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The College Fix: “School districts, of all institutions, should understand that students benefit from the peaceful and thoughtful discussion of ideas,” rather than shutting down “all discussions” among students to retain a prayer ban, said legal counsel Matt Sharp.
School district reportedly banned teens from meeting to discuss God during the school day–but there’s a major update to the story
The Blaze: “While we commend the school district for recognizing that students have the right to pray and discuss religious topics during lunch, it could have shown greater respect both for the First Amendment freedoms of students and the educational process by simply allowing them to engage in religious conversations during the other free period in the day rather than silence the speech of all students by eliminating that period altogether,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement.
The Gazette: “The school did a complete 180,” Matt Sharp, an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, said. “Students now have a right to pray and gather together to discuss their faith during free time.”
KRDO: That ends a lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom against Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs on behalf of a student.
The Washington Times: “Sadly, rather than allow Chase and the other students to pray during Seminar time, the District chose to cancel Seminar for this coming school year,” said Matt Sharp, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative legal group that represented Mr. Windebank.
Christian News Network: “Public schools should encourage the free exchange of ideas rather than find ways to silence discussion,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.
The Washington Post: “From day one, this case has been focused on the District’s decision to not only prevent Chase and the other students from praying together,” Matt Sharp of the ADF wrote in an e-mail, “but also the District’s position that students cannot gather for prayer at any time during the school day.”
ADF Media: A Colorado school district has dropped its ban on student religious discussion and expression during free time. In light of the change, Alliance Defending Freedom and the district’s attorneys have agreed to end the lawsuit that ADF filed last year on behalf of Pine Creek High School senior Chase Windebank.
Alliance Defending Freedom: What is this strange obsession so many in our nation have with silencing opinions they disagree with? It’s not like there aren’t other options – open and reasonable debate, the verdict of the ballot box, the simple option of ignoring those with whom one doesn’t see eye to eye.
Missouri Family Policy Council: “Public schools should encourage the free exchange of ideas,” says Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for ADF. “Instead, this school implemented an ill-conceived ban that singles out religious speech for censorship during free time.”
Missouri Family Policy Council: Nicolle Martin, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, says that Phillips should not be forced under threat of legal punishment to use his creative abilities to endorse activity his religion views as abhorrent. ADF is representing Phillips in the litigation. “Jack Phillips is just trying to live within a certain set of Biblical principles because he believes he answers to God for everything he does. America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their religious beliefs. If the government can take away our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can’t take away.” [newsletter also covers the Dobson v. Sebelius]
Missouri Family Council: In a move that brings ill repute on the Governor’s office and the rule of law in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon has issued an executive order on the subject of same-sex unions that is in flagrant violation of the Missouri Constitution and state statutes.
Missouri Family Policy Council: The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a Missouri law that provides benefits to the surviving spouses of deceased public safety officers. A St. Louis area man had challenged the law, claiming that it discriminated against him based on his “sexual orientation.” | Gossip v. Missouri Department Of
MO Family Policy Council: A U.S District Judge dismissed Thayer’s suit last December, stating that her allegations lacked “specificity.” The case is now being appealed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Missouri Family Policy Council: Under that policy, developed with the assistance of the Alliance Defending Freedom, invitations to offer invocations would be extended to ministers from various denominations throughout Franklin County to offer the prayers on a rotating basis. Invocations would be offered before the official start of the meeting, and those in attendance would be advised that they were under no obligation to participate.
Missouri Family Policy Council: The FCC is considering a change in broadcast indecency policies that would permit “isolated” expletives and “isolated” nudity to be aired on network television broadcasts.
MO Family Policy Council: The Missouri General Assembly has sent Governor Jay Nixon legislation which would regulate the use of the chemical abortion drug RU-486. House Bill 400, sponsored by Representative Jeanie Riddle of Mokane, would require that RU-486 only be administered in the presence of a physician
Missouri Family Policy Council: Members of Congress are sending correspondence to Pentagon officials expressing concern about the rising tide of anti-Christian hostility in the U.S. Armed Services.
Missouri Family Policy Council: A federal judge has upheld Missouri’s new law protecting houses of worship from deliberate incidents of protest and disruption. U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the House of Worship Protection Act, which was approved by the Missouri Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon last year.
Missouri Family Policy Council: “All Americans, not just those in church organizations, are guaranteed freedom of conscience in their daily lives and in their work,” commented Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom. “The government has no business putting religious freedom on the negotiating table, or picking and choosing who is allowed to exercise their faith.”
Missouri Family Policy Council: Instead of backing down, the Franklin County Commission adopted a policy formalizing the procedures for prayer before Commission meetings. The new guidelines reflected recommendations from the Alliance Defending Freedom, the nation’s leading Christian legal defense firm . . . Please be praying as well for the lawyers who are protecting our free exercise rights in this case: Brett Harvey of the Alliance Defending Freedom, and St. Louis attorney Tim Belz.
MO Family Policy Council: A federal judge has rejected a motion by the American Civil Liberties Union to block enforcement of Missouri’s House of Worship Protection Act.
Missouri Family Policy Council: Missouri now has the strongest state constitutional provisions protecting the free exercise of religion of any state in the nation. Missouri voters declared in no uncertain terms that religious freedom is a paramount fundamental constitutional right, and they want to see that it is respected and accommodated in the public square.
Nathan A. Cherry at the Engage Family Blog: Already we are seeing where churches and Christians are being penalized, persecuted, whatever you want to call it, because of their religious convictions on issues like marriage. The Alliance Defending Freedom is currently representing Elane Photography after the Christian owned and operated company was convicted of “sexual orientation” discrimination for refusing to provide services for a lesbian civil union. A recent ADF article on the topic wonders what implications for churches exist if this case, and others similar to it, is ultimately lost. The article say . . .
One News Now: ADF attorney Jordan Lorence . . . “Should the government force a videographer who is an animal rights activist to create a video promoting hunting and taxidermy? Of course not! And neither should the government force this photographer to promote a message that violates her conscience,” he contends. “The Constitution prohibits the state from forcing unwilling artists to promote a message they disagree with.” ADF will appeal the decision to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
MO Family Policy Council: “Americans in the marketplace should not be subjected to legal attacks for simply abiding by their beliefs,” says ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence. “The Constitution prohibits the state from forcing a photographer to promote a message that violates her conscience.”
Missouri Family Policy Council: Missouri Congressmen Emmanuel Cleaver, Russ Carnahan, and William “Lacy” Clay have voted to block legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives which would have banned sex-selection abortions. The proposal, the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act, would have prohibited abortions based on the sex or gender of the child.
Missouri Family Policy Council: The proposal, Senate Bill 755, would make it a crime to disrupt a house of worship by disturbing or interrupting a worship service or by interfering with persons seeking access to a house of worship.
Missouri Family Policy Council: A proposed constitutional amendment to protect the religious freedoms of Missouri citizens and schoolchildren will appear on the statewide August 7th ballot.
Missouri Family Update: ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman says the ACLU’s “Don’t Filter Me” project is part of a nationwide campaign of intimidation aimed at public school administrators . . . No school district should be bullied into exposing children to sexually graphic material,” Cortman says. “It is reprehensible that the ACLU is more concerned about advancing an agenda that exposes children to harm than they are about protecting those children. Those who oppose bullying should not be bullies themselves.”
MO Family Policy Council reports.
News from Missouri Family Policy Council: Jim Campbell, staff counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, deplored the judge’s attack on religious freedom. “The government should not be able to force a private Christian organization to use its property in a way that would violate its own religious beliefs. Religious groups have the right to use their private property in ways that are consistent with their religious convictions.”
LifeNews.com: Missouri lawmakers have introduced legislation which would protect the conscience rights of health care workers and religiously-based health care institutions. The proposals would ensure that physicians and nurses would not face employment discrimination for refusing to participate in medical procedures which violate their religious beliefs.
News from Missouri Family Policy Council: Springfield, Missouri attorney is spearheading a statewide campaign to restore respect for “In God We Trust” as our national motto. Dee Wampler is leading an effort to convince county commissions and municipal governments to post copies of the national motto on county courthouse walls and in city halls.
News from Missouri Family Policy Council: The Missouri Senate has taken action to extend tax credits available to Missouri citizens who donate to pro-life pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes.
News from Missouri Family Policy Council: “The ACLU cannot mask its attempts to turn school computers into porn portals for children by expressing a supposed concern for censorship,” says Jeremy Tedesco, legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. “Parents expect schools to be places where their children learn–not places where they access pornography.”
Missouri Family Policy Council: The State Senate sponsor of new student protection legislation is defending the bill against criticism from members of the Missouri educational community. Senator Jane Cunningham says that attacks on the new statute, which regulates online student-teacher communication, are the result of misinformation and misinterpretation. The section in controversy is one paragraph in a 35-page bill designed to combat sexual misconduct between school district employees and students.
News from Missouri Family Policy Council: Missouri legislative leaders are calling on Attorney General Chris Koster to provide a strong legal defense for the proposed religious liberty amendment to the Missouri Constitution.
Missouri Gov, Jay Nixon, who supports legalized abortion, let a ban on late-term abortions become law today without either signing the bill or issuing a veto of it — likely because the legislature approved it on a wide margin.
MO Family Policy Council: Viable preborn children in Missouri would be protected from the brutality of late-term abortion under bills now on the desk of Governor Jay Nixon.
OneNewsNow: “Missouri lawmakers are proceeding with a constitutional religious liberty amendment . . . ‘We’ve had success with this constitutional amendment in the Missouri House the last two sessions,’ [Joe Ortwerth, executive director of the Missouri Family Policy Council] explains. ‘ . . . Our challenge has been in the Missouri Senate where the issue has faced a filibuster from allies of the ACLU’ . . . The issue has been moved to the Senate floor, where Ortwerth is hopeful there will be enough votes to get Senate Joint Resolution 31 on the ballot this fall.”