Maintain Religious Freedom in Schools
An important distinction exists between government speech (speech of the school district) and private speech. Although the Establishment Clause can sometimes limit government employee speech, the Constitution fully pro- tects students’ private religious expression.
The Supreme Court clearly states that both students and teachers maintain their First Amendment rights (including freedoms of religion and speech) in schools.
“It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years.” (Tinker v. Des Moines)
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Liberty Institute is committed to defending your religious liberty rights and ensuring that public schools abide by the First Amendment’s guarantees of free speech, expression and the free exercise of religion.
If a public school censors or prohibits your religious speech, expression or practice, and you are unsure if the public school’s actions violate your First Amendment freedoms, contact Liberty Institute. We need you to stand up for religious freedom so that these freedoms will be preserved for our generation and the generations to come.
Before students order their books and stock their backpacks, they need to think about preparing their most valuable back-to-school tool yet: knowledge of their religious liberty rights.
The number of religious liberty attacks increases each year, and yet, many cases go undetected due to lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, the vast majority of students don’t even know their rights and as a result can’t identify or stand up to attacks on their religious freedoms.
So before students make those last minute runs to Target and Staples, we at Liberty Institute encourage them to prepare now for the battles they might encounter this school year:
Excerpted from Stephen McDowell’s book “Crime and Punishment, A Biblical Perspective.”
Originally published on The Providence Foundation.
The Cause of Crime
Crime is rampant throughout the world. Different nations combat crime in different ways with varying degrees of success. To properly deal with crime in society, we must first understand what causes crime. The Bible teaches that crime is caused by evil in men’s hearts.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . . . Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:5, 11)
“God commands you to choose for rulers ‘Just men who will rule in the fear of God’. The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty, and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted …. Public revenues will be squandered …, and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded.” (Noah Webster)
Webster wrote those words in 1832. So, what would he say today about a president and members of his administration and of his party who support same-sex “marriage” and the willful murder of unborn babies?
Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, are usually considered the most irreligious of America's Founding Fathers. If Franklin was in Washington, D.C. today, however, he would stand out for his strong religious beliefs and conservative political views. He would be pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and would advocate for prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. So far has our nation moved from its Christian origins that this most liberal, irreligious Founder would today stand out for his conservatism.
Franklin was born in Boston in 1706 into a hard-working Protestant family that had Puritan influences on both sides of the family. In fact, Franklin’s critics have derided his Autobiography, written later in life, as “little else than a Puritan document—a religious tract—for the justification of thrift and other Puritan qualities.”
238 years ago, Americans rebelled against an out-of-control government, declaring their independence from England. Today, many Americans are also rebelling against an out-of-control government often perpetrating similar abuses upon them. But, fortunately, the situation is different this time.
As written in THE LIBERTY REBELLION:
Be encouraged. While the Founding Rebels—after patiently petitioning the British government for a long time—ultimately were forced into a brutal war to end their oppression, we’re not in that situation. We still have a voice today and can effectively use the government the Founders sacrificed so much to implement to prevent further governmental abuse. Our rebellion occurs in the halls of Congress and state legislatures, in school board meetings, and in the hearts and minds of reasonable people across America. Our rebellion is orderly, peaceful, and lawful. In fact, it is the [Big-Government Disciples] who are acting unlawfully, ignoring America’s ultimate authority—the Constitution—as well as many existing laws.
Socialism has been growing in the United States during the past century, often with leaps and at times with small steps. Intermittently, some people and leaders have pushed back this growing plague, seeing some success in re-establishing governmental and economic principles of liberty, but the overall trend has been toward statism. During the past five years we have witnessed a giant leap forward for socialism, with a corresponding decline of liberty.
Socialism is a great threat to liberty and prosperity. It is unbiblical and demonic.
Socialism is a form of statism. Statism is the belief that the civil government (or man via civil government) is the ultimate authority in the earth and as such is the source of law and morality. The state defines what is right and wrong, what is lawful and unlawful, what is moral and immoral. The state becomes the de facto god of the society, or in the words of Roscoe Pound, President of Harvard Law School in the 1920s, “the state takes the place of Jehovah.”
The most historic band of minutemen was led by Deacon Parker under the auspices of Rev. Jonas Clark. Clark was pastor of a church in Lexington, Massachusetts. Since the struggle over the Stamp Act in 1765, this clergyman had become this town’s principal leader in its town meetings and issues of liberty and government.
Almost every crucial state paper written to represent this town was authored by Jonas Clark. His home was a frequent meeting place for men like Samuel Adams and John Hancock when safe locations could not be assured inside Boston. Such was the case on the night of April 18th, 1775. Adams and Hancock were visiting for the night, unaware that the British had decided to send troops to Lexington to destroy the town’s military supplies and capture these two men.
Herring Impeachment - Action Needed!Thank you for joining The Virginia Christian Alliance's effort to "impeach Attorney General - Mark Herring". We have collected a lot of petitions and every day we get more via email and U.S. Postal mail. Last week we collected 94 in one day.
We don't have a "magic number" of petitions needed. VCA's goal is to bring public pressure on the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, Bill Howell, to move the House to call for impeachment. Speaker Howell is the only person that can say "yes" or "no" to impeachment. He needs to know that the citizens of the Commonwealth will stand behind him to move forward.
The U.S. Supreme Court resuscitated the ailing concept of freedom of religious expression with its decision last week in Town of Greece v. Galloway. In doing so, it exposed serious flaws in a 2011 Fourth Circuit ruling and Governor McAuliffe’s rationale for vetoing two religious liberty bills last month.
In the landmark ruling on the issue of public invocations, the Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that the Town of Greece, New York, had created an unconstitutional "establishment" of religion by allowing local clergy members to offer invocations at Town meetings on a voluntary, non-discriminatory basis.
The Second Circuit had ruled that despite the policy’s neutrality, it violated the Establishment Clause because, in fact, most of the clergy members who volunteered to pray represented the Christian faith. This was unacceptable, held the federal court, because non-Christians in attendance at the meetings may have felt left out.
Kimber Academy recently sponsored a meeting with special guest speaker, Michael P. Farris – a nationally known constitutional litigator. Dr. Farris asserts that Article V contains a provision giving power to the states to bypass congress in an effort to restore the constitution. This provision is a timely gift from our Founders and their great foresight. (See website: www.conventionofstates.com and www.selfgovern.org ) He also articulated the dangers inherent in “unenlightened citizens” which strikes at the heart of the message our students delivered at the meeting. Without question, our Founders anticipated the consequences of an uneducated electorate and cautioned us that a time such as today would come. Our students shared the following quotations:
“An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” ~ John Adams
“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” ~ James Madison
“Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love unless they first become the objects of our knowledge.” ~ James Wilson
Did you hear about the dictator who was asked by one of his subordinates, “How do we get the people to believe our lies?” The dictator answered, “Just tell them what they want to hear.”
America seems to have forgotten the price God has paid on her behalf by shedding His grace upon us through His Son Jesus Christ to establish our given freedoms. Instead of America responding to Law, Judgment, Righteousness and Truth, it seems apparent that God’s voice is no longer a permissible objective in the course America is now taking.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)