An idea for a national day of prayer and fasting, which began in a column just several days ago, has now become a national movement, WorldNetDaily reports. WND founder Joseph Farah floated the idea, not really anticipating significant reaction. “Was I ever shocked,” he said. “By 8 a.m. Friday, my email inbox was running over with enthusiastic support for the idea, with about 1,000 people letting me know they would be participating by enlisting friends, family members, church groups, Bible studies, and neighbors. They were marking the date on their calendar. Their only reservation was that the date was nearly five months away. They wanted to do something sooner.” So Farah is asking supporters of the idea to register their intent to participate and to help spread the plan. Farah’s original column pointed out that when “America’s founders faced challenges, they often had the wisdom and insight to call for a national day of prayer and fasting. America is facing challenges today that, in many ways, rival anything we’ve seen since the start of World War II.” Farah laid out some of the reasons for the idea: There’s a concerted effort to redefine marriage as any union between people, regardless of sex, possibly regardless even of the number of participants in that union and possibly even regardless of the status of blood relationship between them; America continues to abort unborn babies by the millions and has now moved further in the direction of euthanasia on both ends of the life spectrum—possibly even making it a matter of national, state-controlled health-care mandates; American foreign policy seems directionless, no longer with the primary concern being national security, but in fostering and fomenting change for the sake of change and breaking down the barriers of national sovereignty; government seems determined to enforce a monopoly on force by making it more difficult for Americans to exercise their constitutionally protected right to procure and bear firearms; government and cultural institutions are breaking down the pillars and principles upon which self-government has been built; government is building up its authority and diminishing the role God plays as the supreme authority in the lives of free people.
- A substitute teacher who lost his job for showing his Bible to a student has filed a complaint against the Phillipsburg, Pa., school district, wfmz.com reports. Walt Tutka claims religious discrimination and retaliation as the reasons for his dismissal from the district in January, according to his complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “It is shocking that the school district has forced Walt to file a complaint with the EEOC for religious discrimination,” said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, which is representing Tutka with a New Jersey law firm. “All Walt did was respond to a student’s intellectual curiosity and the school district suspended and then terminated him.” Tutka was teaching in Phillipsburg Middle School last fall when he told a student who was last in a line a quote from the Bible: “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” The quote, Tutka said, prompted the student to ask several times where it came from, leading Tutka to show the student his personal copy of the Bible on Oct. 12. Tutka worked his last day in the district three days later, according to the complaint. The school board voted to fire him Jan. 14. The EEOC informed Walt that mediation and legal action are among his options, according to a statement from the Liberty Institute, which is a nonprofit legal group “dedicated to restoring and defending religious liberty across America.”
- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has warned that President Barack Obama could be planning to create a special “watch list” for Catholics and evangelical Christians to prevent them from buying guns, rawstory.com reports. On his Wednesday Washington Watch broadcast, Perkins said he was “concerned” about a bipartisan deal in the Senate that would close the so-called gun show loophole and require background checks for Internet gun sales. “This idea of background checks is very concerning given the fact that the United States military has been increasingly showing hostility toward evangelicals and Catholics as being somehow threats to national security and people that need to be watched,” Perkins opined. “Well, what does that have to do with gun control?” he continued. “Well, what happens if all the sudden you are identified as an evangelical, Bible-believing fundamentalist and the government decides you’ve got to be put on a watch list?” “Part of the provisions of this background check is kind of a system where if a caution comes up when they put your name in, you don’t get a chance to buy a gun.” Earlier this month, Fox News radio host Todd Starnes reported that “U.S. Army training instructor listed Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism.”
- The Freedom From Religion Foundation has pressured Kentucky’s Breathitt County School District to remove a copy of the Ten Commandments that had been posted in the school for years, politicaloutcast.com reports. The FFRF said it had received complaints about the displays. “What if a group of parents complained that their children were being taught that they are the product of millions of years of years of evolution through the process of the survival of the fittest, ‘nature, red in tooth and claw’?” asked the report, which also asked, “What if the students put two and two together and reasoned that if evolution is true, then there are no moral absolutes? That would include murder, the sixth of the Ten Commandments.” The Kentucky Board of Education released a statement explaining its rationale for agreeing to remove the display: “The display of religious materials, such as a painting of a religious figure or a copy of the Ten Commandments, in a public school violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on the establishment or endorsement of religion by a public agency. A school or district that displays copies of the Ten Commandments without the inclusion of other historical documents and not as part of a historical/comparative display is in violation of the U.S. Constitution.” Where does the Constitution say this? asked the report. “The First Amendment is directed at Congress for the purpose of allowing states to do what the Kentucky school had been doing with the display of the Ten Commandments for decades. The states called for the inclusion of a Bill of Rights to restrict the national government and afford them the freedom to govern themselves in specific areas: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . .’ Where’s the violation? The prohibition is directed at Congress, not the state of Kentucky. In fact, the First Amendment is being violated because the removal of the Ten Commandments prohibits the ‘free exercise thereof’ of religion toward the state of Kentucky.”
- PoliceOne.com released the results of an extensive online survey of about 15,000 active and retired law enforcement officers of all ranks and from departments ranging in size from less than 25 to more than 1,000. The results strongly show that law enforcement officers do not support President Obama’s gun control agenda. They do, instead, strongly support the Right to Carry for law-abiding Americans. The survey respondents are united in their desire for politicians to focus on keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and to reject unconstitutional gun control measures that infringe on Second Amendment rights. Key findings include the following: An extraordinary 99 percent said policies other than an “assault weapons” ban are most important to prevent mass shootings. Almost 96 percent said that a ban on standard capacity magazines would not reduce violent crime. More than 91 percent stated that the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime should have stiff, mandatory sentences, and no plea-bargains. More than 91 percent stated they supported the Right to Carry by law abiding Americans. More than 81 percent said that “gun buy-backs” do not reduce gun violence. Eighty percent believe legally armed citizens can reduce casualties in incidents of mass violence. Nearly 80 percent said that a ban on private transfers of firearms between law-abiding citizens would not reduce violent crime. More than 76 percent indicated that legally armed citizens are important to reducing crime. More than 76 percent support the arming of trained and qualified teachers or administrators who volunteer to carry a firearm. More than 70 percent said that a ban on “assault weapons” would not reduce violent crime. More than 70 percent opposed the idea of a national registry of legal gun sales. Nearly 68 percent said magazine capacity restrictions would negatively affect them personally. More than 60 percent said that the passage of Obama’s gun control legislation would not improve officer safety.
- The Republican National Committee voted unanimously Friday to reaffirm the party’s view that marriage should strictly be the union of one man and one woman, rebuffing its chairman’s call for the party to be more tolerant on social issues, newsmax.com reports. Less than a month ago, National Chairman Reince Priebus released a 98-page document that appraised his party’s political liabilities in an attempt to re-brand the party and attract voters following last November’s election setbacks. However, the RNC’s resolved to uphold its stance on marriage, declaring that the union between a man and a woman is “the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America,” reports The Wall Street Journal. The 168 RNC members, by casting their unanimous vote, shows the party faces further challenges as it looks for ways to broaden its voting base. While some Republicans agree with Priebus that the party needs to further acknowledge and attract minority groups and younger voters, others believe doing that will cause the GOP to abandon its core values. The party’s base seems to agree with the RNC’s vote, according to the results of a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released this past week. The poll showed that while 53 percent of Americans favor allowing same-sex marriages, only 27 percent of Republicans approve. Supporters of the new RNC resolution say it was made to create the party’s clear line on marriage. “At the very least we wanted to clarify the position of the party,” said A.J. Spiker, who chairs the Iowa Republican Party. “(We) can certainly be welcoming without compromising on marriage and the definition of marriage.” Meanwhile, social-conservative group leaders, including Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins, wrote a letter to Priebus last week to voice their “great displeasure” with his assessment of the party, warning that the party will make a “huge historical mistake” by skirting “the issues which attract and energize them by the millions.”