Saturday, June 02, 2007

What Does Secularism Have in Common with Islam? Dhimmitude!

What Does Secularism Have in Common with Islam? Dhimmitude!

The Christian – very similar to Sharia Law – is considered a “second class citizen” to the secularist. Our speech should only be allowed in the privacy of the church or home. A fellow blogger recently commented on this in regards to a graduation speech. This person is a believer in freedom of speech, but as most on the Left, this person doesn’t realize how his egalitarianism has created a climate of censorship. I guess speech should be approved now by censors who give a thumb up and a thumb down as to what someone can say and not say.

Can Valedictorians, Salutatorians, or Honorary Speakers Give Speeches on Religious Subjects, Including Reading From the Bible?

YES! As stated previously, it is well-settled that religious speech is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.39 Remember that school administrators can only prohibit protected speech by students when it "materially and substantially interfere[s] with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school."

If students have been granted freedom to compose their own speeches (e.g., valedictorian or salutatorian addresses), protected student expression should not be subjected to censorship because of its religious viewpoint. It is a fundamental proposition of constitutional law that a government official may not suppress or exclude speech for the sole reason that the speech expresses a religious perspective. Denial of this bedrock principle would undermine the essential guarantees of free speech and religious freedom under the First Amendment.

There is quite a difference between refusing to direct prayer or invite clergy to give prayer at graduation, and choosing to prohibit individual student expression based on its content. The First Amendment precludes any governmental effort to single out and censor - or otherwise burden - the speech of private parties solely because that speech is religious. A decision by a school board to respect the free speech rights of students and to refrain from censoring student speech based solely on its content is not a deliberate violation of the law. Students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." Nor do students shed those rights as they pass through the auditorium doors to attend graduation or promotional exercises.

Below are just some recent examples to show how the progressive – I use that term tongue and cheek – Left is expanding our freedoms. This is why Tammy Bruce, a pro-choice lesbian, calls the Democratic left on their “thought policing.”

A junior high school student whose contribution to a school mural was censored because it contained a cross will now be allowed to have her artwork included in the mural after attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund sent an information letter on her behalf.

“Christian speech should not be relegated to second-class status,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The Supreme Court has affirmed that students do not shed their beliefs when they enter the schoolhouse gate. We’re glad that the school district acted quickly and did the right thing by recognizing Melissa’s constitutional right to free speech.”

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a motion for preliminary injunction Thursday after a Minnesota school district refused to allow a group to distribute fliers containing religious content even though other groups are permitted to do so.

“Christian groups should not be treated as second-class,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. “The First Amendment prohibits school officials from censoring fliers simply because the fliers contain religious content. If they allow one group or individual to distribute fliers, they must open the doors to everyone.”

On Thursday, the Superior Court of Forsyth County granted a petition for writ of certiorari filed by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund. ADF attorneys asked the court to hear a case involving the right to distribute religious tracts on a public sidewalk. Frederic Baumann, a local citizen handing out religious tracts, was arrested, jailed, and convicted without being told why he was being charged.

“Christian speech should not be treated as second-class,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “The city misapplied the law against Mr. Baumann and violated his constitutional right to religious expression. The First Amendment right for an individual to express his ideas in public does not require a governmental ‘permission slip.’”

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have sent an information letter to the superintendent the Comstock Park Public School District expressing that allowing the Comstock Park High School student choir to sing “The Lord’s Prayer” at their graduation ceremony Thursday would not violate the U.S. Constitution. ADF attorneys offered to defend the school if the ACLU or any of its allies chose to sue the school over the situation.

“The Establishment Clause does not ban religious songs at graduation, and it’s ridiculous that anyone would try to censor students wanting to honor a deceased classmate with one of his favorite songs,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “We sent the information letter to the Comstock Park School District to let them know that ADF will defend the school if the ACLU or any of its allies has the audacity to sue over this.”

On April 22, Baumann was arrested for distributing religious tracts on a public sidewalk outside the city of Cumming fairgrounds, saying Baumann had violated a city ordinance requiring parade and demonstration organizers to obtain a permit before engaging in such activities. However, the permit requirement only applies to private organizations or groups of more than three persons.

The Alliance Defense Fund, The American Legion, and Liberty Legal Institute will hold a press conference Thursday to announce a national effort to defend and protect America’s veterans’ memorials from potential legal attacks from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union.

“One person’s agenda shouldn’t diminish the sacrifice made by America’s veterans and their families,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Senior Vice-President of Allied Attorney Support and Coordination Joe Infranco. “Despite the claims from the ACLU and others, crosses on veterans’ memorials have been under attack. One only needs to look at what’s happened at Mt. Soledad and in the Mojave Desert. Americans want these memorials to be protected.”

ADF has been involved in legal efforts to defend the cross memorial at Mt. Soledad in San Diego and the Mojave Desert Cross in southern California against ACLU-led efforts to have them removed. Both memorials honor American military veterans.

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a motion for preliminary injunction Thursday on behalf of a member of the Gideons threatened with arrest for distributing Bibles on a public sidewalk. A Monroe County sheriff’s officer told Thomas Gray and several other Gideons members that they had “no right” to be within 500 feet of a public school’s property.

“The First Amendment ensures that all persons and groups, including the Gideons, have the right to engage in free speech on a public sidewalk,” said Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “We are asking the court to halt the unconstitutional harassment of Gideons members while this lawsuit moves forward.”

On Jan. 19, Gray, along with other members of the Gideons Key Largo Camp, began distributing Bibles on a public sidewalk outside Key Largo School. In accordance with Gideons Key Largo Camp policy, they did not step on to school grounds, and they notified the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office of their plans ahead of time. School officials were also notified on the day of distribution. Both said the activity was permissible.

During the distribution, Gray learned that two other Gideons, Anthony Mirto and Ernest Simpson, were under arrest and sitting in a Monroe County patrol car. Officer John Perez mocked the two men, saying they could “pray to Jesus all the way to jail.” Out of fear of arrest, Gray left the scene and has not returned. ADF attorneys filed suit on behalf of Gray on April 20.