AMAC Action On Capitol Hill

The Congressional Prayer Caucus Update

American Atheists Lose Lawsuit Over 9/11 Cross

Federal District Judge Deborah Batts has concluded that displaying the iconic 17-foot high ground zero cross at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, does not amount to an endorsement of Christianity.  Judge Batts wrote in her opinion that because the cross will be accompanied by placards explaining its meaning and it will be surrounded by secular artifacts, “[n]o reasonable observer would view the artifact is endorsing Christianity. . . .  The Museum’s purpose is to tell the history surrounding September 11, and the cross … helps tell part of that history.”  American Atheists are planning on appealing the ruling.

 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also defended the display of religious symbols like the ground zero cross, stating “A lot of people looked to religion for strength after the attack . . . .  My personal opinion has always been you shouldn’t tell people what religion to practice or whether to practice a religion but you shouldn’t also prevent people from practicing a religion they want in any ways they want.”

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Religiously-Based Health Providers Under Attack Again as ACLU Targets Faith-Based Hospitals

The ACLJ in Washington state has launched a PR war and is considering legal action against faith-based hospitals, stating that they jeopardize reproductive and end-of-life care (physician-assisted suicide is legal in Washington).  The ACLU is opposing subsidizing faith-based hospitals with tax dollars, arguing that they will likely try to impose the institutionally held religious doctrines on the individuals they serve.  “As a government entity, the hospital district should not subsidize religious facilities that discriminate against women’s fundamental rights,” said Kathleen Taylor, executive director of the ACLU’s operation in Seattle.

 

The right and freedom of a religious institution to object on the basis of conscience has been characterized by critics as interference with patients’ rights and needs, as well as with modern medicine.  However, PeaceHealth, a major non-profit Catholic-sponsored health care system in Washington, is standing by its right to deny certain services on the basis of religious principles, stating that is partnerships with secular providers in the state are well within legal parameters.

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Articles to Note

Huffington Post: A portrait of Jesus that has been hanging in an Ohio public school since 1947 has been taken down under threat of suit by the ACLU. “The superintendent of Jackson City Schools said the decision was made after the district’s insurance company declined to cover litigation expenses. He said the faculty adviser and two student members of the Hi-Y Club, a Christian-based service club that the school says owns the portrait, took it down at his direction.  With vocal backing from many community members, Jackson’s board initially voted to keep the portrait up, saying it belonged to the Hi-Y Club that donated it and that removing it would infringe upon students’ private rights to freedom of speech. The board said it was part of a ‘limited public forum,’ and that other student clubs could put up appropriate portraits reflecting their mission.”

 

ACLU:  This week, the ACLU attacked subsidizing private and religious schools with taxpayer dollars in the Maryland state budget. “’Taxpayer funding should not be used for textbooks and technology at private and religious schools, especially when the state’s fiscal climate that is just beginning to recover,’ said Sara Love, Public Policy Director for the ACLU of Maryland.”

 

Liberty Counsel:  “Since 2011, Shirley Elliott has sold produce and homemade jellies at Thibodaux Farmer’s Market near Jean Lafitte National Historic Park in Louisiana. Additionally, Ms. Elliott has provided free Bibles on her table for anyone to take at will. On December 1, 2012, a park ranger told Ms. Elliott to take the Bibles off her table because ‘they were on federal property.’” Attorneys from Liberty Counsel intervened and sent a letter to the Superintendent of Jean Lafitte National History Park.Two days later, the acting superintendent wrote, saying, ‘Please assure Ms. Elliott that she is welcome to offer free Bibles at her produce and homemade jellies table.’

 

 

Amy Vitale

Legislative Assistant

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04)

2135 Rayburn Building, Washington DC

(202) 225-6365 | (202) 226-1170 Fax

Follow on Twitter @PrayerCaucus

 

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SK
8 years ago

In the 1970’s when my children were in elementary school, it was announced at their school that the word “Christmas” could not be used to celebrate Christmas. The trees allowed at the school were called “holiday” trees and all other parties etc. were referred to as “holiday” events. This was because a few families whose children were in the school were not Christian by religion and those parents felt it was unfair for their children to have to participate. Instead of using this holiday to teach that we are all different and all have different beliefs, because of a few the many were denied their rights. A much better solution would have been to allow those other few to teach of their beliefs on the appropriate holidays so that the majority could learn of their beliefs. Since then we have watched our religious freedoms being chipped away with each passing year. I do not believe individual rights are absolute.

WADE bARRACATO
8 years ago

iN MY OPINION THE ACLU NEEDS TO BE PUT ON A ROCKET SHIP AND SENT INTO OUTER SPACE ,MY FEELING IS YOU COULD NOT FIND A MORE COMMIE ORGANIZATION THEN THEM OR SHOULD I SAY
A RAG HEAD ORGANIZATION.iF THE DONT BELIEVE IN A GOD THEN LEAVE THOSE WHO DO ALONE.

Virgil Koon
8 years ago
Reply to  WADE bARRACATO

The thing about many of these letters with threats is that most of these have already been settled in court and the ACLU lost them! Ignorance is the problem. If a school leadership is in doubt when receiving a letter from the Communist founded group, the ACLU, contact the ACLJ for past case victories and they may recommend a course to take against this anti-freedom radical Socialist organization, the ACLU. Christians have already won 90% of all of these cases but we all know who the father of all lies is, don’t we? Do not be moved by the lies of the ACLU… we won and win again and again.

NK
8 years ago

Finally, some common sense!

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