Can We Find Common Ground in our Creator?

American Christians today are as diverse in opinion and doctrine as ever. One place this seems to play out with great passion is in the world of politics, especially with national and state elections of such great significance now before us. Our diversity affects how we vote, our culture, our priorities and our values.

You may have a tendency to think life among people of faith has not always been this way, that there was actually a time when the focus was predominantly on unity and agreement within the body of Christ. That perception of both past and present would be inaccurate and incomplete.

The annals of Church history describe many ups and downs and a number of disagreements over doctrinal beliefs and the broader definition of truth. This was a reality for the reformers and founders who established our great Republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the Constitution, represented two predominant groups of religious-oriented statesmen: Christians and Deists.

Those who identified themselves as Christians were as diverse in doctrine and modes of worship as we are today. However, they were united in their view of God as Creator, infinite, transcendent, omniscient, sovereign, personal and loving. Deists, who were dedicated to reason and natural law, questioned the deity of Christ, miracles and intervention from God. They understood God as Creator, but also as a being who was somewhat remote and withdrawn from the day-to-day affairs of men.

     With such a difference of opinion and belief, on what basis did these men find enough common ground to create a form of government that has been a model for the world over two centuries and one in which Abraham Lincoln described as being, “Of the people, by the people, and for the people?”

Then and today, people of faith ask, “What is my civic responsibility as a Christian? What part should the church play in influencing the American government and culture in general? Should we be more focused on building the “Kingdom of God” rather than the “kingdom of man?” These are familiar and reasonable questions being asked by sincere Christians all over the country.

The answer is found in the ‘Creator-Redeemer distinction’ which was a core concept found in colonial Christianity. Drawing from lessons learned through the Protestant Reformation and the enlightenment, these leaders, whether Christian or Deist, agreed on the existence of a Creator, while not necessarily in one accord about the need for a Redeemer. Due to this shared belief, our Founders and the framers of the Constitution were in agreement about recognizing and acknowledging their responsibility toward a sovereign God.

As Creator and the Author of the Laws of Nature, God revealed how His moral precepts should be applied to man’s outward behavior, as well as the interactions between persons. Laws in civil society were not formulated and written to address so much what men and women believed, but how they behaved. It was in this realm that the Creator ruled through the “laws of nature” and established His moral order. Civil law was to reflect God’s moral law, which was then integrated into colonial culture and the faith community.

Most Christians today focus primarily on Christ as Redeemer, with less appreciation for God as Creator. In colonial Christianity, the focus on this aspect of God had the same critical importance as did the focus on Christ as Redeemer. Christians emphasized both parts of the Creator-Redeemer distinction.

In the 18th century, Christianity was reform-oriented and believers had a vision for reforming individuals, reforming their churches and reforming culture. Despite differences regarding the most effective strategy, Catholics and Protestants alike still agreed that Christians should not only be personally reformed, but they were also responsible for reforming and shaping their culture. Surely, we too are called to be salt and light in a society whose faith-based values risk further erosion.

Early colonial documents verify that the Creator-Redeemer distinction was evident. Author Gary Amos points out that Virginia’s first colonial charter, written in 1606, clearly describes the two reasons for planting the colony:

First, the colonists would serve God as Creator by building a society in a wilderness, taking dominion over unclaimed lands and resources, and building harbors, towns, and settlements. Second, they would serve Christ as Redeemer by propagating of Christian

Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those parts, to human Civility.”1

Amos argues that this is not an isolated case; for example, the Mayflower Compact written in 1620 at Massachusetts Bay, also reflected the same Creator-Redeemer distinction.

More is at stake, of course, than overtly Christian political involvement. People of faith need to realize when they oppose the principles of the Declaration of Independence, they are opposing many of the very principles to which the Bible and the church gave birth. By accepting a flawed version of America’s founding and one that has been skewed by countless media outlets, too many have been misled into relinquishing their heritage.

Believers should not be ashamed of America’s rich Judeo-Christian foundation, nor should they embrace the false narrative of anti-Americanism. We do not have to be politically irrelevant, always on the outside looking in. The church did in fact, directly influence the moral, legal and political theory so wonderfully expressed in the words of the Declaration of Independence. The church was not on the fringe of culture, but at its forefront.

The Scriptures also give us a sense of purpose and the admonition that we are to be fully engaged in the affairs of God and of men:

* “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Psalm 33:12

* “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice.” Proverbs 29:2

* “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in godliness and dignity.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2

As the people of God, we must once again recognize our responsibility to join the Creator as He seeks to form, reform and transform individuals and culture—never neglecting one for the other, but giving both their due diligence.

On November 6th, we have the privilege and responsibility of fulfilling our duty as Americans and casting our votes for those who would lead this nation. Countless citizens believe this election will determine the direction of the country for years to come. Many of the issues before us—the sanctity of life, religious liberty, the role of American Exceptionalism, free enterprise, national security, the economy, the fate of the next generation—as well as the candidates at almost every level running for office, stand in stark contrast to one another.

Why some ask, does the church need to be active in the process…because those who lead us are also given the authority to rule us, to appoint our judges, to write our laws, determine our course and watch over our freedoms. Whom will you choose and on what value system will your choices be made?

On June 30, 1788, just after the ratification of the Constitution, George Washington penned the following words to General Benjamin Lincoln, his former deputy who had accepted Cornwallis’ sword at the surrender in Yorktown:

No country upon Earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings. Much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to, so plainly. The great Governor of the Universe has led us too long and too far to forsake us in the midst of it. We may, now and then, get bewildered; but I hope and trust that there is good sense and virtue enough left to recover the right path.”2

May God grant each of us the necessary discernment, wisdom, moral clarity, and determination to participate in our great democracy and do so in a manner that honors the God of our Founding Fathers.

1 In, Richard Perry, Sources of Our Liberties: Documentary Origins of Individual Liberties in the United States

Constitution and Bill of Rights (Chicago: American Bar Foundation, 1978), 40.11. Perry, 40.

2 Federer, W. J. (1994). America’s God and country. Coppell, TX: FAME Publishing, Inc.

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108 Members of Congress Express Concern to NBC Over Omission of “under God” from Pledge of Allegiance

Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, announced today that he and 107 other Members of Congress have sent a bipartisan letter to Mr. Stephen Burke, Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal, to express their serious concern about NBC’s decision to omit “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance twice during the June 19, 2011 broadcast of the U.S. Open.  The video montage containing the omissions, intended to celebrate American patriotism, instead alienated millions of viewers who place great value on all of our nation’s proud history–including its religious heritage.Although NBC apologized for the omission, Congressman Forbes and 107 of his colleagues remain concerned that the back-to-back omissions were not inadvertent and are troubled that the altered Pledge of Allegiance was allowed to air in the first place.  As a result, they have requested that NBC implement a policy to ensure that the Pledge of Allegiance is not altered in future broadcasts.  A copy of the letter sent to Mr. Burke with a list of the cosigners and the text of the letter is below.
_______________________________________________________________________________Mr. Stephen B. BurkeChief Executive OfficerNBCUniversal, LLC30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112

Dear Mr. Burke,

We are writing to express our serious concern about NBC’s decision to omit “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance twice during the June 19, 2011 broadcast of the U.S. Open.  The video montage containing the omissions, intended to celebrate American patriotism, instead alienated millions of viewers who place great value on all of our nation’s proud history- including its religious heritage.

After viewing the video montage, it seems clear that the back-to-back omissions of “under God, indivisible,” and “one nation under God, indivisible” from recitations of the Pledge were not inadvertent.  Although we are aware that NBC has apologized for the omissions, we are concerned that the video was allowed to air with the altered Pledge of Allegiance in the first place.  The video was undoubtedly approved by NBC officials prior to airing, and it is troubling that the network allowed these patently offensive omissions to proceed. The decision is even more offensive, given that in 1954, Congress amended the Pledge specifically to add “under God,” the very words that NBC excluded.

As Members of Congress, we are disturbed that the official Pledge of our nation was altered in this way.  We live in a society where there are increasing efforts to remove all mention of religion from public life, and we remain dedicated to defending against such attempts.  As a key player in shaping the national dialogue through various media outlets, we are interested to know what steps NBC has taken to prevent America’s religious heritage from being obscured in this manner.  We request that you implement a policy to ensure that the Pledge of Allegiance is not altered in future broadcasts.

They received an immediate response.

The letter, signed by Kyle McSlarrow, president of NBC Universal, comes in response to a complaint by 107 members of Congress alleging that a montage shown during coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament obscured America’s religious heritage.

The montage featured video of schoolchildren saying the pledge alongside images of soldiers and American flags, but did not include the phrase “under God.” It also omitted “one nation” and “indivisible.”

McSlarrow expressed regret over the segment, saying “a serious error in judgment was made by a small group of people. To be absolutely clear, this was not an ideological decision by the company and was not discussed with or approved by any senior NBC official.”

The letter also stressed that action had been taken, noting, “The employees involved have been reprimanded. And we have already implemented a new checks and balances process for pre-produced pieces, ensuring that nothing will go on the air without senior-level approval.”

The letter was addressed to Reps. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and Mike McIntyre D-N.C., who co-chair the Congressional Prayer Caucus, but was also sent to more than 100 other members of Congress. (Huffington Post)

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“A Day Of Hope For Virginia And America”

We love to hear that Virginians are saying this event was a “day of hope for Virginia and America”. The State Capitol of Virginia was a most gracious host for the Virginia Call to Prayer Day last Wednesday, April 6.  We all experienced a profound sense of unity and purpose, and we are so grateful to play a  part in it. The day was truly inspired by the Lord. Watch for the full event on video soon or view photos of the event here on our FindRoom219 Facebook page.

Representatives from the Family Foundation had this to say:(Full Blog)

“Several hundred people joined Governor Bob McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and several senators and delegates to call on the Lord to heal our land and bless the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition to the three statewide officials, speakers included Senator Phillip Puckett (D-38, Tazewell), who led a prayer; caucus co-chairmen Delegate John Cosgrove (R-78, Chesapeake) and Senator Jeff McWaters (R-8, Virginia Beach); and Congressman Mike McIntyre (R-N.C.), a co-founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, who encouraged prayer for all those in authority as we are commanded in I Timothy 2:1,2.”

Baxter Ennis notes, “Today I witnessed hundreds of God’s people, led by the top three office holders in the state, humbling themselves, praying and seeking God’s forgiveness and blessing. A great movement has begun in our nation, “A Call to Prayer” that is being led by Congressmen Randy Forbes (R-VA) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC), co-chairs of the Congressional Prayer Caucus. Already state legislators in Mississippi, Colorado, North Carolina and Kentucky are preparing to join Virginia with a prayer caucus in their states. This is not a political movement or a social movement – but a spiritual movement fueled by people anxious to see our nation return to the Judeo-Christian heritage that helped us to become the greatest nation on the face of the earth.” (Full Blog)

The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation intends to provide the newly formed Virginia Commonwealth Prayer Caucus a great deal of support in a number of ways. We believe this is the beginning of a mobilization effort that will shape the future of Virginia and the nation.

Virginia was just the beginning. In June, we plan to be in Raleigh for North Carolina Call to Prayer Day, and in August, in Lexington for Kentucky Call to Prayer Day. Many other state legislatures are ready to move forward. Momentum is building in this nationwide movement to form legislative prayer caucuses and mobilize like-minded elected leaders to stand united in prayer and action.

We would love for you to start a 219 Prayer Group, sign up for our Newsletter, or stay informed about important issues with The Faith Report.

Listen to an interview with CPCF’s Executive Director, Lea Carawan on the VA Call To Prayer Day  here.

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America – Land That I Love

In the spirit of love that is sweeping our nation today, we want to take some time and remember why we love America.

America, since it’s inception, has unified people that hold a common bond in standing for certain self-evident truths like inalienable natural and human rights, democracy, rule of law, civil liberty, civic virtue, the common good, fair play, private property, and Constitutional government. These rights enabled us to flourish into the  a “City on a Hill”.

The French writer Alexis de Tocqueville first wrote about American Exceptionalism referring our unique origin and democratic foundation; noting that no other country in the world could be compared to America.

We are known as a land of opportunity, where the American Dream can be attained by all people despite  race, origin, etc. The catch?  Believe in, steward, and love this wonderful land. Be willing to stand for the Original Intent of our Founding Fathers and Founding Documents.

One woman writes why she loves America. Why do YOU love America?


I love the Bill of Rights – which defines the limits on government. Free speech means you can criticize the government and there is nothing they can do about it, absolute privacy and religious freedom were unique when the Constitution was written and remain rare in the world even today.

I love the rule of law – that it applies to us all, no matter our station in life. It may seem that the rich and powerful are treated better in the system, but in America the rich and powerful can and do go to jail from time to time while the least powerful and the poor have the right to confront their accusers, the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, the right to refuse admission to government officials wanting to enter their home or office.

I love Wal-Mart and capitalism (the greatest economic ism of all.) Wal-Mart started as a one man rural, somewhat rinky-dink operation in Arkansas and grew to be the biggest retailer in the world because serving the customer served the business. That is how capitalism works. Socialism and communism claim to spread the wealth, but only spread the inefficiency and misery. You don’t even have to shop at Wal-Mart to benefit. Their massive competitive presence in the retail world lowers prices for everyone.

I love baseball…it is the perfect democratic sport. Anyone can play. Not in the big leagues but in the vacant lot down the street. You do not need to be big, strong, fast, smart, broad, tall, black, white, male, female, smart, rich to play. Anyone can play with minimal equipment…. Your individual excellence is just slightly more important then the group effort. Just like America…It is pure. Yes, ruined by money and fame and steroids. But at it’s essence, it is pure and America.

I love that elections in America are contentious, messy, rancorous and maddening, but we vote without fear. And then a peaceful transfer of power takes place and nobody gets shot.

I love that America was one of the very first nations in the world to put an end to slavery. The story of slavery in America was no different than anywhere else except that we stopped a lot sooner. That needs to be mentioned whenever the topic comes up.

I love the upward mobility and self realization that is possible here. Poor men from towns with no traffic lights have grown up to become president. Most millionaires did not start out wealthy. They make it on their own and they can do it because in America we have the opportunity to profit from our skills and effort.

I love how charitable Americans are. A recent report reconfirmed that Americans give more private money to charity than the citizens of any other country. We also give our time and expertise. When we give to disaster relief, as we did for Katrina, we know that some of it will be mismanaged, we give it anyway. A lot of it will help out, and that is what matters.

I love hot dogs and hamburgers and pancakes and popcorn and hushpuppies. American food.

I love that jazz, the blues, rock and roll, gospel and country music are all American, even though I don’t know squat about jazz and very little about the blues. I do know that without them the rock and roll I love would not be what it is.

I love that America’s voluntary military is voluntary and powerful. Most armies are neither.

I love that I can hop in my car and go where ever I want and no one cares.

I love all the memorials in DC. But the WWII has this big fountain in the center where groups of school kids laugh and play around the fountain – carefree and happy. Sitting on the benches, around the fountain you can see older men with their veteran hats on watching the children. The kids are so free because those men fought for them. It made me weep on the spot. I love that.

I love the regional differences we have…north, south, east, west, Midwest. While those differences are diminishing with technology, there is still a difference that you can really only know if you live in a place for a while. But yet, even in our differences we are still Americans. Different in so many ways, connected – a family.

I love that we are so free that we have the time and energy to invent things like iPods and iPhones, Skpe, etc.

I love the flag. It is so simply beautiful to me. It is cheerful and optimistic. It is just cloth but such a hopeful piece of fabric.

I love that my daughter has so many options open to her. The sky is the limit and the world is her oyster. Her only limitations are ones she puts on herself.

I love that America takes care of the world. While we get little or no credit or thanks, often we get only criticism, we still do it. We are always there to help with all of our resources.

I love our history. The old fashion kind we learned in school before political correctness. I love all of those men, who with all of their own prejudices and flaws, built a nation that affords freedom to men and women of all colors and creeds to a greater degree than, even they might have imagined.

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A Moral Revolution – Honor God. Love your neighbor. Do good.

The results of this election could indicate that Americans across this nation are getting a glimpse of life without Judeo-Christian principles, faith, internal and external liberty, capitalism, economic liberty, the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that make this nation a “City on a Hill”. President Reagan truly understood the importance of God and government, morality, and freedom and often quoted from our Founding Fathers. He often spoke on the very same issues we are facing today; including erosion of the American spirit, but through his leadership helped restore it. Let’s pray that God will raise up leaders like him once again!

Watch this video of a leader that understands the importance of God and morality in government:

Ronald Reagan – Tribute to Patriotism

We need to pass down our American history and spiritual heritage, teaching the next generation on what it means to be an “American”.   Unfortunately, the attempt to remove God from the landscape of America has nearly erased all truth of our spiritual roots from the national conversation and textbooks, leaving our children void of these priceless principles. Many Americans that now make up the fabric of America; have not been taught what makes this nation so great; Judeo-Christian principles promoting morality and  unity of church and state. It’s time for that to change.

One of the primary goals of the of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation is to re-educate America on the Judeo-Christian principles that helped form our nation; specifically our Constitution. Be watching for us to come to a city near you.

Historian David Barton does a magnificent job providing irrefutable evidence of our spiritual heritage. Watch this video of a tour of the US Capitol.

For accurate understanding of our founding fathers and important documents: Spiritual Heritage Series

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God desires us to honor Him…“Them That Honor Me I Will Honor ” (1 Samuel 2:30).


The definition of honor:

a : good name or public esteem : reputation b : a showing of usually merited respect : recognition <pay honor to our founder>
What does it mean to honor God?  How does He honor us in return?  We honor God when we make it our chief ambition in life to please Him, to love Him and to serve Him at all times.  This is the way that Jesus lived.  He said “I honor My Father” (John 8:49) and in John 8:29, “I do always those things that please Him”.  A man without God, on the other hand, may seek the honor of his fellow man rather than the honor that comes from God (John 5:44).  A number of Bible passages tell us how we can honor God and how He honors us in return. *
A nation that honors God acknowledges Him as giving them true freedom, a good land, hope, and a future.  They invite Him to be involved in their lives through relationship… He knows best and has our best in mind…why not honor a good Father that sent His only Son to die for us?
How can we become a society of honor?
1.  We honor the Lord by trusting Him with our whole heart. Jesus told us that it is God’s will that “all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (John 5:23,24).  He then added, “He that hears my word and believes on Him that sent Me has everlasting life”.  We honor the Lord Jesus by believing His Word and trusting in Him.  God honors us in return by giving us eternal life, peace, hope of a bright future and so much more.
2.    We honor the Lord by surrendering to Him and serving Him. He will honor us by making our lives spiritually fruitful. Jesus said, “If any man serve Me, him will My Father honor” (John 12:20-26).  In speaking of the corn of wheat falling into the ground and dying, our Lord was referring to Himself and His death and the fruits of His sacrifice.  But He was also giving us a principle that if we too die to self we will bring forth fruit to His glory (John 12:24).
3.   We honor God by setting our love upon Him. Psalm 91:14,15 reads, “Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high because he has known my name.  He shall call upon me and I will answer him:  I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him”.   In return for our love, He promises to honor us by delivering us, by lifting us up, answering our prayers and being with us in trouble.
4.   We honor God with our substance. Proverbs 3:9,10 reads, “Honor the Lord with your substance and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so shall your barns be filled with plenty…..” Jesus has told us “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be put into your bosom.  For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38 NKJ) by giving God His rightful place in regard to our substance, we will be richly rewarded.
The Forefathers of our nation knew that honoring God and His principles were key to establishing a prosperous and blessed nation. It’s our responsibility to continue.

As we follow instruction of 2 Chronicles 7:14, let’s repent for not honoring God as a nation. We have not honored His commandments or walked in His ways. He promises that if we will repent and turn that He will hear from heaven and heal our land.

Father, we thank you for being such a good Father to us.  Forgive us for forgetting You in our ” land of milk and honey”.  Forgive us for putting other gods before You, for thinking that our ways are better than Yours. We honor You. We worship You and You alone.  Lord, send revival to our hearts, our nation, and the world. We need You Lord, please heal our land.

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Zoning Permit Denied for Worship Center

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Commercial Use of Part of Religious High School Not Protected By RLUIPA

In New Life Worship Center v. Town of Smithfield Zoning Board of Review, 2010 R.I. Super. LEXIS 101 (RI Super. Ct., July 7, 2010), a Rhode Island trial court upheld the decision of a town zoning board to bar use of space in a high school operated by New Life Worship Center, a religious organization, for use as a commercial fitness center and dance studio. The court rejected New Life’s claims under RLUIPA and Rhode Island’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act that denial of a special use permit improperly created a substantial burden on the organization’s exercise of religion. The court said in part:

The inability of New Life to operate the fitness center and dance studio as a commercial business to generate funds to support the parish and the building of the high school does not pose any significant pressure on the members of New Life. The members of the church are not being asked to conform their behavior in practicing their religion, nor are the religious activities of the church being compromised…. [T]he denial of the special use permit to protect the students of the high school from the regular entry into the building by members of the general public is a compelling governmental interest. The Zoning Board is not denying New Life the opportunity to practice ancillary activities on the property, but rather disallowing open access to the high school building in fear of the potential danger to the students.

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Parents Sue School for Teaching Child the Bible

By The Associated Press
07.12.10 FORT WAYNE, Ind. — A Fort Wayne schools official says the district likely will stop sending students to a religious-instruction program on school grounds that triggered a federal lawsuit.

School Board President Mark GiaQuinta told The Journal Gazette for a July 9 story that it would be irresponsible to defend an issue that courts have already decided. A similar 2008 lawsuit against Huntington schools was settled after a judge granted the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana a preliminary injunction.

“I think it’s clear that the courts have determined what we are doing violates the Constitution,” said GiaQuinta, who is an attorney. “Legally, it’s already been decided; academically it’s inconsistent with our goal of academic achievement; and fiscally, it’s irresponsible to defend a case that’s already been decided. I would say that’s strike one, two and three. The board members I’ve spoken to — to a person — have expressed the same thing.”

A Haley Elementary School third-grader’s parents sued the district last week in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne, saying she was sent to Bible classes in trailers on school property without their permission. The ACLU of Indiana, which represents the girl’s parents, argues the school violated the First Amendment clause against establishment of religion and the parents’ 14th Amendment right to provide for their own child’s religious education. The suit asks a judge to declare the program unconstitutional and ban it from operating on school property.

Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County, since 1944, has offered the weekly classes in which students learn the Bible during school-day sessions in mobile classrooms that are nicknamed “little churches on wheels,” or in some cases at a nearby church building. The group’s website says 80% of local schoolchildren in grades 3, 4 and 5 take part.

ACLU legal director Ken Falk said the suit likely could be dismissed once the school district’s attorney provides assurances the program won’t be offered on school grounds. He said on July 9 that he had not yet heard from the district’s attorney.

Courts have long held that students have the right to exercise their religion in release-time programs as long as they are held off school property, Falk said.

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Professor Fired for Speaking Truth

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys sent a letter Monday to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign officials on behalf of a popular, highly regarded professor who was fired for explaining the position of the Roman Catholic Church on human sexual behavior to members of his Introduction to Catholicism class.

“A university cannot censor professors’ speech–including classroom speech related to the topic of the class–merely because certain ideas ‘offend’ an anonymous student,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French. “To fire a professor for teaching the actual subject matter of his course is outrageous. It’s ridiculous that a school would fire a professor without even giving him a chance to defend himself when he simply taught Catholic beliefs in a class about Catholic beliefs.”

Dr. Kenneth Howell, who had been teaching at the university since 2001, was relieved of his duties based in part on an anonymous complaint sent via e-mail to university officials. The e-mail was sent by the friend of an anonymous student who claimed to be “offended” by a May 4 email Howell sent to students elaborating on a class discussion on Catholic beliefs about sexual behavior. The May 4 e-mail from Howell addressed a May 3 lecture in which he explained how the Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and homosexual conduct. He properly stated the church’s teaching that homosexual conduct is morally wrong, framing the issue in the context of natural moral law.

ADF attorneys see Howell’s case as part of an ominous trend on campus. Mike Adams’ ongoing suit against officials from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and June Sheldon’s lawsuit against officials from San Jose City College demonstrate that professors can be punished for merely expressing their viewpoint, and now, for even teaching the very material that is the subject of a class.

“The First Amendment protects the ability of faculty to speak freely, especially when the material is of direct relevance to the class,” added French. “Professors’ careers cannot be made to stand or fall based on the emotions of intolerant, anonymous students who do not yet understand that opposing viewpoints exist within a free society.”

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“One Nation Indivisible?”

ARTICLE reflects opposing view from NCSECULAR ORG:

On June 21st the artwork below started appearing on billboards across North Carolina, from the mountains to the sea. These billboards are appearing in the following areas: Asheville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington.

This campaign is intended as a consciousness-raising effort to point out how every U.S. citizen who doesn’t believe in a monotheistic god is being “officially” marginalized, disrespected, and discriminated against by the insertion of “under God” in the Pledge, by the supplanting of our former de facto national motto–E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One)–with “In God We Trust,” by language in certain state constitutions (like the one in NC) which restricts anyone that doesn’t believe in a monotheistic god from holding public office, and in many other ways.

We believe the evidence clearly demonstrates that our Founders intended to establish a secular government, one that separated church from state. We believe the kinds of officially sanctioned marginalization and discrimination covered above is unconstitutional, that it violates the intentions of the Founders, and that it is fundamentally unfair.

All we are asking is that every citizen give every other citizen the same kind of consideration they expect for themselves, and that we all try to live up to the spirit of the ideals our Founders gave us of liberty and justice for all.

Some of the member groups of the North Carolina Secular Association will be participating in this campaign. Below is a list of these groups press releases for each billboard location:







The cost of this campaign is over $15,000.00. The campaign is being funded through donations from the individual groups involved and FreeThoughtAction, a national freethought marketing organization.

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