“Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas – and that certainly includes a 5th-grader’s Christmas party invitations,” ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman said. “America’s public schools should recognize the constitutionally protected freedom of religious students who wish to hand out these kinds of fliers. The district court was right to stop this unconstitutional ban on Christmas party invitations. Numerous courts have upheld similar fliers around the country.”
Most news agencies avoid the possibility that the Fort Hood massacre was a terrorist act, says media analyst Bernie Goldberg
While prayers go out to the families and survivors of those killed or injured during the worst mass shooting on an American military base, I can’t help but notice that the the majority of the rampant speculation as to what the motive might have been for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is flat out spin.
The investigation of the rampage which included more than 100 shots that left 13 dead and more than two dozen wounded, including the alleged shooter, Army psychiatrist Hasan, should not be about making sure we are politically correct.
There is a wealth of information that now shows that Hasan premeditated this attack … all the while spewing U.S. policy hate and Muslim jihadist verbiage.
“We shouldn’t jump to conclusions,” said President Barack Obama yesterday. Well, we shouldn’t jump to naive theories either.
Hasan may have acted alone, but he did have a team of enablers co-signing his rants. Now, the question remains … Can America continue to absorb those that hate the very host that harbors them?
SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Florida — After a 7½ hour hearing in federal court, federal District Judge Casey Rodgers told Michelle Winkler that she would not be held in civil contempt over her husband’s prayer at an awards banquet. Ms. Winkler, who is a clerical assistant for the Santa Rosa County School District, is represented by Liberty Counsel. Senior Litigation Counsel Horatio Mihet and David Corry defended Winkler against the ACLU last Friday. On September 17, Liberty Counsel will be back in court defending Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman on charges of criminal contempt over a blessing of the meal at a separate luncheon to honor private contributors to the athletic program.
Last year the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County School District. Judge Rodgers entered a broadly worded injunction in January 2009 regarding prayer and religious activities of school employees. Winkler attended a privately funded event off campus at a nearby Naval base, held after school hours to honor noninstructional employees of the school district. She invited her husband, who is not employed by the school, to read a beautiful prayer blessing she wrote for the honorees. The ACLU ran to court, claiming that Winkler should be held in civil contempt of the court order. The ACLU claimed they had a “rock-solid case” against Winkler, but after 7 ½ hours, the ACLU had no case. Judge Rodgers ruled against the ACLU, concluding that Michelle Winkler’s husband’s prayer at a voluntary gathering outside of school did not violate the court’s order.
Upon hearing the ruling, Ms. Winkler hugged Liberty Counsel attorney Horatio Mihet and was overjoyed with the result. The courtroom was packed with people, who sat through the long ordeal to support Ms. Winkler. Dozens of additional supporters spent the day waiting and praying outside the courthouse.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The wheels came off the ACLU’s steamroller. While we are pleased with the ruling, we are saddened that a wonderful woman had to spend a day in court, with the ACLU’s crosshairs aimed at her back. Prayer is neither contemptuous nor criminal. It is outrageous that the ACLU sought civil contempt charges against an outstanding woman whose husband prayed a beautiful prayer at a privately sponsored event held off campus. The ACLU needs to take a good dose of the First Amendment and call us in the morning.”
Contact: Liberty Counsel Public Relations Department, 800-671-1776
Source: Christian Newswire
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
Rights group says Cuban prosecutors tried to charge leader with ‘human trafficking’
CUBA (ANS) — A Cuban evangelical pastor has been sentenced to six years in prison despite reports that he was falsely charged due to his leadership role in the ‘Apostolic Reformation.’
Pastor Omar Gude Pérez’ home will also be confiscated as part of the sentence, according to a news release from the UK-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
Pastor Gude Pérez was initially detained on May 2, 2008 and was in prison awaiting a trial date for over a year, CSW reported. State prosecutors initially attempted to charge Pastor Gude Pérez with ‘Human Trafficking.’
The CSW report continues: “Although these charges were dropped in March 2009 after a court in Camaguey ruled there was no evidence, Pastor Gude Pérez was still not released from prison.”
In mid-April new charges of “Falsification of Documents” and “IIlicit Economic Activities” were filed. The prosecution’s petition also accused the pastor of ‘counter-revolutionary conduct and attitudes.’
Pastor Omar Gude Pérez’s wife, Kenia, has informed CSW that false documents and testimonies were presented in court.
“CSW has also received reliable information indicating that more than 20 other church leaders were temporarily arrested and threatened in the last two months. Some were detained just before Pastor Gude Perez’s court hearing in May, indicating an attempt by the authorities to prevent a show of support for the pastor at his hearing,” reported the human rights organization.
“There has been an increase in reported violations of religious liberty since Raul Castro took power in early 2008, and the heavy sentence handed to Pastor Gude Pérez follows a pattern of mounting state hostility towards religious groups. For example, for the past nine months Reverend Roberto Rodriguez, a denominational leader, based in Placetas, has also been subjected to ongoing legal proceedings on trumped up charges. Last week he received a fourth citation commanding him to present himself to the local courts.”
CSW states the legal harassment of Reverend Rodriguez and his family began after the Interdenominational Fellowship of Evangelical Pastors and Ministers in Cuba (Spanish acronym; CIMPEC) withdrew from the Cuban Council of Churches (CCC) in October while under Reverend Rodriguez’s leadership.
CSW further went on to explain that the ‘Apostolic Reformation’ group is comprised of independent self-governing non-denominational churches, and as it is outside of traditionally and officially recognized denominations, the fast-growing group is viewed with suspicion by the government.
Alexa Papadouris, CSW’s Advocacy Director said: “In light of the evidence given by CSW’s partners, we strongly condemn Pastor Omar Gude Pérez’s prison sentence and call on the Cuban Government to immediately investigate and review his case. We urge the Cuban authorities to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and remind them of the protections, in particular religious freedom, laid out in the that document.”
CSW specializes in promoting religious liberty and works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs.
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Theresa Malinowska, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0)78 2332 9663, email theresamalinowska(@)csw.org.uk or visit www.csw.org.uk.
Photo: Pastor Omar Gude Pérez. (CSW)
Article originally published by ASSIST News Service. Reported by Michael Ireland.
Rock Church Pastor Dou ordered to serve time for ‘illegal religious activities’
HENAN, CHINA (ANS) — A Chinese House Church pastor and his wife have been sentenced to one year of re-education through labor for “engaging in illegal religious activities,” according to ChinaAid.
Pastor Dou and Feng Lu are being represented by attorney Li Dunyong, who has traveled to Zhengzhou city to make an appeal, according to ChinaAid, which is a Christian human rights ministry.
In a media release ChinaAid stated:
“While Pastor Dou Shaowen is imprisoned at the labor camp, officials released Feng Lu on the evening of June 25. Authorities have permitted Feng Lu to serve her sentence at home, in order to care for their 12- year-old daughter. She is required to report to the Public Security Bureau regularly, and could be sent to labor camp again if she is found ‘engaging in illegal religious activities’ again.”
Pastor Dou Shaowen and his wife Feng Lu were arrested on June 14, when several dozen officials from Zhengzhou Municipal Bureau of Religion and Zhengzhou Municipal Bureau of State broke into the church’s Sunday worship service, according to ChinaAid.
The media release continues:
“Officials forcibly photographed and videotaped the more than 100 Christians present, cut off the electricity and forced the Christians to leave. Finally, the authorities posted sealing tape from the Bureau of Religion, sealing off all the worship areas of Rock Church. Five other Christians, Li Zhemin, Wei Jianhua, Zhang Julin, Ma Jianbo and Li Cuiying were arrested with Pastor Dou and Feng Lu. Each of the five were sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention and were forced to pay a 800-900 yuan fine.”
Those concerned about this sentence are being asked to contact Zhengzhou city authorities to ask for the immediate release of Pastor Dou Shaowen and Feng Lu, and the five Christians sentenced to administrative detention.
Zhengzhou Mayor Tel +86-371-12345 Mayor’s E-mail: mayor(@)zhengzhou.gov.cn
Zhengzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau office to report phone +86-371-66228710
Zhengzhou City, People’s Procuratorate +86-371- 68985078
Zhengzhou Intermediate People’s Court reported Phone +86-371-68983950
Jin-shui County Government +86-371-3526200
Henan People’s Radio Station +86-371-65723998
Zhengzhou People’s Broadcasting Station +86-371- 68982487
Henan TV +86-371-65723657
Zhengzhou television +86-371-68982886
Please contact: Katherine(@)ChinaAid.org with questions or requests for further information.
Article originally published by ASSIST News Service. Reported by Michael Ireland.
What happened to editorial judgment? Guest columnists have been around forever, but does that mean an editor has to publish every piece of garbage submitted?
CBS News online headline: “Make Marijuana Legal”
What other conclusion can be drawn from one of today’s CBS News online headlines? What other connection can we make from the opinion piece that leads with: “Marijuana should never have been made illegal in the first place.”
Should we just give the news giant a pass for publishing a column that advocates weed so strongly?
Now, I know it’s politically correct to include pro-pothead opinion in normal discourse. To openly talk about the legalization of the hippie lettuce is cool…and everything. Heck, what’s wrong with a little medicinal spleef? Right?
Could it be….LIBERALS in power?
I don’t like to name-call, even if we are simply talking about the weed people, but let’s call our Mary Jane for what it really is…I mean, like they said in the nearly half-century old commerical, “Why do you think they call it dope?”
Now, you CBS editors who see nothing wrong with partaking in the bud, where are your journalistic skills and integrity? Lost in a haze of smoke and scattered potato chips?
You could have made it look as though you were simply throwing a bone to the weed people, instead you gave them a fatty headline…btw, did you see your URL tab tag? “Make Marijuana Legal – CBS News.”
Sorry, too late, you’ve already shown your true color…something along the line of Kona Gold.
ADD: Perhaps I should have toned down my sensationalism in writing this piece yesterday. I’ve noticed today that CBSNews.com ran an anti-weed piece by Stephen Baldwin and Kevin McCullough.
However, the headline is not as clear and action orientated. (You weed people will get the “Sense” part). Nevertheless, to the CBS News editors credit…they ran the counterpoint piece! My apologies.
Here, here…for “America doesn’t want its pot… American potheads do!”