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Author Topic: Christ, Christians and Christmas Under Attack In The Courts  (Read 30721 times)
nChrist
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« Reply #270 on: October 07, 2009, 05:48:56 PM »

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Symbols have held numerous meanings throughout history. Yes, the cross has been a Christian symbol but so has the rainbow. The rainbow was traditionally the symbol that God gave mankind in promise to never flood the earth again as He did during Noah's flood. Yet we don't see anyone complaining ... Read Moreabout it especially since the Rainbow Coalition has taken it as a symbol.

The cross on memorials for or graves of Soldiers is a symbol of the sacrifice that they have made. It is a symbol of the love that they held for others to give all they had so that others may enjoy freedom from oppression.

If we find the need to ban the cross then we need to move to ban the symbol of the Rainbow Coalition and remove all semblances of it from public view.

Brother, I second your opinion and agree completely. We are watching a barrage of ridiculous things these days. It's as if the lunatics from the asylum have gotten loose and are beginning to run things.
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« Reply #271 on: October 08, 2009, 12:20:35 PM »

Atheists say prayer makes them physically sick
'My stomach did a somersault with disgust'

Atheists recruited to be part of a lawsuit that is trying to rid government ceremonies such as the inauguration of a president of any invocation or other prayer have claimed they are made physically ill by prayer.

"As I watched the inauguration, my stomach did a somersault with disgust for how much our country was violating the constitution (sic), the most important document in our country," wrote a 15-year-old in testimony being given to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit was filed before President Obama's inauguration and subsequently was dismissed at the district court level. Briefs now are being submitted to the appeals court in plaintiffs' hopes the case will be reopened.

"I felt a temporary state of disconnection when these religious statements and prayers were made during the inauguration," wrote another paintiff, according to an appendix of information submitted with the plaintiffs' recent arguments in the case.

"All the prayers made me feel excluded from the political process and a second-class citizen," wrote another. "But, when Chief Justice Roberts asked the president to say, 'So help me God,' I felt threatened and sick to my stomach."

Get "Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution" - (Autographed) (Hardcover)

Officials with the Pacific Justice Institute, who are defending the Revs. Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery, who spoke at the inauguration, said in their response that the Constitution simply does not require that the government be "amoral or atheistic."

"Prayers designed to solemnize public events have a long and venerable history in our nation," said PJI Chief Counsel Kevin Snider, who authored the brief rebutting the claims.

"The First Amendment cannot be divorced from common sense," added Brad Dacus, president of PJI. "While atheists, humanists and freethinkers are a tiny minority in America, they are free to express and practice their lack of faith as they please.

"That does not mean," he continued, "however, that the vast majority of God-fearing citizens and public officials must be silenced in order to appease them."

The complaint originally was filed by a long list of people who describe themselves as atheists, as well as the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the American Humanist Association, Atheists United, Atheists for Human Rights and Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers.

The trial court judge speculated he didn't have the authority to censor speech at the inauguration. And he suggested that perhaps a sitting federal judge did not have the authority to instruct the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the soon-to-be commander-in-chief what they could and could not say at an inauguration.

Eventually the case was dismissed because the inauguration, at which the atheists wanted to prevent any prayer, already had taken place.

The case named those involved in the inauguration as defendants. The ministers, Warren and Lowery, offered prayers at the inauguration and also are named as defendants. They are being represented in the dispute by PJI.

The PJI response noted that Michael Newdow, a California lawyer who has litigated over references to God a number of times, previously challenged inaugural prayers twice and twice has had his arguments rejected.

However, in this case he goes so far as to suggest an ulterior motive in having invocations and benedictions at Washington ceremonies.

"Plaintiffs contend that the 'real meaning' of these declarations goes far beyond that constitutional benignity [of affirming believers' views], for they contain an element analogous to the 'real meaing' of the 'separate but equal' laws of our nation's earlier history and tradition," the atheists argue.

"Specifically, the 'real meaning' is that Atheists are 'so inferior and so degraded' that their religious views warrant no respect," they allege.
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« Reply #272 on: October 08, 2009, 12:22:00 PM »

They know that none of that is true. It sounds to me more like major conviction time hitting them.
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« Reply #273 on: October 08, 2009, 10:32:29 PM »

They know that none of that is true. It sounds to me more like major conviction time hitting them.


It would be nice if it was major conviction hitting them because that's exactly what they need. One of the first steps toward Christ is recognizing you're a sinner in need of a Saviour. They want to stamp out "Hearing", and we should all know the significance of that. Faith does come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. I give thanks every day that I had parents who loved me enough to bring me up in the ways of the Lord. I heard God's Word every day, and my parents great love brought me to the Love of Christ. If I have nothing of the world's material possessions, I'm still Rich beyond human measure. I especially give thanks that my entire family loves the Lord.

I've been thinking a lot about these increasingly evil and chaotic times. I feel sorry for those without Christ in these difficult times. I can't imagine what that would be like. We can pray for them and keep trying to share God's Good News with them. It's ironic that many of them will hate us for our love in trying to share with them. People are still accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, so enduring hate and persecution is a small price to pay. I love this portion of Scripture:

2 Corinthians 4:1-18 KJV  1  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;  2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.  3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  5  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.  6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  8  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  9  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;  10  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  11  For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  12  So then death worketh in us, but life in you.  13  We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;  14  Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.  15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.  16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.


Love In Christ,
Tom

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« Reply #274 on: October 27, 2009, 09:38:03 AM »

OK for 63 years, now Jesus in manger gets dumped
Privately sponsored scene victim of 'separation of church, state'

John Satawa's family has displayed a nativity scene on a street median in Warren, Mich., virtually every Christmas season since 1945, but following an intimidating letter sent by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Satawa's county has put stop to the 63-year-old tradition.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation proclaims its purpose in the letter to the Road Commission of Macomb County was to "protect the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of church and state."

But Satawa contends there's nothing unconstitutional about his privately owned and maintained Christmas display. With the help of the Thomas More Law Center, Satawa has filed a case in U.S. district court asking the judge to declare the county's crèche rejection unconstitutional instead and order officials to permit its display.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center, commented in a statement, "Every Christmas holiday, militant atheists … use the phrase 'separation of church and state' – nowhere found in our Constitution – as a means of intimidating municipalities and schools into removing expressions celebrating Christmas, a national holiday. Their goal is to cleanse our public square of all Christian symbols.

"However," Thompson continued, "the grand purpose of our Founding Fathers and the First Amendment was to protect religion, not eliminate it. Municipalities and schools should be aware that the systematic exclusion of Christmas symbols during the holiday season is itself inconsistent with the Constitution."

The story of the nativity scene began in 1945, when the congregation of St. Anne's Parish was established in the Village of Warren, and a set of Christmas statues was donated to the Catholic church for a nativity display.

The statues were too large to display inside the church, the lawsuit explains, so some members of the congregation thought it would be a good idea to display the statues and a manger in the center of the village during the Christmas holiday season.

Satawa's father, Joseph Satawa, using donated lumber, built a manger for the crèche, and obtained permission from the village president to display the scene on the median between Mound and Chicago Roads.

Though the years, local businesses and citizens have donated materials and labor to erect and refurnish the nativity. It has been a Warren tradition for 63 years, still spearheaded by the Satawa family, and it has graced the same street median every year, save for 1996, when construction prohibited its display.

But in December of 2008, the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent the county a complaint letter.

It read, in part, "When the county displays this manger scene, which depicts the legendary birth of Jesus Christ, it places in imprimatur of the Macomb County government behind the Christian religious doctrine. This excludes citizens who are not Christian – Jews, Native American religion practitioners, animists, etc., as well as the significant and growing population that is not religious at all."

Citing a selection of Supreme Court cases, the letter concludes, "There are ample private and church grounds where religious displays may be freely placed, including, presumably, St. Anne's Parish, where this display clearly belongs. Once the government enters into the religion business, conferring endorsement and preference for one religion over others, it strikes a blow at religious liberty, forcing taxpayers of all faiths and of no religion to support a particular expression of worship."

After receiving the letter, the county road commission demanded Satawa remove the nativity scene because he had not obtained the appropriate permit.

When Satawa applied for the permit in anticipation of the upcoming 2009 Christmas season, he was denied and told by the county that the nativity scene "clearly displays a religious message" in alleged violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The Thomas More Law Center, however, contends the Establishment clause should protect the nativity, not forbid it.

The lawsuit points out that private displays of the community's history and tradition are currently permitted and constructed on the median in question, and that the county is discriminating against the private nativity display based solely on its content, not its constitutionality.

"The United States Supreme Court has long held that all public streets, which includes public medians, are held in the public trust and are properly considered traditional public forums for private speech," commented Law Center attorney Robert Muise in a statement, citing his own legal precedents. "Moreover, the Supreme Court has also stated that 'private religious speech, far from being a First Amendment orphan, is as fully protected under the Free Speech Clause as secular private expression.'

"Consequently," he concluded, "by restricting speech because it is religious expression, the Road Commission is imposing a content-based restriction on private speech in a traditional public forum in clear violation of the Constitution."

Specifically, the lawsuit contends, the county's prohibition of the private nativity scene "lacks a valid secular purpose, has the primary effect of inhibiting religion and creates an excessive entanglement with religion in violation of the United States Constitution."

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen, chief judge of the Eastern District of Michigan.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 10:40:21 PM by DreamWeaver » Logged

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« Reply #275 on: December 10, 2009, 11:45:50 AM »

Teachers forced to 'hide in closets' to pray
School employees ordered to stop others from 'communicating with a deity'

Florida school teachers say they are being forced to hide in closets to pray after a controversial court ruling.

Under an order crafted by the ACLU, school employees in Santa Rosa School District must act in an "official capacity" whenever they are at a "school event" including breaks, after-school events on or off campus and private events held on campus.

Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit law firm, alongside Christian Educators Association International, is seeking to overturn the court order, which has resulted in three school officials being charged with contempt.

According to the group, school officials are strictly prohibited from showing agreement with anyone "communicating with a deity," such as "bowing the head" or "folding hands." "School officials" must also prohibit "third-parties" from praying, Liberty Counsel said.

During testimony that ended last week, Christian employees said the order has literally driven them to hide in closets to pray to avoid contempt charges.

As WND reported, Michelle Winkler, a clerical assistant, earlier faced contempt charges after her husband read a prayer at a private banquet held at a Naval base to honor non-instructional school district employees. The judge eventually found that Winkler's husband's prayer at a voluntary gathering outside of school did not violate any court order.

During her recent testimony, Winkler broke down on the witness stand as she told a story about how her coworker sought comfort from her after losing her 2-year-old child.

The two hid behind a closet door to pray, for fear they would be seen and held in contempt of the court order.

Denise Gibson, an elementary teacher for 20 years, testified that the order requires her to inform parents that she cannot respond if they mention church or their faith. She said she is prohibited from replying to e-mails from parents if they contain Bible verses or even "God bless you." Instead, she said, the district has instructed her to open a separate e-mail to answer the parents rather than hit "reply." The district calls for the action to eliminate any trace of religious language in school communication.

As WND reported, Liberty Counsel successfully defended Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman against criminal contempt charges after the ACLU complained when Freeman gave a 15-second blessing for a lunch meal for 20 adults with no students present.

The men had faced penalties of up to six months in jail and $5,000 in fines each.

The situation began in August 2008 when two anonymous students sued with the help of the ACLU over long-standing practices at the school allowing prayer at some events. The school's separate counsel had agreed to a consent decree that "essentially bans all Santa Rose County School District employees from engaging in prayer or religious activities," Liberty Counsel reported.

WND also reported earlier when members of the 2009 graduating class at Florida's Pace High School expressed their objections to the ACLU restrictions on statements of religious faith at their school by rising up en masse at their ceremony and reciting the Lord's Prayer.

Nearly 400 graduating seniors at Pace, a Santa Rosa County school, stood up at their graduation, according to Staver. Parents, family and friends joined in the recitation, and applauded the students when they were finished, Staver told WND.

"Many of the students also painted crosses on their graduation caps to make a statement of faith," the organization reported.

"The court order crafted by the ACLU takes my breath away," said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. "I am embarrassed for our country, knowing that school employees in Santa Rosa County are hiding in closets to pray out of fear they may be hauled into court by the ACLU. We intend to restore religious freedom to Santa Rosa County. We will not allow the ACLU to criminalize Christianity."
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« Reply #276 on: December 13, 2009, 09:42:45 PM »

Quote
WND also reported earlier when members of the 2009 graduating class at Florida's Pace High School expressed their objections to the ACLU restrictions on statements of religious faith at their school by rising up en masse at their ceremony and reciting the Lord's Prayer.

Nearly 400 graduating seniors at Pace, a Santa Rosa County school, stood up at their graduation, according to Staver. Parents, family and friends joined in the recitation, and applauded the students when they were finished, Staver told WND.

It's time for mass filings of violation of civil and Constitutional Rights under the color of law. These are criminal and civil charges that definitely apply. Any and all government entities involved are in a criminal conspiracy to violate civil and Constitutional RIGHTS in these cases. They are not immune to civil and criminal Prosecution. Further, any prosecution of people exercising their rights to freedom of religion under the Constitution is MALICIOUS PROSECUTION - ANOTHER CRIMINAL VIOLATION. It's past time for games! Everyone needs to start filing criminal and civil actions on EVERY VIOLATION! NOT ONE VIOLATION OF CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS SHOULD GO WITHOUT ALL POSSIBLE CRIMINAL AND CIVIL ACTIONS! - INDIVIDUAL AND CLASS ACTION!
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« Reply #277 on: January 20, 2010, 09:48:50 AM »

Psalms banned, but witchcraft OK
Supreme Court endorses 'hostility' toward Christianity

A lower court's "hostility" towards Christianity will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court today refused to intervene in a school district's censorship of a kindergartener's choice of literature for a class reading.

"By refusing to hear Mrs. Busch's case, the U.S. Supreme Court has endorsed the kind of hostility toward religion that should never be found in an American public school," said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, which took on the Newtown Square, Pa., case.

As WND reported, Donna Busch accepted an invitation to visit her son Wesley's kindergarten classroom at Culbertson Elementary School to read a passage of Wesley's favorite book to his classmates in October 2004. Wesley's teacher had invited Busch because the boy was the featured student of "All About Me," a school event to feature a particular student and emphasize the student's personal characteristics, preferences and personality in classroom activities.

During the "All About Me" activity, a child's parent may read aloud from the student's favorite book. In this case, Wesley, a Christian, chose the Bible. His mother planned to read from Psalm 118.

But when Donna Busch prepared to read from the Bible, Wesley's teacher instructed her not to do so until Principal Thomas Cook could determine whether it would be acceptable.

According to the Rutherford Institute, the principal "informed Mrs. Busch that she could not read from the Bible in the classroom because it was against the law and that the reading would violate the 'separation of church and state.'"

Then school administrators offered Wesley's mother an opportunity to read from a book about witches, witchcraft and Halloween. She declined the invitation.

A 2005 decision in U.S. District Court sided with the school's decision to ban the Bible reading. Officials with the Marple Newtown School District had defended their actions as reasonable, and the trial court judge agreed.

A Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision upheld the lower court's ruling that the school officials' decision did not violate the Busch family's First Amendment rights.

The court held that "educators may appropriately restrict forms of expression in elementary school classrooms" even when speakers have been invited into the classroom.

Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman issued a strong dissent, noting that the reading of a passage from Psalms to Wesley's class was within the subject matter of the "All About Me" unit, which was to highlight things of interest and importance to Wesley. The judge said the exclusion constituted viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment because it was based solely upon its religious character.

The Supreme Court decision not to hear the case creates unwelcome precedents, Whitehead said.

"If these acts of censorship and discrimination are allowed to continue, there will be absolutely no freedom for religious people in public schools in this country," he said.

The case had highlighted the fact that while Busch was not allowed to read from the Bible, another parent was allowed to read a book about Judaism and teach the class a dreidel game.
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« Reply #278 on: January 20, 2010, 03:04:43 PM »

This is sickening and definitely a sign of the times. Thanks for posting this. This is more mounting evidence for Christians to homeschool their children or place them in private Christian schools. It's beyond sad when witchcraft can be taught, but the reading of Psalms is prohibited.
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