The Obama Administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dismissed a religious discrimination claim from a substitute teacher who believes he was fired because he’s a member of an international religious organization that distributes Bibles, The Christian Post reports. Walt Tutka, a substitute teacher for the Phillipsburg School District, was fired earlier this year after he handed a Bible to a student. The school district later charged Tutka with violating a rule that forbids the distribution of religious literature. The school board terminated his employment in January. Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, told Fox News their client was specifically targeted because he is a member of Gideon International, a religious society that distributes Bibles across the world. “Walt was a member of the Gideons and they were out to get him,” Sasser said. “The reason we believe he was fired is because he was a member of the Gideons. They happened to know Walt was somebody they could target.” Fox News has obtained a copy of an e-mail from Phillipsburg Middle School Assistant Principal John Stillo that indicates the school district had an issue with the well-known religious group. “It has been brought to the administration’s attention that Gideon’s may be near our campus to distribute literature to our students,” Stillo wrote in a memo to the school’s staff. “Please make sure they DO NOT step foot onto our campus at anytime. There will be added police and security presence at dismissal.” Gideon International has a long history of providing Bibles to public school students. But in recent years, many districts have banned the religious society. Ironically, the Gideons are welcome to distribute Bibles and deliver speeches in Russian schools. Sasser said it was outrageous that the school would call out the police for a group that had permission from the police to distribute Bibles. “I thought it was absolutely outrageous,” Sasser said. “The school officials have no respect for religious liberty, no respect for the First Amendment, and they feel like they can get away with it because the Obama EEOC has their back.” Sasser was referring to the EEOC’s response to their religious discrimination complaint. He said they predetermined their decision before getting any evidence. “The EEOC asked for additional information so they could consider the claim brought by Walt,” Sasser said. “They gave him 30 days to deliver the information.” On the 29th day, Tutka delivered the required information to the EEOC. But when he returned home there was a letter from the EEOC dated May 10th—dismissing the complaint because they didn’t have enough evidence. “They predetermined that they were going to reject this claim even though they went through the exercise of asking for the additional information,” Sasser told Fox News. “The EEOC had no intention of enforcing the protection for religious liberty found in Title VII that Congress requires them to enforce.” Sasser said they are going to give the EEOC one more chance to give Tutka a “fair shake.” If that doesn’t work, he said they would consider their legal options. “Under the administration, they’ve rejected religious liberty claims outright,” he said.
- A professor at a community college in Tennessee allegedly ordered students in her general psychology class to wear “Rainbow Coalition” ribbons for an entire day to advertise support for the advancement of gay and lesbian political causes, yahoo.com reports. The professor, Linda Brunton, informed her students at Columbia State Community College that opponents of gay marriage are “uneducated bigots” who “attack homosexuals with hate,” according to Fox News Radio. Travis Barham, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal organization, has sent a letter to Columbia State’s president on behalf of several students in Brunton’s class. The letter seeks an apology to those students because, Barham claims, Brunton violated their First Amendment rights by forcing them to promote a specific political agenda. The letter also calls for the two-year community college to punish Brunton. Alliance Defending Freedom claims that Brunton instructed students to write a paper describing how they suffered discrimination because they support gay rights. The professor allegedly told students who objected because of their religious convictions that their personal opinions didn’t matter. “When students objected to how she was pushing her personal views on the class, she explained that it is her job ‘to educate the ignorant and uneducated elements of society,’” Barham told Fox News. The professor reportedly prohibited any discussion of the morality of homosexuality, rejecting such lines of reasoning as “throwing Bible verses.” “Dr. Brunton essentially turned her general psychology class into a semester-long clinic on the demands of the homosexual movement,” Barham added. Brunton holds two degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and a doctor of education from Tennessee State University. She is a member of the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Educators Network. The alleged incident is similar to an incident involving a math professor at Brevard Community College in Florida who forced her students to sign pledges that they would vote for President Barack Obama last November. The school’s president eventually recommended that the professor, Sharon Sweet, be sacked.
- When Regal Entertainment Group in April blamed ObamaCare for the fact that it was cutting some of its workers’ hours, backers of the law mounted a furious backlash against the theater chain, among other things filling its Facebook page with boycott threats, investors.com reports. “Greed and selfishness make me sick,” one of them said. Darden Restaurants felt this intense heat last year after suggesting it might shift to more part-time work to minimize the cost of the law’s mandate that companies offer coverage to all their full-time workers. CEO Clarence Otis even blamed its lowered outlook for 2013 in part on “recent negative media coverage” over “how we might accommodate health care reform.” Yet while private companies are getting all this unwelcome and hostile attention, local governments across the country have been quietly doing exactly the same thing—cutting part-time hours specifically so they can skirt ObamaCare’s costly employer mandate, while complaining about the law in some of the harshest terms anyone has uttered in public. The result is that part-time government workers—many of them low-income—face pay cuts that can top $3,000 a year, and yet will still be left without employer-provided benefits.
- Russia is on its way to sharply limiting the adoption of children by people from countries that allow same-sex marriage, abcnews.com reports. Under a measure that passed its crucial second reading in the lower house of parliament Tuesday, Russia will prohibit adoption by foreign couples whose homeland recognizes their union as marriage, as well as by single people or unmarried couples from those countries. The lower house voted for the bill unanimously. After a third and final reading that is largely a formality, it must still be passed by the upper house, which is little more than a rubber-stamp body. Then it would go for signing to President Vladimir Putin, who has already expressed support for the ban. The measure is the latest move by Russia to buck the Western trend toward greater acceptance of homosexuality. The lower house last week overwhelmingly passed a bill that bans giving children so-called homosexual propaganda, which effectively appears to mean any information about gays.
- Sen. Elbert Guillory of Opelousas has become Louisiana’s first Black Republican senator since Reconstruction with a move back to the GOP, dailyworld.com reports. Guillory announced he was dropping the Democratic Party at a noon luncheon of the @large Conference, a gathering of Black conservatives from around the nation. He said he was proud to end his association with “the party of disappointment.” Among those disappointments, he said, are that the Democratic Party has “left Louisiana behind” and has taken stands contrary to the state’s beliefs “on issues like abortion, Second Amendment rights, family values.” The senator switched from Republican to Democrat in 2006 when he ran for the House of Representatives. Since then, he has broken with the Democratic Party on numerous issues, taking a more conservative stance. He said he originally switched parties because “I represented a staunchly Democratic district the past seven years.” But now, “the power shift in Louisiana has become so thorough that it is necessary, to represent my district properly, to be able to sit with other seats of power.” Guillory’s move drew sharp criticism from both Black and White Democrats.
- President Obama’s offer in Berlin Wednesday for sweeping further cuts to the U.S. and Russian deployed nuclear weapons arsenals has raised many questions, including one that has House Republicans and the Kremlin in rare agreement on one point at least—what about China? Under the 2010 New START treaty, cnsnews.com reports, the U.S. and Russia agreed to reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550 by 2018, down from the current 2,200. Obama’s proposal of a further one-third cut would take them to around 1,000. Yury Ushakov, senior foreign policy advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in Moscow that for the proposal to work, other nuclear-capable countries would have to be involved. “The situation now is not like in the 1960s and 1970s, when only the United States and the Soviet Union held talks on reducing nuclear arms,” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying. “Now we need to look more broadly and expand the circle of participants in possible contacts on this matter.” Ushakov did not elaborate, but experts say China is the only one of the original five nuclear powers—the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France—that is expanding its warhead stockpile.