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WorldNetDaily brings us news of a judicial victory by teacher Bradley Johnson over Westview High School in San Diego, California after Johnson sued the school district for forcing him to remove banners he had in his classroom for over 17 years because they contained Christian content.

Teacher wins major victory for God in school

Judge scolds district for trying to scrub America’s Christian heritage


Posted: March 01, 2010
9:48 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2010 WorldNetDaily


Bradley Johnson and one of the two banners he was ordered to take down

A federal judge in California has handed down a scathing ruling against a school that required one of its teachers to remove signs celebrating the role of God in American history from his classroom walls.

As WND reported, math teacher Bradley Johnson had banners hanging in his classroom at Westview High School in San Diego, Calif., for more than 17 years with phrases like “In God We Trust” and “All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed by Their Creator,” only to have the principal order them torn down during the 2007 school year.

But Johnson filed a lawsuit alleging the order a violation of his constitutional rights, and the teacher has now been rewarded with a court victory and a powerfully-worded ruling.

“May a school district censor a high school teacher’s expression because it refers to Judeo-Christian views, while allowing other teachers to express views on a number of controversial subjects, including religion and anti-religion?” posited U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez in his judgment. “On undisputed evidence, this court holds that it may not.”

He continued, “That God places prominently in our nation’s history does not create an Establishment Clause violation requiring curettage and disinfectant for Johnson’s public high school classroom walls. It is a matter of historical fact that our institutions and government actors have in past and present times given place to a supreme God.”

The judge further reprimanded the school, stating that while teachers at the district “encourage students to celebrate diversity and value thinking for one’s self, [they] apparently fear their students are incapable of dealing with diverse viewpoints that include God’s place in American history and culture.”

The older of Johnson’s two signs, which had hung on his wall without complaint for 25 years, measured 7 feet by 2 feet and contained the words “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under God,” “God Bless America” and “God Shed His Grace On Thee.” The second banner, posted eight years after the first, quoted the Declaration of Independence by including the phrase, “All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed by Their Creator.”


Johnson, the Westview High School teacher ordered to remove his educational banners

Though the district permits other teachers to hang Buddhist, Islamic and Tibetan prayer messages on their classroom walls, Johnson was nonetheless told to take his banners down.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the Thomas More Law Center, a not-for-profit law firm dedicated to the defense of religious freedoms, commented on the case.

“Many school officials exhibit hostility towards our nation’s Christian heritage. Yet, these same officials see no problem in actively promoting atheism or other religions under the guise of cultural diversity and tolerance,” said Thompson, whose firm filed the lawsuit on Johnson’s behalf. “Hopefully, Judge Benitez’s decision will help put an end to this double standard. It is the responsibility of our public schools to educate students on the crucial role Christianity played in our nation’s founding.”

The charge of a double standard was not lost on Judge Benitez.

“Fostering diversity,” Benitez ruled, “does not mean bleaching out historical religious expression or mainstream morality. By squelching only Johnson’s patriotic and religious classroom banners, while permitting other diverse religious and anti-religious classroom displays, the school district does a disservice to the students of Westview High School, and the federal and state constitutions do not permit this one-sided censorship.”

And in response to the school district’s claim that Johnson’s patriotic banners might make a Muslim student, for example, uncomfortable, Judge Benitez stated, “[A]n imaginary Islamic student is not entitled to a heckler’s veto on a teacher’s passive, popular or unpopular expression about God’s place in the history of the United States.”

The ruling prompted Robert Muise, the Law Center senior trial counsel handling the case, to comment, “It was refreshing to read an opinion that does justice to our nation’s history, rather than rewrite it.”

The judge concluded in his ruling that Johnson was entitled to a declaration that the school violated his constitutional rights and ordered the district to pay nominal damages of $10 per defendant and Johnson’s attorney’s fees and costs. Benitez also ordered the school district to allow Johnson to immediately re-hang the signs.

The Law Center reports Johnson returned the displays to his classroom walls late last week, on the same day the ruling was handed down.

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The Alliance Defense Fund has filed lawsuit against the Board of Education of Half Hollow Hills Central School District after they canceled a Christian club without any warning, citing funding and attendance issues.  They failed to provide evidence supporting their claim and have allowed 60 other clubs to remain active.  The school has a history of discrimination against the Christian club.

NY high school cancels Christian club, lets 60 others remain

ADF attorneys file suit against Board of Education of Half Hollow Hills after officials shut Christian student club down
Thursday, February 18, 2010, 12:00 AM (MST) |
ADF Media Relations | 480-444-0020


CENTRAL ISLIP, NY — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Board of Education of Half Hollow Hills Central School District on behalf of a student who was told that school officials cancelled, without her knowledge, the Christian club she helps lead. School officials claimed that unspecified budget cuts and a lack of student popularity spurred their decision, even though the club had more than 55 student attendees last year and approximately 60 other student clubs, including the Gay-Straight Alliance and Amnesty International, were allowed to continue.

“Christian student groups in public schools shouldn’t be discriminated against simply because they are religious,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “Singling out a religious student club while letting the vast majority of the others remain constitutes viewpoint discrimination and is unconstitutional. In addition, it’s simply false that this club is not popular with students. More than 90 students signed a petition in favor of allowing the club to continue meeting.

“At the beginning of her freshman year at Half Hollow Hills High School East, the student was told that the Ichthus Club, a student-led group where she was one of the leaders, had been cancelled without any advanced notification. Four years earlier, her older brother met strong resistance before the club was finally allowed to form. Once he graduated, the school cancelled the club, even though the existence of clubs is not dependent upon a particular person’s leadership.

Instead, school officials claimed that a budget crunch was a key factor spurring the decision to cancel two or three clubs, including the Ichthus Club, yet officials provided no response when ADF attorneys asked to see evidence in support of their decision. Administration also asserted that the club’s lack of popularity was another reason for its cancellation, even though more than 55 students were on the club’s attendance roll last year.

The student leader worked diligently to negotiate with the administration to keep the club, even offering to cut expenses by meeting every other week and finding a club advisor who would volunteer, but officials and the school board declined the offer.

ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit J.P. v. Board of Education of Half Hollow Hills Central School District with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Robert W. Dapelo, one of more than 1,600 attorneys in the ADF alliance, is serving as local counsel in the case.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

www.telladf.org facebook.com/AllianceDefenseFund twitter.com/adfmedia

Note: Facts in ADF news releases are verified prior to publication but may change over time. Members of the media are encouraged to contact ADF for the latest information on this matter.

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WorldNetDaily is reporting that bill H.R. 2159 introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) would, if passed, make it illegal for “extremists” to own guns.

With the recent DHS memos, this could prevent pro-lifers, gun-rights activists, tax protesters, anti-Obama people, or pretty much anyone aligned as a Christian, Jew, or anyone that DHS thinks is an “extremist”, from owning a gun.

Next step? No guns allowed for right-wing ‘extremists’

Bill empowers attorney general to forbid firearms for those ‘suspected dangerous’


Posted: May 09, 2009
12:10 am Eastern
By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily


Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

A new gun law being considered in Congress, if aligned with Department of Homeland Security memos labeling everyday Americans as potential “threats,” could potentially deny firearms to pro-lifers, gun-rights advocates, tax protesters, animal rights activists, and a host of others – any already on the expansive DHS watch list for potential “extremism.”

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has sponsored H.R. 2159, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009, which permits the attorney general to deny transfer of a firearm to any “known or suspected dangerous terrorist.” The bill requires only that the potential firearm transferee is “appropriately suspected” of preparing for a terrorist act and that the attorney general “has a reasonable belief” that the gun might be used in connection with terrorism.

Gun rights advocates, however, object to the bill’s language, arguing that it enables the federal government to suspend a person’s Second Amendment rights without any trial or legal proof and only upon suspicion of being “dangerous.”

Are you ready for a second Declaration of Independence? Sign the petition promoting true freedom once again!

“[Rep. King] would deny citizens their civil liberties based on no due process,” objected Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. “A ‘known terrorist?’ Look, if the guy has committed an act of terrorism, we shouldn’t have to worry about him being able to buy a gun; he should be in jail!”

Pratt further warned WND of the potential overlap of H.R. 2159 and a recent DHS memo that warned against potential violence from “right-wing extremists,” such as those concerned about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty.

“By those standards, I’m one of [DHS Secretary] Janet Napolitano’s terrorists,” Pratt said. “This bill would enable the attorney general to put all of the people who voted against Obama on no-gun lists, because according to the DHS, they’re all potential terrorists. Actually, we could rename this bill the Janet Napolitano Frenzied Fantasy Implementation Act of 2009.”

Pratt’s biggest concern, however, is the sidestepping of the Constitution and due process that the nebulous language of this bill could permit.

“Unbeknownst to us, some bureaucrat in the bowels of democracy can put your name on a list, and your Second Amendment rights are toast,” Pratt told WND. “This is such an anti-American bill, this is something King George III would have done.”

As WND reported, right-wing “extremists” aren’t the only Americans on the DHS watch list.

“Legalize the Constitution” bumper sticker

Two weeks before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security penned its now notorious warning against “right-wing extremists” in the United States, it generated a memo defining dozens of additional groups as potential “threats.”

That memo, the “Domestic Extremism Lexicon” expanded the list from typical “right-wing” causes to include left-wing extremism, animal rights activists, black separatists, anarchists, Cuban independence advocates, environmental extremists, the anti-war movement and more. It even insisted some of these groups were prone to violence.

For example, the lexicon defined the “tax resistance movement” – also referred to in the report as the tax protest movement or the tax freedom movement – as “groups or individuals who vehemently believe taxes violate their constitutional rights. Among their beliefs are that wages are not income, that paying income taxes is voluntary, and that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allowed Congress to levy taxes on income, was not properly ratified.”

It further states that tax protesters “have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.”

The DHS memos were meant for distribution to law enforcement officials around the country, prompting some to worry the definitions might be used to classify Americans who simply disagree with government policies as being dangerous.

As WND reported, the relative of a Louisiana driver claims her brother-in-law has already been unfairly targeted by police simply for having a supposedly subversive, “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker on his car.

According to the relative, it happened this way: Her brother-in-law was driving home from work through Ball, La., which has a local reputation for enhancing its budget by ticketing speeders. He was pulled over by police officers who told him “he had a subversive survivalist bumper sticker on his car.”

“They proceeded to keep him there on the side of the road while they ran whatever they do to see if you have a record, keeping him standing by the side of the road for 30 minutes,” she told WND.

Finding no record and no reason to keep him, they warned him and eventually let him go, she said.

WND has withheld the driver’s name and the relative’s name at their request.

H.R. 2159 has six co-sponsors, from both parties, and has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

WND contacted Rep. King’s office for comment on the bill, but received no response.

Related Posts: Cop Stops Driver For ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Bumper Sticker
Outrage Over DHS ‘Rightwing Extremism’ Report
OK Police Pull Over Motorist For Anti-Abortion Sticker, Cite It Was A Threat To Obama

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Thoughts

Yesterday, the Lord stopped by a dear friend, a brother’s hospital bed and took him Home.  Last night I did some thinking about the things we had shared and the conversations we had.

Dennis was a Christian man who taught at a local community college.  He had a lot of Christian friends, but he also had friends who don’t believe in the Savior.  For some time, Dennis had been battling diabetes and all the things that go along with it.  Several years ago, at his request, a friend and I signed his will as witnesses.  He was going to have heart surgery at the time, so preparations were made.  One of the things he specified was that there be no sad, mournful hymns at his funeral, but praise music and rejoicing, and rightly so.  It has been said that this world in the only Hell that we, as Christians, will know.  So, I got to thinking about this and how Dennis’ non-Christian friends would perceive his funeral and those of us who were rejoicing that Dennis is free, contrary to what the world says about death.

Then this thought crossed my mind:  if we, as Christians, are wrong, then the worst thing we can be guilty of is putting value on something that was worthless; however, if we are right, then the rest of the world is guilty of devaluing and making worthless the only thing that was ever truely priceless.

You see, if we’re wrong and there is no Creator, if God is unholy and unjust, or if God is not the omniscient and omnipresent King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then this life is meaningless and without worth; there would be no absolute Truth, and Judgment would be arbitrary or nonexistent.  Everyone’s actions would hold no eternal weight and would only further self-gratification since there would either be nothing after death or an eternity based on an unholy God with no standard of Truth.

If, however, the Bible is the true Word of God, that there is a Creator, a Judge, a King, and that He sent His Son Jesus here to die upon the Cross to save us from our sins, then the rest of the world’s beliefs are wrong, and they have taken the priceless gift of the Creator, and stripped its value to make it worthless.  In doing so, they have condemned themselves to a Hell eternal and unimagined, separated forever from the Creator.

I once heard this example to put perspective on the word “eternity”:  imagine the tallest, biggest mountain that you can.  Now imagine that once a year a bird flies over that mountain.  In the bird’s mouth is a silk cloth that just grazes the top of the mountain when he flies over.  Eternity ends when that mountain is flattened by the bird dragging the silk cloth over it.

In reality, there is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to lose, a choice of eternity that we are given.  I know Dennis’ choice and that I will see him again; he’s just went on ahead of the rest of us.

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Ray Comfort has an answer to an atheist’s insistence that he doesn’t believe that “something came out of nothing” and is still an atheist.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Angry about nothing

“I am angry at you Ray. STOP,STOP,STOP saying that an atheist is someone who believe something came out of nothing. I am an atheist and this is what I believe. Matter & energy cannot be created or destroyed however they can change from one form to another. This is known is the first law of thermodynamics. Therefore it is natural to believe that matter or energy has always existed in one form. This is why we get upset when you tell us that we believe something came out of nothing. Because there has never been nothing matter or energy has always existed.” Stu

If you are familiar with the first law of thermodynamics, then you should be familiar with the second law. It says tells us that it is scientifically impossible for the universe to be eternal. Everything degenerates. Leave an apple on a table for a few weeks and it will rot. Leave a rock for a billions years and it will turn to dust. If the universe was eternal (trillions and trillions “plus” old) it would have turned to dust. So now you are back to the question as to what caused the universe in the beginning. If you say that there was no first cause (a Creator), then you are stuck with the unscientific and thoughtless belief that nothing created everything. So, what is it that you believe? Is it that Something created everything? Then you are not an atheist because you believe in a Creator. Or do you believe that nothing created it? There is no in-between.

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The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.”  — Psalm 53:1

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The Alliance Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit against the Atlantic Public Schools after a Christian club was denied equal treatment by Sutton Middle School.

The school has forced the club to pay rent, denied them access to privileges that other clubs have, and has prevented them from talking about the club on school grounds; other clubs get access to the facilities for free and are not denied privileges or communications about their clubs on school grounds.

School rules out religion: Atlanta Public Schools challenged after blocking club

ADF attorneys file lawsuit against school district for denying Christian student club equal treatment
Thursday, March 26, 2009, 10:35 AM (MST) |
ADF Media Relations | 480-444-0020


ATLANTA — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a complaint Wednesday against the Atlanta Public Schools on behalf of a student and his mother.  The two claim their constitutional rights have been violated by school officials who have repeatedly denied their Christian club access to the same rights, benefits, and privileges given to all other student clubs at Sutton Middle School.

“Christian student groups shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman.  “The First Amendment and federal law prohibit such actions on the basis of religion, and this has been established by decades of court precedent.”

Over the past six months, Atlanta Public School officials have repeatedly refused equal treatment to the Student to Student Club.  A number of other non-curriculum-related, student-led clubs–including Power Over Prejudice, Puppetry Club, and Knitting Club–are permitted to meet free of charge at Sutton Middle School and are entitled to a number of other benefits and privileges, including the ability to publicize club meetings and activities through a variety of communicative channels.

But school officials have singled out the STS club for discriminatory treatment, forcing the club to pay monthly rent for meeting space and excluding the club from accessing any of the privileges extended to other Sutton student clubs–including all means to communicate its activities.  School officials have even prohibited STS club members from talking about the club with interested students or parents while on school grounds.

“The STS club is entitled to the same benefits given to all other student clubs on campus,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Joshua Bolinger.  “When school officials deny equal treatment simply because the club is religious, that’s unconstitutional.”

ADF-allied attorneys S. Fenn Little and Jonathan Crumly of Little, Crumly & Chambliss, LLP, in Atlanta are assisting with the case.

  • Complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, in Shelton v. Atlanta Public Schools

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

www.telladf.org

Note: Facts in ADF news releases are verified prior to publication but may change over time. Members of the media are encouraged to contact ADF for the latest information on this matter.

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