President Obama gave an ultimatum on a pending U.S. Supreme Court case Monday, saying that if the justices overturned his healthcare law, it would be “unprecedented” and amount to “judicial activism,” reports World. He said he expected the justices to uphold the law. Since the arguments last week hinted at the possibility that the high court would overturn the law, Democrats have been preemptively characterizing the justices as partisan judicial activists. Former President Bill Clinton said in an interview with MSNBC on Monday that the actual arguments were “unusually politicized.” He offered his analysis of the law: “I don’t think it was unconstitutional in any way, shape, or form. Even in the 1790s there were mandates. . . . It’s hard to take the constitutional argument seriously. So I think it’s more about politics.” Some Republicans shot back. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated Monday, “It must be nice living in a fantasy world where every law you like is constitutional and every Supreme Court decision you don’t is activist.” Judge Andrew Napolitano, political and legal analyst for Fox News Channel, remarked, “President Obama took a cheap shot at the Supreme Court by suggesting that because its members are ‘unelected’ they are somehow without authority to invalidate unconstitutional legislation. This is hardly a sentiment that should come from anyone sworn to uphold the Constitution, much less a public servant who is a lawyer, much less a person who once taught constitutional law at one of the nation’s best law schools.” Added Napolitano, reported savingtherepublic.com, “I think the president is dangerously close to totalitarianism. A few months ago he was saying the Congress doesn’t count, Congress doesn’t mean anything. . . . I’m going to rule by decree and by administrative regulation. Now he is basically saying the Supreme Court doesn’t count, it doesn’t matter what they think.” Breakthematrix.com reports that Napolitano has predicted that the Supreme court will turn down Obamacare in a 5–4 decision.
- Hallmark Management Company has settled with Daniel and Sharon Dixon after accusing them and firing them for being “too religious,” reports charisma.com. The couple had a piece of artwork hanging in their office that contained a Scripture reference. Liberty Counsel represented the Dixons in the case of Dixon v. Hallmark Companies. The settlement totals $76,250. The Dixons were the employees and tenants of a government-subsidized facility, Thornwood Terrace Apartments, in Lake City, Fla. In 2007, a regional manager for Hallmark asked Sharon if the words on the artwork referred to Scripture. When she said they did, the manager demanded she take it down and then fired the Dixons. The Dixons were given 72 hours to vacate their apartment. The Dixons filed a federal lawsuit, charging Hallmark with religious discrimination. “I am pleased that Daniel and Sharon Dixon can move forward, with this religious discrimination action behind them,” said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It is wrong to fire or evict someone because they are Christians.”
- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, reports The Washington Post, was confronted at a town hall meeting in Wisconsin Monday by a young man who read from a book of scripture published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and asked Romney whether he agreed with his church’s onetime belief that interracial marriage is a sin. Romney, who is on the cusp of becoming the first Mormon ever to win a major party’s presidential nomination, became visibly agitated with the man’s line of questioning. The former Massachusetts governor replied with a terse “no.” Later Romney said that he would talk only about the practices of his faith, not its doctrines.
- Wycliffe USA, faced with the possibility of losing support from the 3-million-member Assemblies of God, pulled one controversial Bible translation from circulation in February and halted publication of several others, reports Christianity Today. In March, it agreed to an external audit of its translation practices by the World Evangelical Alliance. Critics have faulted the audio translation Lives of the Prophets, among others, for translating “Son” in reference to Jesus into the Arabic equivalent for “Messiah.” Muslims object to Christian teaching that Jesus is the eternal Son of God. Wycliffe says it withdrew support for the audio translation and a few other translations last summer in accordance with new policies concerning divine familial terms. However, since Wycliffe international partner SIL is not the publisher, copies continue to circulate through other sources. As recently as January, Wycliffe and SIL denied that any of their translations omitted familial terms. Then in February, Wycliffe released another statement acknowledging that observers questioned the veracity of this denial. “We are listening to those concerns,” Wycliffe said in February, “and are seeking God’s guidance as we re-evaluate our methodology and investigate to ensure that our commitment to accurate and clear translation is being reflected in every project.” Wycliffe says literal translations of divine familial terms should be preferred, but its translation policy continues to allows for non-literal substitutes where translators determine the literal phrasing creates inaccurate meaning. Wycliffe’s statements followed two meetings with Assemblies of God missionary leaders, missiologists, and scholars regarding disagreement over its Bible translation practices.
- The obscure federal agency that has come under intense scrutiny after a report it spent $820,000 of taxpayer funds on a lavish Las Vegas bash, spent another $250,000 on an employee’s incentive program. Fox News has learned a House Transportation subcommittee investigating a Las Vegas junket by the General Services Administration will expand its probe into an employee-rewards program known as “Hats Off.” The GSA spent $250,000 on “Hats Off,” a workplace incentive initiative where administration employees could garner points based on a scoring system for good work around the office. If they accumulated a certain level of points, an employee could qualify for a gift card or an iPod or other electronics. The GSA’s Inspector General ordered a cessation to the “Hats Off” program around the same time it initiated its investigation of the Las Vegas trip in 2010. However, Fox has learned that the GSA’s Public Building Services Commissioner Bob Peck reportedly allocated additional funds for the program after its ordered cessation. Peck was fired by former GSA Administrator Martha Johnson before she resigned amid the scandal. The House panel will hear from Johnson and others at a hearing on April 19.
- Parents at a Massachusetts elementary school are furious after educators first removed the word “God” from the popular Lee Greenwood song “God Bless the U.S.A.” (instructing students to instead sing the words “We love the U.S.A.”) and then, after parents complained, pulled the song altogether from an upcoming concert, reports Fox News. The school’s principal released a statement to Fox 25 in Boston stating they hope to “maintain the focus on the original objective of sharing students’ knowledge of the U.S. States, and because of logistics, will not include any songs.” Greenwood released a statement to Fox News condemning the school’s actions. “The most important word in the whole piece of music is the word God, which is also in the title ‘God Bless The USA,” Greenwood said. “Maybe the school should have asked the parents their thoughts before changing the lyrics to the song. They could have even asked the writer of the song, which I of course, would have said you can’t change the lyrics at all or any part of the song.”
- Most people in the U.S., especially Democrats, believe that Republicans and or the Tea Party started the Obama Birther Movement. They believe it is a smear campaign aimed to tarnish the image of the the president. But they may be shocked to learn that the Birther Movement was actually started by former President Bill Clinton and Hillary back in 2008, says a story in godfatherpolitics.com. “Bettina Viviano was a vice president with Amblin Enterntainment, Steven Spielberg’s company, before launching her own film production company in 1990. In 2008, Viviano was asked to produce a documentary about voter fraud within the Democratic Party. At the time, she says she was not a Democrat or a Republican and in fact had never voted in an election. She went into the project with the sole purpose of producing the best and most accurate documentary possible. During the documentary process, Viviano says that she quickly became aware of just how dangerous and insidious the Obama campaign was. A number of the Democrats she interviewed refused to appear on camera and told her that their lives and property had been threatened by people working with the Obama campaign. She also heard former President Bill Clinton say that Obama was not eligible to be president because of his lack of birth records. In fact, she said it was common knowledge around many top Democrats. Bill Clinton has often said that he would go public with the information when the time was right. Before that could happen, his close friend and head of the Arkansas Democratic Party, Bill Gwatney was murdered in his office and then someone told Bill that he was next if he said anything about Obama’s eligibility. . . . Clinton was not intimidated until someone associated with the Obama campaign told him that his daughter Chelsea would be next if he opened his mouth. From that point on, the Clinton’s remained silent about Obama’s birth certificate or lack thereof.”
- After earlier denying that it had bombed civilians, last week Sudanese aerial strikes targeted church buildings and schools in Kauda, South Kordofan state, reports Worthy News. Antonov aircraft dropped bombs on homes and livestock near churches and schools in an “ethnic cleansing” campaign against non-Arab people in Sudan’s multiethnic state. As a result, the churches are holding worship services early in the morning and late at night to avoid these aerial attacks. To date, Sudanese Armed Forces have destroyed 10 churches, 17 mosques, 73 villages and 48 schools, resulting in an estimated 185,000 refugees fleeing from South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states into South Sudan and Ethiopia; the U.N. estimates the conflict has created nearly 400,000 refugees, most of them in danger of starvation.
- Chuck Colson, a noted evangelical leader and leader of Prison Fellowship, is in critical condition after surgery following a brain hemorrhage last Friday, reports The Christian Post. “Colson is listed in critical condition at this point but has shown some early signs of potential for recovery,” said Michelle Farmer, Colson’s spokesperson. The 80-year-old Colson fell ill while addressing a conference in the Washington, D.C., area over the weekend. He underwent surgery on Saturday morning to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain. Earlier this week, an update on Colson’s Facebook page showed that he did not have a stroke and was resting comfortably. “We believe that we serve a mighty God—the ‘Great Physician’—and are hoping and praying for Chuck’s full recovery. When I visited him yesterday, I was encouraged to see that as we prayed, Chuck was responsive,” said Prison Fellowship Ministries CEO Jim Liske, in a statement Tuesday.