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 *
LifeNews.com: Texas state legislators are defending an ultrasound bill in court that allows women a chance to see an ultrasound of their baby before an abortion. The bill is the subject of a lawsuit seeking to topple it.
The Christian Institute: The equality commission’s commitment to protect religious liberty in the workplace has been put in doubt by one of its own commissioners.
Christianity Today: But Jordan Lorence, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund and a lawyer who argued for the Christian groups, said the intent of SDSU’s policy is irrelevant. “If there is an official policy that violates the First Amendment rights of Christian organizations, it’s unconstitutional,” he said. “Intent does not exonerate the policy because the First Amendment violations remain.”
In a 72-page ruling issued Friday, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling that the board’s prayers, which often are explicitly Christian, are constitutional because the school board is more like a legislative body than a school.
Marc Berkoff at The Huffington Post: The time has come to debunk the myth of human exceptionalism once and for all. It’s a hollow, shallow, and self-serving perspective on who we are. Of course we are exceptional in various arenas as are other animals. Perhaps we should replace the notion of human exceptionalism with species exceptionalism, a move that will force us to appreciate other animals for who they are, not who or what we want them to be.
K. Douglas Lee at Breitbart Big Government: We’ve begun a battle of enormous consequence to our entire nation here in the great state of Mississippi. Abortion is on the November 8 ballot in Mississippi, in the form of an initiative to change the state constitution by defining “person” as any human from the moment of fertilization. The amendment is based on statements made by the judges who voted in favor of abortion during the Roe v. Wade oral re-arguments.
The West Australian on Yahoo: Perth public primary school, which encourages children to recite the Lord’s Prayer at assemblies, has suspended the practice after some parents objected.
ADF attorney Erik Stanley at Speak Up Movement Church Blog: The passage of the Johnson Amendment in 1954 added a restriction to 501(c)(3) that allows the IRS to censor a pastor’s sermon from the pulpit. That’s what Pulpit Freedom Sunday is intended to address. It doesn’t help for churches to hide their heads in the sand and pretend like the tax code doesn’t apply to them. Instead, churches should stand and boldly confront the unconstitutional restriction and regain the right of pastors to speak freely from their pulpits without any restriction.
ADF attorney Greg Baylor at Speak Up Movement University Blog: Florida’s voters will decide whether to improve the state constitution’s church-state provisions — unless the ACLU and its allies get their way
NPR: Can conversion therapy help some gay men and women turn straight, or is it harmful and converts no one? This was the subject of a report Monday on Morning Edition that has provoked hundreds of angry responses condemning NPR for legitimizing a mostly discredited therapy. The concern was that it wrongly made homosexuality seem like a disease or lifestyle choice, striking at the very self-identity of most gay men and women.
FRANCE 24: “The only way the Americans have come up with to improve economic growth has been to take on new loans to repay the old ones,” a blistering commentary published on the official Xinhua news agency said. “To eat May’s grain in April, however, will never be a permanent solution to a problem,” the report said.
“The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis”: Alan Sears, Doug Napier on the Mike Gallagher Show on location at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX
Learn more about: “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis”
City launches attack on centers that advise against abortion: Mayor Michael Bloomberg in March signed into law Bill 371-A . . . The attack on the speech rights of the pro-life centers immediately attracted the intervention of some of the biggest pro-life public interest organizations in the nation, including the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defense Fund.
LifeNews.com: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has assembled a team of pro-life, conservative legal heavyweights to advise him on legal matters — specifically on the right kind of judges he should consider should he become president.
Tony Woodlief at WORLDmag.com : In other words, we can never have a faith-free, value-neutral society. Even the people who pretend otherwise are peddling their own kind of faith, their own religious values. So the question is, which set of rules best affords Christianity room to flourish, while treating non-Christians as Christ would have them treated by His followers? And how does open prayer by public officials fit into that? Should we condone it, condemn it, or get over it?
LifeNews.com: A pro-life law firm has filed legal papers with an appeals court defending the law the state recently-approved that revokes taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Heritage Foundation, The Foundry: A new study says the growing practice of tele-medicine abortions, in which women are prescribed abortion-inducing medications without having a physician present, is “safe and successful”—but that declaration is dangerously deceitful.
Bloomberg: The U.S. Postal Service, which predicts a $9 billion loss this year, may ask Congress to raise its $15 billion debt limit as a mandatory health-cost payment exhausts its cash, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said.
AP: Government-controlled mortgage company Fannie Mae said Friday that its second-quarter loss widened as it continues to seek loan modifications to help reduce defaults amid the ongoing difficulties in the housing and mortgage markets.
AP: A federal appeals case pending in California could determine if trial lawyers should be barred from dismissing potential jurors because they are gay. | How Appealing links to more resources and the transcript of the court’s arguments | USA v. Osazuwa
AP: Czech President Vaclav Klaus has defended his deputy chancellor who criticized the mayor of Prague for supporting a gay pride parade in the capital.
Jennifer Epstein at POLITICO.com: People and households earning $1 million or more annually made up just 0.1 percent, or just over 235,000, of the 140 million tax returns filed in 2009, and just 8,274 returns were filed by people making $10 million or more.
Sara Stewart at the NYPOST.com: According to a new study by the New York-based think tank the Center for Work-Life Policy, 43 percent of college-educated women between the ages of 33 and 46 are childless. And nowhere does that statistic resonate more than here.
OneNewsNow.com: DF attorney Jeremy Tedesco says the school is well within its rights to use the filter. “It’s very simple to see that these filters block more than just websites that the ACLU appears to care about,” Tedesco notes. “They also block sexually explicit materials that are simply not suitable for minors.”
ADF attorney Matt Bowman at Washington Examiner: San Francisco wants to punish speech because pro-life centers appear in Internet searches for “abortion” or because pro-abortion officials call pro-life views “misleading.” Will the ACLU and civil libertarians be consistent and defend speech, or will they again elevate abortion above everything else? | Also on LifeNews
OneNewsNow.com: ADF attorney Nate Kellum tells OneNewsNow the charges were later dropped, but that did not end the matter. “The postal office isn’t above the law and cannot take away citizens’ constitutionally protected rights just because it or its customers might not agree with the content of someone’s speech or literature,” he contends. “Our client isn’t harassing anyone; he’s simply desiring to quietly share his faith in a completely public forum.”
ADF President and General Counsel Alan E. Sears at Townhall: “Freedom” is a strange word in our day. It has been used in so many contexts at so many times that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it means now to most speakers and advocates. More than not, however, it is safe to assume that post-moderns use the word to sum up their “right” to do what they want, when they want, where they want. “Whatever” they want. No, it’s not our Founding Fathers’ notion of “freedom” in the least, but it’s a stipulation we’re working under in the 21st century. The problem with such a definition is that in many cases, “freedom” is so ego-centric it’s self-defeating.
TheGAVoice: “The idea that Internet filters somehow result in student suicides is preposterous, and the ACLU should be ashamed for making such a connection,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco in a statement. “The ACLU cannot mask its attempts to turn school computers into porn portals for children with a supposed concern for bullying and suicides.”
JournalNow.com: The county has been backed in by the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian group that is arguing the case at no cost to the county.
ADF attorney Kevin Theriot at Baptist Press: Last year, a church school in Redford, Mich., was dealt a blow to its independence from government control by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Hosanna-Tabor is affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and operates a church and school . . . The good news is that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Sixth Circuit’s decision this year.
LifeNews.com: However, these assertions have no support in international law, either by treaty or custom. Piero Tozzi, a senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund told the Friday Fax, “No ‘right’ to abortion exists in international law. Consistent with international treaties and customary norms, nations can (and should) protect the unborn child. UN bodies and outside actors grossly exceed their competence when they demand that sovereign nations alter their domestic laws protecting the unborn, and states should categorically reject such unwarranted claims.”
WSJ.com (via Google): Central Falls’s financial problems are not much different from many states and municipalities. Inflexible and costly collective bargaining agreements have driven up its labor costs and crowded out services. The city is running $5 million annual structural deficits on a $16 million budget. Its pension and retiree health-care bills add up to $80 million. Public safety officers contribute a mere 7% of their salaries to pensions and can retire after 20 years with pensions equal to 50% of their final year’s salary.
Paul E. PetersonWSJ.com (via Google): So there is the nation’s debt crisis in a nutshell. If people aren’t told that nearly $13,000 is currently being spent per pupil, or if they aren’t reminded that there is no such thing as a free lunch, they can be persuaded to think schools should be spending still more.
Catholic League: The U.S. Air Force has suspended a class at Vandenberg Air Force Base after complaints that it violates church and state. Bill Donohue responded with this letter to Gen. Edward A. Rice, Jr., the Commander of Air Education and Training:
Cardinal Newman Society Campus Notes: Marquette University professor John McAdams reported on his blog Tuesday that the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at Marquette is threatened with suspension because it dismissed an officer who made clear his intention to not break off a “homosexual affair.”