Florida official tells Christian charity to choose between Jesus and cheese

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I wonder if this holds true for Muslims as well? Besides the 1st amendment “separation of church and state” has nothing to do with this and the USDA and the President knows this.

A Florida ministry that feeds the poor said a state agriculture department official told them they would not be allowed to receive USDA food unless they removed portraits of Christ, the Ten Commandments, a banner that read “Jesus is Lord” and stopping giving Bibles to the needy.
“They told us they could no longer allow us to have any religious information where the USDA food is going to be,” said Kay Daly, executive director of the Christian Service Center.

So why did the government have an issue with the religious group’s religious decorations?
A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Agriculture told me they were following the guidelines written by the USDA.

“This program is a USDA-funded program and the requirements were outlined by the USDA,” spokesperson Amanda Bevis said. “This agency administers the program on the state level. Our staff did provide a briefing to CSC following turnover in leadership at CSC and did review the USDA requirements.”

Daly said they were told it was a matter of separation of church and state.
A USDA spokesperson told me that “under current law, organizations that receive USDA nutrition assistance can still engage in religious activities so long as the activity is not used to create a barrier to eligible individuals receiving food.”

The USDA referred to an Executive Order providing equal protection for faith-based organizations. That order guarantees those groups the right to provide assistance without “removing or altering religious art, icons, scriptures or other symbols from these facilities.”

For the past 31 years, the Christian ministry has been providing food to the hungry in Lake City, Fla. without any problems. But all that changed when they said a state government worker showed up to negotiate a new contract.

“The (person) told us there was a slight change in the contract,” Daly told me. “They said we could no longer have religious information where the USDA food is being distributed. They told us we had to take that stuff down.”

Daly said it’s no secret that the Christian Service Center is a Christian ministry.

“We’ve got pictures of Christ on more than one wall,” she said. “It’s very clear we are not social services. We are a Christian ministry.”

Daly and her staff sat in stunned disbelief as the government agents also informed them that the Christian Service Center could no longer pray or provide Bibles to those in need. The government contract also forbade any references to the ministry’s chapel.

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Florida official tells Christian charity to choose between Jesus and cheese | Fox News.

ACLU Sues Police for Seizing Man’s Phone After Recording Alleged Misconduct

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Folks, we are seeing this happen all over the US.  In most cities and States it IS NOT illegal to photograph or video police as long as your not interfering with their duties in what ever they are doing.

Washington D.C.’s police chief issues an order that “recognizes that members of the general public have a First Amendment right to video record, photograph, and/or audio record” the police.

Here’s more of what the General Order says:

As long as the photographing or recording takes place in a setting at which the individual has a legal right to be present and does not interfere with a member’s safety, members shall not inform or instruct people that photographing or recording of police officers, police activity or individuals who are the subject of police action (such as a Terry stop or an arrest) is not allowed; requires a permit; or requires the member’s consent. Additionally, members shall not:

 

  • Order that person to cease such activity;
  • Demand that person’s identification;
  • Demand that the person state a reason why he or she is taking photographs or recording;
  • Detain that person;
  • Intentionally block or obstruct cameras or recording devices; or
  • In any way threaten, intimidate or otherwise discourage an individual from recording members’ enforcement activities.

The ACLU has sued the District of Columbia and two police officers for allegedly seizing the cellphone of a man who photographed a police officer allegedly mistreating a citizen, and for then stealing his memory card.

The suit, filed in federal court (.pdf) in Washington, D.C., alleges that the police officer violated Earl Staley, Jr.’s First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights by improperly searching and seizing his property while he was exercising his right to photograph the police performing their duty.

The incident occurred July 20 when Staley, on his way to a bus stop with a friend, pulled out his phone to record police after he saw an officer hit a man on a motorbike. Two police officers then allegedly punched the man on the ground as he bled.

Staley pulled out his phone to take photos when police also allegedly began “chest bumping” bystanders who would not leave the scene.

Officer James O’Bannon seized Staley’s smartphone from his hand when he saw Staley take a photo of another officer and told Staley that he had broken the law in photographing the officer, according to the complaint. O’Bannon told Staley he was seizing the phone as evidence and threatened to arrest Staley if he didn’t leave the scene.

When Staley was later given back his phone by police, his memory card was missing. The police have still not returned the card, which Staley says contained several years’ worth of personal data, including family photos, passwords, financial account data and music files.

“That memory card had a lot of my life on it,” Staley said in a statement. “I can never replace those photos of my daughter’s first years. The police had no right to steal it. They’re supposed to enforce the law, not break it.”

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Study: U.S. hostile to religious liberty

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What a disgrace to the Founding Fathers whom of which 95% were Christians and made the 1st amendment to be about religious liberty.

 

The joint study from Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council (FRC) records up to 600 incidents of hostility toward religion, most of which have occurred within the last ten years. For example, a Christian couple was fired as apartment complex managers and forced to move because a painting with a Christian reference was displayed in their office (see earlier story). Also listed is a student who was told he could not wear a t-shirt to school because of its Christian message.

Liberty Institute attorney Justin Butterfield tells OneNewsNow what his group hopes to accomplish with the study’s findings.

Justin Butterfield (Liberty Institute)“We want to raise awareness of the issue. A lot of people think that hostility because of people’s religious beliefs and attacks on religious liberty are things that happen elsewhere in the world, not in the United States,” he notes. “We just want to show that it actually happens with increasing and alarming regularity here in the United States.”

Liberty Institute President Kelly Shackelford and FRC President Tony Perkins are presenting the study before the Republican Party Convention platform committee to raise that awareness.

“It’s something that has gone under the radar, and we want to bring it up and point out that this is an issue and a concern that’s affecting more and more Americans each year,” Butterfield adds.
The Liberty Institute further points out that religious liberty is “facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups” who are using whatever means available to suppress or attack religious freedom.

One News Now

Federal Court Upholds Free Speech Zone Roundup

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There was once a group of men who established a fundamental law of the land that allowed the people of their new found country to peaceably assemble and petition their government for a redress of grievances.

These founding fathers of that Great nation even went so far as to declare that the government itself could never make a law that would threaten to supplant these protections, which were reserved exclusively for the people. This concept of freedom of assembly and protest was so critical to protecting and preserving the liberty of the people that it was the very first law — the very first Amendment — proposed by the newly elected representatives of These United States of America and came into effect on December 15, 1791.

DOJ Suggests Criticism of Any Religion Could Be Criminalized

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The first time critizing Islam is criminalized there will be a lawsuit….we have freedom of speech here in the US and the Muslims aren’t taking it away from us or our politicians. If they try they’ll be voted out of office next time and their law struck down in court as unconstitutional. What are they thinking of? Using the excuse of ‘hate speech’ to restrict the 1st amendment. Most Americans are on to that game.

In refusing to rule out a future law that would criminalize criticism of religion as racist hate speech, the Department of Justice has left the door open to the prospect of Shariah-style law in the United States that would forbid criticism of Islam.

During a House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz) questioned Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez on whether the Justice Department would ever consider banning free speech critical of religion.

“Will you tell us here today simply that this Administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?” asked Franks.

Perez replied by asking for context before Franks repeated the question, adding, “That’s not a hard question.”

Perez then tried to add the context of “when you make threats against someone,” but Franks stuck to his original question and repeated it for a third time.

“Again sir, if you have a proposal that you are considering, we will actively review that proposal,” responded Perez.

“OK, here’s my proposal. I’m asking you to answer a question, that’s my proposal. I’m proposing you answer this question,” said Franks, before repeating the question for a fourth time.

Perez again refused to answer the question, asking for more context.

Perez’ evasive response clearly indicates that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration would consider a law that would override the First Amendment and classify criticism of religion as racist hate speech.

The mere fact that Perez refused to rule it out is shocking.

As the New American reports, in October 2011, “Perez and other officials from the Justice Department attended a meeting at George Washington University where a an Egyptian-American lawyer suggested criminalizing speech against Islam.”

Muslim scholars argue that under the terms of the Koran, insulting the Prophet Muhammad is a sin punishable by execution.

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Federal judge dismisses contraception lawsuits

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Unbelievable ! …..In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote, “Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government … (and) whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

A federal judge has dismissed a challenge by seven states to the requirement in President Obama’s health care law that employers must provide contraception coverage to their workers.

U.S. District Judge Warren K. Urbom said the plaintiffs failed to show that a religious exemption added by the Obama administration wouldn’t apply to them, ruling that they had no standing to challenge the mandate.

“In short, the individual plaintiffs have not shown that their current health plans will be required to cover contraception-related services under the rule, and therefore their claims must be dismissed,” Judge Urbom said in the ruling. (Say what? Have not shown proof? This was announced all over the news by Obama and the Secretary of HHS….what is this judge thinking?)

The Affordable Care Act requires employers who provide health insurance plans to cover certain benefits deemed “essential” without charging an extra co-pay.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced that list would include all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraception, inciting a firestorm of protests from Catholic and other religious groups—even though Mr. Obama later announced that religious hospitals, charities and schools would be exempted.

The lawsuit was filed by seven Republican attorneys general from Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas, and a number of other plaintiffs including three Nebraska-based employers affiliated with the Catholic Church.

Similar challenges filed by a number of religious colleges and organizations are still pending in other federal courts.

Washington Times

Judge says man can’t hand out Bibles at Twin Cities Pride fest

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It’s getting to where in America if you speak out against the homosexual, same sex marriage or Muslims, your Constitutional protected rights are restricted. That is unAmerican and UnConstitutional as well…There’s not much doubt Brian Johnson’s 1st amendment rights are being violated by this judge. It appears this gay festival is similiar to the Muslim Festival in Dearborn, Michigan because it is on public property and for the public. The Muslims lost it when they tried to prohibit Christians from being there distributing Biblical literature. To put  a person in a “free speech zone” violates that person’s 1st amendment rights. Brian Johnson will eventually win this one.

A Wisconsin man who wants to hand out Bibles at the 40th Annual Twin Cities Pride festival in Loring Park this month will have to confine himself to a booth just outside of the event.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis issued a 41-page order Monday denying Brian Johnson’s request for an injunction that would force the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to allow him unfettered access to the festival grounds, reasoning that his constitutional challenge was unlikely to succeed.

Dot Belstler, Twin Cities Pride’s executive director, said the ruling came as welcome news.

But it’s unlikely to end the matter, which has been bouncing around the courts since 2009.

Nate Kellum, chief counsel with the Center for Religious Expression and Johnson’s lead attorney, issued a statement Monday indicating that other legal options are being explored.

“We are certainly disappointed in this ruling that fails to take Mr. Johnson’s First Amendment freedoms into account,” Kellum wrote. “Mr. Johnson should be allowed to hand out Bibles in a public area during a public festival and not be relegated to a ‘no pride’ zone where nobody bothers to go. Without an audience, Mr. Johnson is utterly deprived of his right to free speech.”

Johnson, an evangelical Christian and taxidermist from Hayward, said in his lawsuit that he has distributed Bibles at the annual event since 1995 and that he had no problems until 2009, when the organization refused to rent him a booth after an exchange about his views on homosexuality.

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