|Another FFRF Effort to Ban Prayer
The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to Saginaw City Manager Tim Morales claiming that the city’s long-held practice of prayer is unconstitutional and alienates Godless residents. The atheist organization demanded that Saginaw, Michigan, officials cease prayer from their council meetings.
Rebecca Markert, FFRF attorney, stated:
“Government prayers exclude a significant portion of Americans from the democratic process, are of dubious legality and are a repudiation of our secular history. Prayer at government meetings is unnecessary, inappropriate and divisive. City council members are free to pray privately or to worship on their own time in their own way. They do not need to worship on taxpayers’ time.”
Markert claims that allowing city council meetings to begin with prayer is the government’s promotion of religion, which she believes is unlawful.
“Local governments should not perform religious rituals or exhort citizens, regardless of their beliefs, to participate in, or show deference to, a religious ritual,” Markert stated.
Mayor Dennis Browning says that he is unsure whether or not the prayers should continue. Browning asserted that the decision is up to the city attorney and the city council.
Browning stated, “I certainly don’t want to offend anybody. We really work hard to engage all our citizens. We can run a City Council meeting without it, but it’s kind of been a tradition that City Council does.”
However, despite what Browning says, many people believe differently. Many people of the city believe that FFRF’s letter is just an attempt to erase God from every area of public life.
Councilman Norman Braddock said:
“For me it’s a non-issue. We’ve got much more important things to be concerned about than prayer at a meeting. We don’t want to get distracted by outside influences who are on a mission to take God out of government.”
Mayor Pro Tem Amos O’Neal asserted:
“I have a right to pray in public. That’s our right. So I think it’s a matter of determining based on the information we have what course of action we’ll take. I don’t see us refraining from praying. I just don’t see that happening.”
Georgia Says No to Abortion Coverage
Last week, a bill was approved by a senate committee in Georgia that seeks to ban state and federal health care plans from offering abortion coverage to residents. The bill was introduced by Senator Judson Hill. The bill is to serve as a means of protecting Georgians from funding the termination of innocent life.
The bill reads:
“No abortion coverage shall be provided by a qualified health plan offered within the State of Georgia through a state law, a federal law, or regulation or exchange created by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and regulations or guidance issued under those acts, except in the case of medical emergency.”
Hill told reporters that the bill doesn’t serve as an abortion regulation. The legislation notes that “nothing in this Code section shall be construed as creating or recognizing a right to an abortion.”
Senator Valencia Seay claims that the bill is just another attempt to wage war on women.
“We should be focused on the economy, on job creation and preventive health initiatives instead of measures that would eliminate health insurance benefits for women,” Seay stated.
However, Senator Josh McKoon asserted that there is no war on women, but rather an attack on people of faith and those who disagree with abortion.
“The idea that in this state we are taking dollars from Georgians and using it for abortion services, that many find morally repugnant and reprehensible is terrible, and it’s something that we should be in a rush, we should be doing everything we can to stop that from happening.”
Georgia Right to Life also supports the bill expressing:
“The Obama health care law requires states to operate and maintain a ‘health insurance exchange’ or the federal government will set one up for them. Georgia has not done so, therefore, the federal government has. Unless the state legislature enacts a law to restrict abortion coverage, these exchange-participating plans will offer abortion coverage. Specific language in the Obama health care law authorizes the states to prevent abortion coverage through the exchanges.
Georgia is the only state in the Southeast to not opt out of the abortion coverage! There is no excuse for a Republican controlled state legislature to have not passed this restriction. Senator Hill’s bill will take care of this problem.”
The full Senate is planning to vote on the bill this week.
Lawmakers Vote for Gruesome Abortion Procedures
On Thursday, South Dakota lawmakers refused to pass a bill that bans the practice of dismembering and decapitating babies during abortion procedures.
House Bill 1241 was rejected by an 11-1 vote. The bill provided criminal penalties for any abortion doctor who intentionally injured an unborn child.
The bill read:
“No licensed physician may knowingly dismember a living unborn child with the intent of endangering the life or health of the child. A violation of this section is a Class 2 felony. If a violation of this section involves the separation of the skull from the spine, then the penalty is a Class B felony.”
The bill outlined and explained the term dismember as using any “instrument or procedure for the purpose of disconnecting any bones at their joint, completely severing any bones, or removing any organs or limbs, including the spinal cord, arms, legs, and internal organs.”
Sponsor Isaac Latterell wrote:
“Imagine discovering that it was actually a veterinarian who regularly ripped the heads off of puppies and crushed their skulls. It would be hard to decide whether to call the police or to deal with the veterinarian yourself. Now suppose you discovered that doctors regularly ripped the heads off of babies and tore apart their limbs while they were still alive. What would you do?
I will not sit silently by as our children’s lives are devalued to a place lower than dogs.”
Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute believes otherwise, claiming that the bill is just another attempt to end abortion altogether.
“It looks like it’s trying to ban abortion using language that is completely unfamiliar and very inflammatory,” Nash told the Huffington Post.
Jennifer Mason of the pro-life group Personhood USA asserted:
“Of course, pro-abortion groups say the bill is ‘inflammatory.’ But why isn’t it the actual killing of innocent unborn babies that is inflammatory? The text of the bill should be required reading for everyone in the country. It’s what abortionists do to babies everyday in America.”
Sadly, many people have accepted abortion. However, God clearly illustrates in his Word that He does not condone the “shedding of innocent blood.” America is on the brink of no return. Please stand up for truth and right, and continue to pray for this nation.