Sunday, August 23, 2015

The 3 - August 23, 2015

On this week's edition of The 3, a Kentucky clerk who would not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, still doesn't have to - for now.  Also, thousands turned out to protest the nation's largest abortion provider on Saturday.  And, chaplains for college football teams have drawn opposition from an atheist organization.

3 - Kentucky clerk will not have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couple...for now

The story of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis and her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples continues, with a new development this week.  As WORLD reported, last week, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to issue the licenses or face fines and possible jail time. Davis maintains her sincerely held religious beliefs prevent her from issuing the licenses.

Judge Bunning stayed his order last Monday.  According to WORLD, he said that Davis didn’t deserve a reprieve from last week’s order but gave her one because “emotions are running high on both sides of the debate.”

In asking Bunning for a stay, Davis’ attorney, Jonathan Christman, said the order would force his client to violate her conscience.  He is quoted as saying, "It is comparable to forcing the religious objecting nurse to perform an abortion, the religious objecting company or non-profit to pay for abortions or abortion-related insurance coverage, the religious objecting non-combatant to fire on an enemy soldier, or the religious objecting state official to participate in or attend the execution of a convicted prisoner..."

The website for television station WKYT reported:

Monday afternoon, Judge David Bunning denied her stay but immediately issued a temporary stay to his ruling. Bunning says he understands emotions are running high on both sides.
Davis will not have to issue marriage licenses until the sixth circuit court of appeals reviews the case.

2 - Thousands protest Planned Parenthood in hundreds of U.S. cities

In response to the now-eight videos that have been released that provide evidence that the nation's largest abortion provider has been involved in the harvesting and sale of body parts from unborn children, (and, now it appears, the prospect of extracting organs from delivered children), tens of thousands of pro-life advocates across the country — perhaps as many as 50-75,000 people in all — protested at Planned Parenthood abortion clinics across the country on Saturday, according to a report on the website. 

The site reports that the protests took place in over 350 cities in 47 states and 5 countries — with hundreds of people in many cities and over 6,000 in the Twin Cities in Minnesota alone.

Eric Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League told LifeNews: “These videos are exposing the American people to the truth about Planned Parenthood and the truth about abortion. How can you deny the humanity of a tiny person whose body parts are being harvested for medical use? Worse yet, how can you make jokes about it, like the Planned Parenthood doctors do in these videos? It’s time to cease all taxpayer funding of this corrupt organization.”

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued a statement following the rallies, according to the organization's website. He said, "I am grateful to all the pro-life people who have responded to my invitation and that of some 40 other national pro-life groups to gather today to protest Planned Parenthood."  He continued: "The protests arising on the streets of America today reflect the protests arising in our hearts over the reality of abortion..."

Pavone also noted that, "Today also marks the start of a week of prayer and fasting, coordinated by 30 national pro-life groups, with prayers found at"  He spoke at a protest outside the Margaret Sanger Center in Manhattan, named after Planned Parenthood's founder.  He announced that the pro-life movement would increased efforts to pressure the government to stop supporting Planned Parenthood, but also to pressure businesses to stop donating to it.

1 - Chaplains under fire at colleges nationwide

The so-called Freedom from Religion Foundation, which, mainly through the use of threatening letters, apparently wants to clamp down on freedom OF religion in America, has released a new report, in which it takes issue with the concept of football chaplains, stating that “Christian coaches and chaplains are converting football fields into mission fields," according to a report at  The article quotes the FFRF report as saying, "Coaches, players, and even chaplains can worship as they want. They can go to church, read the Bible, and pray as often as they like. Nothing prevents them from doing so...But they cannot use a publicly subsidized position at a university to promote their personal religion. Nor can they use the coercive nature and structure of a public football program to mandate, order, or even suggest that players under their control should worship as the coaches wish."

FFRF says that it has now sent letters to approximately 20 university officials to explain why it believes that the use of chaplains is unconstitutional.  And it apparently doesn't just go after so-called "publicly subsidized" positions.  The letter apparently says, "It makes no difference if the chaplain is unofficial, not school-sponsored or a volunteer, because chaplains are given access to the team as a means for coaches to impose religion, usually Christianity, on their players."

Auburn University received a letter.  Acccording to, FFRF wrote AU President Jay Gogue, and the letter reportedly includes concerns related to the presence of Rev. Chette Williams within the football program, which the organization believes leads to the failure to "properly protect your student athletes' rights of conscience and pose(s) a high degree risk of discrimination" for those falling outside of certain religious groups.  Auburn released a short statement Thursday saying:

"Chaplains are common in many public institutions, including the US Congress. The football team chaplain isn't an Auburn employee, and participation in activities he leads are voluntary."

As the article points out, FFRF gets it wrong when it claims Williams works inside an office at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium.  Williams operates in an office within the athletics department's student development center, which is connected to the adjacent athletics complex housing the football program. Chette is the Auburn campus director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. also reports that the University of Alabama received one of those confrontational letters.  So did Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Missouri, Florida State, and Clemson.

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