Friday, July 31, 2015

The 3 - August 2, 2015

This week in my week-in-review feature, The 3, as students prepare to go back to school, you have the case of a Georgia school district which will be paying up after it settled with an atheist group over school prayer.  Also, Boy Scout leadership has voted to allow homosexual leaders.  And, 2 new videos have been released highlighting the sale of body parts from aborted babies, and the filmmakers have been ordered to stop releasing certain material by a court.

3 - Georgia school district to pay humanists in school prayer case

A public school district in Georgia will be paying a humanist organization $22,500 through its insurance carriers after the American Humanist Association sued the Hall County School System, based in Gainesville, Georgia, according to a report on The Christian Post website released this week.  The announcement of the settlement actually came on July 20, but some national Christian news sources distributed the story this past week.

The system allegedly allowed local high school coaches to lead their teams in prayers and included biblical passages on official team log books and promotional banners.  The Association sent warning letters to the district last August, identifying prayer traditions at Chestatee and North Hall high schools.

The district will be required to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees, which amount to $22,500, and requires the district to host a training session for its employees before the start of next school year to educate them on First Amendment rights and religious neutrality in school.

Superintendent William Schofield said that, "The Hall County School District admits to no violations of state or federal laws," adding, "The district will continue to hold the expectation that individuals within our organization abide by the laws of our land. The Hall County School District will make no monetary compensation to the plaintiffs. Insurance carriers are negotiating all questions regarding legal fees."

Some of the "violations" include: the wrestling coach allegedly cited Ephesians 6:12 to explain to his team that "Jesus was a wrestler," the Chestatee marching band director allowed the marching band to elect "student chaplains," the North Hall baseball coach led his team in prayer, Chestatee football coaches included a citation to Galatians 6:9 at the bottom of workout logs that were given to each student-athlete, and allowed Proverbs 27:17 to be included on a banner used at a game.

2 - Boy Scouts execs vote to allow homosexual leaders

In a vote with the expected outcome, the Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America voted on Monday to end its ban on homosexual leaders, according to a report on the WORLD Magazine website. The vote was 45-12.  BSA President Robert Gates had said banning homosexuals from serving as leaders was “no longer legally defensible.”

A statement issued earlier this month noted, “the BSA’s commitment to duty to God and the rights of religious chartered organizations to select their leaders is unwavering.” The article quotes John Stemberger, chairman of the Christian youth outdoor program Trail Life USA, who disputed that claim. He said the churches that stand for biblical values will find it increasingly difficult to operate in the structure of the Boy Scouts since so many activities are cooperative in nature.

In addition, the resolution affirms that homosexual acts can be “moral, honorable, committed, and respectful.” Stemberger said, “this opinion is wholly incompatible with historic Christian theology and ethics and will make it even more challenging for a church to integrate a BSA unit as part of a church’s ministry offerings.”

1 - 2 new hidden camera videos released exposing Planned Parenthood; court order stymies release of another

Two new videos involving the practice of Planned Parenthood marketing parts of pre-born babies whose lives had been taken were released by the Center for Medical Progress this week.  This is in addition to the two that had been previously released by the Center.

In this third video, according to Anika Smith of,  the video opens with a licensed phlebotomist who took a job as a “procurement technician” with the now-infamous fetal tissue company and biotech start-up StemExpress in late 2012. She said, "We’re asked to procure certain tissues like brain, liver, thymus, pancreas, heart, lungs, skin, pretty much anything on the fetus. It’s basically the trafficking of fetal tissues.”

For six months, her job was to identify pregnant women at Planned Parenthood who met criteria for fetal tissue orders and to harvest the fetal body parts after their abortions.

The report says that the video includes new admissions from top-level Planned Parenthood leadership about the illicit pricing structure.

The fourth video, released later in the week, features one of the Planned Parenthood officials from the third video, who is quoted as saying, according to another report by Smith on “I know I’ve seen livers, I’ve seen stomachs, I’ve seen plenty of neural tissue. Usually you can see the whole brain come out. The video includes a conversation about how to handle the legal issues of selling these baby body parts, and suggests ways for Planned Parenthood to cover up its sale of aborted body parts. “Putting it under ‘research’ gives us a little bit of an overhang over the whole thing,” Ginde remarks. “If you have someone in a really anti state who’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.” 

The video also features footage inside the lab. According to The Stream's report, "It is hard to watch, and many readers will find it disturbing. At one point, there’s a cracking sound of an aborted fetus’s skull, and Dr. Ginde says, 'It’s a baby,' as she points out the heart and kidneys and explains that a per-item pricing system is best for them."

In another development, reports that a Los Angeles court has issued a temporary restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress, which will not be permitted to release any more videos allegedly showing the company involved with the criminal activity of selling aborted baby organs.  The story quotes a Fox News report that the doctors were reportedly collaborating with StemExpress, a middleman company that procures human tissue to researchers.

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