Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
AP: “A western Pennsylvania man has been ordered to remove a 24-foot illuminated cross from his front yard following complaints by his neighbor, who claims the act of faith is actually an act of revenge.”
Knox News: “A divided 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday opined that David Kucera and Vickie F. Forgety are entitled to sue federally as the victims of the school board’s alleged violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause, better known as the doctrine of separation of church and state.” | Smith v. Jefferson, No. 06-6533
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit Friday against Coweta County on behalf of a church denied an expansion permit even though it met all of the requirements and even though many other churches have had their permits approved.
One News Now: “Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values (CCV), says child pornography and sexual abuse of children has escalated in the last 20 to 25 years. However, the federal government and the Justice Department have refused to crack down on hardcore pornography, he argues.”
“The bill that would ensure no loopholes in the Obamacare bill can authorize abortion funding under the federal law received a positive vote from House Energy and Commerce today. The legislation also protects conscience rights for medical workers . . .
AP: “The White House is issuing a thinly-veiled veto threat against a $1.2 trillion Republican spending bill that cuts about $60 billion from the budget for the ongoing fiscal year.”
Montreal Gazette: “Despite a verdict by Quebec’s human rights tribunal that called on the city of Saguenay to end the practice of reciting a Christian prayer at the start of council meetings, the crucifix, a Roman execution instrument and a symbol of Christianity, is staying in Quebec’s National Assembly.”
Voice of America News: “A court in Amsterdam on Monday has ruled that the hate speech trial of Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders will go on, with new judges listening to the defense’s preliminary objections to the case. Those objections were already heard by a different panel of judges last year, but a retrial was ordered because of possible judicial bias against Wilders.”
Euro judges ‘will not have final say’ on prisoner vote, vows Attorney General (as he hints of withdrawal from European court)
Daily Mail: “European judges will not have the final say on whether prisoners should be given the vote, the Attorney General said last night. In a sign of the Government’s growing anger over prisoner voting, Dominic Grieve hinted that Britain could seek to limit the power of the European Court of Human Rights over the issue – and even withdraw from its jurisdiction altogether . . .”
Great Falls Tribune: “Republican lawmakers pitched new plans Monday to intervene in divorce, target abortion in the Montana Constitution and help parents deal with local sex education issues.”
AP: “The Alliance Defense Fund represents the lawmakers, including House Speaker Ed Buchanan. The fund is an Arizona-based Christian civil rights group that has fought same-sex marriage in California.”
ACLU joins Yale Law to launch “Don’t Filter Me” Initiative to stop schools from filtering homosexual web sites
ACLU: “The American Civil Liberties Union, in partnership with Yale Law School, has launched a campaign called “Don’t Filter Me” to assess censorship of web content in public high schools. The campaign asks students to check to see if web content geared toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities – a frequent target of censorship in schools – is blocked by their schools’ web browsers. Students can report instances of censorship to the ACLU LGBT Project.”
Christian Today: Mr Nazir-Ali, originally from Pakistan, said multiculturalism had created “segregated communities” that were “fertile” for extremists. He said: “The reason multiculturalism came to be invented was the loss of public discourse rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It is this discourse, and the making of moral and political decisions in its light, that needs to be recovered.”
Daily Caller (includes video): “No, you know, I’m just not in favor of gay marriage,” he said. “I live in New York. New York is a place with lots of gays, and I think it’s great, but I’m not in favor of gay marriage.”
Christian Post: We point to this evidence in support of policies which would discourage divorce, cohabitation, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies, while encouraging sexual abstinence until marriage-as well as in opposing efforts to change the fundamental definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Yet more evidence along these lines can be found in a recently published federal study on “Family Structure and Children’s Health in the United States.”
The Michigan Messenger: “Four Michigan residents have appealed a September decision by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington in a suit challenging the constitutionality of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”
One News Now: “Following a lawsuit threat from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Florida’s Polk County School Board is changing how it handles school prayer.”
LifeNews: “For me this is an issue that — as I’ve said before — it transcends all of the political issues,” he said. “I’ve often said I would gladly lose an election before I would ever yield on the issue of the sanctity of human life.”
Politico: “Under the GOP’s current spending proposal, a program, called Title X, will be slashed completely, drastically reducing the services family-planning clinics can provide, including cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and contraception for low-income women, Democrats say. Last year, the program cost $317 million.”
The Spokesman-Review: “State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, introduced SB 5793 in the Senate. Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancover, said he’ll drop the companion legislation in the House on Tuesday. It would overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed over then-Gov. Gary Locke’s veto in 1998.”
Honolulu Star Advertiser: “The state Legislature is poised to give final approval today to a proposal to permit civil unions in Hawaii, sending it to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has promised to sign the measure.”
Journal Gazette: “Hoosiers will get their first opportunity today to comment on a contentious bill that intends to introduce vouchers to public education in Indiana. House Bill 1003 would funnel state money to private schools through a voucher or scholarship for low- and middle-income students.”
“The Senate Finance Committee, after hearing emotional testimony from students and educators, voted Tuesday to kill a measure that would have given businesses tax credits to fund private school tuition for needy students.”
“Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore) is included in a tally published Tuesday morning by The Washington Post of 24 senators — the bare majority needed for passage — who have indicated they will vote for a bill allowing gay couples to marry . . . But Conway said should would ‘pray real hard and vote green’ if it became clear she was the deciding vote in favor of the bill.”
Washington Post Blog: The new measure expands the state’s definition of “justifiable homicide” by adding a clause applying it to someone who is “resisting any attempt” to murder of an unborn child or to harm an unborn child in a way likely to result in its death.
AP: “A British judge ruled Tuesday that more evidence is needed before deciding whether to grant a mother’s wish to have her mentally disabled daughter sterilized – a case that is troubling medical ethicists.”
ADF attorney Joel Oster appeared on the radio on Friday to discuss this: City manufactures restrictive zoning district specifically to stop growth of Minn. church. | Hugh Hewitt Show, MP3 8:17 mins | Janet Mefferd, MP3 audio 18:22 mins.
Opposing Views opinion by Americans U. for Separation of Church and State: Julea Ward, a self-described “orthodox Christian,” filed a lawsuit against the university, alleging that school officials violated her free speech and religious liberty rights. Represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, she claims she cannot “affirm any behavior that goes against what the Bible says” and would always refer to other counselors “all clients who seek counseling for sexual relationship issues she believes to be against the teachings of the Bible.”
San Francisco Chronicle: The 13 lawmakers want permission to file a “friend of the court” brief with the Wyoming Supreme Court. They’re represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based Christian civil rights group that has litigated against same-sex marriage in California.
Christian Post: One of the two cases cited in the letter was that of registered New York nurse Catherina DeCarlo. DeCarlo alleged that she was forced by Mt. Sinai Hospital to participate in the abortion of an unborn baby against her moral and religious conscience. The other case was that of two nursing students who were being required to sign a letter committing to assisting in abortions in order to be considered for Vanderbilt University’s obstetrical and gynecological care program. Alliance Defense Fund served as legal counsel in both cases. “Medical professionals should not be punished for holding to their beliefs, and they should not be forced to perform abortions against their conscience,” commented Matt Bowman, ADF legal counsel.
Billings Gazette: The local attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, Douglas Mason of Pinedale, said Monday that there is nothing to prevent the Lusk couple from returning to Canada to get a divorce or to get one from some other jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage. “As far as Wyoming is concerned, they’re not married anyway, so they don’t need a divorce,” Mason said. (more information about ADF and ADF involvement in the report)
One News Now: The city ordinance on a floating and a fixed “100-foot bubble zone” prohibited pro-lifers’ free-speech rights at virtually all Pittsburgh abortion clinics, but David Cortman of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) tells OneNewsNow the ordinance violates the Constitution. (David is quoted in several paragraphs)
One News Now: Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) tells OneNewsNow his firm argued the constitutionality of the school’s policy. “This is forced association. What if a club is a Christian club and the university appoints an atheist, or if you’re a Republican club and they appoint a Democrat,” he poses. “The student group certainly isn’t going to want to have that voice included in the message they present on campus.”
LifeSiteNews: “Recently revised guidelines of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) outline many of the numerous risks of abortion and the duty of the counseling physician or abortionist to inform any woman contemplating abortion of these risks.”
LifeSiteNews: Rising in the House of Commons Thursday, Bloc MP Pierre Paquette (Joliette) questioned the Conservative government over the fact that some of its Christian MPs have met and worked with Christian groups – “the fringe of the Conservative Party,” in Paquette’s words. “Is it not worrisome to see all these fundamentalist groups circling around the Conservative government, trying to change legislation to impose their religious values?” he asked.
LifeSiteNews: “A commentator for a California population control group has issued a scathing indictment of the 19-child Duggar family, calling their openness to new life “bad behavior” that contributes to the overpopulation of the planet.”
Journal Sentinel: “The high court race is the only statewide contest on the ballot. Incumbent Justice David Prosser is seeking his second full 10-year term. He’s being challenged by Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg; Marla Stephens, director of the appellate division of the state public defender’s office; and Madison lawyer Joel Winnig.”
Americans United Wall of Separation Blog: Zachary Kopplin, a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, wants to see the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act repealed, and he’s working with state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) to garner support for a bill she plans to introduce in April that will do just that . . . When Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the measure back in 2008, Americans United warned that it was merely another attempt by creationists to slip fundamentalist religion into biology classes . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “The Livingston County (MI) Daily Press and Argus reports on passage by the Michigan state Senate last week of Senate Bill 19 which would increase the penalties for interrupting or disturbing services at any building that is clearly identified as one used for religious purposes.”
Phyllis Schlafly writes at Townhall: “Some people foolishly call our relationship with China “free trade.” But there is nothing free or fair about it — we are in a trade war between a militantly protectionist communist government and a U.S. shackled by obsolete illusions about trade.”
Atlanta J. Constitution: “The latest attempt at Sunday alcohol sales legislation in the state Senate appears to be in trouble. Opposition, especially from Christian conservatives, could prevent a Senate vote this year on a bill that would give Georgia communities a vote whether to allow Sunday beer, wine and liquor sales at stores.”
LifeNews: “Local pro-life advocates snapped pictures of an ambulance arriving at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood and a woman on a gurney placed in the back of the emergency vehicle and taken to a local hospital. The woman’s head was covered and her body was motionless — leading pro-life advocates to believe the abortion may have claimed her life.”
LifeNews: “Congressman Mike Pence is gaining more support for his bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, but the head of the nation’s biggest abortion business is pushing back and defending it from criticism over videos showing its staff helping sex traffickers victimize young girls with abortions.”
Will the Obama Administration Re-Interpret Federal Law Re: Religious Discrimination When Awarding Federal Grants?
The Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently debating whether to re-interpret federal law so as to allow discrimination, when awarding federal grants, against faith-based organizations who engage in such religious hiring preferences. The outcome of this debate will affect the ability of faith-based providers who engage in religious hiring preferences to compete with secular and other faith-based organizations for federal social service grants.
The Hill: “House Republicans refused to grant a waiver for the consideration of an amendment to the 2011 funding bill that would bar mandatory spending for the president’s healthcare law. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a member of the Tea Party caucus, asked the panel to protect his measure, which keep $105 billion of funds allocated in the law over 10 years from going into effect.”
Pat Buchanan writes at Townhall: “What is the menace of multiculturalism these people see? From Moscow to Marseilles, from Stockholm to Sicily, they see the Muslims pouring in and creating tiny nations within the nation, and being unwilling to embrace a new identity as Englishmen, French or German. And their fears are not unjustified . . . And Islam is a faith that is itself anti-multicultural.”
Wall Street Journal (via Google): “President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget doesn’t cut much of anything (see above), and certainly not the Internal Revenue Service. The White House is requesting that the most beloved of all government agencies get an additional 5,100 agents next year, no doubt to wring further tax revenue from Americans.”
The Hill: “The chances of a government shutdown are on the rise. With less than three weeks to strike a deal before government funding for the year is scheduled to expire, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are moving in opposite directions.”