Kagan: State Regulations Little Burden for Homeschoolers?
Weekly summary of world news
Norm Olson August 4, 2010
The Home School Legal Defense Association has uncovered documentation that Elena Kagan, nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, suggested state regulations are “little” burden for homeschoolers when a court case developed in Ohio in which a Christian family decided to homeschool their child, reports WorldNetDaily. The parents were convicted of not getting the superintendent’s permission. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, whose justices refused to intervene. Kagan reviewed the arguments for Justice Thurgood Marshall and suggested the outcome: “[Petitioners] are self-described born-again Christians who adhere to a literal interpretation of the Bible and have little sympathy with the secular world. . . . This claim must fail,” she wrote. Kagan, when asked during recent hearings, what she meant by the statement, she evaded anwering. The HSLDA said Kagan “went on to imply that the family’s expression of religion had not been infringed upon by the school district.” The HSLDA, as well as pro-life groups, urged its constituents to contact their senators and express opposition to the nomination. “Kagan is a radical antimilitary and proabortion zealot,” warned Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND who has been orchestrating a “Stop Kagan” effort. Meanwhile, Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch USA, intends to file an ethics complaint to have Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan disbarred from practicing before the court she aspires to join and possibly subjected to criminal prosecution for her role in an escalating controversy over partial-birth abortion. He alleges Kagan altered an official scientific report used as evidence by the Supreme Court to persuade the justices to overturn bans on partial-birth abortion.
- Mormons are attempting to revolutionize the way they find converts—all online. Formerly, Mormon missionaries were prohibited from using the Internet, even to contact their families, reports pewforum.org. The new move involves experimenting with blogging missionaries, self-produced member profiles, and stereotype-busting videos. “The Internet is the new ‘town square,’ ” said Ron Wilson, manager of Internet and marketing for the group. “And Mormons are taking to it like never before.” A site features testimonials, and each segment ends with the subject repeating his or her name, a detail about their lives, and the words, “And I am a Mormon.” The idea, said officials, is to help everyone “know a Mormon.” “Our leaders were struggling for years to find a more effective, less annoying way to get our message across than knocking on doors,” noted Scott Swofford, director of media for the LDS Missionary Department.
- Attorneys representing the University of Illinois contacted the Alliance Defense Fund to inform that Dr. Kenneth Howell will be permitted to teach courses again in the fall semester. Howell had been fired for explaining the Roman Catholic position on sexual behavior to members of his class. ADF attorneys sent a letter to the university explaining that the school’s actions violated his rights protected by the First Amendment and asked he be reinstated.
- The American Family Association has announced a nationwide boycott of Home Depot due to the chain’s support for the radical homosexual agenda, in particular for exposing young children to such behavior. Despite extensive communication between the AFA and Home Depot, HD officials remain unmoved and resolved to continue allowing their affiliates to sponsor as many pro-gay, pro-transsexual events as they wish. AFA President Tim Wildmon stated, “The Home Depot, through any number of its affiliates, has given its money and its name to gay pride parades and festivals. We’ve appealed to them to stay neutral in the culture wars, but they are determined to keep using their influence to push the normalization of homosexual behavior.”
- Focus on the Family is laying off another 110 employees this month, leaving the Christian ministry at half of the staff it had in 2002, reports OneNewsNow.com. Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger said that the cuts come amid a recession that has impacted donors. The current budget, at $105 million, is $27 million less than the previous year. Schneeberger also suggested that some donors stopped giving when Focus founder Dr. James Dobson left the ministry and its broadcast in February.
- New Jersey’s highest court has turned away a request to redefine marriage by six same-sex couples, reports CitizenLink.com. The court split 3–3, with a tie going against the couples. They had sought to take their case directly to the state’s Supreme Court, without going through the lower courts first. Gay activists are pushing for civil unions in Hawaii and Montana; but in New Jersey, the only state where civil unions are legal, they want it turned into marriage.
- A new study by Pew Research Center says that the population of North American Amish has increased by nearly 10 percent in the last two years, causing many communities to turn westward even as far as Colorado and South Dakota in search of new land. The Amish population in the U.S. has doubled in the past 10 years. Growth is attributed to large families, marriages from within the communities, and an estimated 85 percent retention rate as other denominations lose people to other groups. The largest increases were in New York (19 percent), Minnesota (9 percent), and Missouri (8 percent). The total Amish population in the U.S. is around 250,000, the study said. Fertile farmland can often be expensive. In Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, known as the unofficial Amish heartland, costs can reach $15,000 an acre. Elsewhere, prices can be as low as $2,000 to $3,000 an acre.
- RedState.com is decrying the Democrats’ embrace of corruption, supporting U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D.-N.Y.) and even throwing a big fund-raising birthday party for the ethically challenged legislator. RedState.com noted that Rangel has violated a large number of rules including the solicitation and gift ban, the code of ethics for government service, the House gift rule, U.S. Postal Service laws and Franking Commission regulations, House Office Building Commission regulations, the Purpose Law and the Member’s Congressional Handbook, and Ethics in Government Act and House Rule XXVI. Rangel is facing a formal public trial before a House ethics subcommittee.
- The majority of voters in the U.S. favor repeal of the Obama Health Care bill, according to Rasmussen. The poll, says Personal Liberty Digest, also found that a vast majority of voters think that less government regulation and more competition are key to turning around the economy and promoting job creation. Onenewsnow.com reports that critics of ObamaCare are arguing that the law goes beyond an extra taxing on Americans—it being unconstitutional and authoritarian. Kenneth Blackwell, senior fellow at the Family Research Council, believes Obama has been deceitful in his attempts to put a positive spin on the new health care mandates. Obama went from saying that it was not a tax to his now saying it is. Twenty states are currently challenging the mandate that everyone must purchase health insurance, on grounds that the measure violates the Tenth Amendment. WorldNetDaily.com also reports that a little-reported move to begin demolition of the health-care system takeover is already pending in the U.S. House and has gained about three-fourths of the support it needs to repeal the law that demands that citizens buy insurance or else pay financial penalties.
- Representatives of Concerned Roman Catholics of America and other pro-life advocates picketed the opening mass of the 2010 Knights of Columbus annual convention, reports ChristianNewsWire. The purpose is to expose the treachery of the Supreme Council of the Knights, which is said to be harboring member knight politicians who vote pro-abortion and pro-sodomy.
- The Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized, is now severely polluted, according to an environmental group that is warning against future baptismal ceremonies, reports The Christian Post. Untreated sewage, agricultural run-off, saline water, and fish pond effluent have made the Jordan River unsafe for humans, said Gidon Bromberg of Friends of the Earth Middle East. The site has drawn more than two million Christians each year, with thousands of them wishing to be baptized there. However, Eli Dror of Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority said, “There’s absolutely no problem with the quality of the water. People can come and baptize here as much as they want; I guarantee it.”
- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona is warning that illegal aliens may have gained access to a U.S. Army installation in the state that also serves as the nation’s largest military intelligence-training center, reports WorldNetDaily.
- A Christian store clerk who was recently held up at gunpoint used her faith to turn the desperate thief into a repentant gunman, reports ABC News. She talked to the man about Jesus and her faith until the man left without taking any money. “I would never be able to do that myself,” said Nayara Goncalves about her talking to the man. “I would never think that God could use me the way He did.”