On Wednesday morning the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined a request for an en banc hearing in a case holding that school officials could censor students who peacefully wore American flag clothing because those students were violently threatened by anti-American classmates. In other words, the court upheld a classic "heckler's veto," and in so doing empowered violent bullies and undermined decades of free-speech jurisprudence.
The facts of Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District are relatively simple: On Cinco de Mayo, anti-American students threatened a small group of their fellow students who chose to wear American flag–themed clothing. Rather than discipline the bullies, the school gave the kids who wore the flags a choice, turn their shirts inside-out, or go home. Two students chose to go home.
Under traditional constitutional principles, this is an easy case. Your free-speech rights do not depend on a listeners' subjective response, and they are certainly not conditioned on a listeners' willingness to break the law. Otherwise, free speech means nothing — bullies would be empowered to shut down speech whenever and wherever they wish. more >>
A disturbing story came and went, barely noticed a few weeks ago. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is being unceremoniously booted off the campuses of California's 23 state universities. This begins with a process of "derecognizing" these as legitimate campus groups.
Why? Though everyone is welcome at their ministry events, ICVF reserves leadership only for those committed to their goals and creed, just as a homosexual group would presumably reserve leadership for gays or those who affirm its pro-gay agenda. Or a Muslim group for Muslims.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is a network of campus ministries. It is evangelical in orientation and has been around at least since the 1940s. I personally was touched by the IVCF chapter of my undergrad college at Tulane in the 1970s. more >>
Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech focusing on income inequality and the objective to restore the middle class during a rally at the Iowa State Capitol organized by the Nuns on the Bus campaign group on Wednesday.
Biden, a Roman Catholic, paid tribute to the Catholic Sisters and their efforts going around the country petitioning for social justice issues, such as health care, immigration reform, and income inequality, and their mission to urge people to vote in the upcoming general elections in November.
"You've gone state to state arguing for moral, economic and social imperatives. To establish a decent living wage. Because you know there's no reason in the world why any American should work 40 hours a week and be $7,000 dollars below the poverty rate. That should not happen in America," Biden said. more >>
The overall poverty rate in the United States dropped for the first time since 2006, with Hispanics being the ethnic group that experienced the most significant change in income.
The U.S. Census Bureau's annual report released Tuesday indicated that the poverty rate among Latinos in 2013 decreased by 2.1 percentage points from the previous year. In addition, income for Hispanic households increased by 3.5 percent between 2012 and 2013 to $40,963.
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference that represents millions of Hispanic Evangelicals, attributed the rise in income to more Latinos pursuing education. more >>
The Episcopal Church recently announced that it will providing $40,000 in grants for philanthropic purposes for the benefit of Ferguson, Missouri.
TEC's Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society will provide $30,000, while Episcopal Relief & Development will provide $10,000.
Bishop Stacy Sauls, Episcopal Church Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement released Monday the effort "addresses both immediate need and long term issues related to the cycle of poverty." more >>
One of the lead actors in the hit Christian film "God's Not Dead" recently shared his opinion on why Hollywood tends to make relatively few Christian-themed films.
Kevin Sorbo, an actor who played the skeptical professor in the blockbuster film, recently talked with Peter Heck on his radio program about "God's Not Dead" and Hollywood movies.
Observing the success of "God's Not Dead," Heck noted that there "is a market" for Chrsistian films and asked Sorbo when he thinks Hollywood will "get it." more >>