Sunday, July 25, 2010

The 3 - July 25, 2010

This week's edition of "The 3" spotlights American involvement in a constitution vote in Kenya, legislation introduced into the Senate that could limit free speech of various organizations regarding political campaigns, and another step in the march toward confirmation for the President's latest Supreme Court nominee.

3 - Christian and pro-family leaders stand in opposition to new Kenyan constitution

Perhaps you're aware that on August 4, voters in the African nation of Kenya will be going to vote on a new constitution. Why is that of concern to citizens of the United States? Well, for one thing, language in the proposed constitution overturns the current law prohibiting abortion in all instances, except to save the mother's life. Pro-family leaders believe the proposed wording would allow abortion in all circumstances at any time during pregnancy.

Also, reports have surfaced that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to support the new pro-abortion constitution. Yes, it seems that the Obama Administration has committed some $23 million of public funds to promote approval of the constitution. So, the U.S. has arranged to have a stake in the outcome, and American taxpayer funds are a mechanism being used to promote the termination of pre-born Kenyan babies.

The World Congress of Families has been collecting signatures from pro-life leaders across the globe, and over 170 such leaders in 21 countries have signed on in opposition to this new proposal. WCF issued this press release earlier this week.

This is another example of activity by U.S. governmental officials that is working to promote the destruction of lives on foreign soil.

2 - New version of DISCLOSE Act introduced into Senate, set for Tuesday vote

A few weeks ago, by a narrow margin, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of a sweeping new campaign finance bill, requiring that organizations which broadcast or publish announcements regarding a candidate reveal certain donor information, including information about the person at the head of the organization. This past week, a version of this DISCLOSE Act was introduced in the Senate, designed apparently to limit political ads run by various organizations and, as it's charged, perhaps even aid the leadership party, the Democratic party, to retain seats that it may be in danger of losing.

A vote was suddenly scheduled by Majority Leader Harry Reid for this Tuesday at 2:45PM ET. It would take 60 votes in order to cut off debate on the measure and proceed for a final vote on passage. CitizenLink has a synopsis of the bill, its free speech limitations, and how you can be involved in speaking out against restrictions on political activity by various groups. This could have strong negative implications for pro-life and pro-family organizations, which routinely call attention to the positions of candidates on various issues of concern.

1 - Kagan nomination one step closer, despite reservations

This week, along party lines, with the exception of one Republican (Sen. Lindsey Graham) voting with the Democratic majority, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved sending the Supreme Court nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the entire U.S. Senate, where she would be presumably approved.

Kagan has a history, not as a judge, but in various capacities, as an activist - from her promotion of partial-birth abortion while in the Clinton administration to her limitations placed on military recruiters while dean of Harvard Law School. She has apparently played a significant role in the promotion of health care legislation, but has stated she would not step aside if the court challenge to the constitutionality of the law by a number of state attorneys general reaches the high court.

A "Memo for the Movement", released earlier this month by the Conservative Action Project, lists a number of the concerns about Kagan's nomination. Even though the confirmation of Kagan is all but certain, nevertheless the discussion of judicial philosophy and the exposure of areas of judicial activism can be helpful, for it illustrates where officials stand on these issues, for voters to keep in mind when they elect leaders.

Pro-Life Freedom Rides begin in Birmingham, on to Atlanta

Mississippi Lesbian student court settlement could set precedent

Georgia graduate student alleges graduation conditional on changing Christian beliefs

Friday, July 16, 2010

The 3 - July 16, 2010

3 - Pro-family groups respond to possible taxpayer funding of abortion in new health care law

Remember the countdown to the health care reform bill vote - would pro-life Democrats stand against the Senate version of the bill, which contained no protection against taxpayer funding of abortion? Well, an 11th-hour "executive order" by the President won Bart Stupak's and other pro-life representatives' votes. That order presumably prevent taxpayer funds being used for abortion.

Pro-family and Christian groups said that the order was not enforceable and really would not prevent public funding of abortion. Interestingly enough, this week, it was revealed that a "high risk" insurance plan in the state of Pennsylvania contains taxpayer funding. Also, according to this piece at, 2 other states have planned to include abortion in certain health care insurance plans.

Unfortunately, this is an example of the manipulation of verbage that we find so often in the political sphere. Too many promises have been made to pro-abortion groups to cause us to think that abortion will not be included in health care plans. It's a reminder of the presence of an agenda that does not regard the sanctity of human life that is prevalent in our land today.

2 - Another Lutheran denomination weighs in on gay marriage

Last year, I reported the vote by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which recognized the validity of same-sex unions and authorized the ordination of gay individuals. This action on homosexuality set off a negative reaction in congregations across the U.S., and caused great concern within the denomination and within Lutheranism. This week, at its National Convention, another Lutheran denominations, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, issued a response to the actions of the ELCA. It reaffirmed that homosexual practice was contrary to Biblical teaching, and did strike a conciliatory tone with the ELCA. Here is a press release from the LCMS.

The list of denominations that are wrestling with this gender issue continues. I believe that the Bible is very clear on the issue of homosexuality, but in these morally relativistic times, there are well-meaning people who are attempting to alter clear Biblical teaching in order to justify behavior that is contrary to Scripture. This type of justification can be easily applied to a number of areas of behavior, and it's important that we are sensitive to instances where we incorrectly rationalize our actions.

1 - TV obscenity policy struck down

Claiming that the FCC's policy on offensive language is vague and constitutionally unsound, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC's broadcast indecency policy, perhaps effectively paving the way for more offensive language to be used on broadcast television.

Fox had been found in violation of the FCC's policy after the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards, during which so-called "fleeting expletives" were used by participants.

Pro-family groups such as the Parents Television Council were quite alarmed by the ruling. Here is the link to a piece by Baptist Press' Michael Foust, published in the Christian Examiner.

Kagan's role in crafting medical associations' statements on partial-birth abortion examined

Helena, MT considers teaching sex ed to kindergarteners

NC pastor silenced from praying at state's House of Representatives

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The 3 - July 11, 2010

This week's edition of "The 3", my week-in-review feature, shines the light on the struggles regarding marriage and gay ordination within another large denomination. Plus, Christian groups are speaking out and filing briefs in defense of the National Day of Prayer. And, a Massachusetts judge is flying solo in striking down at least some of the Defense of Marriage Act.

3 - Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly votes to lift gay ordination ban

Several Protestant denominations have wrestled with the issue of the ordination of homosexuals. The Episcopal Church USA stirred up its entire denomination a number of years ago by ordaining an openly gay bishop. Last year, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America opened up ordination to gays and lesbians. There are factions within other denominations, as well, that would like to see their church bodies make that move, as well. The United Methodist denomination, for example, has some within it that would like to see gays ordained into the ministry, but such moves have been turned back in the past.

So, against this backdrop, the Presbyterian Church USA, in its General Assembly in Minneapolis, made the decision, by a 373-323 vote, to remove a ban on gay ordinations. The measure must now be approved by 173 of the presbyteries across the nation. The Christian Post has this report.

There are many who are watching these moves within various denominations with a critical eye, viewing the matter of ordination of gays and lesbians as giving approval to what the Bible calls a sinful lifestyle. One organization that has been outspoken on departures from Biblical truth within church bodies is the Institute on Religion and Democracy - here is Jeff Walton's report on the PCUSA convention, and how the assembly sent what could be interpreted as a mixed message: voting to ordain gays, but leaving the traditional definition of marriage as one man for one woman intact.

The response to these actions? You will probably see some who disagree with the new action on sexuality stay with the denomination, in an attempt to speak out and hopefully change the organization from within. Others will probably leave, with congregants finding other houses of worship.

2 - Faith and family groups filed briefs in National Day of Prayer case

Shortly before this year's National Day of Prayer, a Wisconsin Federal district judge ruled that the action of Congress to designate a National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional. CitizenLink (affiliate of Focus on the Family), Liberty Institute, and others teamed up to file a brief. Here is CitizenLink's report.

Another organization that filed a brief is the Foundation for Moral Law, headed by former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Judge Moore made this comment:
“How long will we sit quietly by while the President declares an entire month to ‘celebrate' homosexuality and a federal judge prohibits one day in the year to pray to God? From the Revolution in 1776 to the Civil War, from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 our Country has always turned to God in prayer during times of national crisis. It is absolutely absurd for a federal judge to think that she can arrogantly declare the National Day of Prayer established in 1952 unconstitutional. Such hypocrisy reflects the delusion of federal court judges across our land who place themselves above the Constitution they are sworn to uphold and above the God upon Whom they took their Oath of Office.”

Again, this is troubling development, where you have ONE Federal judge who is attempting to reverse a rich history of prayer in our nation, including a variety of Presidential proclamations throughout the year. Again, ONE unelected judge is attempting to limit the wishes of thousands and even millions of people who believe in and practice the power of prayer with respect to our national issues.

1 - Federal court finds Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional

The definition of marriage as one man for one woman, in the eyes of the Federal government, has been maintained in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), approved overwhelmingly in 1996 by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Now, the Obama administration, with a tepid defense by Solicitor General Elena Kagan, is allegedly attempting to undermine the defense of the act, and a Massachusetts Federal judge, Joseph Tauro, has ruled certain parts of DOMA to be unconstitutional. Of course, states can pass their own marriage definitions, and a number of them already have. Here is the report from Liberty Counsel, who has been quite successful in defending the traditional definition of marriage.

So, here again is ONE Federal judge attempting to undermine the definition of marriage, as affirmed by Congress, signed by the President, and supported by voters in some 30 states across America who have passed marriage amendments. This case is likely to be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It's interesting, the Administration is attempting to say that the Arizona immigration law is unconstitutional because immigration is a Federal issue, but at the same time, DOMA is unconstitutional because marriage is not a Federal issue. Maybe it's just me, but there does seem to be a contradiction here.

Honorable mention:

Hawaii governor vetoes civil unions bill

Churches heed "Call 2 Fall" on July 4th

Concerns mount regarding President recess appointment of new health official

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The 3 - July 4, 2010

On this 4th of July weekend, we can take time to reflect on the freedoms we have in our nation, including freedom of religious expression, which was a foremost principle in the hearts and minds of our Founding Fathers - a careful reading of history will illustrate that faith and dependence on Almighty God were foundational principles for our nations, and God has repeatedly and consistently blessed our nation.

Freedom of religious expression is being threatened, and 2 of the 3 stories in this week's edition of "The 3" deal with that issue. Plus, there was the matter this week of the confirmation hearings for a potential new Supreme Court justice.

3 - Texas appeals court rules against principals who attempted to stifle free speech

Some new developments in the case of a Texas school district that has been charged with preventing the free expression of religion. It's being called the "Candy Cane Case", and it experienced what some could call a negative decision on Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court did not choose to hear the case on appeal. But, later in the week, a Federal appeals court ruled that 2 principals in the school district did in fact violate students' rights to free expression.

This case is rather complex, and involves a number of different instances, including the student who could not pass out candy canes at, "winter" parties, along with an explanation of the significance of the canes, which is to illustrate the meaning of Jesus Christ's coming to earth. Another instance, I understand, involved the rights of students to include any sort of religious message in greetings to troops overseas.

Liberty Institute has been one of the principal organizations involved in the case, and provided this report on its website. Here is their statement on the recent ruling.

Also, the Dallas Morning News had this report on the events of this past week.

Read that article, and you see a stunning array of limitations of students' free speech rights in just one school district. Combine that with the multiple school districts in America that are involved to one degree or another with litigation on the topic of religious expression, and you see that districts have been intimidated into somehow thinking that students' rights to free expression have been compromised. But, when you see the high degree of cases being won by organizations such as the Alliance Defense Fund, Liberty Counsel, and others, you see that the freedoms provided for in the Bill of Rights still stand, and that we remember that students do not surrender those rights when the enter school property.

2 - Supreme Court rules against Christian group on California law school campus

While the Supreme Court did not hear the appeal of the "Candy Cane Case", it did deliver a decision in a case related to religious liberty that it had heard earlier this session - what is known as Christian Legal Society vs. Martinez. In this case, a Christian organization on the Hastings law school campus in California was protesting the policy of the school that required it to accept as members those who do not necessarily adhere to the Christian faith, and to even allow non-Christians to serve in a leadership capacity.

As outrageous as this may seem, nevertheless, the Court, in a 5-4 decision upheld the law school's policy. Here is a report posted on the CitizenLink web site.

Apparently, the decision applied to Hastings only...It may be hard to project what the wide-ranging implications of this decision may be, since Hastings' policy does seem to be rather unique in educational circles, so the narrow decision may not have an effect on a school with a similar point of view.

1 -
Kagan confirmation hearings fly by and leave unanswered questions

In just a 2-day period of questioning for prospective Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan, Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee attempted to use their line of questions to illustrate why Kagan is or is not qualified to serve on the high court. Some senators attempted to paint Kagan as an abortion advocate because of her role in drafting the abortion policy during the Clinton administration. Another area of concern has been her ban on military recruiting while she served as Dean of the Harvard Law School. Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the committee, also needled Kagan for attempting to defend the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy as Solicitor General, while contending that it was the Obama Administration's intent to rescind it.

But, for some in the pro-life community, perhaps one of the most troubling aspects of Kagan's past is her attempt to actually write positions for medical organizations with respect to partial-birth abortion. This was shown in papers revealed just days before the confirmation hearings began, papers that had been slow to materialize from the Clinton Presidential Library. One such position, written presumably for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, which had struck down a ban on partial-birth abortion. had this excellent analysis of Kagan's activist involvement on the abortion issue.

And, while Senators are declaring their support or opposition to Kagan, experts generally agree that she will have the votes to be confirmed and there will be no Senate filibuster to block her nomination.

Thousands of churches prepare for July 4 "Call 2 Fall"

FL school sued for banning Bible distribution

WI high court upholds gay marriage ban

Dr. Stanley calls for 140 Days of Prayer for our nation