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Texas City Stands up to Atheists Over Prayers at Government Meetings

Texas City Stands up to Atheists Over Prayers at Government Meetings

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) appears to be losing its intimidating touch as it goes about its business of trying to stop people from praying and expressing their faith in public. The atheist group’s latest attack has come against the city council of League City, Texas, which has included prayer by local clergy in its regular government meetings since the early 1960s.

In a July 15 letter to Mayor Tim Paulissen and the League City Council, the FFRF went through its customary paces in attempting to browbeat the city fathers into submission. Appealing to the First Amendment’s supposed “separation of state and church,” the godless group’s staff attorney, Elizabeth Cavell, called the city’s tradition of allowing both local residents and government officials to open the meetings in prayer of “dubious legality,” insisting that such prayers are “unnecessary, inappropriate, and divisive.”

Cavell advised that while government officials “are free to pray privately or to worship on their own time in their own way,” they “do not need to worship on taxpayers’ time.” Cavell complained that inviting council members and locals to offer invocations at the government meetings “is coercive and beyond the authority of any government.”

While citing a selection of court cases to buttress the FFRF’s case against public prayer, Cavell conceded that there is no clear precedent for her group to demand that the city end its tradition, since courts have issued conflicting opinions that make the legal landscape on the issue “unstable.” The only warning she could muster was that prayer at government meetings “continues to be litigated, divisive, and problematic for local governments across the nation precisely because of this instability.”

She dubiously suggested that the “best course” for the city would be “to halt the prayers. If you wish to pray prior to the meeting, do so on your own time in your own way — do not make it part of the secular business of your local government.”

As it happened, Mayor Paulissen and the city council appeared to be disinclined to follow the FFRF’s self-serving advice. Paulissen told the Houston Chronicle that he and the other city fathers had no plans to drop the 52-year tradition of opening council meetings with an invocation.

“The city has been doing this since 1962, and nobody has ever complained, to my knowledge,” Paulissen said. He added that “it’s not just my stance. I have the full support of those on the city council, too.”

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Obama admin forces school district to let teenage girl use boys restroom, showers, sleeping quarters!

The Obama administration’s Justice Department has pressured a California school district into allowing an incoming high school freshman who is anatomically female but identifies as a boy to use the restroom and changing facilities assigned to her preferred sex, rather than her biological sex.

Her family filed a federal discrimination lawsuit after the school district twice refused to allow the girl to sleep in a room with boys without a chaperone.

The Obama administration pressured the school district to allow the girl to use the boys’ facilities, saying in a letter that failure to do so constitutes sexual discrimination against “students who do not conform to sex stereotypes.”

Under a new agreement, every transgender student in the district will have full access to the opposite sex’s changing rooms and sleeping quarters during school trips.

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Sheriff Joe Nails Illegal Alien Identity Thieves at Popular Restaurant Chain – Activists Enraged

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If illegal alien activists thought the ruling of a liberal Federal judge against Sheriff Joe Arpaio was going to stop him from enforcing the rule of law against illegals, they can think again.

In late May, U.S. District Judge Murray Snow absurdly ruled that Arpaio had engaged in racial profiling against “Latinos” and targeted Latino drivers based on their “race” (there is no such “race” as “Latino”, but logic isn’t Snow’s strong point). Snow prohibited sheriff’s deputies from “using race as a factor” in law-enforcement decisions related to immigration. Advocates for illegals who share Snow’s far-left views rejoiced, and declared that Sheriff Joe’s workplace raids against illegal aliens were a thing of the past.

They were dead wrong.

On Wednesday, Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies and posse volunteers executed search warrants at three locations of Uncle Sam’s following a nine-month forgery and ID theft investigation.

Sheriff’s detectives say as many as 121 people hired to work for the restaurant chain since October gained employment by using falsified documents and stolen IDs. Sheriff Joe Arpaio said many of the victims are local residents.

As many as 50 deputies and posse members attempted to locate 70 suspects currently employed at two restaurant locations. At least 10 of the 70 suspects were arrested by MCSO deputies at the scene.

Detectives also searched the owner’s Scottsdale home office – and he may face state penalties for harboring illegal aliens.

Arpaio said the investigation began in October after his office received a tip from a caller. Detectives found 121 discrepancies including multiple names, addresses, no existing records and/or names not matching the Social Security numbers provided.

This was the 73rd workplace ID theft operation conducted by sheriff’s detectives in just the past 5 years.

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Vulgar Blimp Chris Christie Finds Liberty a “Dangerous Idea.”

On the eve of a House vote Wednesday on his amendment to curb the National Security Agency’s daily dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted, “Washington’s elites fear liberty. They fear you.” On Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (shown) demonstrated just how eager he is to join the Washington elite.

Speaking at the Republican Governors Conference in Aspen, Colorado, Christie delivered what Aaron Blake at the Washington Post described as a “clear broadside” against Republicans of a libertarian bent, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, expected to be competing with Christie for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

“As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought,” Christie said.

Asked whether he meant to include Paul in that call for caution, Christie said, “You can name any one of them that’s engaged in this. I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation…. I’m very nervous about the direction this is moving in.”

One of the things making Christie nervous is the battle for privacy rights against what some see as a flagrant overreach by the federal government in the kind of surveillance conducted by the NSA in the name of national security. “I think what we as a country have to decide is: Do we have amnesia? Because I don’t,” Christie said. “And I remember what we felt like on Sept. 12, 2001.”

By citing both September 10 and September 12 of the year 2001, Christie has September 11 surrounded, perhaps with the thought of capturing it as his issue for 2016. By doing so he would be picking up the mantle of fallen presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, who campaigned so hard on that tragic event in the 2008 campaign that Joe Biden suggested every sentence from the former New York mayor contained only three things: “a noun, a verb and 9/11.”

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Military Censors Christian Chaplain, Atheists Call for Punishment (Obama’s Gay Military)

A Christian chaplain in the military is being officially censored for engaging in free speech, and anti-Christian activists are demanding he be punished.

Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes is a Christian chaplain currently serving in the U.S. Air Force. He is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. As an ordained clergyman whose duties are to provide religious instruction and spiritual counseling, he has a page on the base’s website called “Chaplain’s Corner.”

Reyes recently wrote an essay entitled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II.” This common saying is attributed to a Catholic priest in World War II, made famous when President Dwight D. Eisenhower said during a 1954 speech: “I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in oåçur daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes.”

As reported by Fox News’s Todd Starnes, when Reyes referenced this famous line in his essay, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) contacted the base commander, Col. Brian Duffy, demanding he take action on Reyes’s “anti-secular diatribe.”

MRFF’s letter says that by Reyes’s “use of the bigoted, religious supremacist phrase, ‘no atheists in foxholes,’ he defiles the dignity of service members.” They accuse him of violating military regulations.

My legal research on this issue uncovered no regulation prohibiting Reyes’ speech, which looks like expression protected by the free speech and religious freedom provisions of the First Amendment. Military leaders did not respond to Fox’s inquiries asking the Air Force to identify any such rules.

Nonetheless, only five hours after MRFF’s complaint, the essay was removed from the website. Duffy has profusely apologized to MRFF for not stopping this religious leader from sharing religious thoughts.

But this response—which again appears to be a violation of Reyes’s First Amendment rights—is insufficient for MRFF. They said, “Faith based hate, is hate all the same,” and, “Lt. Col. Reyes must be appropriately punished.” (Emphasis added).

So MRFF is saying that the coercive power of government must be used to punish a military officer, who is also an ordained Christian minister, for making ordinary religious references consistent with his faith.

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council—one of the leaders of a new religious liberty coalition for the military—responded, “A chaplain has been censored for expressing his beliefs about the role of faith in the lives of service members… Why do we have chaplains if they aren’t allowed to fulfill that purpose?”

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House GOP Strategy: Offer ‘Dreamers’ Citizenship, Stick It to Democrats (GOP Amnesty Cave)

An emerging coalition of House Republicans is arguing that young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children constitute “a special protected class” that should eventually be eligible for citizenship, an approach they say combines sound policy with smart politics.

Conservatives remain adamant, however, that no such legislation be considered until a border-security bill is passed and tough enforcement triggers are in place.

This thinking represents an important shift within the House Republican Conference, where many members have long vocally opposed providing “amnesty” to anyone living in the U.S. illegally. At the same time, it underscores the emphasis on what conservatives have called a “border-first” mentality—that legalization should not be legislated until new border-enforcement laws are on the books.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is the driving force behind the strategy to focus on legalizing undocumented youths. According to Republican aides, passing such a bill would equip Republicans with a reasonable answer to the question of what to do with the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally. It would also force Democrats into a political lose-lose: Either endorse a GOP proposal that legalizes so-called “Dreamers” or oppose this longtime policy goal and hold out for blanket legalization for the entire undocumented community.

As one House leadership aide framed it, “How can they say no to the kids?”

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NYC Restaurant Evicts Christian Church Over “Homosexual Stance”

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A popular New York City barbecue restaurant that came under fire for renting space to a Christian church, has evicted the congregation because of a sermon about same-sex attraction, the pastor told Fox News.

Freddy Wyatt, the pastor of The Gallery Church, said they had been renting space in a restaurant to hold their worship services for several months. That agreement was cancelled after local residents barraged the restaurant with complaints.

“There was backlash from the neighborhood toward the restaurant for hosting a Christian church in their space,” he told Fox News.

Wyatt declined to name the restaurant because they did not “want to throw them under the bus.”

“We want to maintain good relationships with the people in our neighborhood,” he said.

However, Fox News has learned the church had been renting space from Hill Country Barbecue, a popular eatery in Manhattan. Owners of the restaurant did not return calls seeking comment.

Wyatt said the trouble started when they began promoting a sermon series about sexuality.

“This particular sermon series struck a nerve in the neighborhood,” he said. “There was an enormous amount of backlash. We don’t know specifically what that was. The restaurant said if it had only been a couple of phone calls it would have been one thing – but it was more than that.”

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San Antonio, TX Looks to Penalize Bible Believers

Think it’s hot in Texas these days? Just wait a few weeks, until the San Antonio City Council ends its summer hiatus and resumes work on a proposed change to its nondiscrimination ordinances that apparently will discriminate against all who take the Bible at its word and follow it.

That’s because the change creates a penalty for those who ever exhibit a “bias,” which clearly could include adopting the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality, with a permanent ban on participation in city government, business or employment.

Opponents of the plan, which would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the nondiscrimination ordinances, charge it is a violation of constitutional Article VI, paragraph 3, which states, “[N]o religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

The opponents explain that the ordinance would bar anyone from office who has “demonstrated a bias” against someone based on categories that include “sexual orientation.”

The proposal, however, does not define “bias,” which, according to local church leaders, could mean someone who declares homosexual behavior is sinful.

The new ordinance would state: “No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability.”

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Barack Obama flops in Knox: the president’s speech was a train-wreck

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Published on: July 24, 2013

It’s been a rough few weeks for Barack Obama. A wave of scandals has undermined trust in the White House, and a series of major polls has hammered the president in the first year of his second term. Support for Obama has dropped to its lowest level in two years, with widespread public dissatisfaction over his handling of the economy. A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this morning showed the president’s approval level at just 45 percent, with 50 percent disapproving. 56 percent of Americans are “pessimistic” or “uncertain” in “their feelings about how the president will do during the rest of his term,” and only 17 percent of Americans surveyed are “optimistic.”

Today’s speech at Knox College, Illinois, was supposed to be the president’s come-back moment, the first of a series of addresses aimed at retaking the initiative by the White House. Instead it was a train-wreck. In an hour-long address, which seemed to last forever (and par for course started 15 minutes late), the president spoke in deeply partisan terms, often with bitterness and anger, lambasting his political opponents, dismissing criticism of his policies, and launching into his favourite theme of class warfare, attacking the wealthy and what he calls the “winner takes all economy.” In a display of extraordinary arrogance (even by his standards), he condemned what he called “an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals,” a direct reference to the Congressional investigations into the IRS and Benghazi scandals, which most Americans don’t see as phony. He also defended his increasingly unpopular Obamacare proposals, attacking what he calls “a politically-motivated misinformation campaign,” while failing to acknowledge that moderate Democrats are “steadily turning against Obamacare” as The Washington Post reported today.

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Judge halts lawsuits seeking to block Detroit bankruptcy (Detroit Officially Bankrupt Now)

A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday suspended pending lawsuits in state courts that are challenging Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said there is nothing in the 10th Amendment, which guides state vs. federal jurisdiction, that bars federal jurisdiction in this case. He said his court will be the exclusive venue for any legal action regarding the bankruptcy.

Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr—a bankruptcy expert appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder earlier this year to oversee Detroit’s finances—has said the federal bankruptcy filing is necessary to get the city out from under some $18 billion in liabilities.

But the city’s employee unions argued the bankruptcy is an end-run around the state constitution, which protects their pension benefits. The unions backed a series of lawsuits filed in Michigan courts to block the bankruptcy. Last week, Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina ruled the bankruptcy filing unconstitutional, but a state appeals court put her ruling on hold, and Orr argued the federal court should make that stay indefinite.

The emergency manager said bankruptcy is a federal matter. A bankruptcy filing normally puts all other litigation on hold, but Orr’s office asked the judge to extend that automatic stay to cover him and state officials, including the governor. Orr’s attorneys acknowledged the request was unusual, but said “recent events”—the lawsuits in state court—made it necessary.

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OPEN THE FLOODGATES: Pedophiles Arguing Their Sexual Orientation is No Different than Homosexuals

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Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals.

Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits. “Gay” advocates have taken offense at such a position insisting this would never happen. However, psychiatrists are now beginning to advocate redefining pedophilia in the same way homosexuality was redefined several years ago.

In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. A group of psychiatrists with B4U-Act recently held a symposium proposing a new definition of pedophilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders of the APA.

B4U-Act calls pedophiles “minor-attracted people.” The organization’s website states its purpose is to, “help mental health professionals learn more about attraction to minors and to consider the effects of stereotyping, stigma and fear.”

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Poll: 85% support right for religious to refuse to work for gay wedding

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A heartening poll by Rasmussen shows 85 percent of Americans believe Christian wedding photographers have the right to refuse to service a gay wedding. In a country that increasingly forgets the value of free speech, it’s surprisingly refreshing to see a strong majority in the right column.

The same applies, of course, to wedding cake bakers. Hopefully the memo reaches David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who have enlisted the help of the ACLU to sue a Denver, CO bakery for allegedly refusing a cake for their wedding. “The complaint seeks to force Masterpiece Cakeshop to “cease and desist” the practice of refusing wedding cakes for gay couples, and to tell the public that their business is open to everyone,” reports FOX News. “If [the defendant] loses the case and refuses to comply with the order, he would face fines of $500 per case and up to a year in jail, his attorney said.”

If the Mullins-Craig case is successful, it will do a huge disservice to the gay rights movement. A lot of supporters have come on board under the banner of, “It doesn’t affect anyone else, so why should we stop them?” Well, if and when lawsuits arise, it does affect someone else, and not just in a vague “changing the definition of marriage” way. A year in jail is nothing to sweep under the rug.

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Why Are Republicans Bent on Pushing Amnesty Now?

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Published on: July 24, 2013

I understand what you are thinking. If you are watching the political process, you are probably thinking, as a sane person, that Republicans would completely ignore amnesty and focus on what’s important. After all, the country is focused on other trivial news, summer vacations, and the scandals. After August, the main fights will be over funding Obamacare, the budget, and the debt ceiling.

So why on earth would Republicans push for amnesty, especially after the Senate bill has been ridiculed and repudiated? Why would they bail out Obama at his weakest moment? Why would they agree to the premise that we must have some form of amnesty now, thereby bleeding conservatives dry on the issue – drip by drip?

There is no good answer to these questions other than the fact that Republican leaders are looking for a new base. Unfortunately, their dictates are strong enough to percolate down to the committee chairmen. Trey Gowdy’s subcommittee on immigration held a hearing today on the Dream Act – a mass amnesty bill that will grant citizenship and welfare rights to a large population of illegals. Basically, we control the House, but are using the committee hearings to promote Democrat policies.

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White House scrambles to defeat bill to defund NSA program

The White House took the rare step of releasing a statement opposing an amendment to a House bill Tuesday night, taking aim at a measure that would shut down significant parts of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities.

In the statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney accused Republican lawmakers of trying to “hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools” and said the “blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open or deliberative process.”

The House is preparing to vote on an amendment, written by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., that would cut off funds to the NSA if it collects data on individuals who are not under investigation — a move that would effectively shut down the sweeping Internet and phone data collection programs that have been revealed in news reports.

After hearing that the amendment would be given a vote as part of the Defense Appropriations bill Tuesday afternoon, the White House scrambled to try to defeat it. NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander headed up to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a question and answer session with lawmakers in a classified, members-only briefing.

“We urge the House to reject the Amash Amendment and instead move forward with an approach that appropriately takes into account the need for a seasoned review of what tools can best secure the nation,” Carney said.

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John McCain: Obama’s New Deal Maker (and Sellout)

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Published on: July 24, 2013

Barack Obama, to hear his advisers tell it, has finally found The One he has been looking for: John McCain.

“We have been looking literally for years for someone we can cut deals with, and finally someone has stepped up,” a White House official said. West Wing aides say they now talk with McCain roughly every other day.

McCain, to hear fellow Republicans tell it, has finally found The Two he has needed to make such conversations worth the bother: Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat who can actually get things done in the Senate, and Denis McDonough, a White House chief of staff who actually cares what senators say and think and do.

While Obama and party leaders clash endlessly and hopelessly, these three men are showing it is possible to put aside political and personal grievances to get consequential stuff done, even in Washington’s currently twisted state.

They would never say it this way, but they have cracked a code that has eluded party leaders — their bosses — who seem stuck in never-ending fights.

This new alliance has resulted in an immigration bill and a deal to avoid the nuclear option for confirming nominees, and is in preliminary conversations to avert a government shutdown over the budget. It has created trust — tenuous but real — among these three officials (and others) who can deliver results.

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