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Court Rules Church Can’t Use School for Worship

Citizen Link - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 17:18

A federal court has ruled that the Bronx Household of Faith does not have the right to meet in a public school building. The empty school building, though, plays host to other community groups and organizations.

The church has been in court over the issue since the mid-90’s and has even made it as far as the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case.

Co-pastor of the 60-member congregation, Robert Hall, called the court’s ruling a “heckler’s veto.”

“We’re very disappointed in the decision,” he said. “The court holds that permitting religious services might give rise to an appearance of an endorsement of religion.”

Judge John M. Walker Jr. was the sole dissent on the panel of judges at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The majority states that the ‘Free Exercise Clause…has never been understood to require government to finance a subject’s exercise of religion,’” he said. “Allowing an entity to use public school space open to all others on equal terms is hardly the financing of that entity. However, shutting the door to religious worship services in such a setting when every other activity is permitted, strikes at the Clause’s core.”

Attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) have been working on the case for years. Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with ADF, was disappointed.

“The First Amendment prohibits New York City from singling out worship services and excluding them from empty school buildings,” he said. “The reason is because the buildings are generally available to all individuals and community groups for an activity ‘pertaining to the welfare of the community.’ There is no subsidy of churches here. Churches and religious groups pay the same uniform rates that everyone else does to use the schools.”

Lorence said ADF will consider its options.

“We are seriously considering an appeal in this case,” he said, “either to all of the judges on the 2nd Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the court’s decision in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York.

Read Walker’s dissent.

 

Oregon Conference for Teens Promotes Dangerous Activities — and Group is Ready to Protest

Citizen Link - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 17:06

(Caution: Mature content.)

An annual conference that promotes sexual activities for teens will take place Monday and Tuesday in Seaside, Ore. This year, a group of parents and other concerned adults will protest.

The 37th annual Adolescent Sexuality Conference showcases dozens of exhibitors and workshops on issues of “sexual health,” according to its website. Educators, administrators, youth and others attend.

At first glance, it looks harmless.

But when you take a look at this year’s lineup of workshops, here’s some of what you’ll see: “No Glove, No Love:  Condomology 411”; “Educating Youth about the Use and Benefits of Female Condoms”; “My Mom Wishes I was a Lesbian:  ‘Coming Out’ Experiences of (Bi) sexual Young Adults”; and “What? Did You Just Call Me a SLUT?”

Planned Parenthood will facilitate an interactive workshop about relationships.

And there’s more. For the past few years, the Cascade AIDs Project (CAP) has handed out a guide titled “How to Get Your Groove on … Fluid Free,” which includes information on phone sex.

Members of the newly formed group Stop the Seaside Sex Conference (SSSC) will assemble Monday morning near the Seaside Convention Center, where the event is taking place.

“We want the people driving by to see who we are,” said Jim Welsh, an SSSC member. “We’ve made a number of signs containing materials from this year’s conference and from past conferences. We will hold these up as evidence of what is going on inside the conference.”

Visit this link to view some of the literature distributed at the conference in previous years
(Caution: Graphic material.):
https://www.facebook.com/Stoptheseasidesexconference/photos_stream

In addition to CAP, some of the other sponsors include the Oregon Teen Pregnancy Task Force and YouthToday.org.

Steven Duin, a columnist for The Oregonian, wrote a piece late last month about the event. He takes issue with CAP’s phone-sex pamphlet, saying such behavior can harm teens.

Peter Parisot, CAP interim deputy executive director, responded to Duin in a guest column a few days later defending the pamphlets. He claims the guides “give people of all ages the tools that they need to take control of their sexual health and avoid the unnecessary transmission of HIV.”

SSSC, however, believes CAP should not be promoting such activities to young people.

Welsh said that last year 14 school districts in the area bussed in students so they could attend the conference.

“We hope to get people know what is going on in there,” he said. “Most folks would not think that the material would be handed out— this kind of this just flies under the radar.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the group, Stop the Seaside Sex Conference.

Read Steve Duin’s “Getting your ‘groove on’ at the Adolescent Sexuality Conference in Seaside.”

Read CAP’s response, “The reasons behind pamphlet on youth sexual behavior, communication: Guest opinion.”

Read Duin’s blog: “The Cascade AIDS Project responds.”

Learn more about the conference.

 

Iowa: Nothing Comical about Bullying

Citizen Link - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 14:37

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

by the Family Leader

Recently, at the Iowa Governor’s Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning Youth, a comic book written and distributed by Progress Iowa (a left-leaning think tank) clearly depicted Bob Vander Plaats, the President of The FAMiLY LEADER, as a supervillain character. As much as we are disappointed in the villainous portrayal of Bob Vander Plaats (as “Bull Von Ploots”) in a 28-page comic book, we are more concerned about the message it sends to students across Iowa. Will they now be concerned about being ostracized and demonized (bullied) when they express values and beliefs different from those promoted by Progress Iowa?

Bullying anyone, for any reason, is never acceptable. We at The FAMiLY LEADER would like to see bullying come to an end. However, our fear is when intentionally destructive messaging is given a platform at such a conference, it propels the dangerous patterns of bullying. Rather than fostering civility and understanding over our disagreements, these immature tactics fuel division, destructive behavior, and victimization.

Our Founding Fathers have it right. To have safe and strong schools staging an optimum learning environment, students need to be taught morals. This is why, until 1963, the Bible was taught in public schools as a resource for moral instruction. Until we restore moral teachings and bring the timeless lessons from scripture back into the lives of our children, we are going to continue to see unsafe schools that fail to perform. We believe the Golden Rule, based on Luke 6 verse 31, “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” is a good place for all of us to start.

The team at The FAMiLY LEADER, is declining any encouragement to respond in like-manner to Progress Iowa’s intentional, demeaning attack on our President, Bob Vander Plaats, and all of those who share our embrace of God’s design for marriage, family, and sexuality.

While some advise to sue them, we will choose to love them and pray for them. We hope you will as well.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the Family Leader.

 

Caught Praying

Citizen Link - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 01:05

TAKE ACTION: Mozilla CEO Resigns Over Marriage Support

Citizen Link - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 18:32

Mozilla CEO, Brendan Eich, resigned from the corporation today. Eich drew the ire of some of his employees, because he gave $1,000 in support of the California marriage amendment in 2008.

Mozilla is the company behind the Firefox web browser.

Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker confirmed Eich’s departure on “The Mozilla Blog” today.

“Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it,” she wrote. “We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves. We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”

Eich was one of the founders of the company, which has grown into a multi-billion dollar tech giant.

Jeff Johnston, marriage analyst with Focus on the Family, notes the irony in the company’s statement about equality:

“Mozilla says in their statement that the company believes both in equality and freedom of speech,” Johnston said. “Clearly they don’t put their beliefs into practice — if they force out Mr. Eich for believing in and supporting one-man, one-woman marriage. They certainly aren’t treating him as the equal of those who support marriage redefinition. And the company isn’t respecting his freedom of speech.

“I really hope that LGBT-identified folks and their so-called ‘progressive’ allies appreciate the irony: The ‘tolerance, diversity and inclusivity’ crowd doesn’t tolerate anyone who believes differently. If you think marriage is between one man and one woman, you are excluded. That kind of ‘diversity’ will not be tolerated.”

Johnston said the best way to respond is with truth and compassion.

“This is just the latest in a series of incidents where people who support God’s design for marriage have been attacked, vilified and marginalized,” he explained. “My hope is that more Christians will see this trend and courageously, lovingly speak out God’s truth.”

TAKE ACTION for religious freedom
Send an email to Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker at:
[email protected]

We encourage you to remind her that people of faith are also protected by the First Amendment, and that Brendan Eich should not have faced backlash from the company for his beliefs.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read “The Mozilla Blog: Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO.”

Read “Eich is Out. So Is Tolerance.”

Read Eich’s blog “Inclusiveness at Mozilla.”

 

Take Action: Urge Ohio Governor to Investigate Woman’s Death Following Abortion

Citizen Link - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 18:24

A young woman died last Friday after a weeklong fight for her life following a chemical abortion, according to medical reports. Ohio Right to Life (ORTL) sent a letter Tuesday asking Gov. John Kasich to investigate the incident and the abortion facility.

Lakisha Wilson, 22, was rushed to an emergency room on March 21 after becoming unresponsive at Preterm Abortion Clinic in Cleveland, where she had the abortion.

The young woman died on March 28 at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“The death of this young woman is another sobering reminder that Ohio needs to enforce laws that hold abortion clinics accountable to health and safety standards,” said ORTL President Mike Gonidakis. “The abortion industry touts the myth that abortion is ‘safe,’ yet botched chemical abortions and tragedies like Ms. Wilson’s are not necessarily the exception.”

According to reports, Preterm Abortion Clinic has notified the state’s medical board of six botched abortions involving RU-486 between 2011 and 2013. View the reports here:

In the letter to Kasich, ORTL notes that Wilson traveled to Preterm after being denied a late-term abortion by facilities in Akron and Columbus: “This brings to question why Preterm appears to have proceeded with a procedure after other clinics refused.”

In 2013, Kasich signed HB 59 into law. It requires all abortionists to perform an ultrasound 24 hours before performing an abortion to determine the age of the pre-born baby and to determine whether the baby is viable.

ORTL also underscores that the governor signed legislation banning abortions of any viable baby:

This fact pattern leads us to ask the following questions: Did Preterm perform the required ultrasound to determine if the baby was viable and did Preterm perform an abortion upon a viable baby regardless of state law? Either scenario is, of course, a tragedy as ultimately a woman and a baby lost their lives. Nevertheless, both scenarios warrant an investigation into Preterm and its doctors’ practices and standards of care.

ORTL requests that the Ohio Department of Health initiate a “full investigation of the incident and Preterm’s conduct.

“We grieve for this young woman and her family,” Gonidakis said. “We will do everything we can to see that justice is served.”

Take Action for Mothers and Preborn Babies
Ask Ohio Gov. John Kasich to investigate this horrific incident in efforts to help prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.

*Email the governor here:

                        or:

*Call his office at this number: (614) 466-3555

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read ORTL’s letter to the governor.

Learn more about ORTL.

 

 

Florida Family Policy Council Moves to Intervene in Federal Court Cases to Protect Marriage in Florida

Citizen Link - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 18:14

CitizenLink is proud to work with the Florida 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.

by Sarah Fowler
April 2, 2014

Today, Florida Family Policy filed a Motion to Intervene in Brenner v. Scott and the case of Grimsley v. Scott, both lawsuits initiated by homosexual activists seeking to declare Florida’s state constitutional and statutory marriage laws unconstitutional.  Liberty Counsel filed the intervention on behalf of Florida Family Action, which actively organized a state-wide grassroots effort to pass the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment. This was the largest grassroots effort in the history of Florida and the first constitutional amendment to reach the 60 percent threshold required for passage.

In 2008, 62.5 percent of Floridians voted to pass Amendment 2, amending their state constitution to reaffirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Having lost in the marketplace of ideas and having failed to convince the public to adopt their radical version of “marriage,” homosexual activists, led by a Jacksonville Law firm and the ACLU, have now filed suit, asking the Northern District of Florida, a Federal Court, to throw out the votes of 8 million Floridians and to judicially impose homosexual marriage upon all Floridians.

Liberty Counsel seeks to intervene to protect both marriage and the voting rights of all Floridians on behalf of Florida Family Action, a cultural action organization that was instrumental in helping pass Amendment 2, along with its thousands of members across the state, devoted to preserving and protecting the institution of marriage.

John Stemberger, President of Florida Family Action issued the following statement:

“The constitution is not silly putty.  It has objective words and limitations to its scope.  The left in this country has no regard for the rule of law and facilitated by activist judges seek to pull new legal rabbits out their hat by twisting words and making things up from thin air which the constitution never articulated and which the framers never envisioned.  There are some things in life and in America worth fighting for even if it comes at great cost.  The institution of marriage and the Constitution are two such things. Without these our civilization begins to become reckless and government tramples on basic human liberty.”

Since 2004, Florida Family Action has been one of Florida’s leading advocacy groups seeking to defend attacks on life, marriage, family and liberty.  The attorneys representing us are with Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the Florida Family Policy Council.

Read the motion to intervene.

 

Stoplight: They ‘Caught Me’ Praying

Citizen Link - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 17:03

Stuart Shepard shares the compelling story of a 5-year-old girl who was told to stop praying at school – and explains why that kind of mistake is made.

Here’s the full video that the family posted.

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