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Missouri Family E-News March 15, 2010
 
 
Federal Court Upholds "Under God" in Pledge of Allegiance
 
A federal appeals court has struck down a challenge to the use of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency.  The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the references did not violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits an establishment of religion.
 
The 9th Circuit panel decided by a 2-1 vote that the inclusion of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional.  "The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which the our Republic was founded," wrote Judge Carlos Bea.  He pointed out that students are not required to recite the pledge.
 
The 9th Circuit judges also ruled by a 3-0 vote that the placement of the national motto "In God We Trust" on the country's dollars and coins is not in violation of the First Amendment.  The judges ruled that the motto is "patriotic and ceremonial in character, and bears no resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of any religious exercise."
 
The suit was brought by prominent atheist Michael Newdow, who has been waging a one-man campaign to eliminate all references to God from the public sector.  The rulings are a surprise, since the 9th Circuit had previously decided that the Pledge of Allegiance violated the so-called separation of church and state.  The U.S. Supreme Court struck down that ruling for technical reasons
 
Newdow says he will seek a rehearing before a full panel of the judges from the 9th Circuit, and if that fails, take an appeal to the Supreme Court.   
 
 
 
 
Court Rules Teacher Can Display Patriotic Banners
 
A federal district court has ordered that a California school teacher can display banners in his classroom that recognize America's religious heritage.  Federal District
Judge Roger Benitez ruled that Bradley Johnson's rights were violated when the Poway Unified School District in San Diego forced him to take down his patriotic banners.
 
Johnson had posted banner displays in his classroom with the phrases "In God We Trust," "One Nation Under God," "God Bless America," and God Shed His Grace on Thee."  School district officials told Johnson that the banners "over-emphasized God" and that Muslim students might be offended by the slogans.
 
Yet the school district allowed other teachers to display posters of Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi, Buddhist leader Dali Lama, and Tibetan prayer flags with images of Buddha. 
 
Judge Benitez took school administrators to task, saying they "apparently fear that their students are incapable of dealing with diverse viewpoints that include God's place in American history and culture.  Diversity does not mean bleaching out historical religious expression or mainstream morality."
 
Benitez added: "By squelching only Johnson's patriotic and religious classroom banners, while permitting other diverse religious and anti-religious classroom displays, the school district does a disservice to its students.  The federal and state constitutions do not permit this one-sided censorship."
 
Johnson was represented by the Thomas More Law Center.  Chief Counsel Richard Thompson commented: "These school officials see no problem in actively promoting atheism or other religions under the guise of cultural diversity and tolerance.  Yet they exhibit hostility to our nation's Christian heritage. Hopefully, the judge's decision will put an end to this double standard." 

 

 
 
NCAA Pulls Focus on the Family Ad
 
While many sports fans are focused on March Madness, pro-family leaders are aghast at a decision by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to pull an ad from their website sponsored by Focus on the Family. 
 
The banner ad was completely noncontroversial.  It showed a father and son with the words:  "All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing. Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life."
 
Bob Wilson, a spokesman for the NCAA, said the decision was made after complaints made by some college athletic directors and faculty.  They supposedly expressed concerns about Focus on the Family's opposition to homosexual "marriage" and legalized abortion.
 
Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger said the ministry was "befuddled" by the decision.  "Have we really become a society where it's considered controversial for a dad to hope the best for his son?  If so, we have a lot of soul-searching to do as a nation."
 
You can let the NCAA know what you think about their cowardly decision by e-mailing them at pmr@ncaa.org
 
 
 
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Pro-Life Leaders Sound Alarm Bells on Federal Abortion Mandate
Leaders in the pro-life community are sounding alarm bells in efforts to block the abortion mandate contained in proposed federal health care legislation.  President Obama is making a determined last-ditch appeal to win support for his health care proposal, which would compel taxpayers to finance abortions for the first time in American history.
 
Charmaine Yoest, the President of Americans United for Life, has issued a "Code Blue for Life."  She says, "Within the coming weeks, Planned Parenthood may achieve the 'Holy Grail' of the pro-abortion movement: using tax dollars to pay for abortions."
 
The Family Research Council is sponsoring a "National Town Hall Meeting on Health Care" tomorrow evening, March16th, at 7:30 PM, which will be hosted via a live video webcast.  "The President's latest bill would trick Americans into funding a procedure that victimizes women and robs them of the physical and mental well-being the legislation promised to advance," says FRC President Tony Perkins.
 
President Obama's latest proposed overhaul of the nation's health care system is virtually the same as the legislation previously adopted by the U.S. Senate, which would channel health insurance payments to the abortion industry.  Health insurance plans that pay for abortions would receive government subsidies through federal tax credits.  Consumers who purchase private health insurance through federally-established health insurance exchanges would be required to pay an abortion premium regardless of their sex, age, or family status.
 
The bill still includes authorization for a multi-state insurance plan whose basic benefits package would be defined by rabidly pro-abortion Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  President Obama has made it clear that he considers "reproductive health care" to be a basic health care benefit.  Senate pro-abortion leaders have also made it clear that they consider abortion coverage to be a component of "preventative health care."
 
The President's proposal also creates what would almost certainly be a federal gravy train for Planned Parenthood.  The bill sets aside $11 billion over the next five years for "community health centers."  There is no reason to believe that this ardently pro-abortion administration would not include Planned Parenthood clinics as recipients of these community health center grants.  In fact, Planned Parenthood expects that that will happen.  They have sent out e-mails to their supporters crowing that "President Obama's health care reform...will significantly increase access to reproductive health care."
 
It appears that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to carry through with threats to invoke "reconciliation" to win passage of the President's bill.  Under reconciliation, the Senate would not need 60 votes to break a filibuster against the bill.  Reconciliation has never been used by the Senate on a major policy issue, but has been reserved for budget authorizations and appropriations.
 
The major showdown will occur in the House, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declared her intention to pass the bill over the objections of pro-life members of her own Democratic caucus.  Vote-counters are watching closely to see how many members will join pro-life leader Congressman Bart Stupak in opposing any health care bill with an abortion mandate.  Missouri Democratic Congressman Ike Skelton has already announced that he will vote against the proposal because it "lacks teeth to prevent abortion funding."
 
We know you are probably weary by now of all the wrangling and rhetoric over this subject.  But we want to impress upon you that this is a crucial hour in this mammoth national debate.  The showdown over this issue is upon us.  Please take the time to contact our U.S. Senators and your U.S. Congressman to tell them to vote against any taxpayer funding for abortion. 
 
You can contact Senator Kit Bond by using this link:
 
You can contact Senator Claire McCaskill by activating this link:
 
You can contact your U.S. Representative by clicking this link:
 
You can learn more about the effort to stop the abortion mandate at this web link:
 
You can register to be part of the National Town Hall Meeting on Health Care by using this link:
 
In closing, I am reminded that Our Father God has spelled out in His Word those things that greatly displease him.  "There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him:  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and man who stirs up dissension among brothers." (Prov. 6:16-19)  For His name's sake and our own posterity, we must stand against wicked schemes that would shed innocent blood.
 
Please pray that our leaders will hear the cry of the people of this land and turn from this ugly path of death and destruction for future generations of Americans.  We read in the Scriptures (Luke 19) the account of Jesus approaching Jerusalem and weeping over the city.  The Pharisees wanted Jesus to scold his disciples for stirring up the people, but Jesus replied:  "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
 
We pray that this is an hour in our nation when believers will put their faith into action and the voice of righteousness will be proclaimed and heard.  God has told us that heaven and earth stand as witnesses to our decision.  We can choose life and its blessings, or we can choose death and its curses.  America must choose life, so that we and our descendents may live.
 
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