Volume 2, Number 1, March 1999

Anti-Christian Bigotry Spreads

Christian Defense Fund Fights For You

  • There is No Bible Week in Arizona
  • Rape Sentence Overturned Because Judge Quotes Bible
  • Good Friday an Illegal Holiday?
  • Christmas Under Attack
  • Court Asked To Dismiss Jesus Statue Lawsuit
  • Attack On Prayer
  • Christian Symbols Unconstitutional?
  • Teacher Suspended
  • Fighting Back and Winning

    Across our beloved nation, anti-Christian bigotry continues to spread like a deadly virus.

    This narrow-minded bias is fueled by enormous amounts of money and intimidating campaigns led by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Liberal Humanists, Secularists, and Atheists are marching forward with massive ammunition to drive a wedge between people of faith and their civil government.

    Having corrupted our First Amendment Freedom guaranteeing that "free exercise of religion shall not be abridged," these leftist groups seek to remove all influence of religious faith from the public square.

    Their banner cry of "separation of church and state" has been twisted into "separation of religion from state." And in the process, these forces are doing their best to demonize religious people of all faiths, especially conservative Christians.

    There is No Bible Week in Arizona

    U.S. District Judge Rosalyn Silver issued a restraining order at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union that prevented Gov. Jane Hull from proclaiming November 22-28 as Bible Week. Judge Silver declared that doing so would violate the separation of church and state.

    The judge was not moved by an argument by an assistant attorney general who said the declaration does not force anyone to follow a religion. Instead, the judge accepted the ACLU's argument that because the Bible is a specifically religious document no public official can recognize it by making such a proclamation.

    The National Bible Association has observed the week since 1941 and asked other states and communities to make a proclamation. At least 26 states and 400 cities have done so. It has never led to any attempt to establish a state religion as prohibited by the First Amendment.

    Rape Sentence Overturned Because Judge Quotes Bible

    The sentence of a child rapist was overturned because the judge quoted from the Bible when imposing punishment.

    The First District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, reversed the 51-year sentence of James Arnett, who had pleaded guilty to 10 counts of rape involving an 8-year-old girl.

    The appeals court, ruling Feb. 5, said Judge Melba Marsh used the Bible as a source in determining the severity of punishment for Arnett, 33, and therefore denied him the right to due process by violating the guarantee of separation of church and state.

    Judge Marsh quoted from Matthew 18:5-6: "But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it would be better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

    Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen said he will appeal the decision to the Ohio Supreme Court, and the case will go back to Marsh for a new sentence.

    Good Friday an Illegal Holiday?

    A court will decide whether Good Friday can be celebrated as a state holiday. The 6th U.S. Court of Appeals will rule whether government offices in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee can close for the Christian holiday.

    Plaintiffs sued the Kenton County, Kentucky. Fiscal Court because it was closed when they went there on Good Friday in 1996. Closing on a Christian holiday violated the constitutional separation of church and state, attorney Scott Greenwood said.

    Christmas Under Attack

    There is a growing attempt to get the courts to eliminate Christmas as a federal holiday.

    The Clinton Justice Department offered a legal opinion supporting Christmas as a federal holiday by condemning the reasons for Christmas. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Donetta Wiethe:

    "Christmas owes its status as a national holiday to the fact that most Christmas symbols are either unrelated to Christianity or are no longer associated with Christianity in current culture."

    Evidently, the Clinton Administration can't believe that manger scenes, Wise Men, shining stars and the word "CHRISTmas" are actually, somehow, associated with Christianity.

    Perhaps that is why the Pentagon issued an internal memo on "Christmas" advising that "new guidelines on expression of religious beliefs in the workplace has [sic] been issued by President Clinton. As such, religious displays in working areas or offices that are accessible to the public, or where it would appear that the government has endorsed a particular religious point of view, is [sic] not permitted."

    The memo reflects the advice of a Pentagon attorney -- one in uniform -- who says that the traditional holiday greeting for this time of year cannot contain the words "Christmas," "God," "prayer," or "blessing." The legal reasoning goes, those "outlawed" words might be offensive to Atheists.

    Somehow, it is inappropriate to "offend" Atheists by mentioning the word Christmas, but it is not offensive to Christians to defame the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

    Court Asked To Dismiss Jesus Statue Lawsuit

    A federal court in Madison, Wisconsin has been asked to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the display of a statue of Jesus in a city park.

    Since 1959, a statue of Jesus has been displayed in the Praschak Wayside Park in Marshfield, Wisconsin. After complaints surfaced last spring, the city eliminated church-state entanglements by selling a portion of the park -- including the statue -- to a private owner. However, the Freedom From Religion Foundation amended its lawsuit to include the private owner as a defendant.

    Lawyer Francis J. Manion stated, "This is yet another case in which the professional anti-Christians in our society are trying to bully a small town into submission by bleeding the public treasury through expensive and frivolous litigation.

    The City of Marshfield bent over backwards to accommodate the plaintiffs here by selling the statue and a substantial piece of the park to private owners.

    Contrary to the suit, there is no longer a statue of Christ on city-owned property. The property is now privately owned.

    The fact that the anti-Jesus-statue-forces continue to sue Marshfield even when they know the city no longer owns the statue raises serious questions about their motives.

    Attack On Prayer

    A Little League fired a coach for praying with his team.

    Parents in Hollywood, Florida complained to officials of a youth sports league after coach Mike Liddell led his team in a prayer and read from the Bible. He had been warned that prayer would not be tolerated, according to league board member Ted Dudash.

    Liddell, who asked to be reinstated, said children should be allowed to pray. "These kids want to pray and I am not going to tell them they can't. It's a basic right. People have to start realizing that prayer does not hurt, it helps. It is not a bad thing."

    Not a bad thing, unless you are a Christian under fire from the ACLU.

    Christian Symbols Unconstitutional?

    A city seal that depicts Christian symbols is unconstitutional according to federal Judge Dan Ploster.

    He ruled on Dec. 16 that the official seal of Stow, Ohio, which depicts a cross and an open Bible representing the area's Christian heritage, is an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity. The Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit.

    Fifty-six percent of Stow's voters said in a 1997 referendum that they wanted to keep the seal.

    Teacher Suspended

    A teacher was suspended for allegedly handing out religious books to his students.

    Simpson Gray, a fifth-grade teacher at Public School 5 in the Bronx, New York, said he put several Bibles and two religious books in the class library, but denied giving them to the students. Board of Education officials said Gray, 57, gave at least one student religious materials.

    Two books at the center of the controversy were written by Gray, a former lawyer who became a Christian after being convicted of stealing clients' money. Gray said the books are his "testimony of how the Lord delivered me from a life of sin and degradation and made me whole." He has sued school officials.

    Fighting Back and Winning

    In November 1998, the mayor of Springville, Utah encouraged residents to support National Bible Week by reading their Bibles. The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter threatening a lawsuit if the city did not stop observance of Bible Week.

    However, Springville city officials say they won't abandon National Bible Week even if it means the city may face a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.

    In the city's November celebration of National Bible Week, Mayor Wing urged citizens in a proclamation to participate in the observance of Bible Week by reading the Bible and discovering for themselves its value.

    "We've had threats in the past about things like how we say a prayer before our City Council meetings and a lot of threats about Bible Week," said City Reporter Jo Evans.

    "Our attorneys tell us that most of the threats are just to call our bluff," Evans said.