Tag Archives: Public Expression

Federal Court Finds Lack of Standing against Holiday Display

As noted at the Religion Clause, a Federal District Court in Arizona found that a plaintiff did not have standing to sue over Flagstaff’s annual “Grand Menorah Lighting” held at the City Hall. It turns out the plaintiff, Jack Taylor, only even knew about it because he’d read about it in the paper. As quoted at the Religion Clause [emphasis added],

Plaintiff did not allege that he has had direct contact with the Grand Menorah Lighting at City Hall, or any other religious ceremony purportedly held in City Hall. According to the Complaint, Plaintiff’s contact with the Grand Menorah Lighting at City Hall has, at most, been via newspaper articles Read more

Naval Academy Prepares for the Satanic Temple

Task & Purpose reports on a “leaked” US Naval Academy email that announced the advent of Satanic services to be held on the Academy grounds. (The story was subsequently picked up by the Military Times and FoxNews.) It turns out the email was “premature” and inaccurate:

a group of midshipmen “with beliefs aligned with those practiced by The Satanic Temple”…had requested a space for a “study group” to discuss their satanic beliefs — and not, as the email in question indicated, for holding satanic religious services.

The problem, of course, is The Satanic Temple isn’t a religious group. It’s an anti-religious group. From their own webpage [emphasis added]:

DO YOU WORSHIP SATAN?
No, nor do we believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural. The Satanic Temple believes Read more

William Barr, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, President Trump Speak on Religious Freedom, Christian Values

Much of the national US leadership has spoken recently in support of religious freedom and the value of their Christian faith.

US Attorney General William Barr spoke a particularly salient truth when he addressed the Notre Dame Law School last Friday [emphasis added]:

Barr, a devout Catholic, told students and faculty at the university’s law school that “the problem is not that religion is being forced on others, the problem is that irreligion is being forced — secular values are being forced on people of faith.”…

“I can assure you that as long as I am attorney general, the Department of Justice will be at the forefront of this effort, ready to fight for the most cherished of all American liberties: the freedom to live according to our faith,” he concluded.

Mike Pompeo was addressing the American Association of Christian Counselors when he spoke on Christian leadership: Read more

Mikey Weinstein, Chris Rodda Attack Church Services. Again.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his research assistant, Christine “Chris” Rodda have long claimed they fight for “religious freedom” in the military.  The name of their charity, after all, is the Military “Religious Freedom” Foundation.  They’ve also said in the past that they’re not opposed to Christians’ free exercise. Weinstein himself even once said he’d “give [his] last drop of blood” to support Christians’ rights to their beliefs.

Except, it seems they’re not telling the truth.

Weinstein has repeatedly Read more

Activists use Uniformed US Troops for Political Agenda

Members of the US military aren’t permitted to engage in partisan politics in uniform, nor are they supposed to permit others use them for that purpose. They are also not permitted to “use contemptuous words” against the Commander-in-Chief — in or out of uniform.*

Unless, of course, they’re LGBTQ.

For years the American Military Partner Association blatantly paraded uniformed military members around in support of its political agenda, and it did so even while engaging in outright political lobbying. Its successor, the oddly named “Modern Military Association of America” (apparently “modern” now means non-heterosexual), now Read more

Manchester POW Bible Case Proceeds, but Standing Questioned

Yesterday, the Federal District Court in New Hampshire allowed the lawsuit against the VA Medical Center POW/MIA display to proceed, and it also permitted the Northwest POW/MIA Network, which erected the display, to intervene. (The POW/MIA Network is represented by First Liberty.) In one of the more interesting arguments, the presiding judge questioned whether the plaintiff had standing because he’s a Christian. Judge Paul Barbadoro [emphasis added]

acknowledged no shortage of case law and legal precedent regarding religious symbols on public property…

But Barrington resident James Chamberlain, the plaintiff in the challenge, is a Christian who attends a Congregational church, and therein lies the rub, according to the judge.

Barbadoro said he knows of no prior case stemming from a Christian challenging a symbol of Christianity.

“If he were an atheist, he would have standing and that would be clear,” the judge said.

There are certainly legal reasons to require “standing” in a judicial proceeding — but Read more

Chris Rodda, Gen Marty France “Malign” ChristianFighterPilot.com

Christine “Chris” Rodda is Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant for his “charity,” the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. She wrote a blog late last Friday and posted it on Daily Kos and Medium, attacking ChristianFighterPilot.com by claiming retired Air Force Captain Cole “Twitch” Holloway was “maligned” in an article posted here on Thursday.

It’s odd that Weinstein and Rodda chose to go after that article.  It’s a short piece, and its tone is benign.  There are many more articles here of more direct impact to the MRFF — say, those noting Weinstein is a charity millionaire or that Rodda’s outrage is quite selective — yet they chose to go after one that didn’t even mention them.  Presumably, Rodda thought they could get emotional value out of the topic — so long as people didn’t bother to read the original article, and instead only saw her “interpretation” of it.

(Why not engage over an article that actually discusses the MRFF and religious freedom? For all his bluster and bloviating, Mikey Weinstein is scared. But that’s a topic for another time.)

As is typical, Rodda struggled with the truth.  She titled her blog “The “Christian Fighter Pilot” Sinks to New Low — Maligns Pilot with ALS for Not Being Christian”. Despite the fact she intentionally didn’t link to the article, many are aware of it, and even some of Rodda’s own readers were unable to find where anyone had been “maligned” within it. In her defense, Rodda did Read more

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