VIDEO This Is Hate Speech? Church Rally for Biblical Marriage Includes Proud Boys and LGBTQ Protesters

By Jesse T. Jackson -April 9, 2021

Hate Speech

They said it was hate speech. But if this is hate speech, then what can Christians say? Check out what people at the rally sponsored by Rivers of Living Water United Pentecostal Church in Sandy, Oregon, on March 20, 2021, had to say. The “Prayer, Faith & Freedom Rally to Celebrate the Natural Heterosexual Family” involved LGBTQ protesters, the Portland Proud Boys, and a YouTuber who stopped by to interview all who were involved.

The day before the rally, Rivers of Living Water United Pentecostal Church’s Facebook page explained the event would also stand against abortion. They assured that they would flag wave to celebrate America’s first amendment freedoms. Their post said, “Because the natural heterosexual family is the design of God for mankind and it is under attack spiritually, politically & socially. Satan wants to destroy the natural family & the unborn. Our government is attacking the very foundation of the natural family & the lives of the unborn. Our culture is falling into absolute disregard for the natural family & the unborn. Our children are being fed gender propaganda that is completely anti-natural family. Our 1st Amendment Freedoms are under attack more and more each day.”

A report by Portland, Oregon’s Willamette Week described the scene driving down Pioneer Boulevard in the town of Sandy that Saturday. There was a church rally celebrating the natural heterosexual family on one side of the street and on the other side a party/peaceful protest called “Have a Gay Day” attended by the town’s LGBTQ community.

Rivers of Living Water United Pentecostal Church’s pastor Russell Collier, who has been a pastor for over 20 years, wore a sweatshirt that read “Living Faith in Jesus.” He held an American flag while he prayed and then spoke about biblical sexualityabortion, and freedom at the rally. Collier was accompanied by members of the Portland Proud Boys. Although the pastor didn’t invite the Proud Boys, he said he “appreciated their support for our right to freedom of speech.”

Collier shared during his speech that the church invited the LGBTQ community to an open discussion with them a month ago and no one showed up. He said no one came “because they hate the light.”

“I believe that the natural family is under attack,” Collier said. The pastor shared that he had a phone conversation with a current family member who is struggling with homosexuality and told him that his purpose isn’t being gay; “it’s your potential, but it’s not your purpose.” He said the young man’s purpose is to grow up and become a husband and father.

YouTube Journalist Interviewed Both Groups

YouTube journalist Jake Silberman showed up at the rally and asked a woman from the church’s side of the street if she thought that being gay was a choice? “It is a choice. I believe that firmly,” she responded. She told the journalist that she “had some bisexual interactions” at one time in her life. But she said, “I have repented from those sins because I know they’re wrong…If you don’t accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will go to hell.”

Sliberman asked another church rally attender: “When you see a happy gay couple, do you think that they need to find a straight partner?” The lady paused for a moment, then told the journalist, “I think they need to find Jesus.”

When interviewing one of the protesters supporting the LGBTQ community about what she saw as hate speech, the girl shared that she “was taught that Jesus loves everybody regardless of who you are.” Questioning the church rally across the street standing for heterosexual family, she said, “So when I see Christians out here saying, spouting, like hate messages, like, ‘You’re not natural if you’re gay,’ it’s really hurtful and I just hope that we can teach our youth that, you know, Jesus loves you no matter who you are.”

A young man who is involved with the Students Advocating for Equality (SAFE) interviewed by Silberman called the church’s event a rally that displays hate. The SAFE advocate and LGBTQ supporter said he is there to show “people that aren’t necessarily native to this town, that are going to be passing through, that there’s more support for equality than there is for hate.”

Portland Proud Boys Assisted the Church

Portland Proud Boy’s Vice President ‘Flip’ Todd told Silberman they showed their presence and support because the church “felt that there might be some threat as they tried to express their first amendment rights and that there might be a counter protest.” After the journalist explained that some of the Portland Proud Boys tried to intimidate him, Todd told Silberman, “We hate the media. I can’t stand the media.”

Both Sides Remained Peaceful

Witnessed from the interviews by Silberman and the rally’s video from their Facebook page, the church appears to only speak about their beliefs from the Bible and to those who gathered near their tent. Apart from the Portland Proud Boy’s spouting foul language and hand gestures, everything remained peaceful.

Pastor Collier’s speech at the rally can be watched on Facebook here.

YouTube ‘Cancels’ Christian Media Network, Deletes Over 15,000 Videos

By Jessica Lea -April 1, 2021

christian media network

YouTube has penalized Christian media network, theDove, by deleting its channel and removing all of its content, estimated at 15,600 videos. TheDove is one of several ministries around the world navigating penalties due to political and religious statements, particularly ones that pertain to the COVID-19 pandemic and the LGBTQ community. 

“We are dealing with two fairly significant law firms, one in Washington D.C. and one in California, to see if there’s any recourse we may have to retrieve our 15,000 videos,” said Perry Atkinson, theDove’s president and CEO. “We are looking into three other platforms as to whether or not we can re-establish a way to distribute our videos.”

Christian Media Network Banned from YouTube

YouTube’s decision was part of its “three-strikes system.” If users violate the social media giant’s community guidelines, YouTube issues the channel a strike. A first strike results in YouTube imposing one week of serious limitations, including not allowing the channel to upload content. If a second strike occurs within 90 days, YouTube restricts the channel from uploading content for two weeks. Each strike has 90 days to expire. After the third strike, the channel is removed completely.

Atkinson said that YouTube flagged videos from the Christian media network that pertained to COVID-19, the Equality Act, and the recent presidential election. It was after the riots at the U.S. Capitol that theDove received its first strike. The second strike was in February, and the third was on March 22. In a statement on its website, theDove said:

On March 22, 2021 the Dove was permanently banned from YouTube – our first amendment rights attacked. TheDove has over 40 years of providing hope and giving a Biblical perspective to current events. Over 15,000 interviews and segments have been posted to YouTube and the Dove has experienced millions of views. In today’s cancel culture YouTube has deleted every video. 

LoveWorld is another media network that has been penalized for statements it has promoted about COVID-19. LoveWorld USA is a network launched by televangelists Benny Hinn and Chris Oyakhilome. LoveWorld also has a branch in the United Kingdom, and U.K. Communications regulator Ofcom has fined LoveWorld UK £125,000. Ofcom levied the fine on the grounds that the network was spreading misinformation about COVID-19,  including that the pandemic is the result of a conspiracy planned by the “deep state.” 

In this video of a Global Day of Prayer event the network held on Dec. 2, 2020, Oyakhilome said the virus is a “scam” and a “scheme to deceive.” He then introduced a clip in which a woman identified as Claire Edwards, a “United Nations editor and trainer in intercultural writing,” said that COVID-19 “was a long pre-planned in documents and simulation exercises emanating from the eugenicist Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation.” Edwards also said the “sinister vaccine conspiracy” was intended to “enslave humanity.” 

In a statement, Ofcom said that LoveWorld UK “risked serious harm” and “had the potential to undermine confidence in public health measures put in place to tackle COVID-19 – at a time when cases, hospital admissions and deaths were rising in the UK, and when people were looking for reliable information given advances in the vaccination programme.”

This week brings a legal victory in the U.K., however, for Samaritan’s Purse CEO and president Franklin Graham in regards to an evangelistic crusade he held in Blackpool, England, in September 2018. After British LGBTQ leaders complained about past comments Graham made about LGTBQ community, Blackpool Transit pulled bus advertisements promoting Graham’s event. Today, Judge Claire Evans ruled that pulling the bus advertisements had violated “freedom of expression.” 

“The Defendants had a wholesale disregard for the right to freedom of expression possessed by the Claimant,” said Evans. “It gave a preference to the rights and opinions of one part of the community without having any regard for the rights of the Claimant or those who shared its religious beliefs.”

Graham responded to the decision, saying, “We thank God for this ruling because it is a win for every Christian in the UK.”

Other recent legal battles involving church leaders include a pastor who wants to hold a vigil outside the U.S. Capitol on Good Friday. Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, is suing   Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Capitol Police Board, and the Sergeant of Arms for the Senate on the grounds that his First Amendment rights have been violated. 

According to court documents, Mahoney wanted to “hold a vigil for the express purpose of beseeching God’s healing from the divisiveness and anxiety lingering over our nation since the tragic events of January 6, 2021.”  The reverend says he has held many events at the Capitol’s Lower Western Terrace, but that the fences currently barricading the area have “effectively created a no- speech zone.” Mahoney’s case was heard in federal court today(April 1st) at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Jessica Lea is a writer for ChurchLeaders.com. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past two years. When Jessica isn’t writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

Maine Church Files Petition at Supreme Court Against Governor’s ‘Draconian’ Worship Restrictions

03-24-2021 CBN News

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

A church in Bangor, Maine has filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court against the governor’s restrictions on in-person worship services. 

Acting on the behalf of Calvary Chapel of Bangor, Liberty Counsel filed a petition for cert on Monday asking the high court to review the church’s federal lawsuit against Gov. Janet Mills’ unconstitutional orders against churches. 

The governor allows churches to hold secular gatherings to feed, shelter, and to provide social services and counsel to an unlimited number of people. However, religious gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people despite the size of the building. 

In their brief, Calvary Chapel argues, “If the ‘mild climate’ of California is an insufficient basis for permitting the Governor to force worshippers outside, then it is much more so the case in Maine where there is no such mild climate this time of year. In a country where religious exercise is a fundamental constitutional right, can the First Amendment really be thought to countenance the notion that religious congregants must brave freezing temperatures and driving snow to engage in that constitutional right? Surely not. The First Circuit’s decision telling Calvary Chapel to take its religious freedom outside has – quite literally – left them out in the cold in direct conflict with the decisions of this Court.”

Liberty Counsel argues that the lower courts have not taken seriously the irreparable harm caused by Mills’ unconstitutional COVID restrictions on houses of worship. When Calvary Chapel first filed its lawsuit last May, the governor’s orders permitted no religious gatherings, including parking lot services, and violations carried criminal penalties of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. 

After the religious rights law firm filed the suit, Mills said at some point in the future she would allow very limited worship, but only after churches applied to re-open, were approved, and displayed a badge on the building. 

Following the decisions of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court in South Bay United Pentecostal Church and Harvest Rock Church, striking down the numeric restrictions (Ninth Circuit) and the total ban on worship (Supreme Court), Maine now has the most severe restrictions in the nation on places of worship, according to Liberty Counsel. 

Even before the Supreme Court’s ruling in South Bay and Harvest Rock Church, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Nevada’s 50-person numeric limit.

The church also has the Calvary Residential Discipleship (CRD) program, a biblical-based ministry that helps men and women who are seeking healing and restoration from drugs, alcohol, and other life-controlling issues. The year-long residential program operates two homes, one with 24 women and one with 24 men, for a total of 48 full-time residents on the church property. 

Regular attendance at church services is required by the individual to be a part of the program. So there will always be a minimum of 48 students at worship services on any given Sunday and Wednesday. When combined with Pastor Ken Graves, the staff of seven or eight, and the other pastors, the governor’s orders preclude Calvary Chapel’s CRD residents from worshipping in the church. They can meet for substance abuse counseling that does not involve Bible studies and worship, but as soon as they worship, the assembly is illegal. 

The petition also noted Gov. Mills has deemed certain commercial and non-religious businesses so-called “essential” to include liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, warehouse clubs, “big box” and “supercenter” stores that accommodate large gatherings of people. These organizations were never threatened with criminal sanctions, and people still may gather in these venues without restrictions.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled against these unconstitutional worship bans, and Governor Janet Mills has continued her draconian restrictions against churches and places of worship. The High Court now must end Governor Mills’ unconstitutional actions once and for all.” 

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2021/march/maine-church-files-petition-at-supreme-court-against-governors-draconian-worship-restrictions?

A Duck, A Plumb Bob, A Compass

Plumb_bob


By Rev. Paul N. Papas II
31 December 2013

Building a house without a plumb bob is like using a compass without a North. Many of our leaders have adopted values without a plumb bob and a compass without a North, leading from behind those rushing to dive off the cliff.

We live in a broken world. Our experiences here are a mixed bag of good and bad, joy and pain—a reality that Solomon expressed when he wrote, “Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, and the end of mirth may be grief” (Prov. 14:13). The merry heart often does grieve, for that is what this life sometimes demands.

I am pretty sure you have heard of the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson. Simply put Phil Robertson expressed his personal opinion stating his personal beliefs during an interview for a magazine article and was suspended from his show for speaking what he thought. It was clear he was not acting as a spokesman for A & E, any church, or group. Agree with him or not you should agree that he has a Right to expresses his personal views, just as you and I have that Right. One of the foundations of our Constitutional Republic is the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Sadly a group called “GLAAD” felt that bullying and intimidation was going to persuade people that their view was correct and that no one could express an opposing view. Bullying by anyone at anytime is not acceptable.

It has been well said that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

I am a firm believer that even the worst of bullies can have a change of heart and cease being a bully to become a kind and gentle soul.

Bullies only succeed when good people enable the bully by not saying – “that behavior is not acceptable”. Bullies rule by fear – fear of physical, emotional, and/or financial consequences. A bully can be a family member, a “friend”, co-worker, or government employee.

Calling someone a bully does not seem to carry the same stigma as calling someone abusive. It is fairly easy to get a Court Order to keep an abusive person away from you. I don’t know of any bullies who have Court Orders restraining them. There is no difference, other than the name, in the bully’s and abusive person’s actions, intent, and methods.

The Bully/Abusive person causes the same fear, anxiety and consternation to the victim. Many victims need to move, change jobs and expend many hours and spend a lot of money trying to escape the bully/abuser while trying to repair the damage the bully/abuser caused. Often professional assistance is needed for the victim to recover and remain safe. The Bully/Abusive person does not consider the mental health issues they cause their victims while they spew their venomous rants and actions.

The new year will hit us with the reality of the many unwelcomed new regulations and taxes which have been heaped upon us. Some might call it oppressive. You can call it a government being a bully or abusive toward the people they are supposed to be serving. Where do we go to get a Court Order to stop them from abusing us? They’ll be right there if we move or change jobs.

What bully/abusers have in common is that they don’t have a plumb bob of principles and their moral compass has no North. They are like a ship without a rudder wandering aimlessly. They are like the house built on sand that gets washed away by the rain. They go whichever way feels good at the moment to satisfy themselves, yes selfish. This is certainly by no means a permanent impediment in their lives. People who want to can change and receive the peace in their hearts that so desperately seek. They are just looking in all the wrong places.

Phil Robertson was answering the questions with his plumb bob in place and a compass that points North. For far too many the plumb bob and compass were thrown out when the Courts kicked God out of schools. It does not have to remain like this. Each person makes a choice in their personal lives, even if the government does not change, as to whether they will be use a plumb bob and a compass that points North.

We were made to have a plumb bob and a compass that points North in our lives. Let’s tell all Bully/Abusers to: “Get back to where you once belonged”, to quote the Beatles.

Happy New Year.

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/a-duck-a-plumb-bob-a-compass/

VIDEO Not The Time To Put A Lid On It

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

March 2, 2021

It has been on a constant loop: “If you see something, say something”. I don’t remember hearing there was any fine print or exceptions to that “rule”. We can see there clearly are.

With all the talk of what is essential; one item was left off the written list of the essential and non-essential items, and that is free speech.

In practice the drumbeat was “Thou Shall Not Contradict The Official Pronouncement”. No matter what your station in life, should you wander off the official script and have a different point of view, the hordes of Huns will be released to destroy you, your family, your employment or business and employees. Even if you should recant your ‘error’ of having a different point of view and grovel coast to coast, you will be destroyed, not welcomed back, and canceled. This does not fit any definition of free speech that I have seen.

Freedom of speech has become vital because, without freedom of speech, some people won’t be able to communicate effectively and even say a word when things are going wrong.  Freedom of speech is essential because it can change the narrative of how people feel when they express themselves in public.

Freedom of speech is not a new concept. Freedom of speech can be found between the early 5th and 6th century. It was recognized by the Roman Republic which added freedom of speech and freedom of religion also. The fact that freedom of speech was essential at that time should tell you that freedom of speech is vital and very important even in these modern times.

Freedom of speech remain essential to us and our society, although the first amendment was instituted in 1791, the ideas of human rights that lead to freedom of speech is on paper in ancient human right documents.

The Founding Fathers of our Constitutional Republic saw Freedom of Speech as so essential to maintaining our Republic that they included it within the First Amendment.

When Freedom of Speech is fully operative:

  • It enables the dispersion of excellent and accurate information.
  • It enables media to present both sides of an issue accurately, eliminating Fake News.
  • People will get the impact of new ideas.
  • Freedom of speech is essential and ensures meaningful communication
  • If you can’t communicate you don’t have the liberty to express yourself freely.

Clarity of information depends on the extent to which freedom of expression of thought and freedom of speech is open in all the changes and processes taking place in society. It helps the community to stay in harmony, protects the business, and promotes foreign exchange. Free Speech gives individuals peace in running daily activities with people.

Without Free Speech we would live in a Socialist or Communist society where dissidents are punished brutally, perhaps purged to re-education or death camps. Socialists and Communists quickly silence, canceled, opposition.

Much of today’s media in cooperation of Big Tech parrots talking points of one point of view to which “Thou Shall Not Contradict”

In support I offer the following news story with a video:

 Fox10 Top Rated News Anchor Resigns, “I don’t like the way the media is going

 March 2, 2021 by Sundance

Fox10 News Anchor Kari Lake has reflected on the trend-line for U.S. media and decided she can no longer participate in an industry that has devolved to a system of narrative engineering.  Ms. Lake speaks directly to the issue of manipulated news feed script and she is no longer willing to participate in this activity.

Kari Lake: “Journalism has changed a lot since I first stepped into a newsroom…  I don’t like the direction it is going. …I’m sure there are other journalists out there who feel the same way.”

——–

Dangerous attacks on the Free Speech are well articulated by Paul Craig Roberts in his article titled “The New Journalism Is Destroying Us” https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/03/02/the-new-journalism-is-destroying-us/

Why Is FREE SPEECH Important?

——–

A denial of free Speech relies on and foments fear, the same fear the schoolyard bully relies upon. This fear leads way to anxiety and a whole host of mental health issues.

Here is one expression of  Not The Time To Put A Lid On It from the Network


https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2021/03/04/not-the-time-to-put-a-lid-on-it/


Related

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/03/03/dr-seuss-books-hold-42-of-top-50-on-amazon-sales-ranking-chart/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/03/03/in-2017-kamala-harris-celebrated-dr-seusss-birthday/

https://www.christianpost.com/news/6-dr-seuss-books-canceled-how-should-christians-respond.html

VIDEO LC Lands Major Victory Against ACLU -Pastors Under Fire

Feb 4, 2021

In the face of continued threats to religious liberty and attacks from the “cancel culture,” Liberty Counsel just won a major victory against the ACLU. This is a new, precedent-setting case. Read on to learn more about this major victory and what it means for religious freedom in America. – Mat

“The whole display, including the secular items, offends me because it is all part of the Christmas and the whole, you know, Christianity thing.” That was the testimony of the plaintiff who, along with the ACLU, sought to force Jackson County, Indiana, to tear down its Christmas Nativity display. She wanted the display removed because she hates Christmas – not just baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the manger, but even secular icons like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Liberty Counsel represents Jackson County, Indiana, as well as another Indiana county undergoing similar harassment over Nativity scenes in lawsuits brought by the ACLU.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Nativity scene is constitutional using a historical test and thus setting a new precedent for Nativity displays.

The Court wrote, “we conclude that the County’s Nativity scene is constitutional because it fits within a long national tradition of using the Nativity scene in broader holiday displays to celebrate the origins of Christmas—a public holiday.”

The Court expressly rejected the so-called “Lemon test,” a legal test created by the Supreme Court years ago that has caused significant confusion. The late Justice Antonin Scalia once said, “Like some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, Lemon stalks our Establishment Clause jurisprudence once again, frightening the little children and school attorneys.”

For years, Liberty Counsel has advocated for a historical test, and now this is the first case to use a historical approach to Nativity scenes. Justice Scalia would be proud that we put a stake in the heart of this ghoulish monster!

The ACLU plaintiff, Rebecca Woodring, said she was offended by the display. She did not even live in the county.

Woodring stated that no matter how many secular items are in the display, and no matter their arrangement, she was offended. She wanted the whole display gone.

We are also defending another Nativity scene display against the ACLU in Fulton County, Indiana. This week’s victory for Jackson County will also end the ACLU’s attempt to remove the Nativity in Fulton County.

This issue is also symptomatic of a larger problem infecting our nation – a “cancel culture” which seeks to silence and eliminate anything with which it disagrees. Those pushing the cancel culture not only hate history, religious freedom and the Constitution, they hate Donald Trump and YOU!

Here are the facts concerning the upcoming “impeachment” farce: ONLY sitting presidents may be impeached, and ONLY the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court may preside over a Senate impeachment trial.

But Donald Trump is no longer in the White House, and the impeachment is so obviously unconstitutional that Chief Justice Roberts has REFUSED to preside over it!

But the Democrats (and a handful of Republicans) won’t stop! They continue this farce and have inserted the longest-serving Senate Democrat, Patrick Leahy, as the kangaroo court’s “judge.” Leahy cannot be impartial – especially when he plans to vote, making him both judge and jury.

Like the Nativity case and our church closure cases, the impeachment farce is little more than a punitive partisan attack seeking to silence people of faith, subvert the Constitution and cancel American greatness.

This Nativity scene win is a major blow to secularists seeking to eliminate Judeo-Christianity from America’s history and culture.

As you know, we also have two church closure cases before the Supreme Court (CA and IL) and multiple federal lawsuits defending religious liberty, in addition to all our other legal work. We expect a ruling from the High Court on the California case soon!

Finally, please be in prayer for the soul of our country and its people!

“The people who know their God will be strong and take action” Daniel 11:32. God bless you and your family!  
Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman


Can free parking be a church ministry? Federal court in Florida says yes

by Don Byrd | Feb 1, 2021

Via Religion Clause, a federal court in Florida sided with a community church in St. Pete Beach in a dispute over the UCC congregation offering free parking to the public. The city fined Pass-a-Grille Beach Community Church, which solicits donations from beachgoers who park there but does not charge a fee, for violating city ordinance regulating commercial parking lots.

The church claims the parking service is a ministry protected by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which bars local governments from posing a substantial burden to a house of worship through enforcement of land use regulations unless such enforcement is necessary to further a compelling government interest. The city argues that the church’s claim is not based on a sincere religious belief, and the city suggests the claim is a pretext for using the parking lot during off-hours to obtain donations.

The court rejected the city’s position, and ruled the church is likely to prevail on its RLUIPA claim. Here is an excerpt from the opinion:

At most, the City has demonstrated that the Church may have changed its mind over the years regarding the religious implications of its use of its parking lot, or that the Church may have mixed motives relating to its parking policies. This does not mean that the Church’s presently stated religious beliefs are not sincere… .

Offering free parking to attract new members, while occasionally charging for parking to raise money for a youth group, are not mutually exclusive or inconsistent motives. As noted by the Eleventh Circuit in Davila, “judges must not presume to determine the place of a particular belief in a religion or the plausibility of a religious claim.” Indeed, “[c]ourts are not arbiters of scriptural interpretation.”

The judge issued an injunction prohibiting the city from penalizing the church for providing parking for beachgoers. For more on this story, see this Religion News Service report by Paul O’Donnell. For more on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, see this RLUIPA resource page from BJC.

Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) 

https://www.justice.gov/crt/42-usca-2000cc

Chilling First Amendment

By Rev Paul N Papas II
September 3, 2013

Most people have heard of the First Amendment without understanding it or its history. At this point in time the First Amendment is under assault. Some of these assaults have become vitriolic and devolved into personal attacks. A little history is needed to show how and why we have the First Amendment.

Many of the first settlers to this part of the New World that we now know as the USA came from Great Britain where the King was both head of state and head of the Church of England. At that time adherents to other dominations were ostracized and persecuted which motivated them to flee to seek freedom to worship God according to their denominational doctrine. Some came to this part of the New World directly, some came by way Holland or other countries seeking the freedom to worship God without interference from the government.

When this country decided the Articles of Confederation were not sufficient, they had a choice to amend that or draft a new document, to do that they called a Constitutional Convention. They decided on a new document.

Several delegates to the Constitutional Convention refused to sign the newly drafted constitution because it did not include a bill of rights. Bills of rights were typically parts of the constitutions of the several states of the day (and today), placed there to ensure that certain rights were recognized by the government. Most of the delegates did not feel such a bill was necessary, and other may have been on the fence but were weary from the months of negotiations.

The lack of a bill of rights was one of the main arguments that the Anti-Federalists used to try to convince the public to reject the Constitution. But the need for change was all too evident, and it was not rejected. However, some of the states sent suggestions for amendments to the Constitution to add an enumeration of certain rights. The ratification messages of the states included many varying suggestions, which the very first Congress took under consideration in its very first session. (Note it was not sent to a study committee for some future Congress to settle.)

What makes the first Amendment so important?

The Constitution granted by the people created the government, by contract. In this Contract the federal government is given enough power to protect people’s unalienable rights from being damaged by foreign aggressors and other individuals.

Unalienable Rights can never be taken away by anyone, including the government, because they come from God. Inalienable Rights are granted by the government and subject to cancellation by the government or the people.

Our Founding Fathers gave us a Republic which guarantees each of us our Unalienable Rights. In a Democracy a vote by 51% could cancel the Rights of the other 49%.

The Contract also limits the federal government to ensure that the government itself never became the oppressor and destroyer of those rights.

Once you fully understand those two statements, the reason the First Amendment may be clear.

Our rights come from a power higher than the government, God. If the government could mandate a state religion, there would be no power higher than the official government endorsed religion. Thus our rights would in essence come from our government, and thusly could be taken away by the government.

The Freedoms of Speech, Assembly, and of the Press are there to make sure we had a way to find out what was going on and could let other people know about it if the government ever got the idea not honor the Contract and give itself powers which we the people hadn’t consented to grant them.

If government controlled the message and religious beliefs it would dictate how the people thought and acted. In essence government would have final word on what constitutes open expression of religion and alienate people from their unalienable rights. When you have the power to rule over God, you become God, which is exactly what the First Amendment was created to prevent.

Federal laws are passed by Congress and enacted when signed by the president, or by a veto override. There are some who believe the words “separation of church and state” prevent Prayer or other “religious” activities in public. When Courts determine what the authors of a law meant by a certain word or phrase they review the Congressional Record in order to make a ruling. The phrase “separation of church and state” was written in a private letter by Thomas Jefferson.

The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment. Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment – as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.

If Jefferson’s letter is to be used today, let its context be clearly given – as in previous years. Furthermore, earlier Courts had always viewed Jefferson’s Danbury letter for just what it was: a personal, private letter to a specific group. There is probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by a single individual in a private letter – words clearly divorced from their context – have become the sole authorization for a national policy. Jefferson’s Danbury letter should never be invoked as a stand-alone document. A proper analysis of Jefferson’s views must include his numerous other statements on the First Amendment.

The assault on the First Amendment is an assault on God.

There are those who can not win an argument on the merits so they resort to the bully pulpit to abuse, demean and intimidate those with opposing views. The people who resort to such bulling tactics are generally insecure, anxious people who have many fears. Their thinking is that if they bellow enough others will give in, leave, or suggest the one being violated be removed from the situation. Either way the bully gets the sand box to himself. When the abuser/bully is stood up to he looses his power over the one violated. The abuser/bully can create mental health issues for the ones he violates, leaving more carnage.

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/chilling-first-amendment/


Biden would resume Obama’s war on Christianity: Dem memo declares white Christians country’s foremost “national security threat”

January 02, 2021 by: JD Heyes

Image: Biden plans to resume Obama’s war on Christianity: Dem memo declares white Christians country’s foremost “national security threat”

(Natural News) Democrat Joe Biden’s message of wanting to ‘unify our divided country’ suffered another credibility blow in the wake of a newly uncovered Democratic memo that warns two-thirds of our country is a bigger threat than China, Russia, Iran and North Korea combined.

A report prepared especially for the (potentially) incoming Biden administration from the Secular Democrats of America PAC provides guidance to “boldly restore a vision of constitutional secularism and respect in the land for religious and intellectual pluralism.”

And here we thought that after four years of President Donald Trump that his efforts to uphold the right of Christians — and Jews, and Muslims, and whomever else — to practice freely, as outlined in the First Amendment, was him restoring constitutionality. 

In any event, the PAC says it “represents secular Democratic individuals and organizations” while advocating for “secular governance” as well as the promotion of “respect and inclusion of nonreligious Americans,” while mobilizing “nonreligious voters.”

Again, that same First Amendment guaranteeing Americans the right to worship freely also lacks a provision that mandates a religious society or the practice of a certain religion. So — if there can be no forcing of religion on Americans, why does this group think it can force secularism on all of us?

We digress.

Just The News reports that the proposal was formally presented to the Biden team by Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin and Jared Huffman, co-chairmen of the Congressional Freethought Caucus; it was also endorsed by Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney.

“We’ve offered the new administration a roadmap to restore our basic constitutional values and protect science, reason and public health in American government,” Raskin and Huffman said in a joint statement. (Related: Why rioters will eventually turn their rage on Christianity if not stopped.)

The outlet notes further: 

The proposal calls for Biden’s team to work with Congress and governors to “advance a secular agenda at all levels of government, taking into account the current makeup of the federal courts and new, unfavorable precedents that your administration will have to contend with.”

In the document, the group argues that Trump has “empowered the religious right in ways no other administration has before, making significant advances in enacting their Christian nationalist agenda.”

The proposal outlines recommendations for reversing certain policies and “proactively” implementing new rules that would “restore secularism to federal governance and disentangle entrenched religious interests from federal policy.”

Again, what is inherently wrong with Trump ‘empowering’ people of faith within his administration? Understand that this proposal would not have been given to Team Biden unless these three lawmakers had a problem with the empowerment of religious persons within the Trump White House — none of whom were pushing to mandate Christianity across the country. 

Only people who do not believe in any religion are ‘suitable’ for government, according to this PAC.

But it gets worse: These bozos liken Christians with a threat to America’s “national security.”

“The rise of white Christian nationalism is a national security threat,” read the document. “We recommend you: encourage the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice to dedicate resources to de-radicalization programs aimed at hate groups, including, but not limited to, white nationalists; increase monitoring of such groups, including the online environment, and take action to address increased hate crimes toward minority faith communities; and shift rhetoric to label violent white nationalist extremists as terrorists.”

That is outrageous. If there are any threats to America’s national security that emanate from within the country, they are coming from the insane left: Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and burgeoning anarchist organizations on both the left and right.

But you can see what this is really about.

There is no bigger impediment to authoritarian rule than a belief among the populace in something higher and more divine than ‘big government.’ And what better way to destroy the fundamental right to not only believe in a higher authority but to worship that higher authority than to declare those who do to be our most dangerous threat.

The Marxist Democratic left hates America as it was founded, period. This is just another modicum of proof.

See more reporting like this at BigGovernment.news.

Sources include:

JustTheNews.com

NaturalNews.com

https://www.naturalnews.com/2021-01-02-biden-will-resume-obamas-war-christianity.html

U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Restrain Government From Meddling in Church Affairs, Abide by First Amendment’s Establishment Clause

December 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to keep the government from meddling in church affairs. In weighing in before the Court in Episcopal Church v. The Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth, Rutherford Institute attorneys warn against a trend in which state courts have attempted to second-guess church decisions on inherently religious matters by relying on so-called “neutral principles.” In their amicus brief, Institute attorneys argue that such rulings violate the First Amendment’s strict prohibition on government interference in religious matters. The case involves an attempt by the Texas Supreme Court to apply so-called “neutral principles” to a dispute by factions of the Episcopal Church over who should own and control church property.

Attorney Tejinder Singh of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., in Bethesda, Md., assisted The Rutherford Institute in advancing the arguments before the Supreme Court. 

“The Constitution establishes a neutral playing field for all viewpoints and requires the government to remain equally impartial and not favor or disfavor one religion over another, or favor or disfavor religion over non-religion,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “When it comes to matters involving church doctrine, church governance and the internal workings of religious institutions, however, the government needs to stay clear of that wall of separation between church and state, and resist the urge to meddle altogether.”

The Episcopal Church is a hierarchical religious denomination organized to include over 100 local dioceses which must accede to the authority of the General Church. In response to a 1979 Supreme Court ruling allowing, but not requiring, state courts to apply “neutral principles” of law in resolving property disputes arising from schisms within churches, the Episcopal Church amended its canons to make clear that all property held by Episcopal Church entities is held in trust and for the General Church. 

In the mid-2000’s, doctrinal disagreements led to factions of a diocese in Ft. Worth and a parish in San Angelo to break away from the Episcopal Church. In connection with the splits, the breakaway factions took steps, such as amending articles of incorporation, to take control of church property, including houses of worship.  When the breakaway factions refused to recognize the Episcopal Church’s claims to the property in accordance with church canons, the Episcopal Church brought two legal actions in Texas state courts to recover the property.

Although a trial court in each case found that Texas law requires deference to the decision of the Episcopal Church that church property belonged to the factions loyal to the church, in appeals brought by the breakaway factions the Texas Supreme Court held that the lower courts should apply “neutral principles” of law to resolve the property disputes and reversed.

After the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Episcopal Church’s appeal, the case was sent back to the state courts, which again applied “neutral principles” to deny the Episcopal Church’s claims to the property.  The Episcopal Church again sought review by the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that lower courts are inconsistent in their approach to resolving church property disputes and that the “neutral principles” method of doing so is inconsistent with the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty.

In filing a brief in support of the Episcopal Church’s petition, Institute attorneys argue that permitting a secular court to decide these issues without deference to church authorities is tantamount to replacing church governance with the state or federal government, a proposition that threatens free exercise as well as the establishment of religion.      

The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization, provides legal assistance at no charge to individuals whose constitutional rights have been threatened or violated and educates the public on a wide spectrum of issues affecting their freedoms. 

DOCUMENTS

The amicus brief in The Episcopal Church v. The Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth

http://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/rutherford_institute_asks_u.s._supreme_court_to_restrain_government_from_meddling_in_church_affairs_abide_by_first_amendments_establishment_clause