U.S. Muslim Disinformation from Dearborn to Ann Arbor


John R. Houk

© August 23, 2019

 

Dearborn, MI is a suburb of Detroit. Dearborn at one time was the epicenter of Ford Motors manufacturing assembly line of cars. Now days Dearborn has gained a reputation of a huge anti-Christian Muslim population. Expressing hate via Muslims is so virulent the city could be renamed Dearbornistan.

The Lower Courts and initial 6th Circuit Appeals Court (by obvious appointees od Constitution-hating Dems) initially supported Sharia over the Constitution favoring hate-filled Muslim violence against Christians between 2012 – 2014. Thank God a fuller panel of the 6th Circuit Appeals Court of 15 Justices on 10/28/15 discovered the First Amendment:

 

The court then took the rare action of rehearing the case “en banc,” meaning all 15 judges on the court heard the case together. In an opinion authored by Judge Eric Clay, by a 10-5 vote the court held that the officers had violated the First Amendment. The court also held 8-7 that the unconstitutional conduct was so inexcusable that the officers are not immune from personal financial liability for their actions. The case is Bible Believers v. Wayne County. (Bold text Blog Editor’s – Fed Appeals Court: Police Violated Christians’ Rights by Stopping the Evangelizing of Muslims; By KEN KLUKOWSKI; BREITBART; 10/31/15)

 

Here’s what concerned 1st Amendment conscious Appellate Justices:

 

VIDEO: Muslims Stoning Christians in Dearborn, Michigan

 

Posted by American Freedom Law Center

Published on Aug 6, 2012

 

READ post description

 

Thanks to The Gateway Pundit (TGP), I have discovered Michigan’s seemingly increasing Muslim population is influencing the Michigan Public School system to become a lying propaganda tool forcing teachers in Ann Arbor to teach a sanitized therefore untrue version of Islam. Untrue as in only the nicey-nice of Islam rather than the Liberty-robbing Islamic Supremacist actual Islam. Ann Arbor is a mere 36 miles from Dearbornistan.

 

The TGP cross posted below.

 

JRH 8/23/19

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FOIA Uncovers Taxpayer-Funded Islamic Propaganda Forced on Teachers, ‘Islam Glorified, Christianity Disparaged and America Bashed’

 

By Cristina Laila

August 22, 2019

The Gateway Pundit

 

School Teachers – Islam’s Secret Agents (Graphic via TMLC)

 

The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, uncovered a massive Islamic propaganda campaign which is being forced onto teachers in public school systems in Michigan and many other states.

 

TMLC was concerned after hearing about a two-day MANDATORY Islamic training course for teachers taught by a Muslim consultant who was hired by Michigan’s Novi Community Schools District, according to TMLC.

 

The Thomas More Law Center filed a FOIA request for documents related to this two-day Islamic training workshop and discovered that the teachers were being told lies about Islamic terrorism, jihad and Sharia law.

 

Furthermore, the teachers were also being told by the Muslim consultant, an Arab, hijab-clad woman named Huda Essa, that white males are more dangerous than Islamic terrorists.

 

Richard Thompson, the president of TMLC and chief counsel said, “We found that the teachers were subjected to two days of Islamic propaganda, where Islam was glorified, Christianity disparaged, and America bashed—all funded by Novi taxpayers.”

 

“This type of infiltration amounts to an Islamic Trojan horse within our public-school systems,” Thompson said. “No other religion gets this kind of special treatment in our schools.”

 

Even worse, according to TMLC’s investigation, out of more than 400 teachers who attended the Islamic propaganda workshop, NOT ONE teacher challenged Huda Essa’s denigration of Christianity or attacks on the United States.

 

Via TMLC

 

TMLC inspected dozens of internal school documents, including audio recordings of Essa’s presentation.

 

The information on Islam she provided to Novi teachers was riddled with falsehoods and errors of omission that were clearly meant to deceive.

 

Essa provided no truthful information on Sharia law and jihad, two of the most important aspects of Islam. All references to terrorism were dismissed as having nothing to do with Islam. White Christian males, she suggested, are more dangerous than Islamic radicals.

 

Essa is the face behind Culture Links LLC, a Michigan-based consultancy. She describes herself on the Culture Links website as an advocate of social justice who encourages children to “take pride in their many identities.”

 

But, as TMLC discovered from the Novi documents, the one identity Essa does not celebrate is that of patriotic Americans who believe in our nation’s exceptionalism.

 

And her message extends far beyond Novi.

 

Essa’s client list reveals she has been spreading her “trash America first” philosophy to colleges, universities, schools and professional educator associations throughout Michigan, California, Georgia, Texas, Florida and beyond. In Michigan alone her website lists nine school districts as clients – Oakland County Schools, Ann Arbor Schools, L’Anse Creuse Public Schools, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, Roseville Community Schools, Farmington Public Schools, Dearborn Public Schools, Birmingham Public Schools and Melvindale Public Schools.

 

Under the banner of promoting diversity, inclusion and a multicultural approach to education, Essa sets about comparing Islam to Christianity, calling them “mostly similar.” The one big difference, she claims, is that Islam is the world’s “only purely monotheistic religion.”

 

Her message was clear: The Koran is superior to the Bible. But she did not address the fact that it calls for the extermination of Christian and Jews.

 

While quick to indict America as guilty of “cultural genocide,” Essa was silent on the 1400 years of actual genocides, also known as jihads, in which Muslims wiped out Jewish tribes on the Arabian Peninsula, and slaughtered millions of Christians throughout the Middle East, North Africa and the European Continent. Referring to Islam, Winston Churchill wrote, “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

 

Read TMLC’s entire investigative findings here.

______________________

U.S. Muslim Disinformation from Dearborn to Ann Arbor

John R. Houk

© August 23, 2019

______________________

FOIA Uncovers Taxpayer-Funded Islamic Propaganda Forced on Teachers, ‘Islam Glorified, Christianity Disparaged and America Bashed’

 

The Thomas More Law Center is involved in many cases exposing the Islamic infiltration in public schools. You can support TMLC by clicking here.

 

© 2019 The Gateway Pundit – All Rights Reserved.

 

ABOUT The Gateway Pundit

 

Next Step Church/State Separation Plague


John R. Houk

© July 3, 2019

Clearly California legislators either failed their civics classes or are viewing the First Amendment in a reverse Original Intent format:

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  -First Amendment on ConstitutionCenter.org

 

Until activist Courts including SCOTUS began dismantling the Religious Liberty in the First Amendment in the mid-20th century, history CLEARLY illustrates the Founding Fathers intended the First Amendment to mean the government must stay out of all things related to the Christian Church yet Christianity was to be a moral influence on government.

 

Although legal scholars might use an earlier starting point, the big date for SCOTUS revisionism is 1947: Everson v. Board of Education. The SCOTUS decision 5 affirms and 4 dissents. Hugo Black wrote the majority decision and Justices Jackson and Rutledge wrote dissenting opinions. The point being ONE VOTE revised the First Amendment original understanding that stood 160 years of government out of Church but Church being a moral influence on government:

 

Since this ruling in 1947, courts throughout America have looked to this opinion as a watershed from its historical interpretation from the days of America’s Founding Fathers. Justice Black and those supporting his opinion on the Court introduced a completely new element that was and is at variance with the historical interpretation of the First Amendment. Justice Black and his colleagues inserted new law into the Constitution that the Supreme Court justices for nearly 160 years had never seen. The historic position of the Supreme Court and lower courts was summarized by Supreme Court Associate Justice, David Brewer, and his majority opinion (Holy Trinity vs. United States, 1892) and subsequently enlarged upon in his book, The United States a Christian Nation. (The Truth about Separation of Church and State: Error of Justice Hugo Black; By Stephen Flick; Christian Heritage Fellowship

 

A good read on the issue is Justin Smith’s ‘The Fallacy of “Separation of Church and State”’. Another good read is “How the Supreme Court Twisted the First Amendment and Banned Religion in Public Schools” by Zachary Garris at Teach Diligently.

 

The Dems are perpetuating this assault on Religious Liberty via the Dem sponsored Equality Act (H.R. 5) in the House. The aim of the Equality Act is to force Americans (undoubtedly aimed Biblical-minded Christians) to further accept the godless LGBTQ lifestyle. If the Republican majority Senate passes its version of the Equality Act (S. 788) introduced on March 13, God have mercy on America.

 

What brought these thoughts to fruition though is State legislation in Leftist haven of California. My July 3 news alert from Prophecy News Watch (PNW) informs me a California State bill would force Christian Pastors/Preachers to zip their lips on preaching the Bible about the godless homosexual lifestyle.

 

The California Bill is ACR 99 and it “… would FORBID pastors from saying homosexual acts are sinful? A bill REQUIRING them to affirm same-sex relationships and gender identity? It has been proposed!” (The bold text is my emphasis of the quote in the PNW article.)

 

If read or hear the Left (these days that includes some Churches who have abandoned the Word of God) tell you, “The Bible does not condemn homosexuality”; those sources are blatantly lying and maybe even twisting the original meaning of Scripture with completely faulty revisionist scholarship. (Just like activist Judges and Justices to the U.S. Constitution.) HuffPo is a classic example of twisted-lying Left-Wing sourcing. If you are a Bible-believing Christian belonging to this Wikipedia list (as of today last updated 7/3/19) of Churches accepting LGBTQ in one fashion or another, YOU are in danger of placing yourself in rebellion to God (choosing the same path of Adam and Eve [godless Adam & Steve or Adriana & Eve]). Rebellion causes God-Separation, aka the Second Death (Genesis 3: 1-9; 1 John 2: 15-17 HCSB):

 

Genesis – The Temptation and the Fall

1Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”

“No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when[a] you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God,[b]knowing good and evil.” Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

 

Sin’s Consequences

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze,[c] and they hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?[Bold text Editor’s – Signifies God-Separation]

 

1 John 2

15 Do not love the world or the things that belong to[a] the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For everything that belongs to[b] the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever. [Bold text Editor’s – Homosexuality is only one of many sins of the world separating one from God.]

 

JRH 7/3/19

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Why This New California Bill Is So Dangerous To The Church

 

Gay Church Flag

 

By MICHAEL BROWN/ASKDRBROWN.ORG

JULY 03, 2019

Prophecy News Watch

 

Last week, I put out a warning about a bill under consideration in California known as ACR 99. I explained “Why California Pastors Must Stand Up to Government Tyranny.”

 

I also tweeted about the bill. I asked: “What? A California bill that would FORBID pastors from saying homosexual acts are sinful? A bill REQUIRING them to affirm same-sex relationships and gender identity? It has been proposed!”

 

One of my Twitter followers, a younger Christian man, challenged my reading of the bill. He insisted that it did not infringe on Christian liberties. Is he right?

 

Let’s take a look at this bill more carefully. Once we do, you’ll understand why Christian legal organizations, along with pastors and ex-gay leaders in California, are so concerned.

 

The Bill is Bad

 

The final text of the bill states this: “This measure would call upon all Californians to embrace the individual and social benefits of family and community acceptance, upon religious leaders to counsel on LGBTQ matters from a place of love, compassion, and knowledge of the psychological and other harms of conversion therapy, and upon the people of California and the institutions of California with great moral influence to model equitable treatment of all people of the state.”

 

Is this really so bad? Yes.

 

First, who gave the government the right to issue a call like this? Who gave the government the right to tell religious leaders that they cannot help people with unwanted same-sex attractions pursue change? (Broadly speaking, that’s what “conversion therapy” ultimately refers to. The term, of course, is used in a derogatory way.) If ever there was an overstepping of the separation of Church and State, this would be it.

 

Second, what, exactly, is meant by “equitable treatment of all people of the state”? Based on the findings which form the foundation of this bill, it would mean affirming transgender identity and transgender “rights,” even when those “rights” infringed on the rights of others.

 

And this is not just idle talk. The bill passed it its committee vote and is heading to the California Senate for a full vote. Let’s dig in a little deeper to see exactly what California pastors and religious leaders are facing.

 

The Presuppositions

 

ACR 99 is based on a number of presuppositions, all introduced with the word WHEREAS. Here’s the first: “The California State Legislature has found that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBTQ) is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.”

 

Based on this, it would be wrong to believe or teach that homosexual practice is sinful. Or that homosexual desires are disordered. Or that there is anything wrong with homosexual relationships. Or that a man who believes he is a woman has any type of deficiency. And this is just the first of the 9 “WHEREAS” clauses!

 

Another clause rejects any attempts to change a person’s LGBTQ identity. (This appears under the heading of “conversion therapy.”)

 

And another states that “the stigma associated with being LGBTQ often created by groups in society, including therapists and religious groups, has caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation amongst LGBTQ and questioning individuals.”

 

In other words, if you preach and teach what the Bible says about LGBTQ issues and people, no matter how loving and compassionate you are, you are guilty of stigmatizing them, thereby causing them emotional and even physical harm.

 

The intent of this bill is perfectly clear.

 

The Government Telling Pastors What to Preach

 

That’s why Liberty Counsel issued a warning, stating, “CA RESOLUTION THREATENS PASTORS AND COUNSELORS.”

 

Specifically, the resolution “calls on religious leaders and others with ‘moral influence’ to affirm homosexuality and ‘transgenderism’ and to accept that Christian efforts to help people with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion are ‘ineffective, unethical and harmful.’ As a resolution, ACR 99 does not have the force of law but will be persuasive for some policymakers. It will now go to the state Senate for a vote.”

 

That’s why the California Family Council, which is on the front lines of this legislative battle, wrote that “CA Legislators to Tell Pastors What to Preach from their Pulpits on LGBT Behavior & Identities.”

 

Life and Hope

 

And that’s why ex-gay leaders Ken Williams and Elizabeth Woning protested the bill. As Woning wrote, “For us, walking out our faith with biblical conviction means life and hope. Our faith has saved us from suicide and given us freedom to live with clear consciences. We too would like to be acknowledged and affirmed. … Instead, activists attack our efforts to care for like-minded friends by promoting dangerous counseling restrictions and stifling our free speech.”

 

In short, this bill would state that pastors and Christian counselors do not have the right to walk out their faith and live out their biblical convictions.

 

It would stop them from offering the fullness of the Gospel to people with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender identity confusion. And it would constitute, in no uncertain terms, a frontal assault on their — and our — religious liberties.

 

That’s why it must be resisted.

 

Originally published at AskDrBrown.org – reposted with permission.

_______________________

Next Step Church/State Separation Plague

John R. Houk

© July 3, 2019

___________________

Why This New California Bill Is So Dangerous To The Church

 

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Head of NASA Praises Prayer and Christian Influence in Government: Left Has Orbital Meltdown


I live in Oklahoma. As such this post from Geri Ungurean on her blog Absolute Truth from the Word of God about former Oklahoma Representative Jim Bridenstine (my District roughly representing Tulsa) tapped to be Administrator of NASA by President Trump got my attention.

 

One Nation Under God by Jon McNaughton

 

Evidently Bridenstine is not shy about his Christian faith and it’s driving Leftists and Separation of Church/State activists nuts. Ungurean begins with SCOTUS concurring atheistic doctrine can simulate religion then goes into the fallacy of Separation of Church and State. Then Ungurean examines how Bridenstine Church/State Separation activists crazy.

 

JRH 4/27/19

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Head of NASA Praises Prayer and Christian Influence in Government: Left Has Orbital Meltdown

 

By Geri Ungurean

April 27, 2019

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

 

Jim Bridenstine

 

Did you know that The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being? In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described “secular humanism” as a religion.

 

And in 2005, a Federal court deemed “Atheism” a religion.

Read about that decision here:

 

From wnd.com  — written in 2005

 

Court Rules Atheism a Religion

 

Decides 1st Amendment protects prison inmate’s right to start study group

 

A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate’s rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.

 

“Atheism is [the inmate’s] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

 

The court decided the inmate’s First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

 

Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, called the court’s ruling “a sort of Alice in Wonderland jurisprudence.”

 

“Up is down, and atheism, the antithesis of religion, is religion,” said Fahling.

 

The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described “secular humanism” as a religion. source

 

But if a person has the audacity to mention “God” or “Prayer to Him” in public; in this case in front of a Christian ministry by the HEAD of NASA– the reaction of the atheists is anger and of course citing the “Wall of Separation of Church and State.  So, the employees of NASA are attempting to take away a person’s freedom of speech because it will make them look bad – you know, guilt by association.

 

UNREAL

 

Let’s get something straight before I post about the Left’s response to the head of NASA (who happens to be a Christian).

 

You will not find “Separation of Church and State” anywhere in our Constitution.  The Left will tell you it’s there, but that’s a lie. This lie has been repeated so many times that the average person believes it.

 

So, where did the saying originate?

 

Satan is a liar and the father of them.  He is also the author of confusion.  He took our First Amendment and twisted it, just as he does with God’s Holy Word.

 

Here is the First Amendment of our Constitution:

 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 

Do you  see in the First Amendment the verbiage “Separation of Church and State?”

 

Neither do I.

 

We don’t see it because it is NOT there.  The First Amendment was given its place of prominence because our Founding Fathers wanted to insure that the government would never establish a “religion” that would be forced upon the American people; and that we would always have freedom of speech.

 

Then why do we hear this clause so much?

 

In 1802, a group of Baptist ministers from Danbury, CT wrote to Thomas Jefferson. They were concerned about the possibility that the State would impose a denomination and their freedom to worship as Baptists might be in jeopardy.

 

Here is Thomas Jefferson’s response to these CT pastors:

 

Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists

 

The Final Letter as sent:

 

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

 

Gentlemen

 

“The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

 

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

 

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.”  (Emphasis mine)

 

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

 

In the past 100 years, the phrase “Wall of Separation between Church and State” (taken from Jefferson’s letter) has been misconstrued  to mean that anything to do with Religion must be separate from State or Federal Government.

 

First of all, as I said before – the phrase “Separation of Church and State” is found no where in the Constitution.  God-hating individuals have repeatedly used this statement (which was to PROTECT the Christians) so many times, that the average person on the street will tell you that this is part of America’s Constitution.

 

And don’t forget that this man (Jim Bridenstine) was addressing a Christian Ministry – NOT an audience filled with NASA employees!

 

Brethren, you should print this article out so that you can speak truth to a person who is parroting the lie that this clause is found in our Constitution!

 

From frc.org

 

NASA Chief Finds Space for Faith

 

April 18, 2019

 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the First Amendment. Or maybe, after the spat over a speech by NASA’s Jim Bridenstine, it does. Thanks to the double standards of secularism, public officials can’t even talk about faith without making headlines. It’s no wonder, then, that when the head of America’s space program gave remarks at a Christian ministry, even he had trouble finding signs of intelligence in the criticism that followed.

 

Capitol Ministries [Blog Editor’s Link], the organization that Jim has supported for years, is hardly controversial. Nine of the president’s 15 cabinet officials are sponsors of the ministry — whose aim is simple: influencing government with biblical teachings. During his talk, Bridenstine even talked about the importance of that goal and what it means in the context of these times. “I love what Ralph said earlier: We’re not trying to Christianize the U.S. government. We believe in an institutional separation, but we also believe in influence. And that’s a big distinction and an important distinction, and that’s why I love this ministry.”

 

Jim couldn’t have been more clear: No one in the Trump administration is trying to create a theocracy. They just want the same freedom to bring their personal views to bear on public policy that liberals have. Still, secularists like Business Insider’s Dave Mosher, seem intent on dragging Bridenstine through the mud for daring to talk about actual NASA history — like Buzz Aldrin’s communion on the moon and the Apollo 8 astronauts’ Bible reading in orbit.

 

In a 2,000-word rant about the faith of Trump’s team, Mosher insists that “Some ethics and legal experts outside NASA have expressed concern over Bridenstine’s speech. They believe it ran afoul of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which outlines a separation of church and state, and might have also violated ethics rules for federal executives.” Quoting people like Virginia Canter of Citizens for Responsible Ethics, Mosher tries to paint Bridenstine as a typical Establishment Clause abuser. “One’s personal beliefs must be respected, but when appearing in an official capacity, you have to adhere to certain ethical standards,” Canter explained. “One is not to give the impression that you are officially endorsing any products or service or enterprise.”

 

Funny, where was Mosher when Barack Obama was headlining political fundraisers for Planned Parenthood? Or worse, invoking God’s blessing on the abortion giant? Everyone from Hillary Clinton to Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have not only endorsed the group’s “service” — but funneled hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to it. No one seemed to care when they appeared in their official capacities to preach the gospel of abortion. But put a Christian on the stage from the Trump administration — encouraging something as innocent as prayer — and they’re a walking ethics violation! This is NASA, for crying out loud. What are they worried about? Jim sending astronauts to evangelize the galaxy?

 

If secularists are upset about Bridenstine’s speech, then they should have been shaking the White House gates over the last administration’s agenda for the space agency. How quickly we forget those shocking comments in 2010 when President Obama told NASA administrator Charles Bolden that his new mission should be “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations…” If you’re looking for a textbook abuse of public office, I’d say start with the Obama administration. After that, giving a few remarks at a charity function seems like small potatoes.

 

But hypocrisy is the name of the Democratic game. Like Secretary Mike Pompeo and countless other Trump officials before him, Bridenstine is just the latest target of an intolerant Left whose only goal is purging faith from public life and history. If activists can’t get Christians to stay quiet, then they’ll try to drive them out of government altogether. That will be tough to do in this administration, thanks to the fearless leadership of Trump. If his team has learned anything, it’s how to stand up to bullies. That shouldn’t be hard for a man Jim Bridenstine. He was already light years ahead of the opposition. source

 

I say WELL DONE to the head of NASA!  He is not ashamed of our Lord Jesus before men, and neither will Jesus be ashamed of him before His Father!

 

But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).

 

How Can I Be Saved?

Shalom b’Yeshua

MARANATHA!

__________________

A MESSAGE TO MY [Geri Ungurean] READERS

 

Brethren,

 

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for subscribing to “Absolute Truth From the Word of God.”

 

Many of you have been so generous by sending gifts to my P.O. Box. It’s always so surprising and warms my heart when I see gifts from my readers.

 

Here is the address for the P.O. Box:

 

Geri Ungurean
PO BOX 1031
Savage, MD 20763

 

But I did something recently that I did not feel comfortable about. I added a “Donate” button which I just took down.  My husband and I had a scare (and it’s not over) We received a letter from the VA stating that the government is looking at the money paid out to disabled Veterans and they may be cutting back the amount. Tim  was in the Vietnam war and volunteered for Desert Storm.

 

Anyway, I told hubby that I should try to find a full time job.  He was against that because of my health issues and also he said that it would cut back the writing ministry. And who is going to hire a woman who is almost 68? LOL!

 

So, friends urged me to place a donate button on the site.  I haven’t felt right since I did that. It was like saying to God that I didn’t trust Him that He would take care of us.  It’s like a heavy weight has been lifted off since I took down that Donate button!

 

Your prayers are much needed and so appreciated for this ministry, and I thank you so very much for adding us to your prayer list!

 

I love you all so much!

 

I can’t wait to meet you in heaven as we worship our Precious Jesus together!

 

What a Glorious Day that will be!

 

In Yeshua,
Geri
MARANATHA!

 

[NCCR Blog Editor: I do not sure Geri Ungurean’s reticence about using a donation button. Even so I encourage you to send your monetary support to Geri for her steadfast faith in standing with Jesus the Christ, the Savior of all who believe in the risen Lord.]

 

Banning Alex Jones?


Justified Only If…

 

John R. Houk

© August 8, 2018

 

Alex Jones is literally being censored on every digital media format I can think of.

 

I have to be clear. I am not a supporter or big fan of Mr. Jones. Many of his Conspiracy Theories propagated from his soapbox are just plain outlandish and crazy.

 

The massive digital censorship Jones is accused of is hate-speech. Frankly, as outlandish and offensive Jones can be I am not surprised the hate-speech accusations are levelled against him.

 

I do have a couple of problems with the censorship.

 

ONE: The same media platforms censoring Jones allow Muslims to spew Jew-Hatred and promote physical harm to Jews and other non-Muslims. However, when a non-Muslim points out Islamic tenets and Muslim history demonstrate violent hatred for all things non-Muslim specifying Jews, Christians and polytheists. Militant homosexuals overtly express hatred toward Biblical Values Christians yet will censor Biblical Values Christians for supporting the Bible’s labelling the homosexual practice a sin against God’s Word. In essence this is censorship hypocrisy.

 

TWO: The same media platforms rarely if ever censor Left-Wing calls for violence against Conservatives yet they will censor Conservatives refuting a violent Leftist agenda. For example Maxine Walters advocating Leftists to disrupt reputed Conservative meetings and Conservatives living their private lives at open-to-the-public venues. Astonishingly to date, Conservative individuals have refused to respond with self-defense violence for Leftist provocation. I’m a disabled dude and I don’t know if I would exhibit such self-restraint to respond with action if someone shouting directly in front of my face.

 

I hate defending Alex Jones because I am convinced he has used actual hate-speech; however look at some of phrases the digital media platforms label as hate-speech worthy of censorship via banning:

 

The resident Jew, Leftist Jews, Jewish Mafia (Alex Jones Accused Of Anti-Semitism, Sexual Harassment; By Aiden Pink; Forward.com; 3/1/18)

 

The same article on Forward.com also illustrates actual forms of hate-speech via sexual harassment which is unacceptable but demonstrated on Alex Jones programs.

 

I don’t know what Alex Jones other than the vague accusation of the kind of speech the digital platforms call hatred or inciting violence:

 

“… the stated reason for the ban on his content is not defamation but “hate speech” against Muslims, transgender people, and other groups.” (Booting Alex Jones from social media wasn’t wrong, but it could be dangerous; By Cathy Young; USA Today; 8/8/18 9:03 a.m. ET)

 

If the hate-speech was critical of a belief system corresponding to Islam or the LGBTQ agenda, then said hate-speech violation is an absurd accusation. If Jones said something dimwitted such as maybe, “hunt down the camel jockeys and give them a tasted of their own medicine” or “rope the fudge-packer and drag the shem down the road”. Those kinds of phrases are indeed inciting violence and is a good reason for censuring and/or banning.

 

Here is the Joseph Farah email (which is also a bit of a fundraiser) that inspired my thoughts.

 

JRH 8/8/18

Please Support NCCR

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First, they came for Alex Jones …

The pretense and subtlety are over, ‘Digital Cartel’ now overtly attacking ‘offensive’ voices

 

By Joseph Farah

Sent 8/8/2018 4:01 AM

Sent from WND

 

I’ve been warning everyone who would listen about the greatest threat to freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion in America today.

It’s not government.

Instead, the overt attack on America’s First Amendment comes from the corporate behemoth internet gatekeepers who are in ideological lockstep with each other – from Google to YouTube to Facebook to Twitter to Apple to Amazon.

This week, YouTube and Facebook followed Apple’s lead in banishing Alex Jones, the iconic, high-energy voice that rails against globalism and the Deep State daily on radio, podcasts and his own Infowars TV show. He was an easy target and a predictable one – a controversial figure, without doubt, and a high-profile one with a sizable following.

Not everyone wants to defend Alex Jones – certainly not everything he says.

Yet, the First Amendment wasn’t crafted by America’s founding geniuses to protect tepid, non-controversial speech. It was crafted to protect just this kind of fiery dialogue – the kind that offends some people, some sensibilities. Alex Jones is a good choice to start the censorship juggernaut rolling if you think like the Southern Poverty Law Center. And one thing Apple, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon all have in common is their love of, reverence for, and partnerships with this extremist band of smear merchants who never met anyone right of center that they didn’t label a “hater,” a “fascist,” a “Nazi” or a “racist” – including, of course, the current president of the United States.

So, first the Digital Cartel came for Alex Jones.

Who will be next? I don’t know, but I don’t plan to find myself in the position in which Martin Niemöller found himself in Nazi Germany. He’s most famous for this prescient quotation: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”

I’m going to defend Alex Jones’ right to say what he wants – even if I sometimes, or even often, find myself in disagreement with him. And I’m going to condemn this cabal of bloated mega-corporations imposing their ideology on America’s most vital public square – the digital media.

Maybe you say, “Well, Farah, don’t these corporations have the absolute right to approve and disapprove of the viewpoints they carry – just like you do?” The answer may be surprising: No, they don’t. None of these conglomerates are publishers, content producers, part of the “press.” They are more akin to “utilities” – like the telephone companies of old, or the electricity producers who have a public obligation to be fair and neutral in offering the services they provide to all, without regard to race, religion and ideology. They don’t have to like Alex Jones. They don’t have to listen to Alex Jones. But if they are going to hold these privileged positions of making lots of money by distributing all manner of content, data and information to the public, they dare not think of themselves as ideological gatekeepers against “offensive” political speech. And they better not designate the disgraced partisan hacks of the SPLC as their content cops, which is precisely what they have done – all of them!

I know I sound like a broken record on this theme, but I’m going to keep pounding on it until the public catches on to the threat these trillion-dollar monopolies pose to America’s precious institutions of free speech, the free press and freedom of religion. We need congressional hearings. We need action in Washington. We need President Trump to recognize who the biggest purveyors of fake news really are. It’s not just CNN and the Huffington Post. It’s their distribution arms – Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Amazon – the Digital Cartel.

It’s time to throw down the gauntlet, draw a marker in the sand, file class-action lawsuits, summon our leaders to action.

Are we going to let this cabal render the First Amendment null and void?

I’ve been telling you how they have attacked WND relentlessly and ruthlessly through its politically and religiously discriminatory algorithms. I’ve told you how they have been coming after the independent media, especially since the 2016 election that so disappointed all of them.

Do you really want to talk about supposed Russian interference in our free society when this powerful monolithic cartel is setting the rules of debate for Americans out in plain sight – openly censoring voices they don’t like while systematically elevating those they do like? What a sick joke!

As for me, I will defend the voices of dissent, and even controversy, as long as I have a soapbox upon which to stand. I know they are coming after me and the world’s first independent online news company, which I founded 21 years ago. Once again, I ask you to stand with me, or else find yourself living in a country you won’t long recognize. No privacy. No freedom.

Please support us, or risk finding yourself living in a very different and scary version of America soon.

Help us to raise a much-needed additional $100,000 through August – our biggest crisis period yet, as we battle for survival against the cartel. We’re already nearly 20 percent of the way there, thanks to many of you. You may not be able to give $1,000 or even $100. But everyone who understands the stakes can contribute $10 or even $3.

 

You can also support WND’s groundbreaking new book, “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,” with your tax-deductible contributions in any amount to the fabulous missions organization, Gospel for All Nations, which has adopted the project to help spread the truth of the Good News around the world. This book, coming out in hardcover in September, is an important part of WND’s recovery, rebirth and revitalization plan for later this year. Your help with book-printing and marketing expenses will help immensely to weather this storm – not to mention help us distribute this compelling and redemptive “breakthrough Bible book.”

___________________

Banning Alex Jones?

John R. Houk

© August 8, 2018

__________________

First, they came for Alex Jones …

 

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Copyright 1997-2018 WND.com Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Bible Banning Despite 1st Amendment


John R. Houk

© April 24, 2018

 

I have been seeing Social Media posts claiming California has legislation in the works to ban the Bible. I chalked the information up to Fake News or maybe – cough – Russian bots trying to rile up Conservative Values supporters.

 

After all, how in the world can secularist and/or atheist Lefties believe they can get away with such a huge violation of the First Amendment, RIGHT?

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (U.S. Constitution – Amendment 1; USConstitution.net)

 

Ever heard of the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury? The book is one of my favorites from my Sci-Fi teen reading days. It should be bought and become required reading for every household to understand the power of State totalitarianism. The book is classic with a 1966 movie based on it AND HBO is coming out with a modern version I believe sometime in May 2018. Here is a less than a minute trailer:

 

VIDEO: Fahrenheit 451 (2018) | Teaser Trailer | HBO

 

Posted by HBO

Published on Jan 11, 2018

 

HBO Films presents Fahrenheit 451. In a terrifying care-free future, a young man, Guy Montag, whose job as a fireman is to burn all books, questions his actions after meeting a young girl…and begins to rebel against society. Starring Michael B. Jordan, and Michael Shannon. Coming Soon. READ THE REST

 

Perhaps the Leftist legislators will ban Fahrenheit 451 along with the Bible to make sure their citizens remain ignorant of political totalitarianism.

 

Before you pooh-pooh the idea of the California State legislators banning books, here is the Assembly Bill No. 2943 California Legislative Information published 03/23/2018 09:00 PM.

 

The Bill no where mentions the Bible or the morality of the Christian Faith. However, using commercial practices as a pretext AB 2943 declares all things associated with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) lifestyle is a part of the natural order of existence. Thus, the law prohibits any action to change the LGBTQ lifestyle as illegal. I was going to cross post the entirety of AB 2943, then I realized after copying the Act to a separate Word Document that consumed 18 pages, the reading would be a bit mundane. Here is a relevant excerpt affecting Freedom:

 

AB 2943, as amended, Low. Unlawful business practices: sexual orientation change efforts.

 

 

This bill would include, as an unlawful practice prohibited under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual. The bill would also declare the intent of the Legislature in this regard.

 

 

SECTION 1.

 

The Legislature finds and declares the following:

 

(a) Contemporary science recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is part of the natural spectrum of human identity and is not a disease, disorder, or illness.

 

(b) The American Psychological Association convened the Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The task force conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts and issued a report in 2009. The task force concluded that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred, hostility and blame toward parents, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources.

 

AB 2943 goes on as pertaining to the LGBTQ lifestyle, to verify LGBTQ morality protections and villainize (perhaps illegalize) Biblical Values by using numerous Leftist social organizations declaring homosexual choice as normal. You can muddle through the entire Bill to read what I mean. Just to be clear, there are some good consumer protections in the Bill pertaining to commerce. The good is heavily obscured though by the intent to make it easy to sue distributors of Christian materials – which would include the Bible – that homosexuality is natural rather an unnatural abomination as stated by the Creator of all that exists.

 

When the Leftist legislators cite all these Leftist organization that embrace the fundamental transformation of America, they don’t include the kind of people that were in charge of their reports and findings. Here are some details they conveniently left out:

 

This article first appeared in the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL, volume 38, number 01 (2015). The full text of this article in PDF format can be obtained by clicking here.

 

SYNOPSIS

 

“Reparative therapy,” “conversion therapy,” and “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE) are terms used to describe any efforts to redirect homosexual tendencies toward heterosexual behavior. These processes are strongly opposed by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association and other counseling groups. The opposition to SOCE approaches is based on three assumptions these groups make. (1) Homosexuality is today considered a normal variant of sexual behavior and not a mental illness. (2) There are no good data to indicate that SOCE approaches have been successful. (3) Traditional religious prohibitions about homosexual behavior are outmoded and need to be revised to be in accordance with modern science. Proponents of SOCE argue that there have been many successes in changing homosexual behavior and desires in a number of individuals. [Bold text by Blog Editor]

 

Professional groups argue that there are no good peer- reviewed studies, but also prohibit their members from being involved in these studies. Policy statements attacking these treatments are not written by an unbiased group; one major statement was written by a team that (with one exception) were all homosexual or bisexual, with all members of the team being well-known homosexual activists.  …

 

 

A 2009 report issued by the American Psychological Association8 restated the organization’s opposition to SOCE efforts and left the impression that this was an impartial and unbiased report. The truth is far different: of the seven members on the task force, five were openly homosexual, one was bisexual, and all seven were active in the “gay rights” movement.9 The composition of the group created an obvious and overwhelming bias toward a homosexual-friendly report. Appropriate Therapeutic Responses dismisses any religious considerations, looks only at peer-reviewed literature that supports their position, and recommends only therapy that encourages acceptance of homosexual behavior.

 

READ ENTIRETY (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts: What’s Being Repaired? By Donald F. Calbreath; Christian Research Institute; 7/20/16)

 

I don’t care how many Humanist arbiters of reconstructed normal there are, the Final Arbiter is God Almighty – The Creator of all existence.

 

JRH 4/24/18

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This is NOT FAKE NEWS: California Pushing Bill to Ban Sale of Bibles (Video)

 

By GERI UNGUREAN

APRIL 20, 2018

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

 

Not only are California legislators pushing the bill to ban the sale of Bibles, they are also targeting any Christian books which speak against homosexuality and how to overcome the urges of that lifestyle.

 

From 1.cbn.com

 

One Step Closer to Law: Could a California Bill Ultimately Lead to the Banning of Bibles?

 

VIDEO: URGENT! CALIFORNIA PUSHES BILL TO BAN THE BIBLE AND MATERIAL THAT STATES HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN!!!

 

Posted by Salt of the Earth 777

Published on Apr 20, 2018

 

California bill would criminalize the sale of Bibles and material considered to be offensive to the homosexual community.

 

A pro-LGBTQ bill is quickly making its way through the California state assembly after it was approved on the floor Thursday. The bill now goes to the state Senate for a vote.

 

If passed, Assembly Bill 2943 could ultimately threaten free speech and freedom of religion for Christians.

 

It uses the state’s consumer fraud statute to restrict religious freedom and free speech when it comes to issues of homosexuality and gender identity.

 

This means the bill would make it illegal to distribute resources, sell books, offer counseling services, or direct someone to a biblically based model for getting help with gender confusion and homosexuality.

 

Randy Thomasson with SaveCalifornia.com says the bill is very broad and could affect just about anything helping people overcome same-sex desires.

 

“So, this is a pastor speaking, you pay a ticket to hear him speak. He speaks about overcoming same-sex desires. Hey, that could be outlawed. A church sells a book about overcoming same-sex desires. There’s a sale, there’s a transaction, that could be banned,” Thomasson said.

 

“This is very expansive, very tyrannical and absolutely squashing free speech, religious freedom and basic choice of people. This is an anti-freedom, anti-American bill,” Thomasson told CBN News.

 

Essentially, churches and Christian schools that share biblical teaching on the subject would be open to a lawsuit.

 

CBN News asked Thomasson if this bill could eventually lead to a ban on Bibles or even books from other faiths like the Koran.

 

“Well, you could see this law going into effect. A church bookstore selling the Bible, of course, selling a book about marriage or sexual purity or overcoming homosexuality or overcoming trans-sexuality. You could see a member of the public or even a member of the state government coming and saying, ‘Hey, that’s illegal,’” Thomasson answered.

 

“Even the Muslim community should be against this, too, because of what is said about sexual perversity in the Koran,” Thomasson also said.

 

If AB 2943 clears California’s Senate and is signed into law, it would negatively impact Christian counselors, bookstores, church conferences, as well as medical and health professionals.

 

The bill also seeks to ban biblically based counseling for those wanting to get help.

 

It comes six years after California deemed it illegal for minors to receive counseling for same-sex attraction, even if they and their parents wanted help. Now, this bill would also address adults.

 

“AB 2943 would start by saying, ok, nobody can get counseling to overcome same-sex desires… ok, so no help for adult children, adults who were molested as kids and now they are adults and they say I want help to overcome these feelings. No help for you,” Thomasson explained.

 

The bill states that “contemporary science recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is part of the natural spectrum of human identity and is not a disease, disorder, or illness.”

 

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told CBN News that what makes this bill especially dangerous is that California often leads the charge in pushing the LGBTQ legislative agenda.

 

California was one of the first states to ban “conversion therapy” for minors. Shortly afterward, Oregon, New Jersey, and Vermont passed similar laws.

 

“People have the right to seek the counsel of their choice, but this bill substitutes the government for personal choice. The implications are staggering, and the result is harmful,” Staver said in a statement to CBN News. – source

 

So, will they ban the Qur’an as well??

 

Come Lord Jesus!

MARANATHA!

__________________________

Bible Banning Despite 1st Amendment

John R. Houk

© April 24, 2018

___________________________

This is NOT FAKE NEWS: California Pushing Bill to Ban Sale of Bibles (Video)

 

About Absolute Truth from the Word of God

 

Geri Ungurean
MD USA

 

Bio: I am a Jewish Christian who was born-again in 1983. Yeshua is my life. Writing about Him is my passion. My subject matter varies. Sometimes I write on Bible Prophecy. Other times on apostasy in the church. And often times I address the political climate of our country and our world. My greatest love is writing about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray that some of my articles will fall in the hands of my Jewish people. If you would like to bless us with a gift, please send to: Geri Ungurean P.O. Box 1031 Savage, MD 20763 Your generosity is most appreciated! Shalom

 

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In the Chain of Human Events


Save The Peace Cross

 

Intro to ‘In the Chain of Human Events

John R. Houk

Intro date: 11/20/17

By Justin O. Smith

 

Justin Smith writes about Secular Humanist atheists winning a 4th Circuit Appellate Court case against Veterans that demanded the Peace Cross in Bladensburg, MD be removed from public property because it is just too Christian for those subscribing to what is essentially a Humanist religion that denies the existence of God Almighty the Creator.

 

Here are a couple of Secular Humanist quotes that the 4th Circuit essentially embraced:

 

“There is no place in the Humanist worldview for either immortality or God in the valid meanings of those terms. Humanism contends that instead of the gods creating the cosmos, the cosmos, in the individualized form of human beings giving rein to their imagination, created the gods.” (Corliss Lamont, The Philosophy of Humanism, (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1982) p. 145.)

 

“The classroom must and will become an area of conflict between the old and the new— the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery and the new faith of Humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian idea of ‘Love thy Neighbor’ will finally be achieved.” (John J. Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist, January/February 1983, 26.)

 

Both of these quotes are found on the PDF: WORLDVIEW-SECULAR HUMANISM FACT SHEET; Summit Ministries; © 2016 – 2 pgs.)

 

SEE ALSO:

 

Conservapedia: Humanism

 

Conservapedia: Secular humanism

 

JRH 11/20/17

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In the Chain of Human Events

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 11/18/2017 7:36 PM

 

To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields” — Lt Colonel John McCrae / Second Battle of Ypres

 

The forty foot tall Peace Cross in Bladensburg, Maryland, at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and US Alternative Route 1 and just five miles from the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Court’s cross-hairs, is the object of the American Civil Liberties Union’s and atheists’ hatred, along with their hatred for many other inherently Christian Latin crosses in America, and it is also the source of incoherent confusion for too many federal judges. If the American people do not battle most fiercely to reverse the 4th Circuit Court’s recent ruling on October 18th, that found the Peace Cross presence on public land to be unconstitutional, these anti-American groups will boldly continue their purge of anything in the public square that remotely resembles religion; and, liberty and freedom cannot long survive, unless Americans once and for all definitively crush these advocates of a public arena free from God.

 

Started in 1918 and completed in 1925 using contributions from private donors and the American Legion, the Peace Cross honors 49 men from Prince George’s County, who died in WWI. It was erected on July 13th, 1925, and it has stood as a memorial and a gathering place for the community for 92 years, inscribed with the words VALOR, ENDURANCE, COURAGE and DEVOTION.

 

A two-to-one vote by a three judge panel overturned the Maryland District Court’s previous 2015 decision, that the use of a cross as a military symbol of courage, sacrifice and remembrance, does not mean the state sponsors a particular religion. The plaintiffs, American Humanist Association (AHA), alleged that the cross unconstitutionally endorsed Christianity, and the Court determined the memorial “excessively entangles the government in religion”, as they justified their decision through the fallacious notion of “separation of church and state”.

 

Chief Justice Roger Gregory wrote the dissent [***Blog Editor: Entire Dissent Below] and noted that the Establishment Clause does not require “purging” religion from the public square, but requires only governmental “neutrality” on religion. He added, “In my view, the court’s ruling confuses maintenance of a highway median and a monument in a state park with excessive religious entanglement.”

 

The First Amendment [Faith-Freedom.com & Wallbuilders] compels government not to eradicate religion from the public arena, and although it forbids the establishment of a state religion, it doesn’t forbid the sponsorship of religion. If the expression of religious beliefs is an inherent God-designed part of human nature, as the Declaration of Independence proclaims, then government acting to remove religion from the public square would have seemed to our Founding Fathers to be acting in a manner antithetical to our founding principles.

 

Even should the Peace Cross be solely a Christian symbol and not also a war memorial, the argument offered by the AHA is quite a stretch. Establishing a state religion is a deliberate act by the government, as in the manner the world witnessed the USSR implement militant atheism. It doesn’t happen through scattered memorials, that were erected by private groups long ago to remember the fallen.

 

However, the courts have not been consistent on this issue. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the five foot cross erected in 1934 on Sunrise Rock, in the Mojave National Reserve, and also honoring Veterans, did not violate the Constitution; but in 2012, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s notion that the 43 foot tall Mount Soledad Memorial Cross, in La Jolla, California, was a violation of the First Amendment.

 

The Bladensburg Peace Cross, listed in the National Registry of Historical Places, is one of the few WWI monuments in the United States. It was erected during a time when the Cross was a commonly understood symbol of suffering, sacrifice and hope.

 

When exactly did the Peace Cross begin to violate the Constitution? Never.

 

In 92 years, the Cross remained unchanged, but America’s judges became intolerant activists after the 1947 Everson case. Leftist activist judges at all levels of the judiciary, who wallow in a sewer of anti-Americanism, have advanced the flawed premises of the anti-Christian bigots from groups like the AHA, and they have violated the Constitution in impermissible fashion, by interfering with the free exercise rights of people, who simply sought to acknowledge their Christian heritage and honor their war dead.

 

The First Liberty Institute and other defenders of the Peace Cross fear, that if the 4th Circuit refuses their request for the full court to reconsider the case, a dangerous precedent will be set. This will endanger other national treasures, such as the 24 foot Cross of Sacrifice, which was a gift from Canada that has stood in Arlington Cemetery for 90 years. The Argonne Cross, also at Arlington, marks the graves of more than two thousand Americans, whose remains were interred in 1920 from battlefield cemeteries in Europe.

 

The American Humanist Association has also sued the city of Pensacola, Florida over a cross that has stood in Bayview Park for 75 years, built on the eve of WWII. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward describes the cross as “an integral part of my town’s fabric, a symbol to our local citizens — religious and nonreligious — of our proud history of coming together during hard times.” This case is on its way to the 11th Circuit Court.

 

Immediately after the October 18th ruling against the Peace Cross, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan wrote a letter to his attorney general directing him to support a legal challenge against the ruling. In part it read: “The conclusion that this memorial honoring Veterans violates the (Constitution’s) Establishment Clause offends common sense, is an affront to all Veterans, and should not be allowed to stand. I believe very strongly, that this cherished community memorial does not violate the Constitution. Your office will be Maryland’s legal voice in this important litigation.

 

While it may seem like a win each time a legal team saves one of these crosses, by illustrating its importance as a war memorial and settling for a land transfer, as performed by Congressman Duncan Hunter in the Mount Soledad Cross case, rejecting the distinct religious value the Cross has traditionally held in Christianity is not the proper direction. Our soldiers died protecting the rights that are defining characteristics of our democratic Republic and, specifically, our First Amendment. And with our religious liberties central to this issue, Congress must provide clarity to an establishment jurisprudence in shambles.

 

The idea that the public display of a Christian cross on public land should be forbidden is deeply anti-American. Our country’s topography is indelibly marked by crosses, so where does this all end for the AHA and militant atheists in their unhinged agenda to remove any semblance of religious symbolism from the public sphere?

 

Where will the atheists ever draw the line?

 

Regardless of who likes it or not, America was founded by a people, who were 98 percent Christian well into the 19th Century, and they intended America to be a Christian nation tolerant of all other religions. The first calls for America’s independence, in 1769, were issued by a group of young writers from Yale College, who were fiercely Christian, led by John Trumbull and Timothy Dwight.

 

John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president, wrote: “In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked to the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human governance upon the first precepts of Christianity.”

 

George Washington declared: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

 

This attack on the Peace Cross is also an attack on America and an attempt to undermine the idea of America, predicated on each individual’s inherent right that lies deep within our heart and soul to have individual recourse to a power greater than the state. This is a war against our Christian faith and our shared memories that we must win, if we wish to prevent America’s descent toward the darkest days of antiquity and preserve for America’s Children the Heritage of Liberty our Founding Fathers left for us.

 

By Justin O. Smith

______________________

*** Chief Judge Roger Gregory dissent begin page 34 of PDF

 

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

No. 15-2597

 

AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION; STEVEN LOWE; FRED EDWORDS; BISHOP MCNEILL, — Plaintiffs – Appellants,

 

v.

 

MARYLAND-NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION, — Defendant – Appellee,

 

THE AMERICAN LEGION; THE AMERICAN LEGION DEPARTMENT OF MARYLAND; THE AMERICAN LEGION COLMAR MANOR POST 131, — Intervenors/Defendants – Appellees,

 

=================

 

[Blog Editor: Chief Judge Roger Gregory dissent begin page 34 of PDF]

 

GREGORY, Chief Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part:

 

I agree with the majority’s holding that Appellants have standing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to bring this action for a violation of the Establishment Clause. But I disagree with the majority’s ultimate conclusion that the display and maintenance of the war memorial in this case violates the Establishment Clause. I therefore respectfully dissent in part.

 

I.

 

The Establishment Clause provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” U.S. Const. amend. I. To properly understand and apply the Establishment Clause, it must be viewed “in the light of its history and the evils it was designed forever to suppress.” Everson v. Bd. of Educ., 330 U.S. 1, 14–15 (1947). The early colonization of America was a time marked with religious persecution. Immigrating settlers fled religious suppression in Europe only to be met with similar treatment in America. “[M]en and women of varied faiths who happened to be in a minority in a particular locality were persecuted because they steadfastly persisted in worshipping God only as their own consciences dictated.” Id. at 10. Those regarded as nonconformists were required “to support government-sponsored churches whose ministers preached inflammatory sermons designed to strengthen and consolidate the established faith by generating a burning hatred against dissenters.” Id.

 

The Establishment Clause was intended to combat the practice of “compel[ling individuals] to support and attend government favored churches.” Id. at 8; accord Myers v. Loudoun Cty. Pub. Sch., 418 F.3d 395, 402 (4th Cir. 2005). The Clause’s historical setting reveals that “[i]ts first and most immediate purpose rested on the belief that a union of government and religion tends to destroy government and to degrade religion.” Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 431 (1962). The realization of its goal meant that the government must “‘neither engage in nor compel religious practices,’ that it must ‘effect no favoritism among sects or between religion and nonreligion,’ and that it must ‘work deterrence of no religious belief.’” Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677, 698 (2005) (Breyer, J., concurring) (plurality opinion) (quoting Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 305 (1963) (Goldberg, J., concurring)).

 

But the Clause does not require the government “to purge from the public sphere” any reference to religion. Id. at 699. “Such absolutism is not only inconsistent with our national traditions, but would also tend to promote the kind of social conflict the Establishment Clause seeks to avoid.” Id. (citations omitted). While neutrality may be the “touchstone” of the Establishment Clause, it more so serves as a “sense of direction” than a determinative test. McCreary Cty. v. Am. Civil Liberties Union, 454 U.S. 844 (2005). We cannot view neutrality as some sort of “brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular and a passive, or even active, hostility to the religious.” Schempp, 374 U.S. at 306 (Goldberg, J., concurring). Thus, in reviewing the challenged war memorial, this Court must seek general rather than absolute neutrality. We do so by engaging in the three-factor analysis delineated in Lemon v. Kurtzman (the “Lemon test”), which requires that the memorial have a secular purpose; have a principal or primary effect that neither advances, inhibits, nor endorses religion; and not foster “an excessive government entanglement with religion.” 403 U.S. 602, 612–13 (1971). The memorial “must satisfy each of the Lemon test’s three criteria” to pass constitutional muster. Lambeth v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Davidson Cty., 407 F.3d 266, 269 (4th Cir. 2005) (citing Mellen v. Bunting, 327 F.3d 355, 367 (4th Cir. 2003)).

 

A.

 

I will briefly reiterate the operative facts. In Bladensburg, Maryland, in a median at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and U.S. Route 1, stands a war memorial consisting of a forty-foot-tall concrete Latin cross (the “Memorial”). The Memorial and the median are currently owned by Appellee Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (the “Commission”). Intervenor-Appellee American Legion’s symbol is displayed in the middle of the cross on both faces. The cross sits on a base and includes a plaque that lists the names of the forty-nine Prince George’s County residents who died in World War I. J.A. 1891. The plaque also states, “THIS MEMORIAL CROSS DEDICATED TO THE HEROES OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY MARYLAND WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR FOR THE LIBERTY OF THE WORLD,” and includes a quotation from President Woodrow Wilson. Id. Also, each face of the base is inscribed with one of four words: “VALOR,” “ENDURANCE,” “COURAGE,” and “DEVOTION.” J.A. 1963.

 

In 1918, a group of private citizens led the charge to construct and finance the Memorial. The donors signed a pledge stating that they, “trusting in God, the Supreme Ruler of the universe,” pledged their faith in the forty-nine war dead, whose spirits guided them “through life in the way of godliness, justice, and liberty.” J.A. 1168. The group also circulated a fundraising flyer stating,

 

Here, those who come to the Nation’s Capital to view the wonders of its architecture and the sacred places where their laws are made and administered may, before this Cross, rededicate[] themselves to the principles of their fathers and renew the fires of patriotism and loyalty to the nation which prompted these young men to rally to the defense of the right. And here the friends and loved ones of those who were in the great conflict will pass daily over a highway memorializing their boys who made the supreme sacrifice.

 

J.A. 2303.

 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Memorial and for Maryland Route 450 (then known as the National Defense Highway) in late 1919. Several local officials spoke about the fallen soldiers and how both the Memorial and highway would commemorate their bravery and sacrifice. But the private group ultimately failed to raise enough money to construct the Memorial and abandoned the project. The local post of the American Legion, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization, then took up the task and completed the Memorial on July 25, 1925. That day, the post held a ceremony which included multiple speeches regarding the Memorial’s representation of the men who died fighting for this country and an invocation and benediction delivered by local clergymen.

 

Over time, additional monuments honoring veterans were built near the Memorial (known as the “Veterans Memorial Park”). Because the Memorial sits in the middle of a median and is separated by a busy highway intersection, the closest additional monument is about 200 feet away. Since the Memorial’s completion, numerous events have been hosted there to celebrate Memorial Day, Veterans Day, the Fourth of July, and the remembrance of September 11th. These ceremonies usually include an invocation and benediction, but the record demonstrates that only three Sunday religious services were held at the Memorial—all of which occurred in August 1931. J.A. 347.

 

Due to increasing traffic on the highway surrounding it, the Commission acquired the Memorial and the median where it is located from the American Legion in March 1961. Since that time, the Commission has spent approximately $117,000 to maintain and repair the Memorial. In 2008, it set aside an additional $100,000 for renovations, of which only $5,000 has been spent as of 2015. J.A. 562–65. On February 25, 2014, more than fifty years after the Memorial passed into state ownership, Appellants initiated this suit against the Commission under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging a violation of the Establishment Clause.

 

B.

 

By concluding that the Memorial violates the Establishment Clause, the majority employed the Lemon test “with due consideration given to the factors outlined in Van Orden.” Maj. Op. at 16. In Van Orden, a plurality of the Supreme Court determined that the Lemon test was not useful when evaluating a “passive monument.” 545 U.S. at 686. Instead, the Court’s analysis was “driven both by the nature of the monument and by our Nation’s history.” Id. As the majority recognizes, Justice Breyer’s concurrence is the controlling opinion in Van Orden. Maj. Op. at 14. Justice Breyer states that the Court’s Establishment Clause tests, such as Lemon, cannot readily explain the Clause’s tolerance of religious activities in “borderline cases,” as there is “no single mechanical formula that can accurately draw the constitutional line in every case.” Van Orden, 454 U.S. at 699– 700 (Breyer, J., concurring). “If the relation between government and religion is one of separation, but not of mutual hostility and suspicion, one will inevitably find difficult borderline cases.” Id. at 700. Instead of applying Lemon to the challenged Ten Commandments display, Justice Breyer exercised his “legal judgment” and evaluated the context of the display and how the undeniably religious text of the Commandments was used. Id. at 700–04. His concurrence, however, also noted that Lemon provides a “useful guidepost[]—and might well lead to the same result”—for “no exact formula can dictate a resolution to such fact-intensive cases.” Id. at 700.

 

Relying on Lemon, and drawing guidance from Van Orden, the majority determined that the Commission articulated a legitimate secular purpose for displaying the Memorial. Nevertheless, the majority concluded that the Memorial failed Lemon’s second and third factors, finding that a reasonable observer would conclude that the Memorial has the primary effect of endorsing religion and the Commission’s maintenance of the Memorial constitutes excessive entanglement with religion. In my view, the majority misapplies Lemon and Van Orden to the extent that it subordinates the Memorial’s secular history and elements while focusing on the obvious religious nature of Latin crosses themselves; constructs a reasonable observer who ignores certain elements of the Memorial and reaches unreasonable conclusions; and confuses maintenance of a highway median and monument in a state park with excessive religious entanglement.

 

III.

 

Because Appellants do not challenge the district court’s finding that the Commission has demonstrated a secular purpose for displaying and maintaining the Memorial (the first Lemon factor), I will discuss in turn the majority’s evaluation of the second and third Lemon factors—whether the Memorial has the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion and whether the government is excessively entangled with religion.

 

A.

 

Under Lemon’s second factor, we must determine “whether a particular display, with religious content, would cause a reasonable observer to fairly understand it in its particular setting as impermissibly advancing or endorsing religion.” Lambeth, 407 F.3d at 271. This reasonable observer inquiry “requires the hypothetical construct of an objective observer who knows all of the pertinent facts and circumstances surrounding the [display] and its placement.” Salazar v. Buono, 559 U.S. 700, 721 (2010) (plurality opinion). We should not ask “whether there is any person who could find an endorsement of religion, whether some people may be offended by the display, or whether some reasonable person might think the State endorses religion.” Capitol Square Review & Advisory Bd. v. Pinette, 515 U.S. 753, 780 (1995) (O’Connor, J., concurring) (internal quotation marks omitted). Instead, we must determine “whether . . . the display’s principal or primary effect is to advance or inhibit religion; or, put differently, whether an informed, reasonable observer would view the display as an endorsement of religion.” Lambeth, 407 F.3d at 272.

 

It is undeniable that the Latin cross is the “preeminent symbol of Christianity.” Maj. Op. at 18. But we must be careful not to “focus exclusively on the religious component” of a display, as that “would inevitably lead to its invalidation under the Establishment Clause.” Lambeth, 407 F.3d at 271 (quoting Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 680 (1984)). Indeed, the Supreme Court “has consistently concluded that displays with religious content—but also with a legitimate secular use—may be permissible under the Establishment Clause.” Id. (citing Cty. of Allegheny v. Am. Civil Liberties Union, 492 U.S. 573, 579 (1989)). A reasonable observer would be aware that the cross is “not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs,” for it is “often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions, and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people.” Buono, 559 U.S. at 721.

 

Despite the religious nature of the Latin cross, a reasonable observer must also adequately consider the Memorial’s physical setting, history, and usage. The Memorial was created to commemorate the forty-nine soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, as explicitly stated on the plaque attached to its base. See J.A. 1891 (“THIS MEMORIAL CROSS DEDICATED TO THE HEROES OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY MARYLAND WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR FOR THE LIBERTY OF THE WORLD.”). The plaque also includes a quotation from President Woodrow Wilson stating, “The right is more precious than peace. We shall fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts. To such a task we dedicate our lives.” Id. Each face of the cross includes the American Legion seal and each face of the base is inscribed with one of four words: “VALOR,” “ENDURANCE,” “COURAGE,” and “DEVOTION.” J.A. 1963. The Memorial has functioned as a war memorial for its entire history, and it sits among other secular monuments in Veterans Memorial Park, though it is separated from the other monuments by intersecting highways.

 

The majority concludes that the size of the Latin cross making up the Memorial overwhelms these secular elements. In the majority’s view, the Memorial is unconstitutional based predominantly on the size of the cross, and neither its secular features nor history could overcome the presumption. But such a conclusion is contrary to our constitutional directive. We must fairly weigh the appearance, context, and factual background of the challenged display when deciding the constitutional question. See Lynch, 465 U.S. at 679–80; Cty. of Allegheny, 492 U.S. at 598–600. Although a reasonable observer would properly notice the Memorial’s large size, she would also take into account the plaque, the American Legion symbol, the four-word inscription, its ninety-year history as a war memorial, and its presence within a vast state park dedicated to veterans of other wars. Would the majority’s version of a reasonable observer be satisfied and better equipped to evaluate the Memorial’s history and context if the cross were smaller? Perhaps if it were the same size as the other monuments in the park? Though Establishment Clause cases require a fact-intensive analysis, we must bear in mind our responsibility to provide the government and public with notice of actions that violate the Constitution. What guiding principle can be gleaned from the majority’s focus on the cross’s size? Understandably, the majority’s decision would lead to per se findings that all large crosses are unconstitutional despite any amount of secular history and context, in contravention of Establishment Clause jurisprudence.

 

The majority also makes much of the Memorial’s isolation from the other monuments in Veterans Memorial Park, as it sits in the median of a now busy highway, making it difficult to access. But a reasonable observer would note that the Memorial was placed there as part of the concurrent creation of the National Defense Highway to commemorate the soldiers of World War I, not as a means of endorsing religion. And, though Veterans Memorial Park does not include any other religious symbols as memorials, there is no evidence that the state formally foreclosed the possibility of erecting any other religious symbol. Also, the reasonable observer would note that the Memorial’s physical setting does not lend itself to any religious worship. Van Orden, 545 U.S. at 702 (stating that religious display’s location in large park containing other monuments suggested “little or nothing sacred,” as it illustrated residents’ historical ideals and “did not readily lend itself to meditation or any other religious activity”).

 

Additionally, due to the Memorial’s location, the majority explains that a reasonable observer would not be able to easily examine the Memorial’s secular elements. Maj. Op. at 23. This is because the Memorial “is located in a high-traffic area and passers-by would likely be unable to read the plaque,” which is small and badly weathered. Id. at 23. However, the reasonable observer’s knowledge is not “limited to the information gleaned simply from viewing the challenged display.” Pinette, 515 U.S. at 780–81 (O’Connor, J., concurring). That the average person in the community may have difficulty viewing all of the secular elements of the Memorial while stuck in traffic or driving at high speeds is of no consequence, for the reasonable observer “is not to be identified with any ordinary individual, . . . but is rather a personification of a community ideal of reasonable behavior” who is “deemed aware of the history and context of the community and forum in which the religious display appears.” Id. at 779–80 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Thus, the reasonable observer’s ability to consider these secular elements is by no means diminished.

 

Further, quoting Trunk v. City of San Diego, 629 F.3d 1099, 1116 n.18 (9th Cir. 2011), the majority states that the large size and isolation of the Memorial “evokes a message of aggrandizement and universalization of religion, and not the message of individual memorialization and remembrance that is presented by a field of gravestones.” Maj. Op. at 22. In Trunk, the Ninth Circuit considered a forty-three-foot free-standing cross and veterans memorial erected in a state park. 629 F.3d at 1101. The court evaluated the history of the Latin cross generally, its use as a war memorial, the history of the particular war memorial at issue, and its physical setting. Id. at 1102–05, 1110–24. The cross in Trunk had no secular elements; instead, it was unadorned and without any physical indication that it was a war memorial until after litigation was initiated to remove it. Id. at 1101–02; see also Smith v. Cty. of Albemarle, 895 F.2d 953, 958 (4th Cir. 1990) (concluding that crèche, unassociated with any secular symbols, prominently displayed in front of government building, and unaccompanied by any other religious or nonreligious displays, conveyed message of governmental endorsement of religion). The court concluded that a reasonable observer would perceive the presence of the cross as the federal government’s endorsement of Christianity, due in part to its long history of serving as a site of religious observance, with no indication of any secular purpose for almost three decades. Id. at 1125.

 

But here, the Memorial has always served as a war memorial, has been adorned with secular elements for its entire history, and sits among other memorials in Veterans Memorial Park. The Memorial’s predominant use has been for Veterans Day and Memorial Day celebrations, although three religious services were conducted at the Memorial nearly ninety years ago. Also, the invocations and benedictions performed at the annual veterans celebrations are not enough to cause a reasonable observer to perceive the Memorial as an endorsement of Christianity in light of its overwhelmingly secular history and context. Further, guidance from Van Orden provides that the Memorial’s ninety-year existence and fifty-year government ownership without litigation is a strong indication that the reasonable observer perceived its secular message. See 545 U.S. at 702–03 (stating that challenged monument’s presence on government property for forty years provided determinative factor that it conveyed predominately secular message). The Memorial stands at a busy intersection, yet this case is the first time the Memorial has been challenged as unconstitutional. Those fifty years strongly suggest “that few individuals, whatever their system of beliefs, are likely to have understood the [Memorial] as amounting, in any significantly detrimental way, to a government effort . . . primarily to promote religion over nonreligion,” or to “engage in,” “compel,” or deter any religious practice or beliefs. Id. at 702 (quoting Schempp, 374 U.S. at 305 (Goldberg, J., concurring)); see also Buono, 559 U.S. at 716 (“Time also has played its role. [After] nearly seven decades[,] . . . the cross and the cause it commemorated had become entwined in the public consciousness.”). This significant passage of time must factor into the Court’s analysis and “help[] us understand that as a practical matter of degree [the Memorial] is unlikely to prove divisive.” Van Orden, 545 U.S. at 702.

 

With the foregoing facts, circumstances, and principles in mind, I conclude that a reasonable observer would understand that the Memorial, while displaying a religious symbol, is a war memorial built to celebrate the forty-nine Prince George’s County residents who gave their lives in battle. Such an observer would not understand the effect of the Commission’s display of the Memorial—with such a commemorative past and set among other memorials in a large state park—to be a divisive message promoting Christianity over any other religion or nonreligion. A cross near a busy intersection “need not be taken as a statement of governmental support for sectarian beliefs. The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion’s role in society. Rather, it leaves room to accommodate divergent values within a constitutionally permissible framework.” Buono, 559 U.S. at 718–19 (citations omitted). We must be careful not to push the Establishment Clause beyond its purpose in search of complete neutrality. “[U]ntutored devotion to the concept of neutrality can lead to invocation or approval of results which partake not simply of that noninterference and noninvolvement with the religious which the Constitution commands,” but of extreme commitment to the secular, “or even active, hostility to the religious.” Van Orden, 545 U.S. at 699 (quoting Schempp, 374 U.S. at 306 (Goldberg, J., concurring)). Finding that a reasonable observer would perceive the Memorial as an endorsement of Christianity would require that we pursue a level of neutrality beyond our constitutional mandate. I therefore conclude that the Memorial does not violate the second factor of the Lemon test.

 

B.

 

The Lemon test’s final factor asks whether the challenged display has created an “excessive entanglement” between government and religion. Lambeth, 407 F.3d at 272– 73. “The kind of excessive entanglement of government and religion precluded by Lemon is characterized by ‘comprehensive, discriminating, and continuing state surveillance.’” Id. at 273 (quoting Lemon, 403 U.S. at 619). This inquiry is one of “kind and degree,” Lynch, 465 U.S. at 684, “and because some interaction between church and state is inevitable, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that the ‘[e]ntanglement must be “excessive” before it runs afoul of the Establishment Clause,’” Koenick v. Felton, 190 F.3d 259, 268 (4th Cir. 1999) (quoting Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203, 233 (1997)).

 

The majority concludes that the Memorial fosters excessive entanglement because of the Commission’s ownership and maintenance of the Memorial. But the Commission’s maintenance of the Memorial and the land surrounding it could hardly be considered the sort of state surveillance that Lemon intends to prohibit. See Lemon, 403 U.S. at 615–20 (concluding that challenged action excessively entangled state with religion by requiring state to supplement salaries for teachers in parochial schools); see also Mellen, 327 F.3d at 375 (determining that public university’s supper prayer violated Lemon’s third prong because school officials “composed, mandated, and monitored a daily prayer”). Rather, the Commission is merely maintaining a monument within a state park and a median in between intersecting highways that must be well lit for public safety reasons. There is no evidence that the Commission consults with any churches or religious organizations to determine who may access the Memorial for events. Nor is there evidence that the Commission is required to be involved in any church-related activities to maintain the Memorial.

 

Further, the majority observes that “any use of public funds to promote religious doctrines violates the Establishment Clause.” Bowen v. Kendrick, 487 U.S. 589, 623 (1988) (O’Connor, J., concurring). But, in Agostini, the Supreme Court held that a federally funded program that paid public school teachers to teach disadvantaged children in parochial schools did not cause an excessive entanglement between church and state. 521 U.S. at 234–35. Likewise, the Commission’s use of $122,000 over the course of fifty-plus years for lighting and upkeep is not a promotion of any religious doctrine, as the Memorial is a historical monument honoring veterans.

 

I therefore conclude that the Memorial does not violate the third factor of the Lemon test.

 

*         *         *                              

 

This Memorial stands in witness to the VALOR, ENDURANCE, COURAGE, and DEVOTION of the forty-nine residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland “who lost their lives in the Great War for the liberty of the world.” I cannot agree that a monument so conceived and dedicated and that bears such witness violates the letter or spirit of the very Constitution these heroes died to defend. Accordingly, I would affirm the district court’s judgment.

______________

Edited by John R. Houk

Source links as well as text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

The Fallacy of “Separation of Church and State”


The best intro to this essay submission from Justin Smith can be summed up from an excerpt:

 

Any attack against Christianity and Judaism in America using the fallacy of “separation of Church and State” is simply an attempt to further undermine, not only Our U.S. Constitution and Religious Liberty, but Our entire traditional American way of life. Do not accept the Fallacy.

 

JRH 8/6/17

Please Support NCCR

***************

The Fallacy of “Separation of Church and State”

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 8/5/2017 3:36 PM

 

The Founding Fathers believed that government’s role in religion should be limited. We cannot discount that the First Amendment begins “Congress shall make no law” either establishing a state religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Rather than articulate an affirmative responsibility for government to protect religion, the Founding Fathers felt it was enough to keep the government out. If nothing else, the language of the First Amendment makes it clear the goal was to restrain government when it came to religion. There is no suggestion the Founders felt the establishment clause and the free exercise clause were in any way competing. Otherwise, why would the Founders include the two clauses together?

 

The point was to keep government out of both realms. Both clauses were needed because it was not sufficient to restrain government from establishing a state religion; government also had to be restrained from any attempt to interfere with religious practices and beliefs. The negative language of the First Amendment does not prohibit Congress from passing a law that promotes religion, provided the judgement does not promote one religion over others.

Before the bad law and judicial activism that started with the abuse of the Constitution by Justice Hugo Black in Everson v Board of Education (1947), the states were not prohibited under the First Amendment from establishing religion, and nowhere in the debate on freedom of religion in the first Congress is there any mention of “separation of church and state.” Our Founders own writings clearly show that they never intended for public officials to check their convictions and beliefs at the door to their offices. They would have been shocked by the Court’s excessively broad interpretation of the First Amendment, given the language the Founders crafted with the belief it would protect open expression of religious beliefs in America.

 

The Founders most certainly would have rebelled against the idea of an absolute “separation of church and state” and the use of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to eradicate all Judeo-Christian references to God from the public square, because these ideas are incompatible with the Original Intent and unalienable rights granted to each of us by our Creator, thus making them erroneous and historically unsupportable.

 

[Blog Editor: Here’s an interesting thought on how the Left and Activist Judges misused the 14th Amendment to rob the Original Intent of the First Amendment:

 

When did things change?

 

Charles Darwin theory’s that species could evolve inspired a political theorist named Herbert Spencer to suggest that laws could evolve. This influenced Harvard Law Dean Christopher Columbus Langdell to develop the “case precedent” method of practicing law, which influenced his student, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

 

This occurred near the same time the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868, introduced by Republicans in Congress to guarantee rights to freed slaves in the Democrat South. The evolutionary “case-precedent” method provided a way to side-step the Constitutional means of changing the Constitution through the Amendment process.

 

Activist Justices began to creatively use the 14th Amendment to take jurisdiction away from the states over issues such as unions, strikes, railroads, farming, polygamy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly.

 

Freedom of religion was still under each individual state’s jurisdiction until Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 

 

In 1937, FDR nominated Justice Hugo Black to the Supreme Court, who also concentrated power by writing decisions taking jurisdiction away from the states in the area of religion. He did this by simply inserting the phrase “Neither a state” in his 1947 Everson v Board of Education decision: “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another.” READ ENTIRE ARTICLE (THIS IS HOW ATHEISM BECAME OUR OFFICIAL ‘RELIGION’; By BILL FEDERER; WND; 1/15/16 9:01 PM)

 

Now I can’t vouch for this being Justin Smith’s thought on the 14th Amendment, but using the effect of Darwinism in the development of Case Law to have more authority than Original Intent is enlightening to me.]

On New Year’s Day 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists to assuage their fear that the federal government might one day attempt to condition religious freedom as a right granted by the state. Jefferson, an anti-Federalist [Blog Editor: Federalist/Anti-Federalist Perspectives – HERE, HERE & HERE], clearly stated his intention to keep government out of religious affairs rather than empower it to remove religion from the public arena: “Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in the behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural rights in opposition to his social duties.”

The First Amendment compels government not to eradicate religion from the public arena. If the expression of religious beliefs is an inherent God-designed part of human nature, as the Declaration of Independence proclaimed, then government acting to remove religion from the public sphere would have seemed to Our Founding Fathers to be acting in a manner antithetical to Our Founding Principles.

It is almost as if Justice Black decided the First Amendment was equivalent to the biblical admonition to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s, under the assumption that a discernible distinction could be made without conflict between what was Caesar’s and what was God’s. The whole point of the First Amendment’s attempt to protect freedom of religion is that over time Caesar tends to intrude upon God.

 

In 1948, the Supreme Court ruled in McCollom v Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948) that religious education provided by churches on public school grounds in Illinois during the school day was unconstitutional. Then in 1952, in Zorach v Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952), the Supreme Court found that allowing New York students to leave school grounds for religious education was constitutional. Dissenting in Zorach, Justice Black wrote, “I see no significant difference between the invalid Illinois system and that of New York here sustained.” If Justice Black, the author of the court’s majority opinion in Everson, could not distinguish these cases, how could state, county, city or municipal school officials be expected to make the distinction reliably?

 

A Godless public square could not be more antithetical to what Our Founding Fathers thought they were achieving when drafting the First Amendment, and the Courts distort precedent whenever they use the Establishment Clause to crush all things religious Ironically, the very language crafted to protect religious freedom has now reached the point at which Americans can only be assured freedom from religion in all places within this nation, with the possible exceptions of prayer confined to church and free expression of religion confined to the privacy of one’s home.

Jefferson made a poignant remark in Notes on the State of Virginia, which clarifies his thinking: “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?[Blog Editor’s Emphasis]

 

Why didn’t the Supreme Court choose this text for their ruling? [Blog Editor’s Emphasis] Or his use of “natural rights” in other documents? Justice Clarence Thomas once stated: “… this Court’s nebulous Establishment Clause analyses, turn on little more than “judicial predilections … It should be noted that the extent to which traditional Judeo-Christian religion is removed from the public square and the public schools, it is replaced by other religions, including Secular Humanism, which is specifically recognized as a religion by the Supreme Court.”
In order to combat this assault on religious freedom and religious liberty, to date, twenty-one states have enacted Religious Freedom Restoration Acts since 1993. Currently, ten states [5/4/17 – 9 States] are considering legislation on the topic this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Virginia amended their state RFRA, but otherwise no states have passed their legislation.
For eight decades, the ACLU has been America’s leading religious censor, waging a largely uncontested war, until recently, against America’s core values, utilizing every fallacy, piece of misinformation and outright LIE imaginable in its war against religious liberty, with the support of much of the current Marxist media; both are intent on destroying traditional America, including the nuclear family. We now live in a country where our traditional Christian and Jewish faith and religion — civilizing forces in any society — are openly mocked and increasingly pushed to the margins, and our weapon to stop them is the Founding Fathers’ own words and their Original Intent regarding the U.S. Constitution.
Ultimately, two very diverse thinkers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams concluded, that without virtue based on a solid belief in God, Liberty was inevitably lost. In other words, if the Supreme Court, through the efforts of Communists, atheists and fools and ACLU prompting, succeeds in removing the Judeo-Christian God from American public life, a foundation pillar upon which American liberty has depended will have been removed, perhaps irretrievably. Without the open expression of religious freedom so fundamental to American liberty that it is written into the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, American Liberty will not long persist.

 

Americans cannot and must not allow the Communists and atheists of this nation and the ACLU to secularize America to the point where our tolerance is turned into silencing and punishing religious speech. Life is valuable; marriage is a God-ordained institution between one man and one woman, and families are comprised of a male father and a female mother with any number of children. Any attack against Christianity and Judaism in America using the fallacy of “separation of Church and State” is simply an attempt to further undermine, not only Our U.S. Constitution and Religious Liberty, but Our entire traditional American way of life. Do not accept the Fallacy.

 

By Justin O. Smith

__________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All links and any text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith