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Missouri Family E-News August 2, 2010
National Marriage Group Brings Bus Tour to St. Louis

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is bringing its "Summer for Marriage Bus Tour" to St. Louis this Thursday evening with a rally scheduled in downtown Clayton. The bus tour is traveling to 23 cities in 19 Eastern and Midwestern states to rally support for traditional marriage. The pro-marriage campaign began in Maine on July 14th and will conclude on August 15th on the Capitol steps in Washington, D.C. The show of support for traditional marriage comes at a crucial juncture in the legal crusade by homosexual activists to redefine marriage. A federal judge in Boston recently struck down portions of the Defense of Marriage Act. Another federal judge in California is expected to rule any day on legal challenges to Proposition 8, which preserved the longstanding historical and legal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, says these cases have the potential to force same-sex "marriage" on the entire nation. "Gay marriage advocates have staked their newest strategy on the confidence that they can persuade five justices on the Supreme Court to strike down the marriage laws of 45 states, including Missouri. And it's up to us to stop them." "We have a limited window to act," Brown observes. "The first step is to let politicians know that the American people simply won't stand for them redefining the cornerstone of our families and society. Then we need to elect leaders who will boldly stand up against over-reaching judges." Maggie Gallagher, Chairwoman of NOM, contends that the redefinition of marriage by the courts would have a highly damaging effect on the culture and the Christian community. "We're now seeing a colorful movement attempting to ground the law in a lie about human nature. If the government embraces and uses the power of the law to enforce this lie, the result will not only be the disintegration of our public culture of marriage and the suffering of children, but it will also result in a permanent second-class status for Christians and people of other traditional faiths." Voters in Missouri amended the Constitution in 2004 to clarify that "to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall only exist between a man and a a woman." Voters endorsed traditional marriage by a 71% to 29% margin, with 1,055,771 Missourians casting "yes" ballots in a low-turnout August primary election. The St. Louis rally will be held from 6PM to 7PM on Thursday, August 5th at Memorial Park in downtown Clayton. The park is located at the northeast corner of Carondelet and Meramec adjacent to the St. Louis County Police Department headquarters and the St. Louis County government center complex.
Decency Groups Call for Appeal of Ruling on Indecent Television
 
Decency groups are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to appeal a recent federal court decision which they say will lead to a new wave of profane language on television. The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the FCC's policy regulating obscene speech and conduct is unconstitutionally vague, and would create a "chilling" effect on freedom of speech on broadcast television. The policy was adopted following highly publicized incidents involving rock singer Bono and Super Bowl performer Janet Jackson. Patrick Trueman, a former anti-pornography officer in the U.S. Justice Department, deplored the ruling. "Broadcasters will now have a green light to pump indecent language and perhaps much more into the homes of families at will. Broadcast television has joined cable television in serving as little more than an electronic sewer in most households, barraging viewers with a litany of revolting images, crude commentary, and depraved messages. More and more so-called "reality" shows are littered with "bleeped" words where everyone knows exactly what the person is saying. The bleeps don't obscure the words, they only serve to accentuate them. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says the commission is analyzing the appeals court decision. "We're reviewing the court's decision in light of our commitment to protect children, empower parents, and uphold the First Amendment." Another FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps, has already derided the court's action as "an anti-family decision", and called for appeal of the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Parents Television Council (PTC) is mounting an online petition drive urging the Commission to follow through with a further appeal.
 

 

Koster Calls for Reversal of Court Ruling on National Day of Prayer
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has called for the reversal of a federal court decision declaring the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional. State Attorney, Chris KosterKoster has joined 28 other state attorneys general in filing a "friend-of-the-court" brief with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opposing the decision. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb of Wisconsin ruled in April that Congress violated the First Amendment to the Constitution when it established a designated National Day of Prayer in 1988. Congress passed legislation that year designating the first Thursday in May for the national observance of a Day of Prayer. Judge Crabb ruled that such an observance amounted to an unconstitutional establishment of religion. The suit was filed by the atheist group the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The brief filed by Koster and his peers argues that federal courts have repeatedly acknowledged the country's religious heritage and the integral role of religion in American public life. The brief points out that every President except one since George Washington has issued a proclamation calling for national days of prayer and thanksgiving to God. Koster says there is nothing in the National Day of Prayer statute that compels anyone to pray. State Attorney, Chris Koster "However, the statute recognizes the importance of prayer in our nation, as did Benjamin Franklin when the framers of the Constitution reached an impasse, and he proposed that Congress adjourn for two days to seek divine guidance." Koster says the federal court decision could have implications for state government as well. "The attorneys general believe that the court's ruling...casts doubt on state laws that provide for a day of prayer, and may call into question the traditional individual state practice of issuing proclamations for special days of prayer during times of difficulty or tragedy." Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott led the effort to enlist his colleagues from across the country in calling for the reversal of Judge Crabb's reckless ruling. State Attorney, Chris Koster Abbott insists that the federal law does not run afoul of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because "no citizen is required to participate in any religious activity, and no government body or official is directed to conduct any religious activity." The Missouri Family Policy Council has also filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief in this case along with 28 other family policy councils across the country. The brief, spearheaded by the Liberty Institute of Texas, was also filed on behalf of Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family Action, and the Family Research Council. "Prayer is the underpinning of this country that makes it great," says Dr. Dobson, whose wife, Shirley, has long served as the chair of the National Day of Prayer observance. "Our nation has a rich history of Presidential proclamations for prayer and thanksgiving, and we must not allow revisionist history to dilute that heritage and freedom." State Attorney, Chris Koster Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, says that the federal court decision is the latest threat to religious liberty in the United States. "Since the conception of our nation, Americans have enjoyed religious freedom and the right to gather voluntarily for prayer. Judge Crabb's ruling squelches the religious freedom our Founding Fathers chose to protect in the Constitution and advances an activist agenda to hide our religious foundation." State Attorney, Chris Koster The brief filed by the Missouri Family Policy Council argues that invalidating the National Day of Prayer would be an act of hostility to religion, not the "accommodating neutrality" required by the Establishment Clause. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1984 in the case of Lynch v. Donnelly that "the Constitution [does not] require complete separation of church and state; it affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any." State Attorney, Chris Koster The National Day of Prayer Task Force has organized a petition drive urging President Obama to instruct the Justice Department to mount a vigorous defense on behalf of the National Day of Prayer in federal court. Leading legal advocates for religious liberty have expressed concern that the legal defense mounted so far by the Obama Administration has lacked intellectual rigor. You can sign the petition to President Obama by following this link: You can read more about the history of the National Day of Prayer by going to the NDP website at this link:
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