Group won't let motto, rainbow flag issues die

Howell school board again rejects LOVE’s requests

by Stephenie Koehn, News Staff Reporter

It appears that a local group calling itself the Livingston Organization for Values in Education is unwilling to accept “no” for an answer to its offer to provide copies of the motto “In God We Trust” to be hung in Howell Public Schools classrooms.

Although representatives of LOVE have been told on several occasions that the district’s Board of Education is not interested in its offer and also that it has no intention of ordering the high school Diversity Club to remove a rainbow-colored flag to which they object, LOVE members continue to argue the subject with school officials.
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McCotter vote on "hate crimes" threatens religious free speech

Family group: McCotter vote on “hate crimes” threatens religious free speech

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s vote to give special federal legal status and protection to individuals involved in homosexual activity violates the concept of equal protection under law and threatens the religious free speech rights of Americans who believe such behavior is morally wrong, a statewide traditional values group charged Monday.

The American Family Association of Michigan, in a letter to McCotter and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, blasted McCotter for being “one of only thirty Republican congressmen nationwide to join Democrats in supporting an amendment to establish special enhanced prison sentences for crimes allegedly motivated by disapproval of homosexual behavior.”

The amendment — offered by Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, to HR 3132, The Children’s Safety Act of 2005 — would “create a federal offense for violence motivated by the actual or perceived…sexual orientation…of the victim.” Republican House members opposed the amendment, 194 to 30, while House Democrats supported it, 192 to 5.

Roll call vote here.
Associated Press story here.
Focus on the Family statement here.

“Rep. McCotter’s vote violated the concept of equal protection, providing the outrageous result that a criminal who assaults a pregnant mother, a small child, or a senior citizen would be punished less severely than someone who attacks a grown man, solely because that grown man chooses to engage in homosexual behavior with other men,” AFA-Michigan President Gary Glenn wrote.

“Rep. McCotter’s vote also puts at risk the religious free speech rights of Christians and others who believe homosexual behavior is destructive and morally wrong,” Glenn wrote. “The language Rep. McCotter supports adding to federal law threatens to make any public expression of opposition to homosexual behavior, even from the pulpit, a crime, and has already led to the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of Christians and others in Europe, Canada, and under state law, even in the United States,” Glenn wrote.

Glenn cited numerous examples of Christians and others being threatened, intimidated, and even prosecuted under “hate crime” laws that include so-called “sexual orientation” among motivating factors that trigger enhanced criminal penalties:
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Urge Howell schools to display national motto: In God We Trust poster

Please join AFA-Michigan in urging Howell Public School officials to join other school districts across Michigan in displaying posters that feature the official motto of the United States: “In God We Trust.”

E-mail Howell Schools Supt. Charles Breiner at:
Super@HowellSchools.com
or call 517-548-6200


Gary GlennDAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Howell, Michigan
June 29, 2005

(Letter to the Editor)

Howell schools say no to U.S. motto

The Howell Public School Board formally approved displaying the officially recognized “gay pride” flag, despite the constant school disruptions and offense it causes many students and parents, but they refuse to join other school districts across Michigan in displaying the official motto of the United States: “In God We Trust”?

Let’s give school board President Mary Jo Dymond the benefit of the doubt and assume it was simply ignorance or confusion that led her to say that “until all of this is settled in our Supreme Court, we feel it would be inappropriate to accept” a local parents’ group’s offer to donate enough posters of the national motto for every classroom in Howell.

Displaying the official motto of the United States is not something waiting to be “settled” by the Supreme Court. Federal courts long ago approved the motto and its display as fully constitutional.
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Allstate fires manager for Christian beliefs concerning homosexuality

Dear Friend of the Family,

Allstate has fired a manager because he expressed his Christian beliefs concerning homosexuality. Matt Barber was a manager in Allstate’s Corporate Security Division. On his own time, and without identifying himself as an employee of Allstate, he wrote a column posted on several websites which was critical of same-sex marriage.

An outside homosexual group complained to Allstate about the column. Because of their support for the homosexual agenda, Barber was immediately fired and ushered off company property.

The message is clear: To work for Allstate one must not publicly express their Christian belief in the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. Barber was fired because he did. Homosexuals can criticize and condemn the Bible’s teaching and they are welcomed, but Christians must remain silent.
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Activists press board on values

by Christopher Nagy; Daily Press & Argus

A group of community activists can’t yet define the “traditional family values” they endorse, although supporting the national motto is apparently one of them as the flap over the diversity flag at Howell High School continues.

The Howell Public Schools Board of Education begged off from accepting a framed copy of the phrase “In God We Trust” at its meeting Monday night. A grass-roots group calling itself the Livingston Organization for Values in Education — or LOVE — offered the gift to the school board for display in the district’s administrative offices. The group also said it was willing to provide the district with enough copies of the motto to display in every classroom before the board put the brakes on the offer.

School board President Mary Jo Dymond said the district didn’t want to put itself in a potentially litigious situation.
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PERSECUTION — Limbaugh cites AFA-Michigan stands

Persecution
How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity

by David Limbaugh

Chapter Seven: “Muzzling Public
Officials, Employees, and Appointees”
Congressional, State, and Local Chaplains, page 182

In Ferndale, Michigan, a volunteer chaplain, Pastor Tom Hansen, came under attack because he was an outspoken critic of the homosexual lifestyle. He argued against the city’s plans for a downtown gay pride festival, and at council meetings reportedly called homosexuality “an abomination to the Lord.” But Hansen denied that opposing homosexuals was the focus of his ministry…(and) said his opinions on homosexuality never came up in his work with prisoners. …Nevertheless, homosexual groups demanded that the city terminate Hansen, and…charged that Hansen’s views amounted to “spiritual violence” to homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender persons. Ferndale police captain Tim Collins said that Hansen had not expressed “any discrimination of any type to anyone.” The American Family Association said that it would sue the city in a civil rights action if it dismissed Hansen, and Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said that being chaplain doesn’t mean you forfeit your constitutional rights. “I can’t help but marvel at the reported sight Monday night when the so-called ‘tolerance’ and ‘non-discrimination’ crowd so clearly demonstrated their intolerance for Pastor Hansen’s sincerely held religious views, and demanded that he be discriminated against and fired for daring to express those views.”

Chapter Nine: “State Endorsement of Non-Christian Values”
Diversity Sticker, page 244

In some cases, local governments affirmatively endorse the homosexual lifestyle and try to impose acceptance of it forcibly on their employees. Traverse City, Michigan, inaugurated a “diversity” sticker campaign in which it placed on city vehicles stickers that were modeled after the rainbow flag homosexuals use to celebrate their lifestyle. Over the rainbow stripes was the message, “We are Traverse City.” The campaign was ostensibly in reaction to a number of race- and sexual orientation-motivated crimes and was aimed at unifying the city. It did the opposite, as citizens bombarded the city with complaints over the campaign. American Family Association (of Michigan) President Gary Glenn said, “Homosexual activists’ allies on the city commission have quickly moved from preaching tolerance of homosexual activity to forcing city police officers to display the official flag of ‘gay pride’ militants.” One Traverse City policeman, David Leach, a thirty-year veteran, registered his strenuous objection to the campaign during an interview with a local Christian radio station. He said he found it “offensive driving a vehicle proclaiming (the homosexual) lifestyle.” He later told the Associated Press, “It is a sign of the homosexual, and it’s on my patrol car.”

WORLD NET DAILY — Detroit News columnist "doesn't get it"

“Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, sent me an e-mail to ask if I had written a column about the National Day of Prayer controversy in Troy. Not only did I not write an article, I did not even know there was a National Day of Prayer controversy in Troy. To explain his reason for asking, Glenn told me that Laura Berman, a liberal Detroit News columnist, had ‘quoted’ me regarding the brouhaha… How dandy. I was quoted on an issue about which I had written nothing and that I didn’t even know was an issue. To make matters worse, the false attribution was intended to make my friends at the American Family Association look bad. A quick review of Laura Berman’s columns reveals her habit of attacking Christians. Gary Glenn also documented her attitude in an article he wrote in 2000 after Berman allegedly told him in a phone conversation that ‘Christians are more fun to beat up on than homosexuals.'”
(more…)

DETROIT FREE PRESS — Christian, interfaith groups' requests cause unholy trouble

When some (Troy city) council members found out the program for the hour-long (National Day of Prayer) event included only Christian speakers, they voted to turn the group away. …before finally allowing the Christian group to gather where it had asked to gather. Meanwhile, the council was threatened with a lawsuit by the American Family Association (of Michigan), an organization that said the Christian group was being discriminated against.”

(more…)

Troy council approves "National Day of Prayer" permit (again)

American Family Association of Michigan
NEWS RELEASE www.AFAMichigan.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 19, 2005

CONTACT: Gary Glenn 989-835-7978
Troy City Manager 248-524-3330

Religious freedom groups threatened federal civil rights lawsuits

Troy council approves National Day of Prayer permit (again)

TROY, Mich. — After months of controversy, flip-flops, and threats of legal action, the Troy City Council at 2:00 a.m. Tuesday morning voted 4-to-3 to approve Councilman Dave Lambert’s motion to once again approve a local citizens group’s application for a permit to hold a National Day of Prayer ceremony May 5th at Veterans Plaza in front of city hall, the site of the same group’s event each of the last five years.

Lambert and city council members Cristina Broomfield, Jeanne Stine, and Martin Howrylack voted in favor of the permit, while Mayor Louise Schilling and council members Robin Beltramini and David Eisenbacher voted against it.

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, testified Monday night before city council, telling members that “the machinations of the last two months would lead a reasonable person to believe that some members of city council are guilty of willful collusion to deny the National Day of Prayer Task Force its constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom, free speech, and equal access rights.”

“After routinely allowing all manner of organizations to meet at Veterans Park, including this very same Christian prayer group each year for a decade, you cannot now arbitrarily deny the National Day of Prayer Task Force equal access to city hall,” Glenn said, “and cannot make the group’s free exercise of its constitutional rights contingent on the presence of other groups who share a different faith.”

“It’s not up to the mayor and city council to decide or dictate the terms under which private citizens can peacefully exercise their constitutional free speech rights, including on city property routinely allowed to be used as a public forum,” he said.
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Group demands Troy city council approve permit for National Day of Prayer event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 12, 2005

CONTACT: Gary Glenn 989-835-7978

Steven Crampton 1-800-326-4543
Chief Counsel, AFA Center for Law & Policy

Troy City Manager 248-524-3330

Formal threat of federal civil rights lawsuit delivered

Group demands Troy city council approve permit for National Day of Prayer event

TROY, Mich. — Lawyers for a statewide family values organization Wednesday afternoon sent formal notice to Troy city officials that they city will face a federal civil rights lawsuit if they continue to unconstitutionally refuse approval of a Christian group’s request for a permit to hold a National Day of Prayer ceremony May 5th at Veterans Plaza in front of city hall, the site of the group’s annual event each year for the past decade.

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, in a statement Wednesday accused Mayor Schilling and two Troy City Council members who voted against approving the permit of “heavy-handed bigotry and collusion to deny the National Day of Prayer Task Force its constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom, free speech, and equal access rights.”

“After routinely allowing all manner of organizations to meet at Veterans Park, including this very same Christian prayer group each year for a decade, Mayor Schilling and her ‘P.C. police’ cannot now arbitrarily deny the National Day of Prayer Task Force equal access to city hall,” Glenn said, “and cannot make the group’s free exercise of its constitutional rights contingent on the presence of other groups who share a different faith.”

“It’s not up to Mayor Schilling and her allies to decide or dictate the terms under which private citizens can peacefully exercise their constitutional free speech rights, including on city property routinely allowed to be used as a public forum,” he said.

AFA-Michigan’s national legal affiliate Wednesday faxed a formal demand letter to city hall advising Troy officials that if the permit continues to be unconstitutionally denied, they will face a federal civil rights lawsuit.

“The National Day of Prayer group has a constitutional right to use the Veterans Plaza, and denial of the forum under these circumstances is unconstitutional,” wrote Steven M. Crampton, chief legal counsel fo rthe American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi. “We therefore demand that the City promptly grant the initial NDP application for permission to use Veterans Plaza and cease and desist from its efforts to interfere with the rights of the NDP group.”

“If we do not receive written confirmation of the City’s (approval) no later than close of business Tuesday, April 19, 2005, we shall have no choice but to seek relief in federal court,” Crampton wrote.

He also wrote that “further denial of the clearly established rights of the NDP group may result in the imposition of punitive damages against City officials in their individual capacity.”

Continue reading “Group demands Troy city council approve permit for National Day of Prayer event”