Category Archives: Religious freedom

Billy Graham Ad, 2012 election statement of belief, Vote for biblical values, Vote for those who protect sanctity of life and marriage, Romney meeting

Billy Graham Ad, 2012 election statement of belief, Vote for biblical values, Vote for those who protect sanctity of life and marriage, Romney meeting

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”…Barack Obama

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”…Matthew 7:16

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”…Jesus, John 8:32

From the AFA, American Family Association October 18, 2012.

“A message from Billy Graham about the election”

“I wanted to pass this full page advertisement from Billy Graham on to you. It ran today in the Wall Street Journal and will run in other large papers in the coming days. You can click on the picture at right for full size.

Dr. Graham’s office has given permission to spread this vital message far and wide. He has given anyone permission to pay to run this ad in their local paper or to pass out at church, etc.

Your newspaper can get the ad at this link:
(Newspapers can call Paula Woodring at Samaritan’s Purse 828-262-1980 x1121 to verify permissions.)

Pray that tens of millions of people will read this personal reflection from Dr. Graham and heed his call to vote.

Vote your values! Visit the AFA Voter Guide for the most distinctive and comprehensive presentation of information on candidates available at one location for values voters (we are still adding candidate information to the guide).

Every individual voter can visit the website, type in his or her address and be presented with their candidates and information that will assist the voter in determining who will best represent their Christian values if elected to public office.

Free Voter Guide Apps are now available for the smartphone by visiting your App Store and searching “AFA Action” or text “apple” or “android” to 70994. Share this powerful resource with family, friends and church members by utilizing the social networking tools including Facebook and Twitter. Then vote your values!

Sincerely,TimTim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

From the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association October 11, 2012.

“October 11, 2012 – Billy Graham and Franklin Graham met with Gov. Mitt Romney in the evangelist’s Montreat, N.C. home today.”

“Evangelist Billy Graham, 93, issued the following statement after meeting today in his North Carolina home with presidential candidate, Gov. Mitt Romney:

“It was an honor to meet and host Gov. Romney in my home today, especially since I knew his late father former Michigan Gov. George Romney, whom I considered a friend. I have followed Mitt Romney’s career in business, the Olympic Games, as governor of Massachusetts and, of course, as a candidate for president of the United States.

“What impresses me even more than Gov. Romney’s successful career are his values and strong moral convictions. I appreciate his faithful commitment to his impressive family, particularly his wife Ann of 43 years and his five married sons.

“It was a privilege to pray with Gov. Romney—for his family and our country. I will turn 94 the day after the upcoming election, and I believe America is at a crossroads. I hope millions of Americans will join me in praying for our nation and to vote for candidates who will support the biblical definition of marriage, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms.””

Obamacare and Catholic Church, Religious liberty and health care, Dr. Grattan Brown, Natural Law as the Foundation of Religious Liberty, Belmont Abbey College

Obamacare and Catholic Church, Religious liberty and health care, Dr. Grattan Brown, Natural Law as the Foundation of Religious Liberty, Belmont Abbey College

“Führer, my Führer, give me by God. Protect and preserve my life for long. You saved Germany in time of need. I thank you for my daily bread. Be with me for a long time, do not leave me, Führer, my Führer, my faith, my light, Hail to my Führer!”…Recited by Hitler youth

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”…Barack Obama

“First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me –
and by then there was no one left to speak out for me.”…Pastor Martin Niemoller

From Saint Pius X Church in NC.
“Saint Pius X to Host Lecture on Religious Liberty & the HHS Mandate

Dr. Grattan Brown, STD, a professor at Belmont Abbey College, will deliver a lecture,

“Natural Law Foundations of Religious Liberty & the HHS Mandate,”

in the church on Saturday, October 6, at 7 p.m. Dr. Brown is a former researcher in religion and public policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC and former professor at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia.

A reception will precede the event at 6 p.m.

This is an important topic not just to Catholics, but to all Americans who cherish religious liberty. Much is heard about the issue in the news, but Dr. Brown will be able to help us understand the issue from the viewpoint of Catholic tradition and Church teaching.
This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.”

From Citizen Wells November 18, 2011.
“Belmont Abbey sues feds over birth control rule”
“Belmont Abbey College has filed a broad legal challenge to the part of President Barack Obama’s health care reforms that requires employer insurance plans to cover contraception and other birth control.
The Catholic college in Gaston County says the federal mandate forces religious institutions opposed to birth control to violate their beliefs or face penalties. The rule goes into effect next August.
The school has sued a number of federal agencies. The defendants include Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Keith Maley, an HHS spokesman, said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm.”

Defense of the Faith: A Forum on “Religious Liberty” (Part 2 of 4 – Dr. Grattan Brown)

“Published on May 28, 2012 by StBenedictPressTAN
Defense of the Faith: A Forum on Religious Liberty (PART 2 OF 4)
Dr. Grattan Brown: “Natural Law as the Foundation of Religious Liberty”
PART 1: Introduction (
PART 3: Mr. Kyle Duncan (
PART 4: Mrs. Nancy Matthews (
On March 21, 2010, the United States House of Representatives voted on, and narrowly passed, a new national healthcare reform bill. Two days later, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into federal law. On January 20, 2012, over repeated objections by the United States Catholic Bishops and other religious leaders, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reaffirmed a rule mandating that virtually all private healthcare plans must cover sterilization, abortifacients and contraception by plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012.
This action has been called by many religious leaders an egregious violation of the first amendment which states that: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .”
On Saturday, February 11, 2012, over one hundred attendees gathered for a forum on religious liberties hosted on the campus of Belmont Abbey College. The event was moderated by Dr. William Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College. Three nationally-recognized speakers took the podium.
Dr. Grattan Brown, Associate Professor of Theology at Belmont Abbey College, opened the forum with his presentation on Natural Law as the foundation for religious liberty, addressing various contraceptive methods mandated under the new administrative guidelines, and their potential to function as abortifacients in violation of Natural Law.
Mr. Kyle Duncan, Senior Legal Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest law firm located in Washington, DC, spoke on the accelerating legal challenges to religious liberty in the United States.
Mrs. Nancy Matthews, recently retired Chancellor and General Counsel for the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT, closed the forum with a presentation on the goals and objectives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ ad hoc committee on religious liberty. Mrs. Matthews is currently a consultant to this committee.
It is our hope that this forum will help you to better understand these issues facing the Catholic Church and nearly all employers in America today and encourage you to take action to ensure the continued protection of religious freedom.”

NC lawsuit challenges marriage licenses, North Carolina marriage laws require state license, Jeff Thigpen, Reverends Keeney, Peeples, Koenig

NC lawsuit challenges marriage licenses, North Carolina marriage laws require state license, Jeff Thigpen, Reverends Keeney, Peeples, Koenig

The spirit of freedom is still alive in North Carolina.

From the Greensboro News Record, December 14, 2011.

“Suit challenges marriage licenses”

“Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen and 10 other people filed a lawsuit last week that challenges a requirement that marrying couples in North Carolina obtain a state-issued license.

The complaint, filed in Guilford County Civil Superior Court on Dec. 8, names state Attorney General Roy Cooper as the defendant. The plaintiffs include three Greensboro ministers and seven heterosexual and homosexual residents from Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Mocksville.

They argue in the complaint that state general statutes violate the U.S. Constitution and the principle of separation of church and state by requiring marrying couples to seek marriage licenses, by requiring religious leaders to fill out and sign them, and by prohibiting religious leaders from solemnizing the marriage of same-sex couples.

The complaint comes about five months before North Carolinians vote on a proposed amendment to the state constitution that bans same-sex marriage. The referendum will occur during the May Republican primary.

The complaint reads, “In order (to) adequately and fully protect the personal liberty and religious freedom of citizens of North Carolina and the United States, there must be a de-coupling and disentanglement of the state from the personal and religious institution of marriage. The institution of marriage should be solely in the dominion of citizens and their religious and secular organizations, except that the state should be permitted to carry out prohibitions of marriage for infancy, insanity, bigamy or polygamy, and incest, and marriage as a result of fraud, duress, joke or mistake; and the state should be permitted to adjudicate rights relating to support, child custody, and property in connection with marriages and their dissolution.””

From the print edition.

“The suit is not challenging the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, said Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen and others in the lawsuit. Voters will decide that issue in next year’s primary.”

“”It’s not part of anybody else’s agenda,” said Norman Smith, a Greensboro attorney. “It’s part of the agenda of people in this suit who don’t like the state getting into people’s religious and personal affairs.”

“Thigpen said he joined the suit because of his concern about state -imposed obstacles that some people must overcome to get married. He acknowledged his involvement could risk his re-election in November.”

“Why would I want to do this?” asked Thigpen, whose office handles marriage licenses. “These issues have come to me, and I have the obligation to respond to them in a way that is reflective of what’s going on and be a leader in dealing with it.”

“What happens in that sanctuary is between me, the couple, those who are witnessing , and God, “Peeples said. “It has always struck me as very strange, if not contradictory, that I have to sign a legal document and act as an agent of the state. …What we are saying is let’s make a clean separation between those two acts.”

Lara Logan sexual attack and beating in Cairo, Democratic movement or mob rule, Treatment of Logan exception or rule in Muslim world

Lara Logan sexual attack and beating in Cairo, Democratic movement or mob rule, Treatment of Logan exception or rule in Muslim world

The treatment of women in the Muslim world is less than stellar. Is the following incident the exception or the rule?

From the Chicago Tribune February 15, 2011.

“CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was recovering in a U.S. hospital Tuesday from a sexual attack and beating she suffered while reporting on the tumultuous events in Cairo.

Logan was in the city’s Tahrir Square on Friday after Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down when she, her team and their security “were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration,” CBS said in a statement Tuesday.

The network described a mob of more than 200 people “whipped into a frenzy.”

Separated from her crew in the crush of the violent pack, she suffered what CBS called “a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating.” She was saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers, the network said. The Associated Press does not name victims of a sexual assault unless the victim agrees to it.
She reconnected with the CBS team and returned to the U.S. on Saturday.

The scene last Friday in Tahrir Square — ground zero of 18 days of protests that brought down Mubarak — was primarily one of celebration — people wept, jumped for joy, cheered and hugged one another. Some soldiers stationed at the square ran into the crowd, and the protesters lifted them onto their shoulders. Other troops stayed at their posts, watching in awe. There were fireworks, the sound of car horns and even some shots fired in the air.

Sexual harassment of women is an all-too-common occurrence on the streets of Cairo. But many women noted a complete absence of it in the early days of protests in Tahrir Square, where demonstrators made a point of trying to create a microcosm of the society without many of Egypt’s social ills.

However, in the final days, and especially after the battles with pro-Mubarak gangs who attacked the protesters in Tahrir, women noticed sexual assault had returned to the square. On the day Mubarak fell, women reported being groped by the rowdy crowds. One witness saw a woman slap a man after he touched her. The man was then passed down a line of people who all slapped him and reprimanded him.”

Read more:,0,5354829.story

Greensboro ranked 2, Most religious city in US, NC, Charlotte Raleigh Durham rank high, Citizen Wells open thread, November 13, 2010

Greensboro ranked 2, Most religious city in US, NC, Charlotte Raleigh Durham rank high

I was born and raised in NC. I live in North Carolina now. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have lived here and been surrounded by so many good people. So many people trying to live their lives the right way and care about others. I am forever praising my home state and giving thanks for my parents, teachers and friends from church and everyday life. The following news came as no surprise to me.

From the Charlotte Observer November 11, 2010.

“Magazine ranks Greensboro as #2 most religious city in U.S.”

“A new study by Men’s Health magazine ranked Greensboro number two on the magazine’s list of America’s Most Religious Cities.

Colorado Springs, Colo. topped the list. Three other North Carolina cities ranked high on the list of 100, Charlotte was number nine, Raleigh, 13, and Durham, 14.

Men’s Health said it scoured U.S. Census Bureau data, the yellow pages and other resources to rank America’s holiest hometowns.
Among the criteria was the number of places of worship per capita. In Greensboro they abound.

“There are a lot of choices here in town. It’s a good sign,” said Clarke Martin, executive director of Guilford Interfaith Hospitality Network. “I’m encouraged by it. It did make me think about what’s going on in the rest of the country.”

The magazine looked at the number of religious organizations in each city. Martin’s is one of many in Greensboro and churches are its life blood.

“We have 59 churches that support our network,” he said. “We’re a homeless center for family. Homeless children and their parents are who we minister to.””

“”This is a good community. People like living here,” said Lana Gainey, a Network volunteer and parishioner at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. “If we are members of churches I think our pastors and our ministers reach out to us to help.”

The rankings wouldn’t likely change hearts, but Martin said it looked like Greensboro’s heart already was in the right place.

“It’s good to know in Greensboro that there are indications that God is at work,” he said.”

Read more:–2-most-religious-city-in-u-s-?ap=1&MP4

I have traveled over much of the country. I have found good people everywhere. I have also listened to people making disparaging remarks about the south, the bible belt and those who attend church. It is true that too many attending church are less than perfect. However, the vast majority of those I have been around who have the moral compass, and I don’t mean just protestants, who believe that there is a creator, who believe in the golden rule and who try to live their lives in  a godly manner, have made this a better world, and most definitely, a better state.

God bless NC and America.

Health Care Bill Amish exemption, Religious exemption, Tax and control bill unconstitutional, Section 1501, Mennonite and Amish health care sharing plans, Let us pray

Health Care Bill Amish exemption, Religious exemption

The tax and control bill referred to as the Health Care Bill by Obama and the Democrat Congress, is clearly unconstutional on many levels. For some reason the word treason also comes to mind.

Reported here, March 25, 2010.

“Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of: The Affordable Health Care
Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of
expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the
proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional. What I found
was far worse than what I had heard or expected.
To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is
in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does
provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and
other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants,
free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by
members of the medical profession.
The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business,
and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal
health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats, and most of them
will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments to
physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly
controlled by the government.
However, as scary as all of that is, it just scratches the surface. In fact, I
have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing
affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the most
massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever
occurred, or even been contemplated. If this law or a similar one is adopted,
major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have
been destroyed.”
Constitutional attorney analysis of Health Care Bill

Will the Amish and other religious sects be exempt from this bill?

Michelle Malkin reported the following on Hanuary 12, 2010.

“There’s a religious exemption from the Demcare insurance mandate”

“I think there’s going to be a wave of religious conversions this year. The Watertown Daily News reported this weekend that Amish families can claim an exemption from the Demcare’s planned government health care insurance mandate as a matter of faith:
Federal health care reform will require most Northern New Yorkers — but not all, it turns out — to carry health insurance or risk a fine.
Hundreds of Amish families in the region are likely to be free from that requirement.
The Amish, as well as some other religious sects, are covered by a “religious conscience” exemption, which allows people with religious objections to insurance to opt out of the mandate. It is in both the House and Senate versions of the bill, making its appearance in the final version routine unless there are last-minute objections.
Although the Amish consist of several branches, some more conservative than others, they generally rely upon a community ethic that disdains government assistance. Families rely upon one another, and communities pitch in to help neighbors pay health care expenses.
…Lawmakers reportedly included the provision at the urging of Amish constituents, although the legislation does not specify that community and the provision could apply to other groups as well, including Old Order Mennonites and perhaps Christian Scientists.”

Read more:

From Get Religion March 24, 2010.

“Religious exemption in health care reform?”

“The Goshen News starts with a straightforward headline, “Health care reform and the Amish: What will it all mean?” and a lede that made me cringe:
With his long gray beard, plain clothes and lack of electricity, David Yoder of rural Middlebury hardly seems like someone who would know much about government issues.
But the rest of the article delivers, answering questions that other newspapers have left dangling out there. Turns out the House’s bill had a religious conscience clause that may exempt most Amish families. But that may not extend to younger Amish who have yet to officially join the church and likely wouldn’t exempt Amish-owned businesses.
Here’s what Third District Congressman Mark Souder told the paper’s Gary Kauffman:
Souder says there probably will be no compelling reason to give Amish business owners an exemption simply based on their faith.
“There probably will not be a way to exempt them any more than we can exempt Mennonites or others,” he said.
Souder said the Amish, along with other conservative groups, like Orthodox Jews, have been a topic of discussion already.
“The fundamental question is, ‘Is religious freedom trumped by a public health care program?’” he said. “There will be a religious liberty fight, but the Amish likely will be part of a bigger category than just themselves.””

Read more:

From a comment recently posted there.

“12. Amish says:
March 26, 2010, at 1:05 am
Section 1501 is the correct section for Religious Exemptions. I work for one of the Old Order Mennonite / Amish health care sharing plans and we are a 501 (c) 12. Not a 501 (c) 3. We chose the c 12 over the c 3 designation because we don’t function as a charity and it would be dishonest to say we are a charity when we are not. We are a cooperative and cooperate among ourselves to meet our health care expenses. Many of the health care sharing plans are not registered with the IRS at all or are 501 (c) 12’s. Writing the law to allow only 501 (c) 3’s a religious exemption is in fact not allowing the Amish and Old Order Mennonites any exemption at all.”

I will continue to seek clarification on the religious exemption. If you have any knowledge on this subject, a response is appreciated.

Brethren, let us pray.