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Missouri Family E-News

March 12, 2011

Missouri Republican Caucuses
To Be Held Saturday 



The two major political parties will be holding caucuses in Missouri this month to begin the process of selecting delegates to attend the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.


The Missouri Republican Party will be hosting caucuses this weekend, March 17th, to select delegates to district and state conventions.  Missouri registered voters who declare that they are Republicans will have the opportunity to vote for delegates or slates of delegates who are committed to vote for the various Presidential candidates.   


Delegates chosen will attend congressional district conventions in April, and the state convention in June, where they will elect delegates who will attend the Republican National Convention in August in Tampa, Florida.


The caucuses begin at 10:00 AM at a single location in each county, with the exception that Republicans in St. Louis County will meet in their respective political townships.  St. Louis City Republicans will meet on Saturday, March 24th.  Party spokesmen recommend that caucusgoers arrive by 9:30 AM at their county location.


You can find the location of the Republican caucus to be held in your area by using this link:

Missouri Republicans 


Missouri Democrats will be holding their caucuses, which are called mass meetings, on Thursday evening,  March 29th, at 7:30 PM.  Like the Republicans, a meeting will be held in each county.  You can find information about the location of the Democratic meetings by clicking this link:

Missouri Democrats   


The caucuses are important not only because they help determine support for competing Presidential candidates, but also because they involve discussion of each party's political platform.  It is critical that Christian voters attend not only to support pro-life and pro-family Presidential contenders, but to support a party platform that includes pro-life, pro-marriage, and religious liberty planks.


While we are prohibited from expressing any support for any particular candidate or political party, we can refer you to a voters guide which evaluates the Republican candidate's stands on issues of concern to the Christian community.  The voters guide was prepared by the Family Research Council, and can be accessed at this link:

FRC Voters Guide     


Statewide Prayer Event to Be Held at State Capitol



A prayer gathering that has now become an annual event at the Missouri State Capitol will be held on Monday, March 26th in the Capitol Rotunda.  The prayer event kicks off a 40 day period of prayer and fasting for the members of the Missouri General Assembly.


Organizers of the prayer meeting call it "Show Me Your Glory Lord."  It had its start two years ago when legislative leaders requested prayer at a time when the General Assembly was struggling with a severe shortfall in the state budget.  That year the Legislature resolved its budget issues in remarkably harmonious fashion.


Dr. Alan Keyes will be the keynote speaker at this year's kickoff prayer meeting.  Dr. Keyes is one of the nation's most eloquent and passionate speakers who has been highly identified with the pro-life movement over the years.  He is a former United Nations ambassador and radio show talk host who made a serious run for the Presidency in 1996.


The day will begin with a prayer-walk inside and outside the Capitol Building starting at 9AM, followed by a time of praise and worship on the front lawn of the Capitol.  Dr. Keyes will speak at noon, and a time of prayer will continue until 1:30.   


For more information, you can contact Sue Stoltz at (573) 647-6285.   


Federal Judge Orders MO School District to Remove Website Filters

A federal judge has ordered a Camden County School District to unblock website filters restricting access to sexually explicit material.  U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey issued a preliminary injunction banning the use of Internet filtering software maintained by the Camdenton R-III School District.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union alleging that the school district was deliberately restricting access to homosexual-themed websites.  The litigation is part of a national campaign by the ACLU called "Don't Filter Me," an initiative of the group's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Project.

The ACLU demanded that the Camdenton School District disable filters on expansive categories of content, including such searches as "sexuality," "homosexuality," and "LGBT."  The removal of filters on those categories provides students unlimited access to thousands of highly pornographic websites.

Judge Laughrey charged that the Camdenton School District used its filtering software "out of an intent to burden websites expressing a positive view toward LGBT individuals."  The judge ruled that the school district's website filtering provider "fell below professional standards," and that there were other filtering systems that were "more effective" at blocking pornography without restricting free speech.

Tim Hadfield, superintendent of the Camdenton School  District, has insisted that the district's technology administrators have never targeted homosexual-oriented websites for exclusion.  He says the district's website filters are designed to limit access to content that would be pornographic for minors.

The school district says it is evaluating its options in determining whether to appeal the judge's ruling.  Judge Laughrey issued her ruling in mid-February, and gave the district 30 days to discontinue or reconfigure its current internet-filter software.

"The district stands by its position that it has acted in the best interest of its students and will continue to do so.  The district does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination against any of its students and supports the rights of its students to receive information," the district stated in a news release.

The Missouri Family Policy Council joined the Alliance Defense Fund in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the case defending the school district's responsibility to provide students with an age-appropriate curriculum.  ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman says the ACLU's "Don't Filter Me" project is part of a nationwide campaign of intimidation aimed at public school administrators.  The ACLU has taken six other school districts across the country to court in addition to the Camdenton School District.

"No school district should be bullied into exposing children to sexually graphic material," Cortman says.  "It is reprehensible that the ACLU is more concerned about advancing an agenda that exposes children to harm than they are about protecting those children.  Those who oppose bullying should not be bullies themselves."

The brief filed by ADF and the Missouri Family Policy Council provided numerous examples of sexually explicit websites that would be accessible to students if the district's category filters were removed.  These included sites containing pornographic pictures and videos, sites advertising sexual encounters,  sexual escorts,  sex parties, and sex toys, and forums discussing pornographic materials.

The joint brief also pointed out that the Children's Internet Protection Act adopted by the U.S. Congress requires the school district to shield its students from Internet content that "is obscene, is child pornography, or is harmful to minors."  Schools are required to adopt and enforce policies monitoring the online activities of minors on school computers, including their use of electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communication."

Jeremy Tedesco, another staff attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, argues that the ACLU is determined to turn school district computer labs into gateways for pornography.  "The ACLU cannot mask its attempts to turn school computers into porn portals for children by expressing a supposed concern for censorship.  Parents expect schools to be places where their children learn--not places where they access pornography."

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