|To AFA-Michigan supporters…
This letter from American Family Association of Indiana is so good on several points that I want to share it with you. Thanks as always for your support!
Dozens of Congressmen
This week, 41 members of Congress signed on to a federal appeals court brief that defends Indiana state law preventing Hoosier tax dollars from going to subsidize the abortion industry.
The friend of the court brief from the American Center for Law and Justice follows an earlier brief from the Thomas Moore Law Center in which 60 state legislators signed on to defend the new law. The legal briefs are part of the stateâ€™s appeal of a lower court ruling by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, which put the new law on hold and restored tax funding to Planned Parenthood.
The ACLJ brief argues for Indianaâ€™s right to set parameters for Medicaid recipients. They note, â€œFederal Medicaid statutes and regulations give States broad discretion to craft the rules applicable to their Medicaid programs. Congress left intact the Statesâ€™ authority to determine what makes an entity qualified to provide Medicaid services, 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1396a(p)(1), while ensuring that Medicaid recipients may utilize any practitioner deemed to be qualified under State law, 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1396a(a)(23). Since HEA 1210 does not limit a beneficiaryâ€™s ability to choose among providers that are deemed to be qualified, it is consistent with federal Medicaid law.â€
This stateâ€™s rights argument has been mentioned in many news reports. Perhaps more interesting is another argument in the ACLJ brief that urges the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn the lower court decision. It attacks Planned Parenthood and the ACLUâ€™s â€œnovel claim that abortion providers have a constitutional right to perform abortions and receive public funds; if accepted, this argument would unduly restrict the policy discretion that Congress and state and local governments have to decide how to spend public funds.â€ Calling the abortion industryâ€™s audacious claim to a constitutional right to our tax dollars â€œnovelâ€ is kind to say the least.
The ACLJ brief is signed by the following members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
The Term â€œPro-Choiceâ€ May
Speaking of abortion, a new poll from Gallup has some very interesting findings. The proponents of abortion often claim that most Americans are â€œpro-choiceâ€ when it comes to abortion. There are recent surveys challenging this assertion in terms of the self-identification between being pro-life or pro-choice. Even if most Americans are â€œpro-choice,â€ it probably doesnâ€™t mean what you think or what abortion advocates imply.
The Gallup survey of â€œpro-choiceâ€ Americans actually finds that most of these people agree with pro-life Americans on nine significant areas. For example, 86% of â€œpro-choiceâ€ individuals favor informed consent legislation which gives women information about abortion and alternatives beforehand. Two-thirds (63%) of â€œpro-choiceâ€ Americans favor banning the grisly partial birth abortion procedure. Sixty-percent support parental consent laws for minors seeking an abortion. Half (52%) of â€œpro-choiceâ€ Americans want abortions to be made illegal after the second trimester and 79% want third trimester abortions outlawed. One major difference is that most (64%) â€œpro-choiceâ€ Americans support abortion as a means of birth control in the first trimester.
As noted in previous surveys, Gallup has also reconfirmed that those who attend regular religious services (â€œchurchgoersâ€) are twice as likely to be pro-life compared to those who rarely or never attend church services.
The Tail Wagging the Dog
I had a media interview late last week in regard to new US Census Bureau data showing numbers homosexual households in Indiana. When asked if I was surprised at the numbers, I said yes, not at their large size, but at how that minority are given the disproportional political and cultural influence homosexuals wield.
I have similar numbers from the year prior to those the reporter cited, and they are revealing. (Keep in mind that a recent Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans mistakenly believe that 25% of the US population is homosexual or bi-sexual. In reality that number is less than 3%.)
In Indiana, based upon Census Bureau data released in April 2010, there were only 10,200 same-sex couples living together in Indiana. Contrast this with 1,251,500 married Hoosier couples and same-sex couples account for just three-tenths of one percent of the household population in Indiana. In state after state, this percentage is nearly the same. Nationally the percentage of same-sex couples compared to married households is only 0.4%.
Some would argue that if homosexuals currently living together and therefore most likely to marry are so few, what is the harm of un-defining marriage. (For all of their claims of needing to redefine marriage when given the chance to â€œmarryâ€ in Europe or in states like Massachusetts, relatively few homosexuals actually do so. Most reject marriage, raising questions about their claims of disadvantage, denied rights, property sharing difficulties and marriage inequality.)
The real question is if the numbers are so small, why disrupt society by further devaluing marriage, rewriting school curricula, limiting religious speech, closing faith-based charities and other problems associated with same-sex marriage just to appease a very vocal, yet small 0.3% of cohabiting population? What of other behaviors and lifestyle choices? Must marriage be redefined to accommodate them too?
Given the societal importance of marriage and the traditional family, discarding the logical time-tested boundaries of marriage to appease a vocal, and tiny special interest group when poll after poll shows most Americans want marriage to remain as it always has been truly is a radical notion.
One Reason Why the Tail
In light of the data above, a logical question one may ask is why is American culture so pro-gay and morally decadent in virtually every way imaginable? May I suggest that the one-in-four of Americans who identify themselves as evangelical Christians are not following the Biblical directive to be â€œsalt and light.â€ A staggering majority, betwene 76% and 78%, of Americans still identify themselves a Christians.
Why, given such large demographic numbers, is the culture so hostile to basic traditional values, parents, children, faith, etc? There are several reasons for this problem. One of them was found in a survey of pastors from Your Church Magazine that I mentioned in a recent weekly AFA-IN e-mail. The survey found that more than half of the ministers (55%) surveyed admitted that they would not preach at all or only sparingly on certain subjects. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) listed politics as the top subject they would avoid. One-in-four said that they would not mention homosexuality. When it came to the issue of abortion, 18% said that they would not mention this subject from the pulpit. Nearly one-in-ten said that they would not mention the subject or doctrine of Hell.
It is not as though God does not have things to say about these subjects and the issues of the day as revealed in His Word. The primary reason cited for avoiding certain subjects was that it might negatively impact church attendance. Yet, if the pulpits of our nation are silent on the issues its congregants confront daily in news headlines and the culture, how can we expect folks to live counter-culturally rather than mirroring everything around them?
(By the way, I am very excited about a new book coming out in a few weeks from Hoosier talk show host, Peter Heck, precisely about this issue of being salt and light in the world and taking back the culture. You can learn more about his book here: http://www.peterheck.com/78)
The church serves a role as the conscience of a nation, and unlike most government programs, faith changes lives from the inside out. Still, cultural change does not rest solely at the feet of the church. This is where groups like AFA of Indiana play a vital part. Your financial and prayer support of AFA-IN is always welcome and helpful. If you would like to stand with us, you can make a tax-deductible donation online or mail one to us at: PO Box 40307, Indianapolis, IN 46240.
|“I know just for writing this I will get called every vile and vicious name in the book by those spouting ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity.’ So what? …Let the haters hate. My response is to kick the dust off my sandals, move on to the next town, and keep doing what Iâ€™m doing. Iâ€™ve read the end of the book several times. We win, and they lose, every time I do. We succumb too often to these (homosexual activist) bullies. …And bullies donâ€™t stop beating you until you stand your ground. …As long as Christians continue to cower in fear of this scant minority of troublemakers, they will continue to feast on our fear. In the process they will maintain control of our schools and cultural institutions as well, and we will watch as the next generation turns its back on Christ and embraces an ideology that says people are good just the way they are and donâ€™t need a Savior instead.
At the rate theyâ€™re going, it wonâ€™t be much longer that theyâ€™ll make it almost impossible for Christians operating within the free market to earn an honest living without succumbing to political correctness… This is our own fault. Any time a righteous majority is being bullied by maybe (generously) 6% of the population, it is indictment on them, not the troublemakers. How is it that Corporate America is more afraid of offending maybe 6% of the population as opposed to the droves that faithfully attend churches on Sunday? This is another costly sign of our own complacency and compromise being used against us. …Neville Chamberlain Christianity is killing this country.”
Neville Chamberlain is still wrong
by Steve Deace
The lack of support from the American Christian community to the homosexual movement targeting the family and business of Marcus and Michele Bachmann would make Neville Chamberlain proud.
Like the disgraced former British Prime Minister, who became a historic symbol of cowardice and complacency in exchange for peace at any cost, too many American Christians refuse to actually see the grim reality of the culture they live in lest that would mean theyâ€™d actually have to do something about it.
In case you missed it, Marcus Bachmann (husband of the GOP presidential candidate) dares to actually believe the Bible is true in his vocation, and not the pagan politically correct dogma of the day. Therefore, he helps those desiring to leave behind the depravity, emptiness, and self-destructiveness of homosexuality to embrace their new identity in Christ and find the peace that passes all understanding that comes only from an intimate relationship with Him.
For those of you that went to public school and received your duly-appointed taxpayer-subsidized indoctrination, this may sound like blasphemy until you actually meet one of the several thousand former homosexuals walking the streets in America today. Several of whom I have interviewed over the years. However, I have yet to interview a former African-American or a former Hispanic.
Regardless of whether or not you think Congresswoman Bachmann would make a good president is irrelevant to the point of this piece. There is a higher law at stake here than just the next presidential election, as important as that may be. Once again the double-standard that is corrupting our culture is at play. Once again Christians corporately seem either hesitant or completely unwilling to confront it, and until that changes few things in this country will for the better.
Remember a few years ago when Muslims ironically protested the Pope talking about Islam being a violent religion by lashing out violently? In a similarly self-indicting moment of clarity, the homosexual activists in the below video are likewise ironically protesting Marcus Bachmann referring to them as barbarians by being at least a bit barbaric.
Now, letâ€™s turn the tables on the players involved.
Imagine for a second that you are a Christian that believes the Bible is true. You walk into an establishment that caters to those who indulge in homosexual behavior, and disrupt their business just as the homosexual activists do to Marcus Bachmannâ€™s counseling clinic in the video. Imagine that you walk through the front door with a camera, open up your Bible to the Book of Romansâ€™ first chapter, and read the following excerpt aloud:
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know Godâ€™s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
What do you think the reaction of the media, or the local police for that matter, would be to such behavior? Do you think it would be as giggly and friendly as the coverage has been of the boorish behavior of the homosexual activists at the Bachmann clinic, or the other GOP candidates they have â€œglitter-bombed?â€
For the record, I wouldnâ€™t typically condone a Christian behaving in such a manner, because the Bible teaches Christians to be far more concerned with their own behavior and the behavior of their fellow Christian than it does pagans, but thatâ€™s beside the point. The reality is there is a double-standard here, and that homosexual activists who often back phony-baloney anti-bullying bills are often themselves the bullies.
They target businesses. They target free speech. They target religious freedom. They target anyone and anything that doesnâ€™t affirm their sinful and self-destructive dogma. They are the most rigid and aggressive fundamentalists in America. The truth is they and fellow knuckle-dragger Fred Phelps is a match made in Hell and deserves each other.
However, the rest of us who just want to live in peace and walk humbly with our God no longer deserve to be bothered by either of them.
Theyâ€™re both bullies. Sadly, Iâ€™m a bit of an expert on bullies given my background. The one thing I know about bullies is theyâ€™re all the same. Once you no longer fear them and their tactics, they have no plan B. This is where my perceived fearlessness comes from. Itâ€™s a self-defense mechanism I developed based on the environment I came from. Once I got over being afraid of the bully at home, I ceased being afraid of bullies period.
For example, I know just for writing this I will get called every vile and vicious name in the book by those spouting â€œtoleranceâ€ and â€œdiversity.â€ So what? Whatever happened to sticks and stones may break my bones, but words (or names) can never hurt me? Let the haters hate. My response is to kick the dust off my sandals, move on to the next town, and keep doing what Iâ€™m doing. Iâ€™ve read the end of the book several times. We win, and they lose, every time I do.
We succumb too often to these bullies. We let them have our bully pulpit, and they beat us to a bloody pulp with it. And bullies donâ€™t stop beating you until you stand your ground. Thatâ€™s true of these bullies as well.
As long as Christians continue to cower in fear of this scant minority of troublemakers, they will continue to feast on our fear. In the process they will maintain control of our schools and cultural institutions as well, and we will watch as the next generation turns its back on Christ and embraces an ideology that says people are good just the way they are and donâ€™t need a Savior instead.
At the rate theyâ€™re going, it wonâ€™t be much longer that theyâ€™ll make it almost impossible for Christians operating within the free market to earn an honest living without succumbing to political correctness because of the pressure theyâ€™re putting on the system. During one of my many job conversations the past few months, I spoke to a radio management executive who told me itâ€™s getting increasingly harder to sell advertising in national conservative talk radio despite the high ratings, because of how aggressive the homosexual agenda is in targeting increasingly squeamish corporations.
This is our own fault.
Any time a righteous majority is being bullied by maybe (generously) 6% of the population it is indictment on them, not the troublemakers. How is it that Corporate America is more afraid of offending maybe 6% of the population as opposed to the droves that faithfully attend churches on Sunday? This is another costly sign of our own complacency and compromise being used against us.
We refuse to stand up to these bullies with the right balance of grace and truth. I once spoke to a former homosexual activist named Charlene Cothran, and she told me it was a Christian woman boldly demonstrating that balance of grace and truth that God used to deliver her from that lifestyle and transform her life. Had that Christian woman cowered in the face of political correctness, Charlene Cothran might still be living a dangerous and self-destructive lie.
Neville Chamberlain Christianity is killing this country. Weâ€™re supposed to be peace-makers, not strive for peace no matter the cost. Not to mention, can there truly be peace without conflict? The peace I have now is a result of the conflict between the life God was calling me to live and the life I was living when He called me.
I believe homosexual activists are so aggressive and/or confrontational because they struggle with the same inner conflict I once did. Part of Marcus Bachmannâ€™s mission appears to be bringing those struggling with that conflict who desire peace in their hearts to the foot of the Cross of the One that offers it. For that mission of mercy heâ€™s being vilified by the very people heâ€™s trying to save.
Perhaps if more Christians followed his example of not running away from the conflict thereâ€™d be more peaceâ€”both in our culture and in the hearts of those ensnared by the homosexual lifestyle.
â€œBlessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.â€
IN GOD WE TRUST
With gratitude for your support throughout
And relying on Him for our provision, as we always do, please consider
On June 30th, we fell short of covering all of last month’s operating costs.
Thanks as always for your support, and may God bless, heal, and restore
GRAND RAPIDS PRESS — Michigan anti-bullying legislation advocates disagree over language in stalled bill
|“A (bullying) bill calling itself ‘Mattâ€™s Safe School Law’ awaits a vote in the Senate. It requires public school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies and submit them to the state. … It does not include language, as does another proposed bill, that specifies a studentâ€™s real or perceived race, religion and sexual orientation in its definition of bullying. The American Family Association (of Michigan) has objected to that language as ‘a Trojan horse for homosexual activistsâ€™ political agenda.’â€
GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
Michigan anti-bullying legislation advocates
by Charley Honey
Those concerned about bullying agree schools need policies to discourage it. What they canâ€™t agree on is what those policies should say.
State legislation requiring public schools to have such policies has yet to be adopted in Lansing after 10 years of pushing by advocates. The State Board of Education in 2001 asked districts to adopt policies and issued a model policy in 2006. Michigan is one of only five states without such laws, Gov. Rick Snyder pointed out in urging passage of a bill.
â€œOne of the reasons this billâ€™s been stalled for so long is we have adults saying â€˜This is what we want,â€™ not â€˜This is what our kids need,â€™â€ said Kevin Epling, co-director of Bully Police USA, whose son, Matt, committed suicide in 2002.
A bill calling itself â€œMattâ€™s Safe School Lawâ€ awaits a vote in the Senate. It requires public school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies and submit them to the state. It does not apply to private schools.
Epling calls it a â€œmuch reduced versionâ€ of the originally proposed Mattâ€™s law and hopes it is strengthened. It does not include language, as does another proposed bill, that specifies a studentâ€™s real or perceived race, religion and sexual orientation in its definition of bullying.
The American Family Association has objected to that language as â€œa Trojan horse for homosexual activistsâ€™ political agenda.â€
â€œI think a child shouldnâ€™t be bullied, whether they be gay or obese or have red hair,â€ said Jones, whose district includes Barry and Allegan counties. â€œIf we start having enumerations in there, we could be back every six months putting in a new classification.â€
Religious schools keep pace
Local Christian and Catholic schools have their own policies but are keeping an eye on the state legislation.
â€œOur Student Dignity Policy has been adequate for us in the past, but with a new policy coming from the state, we should
The Catholic secondary schoolsâ€™ policy prohibits sexual and racial harassment, including threats, name-calling and posting â€œharmful information on the Internet.â€
â€œThe Gospel doesnâ€™t just call us to tolerance of one another, it calls us to love one another,â€ Faber said. â€œThatâ€™s what weâ€™re bringing to students.â€
The Grand Rapids Christian Schools board Monday is slated to approve revisions to its policy on bullying. The policy includes consequences but also ways to reconcile those who bully back into the school community, Superintendent Tom DeJonge said.
â€œWe talk about how students are to be treated in love, whether theyâ€™re the guilty party or not,â€ DeJonge said, â€œand that, in Christ, we provide supports and resources for those that have been harmed as well as those doing the harming.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t mean thereâ€™s not punishment, but itâ€™s also about rebuilding a community thatâ€™s been broken.â€
|“To preserve our Republic,
our religion, and our
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s prayer
Click to listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAUDj6yQx9U
Let us also pray that the day will soon come again, that the President of
As President Roosevelt prayed: “Thy will be done, Almighty God.”
|AFA-Michigan President Gary Glenn is the guest this weekend on “Off the Record,” the weekly public affairs television show featuring a roundtable discussion with political reporters from the state Capitol in Lansing.
The topic: Is there a coming clash between Gov. Rick Snyder and the legislative agenda of conservative lawmakers and advocacy groups such as the American Family Association of Michigan?
Click here to watch: http://video.wkar.org/video/1966735959
Off the Record also airs on public education channels statewide — in the Lansing area on WKAR-TV Channel 23 at 11:30 pm tonight (Friday), and 12:30 pm and 11:30 pm Sunday, and in Midland, Friday at 8:30 pm on Charter Cable channel 9 and noon Sunday on channel 12. Check your local cable listings.
The topics discussed:
* Right to Work legislation, which would prohibit compulsory union membership or financial support as a condition of employment. Gary cited polls which in 2004 showed that two-thirds of union members in Michigan supported our state’s Marriage Protection Amendment, which he co-authored, when it appeared on the ballot. But those same union members, Christians and others, were forced under threat of being fired to financially support the state AFL-CIO and Michigan Education Association, which campaigned against the marriage amendment. Gary led the successful effort to make Idaho a Right to Work state a quarter-century ago. http://bit.ly/dtYzXb
* Posting our national motto “In God We Trust” in public school classrooms, such as reported here: http://bit.ly/jJa1Y6
* Anti-bullying legislation, such as reported here: http://bit.ly/jr1Ek1
* Preventing the use of public school classrooms to promote homosexual behavior and gender confusion. Gary specifically cited this Fox News report: http://bit.ly/iVrJac
To support AFA-Michigan’s stand for families and traditional family values, please make a tax-deductible contribution online by clicking here: http://bit.ly/kuE98X
Or by mail to: AFA-Michigan, PO Box 1904, Midland, MI 48641
Thanks, and may God bless and strengthen you and your family!
Please e-mail Attorney General Bill Schuette and thank him for his stand against discriminatory “sexual orientation” policies by which Michigan universities persecute and violate the civil and religious free speech rights of Christian students.
E-mail the Attorney General: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Eastern Michigan University discriminated against former student Julea Ward when it dismissed her from its counseling program after she said her Christian beliefs prohibited her from counseling a gay client, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a court filing. …Ward sued the university after it dismissed her from its graduate counseling program in 2009 after she refused to work on a gay client’s relationship issues in a clinical program. She said she believes homosexuality is immoral and being gay or lesbian is a choice and thus she could not in good conscience counsel the client.
…’There is a striking difference between EMU’s written standards and EMU’s application of those rules to Julea Ward,’ the brief by Schuette’s office said. ‘Indeed, the evidence suggests that Ward was punished and ultimately dismissed from the program solely for her attempt to exercise disfavored religious beliefs, not for a violation of the code. The attorney general’s brief, filed Friday, also suggests political correctness was at work, suggesting ‘that EMU ‘weeded out’ Ward solely because of her religious views to ensure that only candidates with the ‘right’ beliefs are admitted to the counseling profession.'”
DETROIT FREE PRESS
March 15, 2011
Attorney General Bill Schuette: EMU’s student’s
religious beliefs against homosexuality violated
by David Jesse / Detroit Free Press Higher Education Writer
LANSING, Mi. — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has waded into a closely watched federal appeals case, siding with an Eastern Michigan University student who claims her dismissal from the university for refusing to counsel gay and lesbian patients violated her religious belief against homosexuality.
Schuette is the latest entrant in a case that has drawn conservative and religious groups, public universities and civil liberties organizations.
“This case really is at the intersection of a lot of values,” said Christopher Lund, an assistant law professor at Wayne State University who specializes in religious liberty issues.
“There’s gay rights versus religious liberty and the rights of individuals versus the rights of the universities to set curriculum. Whenever all those cross, you’ve got a lot of people and organizations that are interested.”
The suit also shows Schuette’s willingness to weigh in on social issues.
“This case signals he will act on questions of constitutionality, such as the case of President Obama’s health care law,” said AG spokesman John Sellek. “This case is also a constitutional issue, where no one should lose their religious freedoms as they work to get an education.”
A case study of religious versus university rights
Eastern Michigan University discriminated against former student Julea Ward when it dismissed her from its counseling program after she said her Christian beliefs prohibited her from counseling a gay client, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a court filing.
That’s not the case at all, EMU said. Ward was dismissed because her refusal to counsel the patient didn’t follow the assigned curriculum and professional ethics guidelines set up the American Counseling Association, the school said.
EMU’s position has been upheld by a federal judge. Now Ward, with briefs of support from Schuette and a number of religious rights organizations, has appealed that ruling. Oral arguments are expected to begin later this year.Â It’s a case that’s being closely watched, not only by religious organizations, but by other universities. Nine Michigan public universities have filed a brief supporting EMU, saying the case is about who controls curriculum — the university or the students.
“Fundamentally, this case raises the question of whether universities have the freedom to determine their own curricula or whether they must fashion their curricular requirements around the religious, political, social, philosophical and ideological beliefs and expressions of each and every students,” said the brief submitted by the University of Michigan, Central Michigan, Grand Valley State, Michigan State, and five other schools.
It was written by Debra Kowich of U-M’s general counsel office, who wrote that a ruling for Ward “could require universities to dilute their curricular requirements to the point that they would not possibly offend any student of any faith” or political view.
But that’s not how Ward sees it. She and her attorneys at the Alliance Defense Fund say the case is about religious discrimination.
Ward sued the university after it dismissed her from its graduate counseling program in 2009 after she refused to work on a gay client’s relationship issues in a clinical program. She said she believes homosexuality is immoral and being gay or lesbian is a choice and thus she could not in good conscience counsel the client.
EMU said it dismissed her because she didn’t follow a code of ethics that requires counselors to set aside their own personal beliefs in order to work with clients.
Judge George Steeh of the U.S. District Court in Detroit ruled for EMU last July, saying the school was within its rights to dismiss Ward for failing to follow its curriculum. The judge wrote that Ward “has distorted the facts in this case to support her position that defendants dismissed her due to her religious beliefs.”
Ward and her attorneys, a legal group that works to uphold the rights of religious college students and faculty, have asked the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to step in. They did not return calls seeking comment on Monday.
But in their legal brief for Ward, the lawyers wrote that “EMU violated Ms. Ward’s right to the free exercise of religion by acting as arbiters of her religious beliefs.”
Schuette agrees with them.
“There is a striking difference between EMU’s written standards and EMU’s application of those rules to Julea Ward,” the brief by Schuette’s office said. “Indeed, the evidence suggests that Ward was punished and ultimately dismissed from the program solely for her attempt to exercise disfavored religious beliefs, not for a violation of the code.
The attorney general’s brief, filed Friday, also suggests political correctness was at work, suggesting “that EMU ‘weeded out’ Ward solely because of her religious views to ensure that only candidates with the ‘right’ beliefs are admitted to the counseling profession.”
A number of gay rights groups have weighed in as well, including a brief filed jointly by the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Affirmations and the Ruth Ellis Center in support of EMU, which says counselors, especially school counselors (which Ward wanted to be), must be supportive of students, whatever their own views.
“A school counselor who is unwilling to assist such students, or worse, a counselor who expresses disapproval of a student’s status as LGBT — is both incapable of doing her job and likely to cause significant harm,” the groups’ brief said.
EMU says the case is about its curriculum, and nothing else. “This case has never been about religion or religious discrimination,” EMU spokesman Walter Kraft said in a statement last week. “It is not about homosexuality or sexual orientation. This case is about what is in the best interest of a client who is in need of counseling, and following the curricular requirements of our highly respected and nationally accredited counseling program.”
Voices in the debate over
EMU student’s dismissal
Julea Ward’s suit against Eastern Michigan University
has attracted many groups interested in the outcome.
Filed legal briefs supporting Ward
â€¢ National Association of Scholars
â€¢ The American Center for Law and Justice
â€¢ Justice and Freedom Fund
â€¢ The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
â€¢ Foundation for Moral Law
â€¢ Michigan attorney general
Filed legal briefs supporting EMU
â€¢ American Counseling Association
â€¢ ACLU, ACLU of Michigan
â€¢ Affirmations; Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network; Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays; Ruth Ellis Center.
â€¢ Central Michigan, Grand Valley State, Michigan State, Northern Michigan, Oakland, Saginaw Valley, Wayne State, and Western Michigan universities, University of Michigan
â€¢ Americans United for Separation of Church and State
|Gov. Scott Walker: “Keep looking…to
the path Christ is calling you to follow.”
“The governor gave a hint at how he looks at the world, and his place in it, in a speech he gave to the Christian Businessmen’s Committee in 2009. …Walker summed up his approach to life as ‘trust and obey’ God.
Walker, the son of a Baptist minister, relayed to the crowd two anecdotes that he credits with giving him political perspective. One involved the story of Jesus and Peter. In the story, Peter walked on water with Jesus’ help, until he lost faith and sank into the water.
The other story involved two sailors, one of whom made the mistake of watching the waves break against the boat. Seeing his colleague was getting seasick, the other sailor advised the man to ignore the water and focus at a point on the horizon. That, he said, would help him ride out the storm.
‘Keep looking out at the horizon, to the path Christ is calling you to follow,’ Walker told the crowd. ‘Don’t focus on the waves, and choppy water.'”
WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL
Why Walker won’t back down
The crowds are angry, the polls unfavorable, but Gov. Scott Walker has so far refused to compromise on key pieces of his controversial budget repair bill.
Such resolve would be impressive in a politician with the resume of a Tommy Thompson or Russ Feingold, but it’s a little shocking for a governor with just eight weeks under his belt.
Except, when it comes to Walker, it isn’t.
“Anyone who thinks he will change his mind has another thing coming,” said Milwaukee County Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo, a Walker ally during his tenure as county executive. “He ignores the polls and the protests and does what he thinks is right. And I can tell you, he will not give in.”
It has been nearly a month since the governor unveiled his plan to strip most collective bargaining rights from public employees. In that time, daily protests â€” some up to 70,000 people â€” have rung through Capitol Square, and a handful of polls has come out showing dwindling support for Walker’s stance.
The state’s 14 Democratic senators remain holed up in Illinois, locked in a stalemate with the Senate Republicans, who who need the presence of at least one member of the minority party before they can bring the bill up for a vote.
But so far the governor has shown no signs of wavering. On Tuesday, Walker released e-mails showing he is willing to tweak some elements of his bill â€” such as removing limits on wage negotiations and restoring some items that could be subject to collective bargaining. But the governor remains committed to the bulk of the legislation, which sweeps away decades of collective bargaining rights for public employees.
In a recent interview, when asked about the angry crowds and negative poll numbers, Walker argued the protesters made up just a fraction of the state’s population and said he doesn’t pay attention to polls.
“Polls are nice, if they are on your side,” he said. “But in the end, you’ve got to govern based upon what you think is the right thing.”
Resolve; many of those who have worked with, or against Walker, agree he has it.
The governor gave a hint at how he looks at the world, and his place in it, in a speech he gave to the Christian Businessmen’s Committee in 2009. Talking about his first, unsuccessful run for governor, Walker summed up his approach to life as “trust and obey” God.
Walker, the son of a Baptist minister, relayed to the crowd two anecdotes that he credits with giving him political perspective.
One involved the story of Jesus and Peter. In the story, Peter walked on water with Jesus’ help, until he lost faith and sank into the water.
The other story involved two sailors, one of whom made the mistake of watching the waves break against the boat. Seeing his colleague was getting seasick, the other sailor advised the man to ignore the water and focus at a point on the horizon. That, he said, would help him ride out the storm.
“Keep looking out at the horizon, to the path Christ is calling you to follow,” Walker told the crowd. “Don’t focus on the waves, and choppy water.”
For eight years as Milwaukee County executive, Walker kept the end goal in sight, seeking to reduce the size of government in an office traditionally held by liberals.
During his time there, he cut the government workforce by 20 percent, eliminated the waiting list for long-term care for seniors, and used his veto more than 100 times to cut $44 million in proposed spending.
Each of his nine consecutive budgets held the property tax levy to the previous year’s level. But his opponents criticized Walker for proposing unrealistic budgets that had to be fixed. They called him a one trick pony who only cut and never created.
But according to Milwaukee County Board Spokesman Harold Mester, even Walker’s opponents respected him and knew he would not back down.
“What you’re seeing in Madison now, is basically a repeat of what happened here in Milwaukee for years,” Mester said. “I can tell you this: The chairman (Lee Holloway) does not see Walker backing down on this. (Walker) never did at the county level.”
|“I have said many times that there is no greater threat to First Amendment speech and religious rights and parental rights than that posed by the movement to normalize homosexuality.”
ILLINOIS FAMILY INSTITUTE
Homosexuals sue Christian bed & breakfast
by Laurie Higgins, Director of IFI’s Division of School Advocacy
Attacks on religious liberty and freedom of conscience have started — mere weeks after Governor Pat Quinn (D) signed the ‘civil unions’ bill into law — just as we warned.
While many conservatives think wisdom and political pragmatism dictate a “truce” on the social issues, liberals, including homosexuals, see this time as ripe for an all-out frontal assault on virtually every issue pertaining to homosexual practice.
Click to read rest of article: http://www.illinoisfamily.org/news/contentview.asp?c=35169
|“The lawsuit…was brought on behalf of Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, and Pastors Levon Yuille, Rene Ouellette and James Combs.
…The lawsuit cited the death of Andrew Anthos, a 72-year-old Detroit man allegedly the victim of a ‘hate crime’ because of his ‘sexual orientation.’ In that case, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ‘blamed â€¦ Plaintiff Glenn’s ‘homophobic rants’ for causing his death.’
According to the lawsuit, the homosexual activist said, ‘It is appalling hypocrisy for these forces to pretend that their venomous words and organizing have no connection to the plague of hate violence against gay people, including the murder of Mr. Anthos.’ …But the lawsuit said police and a medical examiner determined that Anthos died of natural causes. The complaint also said, ‘The former director of policy for the Triangle Foundation, a Michigan-based homosexual lobby group that supported the Hate Crimes Act, publicly stated, ‘We personally believe that the AFA may support the murder of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.'”
FAITH UNDER FIRE
Appeals court asked to remove
‘Hate crimes’ law challenged for
by Bob Unruh
President Obama’s “hate crimes” law, one of the president’s early fulfillments of a campaign promise to homosexual lobbyists who backed his 2008 campaign, is heading for dangerous new waters as a lawsuit challenging it as being unconstitutional has moved to the appellate court level.
Officials with the Thomas More Law Center say they have appealed their lawsuit over the “hate crimes” law to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, raising pointed questions including why will the law attack Bible-following Christians who follow its instructions.
“According to the Bible, which Plaintiffs promote through their religious activities, homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity that are intrinsically disordered. The Apostle Paul, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declares that those who engage in homosexual acts ‘shall not inherit the kingdom of God,’ stating further, ‘And such were some of youâ€¦,'” the appeal explains.
“Plaintiffs believe and profess that homosexuality is an illicit lust forbidden by God, who said to His people Israel, ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination.‘ In every place that the Bible refers to homosexuality, the emphasis is upon the perversion of sexuality. The person engaging in homosexual behavior is guilty of ‘leaving the natural use of the woman,’ meaning that his behavior is ‘against nature,’ and thus contrary to God’s will.”
“In Old Testament times in Israel, God dealt severely with those who engaged in homosexual behavior. He warned His people through Moses, ‘If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them,” the appeal continued.
“Consequently, Plaintiffs have ‘willfully’ engaged in, and will continue to ‘willfully’ engage in, conduct that is proscribed by the Hate Crimes Act because the Act does not limit its reach to physical acts of violence, but expressly includes within its reach so-called ‘hate’ speech and ‘hateful words,” thereby subjecting plaintiffs to federal investigation and punishment.”
The lawsuit, which has been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, was brought on behalf of Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, and Pastors Levon Yuille, Rene Ouellette and James Combs.
It was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after Attorney General Eric Holder claimed the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
The complaint contends that the “hate crimes” law violates the plaintiffs’ civil rights, since it opens Christians to being the target of federal investigations, grand juries and even charges for opposing or publicly criticizing the homosexual lifestyle and “gay” activism.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include individuals who already have faced accusations by homosexual advocates that they bear responsibility for the actions of others for no other reason than their agreement with biblical condemnations of homosexuality.
The lawsuit cited the death of Andrew Anthos, a 72-year-old Detroit man allegedly the victim of a “hate crime” because of his “sexual orientation.” In that case, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force “blamed â€¦ Plaintiff Glenn’s ‘homophobic rants’ for causing his death.”
According to the lawsuit, the homosexual activist said, “It is appalling hypocrisy for these forces to pretend that their venomous words and organizing have no connection to the plague of hate violence against gay people, including the murder of Mr. Anthos.”
Anthos also was cited by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., as evidence of the need to extend federal “hate crimes” legislation to include “sexual orientation” as a privileged classification.
But the lawsuit said police and a medical examiner determined that Anthos died of natural causes.
The complaint also said, “The former director of policy for the Triangle Foundation, a Michigan-based homosexual lobby group that supported the Hate Crimes Act, publicly stated, ‘We personally believe that the AFA may support the murder of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.'”
Such statements, combined with the “hate crimes” law that now exists, provide a “tool” of intimidation for federal officials, including Holder, “to abuse their positions of power to stifle political opinion and opposition to the homosexual agenda,” the complaint explains.
“The Hate Crimes Act was clearly intended to intimidate Christians and their religious leaders into remaining silent concerning their religious beliefs that homosexual conduct is an abomination and a sin,” the law center said today.
Its brief tells the 6th Circuit, “This statute is all about elevating certain persons (homosexuals) to a protected class under federal law based on nothing more than their choice to have sex with persons of the same gender, while marginalizing strong religious opposition to this immoral choice.”
In fact, during congressional debate on the issue, supporters admitted that a homosexual attacking a Christian pastor would be protected from the law’s enhanced penalties that would apply should a Christian pastor attack a homosexual.
“Under the guise of enforcing ‘niceness’ and promoting ‘tolerance,’ homosexual advocacy groups have mobilized their financial power to purchase political clout which they now use to shut down any criticism of their deviant lifestyle. The truth is they are one of the most intolerant groups in our society and viciously attack anyone who opposes their point of view,” said Richard Thompson, chief of the law center.
“The sole purpose of this law is to use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically based religious belief that homosexual conduct is an abomination and a sin.”
The center confirmed that statistics from homosexual advocacy groups reveal that the greatest threat of violence to homosexuals comes not from Christians but from other homosexuals.
The brief also explains how the attacks on Christians already are being strategized.
At a forum for the homosexual community held by the ACLU of Michigan, Barbara McQuade, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, stated, “We’re very eager to enforce the act.”
The brief says another federal prosecutor said, “We are so excited about this new law and the enforcement possibilities it provides for us.”
Robert Muise, the senior trial counsel for the law center, is handling the case, and said, “This new federal law promotes two Orwellian concepts. First, it creates a special class of persons who are ‘more equal than others’ based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior. And secondly, it creates ‘thought crimes’ by criminalizing certain ideas, beliefs, and opinions, and the involvement of such ideas, beliefs, and opinions in a crime will make it deserving of federal prosecution. Consequently, government officials are claiming the power to decide which thoughts are criminal under federal law and which are not.”
The law center revealed that all 50 states already have criminal laws punishing violence against others, Holder himself admitted there is no evidence “hate crimes” were unpunished at the state level, and in 2008, of the 1.38 million violent crimes reported, 243 dealt with the victim’s sexual orientation.
The Hate Crimes Act was dubbed by its critics as the “Pedophile Protection Act” after an amendment to explicitly prohibit pedophiles from being protected by the act was defeated by majority Democrats. In fact, during congressional debate, supporters argued that all “philias,” or alternative sexual lifestyles, should be protected.
Yuille is the pastor of The Bible Church in Michigan and national director of the National Black Pro-Life Congress. He hosts a radio program and “is often warned by his Canadian listeners that he will prosecuted under the new U.S. hate-crimes law for his public ministry.”
Ouellette is pastor of First Baptist in Bridgeport, Mich., with about 7,000 members, and the author of five books.
Combs is lead pastor of Faith Church, The Point Church, The Rock Church and The River Church, with about 10,000 members.
Obama signed the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act” in October 2009 after Democrats strategically attached it to a “must-pass” $680 billion defense-appropriations bill.
The law cracks down on any acts that could be linked to criticism of homosexuality or even the “perception” of homosexuality. As Congress debated it, there were assurances it would not be used to crack down on speech.
Obama boasted about the “hate crimes” bill when he signed it into law.
“After more than a decade, we’ve passed inclusive hate-crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are,” he said.
The bill signed by Obama was opposed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which called it a “menace” to civil liberties. The commission argued the law allows federal authorities to bring charges against individuals even if they’ve already been cleared in a state court.