Christian group files amendments against vague hate crime laws

A Christian advocacy group has recently filed two amendments to the California Constitution in an effort to prevent hate crime legislation from infringing on religious speech.


Pastor Allan Esses, founder of “Yes Jesus is Lord” and proponent of the amendments, said, “Although the Bill of Rights guarantees religious liberty, recent restrictions on the free exercise of religion have compelled the organization to submit clarifications of citizen’s First Amendment rights, similar to the need felt by some of the nation’s Founding Fathers to clarify in the Bill of Rights what they believed existed in the Constitution.

“Those of us involved with Yes Jesus Is Lord are concerned that the time is fast approaching when Californians, as well as all Americans, will be subject to some of the most unbelievable acts and restrictive laws we have seen or heard,” Esses said… READ FULL STORY

Photo: Billy Graham spoke to huge crowds during the “Christ for Greater Los Angeles” tent revival in 1949. (BGC Archives)

Sonoma: Angel ordered off Christmas tree

Officials from California county remove angel ornament from Christmas tree after lone complaint.

Stars and other religious emblems were ordered removed from Christmas trees in all government buildings in Sonoma County on Monday following a complaint by Irv Sutley, a disabled 65-year-old Marine veteran who said the symbols were “extremely offensive” and part of the “cult” of Christianity. FULL STORY


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Angels, and sanity return to Sonoma County

Lodi joins three California cities ruling for prayer

Lodi prayer city councilTo me, nonsectarian prayer is like a banquet without food. You want the Lord’s blessings on your deliberations. That’s the real issue here. — Terry Thompson, speaker during open discussion


Lodi joins 3 cities ruling for prayer, against atheists’ legal threat

The Lodi City Council voted 5-0 last night to allow uncensored prayer before meetings that avoided favoring any religion.

The motion by Mayor Larry Hansen declared that the council under the policy would encourage participation from diverse religious representatives and from non-religious groups … READ FULL STORY

Tehachapi votes for prayer to stay

This is a great victory for religious liberty! Thank God, the word Jesus is not an “illegal word” and can still be uttered in public. – Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt


Tehachapi City Council votes 5-0 for opening prayers to stay

The Tehachapi City Council voted unanimously to not put limits on what religious leaders say during opening prayers for its meetings Monday.

Mayor Linda Vernon started the prayers before meetings in the city, which is east of Bakersfield, when she took office in January. However, the prayers were put on hold at the council’s last meeting, Sept. 8, because of the threat of a lawsuit from the Freedom From Religion Foundation… READ FULL STORY

Lodi still a battleground for prayer warrior chaplain

LODI, Calif. — One prayer rally later, former Navy Chaplain Gordon Kligenschmitt plans a second assault on the Lodi City Council’s hold and possible ban on using the name of Jesus before city meetings.

Buckling under the pressure from an atheists group, this Northern California city’s council is considering a resolution that would ban the mention of Jesus and other specific religions in prayers before city meetings. In May, the Lodi City Council received a letter from the non-profit Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation threatening a lawsuit.

The atheistic group watched 55 invocations online from 2007 to the May 6 council meeting and found that 39 had a reference to Jesus Christ. The group argues that specific mentions of the word “Christ” are a violation of the city’s own policy.

Kligenschmitt’s rally in support of the freedom to use Jesus name in public prayer drew 400 supporters to the steps of Lodi’s city hall earlier this month. About a dozen “separation rally” supporters showed up to oppose prayer at city council meetings.

A debate and possible final vote on the matter is scheduled for September 30, and Kligenschmitt, through an internet campaign, is inviting everyone to attend.

In his Facebook group, Lodi City Council Vote To Ban Jesus Prayers, Kligenschmitt posts:


We had the rally. Now let’s attend the final city council meeting on 30 Sep 09, Wednesday at 7pm, where the Lodi City Council will DEBATE AND POSSIBLY VOTE TO BAN THE NAME OF JESUS from public prayers.

Under pressure from atheists, and threat of lawsuit, the city council needs to hear from voters who love Jesus, who demand they protect our right to free speech, rather than censor our pastors’ prayers.


Join many Christians (bring your pastor!) and let’s take a stand for Jesus, and defend our freedom to pray publicly “in Jesus name.” (And bring your church van full of people!) …

but costly if we fail to act.

See you on 30 September in Lodi, at the Hutchins Street Square.


Prior media coverage, the petition, and more information can be found on the Pray In Jesus Name Project Website’s page dedicated to the Lodi issue.

Please read the LA Church & State Examiner!

Florida H.S. principal, A.D. face contempt charge for praying before lunch

From Lodi, Calif. to Pace, Fla., the right to pray in public settings remains on center stage this week as a legal issue.

While the Lodi City Council puts using “Jesus” name on hold in its invocations, many in the community of Pace struggle to understand why prayer is being outlawed.

Fox 10 News in Florida reports that it’s all because of a blessing before a school luncheon. Now, a high school principal and athletic director have criminal contempt charges to answer to. FULL STORY AT LA CHURCH & STATE EXAMINER


Lodi: Facebook Users Rally For God

“We hope that pastors from all over California will bring their church buses, their people to simply pray in Jesus’ name.” — Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt.

Jamie Soriano of FOX40 News reports:

LODI – It’s a tradition the Lodi City Council has had for decades. It starts each meeting with a prayer which often calls on Jesus.

“This whole issue has taken on a life of its own,” said Lodi Mayor Larry Hansen.

Groups advocating the separation of church and state are calling on the city council to ban prayer from its meetings. Now that debate has hit the internet on sites like Facebook.

“Facebook has been very helpful because it attracts the young people. We want young people who are full of energy who love Jesus,” said Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs. He’s organizing a rally ahead of next week’s council meeting and is spreading the word via Facebook. …more