Witnessing Pastor Forcibly Removed from Campus
Weekly summary of world news
Norm Olson March 16, 2012
A Christian minister who believes he should follow the Biblical mandate to “go and tell” the gospel message is outraged that officials at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall called local police to threaten him with a citation for trespassing. Marshall police spokesman Robert Yant told WorldNetDaily that no charges were filed against the pastor, John Chisham. Chisham said he and another “campus minister,” Jake Larson, were “proclaiming the gospel in the open air on the SMSU campus prior to their weekly meeting of Change Collegian Network.” “At no time did anyone on the campus—students, faculty, or security—approach the preachers to object to their practice of free speech,” the report explains. “That is until Capt. Brian Ehlenbach approached the preachers with two uniformed Marshall police officers and sarcastically asked John Chisham, a taxpaying citizen of the United States of America and the state of Minnesota, both of which funds (sic) this public university, ‘Are you ready to leave now?’” Yant said that Chisham left, so he was not cited with trespassing as the school alleges. “At no time were the officers able or willing to give a reason for the removal other than, ‘They do not want you here,’” Chisham’s report said. “What it all comes down to is this: Southwest Minnesota State University has no legal reason to have these preachers forcibly removed from their campus. Southwest Minnesota State University has demonstrated time and again a bias and prejudice against Christians practicing their deeply held religious beliefs on their campus. There is no clear policy forbidding this practice of free speech on their campus, but the campus security and the provost’s office has (sic) used policies concerning solicitation to silence free speech and deeply held religious beliefs,” Chisham’s report said.
- Homeschool defenders in the United States are wary of proposed legislation in Alberta, Canada, that could set a philosophical precedent for government intrusion into what parents are allowed to teach their homeschooled children, reports Baptist Press. At issue is section 16 of Alberta’s proposed Education Act, which states, “All courses or programs of study offered and instructional materials used in a school must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.” In the Education Act, homeschools are considered schools, and the Human Rights Act has been used in Canada to target Christians and conservatives who believe homosexual behavior is wrong. The U.S.-based LifeSiteNews presented Alberta Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications with a test case regarding the proposed legislation and was told that faith-based schools and homeschooling families would not be allowed to teach that homosexual behavior is a sin. “You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life, you just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction,” Donna McColl, the education minister’s staffer, said. Days later, after receiving a substantial number of complaints and after about 500 homeschool supporters gathered for a rally at the Alberta legislature March 5, Lukaszuk distanced himself from his spokeswoman’s comments. “This government in no way would ever want to interfere in what families [may] discuss or not discuss in their homes,” said Lukaszuk, who was present at the rally. “Whether they’re homeschooling children or not, we as government would not step into people’s kitchen and tell them what they can or cannot discuss.” Paul Faris, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association in Canada, said the proposed legislation should be amended to avoid misinterpretations such as McColl’s by other government officials. “People have sort of focused on the homosexuality aspect of this, but there is certainly much more to it than that. The biggest issue from my perspective is . . . there is also a free speech issue here and a line that the government in Alberta is crossing where they are attempting to in a sense seize the parents and make them government employees,” Donnelly told BP.
- Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels said Tuesday that the size of the U.S. national debt and the rate at which the debt is accumulating will lead the United States to “ruin”—and no other outcome is mathematically possible, reports cnsnews.com. “Whether one believes in a large, very active government or something more limited, mathematically, the amount of debt we already have and the terrifying rate at which it is accumulating will lead to national ruin,” Daniels said. As of February , according to monthly U.S. Treasury statements, the U.S. national debt is $15.48 trillion, about a $130 billion more from the month prior when the national debt was $15.35 trillion. Worthy News reports that President Obama’s national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a projection just released by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law. Democrats employed many accounting tricks, says Worthy News, when they were pushing through the national health care legislation, the most egregious of which was to delay full implementation of the law until 2014, so it would appear cheaper under the CBO’s standard 10-year budget window and, at least on paper, meet Obama’s pledge that the legislation would cost “around $900 billion over 10 years.” When the final CBO score came out before passage, critics noted that the true 10-year cost would be far higher than advertised once projections accounted for full implementation.
- Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who gained national notoriety for defying a federal order to remove a granite monument of the Ten Commandments from a courthouse, was voted as the Republican nominee for his former position earlier this week, reports The Christian Post. Moore, known as the “Ten Commandments judge,” received a little more than half of the votes Tuesday to win the nomination for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Political analysts rank him as a heavy favorite to win the general election over his Democratic opponent in November.
- The Obama administration has made it official that the administration is killing a woman’s health program in Texas because the state prohibited Planned Parenthood and abortion businesses from involvement, reports lifenews.com. The Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will cut off all Medicaid funding for family planning to the state of Texas following the state’s decision to implement a law Gov. Rick Perry signed that prohibits any business that does abortions from participating and receiving tax dollars via the program. Gov. Perry told state officials on Thursday to begin searching for ways to continue funding the program. “We’ll find the money. The state is committed to this program,” Perry told reporters. He said the Obama administration is “trying to support an organization that supports them. . . . But Texans don’t want Planned Parenthood, a known abortion provider, to be involved in this.” In a letter to President Barack Obama, Perry accused the administration of trying to violate states’ rights “by mandating which health providers the State of Texas must use.”
- The Thomas More Society is relieved that ongoing legal action against the Pro-Life Action League’s Joe Scheidler is finally winding down, reports onenewsnow.com. In 1997, the National Organization for Women filed the case under federal racketeering statutes against Scheidler because of his successful and peaceful pickets at abortion clinics. Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society served as Scheidler’s legal counsel. “It’s a case that started, my goodness, some 26 years ago, going on 27 years,” Brejcha reports. “I was asked [in 1986] to help defend Joe Scheidler and some other prominent defendants.” After three appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brejcha claimed victory for his clients. The case was sent back to the federal district court, which issued a final ruling that permits Brejcha to go to the court after all those years to request compensation for fees and other expenses. “Eventually, we’re going to recover some costs,” he asserts. “We don’t know how much. We hope it’ll be the full amount we’re entitled to. The costs of defending this case over the years were enormous.”
- Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, recently declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region,” reports worthynews.com. As the president of the Supreme Council of Ulema and chairman of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas, Abdullah’s decisions on Islamic law are final. Abdullah’s ruling sanctioned the previous “suggestion” made by a Kuwaiti parliamentarian who called for the removal of all churches, although the Kuwaiti later said he merely meant that no new churches should be built in his Emirate. However, the Grand Mufti explained that since Kuwait was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, “therefore it is necessary to destroy all churches in it.” Abdullah based his decision on the hadith declared by Mohammed on his deathbed: “There are not to be two religions in the (Arabian) Peninsula,” which has always been understood to mean that only Islam will be practiced on the Peninsula.
- Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbhar Salehi warned Thursday that if Israel decides to conduct a military strike on nuclear sites in Iran, it will be the end of the Jewish state, reports Worthy News. “If Israel ever, ever makes this mistake, that will set the time for the end of Israel. The Israelis are well aware of this,” said Salehi, during an interview with Danish television TV2. The Iranian foreign minister stressed that in the case of an Israeli attack on Iran, the Islamic Republic “will be responding very forcefully.” Meanwhile, saying publicly in the Knesset what he had only said privately to congressional leaders in Washington last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stressed on Wednesday that Israel would act to defend itself even if the U.S. objected, reports Worthy News. “Israel has never left its fate in the hands of others, not even in the hands of our best friends,” he said in a speech that focused on the Iranian threat and drew a direct line from Tehran to the events earlier this week in Gaza. He also blamed the 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip for leading to Iran’s establishment of a “forward” terrorist base there. Netanyahu cited legendary U.S. secretary of state George Marshall as telling David Ben-Gurion in 1948 not to declare a state, and reminded the Knesset that U.S. President Lyndon Johnson not only advised Israel against preemptive military action in 1967, but warned that “if you act alone, you will be alone.” Likewise, he said, former Prime Minister Menachem Begin knew when he decided to attack the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 that he was going against U.S. wishes and would come under sharp international criticism. “But he fulfilled his obligation and acted,” said Netanyahu, possibly preparing the public for the prospect of Israeli military action even over U.S. objections. The prime minister said that a nuclear Iran would pose an “existential threat” to Israel, and that while he would prefer it if Iran voluntarily abandoned its nuclear ambitions, he had an “obligation” to retain Israel’s “independent ability” to defend itself.
- An American flag featuring an image of President Barack Obama’s face was removed from outside a Florida Democratic Party headquarters Tuesday after several veterans called it “despicable” and a “desecration,” blaze.com reports. Veterans gathered Tuesday afternoon to protest in front of the Lake County Democratic Party headquarters, where the flag, featuring Obama’s face in the blue section where the stars normally go, was flying beneath a traditional American flag. The confrontation ended after party chairwoman Nancy Hurlbert took the flag down.