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Is Money Worth a Fight? Jefferson Thoughts

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On April 13, we will celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s 271st birthday, our third president and one of our Founding Fathers.

I often wonder what our founding fathers would think of our culture today. A culture that tells us we must not question or go against our governing authority, even if it means going against our deeply held religious beliefs.

These are men who started a war because they believed in religious freedom and wanted England to stop imposing ridiculous taxes on them. They wanted their money to go to something they believed in and not the power-hungry coercive government that England was becoming.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Interesting point, Mr. Jefferson.

Scott Southworth, a second year law student, discovered that he was forced to pay student fees that went to fund student groups that supported ideas he didn’t agree with. We took this eight-year-long case all the way to the Supreme Court, where the ruling seemed to be a loss for Scott, until they read further into it. Scott and his fellow students were required to pay the student fees, BUT the school could no longer refuse to fund groups based on their view point. This meant that Scott’s money would also be going to groups he supported!

I have a feeling that President Jefferson would be shaking his head just knowing that this was ever an issue. It shouldn’t take eight years to decide that a student shouldn’t be forced to pay for causes he doesn’t believe in, with the threat of bad grades or refusal of a diploma hanging over his head.

The colonists believed so strongly in using their God given financial resources in a conscientious way, they were willing to go to war.

But so many of us won’t exercise the freedoms we have to speak up for truth and justice, for fear of being accused of “offending” someone, and being called names. This week, take some time to really examine what you believe and what your money is supporting. Here are some places to start:

·     What You Need to Know About Marriage: Questions and Answers Driving the Debate.

·     Why You Should Care About Abortion

Dig for answers, and when the opportunity comes, speak up for truth.

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Illegal discrimination against Christians on public university campuses is pervasive and must be confronted. The Constitution has something to say about this—and so should you. Speak Up

Love in a World of Hate

Posted on March 27th, 2014 Freedom of Speech,Prolife | No Comments »

Take-Sides-Silence-Neutrality-Elie-Wiesel
By Lorne Snyder, Marketing Assistant

I find it much easier to stand up for my beliefs on campus if I have someone to stand with me. That’s why we join clubs and groups on campus! It’s easier to hold demonstrations and protests if you are in a campus pro-life group and have people to join you. And, it often takes a large group to be noticed. But what if you are alone in your beliefs and everyone notices what you say?

Patricia Heaton is a well-known actress who has played roles in “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle,” and an upcoming movie, “Moms’ Night Out.” As an actress, she is in the spotlight constantly. The media and press are watching her, just hoping to catch her doing something embarrassing or take what she says in the wrong way. On top of that, Hollywood’s beliefs are generally liberal and anti-religious. Despite the pressure to conform to the popular beliefs of those around her, she has been vocally Christian and pro-life!

In this article in The Blaze, it is apparent that she approaches the sanctity of life issue with sensitivity and compassion, while standing firm in her beliefs. And this is a mindset we should have on campus as well, it is so important to show love and compassion to everyone around us. College is a fun and exciting time, yet a very difficult time. We never know what the person next to us is feeling or going through.

If we all took a stand and spread the truth with compassion, think about the campus revolution we could start! People actually want to hear what you have to say when you show them love and compassion in the same way Jesus showed love and compassion when he was here on earth.

Make it a goal to talk to one person about your pro-life beliefs this week. If you need some inspiration, check out this page of great resources from Students for Life of America, and read stories of others students who stood up for life. Look for an opening in a conversation or someone who looks like they need some light in their life. But remember: show love and compassion to that person first!

What’s the best conversation you’ve had with someone about your pro-life beliefs? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Illegal discrimination against Christians on public university campuses is pervasive and must be confronted. The Constitution has something to say about this—and so should you. Speak Up

Creating Purpose in Your Everyday Life

Posted on March 21st, 2014 Colleges and Universities | No Comments »

The First Amendment protects every American’s freedom of speech, press, religion, and petition. The Founding Fathers found this freedom to be so important that it was the first thing they protected in the creation of our great democracy. This is something very unique to our nation; don’t you think we should take full advantage of it? We so often hear people tell us not to waste our food because there are starving children in Africa. I think this can apply to our First Amendment rights as well. Others around the globe would relish the freedom we often take for granted.

College campuses can be big, college classes can be intimidating. We so often just go to class to get the grade. Our professor might make a comment we don’t agree with, he might insult our religion, or falsely lead students away from the truth, but at least we will graduate in 4 years and be done with all of this. Think of the impact you could have if you went to class knowing you could make an eternal impact on other students if you stood up for your deeply held beliefs. You could plant seeds in your classmates’ minds or even professors that could make them start to think about important issues of our day. While recently watching the movie God’s Not Dead, I was given a bit of a prod about my own behavior on campus. Am I doing enough to stand up for my faith, or am I going through the motions and trying to make it to my next class on time.

Click here to learn more about the new movie God’s Not Dead and read real stories of students who are standing up boldly for their faith.

Click here to read more from our latest newsletter about how you can make your campus a better place and exercise your First Amendment Rights.

If you don’t already receive our newsletters, click here to sign up!

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Illegal discrimination against Christians on public university campuses is pervasive and must be confronted. The Constitution has something to say about this—and so should you. Speak Up

What St. Patrick Taught Me About The Media

St-PatrickBy Lorne Snyder

I recently learned that St. Patrick wasn’t a short green man who ran around pinching people and drinking beer! It turns out he was a British man taken captive by Irish raiders at the age of 16, spent 6 years in captivity as a shepherd, and became a devout Christian. He then escaped back to England where he spent the next 15 years in religious studies, only to return to Ireland with a mission. He spent the rest of his life ministering to Christians in Ireland and converting unbelievers. He was especially known for incorporating Irish traditions and culture into his lessons in order to relate to the Irish people.

I thought to myself: how could I have been so wrong about a person that actually did a lot of good for society?

I think it’s easy to listen to what society tells us about a certain topic or behavior and become trapped by the lies. Lies such as:

·     If you don’t support same-sex marriage, you are a bigot.

·     A woman can do whatever she wishes to her body, even if it destroys another human’s life.

·     We must push aside our religious convictions and do things we believe are morally wrong all for the sake of “tolerance.”

I am so thankful for people that have the faith and courage to stand up against such attacks from society and our government. People like Elaine Huguenin and her husband who own and operate their own photography business called Elane Photography. They felt they could not photograph a same-sex ceremony because if was against their sincerely held religious beliefs, and politely declined a request to photograph and “celebrate” a same-sex commitment ceremony. In response, the homosexual couple sued them. The Huguenins have been under attack for seven years now, and the case has gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It would have been so easy for Elaine to compromise and ask for forgiveness later. She would have avoided a lot of conflict and stress in her life, but she refused to believe that she should sacrifice her convictions to pacify the culture around her.

Recently, Arizona tried to pass SB1062, which had been characterized as a discrimination bill that would allow anyone to treat homosexuals with less than human respect. I would have been tempted to believe what the media said, after all, no one should be treated disrespectfully because of the person they love. But in reality, the bill was to protect people like Elaine from the being forced by the government to go against her convictions.

The situation that the media said would happen if SB1062 passed of homosexual people being “denied service at the lunch counter” was completely based on fiction. It’s never happened.  But there are many cases of religious people being forced by the government to do something against their beliefs, people like this Muslim barber, this florist, and this cake baker, to name a few.

Finding out the truth about St. Patrick made me realize how important it is to get the facts. The same applies to current events and news. Let’s take the time to go to the source, whether that means reading the actual bill, or reading an opposing blog post, and draw our own conclusions.

Question: How do you form your opinions on current events? Share with us in the comments below.

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Illegal discrimination against Christians on public university campuses is pervasive and must be confronted. The Constitution has something to say about this—and so should you. Speak Up

Luckily, Alabama Students Have Free Speech

By Emily Conley

“The Student Union is for all students. So we have to keep it happy for all of them,”

“Except us.”

Claire Chretien wasn’t trying to make trouble, but the irony of the University of Alabama official’s words didn’t escape her.

Claire and the Bama Students For Life (BSFL) club reserved a display case in the Student Union for their tri-fold poster showing that abortion is “Not Safe, Not Rare, Just Legal.” Baby socks hung in the background, and the poster’s folds revealed several facts about the harm caused by abortion, including two small photos of aborted babies and photos of young women who had died from botched abortions.

But days before their reserved time ended, Claire walked by the case and saw that the display had vanished. No one in the group had been notified, so as the president of the club, Claire went to investigate.

U. of Ala. removes “offensive” pro-life display from ADF Media Relations on Vimeo.

The official went on to tell Claire that the group was “lucky” to have had the display up for as long as they did. The official claimed that university policy allows her to remove displays that have “offensive or graphic material” because of “complaints”; but inexplicably, the university’s policy pertaining to display cases mentions nothing about offensive or graphic content. And previous displays in the Student Union that included nudity and graphic sexual materials were allowed despite the likelihood that some students would be offended by them.

Unlike the university official believed, there is no “right to not be offended.” And “being offended” is not a good reason to take away someone else’s free speech, which actually is a right. In fact, one of the purposes of the First Amendment is to ensure that speech that others may find offensive—particularly speech about religious or political issues like abortion—is protected from censorship. Especially important on a college campus, where different ideas should be freely shared and respectfully debated.

So, BSFL contacted Alliance Defending Freedom. We helped them craft a letter of complaint to the university, explaining their concern that the removal of the display violated the group’s constitutionally protected freedom of speech, and pointing out the other displays that weren’t evaluated by the same criteria.

Within days, Claire received an apology from the Student Center Union Director. He also offered options for dates to reinstate the display in the same glass case.

Now that their display is back up, the Bama Students For Life members realize “luck” had nothing to do with it. It took the courage and conviction for BSFL to stand up for their rights and reach out to us at Alliance Defending Freedom to defend them against censorship.

Why do you think it’s sometimes hard to accept the free speech of others, especially when it offends us? In your opinion, is this something we should try to do? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Illegal discrimination against Christians on public university campuses is pervasive and must be confronted. The Constitution has something to say about this—and so should you. Speak Up

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