-- Texas senator feels heat for imam's prayer
-- Homosexual rights bill lets court define church's purpose
-- Christian kids' show kicked from public square
-- Christian belief a hate crime under plan
-- Judge orders Homosexual agenda taught to Christian children
| Texas senator feels heat for imam's prayer
Constituents outraged over anti-Christian comments
Posted: April 7, 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Texas state Sen. Florence Shapiro
A state senator in Texas is feeling the heat from constituents – and trying to apologize – for arranging to have a controversial Muslim imam deliver a prayer to open the state Senate that excluded both Christians and Jews.
"Imagine the outcry if a Christian or Jew had offered a prayer that excluded all other religions to open the state Senate!" said S. Newman. "This state and nation were established and have been sustained on a foundation of Biblical principles and practices. The only reason to attack the foundation of any structure is to initiate the process which leads to ultimate destruction."
This week, Imam Yusuf Kavakci of the Dallas Central Mosque opened the state Senate with a plea for protection from those who do not follow Islam.
"Oh, Allah, guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom you have favored, not of those who have earned your wrath or of those who have lost the way," he said.
Islam, of course, teaches that Jews and Christians both have earned the wrath of Allah by failing to follow Islam, and also have lost the way by following the teachings of the Torah for the Jews or the Bible for Christians.
His appearance in the halls of state government had been arranged by state Sen. Florence Shapiro, who has begun responding to constituents who are unhappy with her work.
"I believe that an explanation is due the citizens of our great state … as to why you invite an imam who offers a prayer to open the state Senate that excluded both Christians and Jews," Newman wrote.
Initially, Shapiro responded with a non-answer.
"To Whom It May Concern: Thank you for sending me your thoughts and opinions. I appreciate hearing from my constituents on issues of importance to you and your families. Due to the large number of e-mails my office receives, we are only able to respond by US post mail to those who provide a complete and current mailing address. If you did not include a mailing address, please resend your correspondence with a complete mailing address, so that we can respond to your concerns in a timely manner. Thank you, Florence Shapiro."
Unsatisfactory, said Newman.
"I don't believe a single word in your 'Out of office' auto reply. This is just a way to dampen the reaction to your questionable actions. Yes, I will be looking forward to your US Postal letter reply…," he wrote.
The state senator then followed up with a letter, apologizing if her actions offended anyone.
"Thank you for your correspondence regarding Imam Dr. Yusuf Kavaci (sic). I appreciate your perspective. I want to make it clear that my intentions were never to offend anyone. If I did so, I apologize," she wrote.
"The Freedom and Justice Foundation contacted me with the request for Dr. Kavakci to follow the protocol set two years ago during their legislative day, when Imam Moujahed Bakhach of the Islamic Association of Tarrant County opened the Texas House with a blessing. Having worked with Dr. Kavakci on legislation, and seeing his resume and extensive inter-faith experience, I honored his request."
Kavakci opened by introducing what he would do: "We will pray by reading from first chapter, opening chapter, Al-Fătehah, from holy Quran, followed by recitation, traditional way of recitation of text from holy Quran, with an addition."
Then he prayed:
In the name of god, Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. All praise is for Allah, our lord, the lord of the worlds, the compassionate, the merciful, master of the day of judgments. Oh, god, Allah, you alone we worship, and you alone we call on for help. Oh, Allah, guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom you have favored, not of those who have earned your wrath or of those who have lost the way. Our lord, have mercy on us from yourself and guide us in our efforts, strivings, and works."
Harris County Republican Party chairman Jared Woodfill also was critical, telling KTRH radio, which posted a recording of the prayer, that there should have been given some consideration to the Christian faith, which is celebrating its holiest day this weekend, the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Woodfill says someone of the Christian faith should have given the prayer on the Senate's last day in session before the break.
The imam concluded "with an Islamic chant that sounded eerily like it was coming over the loudspeakers in Tehran," according to a statement from the U.S. Pastor Council. "Ironically, it was a Jewish Republican, Sen. Florence Shapiro who invited the imam to give the prayer that specifically excluded those of her faith as well as Christians."
"Imagine if an evangelical Christian pastor prayed in Jesus name, ONLY FOR CHRISTIANS, before the government of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc., during Ramadan," the statement said.
Pastor Ross Cullins, of the executive committee for the Houston Area Pastor Council, said Christians should let legislators know their concerns.
"Appreciation of diversity in people is not tantamount to acceptance of their gods," he said.
The day he appeared, Shapiro posted a promotion for Kavakci on her state website.
"He is a Turkish-licensed attorney and has been a law professor at Istanbul University and Ataturk University in Turkey. He is currently the resident Islamic scholar for the Dallas Central Mosque…" she said. "He serves on the Peace Institute Advisory Board at Richland Community College in Richardson, and is a member of the Richardson ISD Religious Practices Advisory Board as well as the Religious Community Task Force of Dallas Independent School District."
The Dallas-Forth Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations had promoted the occasion as a huge step forward.
"Don't miss the next milestone event for the Texas Muslim community!' DFW-CAIR's announcement read. "On April 4, 2007, the first Muslim imam will open the Texas Senate with an Islamic prayer."
WND reported in 2005 on the nonpartisan Freedom House report documenting Saudi-sponsored hate literature, originating with the government and Saudi-financed sources that reflected "extremist Wahhabi ideology," being disseminated through mosques in the U.S.
One of those mosques, according to a critical editorial in the Dallas Morning News, was Kavacki's:
"The mosque's imam, Dr. Yusuf Kavakci, has publicly praised two of the world's foremost radical Islamists, Yusuf Qaradawi and Hasan al-Turabi, as exemplary leaders. Dr. Kavakci also sits on the board of the Saudi-backed Islamic Society of North America, described in congressional testimony as a major conduit of Wahhabist teaching. Yet Dr. Kavakci tells The Dallas Morning News he rejects Wahhabist teaching. Something doesn't add up," said the editorial.
"rights" bill lets court define church's 'purpose'
'Most sweeping and culturally devastating law in Oregon history, establishing pagan morality'
Posted: April 7, 2007 By Bob Unruh 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski
A plan being shoved down a fast track in the Oregon Legislature would give homosexuals a vast range of new state laws they could use to impose their moral perspective on Christians across the state, according to opponents who fear for their speech and religious expression rights.
Senate Bill 2, on its face, is written to enshrine in state law special protections for homosexuals by classifying them as a protected civil rights group. But hundreds of pastors – whose churches include tens of thousands of evangelical Christians – are horrified by what they see advancing virtually without opposition.
"Senate Bill 2, in the Oregon House of Representatives, if passed, will limit your free speech rights and rights of conscience; require public schools to teach that homosexual/lesbian/bisexual behavior is 'okay' and 'moral'; impact your rights as a business owner; and put judges in authority on certain church matters," according to David Crowe, of the Christian ministry called Restore America.
"This bill is arrogantly, defiantly and deceptively crafted to accomplish a lot more than what it is saying," he told WND. "It definitely adds sexual orientation to the list of protected civil rights groups.
"But there is verbiage in the bill and the verbiage has to do with the primary purpose of a church. They're seeking really to gain a foothold for homosexuals into the Christian church with the court's approval," he said.
"It's more than the nose of the camel, they want the whole camel in the tent to ruminate around however they would like," he said. "The word we've gotten from attorneys is that of all the bills around the country this is the worst," Crowe said.
"The bottom line this is a total effort by the left to subvert our morality, our Judeo-Christian morality and impose on us a morality they consider superior. What it is really is challenging everything we as Christians stand for."
The bill would affect churches even though it has a so-called church exemption, he said, because it would require every church operation that isn't directly in support of its primary mission goal to be subject to mandatory homosexual hiring requirements and other restrictions.
And it would leave the determination of what is in support of a church's primary mission to be determined by a secular judge. It is possible, for example, that a lesbian could sue a church if not hired to be a pastor's secretary.
For Christian business owners, it would require them to hire and promote homosexuals irrespective of the religious beliefs the owner might hold -- or whether the employee agrees with the products, in a Christian bookstore for example.
For parents, it means their children in public schools would be subject to the state-sponsored and state-required indoctrination that the homosexual lifestyle choice is moral – even if the parents hold religious beliefs that contradict that.
"The law – and this is onerous – has a clause that talks about developing a program of education to change our attitudes," Crowe said. "To change our attitudes? Is it the government's business to change attitudes? But that's precisely what's in the bill."
"They want to put into law [their] view of morality, and that's a small minority view of morality. They are seeking to impose that on the rest of us," he said.
Nearly 500 Christian pastors from across the state recently gathered with representatives of the Legislature to express their opposition to the proposal, and afterwards issued a statement that the law, if approved, would be "the most sweeping and culturally devastating law in Oregon history, establishing pagan morality under the guise of a 'civil right,' and imposing it upon all Oregonians under the cover of 'law.'"
Crowed noted that of the 14 states that have added "sexual orientation" to their protected classes, all except Senate Bill 2 provide clear protection for churches. "Not one includes wording that allows courts to determine the 'primary purpose' of a church, but SB 2 does," he noted.
"The majority of our legislators have chosen to believe the lie that those who engage in homosexual activity cannot help themselves, and that they are being unjustly and wrongly discriminated against, when in fact, neither is true," Crowe said.
The proposal "clearly opens the door to liberal judges to redefine and decide the 'primary purpose' of a church, and violates the rights of everyone," said Crowe, who recommends people sign a petition to encourage legislators to oppose the plan.
The governor had appointed a commission to study the issue, but included only representatives of liberal or "gay" churches, leaving members of 2,500 Bible-believing and teaching churches un-represented on the panel, he said.
Individual leaders from Christian organizations already have begun contacting not only their lawmakers, but Gov. Ted Kulongoski too.
A letter from Vernon M. Marks, superintendent of the Oregon Assemblies of God churches, told Kulongoski that the more than 30,000 members of those churches are urging the rejection of the plan.
His letter told the governor the bills will:
Violate the very moral and ethical foundations of our culture.
Restrict the rights of our citizens to make moral distinctions and to speak freely.
Disregard fundamental biblical guidelines for the sanctity of traditional family.
Promote dysfunctional family structures that will rob the next generation.
Ignore the overwhelming vote of Oregonians to preserve traditional marriage.
Discriminate against parents raising mentally and physically challenged adult children.
Provide special rights for a few and ignore the civil rights of the majority of Oregonians.
Discriminate against parental moral values and convictions.
Promote behaviors that clearly violate common sense and social stability.
Will create a huge strain on Oregonians economically.
Will elevate the already taxed judicial system in dealing with lawsuits over these issues.
Infringe on the constitutional protection of the free exercise of religion.
John Fortmeyer, publisher of the Christian News Northwest reported that the Legislature has given the appearance of allowing public input, but it doesn't appear to impact any decisions.
Nick Graham of the Oregon Family Council told him a March hearing on the plan lasted seven hours and had 126 people register to oppose it. Sixty-five supported it.
"We had fantastic testimony in opposition, such as from legal firms and executive pastors," Graham said. "But to no avail, that evening, the bill was passed out of committee and sent to the floor of the Senate ... We were given the appearance of public input, but ultimately it meant nothing."
"Also, PRAY!" said a message from Marks to the church group's pastors. "This is possibly the most dangerous piece of legislation to come from Oregon's legislature."
The Constitution Party said the plan is a "recipe for civil war."
"Everyone should read this legislation. It clearly gives those who choose non-traditional sexual behavior preference over those with traditional moral values," said state Chairman Jack Brown. "This legislation will lock religious people inside their church buildings and let perversion occupy the rest of the landscape!"
Christian kids' show kicked from public square
Officials worried about religious content back down after lawsuit filed
Posted: March 17, 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
After its attorney warned that "government officials do not have the right to single out Christian groups for discrimination," a New Jersey community has reversed its previous denial and now granted a Christian ministry the right to perform in the town's public square.
Members of a local Christian ministry called Care and Share wanted to hold an event at a public square in South Orange, N.J., but were told only non-religious groups can use the space.
Attorneys tied to the Alliance Defense Fund intervened.
"Government officials do not have the right to single out Christian groups for discrimination," said attorney Demetrios Stratis. "We are very pleased that village officials have decided to remedy this situation and allow Christian organizations the same opportunity as other groups to use public facilities."
The Christian group – which performs skits, live music and puppet shows for children – was denied access to the square despite permission given to groups such as Road Devils, NJ.
The Road Devils event included live bands using vulgar language with electronic sound equipment, female mannequins dressed only in underwear and public consumption of alcohol, ADF said.
ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit Feb. 14, and Thursday village officials backed down, promising they would never again discriminate against a religious group on the basis of its viewpoint.
Christian belief a hate crime under plan
Backup proposal would mandate jail time for disrespecting a homosexual
Posted: March 3, 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
The National Prayer Network is promoting a campaign aimed at defeating "hate crimes" proposals
Americans worried about new "hate crime" legislation that could be used to make criminals of those whose religious faith doesn't endorse homosexuality could be facing a two-pronged attack, according to groups that monitor those developments.
The newest threat is being prepared by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, the head of the House Judiciary Committee, whose work is being called "The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007," according to the Rev. Ted Pike, of the National Prayer Network.
He said a letter to other members of the House was intercepted by Focus on the Family and indicated that it "gives the federal government even more power to create a bias motivation justice system, turning America into a police state."
(Story continues below)
Michael Marcavage, director of Repent America and Pike both had alerted their constituencies earlier to H.R. 254, or the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which could create "anti-hate" restrictions and penalties.
Marcavage told WND that plan would invert American justice, and instead of requiring evidence it would leave it to someone who claims to be offended to determine whether a "crime" has been committed.
"Truth is not allowed as evidence in hate crimes trials. … A homosexual can claim emotional damage from hearing Scripture that describes his lifestyle as an abomination. He can press charges against the pastor or broadcaster who merely reads the Bible in public. The 'hater' can be fined thousands of dollars and even imprisoned!" Marcavage said.
So there immediately was a flood of calls to Congress with opposition to H.R. 254 and it appeared that the plan might not make it out of committee. In fact, records show it still is pending in the House Judiciary Committee
But Pike is says the danger is far from over.
Rev. Ted Pike, of the National Prayer Network
"I think H.R. 254 may be a decoy, designed to absorb the bulk of protest from Christians and conservatives. Because of massive protest, it may be voted down or set aside in Judiciary soon. But Conyers will then substitute the bill that's really wanted by the Anti-Defamation league of B'nai B'rith, architect of this legislation," Pike said.
"Conyers could reintroduce this bill very soon. Since Nancy Pelosi and the House Rules Committee can speed any bill forward for a House vote, even bypassing Judiciary altogether, Conyers and Pelosi could almost immediately put LLEHCPA at the head of the docket and up for a vote in the House," he said.
Pike said the same plan passed the House in 2005, but not the Senate. This year, "buttressed by a host of co-sponsors and virtually untainted by criticism, it could be sped forward," he said.
But he said mainstream media has remained virtually silent, and "the vast majority of Americans remain oblivious to the existence of the hate bill in Congress, or how it dangles like the blade of a guillotine over our precious and vulnerable liberty," Pike said.
"Now more than ever, 'eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,'" Pike said.
As WND has reported, such laws already have been used around the world, where in Canada pastors are fearful of reading biblical injunctions against homosexuality, and in Australia where two pastors were convicted of "vilifying" Islam.
The H.R. 254 plan, proposed by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, is "stealth legislation at its most devious," Pike said earlier. He said people take a glance, and then say, "This bill just wants federal power to prosecute bias-motivated violent crimes in the states – what's wrong with that?"
"There's plenty wrong with that!" he said. First, the Constitution does not grant federal government the "police state privilege" of being your local law enforcement. "Unless the government finds evidence of slavery in the states, jury tampering, voter fraud, or crimes involving interstate commerce (where jurisdiction is unclear), the Constitution's message to the federal government is blunt and emphatic: 'Butt out of local law enforcement!'"
However, Pike said the authors of the new legislation have been clever, inserting in the proposal assertions that because five states do not have hate laws, the federal government has "no choice" but to "enhance federal enforcement of hate crimes." That includes new ranks of federal agents to address the "serious national problem" that exists.
Worse yet, there are some key phrases that open doors wide that many people don't want opened. For example, Pike said, the bill is to "prevent and respond to alleged violations," meaning "the government does not even have to wait until a hate crime has been committed but may act preemptively to 'prevent' crime."
Peter LaBarbera, of Americans for Truth, noted that in Canada and France both, legislators have been fined for publicly criticizing homosexuality. Three years ago, a Swedish hate crimes law was used to put Pastor Ake Green, who preached that homosexuality is a sin, in jail for a month.
"And recently, a British couple told how they were denied the chance to adopt because it was determined that their Christian faith might 'prejudice' them against a homosexual child put in their care," LaBarbera added.
Already in the United States, Catholic Charities of Boston halted all adoption operations in the state after being told under Massachusetts' pro-'gay' nondiscrimination law, only agencies that placed children in homosexual-led households would get licensed by the state.
He suggested a visit to StopHateCrimesNow to hear the testimonies of those who have had first-hand experience with so-called "hate crimes" laws. A 75-year-old grandmother describes how she was jailed for testifying about the Bible, in the United States.
Members who commented on a blog expressed alarm.
"This lays the groundwork for the 'thought police,'" said "onlymom," while "curveboy" said, "the implications of such a bill would put dissent of the government under hate speech and (offenders could) be arrested and thrown into detention camps... hate bill legislations needs to be dealt with in a fine line. once crossed there won't be any freedom of speech...."
Repent America, some of whose members already have served jail time simply for proclaiming the biblical message, is joining in sounding the alarm.
"Having been charged under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law for declaring the truth about homosexuality, I can assure you that if this bill is passed and signed into law, it will be used to put Christians behind bars," said Marcavage.
Judge orders Homosexual agenda
taught to Christian children
Rules kids need teachings to be 'engaged and productive citizens'
Posted: February 24, 2007 By Bob Unruh 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
David Parker and his team of lawyers approach the reporters and TV cameras after a recent motions hearing. Left to right: Robert Sinsheimer, Jeffrey Denner, David Parker, Neil Tassel
A federal judge in Massachusetts has ordered the "gay" agenda taught to Christians who attend a public school in Massachusetts, finding that they need the teachings to be "engaged and productive citizens."
U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf yesterday dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought by David Parker, ordering that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality.
Wolf essentially adopted the reasoning in a brief submitted by a number of homosexual-advocacy groups, who said "the rights of religious freedom and parental control over the upbringing of children … would undermine teaching and learning…"
David and Tonia Parker and Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, who have children of school age in Lexington, Mass., brought the lawsuit. They alleged district officials and staff at Estabrook Elementary School violated state law and civil rights by indoctrinating their children about a lifestyle they, as Christians, teach is immoral.
"Wolf's ruling is every parent's nightmare. It goes to extraordinary lengths to legitimize and reinforce the 'right' (and even the duty) of schools to normalize homosexual behavior to even the youngest of children," said a statement from the pro-family group Mass Resistance.
It also is making available background information about the lengthy dispute.
David Parker in handcuffs
"In the ruling, Wolf makes the absurd claim that normalizing homosexuality to young children is 'reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy.' According to Wolf, this means teaching 'diversity' which includes 'differences in sexual orientation.'
"In addition, Wolf makes the odious statement that the Parkers' only options are (1) send their kids to a private school, (2) home-school their kids, or (3) elect a majority of people to the School Committee who agree with them. Can you imagine a federal judge in the Civil Rights era telling blacks the same thing – that if they can't be served at a lunch counter they should just start their own restaurant, or elect a city council to pass laws that reflect the U.S. Constitution?" the organization said.
Lawyers for the families said they already had planned an appeal of the judge's opinion.
But Wolf's claims followed very closely the reasoning submitted earlier in a brief by Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and other advocates for the "gay" agenda.
Earlier, Mass Resistance President Brian Camenker had wondered why such national groups were "so interested in a parent's right to decide what moral issues are taught to his children by adults in elementary schools, especially regarding homosexuality."
"They must see David Parker's case as quite a threat to their ability to push their message on children," he had said. His organization has posted information about the judge's ruling on the Internet for readers to review.
But the judge concluded that even allowing Christians to withdraw their children from classes or portions of classes where the religious beliefs were being violated wasn't a reasonable expectation.
"An exodus from class when issues of homosexuality or same-sex marriage are to be discussed could send the message that gays, lesbians, and the children of same-sex parents are inferior and, therefore, have a damaging effect on those students," he opined.
"Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy," the judge wrote. "Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation."
And, he said, since history "includes instances of … official discrimination against gays and lesbians … it is reasonable for public educators to teach elementary school students … different sexual orientations."
If they disagree, "the Parkers and Wirthlins may send their children to a private school …[or] may also educate their children at home," the judge said.
Parker was arrested and jailed in Lexington in April 2005 over his request – and the school's refusal – to notify him when adults discuss homosexuality or transgenderism with his 6-year-old kindergartner. That despite a state law requiring such notification.
The incident made news around the nation and even Gov. Mitt Romney agreed with Parker.
However, in April 2006 the same school presented the book "King and King," about homosexual romances and marriage, to second-graders and again refused to provide notification.
Parker and other parents followed with the federal civil rights lawsuit, alleging school officials were refusing to follow state law.
David Parker's son brought home the book 'Who's in a Family?' in school's 'Diversity Book Bag' (Image: Article 8 Alliance)
Just days later, David Parker's son, Jacob, was beaten up at Estabrook Elementary, officials said. MassResistance said a group of 8-10 kids surrounded him and took him out of sight of "patrolling aides," then pummeled and beat him.
"The state must fight 'discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation' in ways that 'do not perpetuate stereotypes,'" the lawyers for the school district had argued at an earlier motions hearing. They also explained to the judge that, in their opinion, parents have no right to control what ideas the school presents to elementary schoolchildren.
"David Parker's dilemma … threatens the parental rights and religious freedom of every Massachusetts parent, and indirectly every parent in America," said John Haskins of the Parents' Rights Coalition.
"As the Lexington schools themselves are arguing, the state's right to force pro-homosexuality indoctrination on other people's children arises directly from former Gov. Mitt Romney's nakedly false and unconstitutional declaration that homosexual marriage is now legal."
Haskins said when the Massachusetts state Supreme Court demanded homosexual marriages in the state, it didn't have the constitutional or legal authority to order the governor to act or to order the Legislature to make any changes, and the creation of same-sex marriages in Massachusetts actually was accomplished by executive order from Romney.
|Home TOC Top|