Monday, June 28, 2010

THE FIFTH SEAL? 5-4 Supreme Court decision abridges religious freedom to Christian campus groups



A five to four decision of the United States Supreme Court written by Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg the day after her own husband died upheld the right of a university to deny campus group recognition to Christian campus organizations requiring affirmation of belief in traditional marriage as a core belief.  Quoting from the CNN article covering that Supreme Court activity, we read:



(CNN) -- The Supreme Court has ruled against a Christian campus group that sued after a California law school denied it official recognition because the student organization limits its core membership to those who share its beliefs on faith and marriage.
At issue was the conflict between a public university's anti-discrimination policies and a private group's freedom of religion and association.
The 5-4 ruling was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was on the bench a day after her husband passed away.
The law school, wrote Ginsburg, "caught in the crossfire between a group's desire to exclude and students' demand for equal access, may reasonably draw a line in the sand permitting all organizations to express what they wish but no group to discriminate in membership."
In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, "I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today's decision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country." He was supported by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.


I am between dental appointments and on the run this morning, composing this from my netbook computer over an early lunch.  I will be writing more of this later and would appreciate your comments.  It looks to me as though our society might be even less righteous than Sodom and Gomorrah.  At least they had a disapprover of their loose sexual customs sit over them as their Judge -- Lot, nephew of Abraham.  We have those sitting in our gates who applaud same.

Stay tuned!

CONSTANCE
Comments:
t's a ridiculous decision, but the key words are "official recognition." There is no law that prevents a Christian group from excluding those whose beliefs differ, but such a group can no longer expect official recognition from the University, or enjoy the privileges of such recognition.

The Christian group will have to meet off-campus in somebody's apartment, but at least they can exist.

Also, while I'm sympathetic to Justice Ginsburg for her loss, I'm not sure what bearing that has on her opinion.
 
I just heard someone ask rhetorically on the news today, "once the liberals take over the Supreme Court, what recourse do we have?"

I, for one, am in favor of term limits for all Federal and Supreme Court Judges since they can no longer be trusted to render an impartial judgement.

I too have to ask what bearing Justice Ginsberg's loss had on her opinion?
 
The doors are closing and the curtain is coming down but we are still here, I'm very sad. Of course I will persevere, but I was hopping to be gone by now.
 
Breaking Story

10 ALLEGED RUSSIAN SECRET AGENTS ARRESTED IN US

June 28, 2010

http://www.aolnews.com/nation/
article/10-alleged-russian-secret
-agents-arrested-in-us/19534298
_________________________________

This was the lead story on Fox News at 6:00 P.M.
 
BP OIL SPILL COREXIT DISPERSANTS SUSPECTED IN WIDESPREAD CROP DAMAGE

BP has dumped 1.4 million gallons of Corexit on the Gulf of Mexico.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-
bin/blogs/ybenjamin/detail?
entry_id=65552#ixzz0sBkJEt4R
 
From the New York Times posted at Drudge.....

U.S. ARRESTS 11 ON CHARGES OF BEING AGENTS FOR RUSSIA

By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Published: June 28, 2010

WASHINGTON – In what law enforcements officials portrayed as an extraordinary takedown of a Russian espionage network, the Justice Department on Monday announced charges against 11 people accused of living for years in the United States as part of a deep-cover program by S.V.R. -- the successor agency to the Soviet-era K.G.B.

Criminal complaints filed in federal court on Monday read like a thriller novel: Secret Russian agents were assigned to live as married couples in the United States, even having children who were apparently unaware of their parents’ true identities. A spy swapped identical bags with a Russian official as they brushed past each other in a train station stairwell. Messages were written with invisible ink, hidden in the data of digital pictures, and encoded in messages sent over shortwave radio.

The complaints followed a multiyear investigation that culminated with Sunday’s arrest of 10 people in Yonkers, Boston, and northern Virginia. The documents detailed what authorities called the “Illegals Program,” an S.V.R. effort to plant Russian spies in the United States to gather information and recruit people able to infiltrate government policy-making circles.

The “Illegals Program” extended to other countries around the world, the charging documents said...
read entire article...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/
29/world/europe/29spy.html?hp
________________________________

One more reason why we need to WATCH RUSSIA!!!
 
From the BBC.......

TEN ARRESTED IN US ON CHARGES OF SPYING FOR RUSSIA

http://news.bbc.co.uk/
2/hi/world/us_and_canada/
10442223.stm
 
I've been out of the loop for quite a while until just recently; so, I apologize in advance if this has been covered before:

Some time just after the diabolical health care bill was passed I heard President Obama speak about reopening offshore drilling. My mouth went agape as I KNEW this went against all he believed in as the greenest president we've ever had; so, I smelled a rat. I figured it was his way of trying to win back those alienated by the passage of the health care bill.

Here's the quote and source:

...So today we’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration, but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America’s natural resources...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-energy-security-andrews-air-force-base-3312010

or

http://tinyurl.com/yfwdytc

To me, this further casts a shadow on the circumstances surrounding the Horizon Oil Rig disaster and resultant gusher.

Of course, it would be foolish to reopen offshore drilling now as it's too dangerous...
 
You are absolutely right, Craig. I think that many of us 'smelled a rat' just as you did.
 
Gun Rights Must Be Honored by States, Cities, High Court Rules in 5-4 Vote

Greg Stohr
Bloomberg
June 28, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court extended the reach of the constitutional right to bear arms by saying it binds state and local governments as well as the federal government.

The justices, voting 5-4 in a case involving Chicago’s handgun ban, said that individual gun rights were among the fundamental guarantees protected against state interference through a constitutional amendment after the Civil War.

The ruling broadens the sweep of the court’s 2008 ruling interpreting the Constitution’s Second Amendment as protecting the rights of individuals, rather than just those of state-run militias. It’s a victory for the National Rifle Association, which joined a group of Chicago residents in challenging the city’s laws.

It will open a new front in the fight over gun rights, setting the stage for courtroom battles over the constitutionality of weapons restrictions around the country.

The case is McDonald v. City of Chicago, 08-1521.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-
06-28/gun-rights-must-be-honored-
by-states-cities-high-court-says-
in-5-4-vote.html
 
From CNN (06/28/10)...

162 CASES OF ILLNESS LINKED TO OIL SPILL REPORTED IN LOUISIANA

- 128 workers in the Gulf and the rest from the general public

- Symptoms included throat irritation, shortness of breath, coughing

- Most were between the ages of 18 and 64

(CNN) Exposure to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted in 162 cases of illnesses reported to the Louisiana state health department, according to a report released Monday. Of those cases, 128 involved workers on oil rigs or individuals involved in the oil spill cleanup efforts, the report said.

Among the most common reported symptoms were throat irritation, shortness of breath, cough, eye irritation, nausea and headaches, according to the department's oil spill surveillance report.

The weekly report gathers data from a surveillance network of doctors, clinics, emergency care locations and medical facilities.

For more...
http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/
06/28
/louisiana.oil.exposure/index.html?
hpt=T2
 
Anonymous 1:20 wrote
"The Christian group will have to meet off-campus in somebody's apartment, but at least they can exist."

You must be joking. Christian organizations do not belong behind closed doors, with the blinds closed.

Who is determining the moral laws in this country? It appears the government has taken over that role.

Judaism is based on 4,000 years of experience, Christianity on 2,000. The USA is based on 230 years of experience on what makes a good community, and it appears it is failing badly right now.

The government is putting mental handcuffs on everyone so that they can more easily control the masses. That is not freedom.

They are sucking up to the homosexual community for their votes. God help all of us when they start diving into the rest of the pornographic world to get their votes.

Dorothy
 
Craig and Anonymous 9:44 A.M.

Count me among those who have "smelled a rat!"
 
Dorothy,

Re:Anonymous 1:20 wrote
"The Christian group will have to meet off-campus in somebody's apartment, but at least they can exist."


My response to that would be "Don't do me any favors!!!"

At the end of the day, it is our taxes that are paying the salaries of these clowns who have made a career out of passing the laws that are gradually encroaching upon our freedoms.
 
Not a shock. I attended a University in Minnesota and sometime after left there was a new president who basically banned all Christian groups from official recognition. This directly impacts groups like campus crusade, navigators, intervarsity, Baptist student union, Christians in Actions (granted some shaky new age stuff and dominionism wrapped into many.) But mark words there will be a day most likely based on the equal protection clause that moral inclusivity and "tolerance" are the by words and not able to discriminate on beliefs but have to be open to all for official recognition. This is the way things are moving, this case just set a precendent and the line will be further whittled.
 
However we might nationally compare to Sodom and Gomorrha, it is unlikely we will ever suffer the same consequences. God said He would spare
a city for the sake of ten righteous in it, and the world population being what it is, you are rarely going to have any city or larger governmental
unit lack at least ten righteous people.
 
looking over the ruling here:
http://tinyurl.com/236643k
definitely set a precedent of the "neutrality" of all or nothing and certainly argues for the moral inclusivity view point. This is but a shape of things to come and will see more shaping of things in this direction. This may lead to opening of religious expression in schools as long as all views are open. It is a simple precedent that will likely have wider ranging impact. Yes, constance I certainly have the capacity for law, just not the heart for it. ;)
 
Peacebringer, the decision that was made might have come about because during the 80's cults ran rampant on campuses. There were many so-called "Christian" cults that lured lonely away from home individuals into group activity that was questionable. These cults also worked the elderly. From what I saw, no Christian groups worked against them.

As there is no one watching cult activity these days, I don't know what might be happening. The Scientologists killed off the Cult Awareness Network who were the watchdogs for the community.

Cults used the bodies of their followers to grow. Where money was involved, they took over using mind control techniques.

During those years attacks against cults weren't the same as attacks against Christianity are now.

Dorothy
 
Dorothy, doubt this decision is related to "cult activity" if you read the opinion is all about supporting the "all comers" requirement as "neutral" and therefore not applying to 1st amendment.

Now the college I am referring, the decision had nothing to do with anti-cult at the time. It had to do with a university president who was very anti-christian.

FYI- when I was on campus the student senate voted out giving special funding to "alternative lifestyles" department only to years after I and others left have it reinstated for special funding. I am sure it is more related to such matters there. FYI, at the college I took a sociology of the future course and was exposed at that time to how pervasive the NAM was and had to read Aquarian (which I later destroyed and burned a chapter) and other "futurist" works.Let that awareness slip and didn't attend further until recently.
 
Oh and folks with any supreme court decision the issue is really about the precedent the decision is making as it will be used to shape future decisions. They set a standard of determination that stays until another decision over-rules or re-examines the interpretation.
 
peacebringer, some of the groups you mentioned had cult attached activity. It was a problem on campuses. I know the decision just made had nothing to do with cult activity. I'm well aware of the New Age connection and what it portends for the future of Judaism and Christianity.

Some cults use New Age thinking. Other cults do not. The world is very complex, and we need to analyze what is going on carefully.

If the information in the book Karma Cola is correct, the New Age planners picked up a lot of techniques from the cults in India.

I'm sure you know the picture of overlapping circles to explain what is going on. Review it.

"Christian" cults had nothing to do with Christianity.

Dorothy
 
The very reason I never formed an organization. Organizations can be taken over and easily (and often) co-opted so that their original raison d'etre is reversed. I can easily see a Christian campus organization being packed by a coalition of atheists, GLBT, New Agers . . .

Constance
 
The problem arises when private groups become entangled with the government (federal or state) by accepting state benefits, including, here, official recognition by a state university. Those benefits come with strings attached, including, in this case, a non-discrimination requirement.

It's similar to the reason that most churches avoid addressing political topics, for fear of losing their precious tax-exempt status.

I see no problem if a Christian group declines official recognition by Caesar and accepts no help from Caesar's university. They still have the right to freely associate and, yes, they can even leave the blinds open. No one said they had to meet in secret.

History has shown that the church has grown most quickly when it received zero help from government (or was actually persecuted). History has also shown that when the church marries the state (from Constantine all the way up to today's moribund state churches in Europe) stagnation and aposatsy are the result.

This ruling -- while an insult to freedom of association -- may be a blessing in disguise. American Christians need to wake up and understand that Caesar is not really their best friend after all.
 
Anonymous 6:26 PM

I'm not buying the crop damage hysteria as being caused by Corexit spraying. Most likely cause was a vapor leak at a Lucite plant in May. If other areas in the South outside of Memphis Tennessee report recent crop damage, then maybe I'll reconsider my position.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/may/25/vapor-leak-dupont-plant-frayser-shuts-down-some-bu/?print=1

YG
 
Another reason to avoid hospitals:

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100621/ARTICLE/6211058/2055/NEWS
 
Mary,

While I understand what you mean, you are missing one small detail. It was not the cities that were spared from the Lord's wrath but the righteous themselves. Lot and his wife were removed from the path of our Father's anger. Are you sure that something like this could not happen again? While I am not attempting to make a concrete statement here, scripture does seem to indicate that such a thing will happen at least one more time.
 
There does appear to be a push to get Judeo-Christian morals out of public view with this. The reasoning is garbage, as there are several political activist groups that are allowed to hold events on campuses that hold exclusionary views and do not allow attendees of certain religions. Homosexual activists often verbally attack the Judeo-Christian beliefs, yet they are allowed to hold meetings on campuses across the country. Pro Palestinian groups often attack a entire ethnic group, yet they are allowed to hold rallies and meetings on campuses.

This message is clear, you can hold exclusionary views so long as they are not of a religious nature. So long as they don't interfere with the coordinated moral decay of the nation. So long as they don't interfere with the population control measure of homosexual promotion. So long as government has it's hand in your exclusionary views.
 
JD,
The court case is not about "meeting on campus" but about Official Recognized Status of groups. Take a gander at the opinion. The university in question had a designation that in order to be "officially" recognized there needed to be a "take all comers" view. This is the view upheld by the court as being "neutral" and therefore constitutional. Now this really points to how mired any agency looking for "official" recognition will become as the move to "moral inclusivity" is pushed in the name of neutrality. This is shifting of lines as much as the RFID and national ID and so on is part of "the agenda."
 
annoy 8:12 perhaps tiny url your link as that brings folks nowhere
 
The Christian Legal Society is not a church with the sole intention of preaching the gospel. It is primarily a legal organization with Christian standards.

http://www.clsnet.org/law-students/cls-law-student-ministries

Dorothy
 
A review by Mark, a lawyer.

I've skimmed the Hastings decision. Here's my first impression.

The college, like many, provides for a number of clubs (I refuse to play the acronym game, a la "Student Run Organizations"), to allow several smaller-than-universal "in-groups" to coalesce in the pursuit of their mutual interests and also to engage in "dialog" with other factions of the student body. There's the obligatory African American club, the increasingly mandatory Queer Club, the Hispanic club, the Girls' club (they're all WAY to young to be called "women") and so forth. Each has a social function, and an "advocacy" function, i.e. the promote positive attitudes toward the defining characteristic of the membership of the club. hence, the African American club members not only socialize among themselves, but produce literature and programs designed to foster positive attitudes toward "people of color". And so on down the line.

The Christian Legal Society (CLS) got shot down for essentially proposing to do the same thing in regards to traditional, orthodox Christianity. The justification was that traditional Christianity opposes promiscuous sex of all sorts, straight and queer, and this was considered off-putting.

The CLS properly, but unsuccessfully argued that the school had, by providing for these various clubs, opened a "forum", i.e. got into the business of providing a theater in which various, and competing, points of view could be aired . As a result, CLS argued, the school was required by the First Amendment to maintain the open-ness of that forum, which includes those who profess and promote Christian values. As I said, the CLS was right in making this argument.

Unfortunately, the school adopted an absolutist anti-Establishment argument about how they should deal with Christianity, and the liberal majority of the Court supported them in this boondoggle. Hence, they were allowed to insist that the CLS admit people with ANTI-Christian attitudes, thus effectively requiring the CLS to become the one and only "forum-within-the-forum" on the Hastings campus. You certainly did not see any requirement that the Queer Club admit members who disapprove of sodomy, nor was the African American club required to host anti-affirmative action speakers and club members. This "equal time" requirement was placed on exactly ONE club, the Christian Club.

This is not to say that "neutrality" has no place on the campus. Indeed, the school itself, as an organization of the state, had a duty of neutrality. That obligation SHOULD have led to the result in the case being what Justice Alito's dissent suggested, i.e. ALL clubs are welcome, and MAY espouse differing points of view. That's what a forum is supposed to look like.

Anyway, PC bigotry again ruled the day. Go figure.

Dorothy
 
anonymous 7:55 A.M.

BINGO!!!

When religious organizations accept money from the state, they leave themselves vulnerable to state control.

Here in Massachusetts in 2006, Boston's Catholic Charities got out of the adoption business, over a Massachusetts state law requiring that the agency place children with same-sex couples.

http://www.catholic.org/national/
national_story.php?id=19017
_______________________

See also.........

http://www.weeklystandard.com/
Content/Public/Articles
/000/000/012/191kgwgh.asp
 
All social charities take money from the state. They hire grant writers to go after the money.
Because they do so, they have to offer their services to any and all.

The Christian Legal Society is not a charity in the business of distributing funds to all applicants.

It's only one school and only one group, but put it in the context of the growth of the New Age movement when you view what happened. Jews in schools across the country are being intimidated. It can happen to Christians.

Dorothy
 
Dorothy,
you need to understand a little bit about how the supreme court operates. They by and large function on the continual examination, review of precedence establishing how the "law" is interpreted and applied. Here they took and established a "neutrality" view that will set further precedent. Mark certainly did a good job of underlining the basics.
 
Yes peacebringer, I understand that. That's why I posted it. I agree with him. He agreed with what I had written.

Dorothy
 
Maybe what makes Christian organizations different then run of the mill organizations is that they should offer admittance to anyone. Did anyone think perhaps they could preach the gospel to those who showed up at their meetings? If the people didn't like the message, they are free to leave, but there really is no sense in excluding anyone from fellowship. They could show by their kindness that they are different from all those other groups who are just loud and activist. Isn't that what turning the other cheek was all about? Jesus didn't come preaching an exclusivist club that only "some" were allowed to join. It was for anyone who willing to accept Him by faith. So a few people might try to infiltrate, so what? Do they have so little faith can't do a mightier work?
 
that should say "that God can't do a mightier work?"
 
Oops! It was Ray's Hell Burger Restaurant!

They were raisin' hell and sharing French fries!

You can't make this stuff up!

YG
 
Anon @ 8:20 P.M.

It always starts with "Oh Jesus was so loving and Jesus accepted everybody," and before you know it homosexuality is being stuffed down our throats, we are haters for not accepting it and intolerant for not accepting the benefits of anal sex in schools. Because Jesus would off course accept it all.


In my own country Canada, they told us that gay marriage would not affect anybody, now even religious schools are being forced to teach homosexuality is normal and teach kids about the benefits of masturbation because hey it's scientific and it's legal, so we don't have a choice.

I am not going to hell for anyone.


Savvy
 
I am contemplating returning to full time research, writing, and speaking with part-time practice of law. I have several excellent books in me, but combining two very different careers of law and writing both full time in and of themselves, is difficult. There is a brilliant young attorney in my present building willing and able to assist me. My lease expired two years ago in the professional building where I have been for the past 17 years. It has been nearly 22 years since I returned to the full time practice of law from a busy 7 years of educating the Christian and other public about the hidden dangers of the New Age Movement. I need your prayers and suggestions on this. My office building has been recently sold and a large obstetrical firm would like to take over the floor in my building where I have been the past 17 years.

Things are breaking so rapidly, I feel I need to devote more time to them than full time practice of law allows. Further, I have never been the world's greatest business person. I have always had trouble asking people for money, even for legal services excellently delivered and well earned.

I appreciate your suggestions. Our house, frankly, does not have room to house my library and remaining papers (many of the older ones are now archived at the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan). If there are suggestions where I could go and spread out my work in the metropolitan Detroit, Michigan area or environs, I would appreciate knowing that as well.

Thank you!

CONSTANCE
 
Thanks for sharing this.
http://wofgtg.blogspot.com/
Thanks.
 
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