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Missouri Family E-News

June 17, 2014

Salt Lake City Officer Faces Action Over "Gay Pride" Parade Duty 


A Salt Lake City police officer has been placed on administrative leave because he declined to participate in a "gay rights" parade.


The unnamed officer is facing an internal affairs investigation after he requested to be relieved of duty as a part of a police motorcade at the front of the parade.  He asked to instead be assigned to traffic control or patrol during the event because of his religious beliefs.


"We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments," said Salt Lake City police spokeswoman Lara Jones.  "To allow personal opinion to enter into whether an officer will take a post is not something that can be tolerated."


What Jones fails to mention is that the officer was not being asked to fulfill a legitimate police assignment at the event, but instead to be a high-profile participant in the parade.


Like most "gay pride" parades, the Salt Lake City event has had the same decadent flavor, with parade participants engaging in sexually explicit or sexually suggestive homoerotic behavior.


Bret Rawson, an attorney for the officer, says his client did not want his actions to be perceived as endorsing or advocating in favor of homosexual rights.


Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association says the Salt Lake City Police are employing a double standard.


"They don't tolerate bias and bigotry, unless it is directed at a Christian.  Would the police department require a black officer to lead a motorcade at the head of a KKK parade?"


"The reality is that it's the leaders of the Salt Lake City Police Department who are the real intolerant bigots here, and bullies to boot."


The St. Louis City Police Department, like their Salt Lake City counterparts, are doing more than just managing crowd control at homosexual-themed events.  In fact, the St. Louis Police Department is an official sponsor of the "gay pride" event to be held in St. Louis later this month.


Once again organizers of this event are desecrating the Soldiers Memorial downtown with a "celebration" of the homosexual lifestyle.  And once again major corporate sponsors are lining up to demonstrate their support for sexual depravity.


Corporate sponsors include MasterCard, US Bank, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Monsanto, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  Fox2News is a "media sponsor," which is reflective of their biased coverage of this issue.


Even more disturbing is the sponsorship of this event by the City of St. Louis, the Metro Transit District, and Ameren UE.  It is unconscionable that local governments and a publicly-regulated utility are using taxpayer and ratepayer dollars to subsidize a "celebration" of sexual perversion.


You can let Ameren know what you think of their shameful behavior by writing them at Ameren Missouri, P.O. Box 790352, St. Louis, MO  63179-0352. 


Ohio Woman Dies from Late-Term Abortion  

A 22-year old Ohio woman has died as a result of a heart attack following a botched late-term abortion at a Cleveland clinic.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed that Lakisha Wilson died of cardiac arrest following an abortion conducted at the Preterm Abortion facility in Cleveland on March 21st.

Records of the 911 call reveal that Wilson had stopped breathing following the procedure, and could not be resuscitated.  Media accounts say she was brain dead by the time she arrived at the hospital.

While the report of the medical examiner says that Wilson suffered a heart attack, the cause of the death is listed as due to a "therapeutic complication."
Wilson was kept on life support for a week so that her organs could be harvested.

Pro-life leader Alveda King deplored the tragic end to the life of the 22 year-old woman.  "The Wilson family's tragedy is the shame of our nation."

"Abortion is decimating the African-American community," King continued.  "Black women who make up just 13 percent of the population account for 36 percent of the abortions."

"They didn't value Lakisha's life or that of her child.  But they badly wanted her remains.  That is horrendous.  We must demand regulation of these butchers.  We must not allow Lakisha's death to pass us by in vain."


Listen to the Broadcast Version of the Jeff City Update online at 

SCOTUS Ruling on Invocations Bolsters Freedom of Religion 

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the subject of government invocations opens the door to potential new horizons for freedom of religious expression in the United States.  The decision by the High Court in a case out of Greece, New York, establishes a new legal barometer for measuring the extent to which religious speech is permitted in the public square.

The lawsuit was brought by two residents of Greece who objected to prayers offered by local clergymen prior to meetings of the town board.  The plaintiffs claimed that the prayers were "offensive" and "intolerable" and amounted to government establishment of religion in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

A U.S. District Court Judge upheld the town board's prayer practice, saying that it was consistent with Supreme Court precedent.  However, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals struck it down, ruling that it impermissibly advanced Christianity.  While the Second Circuit panel agreed that sectarian prayers were not inherently a violation of the Establishment Clause, the judges ruled that too many of the prayers were Christian in nature.  The appeals court panel ruled that the fact that most of the local ministers were Christians resulted in an unconstitutional government affiliation with the Christian religion.

In a decision handed down in early May, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the appeals court decision and upheld the town board's prayer policy.  In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the High Court reaffirmed its longstanding Marsh v. Chambers decision which endorsed ceremonial prayers offered before meetings of government bodies.

In this Town of Greece v. Galloway decision, the Supreme Court restated that legislative prayer "has long been understood as compatible with the Establishment Clause" and "reflects values [which have been] long part of the Nation's heritage."  The judges observed that the Framers of the Constitution "considered prayer a benign acknowledgment of religion's role in society," and pointed out that the First Congress voted to appoint and pay official chaplains shortly after approving the language which would become the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

The Supreme Court majority reasserted the principle enunciated in Marsh that legislative prayers are not constitutionally troublesome so long as they are not used to proselytize, or to advance or disparage any particular faith or belief.  "Prayer that is solemn in tone, that invites lawmakers to reflect upon shared ideals and common ends before they embark upon the fractious business of governing, serves [a] legitimate function."

Justice Kennedy sharply rebuked a legal theory advanced by attorneys for atheist groups that prayers must be "nonsectarian," and thus purged of any reference to Jesus Christ or to Christianity.  Kennedy insisted that the High Court has never implied that prayer violates the Establishment Clause "any time it is given in the name of a figure deified by only one faith or creed."

"To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian would force the legislatures that sponsor prayers and the courts that are asked to decide these cases to act as supervisors of religious speech, a rule that would involve government in religious matters...," Justice Kennedy wrote." Our Government is prohibited from prescribing prayers to be recited in our public institutions in order to promote a preferred system of belief or code of moral behavior."

"It would be but a few steps removed from that prohibition for legislatures to require chaplains to redact the religious content from their message in order to make it acceptable for the public sphere," Kennedy continued.  "Government may not mandate a civic religion that stifles any but the most generic references to the sacred any more than it may prescribe a religious orthodoxy....Once it invites prayer into the public sphere, government must permit a prayer giver to address his or her own God or gods as conscience dictates..."

The most significant aspect of the Greece decision was the institution by the court majority of a new legal standard for determining whether government association with religious speech constitutes an unconstitutional establishment of religion.  Justice Kennedy seized on this litigation to discard the "endorsement test" created by former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was previously the swing justice on the High Court. 

Under the endorsement test, governmental involvement with religious expression is unconstitutional if it appears to endorse a specific faith, or results in individuals feeling like "outsiders."  It has been used repeatedly as a legal weapon by atheist organizations to challenge religious speech in public settings if they could demonstrate that someone was "offended" by it.

Kennedy has long despised the endorsement test, and with the support of a majority of his colleagues, has substituted a new legal standard--the "coercion test."  Under that standard, religious speech and activities in the public sphere are not unconstitutional if they do not compel citizens to engage in a religious observance.  While the court majority disagreed about how the coercion test should be formulated, it is nonetheless clear that coercion will be the barometer which the High Court will use for the foreseeable future.

This is an enormous victory for the freedom of religion in the public arena.  Citizens and public officials who choose to acknowledge God in public observances outside of the school setting will be able to do so with less fear of legal intimidation.  Their remarks will be less likely to be muzzled simply because somebody objected to the religious content of their speech.  As Justice Kennedy stated:  "Offense does not equate to coercion."

Missouri attorney Jonathan Whitehead hailed the decision.  "The government has no business editing prayers, or neutralizing religious speech.  Religious people should be able to give invocation prayers that reflect their actual beliefs.  Since our founding, Americans have known how to respect each other, even when they pray from a different denomination or faith."

Whitehead and his father, Michael Whitehead, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case on behalf of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

We take great pleasure in noting that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Greece validates Missouri's Constitutional Amendment on the free exercise of religion, which was adopted by state voters in August of 2012 by a vote of 83 to 17 percent as Amendment 2.

That amendment, written in large part by the Missouri Family Policy Council, protected the right of Missouri citizens to pray and acknowledge God in public settings.  It also preserved the right of the General Assembly and local governments to invite ministers and other individuals to offer invocations before public meetings.

Opponents of Amendment 2 had argued in the media and in court that the language of the constitutional amendment violated the First Amendment.  It is now indisputably clear that they were wrong.  Hopefully this decision will provide clarity to both public decisionmakers and journalists, who have often had a difficult time understanding the true nature of the religious freedom guarantees of the Bill of Rights.   In an era where religious freedom is under ferocious attack, it is encouraging that public prayer has been legally insulated from these attacks.

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