was here yesterday?” Esther inquired.

“She passed away last night,” one of the patients reported.

Esther felt hurt. How could the Lord take her so soon?

“Why are you sad…she’s with the Lord,” another patient said. “We couldn’t sleep last night because she was praising the Lord and singing all night long.”

The Ntotos are helping to raise funds for an empowerment center, which will serve as transitional housing while the women are rehabilitated. “They will learn skills at the center until they are able to stand on their feet,” Esther says.

Light of Africa Network is also partnering with other organizations to bring micro loans and micro financing to help sustain families. They gave one young boy named Fikiri a five-dollar micro loan, which he used to buy candies and tissues for resale. “Now he has a little store,” Camille reports, “and he’s only 13. When he has to go to school, his mother sells for him.”

Despite the peace accords signed six years ago, some 45,000 continue to die each month – many from the starvation and disease that results from violence. The Ntotos want to see more women testify about the violence perpetrated against women.

“They must break the silence,” Esther says, noting that a few brave women have stepped forward. “They want the war to stop, the violence to stop, and the perpetrators to be arrested,” she says.

Source: ASSIST News Service

Moment of Silence Survives in Texas

It’s a given that the Christian faith is under attack in the U.S. on many fronts. Secularists, agnostics, and atheists emboldened by the false understanding of what America’s forefathers meant by the separation of church and state have filed lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit.

Students praying

By ALEXANDER
TheScroogeReport.com

So paranoid of a “Christian influence” are some of these groups, that suits are now filed at the mere whiff of anything even remotely spiritual.

I had no idea that moments of silence were now found to be objectionable as well. That is until I read today’s story in the Christian Post, Court Upholds Texas Moment of Silence Law as Constitutional.

A federal appeals court upheld on Monday a Texas law allowing students to observe a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day.

A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling, rejecting a North Texas couple’s claim that the moment of silence law, which took effect in 2003, was unconstitutional.

The panel ruled that the statute is “facially neutral between religious and non-religious activities that students can choose to engage in during the moment of silence.”

After the ruling, David Cortman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case last year, stated, “A moment of silence is not a government endorsement of religion just because someone might use the time for prayer.

“No student is compelled to pray under the Texas law. The 5th Circuit was right to uphold the district court’s determination that the law is not an establishment of religion.”

Afraid of silence…

In 2006, David and Shannon Croft sued on behalf of their three children, who attend school in the Carrolton-Farmers Branch Independent School District. They argued that the 2003 amendment that specified the moment of silence as a time for students to “reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity that is not likely to interfere with or distract another student” was an endorsement of prayer.

Better than Ritalin…

Texas Attorney General Abbott who maintained that the 2003 statute was constitutional, commented, “The United States Constitution plainly protects young Texans’ right to observe a moment of silence before school each morning.”

“In an age where children are bombarded with distractions, beginning each school day with a moment of silence offers a welcome moment of quiet contemplation,” he added.

To be intolerant of a moment of silence is lunacy. Perhaps some of us Americans need to take the iPod earplugs out of our ears, turn off the cell phone, get away from the TV, enter a quiet place and listen…someone may be calling you. May you find Him now!
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Tracking…

“Fast Forward post-election, the dust has settled, ACORN’s man won, and guess who is being summoned to help in the 2010 Census? ACORN. Yes you heard it right.” – The Liberal Heretic: The Census Has Officially Been Hijacked by the Left

UC Hastings College of the Law can deny recognition and funding to a Christian student group because it excludes gays, lesbians and non-Christians, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. – San Francisco Chronicle: Christian law group loses fight with Hastings
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DIGG Post!

Trouble in Paradise: The Final Chapter?

“You’re going to have to kill me,” Joni Park allegedly yelled as the first officers arrived at the hotel, according to court documents. “Call the police,” she reportedly told officers who ordered her to put the gun down. She allegedly pointed the gun toward officers at least five times.

Montage Pool
Photo/Leonardo Media Services B.V

It’s now official, the pair of married real estate agents from Mission Viejo, who two years ago checked into the Montage Resort & Spa, one of the most spectacularly situated resorts on the Southern California coast, only to be dead in an early morning standoff the next day with local police were ‘paranoid’ and ‘delusional’. At the time, it appeared the question of an inheritance might have played a large role in the reported craziness leading to the tragedy of two lives ending in Laguna Beach.

The Orange County Register, based on police reports, stated in a story last week that the couple was convinced that they were victims of a conspiracy set to steal their part of a multimillion-dollar estate.

Roughly two weeks after the children of a Mission Viejo couple dropped a lawsuit against the city, documents now released by police shed a light into the details of what happened, and what led up to the police shooting that killed Joni and Kevin Park at the Montage Hotel almost two years ago.

The couple was killed on April 2007 after the couple allegedly aimed a handgun at police officers who were responding to a call of a domestic dispute at the luxurious hotel. Court documents also state that Joni Park pointed a handgun at police officers at least five times. Officers fired in self-defense, but Park continued to point the gun after being shot by officers.

Hmmm…the kids dropped the case against Laguna Beach…decided “it was time to move on.”

In paradise, trouble can find a private cove.

Read The O.C. Montage shootings as a Didion novel.

Senator says he will go to jail if Obama repeals abortion ‘Conscience Clause’

“I think a lot of us will go to jail. Let’s see them prosecute the first one of us for not doing that.” — Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
Senator Tom Coburn
CNSNews.com is breaking a big one today:
U.S. Senator Says He Would Practice Civil Disobedience If Obama Repeals Abortion ‘Conscience Clause’

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who is also an OB/GYN, told CNSNews.com on Friday that many medical practitioners, including himself, will go to prison before agreeing to engage in medical practices they morally oppose, such as abortion.

Earlier that same day, the Obama administration had announced it was “reviewing” a Bush administration regulation known as the “conscience clause.” That Health and Human Services regulation protects health-care workers at federally funded institutions from having to engage in practices that violate their moral or religious beliefs. These practices include performing or referring abortions, performing sterilizations, or giving or receiving training in these practices… read more

TheScroogeReport: The First Educated Opposition to Obama

FoxNews.com: “I will do nothing against my conscience in the practice of medicine ever regardless of what any law is at any time, ” Sen. Tom Coburn told FOX News. “And I can tell you that there are a lot of physicians that feel exactly that same way across the country.”

American Family Association: Obama seeks to take away religious rights of doctors and health care providers who refuse to perform abortions. Urgent: send your e-mail to the White House today!
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Read about The Red Envelope Project

The Red Envelope Project

Tracking…

Raising Cain over city funding to preserve Mark Twain church. More separation of church and state paranoia in the military. AND the definition of marriage back in California courts.

Protests Erupt Over Mark Twain Church in Nevada

RENO, Nev. — (AP) A group that advocates separation of church and state is protesting a Nevada city’s decision to provide funding to a church that Mark Twain helped build as a fledgling writer in the 1860s.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State contends Carson City supervisors’ votes concerning the First Presbyterian Church violated the First Amendment.

City and church officials disagree, saying the money is merely going toward additional costs stemming from an agreement that paved the way for the congregation to construct a new church in return for backing off its plan to raze the original one… read
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Questions Raised Anew About Religion in Military

WASHINGTON — (NYT) Terry Bradshaw stared intently into the camera, his eyes moist, as the interviewer asked him if his faith in God had helped him through his bouts with depression.

“Oh, yeah,” answered Mr. Bradshaw, the Hall of Fame quarterback. “Well, I’m a Christian for one thing so, yeah, I’d been praying.”

The viewers of this video were military personnel who were watching an official military production dealing with depression, suicide and “the importance of faith.” … read
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Challenge to Gay Marriage Ban Reaches Calif. Court

SAN FRANCISCO — (AP) A year after the state Supreme Court entertained arguments on extending marriage to gay couples, many of the same lawyers will be back before the same justices this week arguing why California’s voter-appproved ban on same-sex marriage should stand or fall.

The passage of Proposition 8 last November changed the state constitution to prohibit gay marriage and trumped the high court’s decision as few months earlier to legalize it. But the ballot measure was appealed and the justices on Thursday are getting the final word on whether marriage is an institution that must accommodate two women or two men.

The debate will be framed by not only the gay and lesbian couples who see their struggle as the modern equivalent of prohibitions on interracial marriage, but the 7 million citizens who rejected that comparison in an $83 million election… read
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Economic Recovery Series
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Tracking…

Counselor suspended after teens hear Christian music
Accused of ‘exposing children to unapproved religious activities’

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — (WND) A Southern California counselor with nearly two decades of experience with foster children is challenging a decision that she be punished after four teens she took on an approved day-long outing encountered a beach festival – and heard Christian music… read
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Ray Comfort offers atheist $10K to debate him
Christian author throws down gauntlet in challenging celebrity atheist to debate

LOS ANGELES
– (WND) Ray Comfort, author of the new book, “You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can’t Make Him Think,” is challenging celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins to a debate – and sweetening the offer by offering him $10,000, win, lose or draw… read
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Gospel for Asia workers arrested in India

CHHATTISGARH, India — (Mission Network News) Founder and President of Gospel for Asia KP Yohannan says, “Significant numbers of anti-Christian people came and threatened them first, then they started beating up all the Christians. Instead of arresting the people that were beating up the Christians and causing such havoc, the police arrested 11 of our missionaries and took them to prison.”

The missionaries were severely beaten, as were several Christians in attendance. They also destroyed the sound system and the tent where the estimated 2,500 believers were meeting… read
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