Jerry Falwell and I are not frequently on the same page, but...
While Pat Robertson has made himself more and more of an embarrassment nationally, Jerry Falwell has been working hard to make himself somewhat more legitimate. The following is from one of his emails:
Throughout our nation an effort is afoot to eradicate our religious freedoms. This isnâ€™t an idle claim. To illustrate how our religious freedoms are being attacked, I want to highlight just a few of the many cases in which our religious rights are under fire.
As I mentioned in an earlier column, businessman Tim Bono was told by the Arlington (Va.) County Human Rights Commission that he must duplicate pro-homosexual videos even though doing so would counter the Christian standards he had established for his business. Thankfully, with the help of Liberty Counsel, Mr. Bono filed a complaint with the commission and the complaint filed by a lesbian activist was dismissed this week. Liberty Counsel will now proceed with the suit that challenges the commissionâ€™s authority to recognize â€œsexual orientationâ€ as a civil right.
In San Diego, a threeâ€“judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to stay a federal district judgeâ€™s order to remove the Mt. Soledad Cross, meaning the city must remove the historic cross by August 1, or face fines of $5,000 per day. The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been fighting to save the cross since 2004. Richard Thompson, the Law Centerâ€™s president and chief counsel, said, â€œIt is an outrage and insult not only to Christians, but people of all faiths, that this memorial site to our veterans and fallen war heroes would be desecrated by removal of a universally recognized symbol of sacrifice just because one atheist was upset about it.â€
A federal judge in Sacramento this week dismissed atheist Michael Newdowâ€™s lawsuit against the national motto, â€œIn God We Trust.â€ In the present case, Newdow v. Congress, Newdow argued that having to use money inscribed with the national motto offends him and is unconstitutional. While this is an encouraging win, the effort to purge even innocuous references to God from the public square continues. Barry Lynn of the high-profile Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has admitted that his organization wants to eliminate phrases like â€œIn God We Trustâ€ from our currency.
In Henderson, Nevada, a high school senior had her microphone unplugged by school officials after she mentioned her Christian beliefs and quoted the Bible in her valedictory address a few days ago. The Rutherford Institute says it will file a First Amendment lawsuit against the school district for violating Brittany McCombâ€™s constitutional right to free speech and equal protection under the law. â€œThis is yet another example of a politically correct culture silencing Christians in order to not offend those of other beliefs,â€ said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. (Similar occurrences have taken place in other American high schools.)
In Atlanta, Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have filed suit in defense of FAA employee Larry Dombrowski who was suspended without pay for expressing his religious beliefs and views on homosexual behavior at work. â€œReligious employees, including those of the federal government, are not second-class citizens,â€ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Kevin Theriot. â€œNo government employer is permitted by the Constitution to silence speech in the workplace just because it expresses religious views.â€
In Whittier, Calif., elementary school officials backed down after earlier telling Christian students they could not sing a religious song in a talent show. After saying the song was â€œnot appropriate,â€ the school backed down after receiving a legal demand letter from the Pacific Justice Institute. The students represented their schoolâ€™s Good News Club, a nationwide after-school program which encourages kids in their faith. PJI staff attorney Matthew McReynolds, who wrote to the school on the studentsâ€™ behalf, said, â€œThe Supreme Court has said this isnâ€™t all that complicatedâ€”schools donâ€™t endorse everything they fail to censor. Student-initiated _expression, including talent shows, is clearly protected by the First Amendment and cannot be excluded just because itâ€™s religious.â€ Still, education officials across this nation continue to target Christian students who attempt to voice their beliefs at school.
I could quite literally write all day giving examples of religious persecution in our nation. Our Founding Fathers would be disgusted with this effort to exterminate religious _expression in the public square. Thank God there are courageous individuals like those listed above who are willing to fight for their rights. And thankfully the organizations listed above, and many others, are working to preserve our rights. Without them, America would be lost in a sea of abject secularism.
REMINDER: All Falwell Confidential readers are invited join us in Lynchburg, Virginia for Thomas Road Baptist Churchâ€™s Golden Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, July 2. The service will feature the Grand Opening of the new 6000-seat TRBC sanctuary and the one-million-square-foot educational, worship and recreational facility. The Grand Opening service will be held from 10:30 a.m.â€“noon, and will feature the music of Charles Billingsley, Guy Penrod (of the Gaither Vocal Band) and the seven Penrod boys. I will bring a special message. An old-fashioned Independence Day Celebration will follow, from 2 p.m.-10 p.m., on the adjacent grounds of Liberty Universityâ€™s Williams Football Stadium. There will be a host of rides and games for all ages, lots of great food and fellowship, as well as tours of the campus and the new TRBC. Then at 10:00, we will launch Central Virginiaâ€™s most magnificent fireworks display on Liberty Mountain. Join us for this special very day!
Anyone need more proof that there is religious persecution of Christians in this country?
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