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Missouri Family E-News September 20, 2010


Troopers Appeal Ruling on Memorial Crosses


A group of state highway patrol troopers is appealing a federal court decision ordering the removal of highway memorial crosses erected in honor of their fellow officers. The Utah Highway Patrol Association is appealing a ruling by a panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the highway crosses are an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. The state troopers are asking the full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the decision. The white crosses were first erected in 1998 along Utah highways to honor Utah State Highway Patrol officers who died in the line of duty. The 12-foot high crosses were paid for with private funds, but most of the fourteen crosses are located on public land. Sponsors of the project say they chose crosses because they are universally recognized as a symbol of death, remembrance, honor, gratitude, and sacrifice. The group American Atheists filed suit against the state of Utah, arguing that the the crosses amounted to an endorsement of Christianity. The judges from the 10th Circuit panel agreed, saying that the crosses "may lead the reasonable observer to fear that Christians are likely to receive preferential treatment from the Utah Highway Patrol." Byron Babione, Senior Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, is optimistic that the state troopers will succeed in preserving the memorial crosses. "One atheist group's agenda shouldn't be allowed to diminish the sacrifice made by Utah highway patrol officers and their families. We are asking the full 10th Circuit to allow the families of the fallen to honor their loved ones as they wish." Babione points out that the 10th Circuit decision is at odds with a recent ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided that a cross-shaped veterans' memorial in the Mojave Desert in California did not have to be removed. In that decision, the High Court stated that "the goal of avoiding governmental endorsement of religion does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm. A cross by the side of a public highway marking the place where a state trooper perished need not be taken as a statement of governmental support for religious beliefs. The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgement of religion's role in society.".


Missouri Girl Claims She Was Victim of Online Sex Trafficking

A Missouri girl who says she was advertised for sex online is suing a web-based classified ad service. The girl says she was sold for prostitution at the age of 14 by a pimp. She charges that the website Backpage.com assisted in child prostitution by posting the ads in which she was marketed for sex. The girl claims that a 27-year old St. Louis County woman persuaded her to become a prostitute. She says the woman posted explicit photographs of her on Backpage.com and advertised her sexual services. The girl says the woman then arranged the contacts, drove the girl to the sexual encounters, and kept half the money. Robert Pedroli, an attorney for the girl, is seeking damages under the Child Abuse Victims Rights Act. Pedroli says most attempts to obtain damages from online sites for sexual solicitation are unsuccessful because they are protected by a provision in the federal Communications Decency Act. He says that provision states that online sites are not legally liable for what others post on their sites. Pedroli contends that since the case involved exploitation of a minor and is covered by the Child Abuse Victims Rights Act, the website does not have the same legal immunity. Pedroli believes that should the case prove successful, it may provide an avenue to discourage online sexual trafficking of minors. "These websites provide an online safe house for these pimps and johns to meet. It's a major problem--a major, disgusting problem." Backpage.com is owned by Village Voice Media, a Phoenix-based company. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a decision by another sleazy website, Craigslist, to shut down the "adult services" section of their online classified advertising service.

 

Pancake House Sues Missouri Prayer Ministry


A national chain of pancake restaurants is suing a Missouri prayer ministry, claiming trademark infringement. The International House of Pancakes is suing the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. The restaurant chain claims that the prayer ministry chose their name knowing that it would be abbreviated and referred to as IHOP, and thus "misappropriate the fame and notoriety" of the pancake restaurant, which has used the acronym IHOP since 1973. Patrick Lenow, a spokesman for the International House of Pancakes, contends that the prayer ministry has refused requests to stop using the IHOP name. "We are compelled to protect the IHOP good name that's been around for 52 years." The lawsuit claims that the prayer ministry's use of the same four-letter logo is causing "great and irreparable injury and confuses the public." The International House of Prayer is located adjacent to U.S. Highway 71 in Grandview. It was founded by nationally known evangelist Mike Bickle, and is devoted to round-the-clock prayer, worship, and intercession.
Top U.S. Army Official Says: 'Get with Gay Agenda or Get Out'

In a sign of things to come, a top-ranking U.S. Army official has compared Bible-believing Christians to racists and suggested that they don't belong in the U.S. Armed Forces. State Attorney, Chris Koster The Washington Times reports that Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick recently branded those who oppose the inclusion of active homosexuals in the U.S. military as bigots. Lt. Gen. Bostick is the deputy chief of staff in the U.S. Army in charge of personnel matters. In remarks to several hundred troops at the European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, Bostick said that "we have a minority of service members who are still racists and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of all of them." State Attorney, Chris Koster
Bostick defended President Obama's push to open the military to avowed homosexuals, saying: "No matter how much training [there is] of those in opposition, you're always going to have those that oppose this on moral and religious grounds just like you still have racists today. But these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program, and if they can't, they need to get out." Bostick is now denying that he made such comments, yet the Washington Times says they have multiple sources for the quote. Bostick's career in the service has included major leadership positions in military recruiting, having previously served as Commanding General of the United States Army Recruiting Command. Bostick's comments crystallize the debate which will begin on Tuesday in the United States Senate on the annual Defense Department Authorization bill. That bill includes an amendment adopted in the Senate Armed Service Committee which would repeal federal law and the military's longstanding policy prohibiting active homosexuals from participation in the United States Armed Services.
State Attorney, Chris KosterSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid has pushed to win final passage of the repeal, which has already been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. Reid recently pledged to Hollywood celebrity Lady Gaga that he would obtain a vote this week to pave the way for homosexuals in the military. Congress adopted legislation in 1993 codifying longstanding military policy on the subject of homosexuality. The Congressional action followed an exhaustive study by a Military Working Group that decisively concluded that inclusion of active homosexuals in the armed forces would have a highly negative impact on military readiness, recruitment, and retention.
State Attorney, Chris KosterThe Washington Times points out that the military's long-standing policy on homosexual conduct "is rooted in the principles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which also forbids adulterous conduct among heterosexuals insofar "as it undermines the good order and discipline of the armed forces." The Washington Times editors argue that "the reason for the military's existence is to win battles and wars, not to ensure feelings aren't hurt or to serve as a playground for social experimentation." Tommy Sears, executive director of the Center for Military Readiness, says that repeal of the law on homosexuality will result in harsh discipline for those who oppose it. "There will be no toleration of dissent. If for whatever reason you disagree, whether it's religious conviction or personal objection, your career in essence will be over."
State Attorney, Chris KosterEarlier this year, a group of retired military chaplains sent a letter to President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates deploring the proposed change. Their letter said: "Opposition to normalizing sinful behavior is deeply rooted in our theology, and that opposition will come to a sharp head if armed forces compel affirmation of homosexual conduct...If the government normalizes homosexual behavior in the armed forces, many (if not most) chaplains will confront a profoundly difficult moral choice: whether they are to obey God or to obey men." The chaplains added, "By raising homosexual behavior to the same protected status as innate characteristics like race and gender, the armed forces will cast the sincerely held beliefs of many chaplains and Service members as rank bigotry comparable to racism." Lt. Gen. Bostick's comments make it clear that that is already happening.
State Attorney, Chris KosterThe amendment to lower the moral standards in the U.S. Military is not the only anti-family and anti-Christian provision inserted into the Defense Department authorization bill. The legislation also includes an amendment sponsored by Senator Roland Burris of Illinois which would require that abortions be performed at U.S. military installations. Current federal law prohibits abortions at military hospitals except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger. Supporters of the change argue that it will not result in taxpayers paying for abortions because women will be required to pay for the abortions themselves. Yet the fact remains that the doctors who will be recruited to perform the abortions and the facilities where they will be performed are financed by taxpayers.
State Attorney, Chris KosterPrior to the adoption by Congress in 1996 of a federal ban on abortions at military facilities, President Clinton attempted to authorize elective abortions at military bases through an executive order. His efforts went nowhere as military physicians and uniformed medical personnel refused to participate in the destruction of preborn children. The Obama administration has worked to remove conscience protections established by the Bush Administration for medical personnel who morally object to the practice of abortion. Dr. Gene Rudd, senior vice president of the Christian Medical Association, says repeal of the ban on military abortions would place physicians in the military in a no-win situation. "[This change] will place military physicians with life-honoring convictions in the unenviable position of either disobeying orders, abandoning their conscience, or seeking objector status."

State Attorney, Chris KosterDenise Burke, Vice-President of Legal Affairs for Americans United for Life, says that the practice of abortions at U.S. military bases would lead to a demand for taxpayer-funded abortions nationwide. "Abortion advocates will almost certainly argue that American servicewomen, as a result of taxpayer subsidization, have better and more comprehensive access to abortion than their civilian counterparts and that this 'inequity' must be addressed. Their preferred weapon to counter this perceived injustice will be taxpayer-funded abortions across the board and more money in the coffers of abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood."

We strongly urge you to contact your U.S. Senators immediately to urge their opposition to the homosexualization of the U.S. Armed Services and the use of taxpayer funds to kill unborn children on U.S. military bases. State Attorney, Chris Koster
You can contact your U.S. Representative at this link: Your Congressman
You can contact Senator Kit Bond through this link: Senator Bond You can contact Senator Claire McCaskill at this link: Senator McCaskill
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