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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. First Amendment to the US Constitution


Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:31b-32 (NIV)

There are some in this country that would be happy to forbid praying in public.  Yet what better example of people using their first amendment rights than this?

That said, 'Saying Grace' recently set at auction record for a Norman Rockwell painting at $46M.

First Amendment

Jan-Mar 2017

(03/30/2017) 75-Year-Old Bible in the School's Program Threatened by "Kindergartener."  "75 year old Bible program: is a better description.  Nevertheless, this is just another example of those on the left working to remove Christianity from the public.  You may have noticed that many progressives, including some prominent Democrat office-holders, have started referring to "freedom of worship" rather than "freedom of religion."   They want religious expression confined to houses of worship.  They continue to push, and they gain a little here, a little there.  And we scarcely notice. 


(03/26/2017) Liberal Judges Unwittingly Declare ObamaCare Religious Mandate Unconstitutional.  The problem is that liberal judges see no problem with rulings that conflict with each other, as long as they support the progressive view.


(03/25/2017) High School 'Muslim Prayer Room' Challenged.  Texas attorney general takes notice but ACLU 'nowhere to be found.'  Not surprising that the ACLU is MIA.


(03/22/2017) Freeing Religion from Government’s Grip.  In some states, things are worse than you thought.


(03/21/2017) Air Force Sides With Chaplains Over 'Free Thinking' Atheists' Complaint.  Good news.


(03/20/2017) U.S. Grant and Michael Corleone on Safe Spaces…  An excellent read.  I encourage everyone to check it out.  Also, the comments are good, though unless you are a Ricochet member, you cannot add a comment.


(03/20/2017) The Progressively Frightening Totalitarian and Judgmental Left.  This article notes the misuse of Jesus' "judge not" statement.


(03/19/2017) Totalitarian snowflakes drive Australian brewery to confess to a thought crime for hosting a civil debate on a public issue.  The issue is SSM and the goal of the Left is not to debate the issue, but to make opponents shut up.  They are succeeding.


(03/18/2017) The Left Now Criticizes the Campus Monster it Created.  Well, to be fair, only a very few on the Left are actually criticizing it.


(03/17/2017) Well, Isn't That Special?  IRS Bends Over for 'Satan.'  Sped tax exemption for after-school club while tea-party groups languished.  It took only 10 days from receiving the application, while tea party groups have waited for years.


(03/07/2017) Middlebury Student: Riot Was Not Rioters' Fault.  Of course not.  One of the fundamental tenets of progressivism is the rejection of personal responsibility - for themselves and other favored groups, at least. 


(03/05/2017) Battle in the Streets?  Leftist Agitators Vow to Stop Pro-Trump "Scum."  Those on the Left want to silence those they disagree with. 


(03/04/2017) Violent Student Mob in Vermont Shuts Down Charles Murray Lecture, Injures Professor.  Apparently, no arrests.  Until both students and "students" start going to jail for this kind of stuff, it will continue, since colleges do not have the guts to expel or suspect students for this behavior.  Back in the 60's some colleges did.  At MIT, students occupied an administration building.  A dean addressed them and said that any student that was still in the building after 5 minutes would be a former student.  The building immediately cleared.  Similarly, any college that cares about free speech can simply say that protesting with signs, etc., is fine, but once students start shouting people down or committing / threatening violence, they will be suspended for the first offense, expelled for the second.  Problem solved.  So why aren't colleges doing this?  I think we all know.  They really do not believe in free speech.


(03/02/2017) Oregon Bakers Penalized Over Same-Sex Wedding Cake Headed to State Court of Appeals Today.  Pray for them.  Here is more: Christian bakers shut down get their day in court


(02/25/2017) Will Court Ruling Against Christian Florist Prompt Trump to Action on Religious Freedom?  I certainly hope so.


(02/22/2017) Church, State, and Melania Trump.  The Left is trying to drive religion (Christianity, at least) out of the public square.  We cannot let them and that means we cannot play their game and let ourselves be intimidated into silence.


(02/19/2017) Melania Trump Recites The Lord’s Prayer At Melbourne Rally – CROWD GOES WILD!  Isn't this a nice change of pace?  Here is more on the rally: Thousands Show Up For Trump Rally In Melbourne, Florida!  Update: Leftists Triggered & Outraged After Melania Trump Recites Lord’s Prayer at FL Rally.  Good.  And we as Christians should be doing a lot more to trigger and outrage the Left by doing Christian "stuff" in public!


(02/18/2017) Here is more on Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman.  Gay Weddings Over Freedom: Washington State Punishes Florist for Faith.  If you go by some of the comments, there are quite a few people in America who absolutely want to punish people for their Christian beliefs. 


(02/18/2017) This Federal Agency Is Targeting a Family Business. A Religious Liberty Organization Is Calling on Trump to Protect It.  The Dept. of Agriculture is being tasked with enforcing rules to prohibit religious literature in the workplace.  Were you even aware that this sort of thing is going on?  I wasn't.  The First Amendment has been used by progressive judges and bureaucrats to suppress Christianity (and Judaism) - to "protect" people from religion - rather than to permit the free exercise thereof.  We really do have a war on our hands, though we don't seem to realize it.


(02/16/2017) Washington’s Supreme Court Imposes Its Progressive Faith on a Christian Florist.  This is a horrible ruling and goes to show that while Trump may be an improvement over Obama, the courts are still a disaster.  It is especially galling given how many on the Left are declaring their unwillingness to serve Trump supporters.  And of course, she didn't refuse to serve homosexuals, since she had served them many times before.  She just refused to participate in a SSM.  This will be appealed to the Supreme Court.  Let us hope and pray that we have Gorsuch gets approved quickly.  Update: here is more - Court Puts Objecting Florist’s House, Personal Property at Risk for Seizure.  Update: More - Shame on the Silent Christian Leaders Who Refuse to Stand Against Government Tyranny.  Indeed.  Where are our churches, pastors and leaders?  We are just sitting back and letting this happen, hoping that somebody else will do something about it.


(02/12/2017) It will be interesting to see whether political discourse improves in America, after 8 years of gradual degradation.  The short term prospects are not good.  The problems are coming from the Left, though they seem to be blaming everything on the mere existence of the Right - along with the fact that they lost the last election.  The following stories indicate just how low we have sunk.  Black Lives Matter Leader: White People Are ‘Sub-Human’, Blacks Can Kill All Whites If They Had The Power To.  Bear in mind that the story is from Canada, which most Americans consider to be "virtually" America.  And then there is this: Hollywood Elite Meryl Streep Compares Trump Supporters to Nazi Brownshirts – Complains About Being Targeted as Audience Cheers Her Wildly.  Note that for a long time, celebrities have felt that people disagreeing with their pronouncements is a violation of their First Amendment rights. 


(02/09/2017) Google and Facebook Now Working in US and France to Curtail Free Speech.  I don't know how much of this is just hyperbole, but the whole notion of "fake news" is a clever vehicle for suppressing speech.  The MSM has been full of what I will call "incorrect" news since the election, so the MSM can hardly be called a "trusted source" for news.  Yet I suspect that will be the approach - declare MSM sources as "trusted" and others as "fake."  We shall see.


(02/08/2017) Survey: College ‘bias response teams’ threaten free speech.  Of course.  Isn't that the whole point? 


(02/08/2017) Atheists threaten town of 400 with $500K lawsuit.  When the atheists succeed in bullying towns to remove Christian symbols (Crosses, flags, nativity scenes, etc.) we need to step up and do our own displays, like these folks are doing.  And why wait?  I was thinking of building a lighted cross to display for next Christmas.  I think I'll go ahead and do it.  Why wait for Christmas?  Why limit myself to Christmas?


(02/07/2017) It’s Time to Restore Free Speech to American Churches.  This is more on repealing the Johnson Amendment.  I would not like it if my church focused on politics rather the Scripture.  But the Bible has a lot to say about all aspects of our lives, and that includes politics.  For pastors to feel constrained or uncertain about what the government permits them to say is not good.  And in fact, I think it is strong evidence that the "wall of separation" has been crossed, and it is the government that has crossed that wall. 


(02/07/2017) Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trinity Lutheran Church and Religious Freedom.  There is an important case coming up before the court. 


(02/04/2017) Atheist group challenges prayer for injured player.  Does this not just boggle the mind?  The "Freedom From Religion Foundation" is really seeking to remove all traces of Christianity (they don't seem concerned about Islam) from the public square, and to be honest we have gone a long way towards accommodating them.  No one, and I mean no one, should apologize for praying in public, and especially not for praying for a seriously injured kid.  The First Amendment has been turned on its head and rather being used to protect religion it is being used to suppress it.  The founders would be astounded.


(02/04/2017) Donald Trump, Theocrat?  The Washington Post is fearful that if Trump succeeds in removing the Johnson Amendment, then Christians will impose their "beliefs and practices" on everyone else.  Christians are the ones to be feared, not Islamists!  You may find this notion ridiculous given that it has been primarily the Left that has been using the force of government to impose their values and beliefs on everyone else.  But if you look at the comments, there are definitely people who agree with the Post's line of thinking.


(02/04/2017) Robert Reich Suggests Berkeley Rioters Were Right Wing Plants.  This is more concerning a story linked to below.  This is another "fake news" tactic.  Any reasonably well-known progressive can speculate about something for which there is no evidence whatsoever, and the MSM can then report their speculation as news.  Of course, this is nothing new.


(02/04/2017) There are fascists on campus. Protesters don’t realize it’s them, not Milo Yiannopoulos.  The Left will take whatever positions and use whatever tactics they believe will gain them more power.  I hope and pray that it won't work this time.  And thought I wouldn't call myself a Milo fan, he is growing on me.  He is definitely performing a valuable service.


(02/03/2017) Franklin Graham Defends 'Deplorable' Americans.  Given that progressives, Democrats and the MSM probably consider most evangelicals "deplorable," I'm inclined to agree with Graham.  If we are going to defend biblical values, we will be called this and much, much worse.


(02/03/2017) Bernie Sanders Says Government Should End Religious Freedom to Fight ‘Racism, Sexism, Homophobia.’  The headline exaggerates, but not by much.  Government regulation might be needed.  Would that not mean an end to religious freedom?  Now some regulations are necessary, but every regulation reduces freedom.  Certainly, "regulating" religion should be off-limits.  This is exactly what the First Amendment was all about and it specifically forbids regulation of any kind: "Congress Shall Pass No Law."


(02/03/2017) Spiritual Success and Repealing the Johnson Amendment.  More on the subject.  be sure to read the comments.


(02/03/3017) Robert Reich is on the Case.  What he is doing is speculating that the Berkeley rioters were right-wing provocateurs.  There is no evidence whatsoever for this, but hey, is supports the narrative, so ...


(02/02/2017) Stunner!  Congress Considering Free Speech for Pastors.  This would overturn the Johnson Amendment.  This would be wonderful, indeed.


(02/02/2017) Liberals Embrace Violence.  Let us not follow suit.  There are some things that we might be justified in doing because liberals did it first - changing Senate rules, for example.  But violence is not one of them.


(02/02/2017) Trump’s New Religious Freedom Executive Order Is Little Short of Awesome.  This is apparently a leaked draft, so let us hope and pray that it actually comes to pass.  If it does, it is excellent news, indeed.  Update: Here is more - Legal Discrimination and the Death of Virtue SignalingUpdate: And more - Mr. President: Don’t Cave to Liberal Fearmongering. Protect Religious Freedom


(02/02/2017) Predictably, Milo Yiannopoulos event at Berkeley cancelled amid fires, looting, riots.  Does the Right ever react like this?  Do Evangelicals ever react like this?  Why does this nonsense only seem to happen in places run by Democrats?  And yet it was breathlessly reported over and over that Tea Party rallies were "on the verge of violence."  Somehow, real violence is less important to the MSM than imaginary violence.


(01/28/2017) The Year the Campus Culture Wars Jumped the Shark.  A look back at absurd censorship and senseless overcorrection.  With the election of Trump, 2017 is probably going to be a lot worse on campus.


(01/18/2017) Anti-Trump protesters hold ‘cough-in’ at Trump restaurant in NYC; James Woods responds.  Why is it that so many protests by the Left, are focused on annoying others?  Coughing (or simply shouting and harassing) in restaurants, rioting, blocking traffic, the list is long.  Obviously, they are more concerned with drawing attention to themselves than they are with accomplishing anything positive.  Question: is deliberately coughing in a restaurant a first amendment right?


(01/03/2017) College Calls Christian Speech 'Disorderly Conduct,' Gets sued.  Students can't say 'anything that prompts complaints from listeners.'  Free speech is impossible with such conditions.  And is it a coincidence that it always seems to be those on the Left that 'complain?'

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