Thomas Nelson Community College along with its umbrella organization, the Virginia Community College System, has agreed to suspend its policy on "free speech zones" in response to a lawsuit brought by a student who wants to preach on campus.
Last month, Christian Parks brought a lawsuit before the Eastern District of Virginia Newport News Division, alleging that TNCC violated his freedom of speech when campus officials stopped him from preaching in an on-campus plaza area.
According to the lawsuit, Parks was prohibited from preaching due to the college's policy, which states that students can only stage demonstrations if they belong to a student group and get permission four days in advance. more >>
A display of the Ten Commandments on private property may be in violation of the Highway Beautification Transportation Code of the Lone Star State.
In Sabine County, Texas, a pastor who placed a Ten Commandments sign on her property near a highway might have to remove the display or pay for a permit to maintain its present location.
Jeanette Golden, pastor at Word of Truth Family Church in Hemphill, was told by the Texas Department of Transportation that she would have to pay for a permit for the sign. more >>
A CBS affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., has issued an apology to a pro-life organization after falsely portraying the group in a nightly news story.
The CBS station ran a follow up story last week to clarify a previous segment it broascast in March that purportedly showed a pro-life Project Truth volunteer placing a graphic anti-abortion pamphlet on a car parked outside resident's home. It turned out the man featured in the segment was a neighbor, not a member of the pro-life group.
The clarification came in response to a letter sent to the news station from the Life Legal Defense Foundation, a California-based pro-life law firm. more >>
The major news media, with the exception of Fox News, has been deafeningly quiet about the federal government's thwarted raid last week on a Nevada rancher. Heavily armed agents from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) descended upon Cliven Bundy's ranch, seizing 389 of his 900 cattle. The BLM shut off access to federal lands, claiming he was illegally using them, and a no-fly zone was established for a 3-mile-square area around Bundy's ranch. A sign was posted - unconstitutionally - limiting the First Amendment to a small designated area. The feds flew helicopters overhead to chase the cattle, knowing full well it could cause them to collapse from running in the 90-degree heat.
Outraged over the heavy-handed tactics, about 1,000 states' rights activists traveled to Mesquite to support Bundy. Many gun owners showed up lawfully carrying firearms, and local cowboys came riding in on horses. They were afraid that they could be the next targets of a federal government overreach, and felt it was time to take a stand. A few protesters stormed the gate that had been erected to block off federal land, while the crowd chanted, "open that gate." At one point, the protesters blocked all traffic on Interstate 15.
Bundy's son, Ammon, was shot with a stun gun by law enforcement until he bled, and his sister was pushed to the ground, which was caught on video. Bundy's son, Dave, was arrested for taking pictures along State Route 170, which had been closed, and his camera was confiscated. He is now reporting a concussion and kidney problems after being stomped on. One man from Utah who joined the protest said he was handcuffed and injured by BLM agents when he attempted to walk through a gated area. Bundy estimates there were approximately 100 law enforcement vehicles and 200 law enforcement officials involved with the raid. more >>
City commissioners in Carroll County, Md., voted this week to temporarily halt sectarian prayers at their meetings in compliance with a judge's previous ruling. One city commissioner who voted against the temporary ban said that such a move "binds me to an act of disobedience against my Christian faith."
The commission voted 3 to 2 on Tuesday to stop sectarian prayers at official city meetings. Although they cannot reference "Jesus Christ," board members may still use the terms '"God," "Lord God," "Creator," "the Almighty," "God of Abraham," "Heavenly Father," "Lord, our Governor," "Mighty God," "Lord of Lords," "Creator of the Earth" and "Our Creator." Additionally, only board president David Roush may lead the invocations.
The two county commissioners who voted against Tuesday's agreement were Richard Rothschild (R-District 4) and Robin Bartlett Frazier (R-District 1). Rothschild spoke briefly at the meeting as to why he couldn't support the commission's resolution, saying it was stifling his expression of faith. Rothschild added that although he was willing to follow a judge's ruling halting sectarian prayers, he would not sign a resolution forbidding him from doing so. more >>
David Silverman, president of American Atheists who graduated from Brandeis in 1988, announced that he is withdrawing his support from Brandeis University and its alumni association because the academic institution rescinded its plans to give an honorary degree to controversial social commentator Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
In an open letter on Facebook explaining his actions and reasoning, Silverman said that although he had fond memories of the activism and classes at Brandeis, he felt this history went contrary to the university's decision against Hirsi Ali.
"Today, that pride is gone as Brandeis has caved to religious intolerance masquerading as political correctness and uninvited a valuable voice in the discussion of religion in public life," wrote Silverman. more >>