Ben Carson to press houses of worship to help in fight against homelessness

HUD Secretary declares, ‘In God We Trust’

Ben Carson, Arnold Schwarzeneger, Gray Davis at USC homelessness forum in Los Angeles


By David Brody February 24, 2020


Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson plans to call on all churches, synagogues, and mosques in America to help fight homelessness in the weeks and months to come.

“If every church would adopt one homeless person or one homeless family, with the goal of making them self-sufficient in a year, can you imagine what the impact would be?” Carson asked in an interview with Just the News for the Pod’s Honest Truth podcast.

HUD officials say this is not a new agency policy but rather a personal call by a man who is not only a cabinet secretary but also a devout Christian who wants to promote godly principles such as caring for your neighbor.

“Our money says, ‘In God We Trust,’” Carson noted. “Why don’t we act like that?”

The call for places of worship to get involved is playing out in cities like Riverside, California. Carson recently visited a group of homes there situated on the grounds of the Grove Community Church, where the homeless stay and receive rehabilitation services.

The program is a public-private partnership between local city officials, who foot the bill, and the church, which provides services. That fits Carson’s philosophy of less government and more community involvement.

“They have all the resources and the skills of the people in the church,” Carson said. “They help them, they develop relationships, they get them jobs, they get them moving.”

The number of homeless nationwide rose almost 3% to nearly 600,000 in 2019, according to HUD’s Annual Homelessness Report to Congress.

As a government official, Secretary Carson’s call for places of worship to help the homeless will no doubt raise eyebrows among those concerned about separation of church and state. But Carson believes current notions of church-state separation have grown more expansive than intended by the framers.

“There’s nothing in the Constitution that even mentions the separation of church and state,” he said. “People have taken it and distorted it and made you think that you’re not supposed to mention your faith in public.”

Faith-based organizations have been aided by new Trump-era federal rules intended to ensure they are treated the same as non-religious groups. For example, faith-based social service groups receiving federal money no longer need to disclose their religious affiliation or provide those receiving their services an option for a non-religious provider.

Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, believes that while faith-based organizations play an important role in helping the vulnerable, the new HUD rules have gone too far.

“The government should not play favorites when it comes to religion,” said Laser, “and put some people at risk of not receiving government-funded services because they don’t practice or conform to one set of religious beliefs.”

In a wide-ranging interview from the curving, honeycombed headquarters of HUD, Secretary Carson seemed to be finally growing comfortable in his job after spending months without any top lieutenants alongside him.

“It wasn’t very enjoyable in the beginning,” Carson admitted. “Every day was like drinking from a firehose.”

Persevering is nothing new for Carson, who grew up dirt poor in Detroit with only an illiterate single mother to raise him. His life story has shaped the unique perspective he brings to both racial politics and policies affecting minority communities.

Without a father figure growing up, Carson places a special emphasis on the importance of fatherhood. Roughly 25% of children in America do not have a father living at home, a leading risk factor in a range of social ills from poverty to crime.

“There is a reason I think that God created families,” Carson said. “In today’s society, there are people who are trying to say there is really no difference between a man and a woman.”

Notwithstanding a reigning progressive consensus favoring gender-neutral family roles, fathers often play a distinctive and crucial role in the family, the former pediatric neurosurgeon believes.

“They are frequently disciplinarians but more importantly, role models for how to be responsible, and how to provide for your family,” he said.

While Carson promotes responsible fatherhood at HUD, he also promotes Trump administration policies — which has its challenges, especially when trying to combat negative stereotypes fostered by the racial politics of the identity left.

“The left has a tendency to use racism as your default position,” he lamented, “particularly when they’re losing an argument.”

Carson deflects the cries of “racism” by pointing to minority-friendly HUD policies like opportunity zones (which help spur economic development and job creation in troubled areas) and broader administration victories like criminal justice reform and a record low African-American unemployment rate.

Still, the vitriol Carson has experienced as a Trump advocate has been intense. A black minister told him that President Trump is possessed by a demon. And a snub by incendiary California Rep. Maxine Waters left him incredulous.

“I ran into her in the cafeteria, and she wouldn’t even shake my hand,” says Carson. “This is such infantile behavior.”Still, Carson brushes it all off in his characteristically mellow way, staying focused on the one overarching goal guiding not just his tenure at HUD, but also his life. “My job, as Jesus has put it, is to love everybody,” he said.

VIDEO Florida sheriff defends ‘In God We Trust’ decal on patrol cars after atheists complain


By Caleb Parke


An atheist group has complained about new decals on a Florida county’s patrol cars that feature an American flag and the phrase “In God We Trust.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) argues the new “patriotic” decal, suggested by a local military veteran, is “frightening and politically dubious” in a letter to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, but Sheriff Wayne Ivey isn’t backing down.


”They have a better chance of me waking up thin tomorrow morning than they do of me taking that motto off our cars!” Ivey told Fox News. “I personally believe that our country is at a tipping point, and if we, as strong patriotic Americans, don’t stand for the principals of our great nation, we are going to lose the America we all know and love!”

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey told Fox News he's not backing down after a group of atheists urged him to remove "In God We Trust" from the vehicles.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey told Fox News he’s not backing down after a group of atheists urged him to remove “In God We Trust” from the vehicles. (Brevard County Sheriff’s Office)

“I can assure you that the proud men and women of our agency are forever unwavering in our support of the constitution and the principles of our amazing country,” the sheriff added.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of FFRF, said the new decals were “inappropriate and exclusionary,” calling the national and Sunshine State motto “controversial” in a statement.


“Spending taxpayer time placing religious messages on patrol cars is beyond the scope of secular government,” Gaylor wrote. “Further, in a time when citizens nationwide are increasingly distrustful of law enforcement officers’ actions, it is frightening and politically dubious for the local police department to announce to citizens that officers rely on the judgment of a deity rather than on the judgment of the law.”

To “protect the conscience of all citizens,” FFRF is asking the sheriff’s department to remove “In God We Trust” from all office property, not just the vehicles.


“Law enforcement officers take an oath to protect and serve all citizens,” David Williamson, director of Central Florida Freethought Community, FFRF’s chapter in Florida, added. “Displaying a preference for religion so clearly right on county property is a betrayal of that oath.”

The FFRF and Williamson successfully defended the act of atheists giving invocations before county commissioner meetings in Brevard County. However, First Liberty Institute argues that not only is FFRF wrong here, but the group has “no basis in law, nor tradition.”

With the backing of the Supreme Court, First Liberty counsel, Keisha Russell, told Ivey to reject FFRF’s request, adding the motto “should be honored and celebrated as an expression of what it means to be American.”


“It is absurd to think that a Florida sheriff would be acting ‘inappropriately’ for posting the official mottos of both the United States and the State of Florida,” Jeremy Dys, First Liberty special counsel for litigation and communications, told Fox News. “This attempt to scold a public servant for acknowledging one of the most cherished traditions of our country is shameful.”

Supremes Turn Back Atheist’s Demands Again

Man has been seeking to remove mention of Almighty for decades



The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned back – again – a demand from an atheist who insists on removing any reference to “God” from the discourse of government.

There are references to a deity on money – the motto “In God We Trust” – and in the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as in other scenarios.

Michael Newdow, who has lost other, similar, cases at the high court already, was unsuccessful again when on Monday the justices declined to take up Newdow’s latest fight.

He was targeting the inscription “In God We Trust” on coins and currency.

The Washington Examiner reported Newdow, “an activist who filed the case on behalf of a group of atheists,” claimed that the instructions from Congress to the Treasury Department to include the words violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

That prevents Congress from setting up a national church.

The words first appeared on coins in 1864 and in 1955 Congress decided to have it on all coins and currency.

Newdow’s claim had stated that the government was turning atheists into “political outsiders” with the decision.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had similarly rejected his claim last year.

Besides “In God We Trust,” and “Under God” in the Pledge, he’s also demanded that high government officials such as Supreme Court justices and presidents be censored from stating “So help me God,” when they affirm an oath to uphold the Constitution.

WND has reported on his fight against references to “God” for nearly two decades.

When the 6th Circuit threw out his case last year, it ruled the motto doesn’t burden atheists’ free exercise, nor does it impact their free pssech.

“The court ruled that the national motto is a symbol of common national identity and did not discriminate against or suppress plaintiffs’ beliefs,” the American Center for Law and Justice said at that time.

The court had said, “Because plaintiffs do not allege that the motto is attributed to them and because the Supreme Court has reasoned that currency is not ‘readily associated with’ its temporary carrier, the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs’ Free Speech claim.”

Newdow’s claim was that “the mere presence of the national motto on currency violates their Free Speech and Free Exercise Clause rights. The atheists asserted that carrying currency equated to governmental compulsion to speak in support of the national motto and to bear a ‘religiously offensive’ message, in violation of the Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).”

“Every court that has considered any challenge to the national motto has rejected it. When we filed our amicus brief, we let the court know we were representing over 315,000 supporters who signed on to our Committee to Defend ‘In God We Trust’ – Our National Motto – on Our Currency,” ACLJ said.

America’s Founders on National Day of Prayer

April 29, 2019 by Chuck Norris

This Thursday, May 2, is the 67th Annual National Day of Prayer. The theme this year is “Love One Another,” which couldn’t be a better one when it comes to praying for others.

The National Day of Prayer has been an annual observance since 1952, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation and world. It was created by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, and annually observed by presidents ever since on the first Thursday of May. Its approval flew through the Congress almost seven decades ago as a way to help separate America as a country with a godly heritage and to aid her success against atheistic communism. (In 1956, the motto “In God We Trust” was also universally printed on all U.S. currency for the same basic reasons.)

Despite that the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of state legislatures to open their sessions with prayer in the case of Marsh vs. Chambers (1983), critics try to oppose the National Day of Prayer’s constitutionality by saying it didn’t exist prior to 1952 as a national observance. But all one must do is go back to the founders and framers of the Constitution to understand that, whether one looks at Creator-language in such pivotal documents as the Declaration of Independence or the role religion played in establishing ethics and morality even in political arenas, not one justice or government official back then would oppose a national day of prayer. In fact, they would be advocates for it.

The NDP website explained, “The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history. …”

Recently I read another excellent article by historian David Barton at the Wallbuilders website, titled, “Founding Fathers on Prayer.” In it, Barton details many of our founders’ ponderings and passions about prayer. Let me give you a small sample.

In 1789, after being urged by Congress on the same day they finished drafting the First Amendment, President Washington issued a thanksgiving proclamation stating, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

President John Adams declared that America’s independence “ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

Benjamin Franklin was particularly eloquent on the power of prayer in government, as he addressed those who attended the Constitutional Convention:

In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us, who were engaged in the struggle, must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need its assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, That God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. … I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.

Franklin’s question still needs to ring from the corridors of Congress to the halls of our public schools and homes: “And have we now forgotten that powerful friend?”

James Madison, the so-called father of the Bill of Rights as the drafter of the ratified ten amendments, agreed: “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in [America’s founding] a finger of that Almighty Hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the Revolution.”

Even Thomas Jefferson, who is often pitched by progressives as the secularist among the founders, said in 1808 near the end of his second term as president: “Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it.”

(To understand more about our founders’ views on everything – especially their often-overlooked or misunderstood religious views and practices – and to keep up to date on current trends and culture wars, I highly encourage you to check out the resources at Wallbuilders. In addition, listen regularly to Wallbuilders Live, an excellent historical and political commentary show hosted by former Texas State Representative and constitutional expert and educator Rick Green and historian David Barton, who interview great patriots and culture warriors every week.)

The NDP website gives these “fun facts” about prayer and politics:

  1. There have been 146 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the president of the United States (1789-2017).
  2. There have been 69 presidential proclamations for a National Day of Prayer (1952-2017). Gerald R. Ford (1976), George H. Bush (1989-91), Barack H. Obama (2012), and Donald J. Trump (2017) are the only U.S. presidents to sign multiple National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.
  3. Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
  4. Thirty-five of the 45 U.S. presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Three of the presidents who did not sign a proclamation died while serving in office. Two presidents, not included in the count – William Howard Taft and Warren Gamaliel Harding – signed Proclamations for Thanksgiving and Prayer.
  5. Records indicate there have been 1,526 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775 and counting.

The NDP website added, “In 1988, the law [for a national day of prayer] was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.”

The NDP website also explained the significance of this Thursday this way:

The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.

Like Thanksgiving or Christmas, [the National Day of Prayer] has become a national observance placed on all Hallmark calendars and observed annually across the nation and in Washington, D.C. Every year, local, state, and federal observances were held from sunrise in Maine to sunset in Hawaii, uniting Americans from all socio-economic, political and ethnic backgrounds in prayer for our nation. It is estimated that over two million people attended more than 30,000 observances – organized by approximately 40,000 volunteers. At state capitols, county court houses, on the steps of city halls, and in schools, businesses, churches and homes, people stopped their activities and gathered for prayer.

For all the above reasons, I urge every American to locate and join a group in your local community on this National Day of Prayer, and bow your head in prayer with millions across the country, beseeching God to protect, forgive and heal our land, as well as submit us to His rule and reign as our founders did. You can find a local NDP event in your area here. Also, click here for NDP promotional tools or to livestream the National Observance in Washington, D.C.

Again in the words of President George Washington, let us remind everyone we know with our words and actions: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

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