Going the Extra Mile – In the Wrong direction!

July 31, 2007

From the Family Research Council.

“Officials in Key Largo, Florida were apparently living by the old adage of “going the extra mile” (Matthew 5:41). In January, two Gideons were arrested for distributing Bibles on a public sidewalk outside a local elementary school. They were charged with trespassing. With the help of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which represented the men, the charges were dismissed a short time later. However, the men were then notified that other charges were being filed–this time under a different statute which prohibits anyone from being within 500 feet of school property without permission. As ADF’s statement suggests, “Does the state [believe] that its citizens will be safer if ‘protected’ from Bibles? In a country founded on religious freedom, the actions of the state are a disgrace.” As were the actions of the local police, which allegedly mocked the Gideons after handcuffing them, saying, “Now you can pray to Jesus all the way to jail.” As it turns out, the officers shouldn’t have been so quick to ridicule the prayers because they worked! Thanks to ADF, common sense prevailed in court and, for a second time, all charges against the Gideons were dropped. This victory for the Bible is an elementary reminder that we can still prevail when we are willing to take our stand in the face of growing intolerance and even outright hostility toward Christianity. “

Pro-Gay School Board Accused of Religious Discrimination

July 18, 2007

From Doug Huntington and Christian Post.

“Employees of a school district in Maryland have been accused of viewpoint discrimination for censoring and limiting the speech of a religious group on school grounds.

The Christian legal group Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) sent a letter to the Montgomery County school board on Monday to address the issue, stating that religious group Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX) have a right to hand out materials to students on campus.

This is the same county that is currently in heated debate with parents over a new pro-homosexual sexual education curriculum that was recently passed.”

To read more click here.

ADF asks Georgia court to dismiss charges against Christian jailed for distributing religious tracts

July 14, 2007

From the Alliance Defense Fund.

“Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman will be available to answer questions from the media following a hearing Monday regarding the constitutionality of a local parade ordinance.  The hearing will address ADF’s petition to dismiss the charges filed against a Christian arrested, jailed, and convicted for distributing religious tracts on a public sidewalk.

“The government should not require Christians to obtain ‘permission’ before engaging in free speech on a public sidewalk,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “City officials violated Mr. Baumann’s constitutional rights when they charged him with a crime.”

On April 22, Frederic Baumann was arrested for distributing religious tracts on a public sidewalk outside the City of Cumming fairgrounds.  Officials told Baumann he violated a city ordinance requiring parade and demonstration organizers to obtain a permit prior to such activities.  However, the permit only applies to private organizations or groups of three or more persons.”

To read more click here.

Judge acquits Christian charged with “criminal trespass” for preaching on public property

July 9, 2007

Some good news from the Alliance Defense Fund.

“A Schenectady judge acquitted a Christian man Tuesday of the charge of criminal trespass after the man, the Rev. Greg Davis, was arrested in 2006 for sharing the Gospel on a public college campus.  Davis was represented by the Alliance Defense Fund and ADF-allied attorney James Trainor.

“Christians have the same First Amendment rights as other citizens,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum, who assisted in the case.  “Thankfully the judge in this case restored the rule of law and cleared Mr. Davis of the charges, reaffirming that campus officials were not authorized to eject Mr. Davis from campus for simply exercising his First Amendment rights by preaching in public.”

To read more click here.

Religious Rights of Students Affirmed in N.J. and Texas

July 6, 2007

Some good news from Citizen Link.

“A New Jersey school’s decision to allow Christian students to enjoy the same free speech rights as other students could be the beginning of a nationwide trend to protect students’ rights.”

To read more click here.

ADF attorneys file lawsuit to help Christian denied his constitutional rights due to oppressive ordinance that bans offending another person

July 6, 2007

From the Alliance Defense Fund.

“On the evening of Nov. 18, John Todd Netherland stood outside on a public easement to speak about his Christian faith about 75-100 feet from the entrance of a local bar.  Even though Netherland stood on public ground and not on private property, a police officer told Netherland he could not preach there and instructed Netherland to move instead to the far side of the public easement, closer to the street.  The officer then warned Netherland that if he stepped back to the place he’d been standing, he’d be arrested and sent to jail.

Netherland assured the officer that he would comply.  Nevertheless, the officer told Netherland that if he continued to preach, even in the new location, he would arrest him anyway, for “disturbing the peace.” 

To read the full article click here.

ACLU Targets Courthouse Jesus Painting

July 6, 2007

From the Family Research Council.

“Mayor Ben Morris in Slidell, Louisiana is pledging to fight a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the ACLU seeking the removal of a courthouse painting that contains a depiction of Jesus along with messages promoting equal justice under the law. The Alliance Defense Fund’s (ADF) Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson spoke out against the ACLU attack as he agreed to defend the city in court, saying the picture was there legally and that it sends a message of equal justice under the law. I thank ADF for fighting back and believe Mike is exactly right. The ACLU may be offended by our religious heritage but this does not give it the authority to strip any acknowledgement of God from public buildings. Whether it’s silencing student-led prayer, attacking the display of crosses, or removing Ten Commandment displays, the ACLU has been on relentless rampage to remove any vestige of Christianity from the public square. The ACLU reaps millions of taxpayer dollars by going after local governments that recognize our nation’s religious history in any form or fashion. It’s time that we put an end to the ACLU’s money grab by enacting the Public Expression of Religion Act, now before Congress. Contact your Members of Congress and ask them to sponsor this bill, which would ensure that no monetary damages are awarded to litigants who bring cases against a local or state official who expresses or accommodates religion. “

ADF attorneys will defend city of Slidell against ACLU attack on painting in rural La. courthouse

July 3, 2007

An update on the ACLU’s lawsuit against the City of Slidell and the parish of St. Tammany in Louisiana.  The ACLU seeks the removal of a courthouse lobby painting containing messages regarding equality and justice under the law because the painting is believed to depict an image of Jesus Christ.

To read the article click here.