On this week's edition of "The 3", my week-in-review feature, I want to continue to look at the progressive fallout from the Boy Scouts' decision to allow openly gay members. Also, Planned Parenthood is back in the news, including some new charges against one of its clinics in Delaware. And, the big story from the week involved graduation prayer and the groundswell of support nationally for a young man who exercised his religious rights and said a prayer at his graduation ceremony, even though there were those who wanted to restrict him.
3 - Response grows to Boy Scouts vote: churches begin to dismiss troops; atheists want pledge to God dropped, gay rights groups want openly homosexual leaders
Not surprisingly, there has been a chain reaction to the vote taken by a national council of leaders of the Boy Scouts of America to allow open gay members in its organization. And, while gay activist organizations have already laid down the gauntlet and said the resolution did not go far enough in that it did not allow for gay scout leaders, churches, which host and sponsor a majority of the Boy Scout troops across the nation, have begun to withdraw their support for the Scout troops that meet in their buildings.
One of the first was Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, one of the nation's top 5 largest churches. Another was in the metro Atlanta area, Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta. Two churches in the Birmingham, Alabama area, First Baptist of Pelham and First Baptist of Helena, have also announced that they will no longer allow Scout troops to meet on their property. The reason is clear: churches do not feel they can endorse an organization that no longer upholds traditional, Biblical values by embracing a lifestyle that Christians continue to see as incompatible with their beliefs.
And, atheists are not at all pleased with the current stance of the Boy Scouts to encourage devotion to God. In an article released this week on its website, CitizenLink reports that Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said that the BSA needs to change its policy regarding “humanists and atheists.” He accused the BSA of “bigotry.” Some of the other groups wanting this policy change include The Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists.
With the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in several weeks in Houston, where a resolution or some action is expected that could lead to churches throughout the denomination abandoning Scouting, and with a meeting scheduled in late June for Louisville to discuss alternatives to the Boy Scouts, it appears that a mass exodus has begun. And, it doesn't come as a surprise - it was predicted that up to 400,000 Scouts could depart the organization if the council voted to allow openly gay members. But, in a true "what were they thinking?" moment, those 1400 or so people that cast a vote in Dallas 2 weeks ago succumbed to the pressure of political correctness and could have perhaps sounded the death knell for an organization that has been committed to building Godly character for over 100 years.
2 - Planned Parenthood back in the news: Supreme Court turns down Indiana Planned Parenthood case; Planned Parenthood operator in Delaware cited by AG; Girl Scouts team up with PP
While concern about the direction of the Boy Scouts has been in the headlines recently, a cozy relationship with the Girl Scouts and supporters of abortion came to the forefront this week, as reports surfaced about a conference that was co-sponsored by World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, which has member organizations across the globe, the largest of which is the Girl Scouts of the USA. GSUSA is a co-founder of WAGGGS and one of WAGGGS’ largest financial supporters, paying over $1 million each year in membership fees.
According to a report on the LifeNews.com website, WAGGGS is a global organization that is a well-known advocate for sexual and reproductive rights, including abortion, for youth, and claims to speak for all of its 10 million members. Recently, it participated in a global conference called "Women Deliver", which had a purpose of “call[ing] for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women.” Speakers included noted late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart, philosopher Peter Singer, who supports infanticide and euthanasia, and pro-abortion Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Some of the breakout sessions included “Outing and Addressing Abortion Stigma” and “Why I Perform Abortions.” Exhibitors included many abortion and population control advocates.
WAGGGS also participated, along with International Planned Parenthood Federation and Planned Parenthood Global (PPFA global), in the Youth Advisory Group for the Women Deliver Conference. Apparently, there are other instances of ties between the Girl Scouts and abortion advocates.
Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry made the headlines in several instances this week.
There is a report on the Christian Post website about news from Delaware, where the office of Attorney General Beau Biden, son of the Vice-President, has filed a complaint against a former Planned Parenthood abortion doctor who allegedly engaged in multiple acts of incompetence while performing abortions on five patients.
According to page two of the complaint, Dr. Timothy Liveright performed "multiple acts of incompetence and negligence," which included "over sedating patient," "failing to properly administer oxygen," and "failing to consider alternative treatments."
Now, Planned Parenthood did get some good news out the U.S. Supreme Court this week, as the high court allowed to stand a lower court ruling that negated the Indiana Legislature's law preventing the nation's largest abortion provider from receiving Medicaid funds.
Alliance Defending Freedom is attempting to shine the light on Planned Parenthood's questionable practices with its new "Pretty Ugly" campaign. According to LifeNews.com, it is designed to reveal “Planned Parenthood’s deception of the American public", and when you visit the website. AllianceDefendingFreedom.com/ItsPrettyUgly, you can get the latest news on Planned Parenthood’s deceptions, attempted cover-ups, and the truth about the abortion giant’s real business model.
Alliance Defending Freedom has already been active in over 45 cases involving Planned Parenthood, including 10 current ones, which are being litigated over issues including abortion funding, informed consent, abortion drugs, taxpayer fraud by Planned Parenthood, and a botched and forced abortion.
1 - Graduation video reinforces students' religious expression rights
Recently, scores of graduation ceremonies have taken place, and we are reminded that students do have certain religious expression rights when they step to the platform to speak. Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, is quoted as saying that, “The key to expressing any religious viewpoint in public school, including graduation prayer, is that the school should remain neutral - neither commanding nor prohibiting it."
In a precedent-setting case against the ACLU that went all the way to the Supreme Court, Adler v. Duval County School Board, Liberty Counsel won the right of students to pray or give religious messages at graduation. The case established the legal principle that public schools are free to adopt a policy that permits students or other speakers to present secular or religious messages, including prayer, at commencement ceremonies.
At Lincoln County High School in Stanford, Kentucky, class president Jonathan Hardwick said a prayer - and received a standing ovation for it. Apparently, there were six students at the school that had asked Principal Tim Godbey to prevent any prayers from the graduation ceremony. According to the Advocate-Messenger website, which covers Central Kentucky, Godbey, a self-professed Christian who says he prays for each of his students daily, said under separation of church and state laws, faculty members have never been able to pray publicly on school grounds or during school-sponsored functions. However, he noted that the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit students from doing so as long as they are not otherwise disruptive.
Apparently, there's a local atheist activist who has threatened to contact organizations such as the ACLU and Freedom from Religion Foundation about the public prayer.
Those that would cite "religious bullying" are apparently content to deny Christian students their rights of religious expression. And, I wouldn't be surprised if the FFRF and ACLU aren't already aware of Jonathan's prayer - it has received over 70,000 views on YouTube and is continuing to receive media attention.
It is so important that Christian students are aware of their free speech rights and realize that those rights don't go away when they enter the school building or go on school property.