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Opportunity Scholarship Grants to be Issued Next Week

Citizen Link - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 15:09

CitizenLink is proud to work with the North Carolina Family Policy Council and other family policy organizations across the country to stand for marriage, life and religious freedom. Learn more about the one in your state.

Despite an ongoing lawsuit challenging the program, North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Grants, that will enable eligible lower-income students in North Carolina to attend the non-public school of their choice, are scheduled for distribution on August 15. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood, on July 30, denied a request that would have prevented the State from distributing the grants for the 2014 fall semester. Although he is the same judge who issued an injunction in February that halted the Opportunity Scholarship program, the State Supreme Court took action in May that overturned his injunction. As a result, the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority was able to hold a random selection lottery in June to identify the recipients of roughly 2,400 available scholarships. More than 5,500 grant applications had been submitted.

In a News & Observer report, Judge Hobgood stated that his July decision allowing the funds to be distributed hinged on the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling to overturn the injunction he had placed on the program. According to Hobgood, the Supreme Court “has given us all a clue” of how they are likely to rule if the case reaches them again. “If taxpayer money goes out before the date of the hearing, then I’m just following what the Supreme Court has told me to do,” Judge Hobgood said, recognizing “they’re the Supreme Court, and I’m a superior court judge.”

The judge has set August 22 as the date for a ruling on the merits of the case challenging the program. Attorneys for both sides are scheduled to present their arguments before him in a hearing on August 19. Also in his ruling on July 30, Judge Hobgood granted a motion by state legislative leaders, Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg), to intervene as defendants in the lawsuit.

In related news, state lawmakers finalized a state budget last week, which includes an additional $840,000 for these scholarship grants. According to Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, that money will provide approximately 400 more Opportunity Scholarships for “low-income students in the Spring 2015 semester with priority going to those who applied for the Opportunity Scholarship Program but did not receive a scholarship for the Fall 2014 semester due to high demand.”

by Brittany Farrell, North Carolina Family Policy Council

Learn more about the North Carolina Family Policy Council.

Saudi Royal Family will not Allow America to Defeat Sunni Terrorists in Iraq

Christian Newswire - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 14:00
Contact: William J. Murray, Religious Freedom Coalition, 202-742-8990 WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Leading spokesman for religious freedom says President Obama will make no serious effort to defeat ISIL terrorists because they are Sunni. William J. Murray, the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition released a statement in which he quoted both the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times as admitting the royal family of Sunni Saudi Arabia would not permit any genuine a Source: Religious Freedom Coalition

Catholic-Bashing Play Bombs

Christian Newswire - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 12:48
Contact: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 212-371-3191, [email protected] NEW YORK, Aug. 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Bill Donohue comments on "Doubtless," a play by Albert Innaurato; it is being performed in New York City: "Doubtless" started August 4 and it closes August 30. It is easy to ignore--the theatre has 98 seats--but given that Innaurato has solid credentials, we decided to address his latest attack on the Catholic Church. Source: Catholic League

U.S. Preacher Releases World's First Biblically-Based Book on Ignored Key to All Success

Christian Newswire - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:50
Contact: Shane Wall, Godly Writes Publishing, 803-395-0190, [email protected]; ORANGEBURG, S.C., Aug. 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Masterfully researched and written by Dr. Shane Wall, 'Understanding: All Success is Attained by it' breaks the boundaries of convention to uncover the guaranteed pathway to all success. Wall brings to light that, "People are successful because of what they understand, and understand well." Success transcends any single Source: Godly Writes Publishing

Faith Leaders Thank President Obama for Responding to Crisis of Genocide and the Persecution of Christians and Other Religious Minorities in Iraq

Christian Newswire - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:49
They Express Gratitude that the President has Gotten Involved and Mobilized the Resources of the United States Contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, 540-538-4741 WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Christian leaders will hold a prayer vigil and public witness in front of the White House on Saturday, August 9 at 11:00 a.m. in support of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and continue to challenge the Obama Administration. The vigil will be on Pennsylvania Ave. Source: Christian Defense Coalition

The Prohibited Prohibition

Citizen Link - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 01:05

Wisconsin City Officials Restore Free-Speech Rights

Citizen Link - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 17:50

Pro-lifers in Madison, Wis., will once again be able to exercise their free-speech rights — without restrictions. City officials voted this week to rescind an ordinance that created hundreds of unconstitutional censorship zones.

This follows a U.S. Supreme Court decision last month that struck down a Massachusetts law requiring “buffer zones” around abortion sellers.

“The government cannot muzzle speech just because it doesn’t reflect the views of abortionists or of those in government who favor abortion,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “The Supreme Court made that clear when it affirmed the long-recognized fact that public streets and sidewalks are places where free speech is highly protected.”

Madison City Attorney Michael May put the ordinance on hold last month. In an email to city officials, he said the high court decision played a key role in halting it. The council voted Tuesday to modify it to remove all unconstitutional restrictions on speech. It now awaits the mayor’s signature.

City council member Lisa Subeck, the former director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin,    introduced and sponsored the ordinance. It required anti-speech “bubbles.” The zones, which were 200 feet in diameter, existed around the entrances of every place in the city where a nurse or physician provides medical services. Within each bubble, no person could approach another person to give a leaflet or display a sign. They also could not protest, educate or counsel passers-by.

ADF filed suit in February on behalf of Madison Vigil for Life and other organizations and individuals. In light of the change, the Christian legal group plans to voluntarily dismiss the suit.

“We agree with the city attorney’s conclusion,” Bowman said, “that the censorship zones are unconstitutional, as our lawsuit has argued. The city was right to rescind bad law.”


Read the complaint in Madison Vigil for Life v. City of Madison.

Read the letter May wrote concerning the ordinance.


New Book Helps Readers Trust God with St. Therese's Little Way

Christian Newswire - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 17:49
Contact: Connie Rossini, 507-359-4150, [email protected] NEW ULM, Mo., Aug. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Four Waters Press announces the release of author Connie Rossini's new book, "Trusting God with St. Therese." Available in digital ($3.99) and paperback ($15.95) editions at, "Trusting God with St. Therese" gives readers practical advice for overcoming the fears and frustrations that hamper their spiritual growth. "For years I had read that I needed to trust Source: Four Waters Press

SIM Missionary David Writebol Shares Thoughts and Feelings in Telephone Call Today

Christian Newswire - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 17:48
Note: To hear the audio of David Writebol's call, go to Palmer Holt, 704-662-2569, [email protected] ATLANTA, Aug. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- SIM Missionary David Writebol shared his thoughts and feelings in a telephone call today with Bruce Johnson, president, SIM USA, about his wife Nancy and their battle to overcome the Ebola virus infection while serving in Liberia.The audio of Writebol's call can be heard at Source: InChrist Communications

Conservative Soldier Files Suit, Says He Was Forced Out of Military

Citizen Link - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 17:28

Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers filed a lawsuit saying he was forced to retire from the United States Army because of his conservative beliefs.

A 25-year veteran and decorated soloist in the U.S. Army Band Chorus, Sommers says he was targeting for serving Chick-fil-A; for reading books by conservative authors; and for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his car. He said his superiors ordered the stickers to be removed.

“The Army took no action against those soldiers with pro-Obama bumper stickers,” said John Wells, an attorney representing Sommers. “Master Sgt. Sommers did nothing to interfere with good order and discipline. He was the perfect soldier.”

Sommers said he was accused of “unit disruption” for reading David Limbaugh’s “The Great Destroyer.” Even though he was not reading out loud, he said he was told he was offending other soldiers. And in 2012, he provided Chick-fil-A sandwiches, on his own dime, when he became a master sergeant.

According to Military-Veterans Advocacy, documents from the Army show he was reprimanded for his actions.

Sommers was eventually given a sub-standard evaluation. After that, the Army’s Quality Management Panel ordered him discharged from the military. He was allowed to retire.

Military-Veterans Advocacy filed suit on Aug. 1. The group wants Sommers returned to active duty with full pay and benefits and to have his record cleared.

“Just because someone joins the military,” said Wells, “they do not give up their rights as a citizen. Unfortunately, in this world of political correctness, some commanders believe they can force their will on subordinates.”


Read the complaint in Sommers v. U.S.A.

Learn more about Military-Veterans Advocacy.


Louisiana Lawmakers Vote Family Values

Citizen Link - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 17:05

CitizenLink is proud to work with Louisiana Family Forumand other family policy organizations across the country to stand for marriage, life and religious freedom. Learn more about the one in your state. 

Louisiana Family Forum released the 2014 Legislative Scorecard today, which provides an essential tool for Louisiana residents to evaluate each member of the Louisiana House and Senate on key policy votes.    “LFF selects votes, which offer a snapshot of primarily social, limited government and free enterprise issues Louisiana lawmakers dealt with in the most recent legislative session,” Gene Mills, President of LFF, said. “We hope each concerned citizen uses this scorecard to analyze how well their lawmakers are representing Louisiana family values!”

Eleven Senators and 16 Representatives earned the Outstanding Family Advocate award by scoring 100 percent on LFF’s Scorecard. These 27 Legislators will receive LFF’s coveted Patrick Henry Award in a special ceremony during the 2014 Annual Legislative Awards Banquet Thursday, September 18, 2014, at The Healing Place Church Arena in Baton Rouge.   An additional 56 Legislators–14 Senators and 42 Representatives—will be honored during LFF’s Awards Banquet with the Family Advocate award by scoring 80 to 99 percent on LFF’s Scorecard.Life and Liberty Awards are given each year to legislators who authored and successfully passed key legislation that promotes life and liberty. Award recipients are as follows:

  • Sen. AG Crowe-SB 312, Parents’ Bill of Rights in Education.
  • Rep. Neil Abramson-HB 1025, Protection for Victims of Sexual Exploitation.
  • Rep. Joe Harrison- HB 1058, Down Syndrome Awareness Act.
  • Rep. Cameron Henry-HB 1269, Government Whistleblower Protection Act.
  • Rep. Frank Hoffmann-HB 305, Prohibits Abortion Providers in Classrooms.
  • Rep. Barry Ivey-HB 1262, Informed Consent of Psychological Impact of Abortion.
  • Rep. Katrina Jackson-HB 388, Requires Abortionists Have Admitting Privileges.
  • Rep. John Schroder-HB 988, Local Control of School Curriculum and Content.
  • Rep. Scott Simon-HB 1254, End of Life Care Act.
  • Rep. Julie Stokes-HB 569, Creates Human Trafficking Courts.
  • Rep. Kirk Talbot-HB 780, Voucher Program eligibility in Student Tuition Organizations.

“The votes represented on the LFF Scorecard clearly illustrate that public awareness and feedback are vitally important to Louisiana’s future. We are living in a time when it is of utmost importance to preserve the principles of life, liberty and limited government. I appreciate these lawmakers for representing their districts with excellence and honoring the principles that LFF advocates on behalf of,” Mills said.

Since LFF’s initial scorecard in 2004, legislative voting patterns continue to reflect a greater appreciation for family values in Louisiana.

The LFF 2014 Legislative Scorecard is available online at

by the Louisiana Family Forum


Learn more about the Louisiana Family Forum. 

Read the 2014 Legislative Scorecard.


100 Detroit City Blocks to be Restored this Month

Christian Newswire - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 16:33
Metro-area church joins national nonprofit in the effort to beautify one of Detroit's west central neighborhoods Contact: Pamela Heaton, NorthRidge Church, 734-233-3621, [email protected] PLYMOUTH, Mich., Aug. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- More than 10,000 of the expected 20,000 volunteers are signed up for a great restoration project happening this month in the city of Detroit. Among the ranks will be NorthRidge Church of Plymouth, Mich. Life Remodeled, a nonprofit orga Source: NorthRidge Church

Knights of Columbus Recognizes Local Units at Supreme Convention

Christian Newswire - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 16:32
Six councils recognized for charitable worksContact: Joseph Cullen, Knights of Columbus, 203-800-4923 ORLANDO, Aug. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Local Knights of Columbus councils were honored with international service awards for outstanding achievements during an awards ceremony at the Knights' 132nd annual international convention."The international awards presented at our supreme convention honor the year's most exemplary service projects at the council level," said Source: Knights of Columbus

Ultimate Date Night Movie and New Line of Resources Created to Transform Marriage by Megachurch Pastor Kyle Idleman and City on a Hill

Christian Newswire - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 16:05
Contact: Jennifer Willingham, 615-483-4729, [email protected] LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Megachurch pastor Kyle Idleman of Southeast Christian Church and City on a Hill Studio are on a mission to "Awaken Love" and reclaim the original vision of what God intended marriage to be through the national theatrical release of THE SONG film and accompanying resources. "In our culture we are constantly hearing about love, sex, and marriage Source: Icon Media Group

Stoplight: The Prohibited Prohibition | CitizenLink

Citizen Link - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 15:58

In his Stoplight® commentary, Stuart Shepard explains that the IRS says it’ll be listening to sermons to determine whether they’re legal.

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Immediate Action Needed to Address Ebola Crisis in Liberia

Christian Newswire - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 15:33
In Congressional Testimony, Dr. Frank Glover Outlines Steps to Help Stem Death Toll Contact: Palmer Holt, 704-662-2569 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today, Dr. Frank Glover, a medical missionary who partners with the Christian missions organization SIM (, testified before a congressional subcommittee about combating the Ebola threat in Liberia. To stem the spread of the virus, Glover urged immediate action in Liberia that includes increasing efforts to Source: InChrist Communications

Obama Administration Fails to Act to Protect Christians and Other Religious Minorities in Iraq

Christian Newswire - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 14:37
Contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, 540-538-4741WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ --  ISIS is carrying out genocide against religious minorities on a daily basis and President Obama has not personally addressed this tragedy or involved his Administration.  Faith leaders and community to hold prayer vigil and public witness in front of the White House on Saturday, August 9 at 11:00 A.M.The vigil will be on Pennsylvania Ave. NW in front of the White House ac Source: Christian Defense Coalition

City of Madison officially rescinds censorship zones

Wisconsin Family News - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:41
Alliance Defending Freedom: The city of Madison voted Tuesday to rescind its law that created hundreds of censorship zones throughout the city in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in McCullen v. Coakley, a case Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys filed in 2008. ADF filed suit against the Madison law in February.

'Face the Truth Tour' Forces Discussion of Abortion's Violent Reality

Christian Newswire - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:00
Pro-Life Action League's Images of Aborted Babies Return to Streets of Rockford August 12 Contact: Tom Ciesielka, TC Public Relations, 312-422-1333, [email protected] ROCKFORD, Ill., Aug. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- With the recent Supreme Court rulings in high-profile Hobby Lobby v. Burwell and McCullen v. Coakley cases, the abortion issue has been all over the news lately. But just how aware are people of the stark reality of abortion and what it does to its tiny, defenseless unborn vict Source: TC Public Relations

Do Christians Feel Any Self-Accountability?

Christian Newswire - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:03
Contact: William Pillow, 317-288-9291, [email protected] OPINION, Aug. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by William Pillow, Jack McMahan, and Lillian Stover Wells, PhD: Bible literalists say that we are born in sin, inherited from the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Christians claim to be saved from their sins by the crucifixion of Jesus, intended by God as atonement for their sins. Question: are Christians saved from inherited sins, sins committed un Source: None