Michigan – Michigan Atheists director Arlene Marie admitted that a letter sent by the group to the Howell School District, which stated that the curriculum of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools had been found unconstitutional in four states, was incorrect. Michigan Atheists, an affiliate of American Atheists, acknowledged that the curriculum had never been found unconstitutional.
Madison, WI – A U.S. District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, thus allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to ask about religion and provide pastoral care in treating ailing veterans. The Freedom From Religion Foundation claimed that the provision of pastoral services by the VA violated the separation of church and state. “The choice to receive spiritual or pastoral care, the choice to complete a spiritual assessment, and the choice to participate in a religious or spiritually based treatment program always remain the private choice of the veteran,” District Court Judge John Shabaz wrote. “Accordingly, there is no evidence of governmental indoctrination of religion.”
San Juan Capistrano, CA – Three local school board members attempted to rename the two-week winter vacation “Christmas Recess.” Anti-Defamation League national civil rights director Deborah Lauter objected to the renaming, claiming that Christian values were being placed above all others. “Public schools should seek to be welcoming and inclusive and respect all religion, or even those with no religion,” she said.
San Francisco, CA – The California Supreme Court overturned a lower-court ruling and allowed three Christian schools in the southern part of the state to borrow money from bonds issued by local governments. Although the funding was for buildings such as cafeterias and gymnasiums, the ACLU opposed the financing of the school because they claimed the state would have problems differentiating secular and religious instruction, and that the state Constitution forbids public funding of religion.
San Francisco, CA – Various homosexual activist groups including the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (a group of gay men dressed as nuns) assaulted Christian sensibilities again during Holy Week. A bar called The Cat Club held a “Mondo Porno: Res-Erection” party with free pornography and sex-toy giveaways; those dressed in “religious garb” received an admission discount. “Night of the Living Easter,” a zombie-themed performance, was held in Dolores Park. The Catherine Clark Gallery hosted a “Venus and Pope” exhibit that featured nude nuns in bondage. Terrence McNally’s notoriously anti-Catholic play “Corpus Christi” was performed at The Voice Factory.
Chicago, IL – A spokeswoman for the local chapter of the American Jewish Committee objected to a cross and an Easter sunrise service in Daley Plaza. “I’m not sure this belongs in the public square, and I’m uncomfortable with holding something that is essentially private worship there,” she told the Chicago Tribune.
San Francisco, CA – Planned Parenthood Golden Gate released a television ad featuring a couple being interrupted from having unprotected sex by their “guardian angel.” The angel, a sloppy-looking male, ate popcorn at the head of the bed, watching the couple in delight. A female angel appeared and urged the male angel to intervene. Using a TV remote, the male angel rewound the scene of the couple in bed. Starting over, the woman asked her male partner if he had any protection. After he answered, “Yeah, of course,” the woman responded, “Amen!”
Kutztown, PA – RepentAmerica, a self-described “evangelistic organization,” yelled out anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, and anti-gay comments during a gathering at Kutztown University. The group was ordered off campus because they had not obtained a permit from the university to be there. The Reading Eagle reported the group’s anti-gay comments but not its anti-Catholic or anti-Semitic ones.
On the American Atheist website, blogger “Dave” wrote that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the ban on partial-birth abortion was “very bad news for all women in the United States, all gays and lesbians in the United States, and of course, anyone else not Catholic, especially Free-thinkers, Agnostics, and Atheists (Our Italics). “
Fillmore, NY – The Most Holy Family Monastery, a sedevacantist group, mailed out a DVD that was received by several Catholic League members. Two sermons on the DVD by Michael Dimond claim that Pope Benedict XVI is a heretic. Dimond falsely attributes numerous erroneous teachings to Benedict, including: Jesus may not be the Messiah; infant baptism has no purpose; the Bible is full of myths; and the Resurrection of the Body will not occur.
The Rainbow Sash Movement, a homosexual activist group, urged members around the country to wear rainbow-colored ribbons across their shoulders when receiving communion at Sunday Mass. Rainbow sash-wearing homosexuals have been denied communion in the past—not because they are homosexual, but because they have used the Eucharist to push a political agenda.
Sacramento, CA – During debate in the California legislature on a bill to legalize doctor-assisted suicide, Californians for Compassionate Choices said in a news release, “How can lawmakers follow the dictates of the Catholic Church rather than legislate on behalf of ALL Californians?” Compassionate Choices claimed there is “a well-funded pressure campaign to force Vatican dogma on all terminally ill Californians.” The group also placed radio ads throughout California questioning the constitutional right of Catholic clergymen to speak to the issue of doctor-assisted suicide. The bill’s supporters in the legislature withdrew it from the floor when they realized that there weren’t enough votes to pass it.
Odessa, TX – The ACLU and People for the American Way filed a lawsuit on behalf of eight parents who claimed that an elective Bible study course in the Odessa school system violated their religious liberty. The parents were concerned that this course would have promoted religious beliefs that all of the students did not share. Despite the course being an elective the ACLU was afraid of religious indoctrination, calling the class, “Sunday school inside the walls of a public school.”
Tony Alamo Christian Ministries Worldwide distributed the anti-Catholic tract “The Pope’s Secrets.” The tract accused the Vatican of assassinating Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy; controlling several U.S. government agencies including the IRS and the Department of Labor; running “slave labor camps;” and controlling law-enforcement agencies that forcibly place “the mark of the beast” on people’s.
New Brunswick, NJ – “Secrets of the Vatican,” a DVD by a conspiracy-theory group called Inner Light, lodged numerous inflammatory accusations against the Catholic Church. Among the charges: the Vatican houses a secret group of Satanists; it has knowledge of an approaching earth-destroying comet through a linkup with the Hubble telescope; it has a time machine through which it has gone back to witness Jesus’ crucifixion; and it is responsible for Lincoln’s assassination and the sinking of the Titanic. The group claims that the DVD was filmed with secret cameras inside the Vatican.
Maricopa County, AZ – A Maricopa County judge ruled that the state’s school choice programs for children with special needs and in foster care was constitutional. The ACLU, among other groups, filed a lawsuit in February alleging that the programs violated the state’s Constitution. It was the fifth time that school choice opponents had tried to eliminate these programs.
Boston, MA – A gay-marriage supporter held up a poster in front of the State House that depicted Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley muzzling the Statue of Liberty. The poster implied that the Catholic Church is a fascist organization that tries to stifle freedom.
San Francisco, CA – The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of gay men dressed as nuns, provided security for the annual Gay Pride Parade.
Fallbrook, CA – The San Diego Minutemen, an anti-illegal immigrant group, targeted St. Peter’s Catholic Church for protests after the pastor, Father Edward “Bud” Kaicher, allowed church property to be used as a day-labor hiring site. The Minutemen displayed Father Kaicher in effigy as Satan, harassed Catholics going to Mass, and intimidated children on the day of their First Holy Communion.
On July 10, one day after the Catholic League issued a news release objecting to the Minutemen’s tactics, the group accused the league of creating “hatred amongst Catholics nationwide against Americans standing up for what’s right and legal.” It also accused the Catholic Church of “outrageous crimes and deeds.”
The Catholic League received a flurry of hate-filled screeds via telephone and email following our complaints about the Minutemen’s tactics, including:
٭ “I’d be putting a mine field on the border—warn them of course and then do it.”
٭ “You compound your embarrassing blindness by attacking the messengers of these facts with petty name calling, and even go so far as to call for a ‘Catholic Jihad’ against those who are concerned about the impact that these very real issues will have….”
٭ “I am also very angry that you’re issuing your news releases in Spanish! Why does the Catholic League need to explain itself to these people!”
٭ “By this sweeping and arrogant elitist attack on the people who oppose the illegal invasion of our country from the south, you are putting yourself in the same league with the overwhelming leftist, gay-friendly, California Amchurch hierarchy which hopes to replenish its dwindling flocks with illegal Mexicans.”
Arcata, CA – The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of gay men dressed in nuns’ habits, held a barbeque at the Mad River Pump Station to mark the first anniversary of the group’s Humboldt chapter, “Abbey of the Big Red Wood.” The Eureka Times Standard reported that the barbeque featured “the quirky entertainment of dozens of queer nuns.”
Slidell, LA – The ACLU filed a lawsuit against a judge who refused to remove a portrait of Jesus from inside the courthouse. While the ACLU called the display an endorsement of religion by the government, the judge called the accusation nonsense.
Following the lawsuit the judge had portraits of Confucius, Hammurabi, Moses, and John Marshall put up alongside that of Jesus. He hoped that this move would reassure doubters that the court had no intention of endorsing Christianity, but to demonstrate those who had a profound effect on law. The ACLU still wanted the picture of Jesus removed because they saw the addition of the other portraits as a way to cover up the religiosity of the court.
Following the addition of these other portraits, U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle said that the picture could stay because one could assume that it served a secular purpose
Albany, NY – New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard F. Daines unilaterally rejected $3.5 million a year in federal funds for abstinence-only sex education programs, a move that the Catholic League pointed out would primarily affect Catholic institutions.
Bill Donohue wrote to every member of the New York State Senate, asking them to introduce legislation that would reinstate the funding for abstinence programs. Donohue pointed out that Dr. Daines’ ruling was rendered on the very same day that a New York Civil Liberties Union report claimed that federal funding to schools promoting abstinence smacks of religious bias. The NYCLU report said that 53 percent of schools receiving abstinence-only funding are religious, causing Donohue to maintain that the group’s claim of religious bias was “pure conjecture.”
Donohue added that Daines’ ruling would cause Catholic schools to either violate their doctrinal prerogatives and accept federal money, or abide by Catholic teachings and suffer for doing so.
Las Cruces, NM – The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear an appeal by a local man seeking to have three crosses removed from the city’s official logo. A federal judge had dismissed the man’s lawsuit in 2005, ruling that the crosses reflected the city’s historical heritage and did not endorse religion.
Osceola County, FL – Americans United for Separation of Church and State told county commissioners to stop praying during public meetings. The Supreme Court ruled in 1983 that legislative prayer was permissible so long that it did not endorse any particular religion. The commissioners told those who were offended by their prayer that they could leave the chambers and return when the prayers were completed.
Harlan, KY – A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against Harlan County Schools regarding a “Foundation of American Law and Government” display that included the Ten Commandments. The display also featured such images as the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, and the Mayflower Compact.
Salt Lake City, UT – A federal judge ruled that the crosses placed along the Utah highways do not violate the U.S. Constitution. American Atheists Inc. had demanded that the crosses, which commemorate state troopers who have died in the line of duty, be removed from public property.
Planned Parenthood e-mailed its supporters a Christmas card titled, “Choice on Earth.” The e-mail had an accompanying video named “Moments that inspired us in 2007.” One of the highlights of their year was the opening of a new clinic in Aurora, Illinois, a town that is heavily Latino. This is significant because it reinforces Planned Parenthood’s reputation as a eugenics-driven organization.