Author Archives: Christian NewsWire

Americans Think Hurricane Katrina Worse Crisis Than Syria

Americans think Hurricane Katrina, Indian Ocean Tsunami and Haiti earthquake affected more people than the conflict in Syria
More than one-fifth of Americans are not at all familiar with the Syria conflict
Of those familiar with the conflict, three-fourths think U.S. should help people affected in some way 

SEATTLE, March 12, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Almost three years into the conflict in Syria, many Americans do not know the full scale of the crisis, according to a new poll conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of World Vision among more than 2,000 U.S. adults. The poll found that when presented with a list of prominent humanitarian crises, more Americans select Hurricane Katrina (16%) as having affected the greatest number of people than select the conflict in Syria (10%). So far the conflict in Syria has impacted an estimated 9.3 million people — more than Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti and the Indian Ocean Tsunami and nearly as many as the three crises combined.

The study also found one in five Americans (21%) admit to being not at all familiar with the conflict. Those who are familiar are overwhelmingly likely to say the United States should do something to help, either through increased humanitarian aid, increased diplomatic pressure or other measures (76%, vs. 24% who say the U.S. should not help in any way).

As the three-year anniversary of the conflict in Syria approaches this weekend, more than 100,000 people have died and an estimated 9 million people have been forced from their homes — either within Syria or in neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

A total of 9.3 million Syrians are currently in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. More than half of those impacted are children.

“Each day, millions of children are caught in the middle of the Syrian crisis, struggling for the basics of survival like food, somewhere to live and a safe place to call home. They face the threat of bombs, gunfire, early marriage, and being forced to work to provide for their families,” said Conny Lenneberg, World Vision’s Regional Leader for Middle East and Eastern Europe. “Yet many of us turn away, sometimes purposely turning a blind eye to all that is happening. Although it’s painful to see the reality, it’s vital that we do so. An entire generation is depending on us.”

Other findings from the poll include:

  • Of those familiar with the conflict, nearly half (47%) think the U.S. should increase humanitarian aid.
  • Of those familiar with the conflict, there are no significant differences between those with different education levels or household incomes who agree the U.S. should help those affected by the conflict.
  • Adults age 18-34 are significantly less likely to be familiar with the conflict than those age 35 or older (29% saying they are ‘not at all familiar’ vs. 18% of those age 35+ who said the same).
  • When it comes to why money may be hard to raise for humanitarian aid in response to the conflict in Syria, more than half of Americans (53%) think it’s because money should go towards addressing problems in the U.S.

The poll comes as World Vision is releasing a new report completely written and researched by refugee children of the Syrian crisis, titled “Our Uncertain Future.” In the report, children found that 86 percent of their peers have been exposed to violence. Several questioned why the world is not paying attention:

“If I had the opportunity to address people in power around the world, I would say: ‘Haven’t you had enough of the destruction in Syria? Haven’t you seen enough blood in Syria? Haven’t you seen enough deaths in Syria? What else do you still need, to save us and bring us back to our country? If I had a magic wand, I would erase all the destruction that happened in Syria or in any other country and draw instead the best and most beautiful thing for everyone,” said Hanadi, 17, a Syrian refugee.

World Vision has been responding to the crisis by helping people in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, supporting more than 300,000 with water, sanitation services, household supplies and healthcare, with a focus on the protection and well-being of children.

Catholic Theologian Says Pope Francis May Be the False Prophet of Revelation

Catholic theologian, Dr. Kelly Bowring, discusses how Pope Francis is fulfilling the famous St. Malachy prophecy of the final Pope and how certain prophecy indicates he may be the False Prophet.

ATLANTA, March 13, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Pope Francis celebrates the first year anniversary (March 13) of his papal election this week. Looking back over his first year over the 1.2 Billion Catholics, some of Pope Francis’ actions and statements have raised serious concerns in the hearts of many faithful Catholics. Catholic theologian, Dr. Kelly Bowring, recently wrote a blog article asking his readers to look at the disconcerting actions and statements of Pope Francis and the “Francis effect” in the light of twelve Catholic prophecies about the False Prophet, who is mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Bowring’s article appeared on the front page of the website of his book publisher, Two Hearts Press www.TwoHeartsPress.com.

Dr. Bowring has spent years studying the end times and is the author of several books on biblical and Catholic prophecy, including his bestseller, “The Secrets, Chastisement, and Triumph,” and his newly released, “The Signs of the Times,” both with Two Hearts Press.

In his blog article, Bowring also describes what to expect from the False Prophet according to the prophecies. He then provides seven suggestions on how Catholics should respond to the possibility and growing concern that Pope Francis might be the False Prophet.

Bowring concludes that the Catholic Church may be on the verge of a schism caused by papal apostasy, where there will be two camps, possibly divided into Francis Catholics and Benedict Catholics. Even in Francis’ first year as Pope, various possible changes to doctrine have been discussed around the Vatican:

  • change to grant Communion to Catholic couples who are divorced and civilly remarried
  • change to grant Communion to non-Catholics
  • change to grant Church blessings to gay unions

If the current Pope were to support changing any Church doctrine, as exemplified by these three possibilities, that would be a clear “sign” he is the False Prophet, according to Bowring. Where will all this lead no one knows. Moving forward, Dr. Bowring recommends that Catholics remain obedient to Pope Francis, while becoming more vigilant to new issues that may arise from his actions and statements. Whether Francis is the False Prophet, time will tell.

See Bowring’s full article at www.TwoHeartsPress.com.

Temple Mount Connected to Coming Blood Moon Tetrads

Authors claim tension over Temple Mount, coming tetrads on Jewish Feast days connected to end-times prophecy

CRANE, Mo., March 10, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — With recent developments throughout the Middle East and especially those surrounding Israel, many church leaders have increasingly felt the need to clearly put into perspective the potential prophetic ramifications of what may be unfolding today. Speaking with the world’s most respected prophecy scholars, a heightened sense of awareness exists involving global events that seem, to some, torn from the pages of apocalyptic literature.

“Something is in the wind,” noted prophecy expert Tom Horn says. He points to such developments as the recent call by Jewish leaders (including in the Knesset, the legislative branch of the Israeli government) to build the Third Temple in Jerusalem; a simultaneous effort by the United States to push Israel into a peace agreement this year; political and religious leaders advocating for a single global, financial, and political authority; and even what now appears to be movement by global powers that could initiate the battle of Armageddon.

“How many know,” he asks, “that within the degrading relationship and saber rattling between the United States, Iran and Russia, as well as developments within the European Union and China exist the very components necessary for the final global conflict, called in Ezekiel 38 ‘the battle of Gog and Magog’? Something frightening yet marvelous is unfolding, and yet there is another set of related events even more fascinating people need to understand. These are the coming ‘signs’ in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars referred to as ‘Blood Moon Tetrads.’ Most are unaware these omens are not only tied to the coming Jewish Feast days — but to the third Temple.”

Keep reading the special report “Temple Mount Connected To Coming Blood Moon Tetrads” at the Raiders News website here: www.raidersnewsupdate.com/CauldronRelease.htm.

CT High School Censors Pro-Life Students

MEDIA ADVISORY, March 10, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Students for Life of America is asking pro-life activists to e-mail the Superintendent of Branford Public Schools, Mr. Hamlet Hernandez, at [email protected], to express their support for Branford High School Students for Life and ask that Branford Public Schools assure Branford High School Students for Life that their constitutional rights will be respected.

Since February of last year, the Branford High School administration has attempted to censor and limit the effectiveness of the Students for Life club at their public school, telling them they could not have life-like fetal models on their education table and making it difficult for them to form and sustain the club. This February, the administration denied the pro-life club the ability to invite others to join the group in the form of clip boarding and handing out literature to students during lunch. The school has also told the Branford High School Students for Life club that they can only host events after school, a restriction not imposed on other student groups.

Last week, Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to Branford High School and Branford Public Schools on behalf of Branford High School Students for Life requesting that they end their discriminatory behavior against the group. The letter asked for written confirmation by March 12th notifying Sam that her club’s rights will be respected.

Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America commented, “We cannot sit back while our pro-life students are denied their constitutional rights and bullied by their school administrators. At Branford High School, there is double standard for pro-life students, and we intend to expose this injustice and correct it. We commend Sam and the members of Branford High School Students for Life for their courage and willingness to step up and demand that their school respect their rights, and I am looking forward to witnessing another pro-life student victory.”

Sam Bailey-Loomis, President and Founder of Branford High School Students for Life remarked, “I hope that the Branford Public School system will respect the students at Branford High School by not acting as a barrier to the student body’s equal access to essential information regarding life. I am proud to be on the front lines alongside abortion abolitionists in high schools and colleges across the country to safeguard our rights, stand up for the preborn, and make a lasting impact on our campuses.”

Vladimir Putin Fan Club

Radio Host Michael Savage Designated As American Spokesman for Vladimir Putin Fan Club
OWINGS, Md. March 3, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Radio host Michael Savage has trumped Matt Drudge’s notorious tweet from last year that Vladimir Putin is the “leader of the free world.” Savage on Thursday on WMAL in Washington, D.C. claimed the freedom fighters in Ukraine are neo-Nazis and his guest, former conservative Paul Craig Roberts, alleged that American neo-cons are secret Israelis provoking Russia. The bizarre claims came during an exchange which featured Savage praising the paranoid “Prison Planet” website of pro-Russia and pro-marijuana commentator Alex Jones.
Media analyst Cliff Kincaid said today that Savage’s show, featuring 9/11 truther Paul Craig Roberts, demonstrates that it was a big mistake for the popular Washington, D.C. radio station to let Michael Savage take over Sean Hannity’s afternoon time slot. “Hannity is a serious conservative who would never feature such nonsense,” Kincaid pointed out.
Savage insists he has a “higher education” than Hannity and is described by his radio syndicator Cumulus as a “conservative spokesman.” But Kincaid said the radio personality’s Thursday guest selection proves he is a reckless buffoon who is poisoning the airwaves and that his career, despite some high ratings in some markets, will melt down sooner, rather than later. “I can’t imagine responsible advertisers wanting to be associated with such lunacy,” Kincaid said. Savage (his real name is Weiner) picked Roberts as a guest after he saw his column on the Alex Jones “Prison Planet” website. Jones is a prominent advocate of the view that the U.S. Government attacked itself on 9/11.
Roberts told Savage that Obama official Susan Rice is a “neo-conservative” and claimed “Many of them [neo-cons] are dual Israeli citizens.” Roberts has written that “Russia under Putin, China, and Iran are the only constraints on the neoconservative agenda.” Kincaid commented, “This material would be laughable were it not so serious, coming at a time when Russia has invaded Ukraine. Ukrainian Americans – indeed, all Americans who support freedom and independence for Ukraine — have a right to be outraged.”
Kincaid said in a column on the controversy that Savage, now selling skin cream products over the air to alleviate the problem of itching, should be scratching his own head before getting someone from “Prison Planet” back on the air and embarrassing himself even more. Savage called Roberts “brilliant.”
WMAL advertises itself as the place “Where Washington Comes To Talk.” Kincaid commented that, “The ‘Savage Nation’ has become a major embarrassment for a radio station that wants to be known for serious talk.”
Kincaid is founder and president of America’s Survival, Inc. (ASI), a foreign policy think tank. He is also director of the Center for Investigative Journalism at Accuracy in Media. His website www.usasurvival.org and the AIM website www.aim.org feature his latest article, “Conservatives Must Support Freedom for Ukraine,” which exposes some curious and little known facts about the “Savage Nation” program, such as that Savage “interviews” people he doesn’t actually talk to.

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Rehearing On German Homeschooling Case

PURCELLVILLE, Va., March 3, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — On the morning of March 3, 2014, the United States Supreme Court denied review in the appeal of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike after years of fighting for asylum in the American court system. The Romeikes are a German homeschool family who fled to the United States in 2008 to avoid losing custody of their children to the German government. According to Germany’s highest court, the German ban on homeschooling is designed to insure that religious homeschoolers do not become a “parallel society.”
Michael Farris, Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association and lead counsel for the Romeikes in the appellate courts, said, “While this is the end of the line for normal legal appeals, we are not giving up.”
The initial immigration judge hearing the case granted the Romeikes’ request for asylum in 2010 on religious freedom grounds.
The Obama Administration appealed that decision and prevailed on two levels of appeals.
Prior to today’s denial, the Supreme Court had ordered the United States Solicitor General to respond to the Romeike’s petition. The case had also been carried forward for one week on the Court’s conference schedule—normally a sign of some interest in the case by the Court.
Describing HSLDA’s plans for the Romeikes, Farris said, “We will pursue changes to the asylum law in this country to insure that religious freedom is once again vigorously protected in our policy. I am just glad that the Pilgrims did not face this anti-religious policy when they landed at Plymouth Rock.
“After all, the Pilgrims left England to find religious freedom, but they left Holland to find a place that was both safe for their children and which provided religious freedom,” Farris noted. “These are the very values which our nation today has decided to abandon.”

Supreme Court Sits on German Homeschool Asylum Case

PURCELLVILLE, Va., Feb. 24, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — In an unexpected turn, the United States Supreme Court has apparently decided to continue thinking about Home School Legal Defense Association’s German homeschool asylum case, Romeike v. Holder. The case had been scheduled for review by the Court on Friday, February 21, 2014, and HSLDA expected to see the case on the Court’s order list today either granting or denying cert. However when the list was released at around 10:00 a.m. on Monday, February 24, 2014, Romeike was missing.
Michael Farris, HSLDA chairman and principal attorney for the family, was guarded but positive in his reaction to the Court’s action.
“It’s not no,” he said. “And it’s not abnormal for the Court to hold over discussion of some cases from time to time. Sometimes they hold cases based on upcoming decisions. Or they may want more time to discuss the case. It’s impossible to know precisely what the Court is doing, but we remain hopeful.”
In 2010, Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman granted the Romeikes asylum, ruling that the United States should “be a place of refuge” for the family. But the Obama administration revoked that asylum in 2012. HSLDA appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the administration’s position.
HSLDA has been representing the family since they began their legal quest for asylum in 2008. When Uwe and Hannelore left Germany with their children, they were fleeing persecution in the form of crushing fines, loss of custody of their children, and criminal prosecution for homeschooling.
The importance of the Romeike case is underscored by experience of another German family—the Wunderlichs. A family court judge in Darmstadt, Germany, has refused to return legal custody to the parents of the four children who are now attending public school by court order. The judge in that case cited German Supreme Court cases that have said that homeschooling endangers the welfare of children.
HSLDA’s director of international relations said that this is what the Romeikes would face if the U.S. Supreme Court declines their case and they are sent back.
“Germany persecutes homeschooling families under the color of law. German courts refuse to intervene,” Mike Donnelly said. “Even the European Court of Human Rights has declined relief. This is an important human rights issue where the United States Supreme Court’s voice is needed to uphold the fundamental notion that parents have a fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children.”
Hopeful that the Supreme Court will elect to hear the appeal, Farris affirmed HSLDA’s commitment to this family. “The Romeikes are modern day pilgrims,” he said. “We are determined to fight for their freedom until our last breath. There is no way I will stand by and see this family deported to Germany to be mistreated.”

An Open Letter to Hollywood

OPINION, Feb. 20, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The following open letter is submitted by Chris Stone, Founder, Faith Driven Consumer:

Dear Hollywood,

Paramount’s upcoming Noah movie has sparked a national conversation on Bible-themed movies and the audiences they seek to attract. People of faith generally, and Faith Driven Consumers specifically, are the core audience forNoah and other films in this genre as Hollywood’s Year of the Bible Movie gears up.

As such, our community is deeply engaged on this topic.

Faith Driven Consumer represents a movement of people whose Biblically-based worldview is at the very center of their lives; people who view every consumer purchase as an opportunity to do business with faith-compatible companies that respect their worldview and actively engage them in the marketplace.

We advocate for 46 million of these consumers, who spend $1.75 trillion annually.

To be clear, Faith Driven Consumer does not have any financial connections to the Noah film; we do not stand to benefit in any way from the expressed views of our community.

However, we remain profoundly invested in advocating for entertainment choices that appeal to Faith Driven Consumers, and are eagerly anticipating numerous Bible-themed offerings this year.

It is precisely because filmmakers are marketing a series of movies to our audience that the conversation over Noah serves as a great opportunity for our communities to get to know and understand each other better.

Our research reveals Faith Driven Consumers are a distinct and differentiated subset of the broader Christian market — comprising 15% of the American population, or 46 million people. Like other market segments, they respond to messages that specifically resonate with them in the marketplace of goods, services and ideas.

And like any consumer who is considering seeing a movie — obviously doing so without the benefit of having viewed it — Faith Driven Consumers engage in a decision making process. They read the reviews, follow media reports, watch the trailers, and talk to the people they know.

Because we serve as a consumer resource, we gathered exactly this kind of data for our community. We aggregated reviews on Noah and included links to two significant articles from The Hollywood Reporter, providing exhaustive background on the movie. We then asked our community — people who are keenly aware they are members of the target market — if they would like to voice their opinions and provide candid feedback.

Extensive and detailed reporting over six months, information provided to us by insiders in the film industry, and feedback from those who participated in test screenings of Noah, informs us that the film, as currently configured, deviates from the core Biblical message and replaces it with a modernistic, revisionist one.

On our website you can find the specific context provided and the question we asked: As a Faith Driven Consumer, are you satisfied with a Biblically-themed move — designed to appeal to you — which replaces the Bible’s core message with one created by Hollywood?

Faith Driven Consumers responded enthusiastically as a group to the question of whether or not the film, in its current form, is of value to them and whether or not it “satisfied” their needs and desires as an entertainment option.

When it became clear that nearly everyone in the community felt the film would not resonate with them, we knew that we needed to be constructive and help the film industry understand why — at this point — this is the case. Like our organization, Paramount itself sought similar feedback from other Christian test audiences. Some people liked the film, while others expressed the same concerns that Faith Driven Consumers have expressed.

Faith Driven Consumers are hungry for entertainment choices that resonate with them. It is not our intent to separate our community from Hollywood but rather to come together in a way that unites us in a mutually beneficial relationship.  If we don’t share how our community feels, how will Hollywood ever know and be able to respond?

We are asking you — the entertainment industry — to listen, to learn, to engage our group, and to benefit from a deeper relationship with a community that actively seeks to do business with brands that welcome us.

Here is what you need to know about Faith Driven Consumers: We hold a deep, daily commitment to our faith, and therefore being true to the Bible is vitally important to us. This is the driving factor behind our healthy skepticism over Noah.

The stories in the Bible are the greatest ever told. They have everything that makes a film great — tension, good and evil, love and hate, passion — all building to an exciting and riveting culmination. The Bible is raw and unvarnished; its heroes are complex and deeply flawed.

To Faith Driven Consumers, changing a Biblical story likeNoah by superimposing a revisionist message does not make the story more compelling.

In the run up to The Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Harry Potter movies, journalists wrote extensively about the need to remain true to the books and ensure that these films still connected with their core audiences. By respecting these audiences and the stories as told in these novels, these films did resonate and were successful business enterprises.

We know this can be done with the faith market, because it has been done before.

The recent History Channel series, The Bible, was enthusiastically received. Its producers, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, publicly embraced people of faith, were eager to respect the Biblical narrative, and connected the History Channel brand with Faith Driven Consumers. This was fundamental to the strong success of the series and bodes well for the soon-to-be released movie project, Son of God.

46 million Faith Driven Consumers continue to be positioned to contribute significantly to the bottom line of any brand that chooses to engage us seriously. We will gladly welcome those who seek to build a bridge and welcome us.

We trust this open letter will engender an even wider dialogue on the subject, and that we will be able to move forward — together — to create a successful, lasting relationship between Faith Driven Consumers and entertainment brands.

Sincerely,

Chris Stone
Founder, Faith Driven Consumer
Certified Brand Strategist

Olympic Propaganda to the Masses

1392616913MADISON, Wisc., Feb. 17, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The Olympics is one of the greatest events in the world. They are being used to promote liberal causes worldwide.

Every four years, athletes from all over the world gather to showcase their talents. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) uses the Olympics to promote their liberal causes.

Fortunately, most of the athletes go to the Olympics to give their best athletically and stay clear of false politics. They simply do not have time to get sidetracked.

The Olympics were started in ancient Greece. They were athletic events surrounded by ritual sacrifices honoring Zeus and Pelops. Around 393 AD, as Greece was overtaken by the Romans, emperor Theodosius 1 decreed that all pagan cults and practices should be stopped. The ancient Olympics came to an end.

Pierre de Coubertin started the IOC in 1894. The first modern Olympics opened in Athens, Greece in 1896. Many of the pagan practices were eliminated, with some practices remaining.

In 2009, the IOC was granted observer status by the United Nations. This decision was based on the IOC’s contribution to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

As a result, the IOC is trying to sway athletes to promote their liberal causes, including homosexuality and climate change endeavors.

In October 2013, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) adopted pro-homosexual policies. U.S. athletes must now take a vow that they will not engage in “discrimination” based on “sexual orientation.”

4 WINDS President Steve McConkey fought this to no avail. “The USOC policies are set-up for discrimination against gay athletes, but there could be reverse discrimination in the future. It is a matter of time when Christians that believe homosexuality is a sin will go against the law of the land,” says McConkey. “The Olympic movement shadows what is happening in the real world.”

4 WINDS is a world-class track and field ministry. Steve and his wife started working in world-class track and field ministries in 1981. They have lived in Eugene, Fort Worth, Minneapolis, and now Madison, Wisconsin. Steve has a Masters of Public Health from Western Kentucky University and a BS-Public Health from Minnesota State University in Mankato. He became a Christian in 1976.

In 2003, McConkey fought the IOC for allowing transgenders in the Olympics to no avail. During the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, McConkey spearheaded the distribution of athlete testimonies into the underground church in China, estimated to be over 110 million people.

Two of the four Olympic athletes who had their testimonies distributed were supposed to win medals. All four won medals, accumulating three golds, two silvers. Before and after the Olympics, their testimonies went all over the world. Millions were reached.

Last week, a group of 105 athletes at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi distributed a letter requesting world leaders to take action on climate change and to prepare a commitment to a global agreement prior to the Paris climate talks in 2015.

These athletes are using their positions to promote global warming causes that have not been proven.

Steve McConkey believes Christian athletes should concentrate on their Olympic events and share their testimonies after their event is concluded. “Athletes have a tremendous opportunity to tell the world about their Christian faith. Be like the apostle Paul who went into Athens to share the gospel in a pagan world,” says McConkey. “You are in the Olympics to give a 100% athletic performance, so do this before you engage the media.”

Homosexual Lobby Bullies Ohio School Board Into Not Hiring Christian Coach

HEBRON, Ohio, Feb. 13, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Last night Lakewood Ohio Local School Board rejected the recommendation of the Lakewood High School administration and selection committee to hire outspoken Christian Coach Dave Daubenmire.  Outside organizations such as Change.org and Equality Ohio used lies, intimidation and threats to bully the school board into rejecting the administration’s recommendations.

Daubenmire, 61, an alumnus of Lakewood High and a highly successful veteran coach was rejected by a vote of 3-2 because his outspoken views regarding homosexuality were not acceptable to intolerant homosexual activists who demand strict adherence to their political agenda.

After four interviews and recommendations of Daubenmire by two committees, the board rejected Daubenmire because he was a “poor role model” for young people because of his vocal opposition to homosexual marriage.

Watch the story on Columbus’ CBS affiliate WBNS:
Candidate For Lakewood HS Football Coach Denied Job

Daubenmire responded following the meeting:

“It is painfully obvious that the anti-Christian lobby demand not just acceptance but obedience to their far left dogma and will smear anyone who speaks up for Christian values.  The message that the Lakewood Board of Education sent last night is that anyone with deeply held Biblical beliefs is not welcome in our public schools.  The board’s actions were both immoral and illegal.  My family has resided in this community for over 50 years. The rejection by this school board is a slap in the face not only to Christians everywhere, but to our family in particular. In America, only Christians can be discriminated against.  Homosexual teachers and coaches would be welcomed with open arms.”

Walgreens Fires Pharmacist for Refusing to Violate His Religious Beliefs

NASHVILLE, Feb. 12, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Yesterday, the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm, together with Nashville area Tennessee attorney Larry Crain, of Crain, Schuette & Associates, filed a federal lawsuit in the Middle District of Tennessee on behalf of Pharmacist Dr. Philip Hall against the Walgreen Company. The complaint alleges that, in August 2013, Walgreens wrongfully fired Hall, who had been employed for six years as a pharmacist at Walgreens’ store in Jamestown, Tennessee, in violation of his constitutionally and statutorily protected rights to freedom of religion.

Hall, a practicing Baptist, entertains profound religious and moral objections to dispensing abortifacients, or abortion-inducing drugs, such as Plan B. For six years, Walgreens respected Hall’s religious beliefs and gave him only favorable reviews for his work performance. But in August 2013, Walgreens did an “about-face” and tried to force Hall to dispense Plan B in violation of his beliefs. When Hall indicated his intent to continue following the internal procedures that accommodated his beliefs, Walgreens fired him.

“Dr. Hall’s right to live according to his religious beliefs, including in his workplace, is protected both under the Federal Civil Rights Act and the Tennessee State Constitution,” said Larry Crain, co-counsel with Thomas More Society. “Americans have the right to live according to their sincerely held religious beliefs and not be forced to participate in actions that they deeply and sincerely believe are morally wrong.”

From the time of his hiring in March 2007, Hall followed Walgreens’ well-known protocol allowing him to ask another pharmacist to dispense prescription drugs such as Plan B. After the implementation of new FDA protocols in August 2013, requiring that Plan B be sold over-the-counter, Hall reiterated to his superiors his religious objections to selling the drug and followed up with a call to the employee relations department at Walgreens’ corporate headquarters to express his concerns.

One month later, Hall was questioned by his superiors about how he would treat a request for the drug. As he had been informed of no change in store policy due to the change in FDA regulations, he verbally went through the standard protocol which he had followed for the past six years. But then he was fired on the spot.

“It is illegal for Walgreens to attempt to force employees like Dr. Hall to dispense certain drugs in violation of their religious and moral beliefs,” stated Jocelyn Floyd, attorney with the Thomas More Society, “especially after six years of settled store practices showed that Walgreens could reasonably accommodate Dr. Hall’s religious beliefs with no difficulties.”

As a result of his firing Hall has suffered the following:

  • Denial of unemployment benefits by Walgreens
  • Premature loss of health insurance, which caused him to incur thousands of dollars in medical bills that would have otherwise been covered
  • Three months of being unemployed with the inability to find employment
  • The necessity of having to spend his retirement money and cash out all of his stock in order to pay his bills while unemployed
  • Eventually obtainment of new employment with a significant pay cut and the burden of a commute to work that is sixty miles one way

Hall says he has chosen to file the complaint not only to repair and redress the losses that he has suffered but also in order to prevent similarly situated pharmacists from being forced to choose between honoring their consciences and keeping their jobs.

Read the Federal Complaint filed in the Middle District of Tennessee here.

Judge allows clinic to evade consequences of dangerous health violations

CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Today, Thomas More Society attorneys along with Illinois Right to Life issued a women’s public health memorandum demanding the Illinois Attorney General’s office appeal Judge Alexander White’s decision to permit a $77 payment to satisfy the Illinois Department of Public Health’s $36,000 fine against Women’s Aid Clinic.

According to the women’s public health memo, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) conducted its first health inspection in 15 years of Women’s Aid Clinic on September 9, 2011. Following the inspection, the IDPH shut down the women’s clinic on an emergency basis, assessing countless sanitary violations. Some of these violations included storing frozen tv dinners in the same biohazard refrigerator as eight containers of fetal tissue. All five recovery rooms contained rust and nearly twenty medication cups with Motrin and Tylenol also had crumbs in them. A technician was observed by inspectors as “retrieving a paper towel from a garbage receptacle and using the same paper towel to cover a tray that would serve food items to patients.” The IDPH inspection report also cited the women’s clinic for failing to perform CPR on a girl who died following an abortion.

“The women of Illinois deserve well-kept and sanitary health centers, not substandard ones,” said Emily Zender, executive director of Illinois Right to Life. “We demand the Illinois Attorney General’s office treat women better by holding this women’s health center fully accountable for abusing their female patients. Failure to appeal the ruling effectively creates get-out-of-jail-free cards that allow health centers to skirt fines by playing Chicago-style politics with women’s health.”

According to the memo, after the IDPH inspection and assessment of fines, Women’s Aid Clinic owner Larisa Rozansky informed the IDPH that “…Women’s Aid Clinic, IDPH LIC. NO. 7001647 will be closing as of November 10, 2011.” However, the memo details evidence that Rozansky closed Women’s Aid Clinic only to promptly open Women’s Aid Center in its place — at the same address, with the same phone number, and using the same website.

“Compelling evidence makes it clear that Women’s Aid Clinic is attempting to duck responsibility for their flagrant disregard for women’s safety simply by making a minor, technical change to their name,” said Jocelyn Floyd, an attorney for the Thomas More Society. “How can the women of this state trust the Illinois Department of Public Health to protect female patients if the consequences for not meeting Illinois’ medical standards are just brushed aside?”

According to the public health memorandum, strongly persuasive evidence was produced to Judge Alexander White that Women’s Aid Clinic changed its name and filed a new business registration to avoid paying the sanitary violation fines. However, the women’s health center’s attempt to skirt the law was ignored and its fine was reduced to $77, which was the amount claimed to be remaining in the bank account on the entity.

The Illinois Attorney General has until February 13, 2014, to appeal Judge Alexander’s January 14 ruling that allows a $77 payment to suffice for $36,000 worth of violations.

Planned Parenthood to Pay $2M in Hush Money

Planned Parenthood to Pay $2M in Hush Money to Botched Abortion Victim’s Family
Thomas More Society Calls For Inspection of Abortion Facilities: “No More Tonya Reaves Tragedies”

CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Today, the Thomas More Society renewed its call for stronger abortion clinic inspection and regulation in Illinois, in the wake of a $2,000,000.00 wrongful death settlement by Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation with the family of Tonya Reaves, a woman killed by a botched abortion in 2012. In February of 2013, the Thomas More Society filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (“IDPR”) requesting an investigation into the Chicago “Loop Health Center” of Planned Parenthood, which was responsible for Ms. Reaves’ botched abortion. No known action has been taken by the IDPR to follow up on the complaint.

In response to the settlement, Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel of the Thomas More Society, said, “The fact that Planned Parenthood has been allowed to merely pay ‘hush money’ to the victim’s family without any further consequences is a slap in the face to every woman who walks through the doors of the nation’s largest abortion provider.”

After the botched abortion took place, Tonya Reaves was left to bleed for five and a half hours in the Planned Parenthood clinic without medical treatment. Furthermore, when Ms. Reaves was finally transferred to the hospital, it took several more hours for her to be treated properly, which indicates that Planned Parenthood did not provide the hospital with sufficient information regarding Ms. Reaves’ condition. The autopsy after her death revealed that Ms. Reaves had suffered perforation of the uterus.

“Ms. Reaves’ tragic death demonstrates the dire need for increased inspection and regulation of Illinois abortion clinics,” added Breen. “Abortion clinics in this state are not held to the same standards as other outpatient surgical facilities, despite the fact that the average clinic performs hundreds of invasive surgeries each year,” he explained.

Read the wrongful death settlement petition here.

Read the court’s approval of the wrongful death settlement here.

The following links record the Thomas More Society’s ongoing demand for investigation into the lack of abortion clinic regulation that led to Reave’s death via botched abortion:

Obama Prays for Pastor Imprisoned in Iran- Calls for His Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Rev. Rob Schenck, who has worked with a team of Christian leaders seeking the release of Iranian born American pastor Saeed Abedini imprisoned in Tehran, was moved to tears at today’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington after President Barack Obama told attendees he joins in prayer on behalf of Pastor Saeed and called for his immediate release.

News Conference Details:

News Conference on Statement by President Barack Obama regarding Pastor Saeed Abedini

Today, Thursday, February 6, 2:00 PM
Cardozo Room-Washington D.C. Hilton
1919 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC 20009

Confirmed Speakers:
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Christian Defense Coalition

Rev. Rob Schenck, Evangelical Church Alliance

Invited Speakers:
Mr. Jordon Sekulow, American Center for Law and Justice

Ambassador Suzan D. Johnson Cook, immediate past U.S. ambassador for international religious freedom

The President said from the podium at the Washington D.C. Hilton, “We pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini who’s been held in Iran for more than 18 months, sentenced to eight years in prison on charges relating to his Christian beliefs, and as we continue to work for his freedom today, again we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini so he can return to the loving arms of his wife and children in Idaho.”

The President’s statement comes just days after Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition spoke face to face with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about Abedini’s plight, and after prior meetings involving Schenck and others with State Department personnel, including former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney said, “The conversation I just had with a member of the President’s inner circle appears to have gotten through and for that I’m very grateful. There is more of this story to be told, but for now we pray the President’s call for Pastor Saeed’s release will prove immediately effective. The President is only reflecting what millions of Americans and others around the world have prayed for and demanded for too long. It’s time for Iran to act and free this innocent man… The faith community applauds President Obama for publicly standing for religious freedom and human rights.”

Rev. Schenck said, “This is the breakthrough so many have hoped for, prayed for, and worked for, for so long. This call by the President needed to happen. We are enormously relieved to hear it and thank the President for taking a risk in saying it publicly.”

Nancy Pelosi Deserves the Margaret Sanger Award

Alveda King: Nancy Pelosi Deserves the Margaret Sanger Award for Trampling on Human Rights; Martin Luther King, Jr. Would Reject it Today

ATLANTA, Feb. 4, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Dr. Alveda King, director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, reacted today to the announcement that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will receive Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award.

“It’s true that Congresswoman Pelosi deserves Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award — almost no one has done more to promote the killing of innocent babies in the womb than she has,” noted Dr. King. “If Mrs. Pelosi wants finally to take her role as a public servant seriously, though, she will reject the award named after a racist woman who had no problem speaking to a Ku Klux Klan meeting.”

The Sanger Award has been given annually by Planned Parenthood since 1966, when the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Alveda King’s uncle, was named, but did not personally accept one of the first four citations.

“It’s ironic that Planned Parenthood would extend to my uncle, Martin Luther King, Jr., an award for his human rights work,” Dr. King continued. “I can’t think of an organization that has done more to trample upon human rights than Planned Parenthood.”

“Of course, in 1966, Planned Parenthood did not advocate for abortion and its racist roots were not well known,” added Dr. King. “Knowing what we know now and 56 million dead children later, I’m confident that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who gave his life defending others’ rights to life and liberty, would reject any association with Planned Parenthood.”