Posts Tagged ‘1st Amendment’
I guarantee there wouldn’t be a problem if they had been referencing Allah and allowing the kids to pray five times a day facing Mecca.
A Louisiana lawman is livid over the federal government’s decision to cut off funds for two programs to help troubled young people, all, he says, because he refused to sign a pledge to bar prayer or any mention of God at their meetings.
Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, La., told Fox News the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights defunded $30,000 for their Young Marines chapter as well as a youth diversion program. Federal officials objected to a voluntary student-led prayer in the department’s youth diversion program and an oath recited by the Young Marines that mentions God, according to Whittington, who blasted what he considers the government’s “aggression and infringement of our religious freedoms.”
“We were informed that these are unacceptable, inherently religious activities and the Department of Justice would not be able to fund the programs if it continued,” Whittington told Fox News. “They wanted a letter from me stating that I would no longer have voluntary prayer and I would also have to remove ‘God’ from the Young Marine’s oath.”
I must have missed the part of the 1st Amendment that mentions forcing groups to surrender their free speech and religious practices in exchange for federal funds.
“I flat said, ‘It’s not going to happen,’” he told reporters. “Enough is enough. This is the United States of America—and the idea that the mere mention of God or voluntary prayer is prohibited is ridiculous.”
Whittington further emphasized that he’s more concerned about the censorship than he is the lost funds.
“The money is not the issue,” he stated. “It’s the principle of the matter. What is going on here? Who is dictating what can or can’t be said in Bossier Parish?”
Thankfully, they’re not about to cave any time soon:
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington was greeted with loud applause and shouts of “Amen” when he said he will not remove God from the Young Marines program during its 27th class graduation ceremony today.
The program has lost about $30,000 in federal funding because of a voluntary prayer cadets recite.
“He doesn’t need the politicians,” Lindea McCroix, who’s 9-year-old daughter Savannah Truelove graduated. “God will take him through it.”
The department has never received a complaint about the voluntary prayer, which states “… I will set an example for all other youth to follow and I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my Country and its flag, my parents, myself or the Young Marines…”
The prayer has been a part of the program since its inception 10 years ago. A random audit showing the federal funding sparked the controversy.
“We’ve never had one complaint from anybody for anything,” Whittington said, noting the department tried to compromise with the Department of Justice, which said God must be removed in order for federal funding to continue.
“I said, ‘Keep it. We’re not doing it. Game over.”
This is the kind of crap that the KGB would pull in Soviet countries. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
On Thursday the Examiner provided an exclusive report indicating that the Obama administration had implemented a covert program beginning in 2009 that was intended to spy on conservative, evangelical Christian churches.
That program involved infiltration — sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.
But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.
The Obama administration, according to the report, considered any public criticism of administration policies to be political in nature and should therefore impact whether or not these congregations were allowed to gain or keep their tax exempt status.
Daniel Blomberg and Eric Rassbach explain at Fox News:
What most people don’t realize is that the IRS has been acting as the speech police for decades. Ever since 1954, when then-Senator Lyndon Johnson pushed for a law enabling the IRS to punish non-profits who opposed him politically, the IRS has been in the business of government censor. What’s worse is that one of the biggest targets of this censorship has been religious people and houses of worship. In fact, one of the IRS’s first targets in the 1950s was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was subjected to a searching IRS audit because of his religious advocacy for civil rights for African-Americans.
The IRS of course has the crushing power to deny or revoke the non-profit status of a synagogue, church, or mosque if it says something the IRS decides is too “political.” But it can also put houses of worship and other religious organizations through the wringer of intrusive, costly, and time-consuming audits.
There are two ways the targeting works. One way is for an outside group, often one that is anti-religion, to file a complaint asking the IRS to investigate a church they don’t like. The IRS responds to the complaint by opening an investigation and asking the church often hundreds of questions about its activities, with the threat of revocation of non-profit status. This is what lawyers call “selective enforcement” and it is unconstitutional. No one should be singled out in this way, especially because of collusion between the IRS and outside groups with an ax to grind.
The second way the censorship starts is for IRS officials to take their lead from high government officials, including the President, to decide which groups to target for disfavor. This is apparently what happened to the “tea party” groups, but religious groups have also been targeted in this way.
Don’t believe it? Just ask Billy Graham. Last fall, the famed Christian evangelist publicly advocated on behalf of a ballot measure in his home state of North Carolina, taking a position that the President and other high government officials publicly opposed. The tax man was knocking at the door almost immediately. And while the expensive, time-consuming audit eventually ended without any finding of wrongdoing by Graham, a message was sent to every other religious group that might oppose government policy: the IRS can use its audit powers to harass you or shut you down simply for saying what you believe. That kind of intimidation is wrong–and unconstitutional.
Funny…he wouldn’t dare say that about Sunni and Shi’a Madrasas.
President Barack Obama reportedly offended Catholics and Protestants during a speech he gave while in Northern Ireland for the G8 summit.
Speaking to about 2,000 young people, which included many Catholics, Obama seemingly argued that religious education can promote division and resentment.
“If towns remain divided—if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden—that too encourages division and discourages cooperation,” Obama said, according to the Scottish Catholic Observer.
Just two days before Obama made his comments, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, spoke to a crowd in Glasgow, Scotland. Mueller told his listeners that religious education upholds the dignity of the human person, and Catholic schools should promote “all that is good in the philosophies of societies and human culture.” Mueller said that Catholic education is “a critical component of the Church.”
In addition, Mueller advocated for an understanding of “Catholic” which includes the breadth of “all that is good in the philosophies of societies and human culture.” The archbishop spoke of relativism as a threat to education because the objects of education—the true and the good—“stand in some way outside the person” and are transcendent.
“A danger in the relativism of modern society is the assumption that human freedom essentially entails creating one’s own truth and moral good.”
Mueller said that the implications of relativism “would lead to the breakdown of society… if pursued to their logical conclusion.”
How ironic—and perhaps providential—that Archbishop Mueller spoke his faith-filled words in Scotland at about the same time President Obama spoke his words of sabotage in Ireland.
As is often the case, Obama begins his process of undermining faith, the Constitution—whatever—by speaking to young people, hoping to divide them from those who will hand down the traditions and the culture to them. In truth, it is Obama—not faith or the Church—who is the Great Divider, the promoter of class warfare, envy, racism, etc.
School Cuts Off Valedictorian’s Mic, Threatens His Naval Academy Appointment For Mentioning God And Constitution In Speech
Valedictorian’s mic cut off as he made impromptu speech about value of the constitution
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What happens when the star student dares to think for himself and speak from the heart instead of from a pre-approved script? The government-run school censorship brigade swings into action.
He was one of the most quiet and softspoken students of the Joshua High School graduating class, and what the valedictorian wasn’t allowed to say at commencement exercises is making national news.
“Most people have never ever heard me speak much less see me smile,” said Remington Reimer, as he addressed the large crowd gathered Thursday at Owl Stadium.
And then, the Burleson resident began what would have appeared to have been a traditional graduation speech – thanking his parents and naming special teachers that have helped him along the way and telling the crowd how proud he was of his class and how close they all were.
He discussed perseverance in life, and told fellow graduates its the finish that matters. He then told a story about a runner who finished a race with a broken leg. He added that, years from now, it wouldn’t matter that he was valedictorian or first in his class but, rather, that he and his classmates finished the race and finished well.
Nice words. Nice kid. Another graduation day in America.
Then Reimer discussed his faith and thanked God for “sending His only son to die for me and the rest of the world.”
Reimer, who has secured an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, talked about free speech and the U.S. Constitution and how that “yesterday, I was threatened with having the mic turned off and…”
And then the mic was turned off.
[...] Another Facebook posting emailed to the Burleson Star clarified what Reimer had said after the microphone was cut off:
“We are all fortunate to live in a country where we can express our beliefs, where our mics won’t be turned off, as I have been threatened to be if I veer away from the school-censored speech I have just finished. Just as Jesus spoke out against the authority of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who tried to silence him, I will not have my freedom of speech taken away from me. And I urge you all to do the same. Do not let anyone take away your religious or Constitutional rights from you.”
The crowd roared with enthusiasm and Reimer sat down.
Unfortunately, it didn’t stop with censorship. Afterwards, the principle apparently threatened to put his future in jeopardy by disparaging his character to the Naval Academy, where he had been recently accepted:
A Texas high school principal threatened to sabotage a valedictorian’s appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy after the student delivered a speech that referenced God and the U.S. Constitution, the boy’s attorney alleges.
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation with the Liberty Institute, said Joshua High School principal Mick Cochran threatened to write a letter to the U.S. Naval Academy disparaging the character of Remington Reimer.
“It was intimidating having my high school principal threaten my future because I wanted to stand up for the Constitution and acknowledge my faith and not simply read a government approved speech,” the teenager said.
Sasser is now representing the teenager and is calling for the Joshua Independent School District to issue a public statement exonerating him of any wrongdoing.
He said the speech was edited and reviewed by four different school officials – including an officer in the JROTC. Sasser said the censorship violated federal and state laws.
[...] The following day the principal met with Reimer’s father and informed him “that he intended to punish Remington for his perceived misdeed.”
“Specifically, he threatened to send a letter to the United States Naval Academy advising them that Remington has poor character or words to that effect,” Sasser told Fox News.
After consulting with a school attorney, the principal temporarily retracted the threat, Sasser said.
“The principal said he wanted to try to ruin him for what he did – for talking about the Constitution and his faith,” Sasser said. “I don’t know if he’s going to be able to continue to be the principal of that school.”
Remember when President Obama publicly demonized Fox News as “destructive” to the nation because they wouldn’t play lapdog like the other networks? Turns out he was just laying the groundwork to isolate them from public sympathy so his vendetta against them could be justified.
Charles Krauthammer, Tucker Carlson, Kirsten Powers, Bret Baier discuss DOJ targeting Fox reporter and his parents:
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Newly uncovered court documents reveal the Justice Department seized records of several Fox News phone lines as part of a leak investigation — even listing a number that, according to one source, matches the home phone number of a reporter’s parents.
The seizure was ordered in addition to a court-approved search warrant for Fox News correspondent James Rosen’s personal emails. In the affidavit seeking that warrant, an FBI agent called Rosen a likely criminal “co-conspirator,” citing a wartime law called the Espionage Act.
Rosen was not charged, but his movements and conversations were tracked. A source close to the leak investigation confirmed to Fox News that the government obtained phone records for several numbers that match Fox News numbers out of the Washington bureau.
Further, the source confirmed to Fox News that one number listed matched the number for Rosen’s parents in Staten Island.
Rosen’s father, attorney Myron Rosen, told FoxNews.com he found the records seizure to be “downright ludicrous.”
“My son and his wife call us all the time, and we talk about grandchildren,” he said. “We don’t talk about nuclear proliferation.”
He continued: “The fact that they had our phone records, it shows how crazy they are, how desperate.”
The revelation has had a chilling effect on reporters’ ability to gather the information and sources they need:
Anchor Greta Van Susteran took to Twitter to express her frustration with the secret monitoring, saying friends and family won’t call or email anymore out a of a fear of being watched.
“Now that the word is out that Obama Admin seizes Fox phone records, my friends won’t call me at work and since the Obama admin also seizes personal cell and email, my friends wont’ call or email,” Van Susteran tweeted.
The news of more Fox News’ monitoring comes weeks after the Associated Press revealed the Justice Department had secretly monitored 20 personal and private phone lines used by AP reporters and editors. In addition, CBS News Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson said yesterday that her work and personal computers had been compromised.
That, of course, was the intended purpose all along:
For awhile, it looked like the White House wanted just to control “the narrative.” But its seizure of AP phone records and surveillance of Fox employees now show its real aim: to control the news.
[...] The latest news that the Justice Department investigated Fox News reporter James Rosen and two other newsmen in the normal course of their investigative reporting on a national security matter — coming on the heels of their seizure of Associated Press phone records — suggests an administration obsessed with controlling the news itself with a heavy hand reminiscent of totalitarian regimes.
The AP flap has drawn a properly outraged response from the news agency, because the White House’s obsessive efforts to find leaks cast such a broad, indiscriminate net against reporters just doing their jobs.
Even the liberal “Daily Beast” wants to know “How Hope and Change Gave Way to Spying on the Press“:
First they came for Fox News, and they did not speak out—because they were not Fox News. Then they came for government whistleblowers, and they did not speak out—because they were not government whistleblowers. Then they came for the maker of a YouTube video, and—okay, we know how this story ends. But how did we get here?
Turns out it’s a fairly swift sojourn from a president pushing to “delegitimize” a news organization to threatening criminal prosecution for journalistic activity by a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, to spying on Associated Press reporters. In between, the Obama administration found time to relentlessly persecute government whistleblowers and publicly harass and condemn a private American citizen for expressing his constitutionally protected speech in the form of an anti-Islam YouTube video.
Where were the media when all this began happening? With a few exceptions, they were acting as quiet enablers.
[...] It’s instructive to go back to the dawn of Hope and Change. It was 2009, and the new administration decided it was appropriate to use the prestige of the White House to viciously attack a news organization—Fox News—and the journalists who work there. Remember, President Obama had barely been in office and had enjoyed the most laudatory press of any new president in modern history. Yet even one outlet that allowed dissent or criticism of the president was one too many. This should have been a red flag to everyone, regardless of what they thought of Fox News. The math was simple: if the administration would abuse its power to try and intimidate one media outlet, what made anyone think they weren’t next?
Attorney General Eric Holder Investigated For Lying to Congress Under Oath About Targeting Reporters
A law enforcement official has told NBC News that Attorney General Eric Holder is the one who signed the search warrant for the private emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen. The warrant was signed under the guise that Rosen might be a “possible co-consiprator” in violation of the Espionage Act.
Problem is, Holder denied all knowledge – much less involvement – of the DOJ targeting of reporters during sworn testimony before congress.
Last week, and while under oath, Attorney General Eric Holder testified before a House committee that when it comes to “try[ing] to prosecute the press for the publication of material” he has “never been involved in, heard of” such a thing.
Thursday, however, we learned that it was Holder who signed off on the application for a warrant to gain access to the private emails and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen. In doing so, Holder labeled Rosen a co-conspirator to obtain classified material under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Congress gave the Attorney General a deadline to clear up the “inconsistencies” in his testimony, but (surprise!), Holder missed it. He’s practically daring congress to subpoena him, but so far they don’t have the spine:
Republican lawmakers want to haul Attorney General Eric Holder back to the Hill to explain questionable testimony he gave on reporter surveillance — though they are stopping short of issuing a subpoena.
In a letter sent Thursday to the attorney general, Republican leaders of the House Judiciary Committee urged Holder to testify on June 18, or some other date before the end of the month. They say his department’s prior response to date “still fails to fully and adequately answer our questions.”
They want Holder to explain his May 15 testimony.
This guy is so used to getting away with everything, it will take a lot more than “pretty please” to get him to comply.
Holy cow! They illegally got phone records from CONGRESS??
HH: The idea that this might be a Geithner-Axelrod plan, and by that, the sort of intimation, Henry II style, will no one rid me of this turbulent priest, will no one rid me of these turbulent Tea Parties, that might have just been a hint, a shift of an eyebrow, a change in the tone of voice. That’s going to take a long time to get to. I don’t trust the Department of Justice on this. Do you, Congressman Nunes?
DN: No, I absolutely do not, especially after this wiretapping incident, essentially, of the House of Representative. I don’t think people are focusing on the right thing when they talk about going after the AP reporters. The big problem that I see is that they actually tapped right where I’m sitting right now, the Cloak Room.
HH: Wait a minute, this is news to me.
DN: The Cloak Room in the House of Representatives.
HH: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
DN: So when they went after the AP reporters, right? Went after all of their phone records, they went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery, right up from where I’m sitting right now. So you have a real separation of powers issue that did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress, because as you know…
DN: …members of Congress talk to the press all the time.
HH: I did not know that, and that is a stunner.
DN: Now that is a separation of powers issue here, Hugh.
DN: And it’s a freedom of press issue. And now you’ve got the IRS going after people. So these things are starting to cascade one upon the other, and you have the White House pretending like they’re in the clouds like it’s not their issue somehow.
Nune backtracked the term “tapped” later, confirming that although phone records had been obtained, none of the lines were actually tapped:
The DOJ admitted to obtaining call records from a phone used by the AP in the House press gallery, which is … different from tapping a room used by congressmen to talk shop. How Nunes confused the two, I have no idea. [...]
So he was sloppy in confusing obtaining phone records for wiretapping, and what he meant by the cloakroom is that, I guess, if a congressman in the room called up to an AP reporter in the press gallery, the DOJ would know about it from the gallery phone’s records.
The Washington Post confirmed that “The subpoenaed phones records included personal and office lines for several national security reporters and editors as well as “the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery.”
Either way, this is still a monumental abuse of power which serves to chill freedom of the press and intimidate potential sources and whistleblowers who might now think twice about speaking to the press.
Somebody better be going to jail over this.
The media finally discovers that their idol is actually a tyrant, after all, and they are not exempt from his abuses.
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
[...] The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and home phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
Holder is now facing heated backlash from Democrats and the normally fawning liberal media. Rich Lowry ironically observes that the media have discovered that they have more in common with the Tea Party and NRA than they’d like to admit:
Another brilliant column from National Review’s Rich Lowry at Politico. Lowry makes the indisputable point that the same media that have spent years attacking the Tea Party, and months savaging the NRA, are now revealing brazen hypocrisy when it comes to protecting their own rights. In spirit and goal, the media are now one with the Tea Party and NRA.
What animates the Tea Party and NRA is a legitimate concern that the government — especially under President Obama — has made a disturbing pivot from their Constitutional requirement to protect our liberties, to infringing upon our liberties. In turn, Obama and his media label us as anti-government crazies suffering from paranoid delusions.
But look at the reaction this week from that very same media in the wake of the Associated Press scandal. Suddenly the media don’t like Big Government doing to them what ObamaCare and background checks will do to the rest of us. Moreover, the very same media that suggest not trusting the government is a form of extremism, is now demanding a law be immediately passed to shield them from government intrusion.
Matt Drudge warns:
Warning to reporters and sources: Assume all your communications are being monitored. Time to move back to the parking garage #longhotsummer
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) May 13, 2013
It’s all in the family.
1973: reporters investigate All the President’s Men. 2013: reporters are All the President’s Men.
You knew the mainstream media was biased, but this is incredible. It was revealed todaythat CBS News President David Rhodes’ brother is Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, who was instrumental in rewriting the Benghazi talking points. But it gets worse. It is now learned that ABC President Ben Sherwood’s sister, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, is a Special Assistant to Barack Obama on national security affairs. But even this isn’t it! CNN’s deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is the wife of Tom Nides, who until February was Hillary Clinton’s deputy.
It doesn’t stop there, either. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is married to Claire Shipman, who works for ABC News.
Could it be that Obama appointed relatives of the press to his administration in order to make the media more reluctant to damage it with accurate reporting?
Could it be that the lack of reporting on Benghazi and other scandals – especially prior to the election – had something to do with this?
Pope Francis: Lack Of ‘Religious Values,’ Government Control Of Education Are Traits Of ‘Totalitarianism’
From our nation’s founding until the Supreme Court ruling on Engel vs. Vitale in 1962, school children across the country began their day with a prayer like this:
“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”
How shockingly “offensive” to ask God to bless us, huh?
Until 1963, students could voluntarily choose an elective such as “New Testament Survey,” which studied the most influential book in history (especially Western Civilization). Teachers could read from the Bible in a historical context, and teach children to recite “The Lord’s Prayer” (seeing as it’s the most well-known poem in the world).
But now, no more. American school children have no idea of where common cultural references such as “David vs. Goliath,” “The Golden Rule” or “going the extra mile” come from. The have no frame of reference for understanding why the Reformation was such a pivotal point in European history, how Henry VIII’s break away from Rome was so significant, and the reason why the Puritans and Separatists were so intent on escaping to the New World. Children today aren’t taught where Thomas Jefferson got the phrase “Nature’s God” for the Declaration of Independence, or why our founders built our nation on the idea that unalienable rights come from our Creator.
They have no idea of an absolute moral standard – a Natural Law – which no man, woman, king or president is above.
And that’s exactly how tyrants want it. If there is no recognized authority above the state, the state reigns supreme in people’s lives, and can do as it pleases with no accountability.
Pope Francis witnessed this first-hand in Argentina, and he offered this warning:
In a 2011 book, Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio, the new Pope Francis, stated that parents have a right to raise their children in accordance with their religious beliefs and that sometimes when the government intervenes to deprive young people of that religious element, it can produce terrible consequences, including “cases like Nazism” whereby many students were indoctrinated with views alien to those espoused their parents.
The book, in Spanish, is entitled Sobre El Cielo Y La Tierra (On Heaven and Earth), by Jorge Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka, the latter an Argentinan rabbi. The book is in interview-style and Skorka asks the cardinal a variety of questions throughout 29 chapters.
In Chapter 18, “Sobre la educacion” (On Education), the future Pope Francis says, “In the Bible, God presents himself as a teacher. ‘Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms,’ it says. A believer is obliged to raise his children. Every man and every woman has a right to educate their children in their religious values.”
“When a government deprives children of this formation, it can lead to cases like Nazism, whereby children were indoctrinated with values opposite to those of their parents. Totalitarianism tends to take over education so it can use the water for its own mill,” said then-Cardinal Bergogolio.
Exiled from Vanderbilt: How Colleges are Driving Religious Groups off Campus
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Freedom of association is under assault on campus. Across the country, universities are using “non-discrimination” policies to force student groups to admit members and leaders who do not share the core values and beliefs of the group.
In practical terms, that means Republican groups would be required to allow Democrats to join and apply for leadership positions, pro-life groups would have to include pro-abortion activists, and religious groups would be forced to admit those who oppose their religion and seek to destroy their group through a “hostile takeover” with their own members.
Vanderbilt University has informed a small Christian student organization that it will no longer be recognized as a student group because it requires its members to have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, according to email correspondence provided to Fox News.
“It just shows how radical the Vanderbilt administration has become in enforcing a policy that is nonsense,” said Kim Colby, senior counsel for the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom. “A lot of jaws dropped when we saw how far the Vanderbilt administration was taking this.”
Colby told Fox News the Christian group did not want to be identified because “they just don’t want to be caught in the crossfire of the culture wars.”
The group reached out to the Vandy chapter of the Christian Legal Society so others would know what had happened, Colby said.
“They are a small group of students who want to gather together and worship God,” she said. “That’s basically all they want to do.”
According to email correspondence from the university, the group’s constitution was not approved because the university took issue with a requirement that leaders have a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ.”
[...] Colby said the student group has decided not to comply with the university’s demands.
“They’re going to leave campus rather than take those five words out of their constitution,” Colby told Fox News.
Colby said it’s becoming clear that Vanderbilt University is specifically targeting Christian organizations.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Similar policies are being adopted across the country:
Rollins College has determined that a Christian student organization is in violation of the school’s nondiscrimination policy because the group requires its leaders to be followers of Christ.
The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously not to exempt the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from the policy – meaning the Christian group will no longer receive funding and will not be recognized as an official campus organization.
Will your alma mater or child’s university be next? Go to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to learn more.
Don’t worry, little citizen. It’s not like they’re planning on actually using them or anything…right?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.
The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department’s unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States’ northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.
Homeland Security’s specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, say they “shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,” meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify “signals interception” technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and “direction finding” technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.
The sequestration question du jour is why the Department of Homeland Security, busy releasing hundreds, if not thousands, of deportable and detained illegal aliens due to budget constraints, is buying several thousand Mine Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles?
And just who are they intended to be used against?
[...] The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the U.S. They were formerly used for counterinsurgency in Iraq.
These vehicles are specifically designed to resist mines and ambush attacks. They use bulletproof windows and are designed to withstand small-arms fire, including smaller-caliber rifles such as a .223 Remington. Does DHS expect a counterinsurgency here?
An “expert” at West Point recently published a study for the Combating Terrorist Center which warns cadets about the dangers of the “violent far right,” such as Christians, pro-lifers, and advocates for limited government.
It is the extreme left (Occupy, Bill Ayers, ELF) that has been involved in bombings, riots, and other violent actions. Never ONCE has there been an arrest, destruction of property, or other violent action at a Tea Party. And yet WE are supposedly who they’re worried about?
Liberal reporters are finally coming forward to reveal the White House’s threatening behavior towards journalists who dare to question him.
It started with veteran journalist Bob Woodard (of Watergate fame) making these statements:
The Washington Post‘s Bob Woodward ripped into President Barack Obama on “Morning Joe” today, saying he’s exhibiting a “kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time” for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns.
“Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t do this because of some budget document?’” Woodward said.
“Or George W. Bush saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to invade Iraq because I can’t get the aircraft carriers I need?’” Or even Bill Clinton saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to attack Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters,’ … because of some budget document?”
The Defense Department said in early February that it would not deploy the U.S.S. Harry Truman to the Persian Gulf, citing budget concerns relating to the looming cuts known as the sequester.
“Under the Constitution, the President is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the President going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement. ‘I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country,’” Woodward said.
It wasn’t long before the White House responded with threats:
Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,” the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.
Sadly, the leftist media are more inclined to eat their own than allow their Obamessiah to be criticized, and the quickly tried to smear Woodward – the man who helped bring down Nixon – as an overly sensitive, attention-seeking has-been who didn’t know a real threat from an innocent misunderstanding:
This is an incredible case of the White House attempting to bully the most iconic reporter of the 20th century – the reporter who, along with Carl Bernstein, took down a president of the United States. So you might expect the rest of the media to stand with Woodward. You’d be wrong. They’re too busy spending time playing defense for the White House.
It began with Politico itself, which downplayed the entire incident, even as it acknowledged that Woodward’s “play-by-play is basically spot on” with regard to reporting the sequestration. “White House officials are certainly within their rights to yell at any journalist, including Bob Woodward,” said official Obama buddies Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei. Allen and VandeHei merely suggested that the battle with Woodward was “a major distraction at a pivotal moment for the president.” They added, “Watching and now having interviewed Woodward, it is easy to see why White House officials get worked about him.” Poor Obama, having to deal with such issues.
Next, the White House went to its favorite outlet, Buzzfeed, and their favorite BenSmithing reporter, Ben Smith, to leak the source of the Woodward “regret” email. It’s clear why they did it – Smith spun the entire incident for the White House. [...]
The gall of this is astounding. All of these reporters combined might equal one tenth a Bob Woodward in the journalistic pantheon; the notion that their treatment at the hands of press flacks in any way reflects the general or appropriate treatment of someone like Woodward is absurd on its face. But the junior varsity is all too happy to gang tackle a reportorial Hall of Famer on behalf of their beloved President.
Imagine if one of George W. Bush’s deputees had dealt with Woodward this way. The left would have gone insane. Now they just call up the White House for a pat on the head and a nice scoop in return.
[...] That madness has now infected the mainstream media. They’re too busy defending President Obama to defend the American people – or even their fellow members of the press – from Obama’s thug White House.
Despite the Leftist media attempt to minimize the damage for Obama and destroy one of their own, the released e-mails confirm Woodward’s claim. Now other renowned liberal journalists are stepping forward to confirm that they, too, have received similar treatment from this White House:
Lanny Davis, who served under President Bill Clinton as special counsel to the White House, told Washington, D.C.’s WMAL this morning that the Obama White House had threatened the Washington Times over his column, warning that the Times would suffer limited access to White House officials and might have its White House credentials revoked. Davis, a centrist Democrat, is sometimes critical of the Obama administration’s policies.
Davis was speaking with Breitbart News editor Larry O’Connor, who co-hosts a morning show on WMAL. Davis said he had never spoken publicly about the threats before, but they seemed relevant after the White House told legendary reporter Bob Woodward that he would “regret” insisting that the White House had come up with the idea of the budget sequester, which President Barack Obama is now urging Congress urgently to revoke.
As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Woodward called a veiled threat. “You will regret staking out that claim,” The Washington Post reporter was told.Once I moved back to daily reporting this year, the badgering intensified. I wrote Saturday night, asking the official to stop e-mailing me. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. “Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron,” the official wrote.
I wrote back:
“I asked you to stop e-mailing me. All future e-mails from you will be on the record — publishable at my discretion and directly attributed to you. My cell-phone number is … . If you should decide you have anything constructive to share, you can try to reach me by phone. All of our conversations will also be on the record, publishable at my discretion and directly attributed to you.” I haven’t heard back from the official. It was a step not taken lightly because the note essentially ended our working relationship.
Given that Woodward is now being called old and brokedown by David Pflouffe, and the Juicebox Mafia has picked up the “senile” message they’re putting out there… I would in fact say efforts are being made to insure Woodward “regrets” having correctly reported Obama’s ownership of the sequester.
Let’s hope more liberal reporters recognize the threat to their profession, rally around him and speak up.
Only in the deranged minds of Leftists does patriotism = racism.
A group of students at a California high school basketball game were told to remove patriotic bandanas and stop chanting “USA, USA” because school administrators wanted to be sensitive to other spectators.
The incident occurred during a basketball last week between Camarillo High School and Rio Mesa High School in Ventura County.
A school administrator pulled aside four boys and told them to either remove their American flag bandanas or leave the game. The boys complied but returned to lead the crowd in a chant of “USA, USA.”
Both schools have a large Hispanic student population.
Student Austin Medeiros and the other boys were suspended for their actions – but the punishment was later lifted by school officials.
Still, students are upset over what happened and staged a protest at the school’s flagpole by wearing red, white and blue.
“We’ve done it always,” Medeiros told the Ventura County Star. “It’s something we do. It’s the same group of friends. We’re all very patriotic.”
The White House is trying to create the impression that they are not violating religious liberty, but every time they make a “compromise,” it turns out that the central agenda – forcing religious people to pay for contraceptives and abortions against their conscience – hasn’t changed.
Obama wants to be viewed as the benign benefactor who graciously hears his subjects’ complaints and grants them an exemption. But the unalienable right to religious liberty comes from God, not government. It is not something that Obama can take away and then pretend to give back.
This is where Christians MUST draw the line. Even if this particular fight doesn’t affect your own personal liberty, if they win this battle, the next fight WILL.
HHS released a new proposed regulation under the Obamacare law that the department presented as an accommodation to religious “organizations” that object to providing sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans. However, the proposal does not truly expand the exceedingly narrow religious exemption presented in the initial regulation, which was finalized last year, and continues to offer no exemption at all to Christian individuals or business owners.
“There really is no expansion of the religious exemption,” said Leonard Leo, a Washington attorney, who is a board member of The Catholic Association, a group of Catholic lay persons dedicated to applying the teachings and principles of the church to the issues of the day.
“The HHS mandate announcement today changes nothing, it is just another accounting gimmick and the HHS mandate continues to be a violation of civil rights, religious freedom and First Amendment rights,” said Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor to The Catholic Association. “Catholic institutions and other faith based organizations, including hospitals and universities and private employers, still do not get their First Amendment rights back and are still being forced to either violate their faith or pay crippling government fines for practicing their faith.”
Naturally, this is not going over well in the faith community:
“Today’s proposed rule does nothing to protect the religious liberty of millions of Americans,” said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for The Becket Fund, a conservative legal organization that is representing several groups in the lawsuits against the mandate, including Hobby Lobby.
“The rights of family businesses like Hobby Lobby are still being violated,” said Duncan, adding that lawyers with his group are still studying what effect the rules will have for other non-profits such as Ave Maria University and EWTN.
“Once again, President Obama’s so-called ‘compromise’ is unacceptable – religious and moral freedom is not up for negotiation,” said Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
“There must be no religious ‘test’ by the government as to who, and what type of entities, are entitled to a conscience. We demand respect for non-religious entities such as the Susan B. Anthony Listthat recognize the taking of human life is the antithesis of health care,” she said.
According to Dannenfelser, “The only acceptable outcome is the complete repeal of the HHS mandate and the restoration of a thriving marketplace where Americans can choose health care coverage consistent with their beliefs.”
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life agreed.
“We at Priests for Life remind the administration that religious liberty does not just belong to religious groups and individuals,” said Fr. Pavone. “It belongs to all Americans. Objections to contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs aren’t based just on dogmas and Bibles, but on adverse health consequences and the fact that human beings, no matter how small, should not be killed.”
“We see only one acceptable change regarding the mandate: rescind it completely,” he said.
Obama will never do that voluntarily, but the courts appear to be on our side:
On Friday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a preliminary injunction against the contraceptive mandate on behalf of Annex Medical. The Catholic-owned company, which manufactures medical devices, lost its bid for an injunction at the district court level. The 8th Circuit said the district court in its ruling against Annex misunderstood the precedent that came from another 8th Circuit ruling in an earlier mandate challenge (O’Brien Industries v. HHS). The 8th Circuit clarified both Annex and O’Brien Industries qualified for a preliminary injunction.
Annex is unique in that it only has 16 full-time employees, so the owner isn’t required to provide health insurance. The healthcare law requires employers provide health insurance only if they have more than 50 employees, but Annex’s Catholic owner, Stuart Lind, said his faith compels him to provide health insurance coverage to his employees. He objects to contraceptive, sterilization, and abortifacient coverage.
The Annex ruling gives religious business owners an 11-3 record in courts.