Monday, July 16, 2007

The First Amendment – Follow Up

Here are some current cases regarding the First Amendment (see earlier postings discussing the First Amendment). This is a list from a fund-raising email from the American Center for Law and Justice, P.O. Box 90555, Washington, D.C. 20090-0555. Phone: (800) 296-4529. Their website is

Summum v. Pleasant Grove - The latest attack on the public display of the Ten Commandments. A group is suing to display their own guidelines (the Seven ‘‘Aphorisms’’), and we’re already preparing to go to the Supreme Court of the United States if necessary.

Trunk v. City of San Diego - Opponents of the Mt. Soledad war memorial cross refuse to give up. They’re relentlessly fighting public expressions of the Christian faith, even after our court victories. We’ll file an amicus brief in federal court soon.

McLean Bible Church v. McLane, et al. - We’re in federal court because Fairfax County, Va., says a Bible church must become an official college or university in order to hold Bible studies or religious ministry classes in its facilities! It’s an obvious, outrageous attempt to squelch churches’ proclamation of the Gospel - and an attack on freedom of religion and speech.

We’re preparing a federal case in defense of Teen Challenge, one of the world’s most successful drug rehab programs. A local Tennessee planning commission has discriminated against this Christian organization by refusing them the use of property already zoned for rehab services!

In addition to these cases, below are two other recent cases that you’ll rarely read about or see in the mainstream media. You can see that religious expression is under relentless attack:

The Rev. Greg Davis, who was arrested in 2006 for sharing the Gospel on a public New York college campus, was acquitted of criminal trespassing charges recently, reports

“Christians have the same First Amendment rights as other citizens,” Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum said in a statement. “Thankfully the judge in this case restored the rule of law and cleared Mr. Davis of the charges, reaffirming that campus officials were not authorized to eject Mr. Davis from campus for simply exercising his First Amendment rights by preaching in public.”

Still another case:

Attorneys filed a motion Monday to a federal court on behalf of a Texas school district supporting a Bible class that officials say has been taught appropriately. The motion was in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the American Way Foundation against the Ector County Independent School District in Odessa on behalf of eight parents in which the two groups asked school officials to stop offering the class.

The school board members feel the lawsuit is unnecessary, however, since the class is in no way violating any individual’s religious rights. The elective class uses a King James Version scripture as its text book and uses material from the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools. According to the Council, the curriculum is used by hundreds of schools, including more than 50 in Texas.

These last two cases were reported by the Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, 07/12/07, Copyright © 2007, Focus on the Family, All rights reserved.

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