On Christianity - page 10
-- ESPN anchorwoman: 'F--- Jesus'
-- Members of Congress, again, affirm U.S. owns cross
-- Bible studies finally 'free'
-- Christians warned: Accept Islamic law
-- N-word fine, but 'family values' banned
-- 'Repulsive' Poland confronts Europe
| ESPN anchorwoman: 'F--- Jesus'
TV host taken to task for outburst at public event
Posted: January 22, 2008 WorldNetDaily.com
A Catholic advocacy group charges the sports TV network ESPN has failed to respond properly to a graphic rant by anchorwoman Dana Jacobson in which she "attacked Jesus Christ."
Jacobson, reportedly intoxicated, was speaking at a celebrity roast in Atlantic City, N.J., when she unleashed a profane tirade, saying, "F--- Notre Dame," "F--- Touchdown Jesus" and finally "F--- Jesus."
"Touchdown Jesus" is the popular moniker for a statue on the Notre Dame campus of Jesus raising his arms.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue said he pressed ESPN on the issue and received an e-mail with an unsatisfactory statement by Jacobson.
The statement said, in part, "My remarks about Notre Dame were foolish and insensitive. I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words."
Donohue contended the response "fails on several counts."
"First, there is no evidence that ESPN is taking this matter seriously," he said. "Are we to believe that her hate speech is of no consequence?"
Donohue argued Jacobson's comments were at a public event where she represented ESPN.
Secondly, he pointed out, racist remarks by the late sports commentator Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder during a luncheon interview in 1988 resulted in his prompt firing by CBS, despite an apology.
Donohue added, "It is also important to note that being drunk didn't help Mel Gibson's case when he made bigoted remarks about Jews."
Finally, the Catholic leader said, "By far the most offensive thing she said, 'F--- Jesus,' isn't even addressed!"
"It is obvious, then, that neither Jacobson nor ESPN is dealing with this matter in a professional way," Donohue declared. "To put this issue behind them, ESPN must deal with this issue quickly, publicly and fairly, something it has yet to do. After all, most Christians are yet unaware of this event, but once they learn of it, they are sure to demand accountability."
As WND reported in September, Kathy Griffin, the star of the Bravo show "My Life on the D-List," stirred controversy when she used her appearance on the Emmy Awards program to tell Jesus to "suck it" and to claim full credit for the honor for herself.
Members of Congress, again, affirm U.S. owns cross
Brief seeks conclusion to decades-long dispute over Mt. Soledad memorial
Posted: December 29, 2007 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
The American Center for Law & Justice has filed an amicus brief on behalf of more than 30 members of Congress seeking a ruling that Congress, when it approved the transfer of ownership of the site, acted constitutionally.
"The federal government acted appropriately and constitutionally when it acquired the Mt. Soledad Memorial, a move that was overwhelmingly approved by voters of San Diego," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.
"Over the years, there have been numerous state and federal challenges, all aimed at removing the memorial. Those attempts have failed and we're hopeful this latest legal challenge will not succeed. The federal government's ownership and operation of the memorial is proper and plays a vital role in ensuring that this important symbol honoring military veterans remains in place," he said.
The remaining issue in the case pending before U.S. District Court in San Diego is the transfer of the ownership of the memorial site from the city of San Diego to the federal government.
"Like all democratically elected bodies, Congress has a great interest in giving effect to the will of the people on issues of public importance," the brief said. "The widespread support among San Diego voters for the federal government's operation of the memorial cut across religious, political, and cultural lines."
"The pertinent question is whether the federal government's operation of the entire memorial is consistence with the Establishment Clause, not whether a Latin cross has religious meaning in various contexts," the group said.
The ACLJ represents 33 members of the 110th Congress, including Todd Akin, Gresham Barrett, Rob Bishop, Dan Burton, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, Steve Chabot, Michael Conaway, Barbara Cubin, John Culberson, John Doolittle, Tom Feeney, Virginia Foxx, Scott Garrett, Phil Gingrey, Louis Gohmert, Steve King, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Keeny Marchant, Patrick McHenry, Mike McIntyre, Gary Miller, Marilyn Musgrave, Sue Myrick, Randy Neugebauer, Steve Pearce, Joseph Pitts, Dana Rohrabacher, Tom Tancredo, Todd Tiahrt, Dave Weldon and Lynn Westmoreland.
The brief supports the city of San Diego and the U.S. government, who are defendants in a federal lawsuit that challenges legislation signed into law by President Bush in 2006 changing ownership of the site from the city to the federal government. The brief was filed in conjunction with Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a California law firm serving as co-counsel in the case.
The odyssey over the memorial was launched in the 1980s, and many thought it was resolved when Congress intervened in 2006.
"There is a reason the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress, and the president intervened in this case to protect the Mt. Soledad War Memorial: this nation honors those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to insure such public expressions of faith can continue in this country," said Pete Lepiscopo, of San Diego, an affiliate attorney for The Pacific Justice Institute, which also has worked on amicus briefs in the case.
The case is the only remaining litigation over the existence of the cross at the war memorial in California. It challenged a law signed by President Bush in 2006 that actually accepted the transfer of ownership of the site from the city of San Diego to the federal government.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier dismissed a challenge targeting the city, since the federal government now controls the land. Several hundred thousand Americans, including 27,000 from California, also signed a petition assembled by the ACLJ to seek the preservation of the memorial.
The case to remove the cross originally was brought on behalf of an atheist, Phillip Paulsen, who died in 2006. The dispute dates back to 1989, and at one point the arguments included an order for San Diego to take the cross down. But in 1998 the city sold the property to the Mt. Soledad War Memorial Association, a move which again was challenged in court. The sale originally was upheld but later ruled unconstitutional by the full panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and remanded back to district court to work out a remedy.
Then Proposition A, passed by 76 percent of the voters in July 2005, called for the city to donate the cross to the federal government as the centerpiece of the veterans memorial. Finally, Congress stepped in and ordered the ownership of the land transferred to the federal government, a plan signed into law by President Bush.
As WND has reported, the cross was erected in 1954, and now honors veterans of World Wars I and II and the Korean War.
The latest decision from U.S. District Judge Larry Burns noted that the remaining plaintiff in the case, after Paulson's death, was Steve Trunk, but he had no standing to bring a complaint.
"Trunk has not met his burden of demonstrating he has standing to challenge the taking of the Mt. Soledad property by Public Law 109-272. This claim is therefore dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. His requests for a declaration that the taking violated his California state constitutional and U.S. Constitutional rights, and for the court to encourage the parties to abide by the earlier settlement agreement are likewise denied for lack of jurisdiction," the judge concluded.
"Trunk has not shown he has suffered an 'injury in fact,' consisting of 'an invasion of a legally protected interest which is … concrete and particularized and … actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical," the court said.
The latest case alleging the transfer was filed after Congress and President Bush took action to affirm the memorial's ownership by the U.S. government.
Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the Thomas More Law Center, has been representing San Diegans for the Mt. Soledad National War Memorial in the case.
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Bible studies finally 'free'
County had told 2 groups to buy 2.5 acres or stop their meetings
Posted: December 28, 2007 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
A lawsuit alleging officials in Miami-Dade County violated the U.S. Constitution and federal law by demanding that members of Bible studies, even if only two or three people were involved, own an least 2.5 acres of land to meet has been dropped after county officials changed their minds.
The lawsuit by the Alliance Defense Fund had been filed early in 2007 after authorities issued cease-and-desist orders to two separate Christian organizations, the International Outreach Center and Worldwide Agape Ministries, demanding they purchase enough land to make their properties at least 2.5 acres, or stop meeting.
County officials, however, later concluded their demands should be dropped, so the ADF said it was dropping the lawsuit also.
"County officials agreed that forcing people to purchase 2.5 acres of land in order to meet in a private home is ridiculous," said Joel Oster, senior legal counsel for the ADF. "We commend county officials for standing up for the rights of our clients."
The issue arose during the course of 2006, when the International Outreach Center, after meeting for prayer, Bible study, discussion and singing on its small rented property for more than a decade, was given a code violation notice from the county stating the group needed to apply for a "certificate of use."
Additionally, the group was told it would have to purchase enough land to comprise at least 2.5 acres, or stop meeting.
A similar order went to Worldwide Agape Ministries, a home-based religious ministry that meets for the same purposes as IOC, officials said.
"County officials stated at the time that the group would have to purchase 2.5 acres of land to continue meetings, even if the regular gathering included two to three people," the ADF confirmed.
Its lawsuit was filed in February of 2007, alleging that the county's demand was unreasonable, and worse, illegal and unconstitutional.
"The limitation placed on these ministries acts as a major roadblock, particularly since land in south Florida is so expensive," Oster said. "County officials cannot be permitted to continue the enforcement of these broad restrictions against those who simply want to exercise their freedom of religion."
The complaint had documented that the IOC had used the property it has since 1994 for various meetings and events, but in 2006 it was told it failed to meet the county's zoning code, which requires that a church be located on at least 2.5 acres.
Specifically, that code said, "No church shall be constructed, operated or permitted upon any site that does not contain a minimum of two and one-half (2 ˝) acres of land area, including street dedications, and having a minimum contiguous frontage of at least one hundred fifty (150) feet abutting on a public street right-of-way…"
Since IOC, with about 70 members, leased a number of units in a commercial building, it was unable to meet the property size demand. Likewise, WW Ministries meets in a home, and was told "by Miami-Dade County Zoning Compliance Officer R. Brunetto that they could not even have 2-3 people come over to their house for prayer. … Officer Brunetto warned the Plaintiffs that if they continued to have others come to their house for prayer, they would be fined and possibly, a lien could be placed on their house."
The complaint alleged the zoning code provision violated the U.S. Constitution and the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.
The lawsuit pointed out that the county allowed other activities on smaller parcels, but not churches.
"For example, although auditoriums and private clubs are permitted as a matter of right in the IU-1 District, churches are not," the complaint said. "Defendant's Code does not treat churches within the County equally with other public assembly uses."
However, changes within the county code prompted the ADF to make the decision to pursue legal action no longer.
"County officials are now fully supporting the rights of the groups under federal law, making the lawsuit unnecessary," the ADF said in a statement.
The dismissal document noted, "the parties have worked collaboratively and expeditiously to proffer proposed legislation to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners… On Oct. 16, 2007, a proposed ordinance … was preliminarily approved on first reading by the Board."
It was planned for final approval early this month, with an effective date 10 days later.
"The … legislation essentially eliminates the Code's acreage and frontage requirements, which were adopted in the 1950s, for religious facilities. The parties agree that the enactment of the proposed legislation will address the plaintiffs' concerns as alleged," the court "Joint Status Report" said.
The city of Lake Elsinore, Calif., earlier had an encounter with a conflict between local zoning regulations and the requirements under RLUIPA, which essentially requires that churches be allowed to exist and expand.
Lake Elsinore officials had rejected building plans by Elsinore Christian Center because they preferred having a property tax-paying operation on the property.
The city's case lost in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the city ended up settling with the church for $1.205 million for damages sustained by the city's initial rejection of church plans.
The appellate ruling found that the city violated RLUIPA, which codifies the First Amendment and provides that governments cannot use land use regulations, such as zoning, to place a "substantial burden" on churches unless there is compelling state interest.
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Pastor's prison sentence stuns congregation
Appeals court spends 2 minutes affirming 2 years in work camp
Posted: October 5, 2007 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
An appeals court has spent two minutes affirming a two-year work camp sentence for a Baptist pastor who was holding Christian church services, a case on which Voice of the Martyrs, the worldwide ministry to persecuted Christians, has reported.
The pastor, Zaur Balaev, had been in custody in Azerbaijan since his arrest in May. He was convicted in August under the national criminal code that punishes the threat of violence against a "state representative" carrying out his or her duties, and sentenced to prison.
Because the accusations were so outrageous - one pastor attacking five police officers - supporters had hoped for a positive result at the appeals court level, even though they didn't expect a complete exoneration because that would have been incriminating to the police officers who testified against him.
However, the pastor's supporters were surprised by the appellate court affirmation of the two-year sentence, which likely will be served in some unknown work camp.
"We're stunned at the result the court handed down," Ilya Zenchenko, the head of the Baptist Union, told Forum 18 New Service, according to documentation from ASSIST News Service. "We don't know what to do. It is a tragedy for his wife and children."
Zenchenko said he had been allowed to speak briefly in the hearing on the appeal, but the verdict followed immediately.
"It was all over in two minutes," he told Forum 18.
The pastor had been targeted for his activities, along with his congregation, in his village of Aliabad near Zakatala. Other Baptists in the village also have been targeted by authorities, who in Azerbaijan require that church groups be licensed by the state in order to operate.
They then can control church activities by denying licensing to groups they don't like.
"Zaur's son is very distressed, complaining that there is no hope and no law in Azerbaijan," Zenchenko told Forum 18. "He is young but his emotional reaction is understandable."
The pastor's wife and two children met with him briefly, and gave him warm clothes for the oncoming winter.
An appeal is being prepared to the nation's Supreme Court, or even the European Court of Human Rights if needed, officials said.
Forum 18 reported that no officials for the state or prosecution would discuss the case with them.
Balaev, 44, had been leading his Baptist congregation in the northwest corner of Azerbaijan near Georgia, but repeatedly was refused in his applications for legal status, a situation that led to harassment from local authorities for not having that permission, supporters told Forum 18.
He had been arrested May 20 during what police said was an "illegal" worship service. He then was accused of attacking five police officers.
Zenchenko said he told the court the church teaches members not to resist with violence, and Balaev's father, who witnessed the raid, told the judicial officials it was the police who used violence.
With Balaev in prison, police in Aliabad have been harassing the leader of another Baptist congregation, led by Nvoruz Eyvazov, according to Forum 18. Homes of several members have been searched by police, and religious literature was confiscated.
VOM is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.
It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.
He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.
The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.
Accept Islamic law
Posted: June 19, 2007 By Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM - Christians can continue living safely in the Gaza Strip only if they accept Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings, an Islamist militant leader in Gaza told WND in an exclusive interview.
The militant leader said Christians in Gaza who engage in "missionary activity" will be "dealt with harshly."
The threats come two days after a church and Christian school in Gaza was attacked following the seizure of power in the territory by the Hamas terror group.
"I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza," said Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a "military wing" to enforce Muslim law in Gaza.
Jihadia Salafiya is suspected of attacking a United Nations school in Gaza last month, after the school allowed boys and girls to participate in the same sporting event. One person was killed in that attack.
"The situation has now changed 180 degrees in Gaza," said Abu Saqer, speaking from Gaza yesterday.
"Jihadia Salafiya and other Islamic movements will ensure Christian schools and institutions show publicly what they are teaching to be sure they are not carrying out missionary activity. No more alcohol on the streets. All women, including non-Muslims, need to understand they must be covered at all times while in public," Abu Asqer told WND.
"Also the activities of Internet cafes, pool halls and bars must be stopped," he said. "If it goes on, we'll attack these things very harshly."
Abu Saqer accused the leadership of the Gaza Christian community of "proselytizing and trying to convert Muslims with funding from American evangelicals."
"This missionary activity is endangering the entire Christian community in Gaza," he said.
Abu Saqer claimed there was "no need" for the thousands of Christians in Gaza to maintain a large number of institutions in the territory.
About 2,000 Christians live in the Gaza Strip, which has a population of over 1 million.
Abu Saqer said Hamas "must work to impose an Islamic rule or it will lose the authority it has and the will of the people."
His comments come after gunmen Sunday attacked Gaza's Latin Church and adjacent Rosary Sisters School, reportedly destroying crosses, bibles, pictures of Jesus and furniture and equipment. The attackers also stole a number of computers.
The attack was the first targeting of Christian institutions since Hamas last week staged a coup against the rival Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, seizing all Fatah positions and security compounds, essentially taking complete control of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas officials in Gaza claimed to WND Fatah was behind Sunday's church attack in an attempt to discredit Hamas to the international community.
Abu Saqer claimed he had "good information" the attack actually was a robbery aimed at the church's school computers, even though Bibles and Christian holy objects were destroyed.
Christians, secular institutions targeted
Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005. Since then, there have been a slew of attacks there against Christians and non-Muslims.
A month before the U.N. school was targeted, Palestinians bombed a Christian book store in Gaza reportedly funded by American Protestants that exclusively sold Christian books. Two nearby Internet cafes also were bombed.
At the time, Abu Saqer, who didn't take credit for the attack, told WND the Christian bookstore was "proselytizing and attempting to convert our people."
"As a principle, we believe that Jews and Christians will always do everything in order to keep Muslims far from their religion," Abu Saqer said.
Even before Hamas took over Gaza last week, some analysts here called the recent bombings of secular and Christian institutions in the territory indications Hamas may be seeking to impose Islamic rule on the Palestinian population.
Israeli officials said Hamas in 2005 established hard-line Islamic courts and created the Hamas Anti-Corruption Group, described as a kind of "morality police" operating within Hamas' organization. Hamas has denied the existence of the group, but it recently carried out a high-profile "honor killing" widely covered by the Palestinian media.
A Hamas-run council in the West Bank came under international criticism last year when it barred an open-air music and dance festival, declaring it was against Islam.
'West can learn from Islamic values'
In response to the uproar, Hamas chief in Gaza and former foreign minister Mahmoud al-Zahar told WND in a recent interview: "I hardly understand the point of view of the West concerning these issues. The West brought all this freedom to its people but it is that freedom that has brought about the death of morality in the West. It's what led to phenomena like homosexuality, homelessness and AIDS."
Asked if Hamas is seeking to impose hard-line Islamic law on the Palestinians, al-Zahar responded, "The Palestinian people are Muslim people, and we do not need to impose anything on our people because they are already committed to their faith and religion. People are free to choose their way of life, their way of dress and behavior."
Al-Zahar said his terror group, which demands strict dress codes for females, respects women's rights.
"It is wrong to think that in our Islamic society there is a lack of rights for women. Women enjoy their rights. What we have, unlike the West, is that young women cannot be with men and have relations outside marriage. Sometimes with tens of men. This causes the destruction of the family institution and the fact that many kids come to the world without knowing who are their fathers or who are their mothers. This is not a modern and progressed society," al-Zahar explained.
The terror chieftain told WND the West can learn from his group's Islamic values.
"Here I refer to what was said in the early '90s by Britain's Prince Charles at Oxford University. He spoke about Islam and its important role in morality and culture. He said the West must learn from Islam how to bring up children properly and to teach them the right values."
N-word fine, but 'family values' banned
Christians challenge ruling that 'hate speech' could scare workers
Posted: June 5, 2007 By Bob Unruh 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
A Christian organization fighting on behalf of religious and speech rights is going to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge an appellate court decision that found municipal employers could censor words such as "marriage" and "family values" because they are hate speech and could scare workers.
At the same time, those municipal officials for the city of Oakland, Calif., were allowing employees to exchange epithets such as the N-word, the appeal said.
"To allow the lower court's ruling to stand exposes every public employee to outright censorship by a municipal employer for merely mentioning words such as the 'natural family,' 'marriage,' 'and 'family values,' issues which are at the forefront of national debate," said the appeal prepared by the Pro-Family Law Center.
Richard D. Ackerman, of the Pro-Family Law Center
"In fact, the lower courts' decisions could preclude a public employee from so much as mentioning the birth of one's child or the fact that they were just married because this might theoretically offend a co-worker," said the file in the case argued at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals level by Richard D. Ackerman, of the Pro-Family Law Center, as well as Scott Lively.
"We are simply unwilling to accept that Christians can be completely silenced on the issues of the day - especially on issues such as same-sex marriage, parental rights, and free speech rights," Ackerman told WND.
"If we fail to get U.S. Supreme Court review, however, it will be up to each individual Christian in the United States to stand up for their rights to be heard on the issues of the day. If we choose to be silent, silenced we shall be," he said.
The case involves the Good News Employee Association and two women, Regina Rederford and Robin Christy, who wanted to launch the organization among co-workers. They put up an announcement on an Oakland city bulletin board asking those interested in those "family" issues to contact them.
This came after the same bulletin board - as well as the city's e-mail system - had been used to promote speech "concerning war, health-care, peace, employee outsourcing, sports, racism, slavery, spirituality, hate, God, the Gay-Straight Employee Alliance, tolerance, homosexuality, 'coming out,' diversity, Christ, the Bible, sexuality, and a host of other topics," the appeal said.
None of those topics was a problem. However, their supervisors ordered the two Christians' announcement about Good News pulled down, and issued a warning that such "homophobic" literature could lead to penalties up to and including dismissal, the law firm said.
The decision was affirmed by the 9th Circuit, which issued an unpublished "memorandum." in the dispute.
It found that municipalities have a right to dictate what form an employee's speech may take, even if it is in regard to controversial public issues.
"Public employers are permitted to curtail employee speech as long as their 'legitimate administrative interests' outweigh the employee's interest in freedom of speech," said the court's opinion noted.
"The district court appropriately described [the Christians' speech rights] as 'vanishingly small,'" the opinion continued.
"This incredible and devastating ruling has had the practical effect of silencing hundreds, if not thousands, of City of Oakland employees who simply wish to talk about marriage and family values. To the extent that this ruling has been shared by Oakland with other cities, there is a huge risk that these rulings are being treated as precedent by other cities across the nation. In fact, one of the defendants is presently in charge of the Washington, D.C., school district," the Pro-Family firm said.
The two Christian women had brought a complaint over the censorship of their announcement against the city as well as Joyce Hicks, the deputy executive director of the Community & Economic Development Agency in Oakland, and Robert Bobb, as city manager.
The lawsuit developed in 2002 when the women chose to create the Good News Employee Association, "in response to Bible-bashing by ranking city officials and free rein given to radical left-wing groups over the city's e-mail and bulletin board systems," the law firm said.
The Pro-Family Law Center noted that city-approved e-mails have included establishing an "altar" for Day of the Dead, and one e-mail that was circulated said, "I personally think the good book (Bible) needs some updating"
The Christians' notice said:
Good News Employee Associations is a forum for people of Faith to express their views on the contemporary issues of the day. With respect for the Natural Family, Marriage and Family values.
If you would like to be a part of preserving integrity in the Workplace call Regina Rederford @xxx- xxxx or Robin Christy @xxx-xxxx
"The mere publication of these words was met with a direct threat of termination from employment," the law center said. "[The women] have been absolutely chilled in the exercise of free speech and cannot afford to lose their jobs."
Meanwhile Oakland's Gay-Straight Employees Alliance "was openly allowed to attack the Bible in widespread city e-mails, to deride Christian values as antiquated, and to refer to Bible-believing Christians as hateful. When the plaintiffs attempted to refute this blatant attack on people of faith, they were threatened with immediate termination by the City of Oakland. The Ninth Circuit did not feel that the threat of immediate termination had any effect on free speech," the appeal said.
U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker had ruled in 2005 that Oakland had a right to prevent the employees from posting that Good News Employee Association flier promoting traditional family values on the office bulletin board.
"The city of Oakland has interpreted this district court's ruling to mean that Christianity has no place in our society and should be subject to punishment. I want to believe that our Supreme Court will ultimately decide this case on the values and instructions set forth in motion by the nations Founders," said Ackerman.
His arguments are based on the 1st Amendment and the 14th Amendments.
"With the likelihood of a lively and important national debate about same-sex relationships, religion, and the future of our nation in the upcoming 2008 presidential election, there exist compelling reasons for granting review in this case. If review is not granted, there is an imminent likelihood that thousands of California's Bay Area employees will be chilled in the exercise of free speech … or completely silenced during a time where friendly debate about national issues should not only be allowed but invited," the appeal said.
During Bobb's tenure, employees were allowed to discuss just about anything they wanted except for threatening or actual violence against other employees. "In fact, employees could actually refer to each other as 'niggers' or other such derogatory terms, as a form of 'workplace speech,'" the appeal said. "It's hard to believe Respondent Bobb would allow the term 'nigger' to be used …but not the terms 'natural family, marriage and family values.'"
Ackerman's firm represents the women and said the Pro-Family Law Center and Abiding Truth Ministries have helped underwrite the thousands of dollars it has cost to fight the city's aggressive promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.
'Repulsive' Poland confronts Europe
'They are inspiring people around the world with their stance'
Posted: May 12, 2007 By Art Moore WorldNetDaily.com
WARSAW - Nearly 70 years after the invasion of Poland marked the beginning of a global cataclysm, the Central European nation once again finds itself confronting a foe it sees as a threat to Western civilization.
While the rest of Europe largely accommodates a rising tide of secularism, many Polish leaders are prepared to fight back with a bold, traditional social agenda they envision not only for their own country but for the continent and the world.
Poland's vice premier and minister of education, Roman Giertych told the World Congress of Families here his multi-pronged plan - including a proposal issued last month to ban "homosexual propaganda" in schools - is "something I have to do."
"The family is the hope for Poland, the hope for Europe, the hope for the entire world," the 36-year-old leader told the global gathering of more than 3,200 from 75 nations. "... Without the family, there is no nation, there is no continent, there is no civilization, there is nothing."
As WND reported, the fourth World Congress convened this weekend to address Europe's "demographic winter" of plunging birthrates by promoting the "natural family" as the "springtime of Europe and the world."
In April, members of the European Parliament quickly denounced Giertych's "homosexual propaganda" proposal as "repulsive" and "hateful" and passed a resolution of condemnation 325-124, with 150 abstentions.
Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science, the venue of the World Congress of Families, bears reminders of Poland's old order (Photo: WND)
It's no wonder then that Polish pro-life activist Eva Kowalewska told the World Congress delegates, "Your presence here gives us strength."
Janina Fetlinksa, a member of the Polish Senate and the Council of Europe, told WND in an interview the European Union doesn't really understand Poland.
"When I hear we are intolerant, homophobic and so forth, I think, my God," she said, pointing to her peoples' long history of living among many nationalities. "The majority of Poles love life, they love family. I think the misunderstanding from this is that we are intolerant moralists. It is not true."
While many Poles don't practice the country's traditional Catholic faith, it's still deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, Fetlinska said.
Our pope, John Paul II, moved our spirits toward God," she explained. "I think this is the reason the value of life is very important to us. It's in our politics, too, because politics are from people."
'The truth is on our side'
Giertych, whose father and grandfather were prominent Polish politicians, says Poland is threatened by "various ideologies … that have nothing to do with the well-being of children, that promote attitudes which are not true to life."
"This world of permissiveness, of certain attitudes which promote homosexuality, which promote pornography, this world is coming to an end, because our civilization is built on virtues, on Roman law … on the Decalogue," said Giertych, according to an English interpretation. "This civilization has great strength for rebirth. The rebirth will take place in the family, not only in Europe, but in the entire world."
Giertych's appointments to his posts in May 2006 were met one day later with a protest in front of the Ministry of Education by about 100 activists. Just a couple of weeks later, more than 140,000 people signed a petition to remove him from office.
At the Congress, Giertych offered encouragement to fellow Poles and to foreigners attacked for their views.
"Please don't let people shut you down," he said. "Please don't be convinced that others who are promoting lies are telling the truth. The truth is on our side."
Giertych said the world needs a breakthrough like the one that took place at the beginning of the 13th century in England with the signing of the Magna Carta. In March, at a meeting of ministers of education in Heidelberg, Germany, he proposed a "Great Charter of Rights of European Nations."
The world will never be free from dangers threatening the family, he said, if there are no rights in place protecting life from the very beginning until natural death.
"Today we need a great charter for the rights of the family and nations that defines the right to life, that would define abortion as murder," Giertych told the World Congress delegates. "Whether three months old or three months before birth, whether 60 or 90 years old, murder is always murder. It is always a crime."
One of the fundamental truths that should be in that charter, he said, is that families are led by a man and a woman.
"Let's never accept mommy and mommy or daddy and daddy," he said. "There is only one truth."
Giertych said the consequences of "alternative" family structures must be frankly communicated, and several World Congress presenters did just that, including Patrick Fagan of the Heritage Foundation, who presented research data in numerous categories showing "the safest place for children is in the natural family."
Another proposal, Giertych said is to restructure a tax and pension system that essentially takes from those who have many children and gives to those who have none.
"This is contrary to equality of law," Giertych said. "A fair system allows the family to regain some of the money they spend on their children, because they are investing in the next generation. This is not symbolic but realistic, lowering the cost of upbringing children."
A further initiative is to prohibit circulation of pornography.
"Pornography is evil; it is an evil that touches the family and threatens the development of young people," the deputy prime minister said. "Its circulation should be treated as a crime, because it ruins what is most virtuous in a human being."
To many European activists such as Robert Biedron, president of the Polish homosexual-rights group Campaign Against Homophobia, such proposals make Poland a pariah. The ban on "homosexual propaganda" is a "dangerous" measure that made him feel "embarrassed" when he heard about it.
"Poland is like an island drifting away from the rest of Europe," Biedron said at the time.
Tomasz Bilicki, who battles the spread of pornography as deputy director of the Center of Family Service in Lodz, Poland, told WND through an interpreter his nation does, indeed, often feel alone.
"It's very often, on the international field, Poland has only one country it can cooperate with - the Vatican," he said. "Sometimes it's Ireland or Spain, but only sometimes. "We are alone, we are the last bastion."
Bilicki gave a presentation in a panel session on pornography that included American scholar Robert Knight of the Media Research Center in Alexandria, Va.
Knight affirmed in an interview with WND that Poland is "nearly alone" as the European Union promotes abortion, homosexuality and pornography "as hard as it can as part of an overall deconstruction of the family."
"You can't blame them for feeling as if they're the lone soldier on the battlefield," he said. "They are inspiring people around the world with their stance."
Robert Knight (Photo: WND)
Knight said Poland's stand against the European Union has been a topic among defenders of the family across the U.S.
"We have taken our courage in what the Poles are doing," he said. "This is a nation that has suffered enormously over many decades. First from Nazism and then communism. They're a tough bunch of people who appear to have the strength to resist especially the homosexual agenda.
"If you've been victim of communists and Nazis, you're not going to run in fright from the forces from San Francisco."
Knight said it was wise for Poland to host the World Congress, because "they know you need allies."
"Even the bravest soldier can't stand alone forever. And they don't need to," he said. "I think the lesson for Americans is that we need more soldiers out on the battlefield."
Knight said observing Poland reminds him of a principle he learned from watching former Republican Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina "stand up and be attacked by the left."
"His courage gave others the excuse to move toward his position even if they didn't vocalize it publicly," Knight said. "We need that kind of leadership. … It's far easier to isolate someone and make them out to be a crank or far-right if nobody else is talking the way they are."
Poland, he said, isn't "waiting to see what others are doing, they are taking leadership."
"Others will come to them because they are the rallying point," said Knight. "So our hats have to go off to the Poles."
Wesley Smith, a bioethics expert and senior fellow with Seattle's Discovery Institute, told WND after contributing to an international panel on euthanasia that he, too, has been impressed by the Poles.
"It strikes me that they are willing to stand against the cultural tide, and that takes courage," Smith said. "And if that continues, eventually the tide sometimes can be shifted."
The Polish Senate's Fetlinksa concurred.
"We are idealists," she said, "but only idealists can change the world."
WND News Editor Art Moore is in Warsaw, Poland, to report on the World Congress of Families.
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