Friday, September 14, 2007

Court Forces Michigan High School to Give Bible Club Same Benefits as homosexual Club

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm today announced that United States District Judge Victoria A. Roberts has entered a permanent injunction granting equal rights to a Bible club and its members at Farmington High School in Farmington, Michigan.

The Law Center represents ALIVE, a voluntary student Bible club, its president and co-founder, Aaron Grider, and his parents. In 2006, Grider had requested that ALIVE be recognized by the school as a noncurriculum-related student group and receive the same treatment and benefits that other noncurriculum-related student groups receive at Farmington High School. In the past, Farmington High School has recognized several noncurriculum-related student groups, including the Gay Straight Alliance, R.E.A.C.H. (a diversity club), and S.A.D.D. (Students Against Drunk Driving).

School officials denied Aaron's request. Unlike recognized noncurriculum-related student clubs, school officials allowed ALIVE to meet informally before school, but did not allow ALIVE to advertise over the school's public address system, on the school's bulletin boards, on the school's website, in the school's yearbook, or over the school's internal television network, and they did not allow the club to use the school's photocopying machines.

The Law Center filed a lawsuit in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, and raised claims that school officials had violated plaintiffs' rights under the Federal Equal Access Act, the Michigan Equal Access Act, and the federal constitution.

Before the start of the school year, which began on September 4, 2007, plaintiffs filed motions seeking a court injunction to ensure that ALIVE and its members would be treated the same as other noncurriculum-related groups are treated at Farmington High School. Last week, Judge Roberts issued a permanent injunction in favor of plaintiffs and required school officials to provide ALIVE the same benefits, treatment, and privileges enjoyed by other noncurriculum-related student clubs.

According to Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, "The judge's order should highlight to all school officials in Michigan and in other states that once a public high school allows one noncurriculum-related student club to meet on campus, they cannot discriminate against a Bible club. A Bible club must be permitted the same rights as other student clubs."

Judge Roberts determined that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their claims under the Federal and Michigan Equal Access Acts, and, therefore, she did not need to consider the constitutional claims. Judge Roberts stated that "it appears clear that ALIVE has been treated differently than other student groups 'on the basis of' the religious content of their speech."

Judge Roberts also determined that because plaintiffs have been denied equal access to the school in violation of the Federal Equal Access Act, based on plaintiffs' religious viewpoint since at least October 2006, that the plaintiffs would be irreparably harmed this school year without an injunction to ensure that their rights as a club are protected.

Commented Edward L. White III, trial counsel for the Thomas More Law Center handling the case: "Judge Roberts's permanent injunction will protect the rights of ALIVE and its members this school year and thereafter. These students will be able to enjoy all the benefits that other noncurriculum-related student clubs enjoy at Farmington High School."


British Broadcast Cowardice

And the article below omits the most recent disgrace, where the BBC explained the 9/11 events entirely from Bin Laden's viewpoint -- a page now taken down under pressure but reproduced in whole or in part on many blogs -- e.g. here

Once upon a war, the British Broadcasting Corporation aired the likes of George Orwell, T. S. Eliot, and Winston Churchill, proudly hailed the valor of the RAF, and extolled the virtues of the Western world. That was then; this is 2007, the epoch of the Beeb, a synonym for mendacity, spinelessness, and political correctness.

Recently, the BBC allowed a blatantly anti-Semitic posting to remain on its website for days. The message from someone using the alias "Iron Naz" read: "Zionism is a racist ideology where jews are given supremacy over all other races and faiths." Only after complaints from Jewish organizations was the item removed. Then a popular BBC children's show held a faked phone-in competition. The show led its viewers to believe that the competition was open to the public and that members of the television audience were making the calls. In fact, the winning caller was a member of the production team.

To complete the picture, the BBC presented footage suggesting that Queen Elizabeth II had stormed out of a sitting with celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. (Actually, the queen was filmed complaining about her crowded schedule before the two women ever met.) When the gaffe was exposed, the Beeb issued an official statement: "In this trailer there is a sequence that implies that the Queen left a sitting prematurely. This was not the case and the actual sequence of events was misrepresented. The BBC would like to apologize to both the Queen and Annie Leibovitz for any upset this may have caused."

But wait--there's more! Under pressure from BBC suits, a drama called Casualty recently made a chilling alteration to one of its scripts. According to reports, the show's stars "won't be dealing with an explosion caused by Islamic extremists in case it offends Muslims. Now the bomb will be set off by animal rights campaigners instead."

Translation: folks like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals may be notorious for offensive demonstrations and statements. They famously dumped a dead raccoon on the table of Anna Wintour, Vogue's editor in chief, for promoting the use of fur in fashion, and threw pies at her on various occasions. But they don't detonate bombs in subways, behead those whose beliefs are different, instigate riots and murders because of some impudent cartoons, demand special schools to preach hatred to the young, or condemn those outside their orbit as infidels. Thus, in a strange judo move, the Beeb turned the annoying but nonviolent into murderous villains, and gave the real enemy of Western civilization a pass.

It should come as no surprise, though, to see the BBC in its present state of disgrace. This is, after all, the corporation whose newsreader Anna Ford has just quit because of the Beeb's "atmosphere of fear"; whose Newsnight presenter, Jeremy Paxman, states that his employer suffers from a "catastrophic, collective loss of nerve"; and whose editor, Peter Barron, complains about the BBC's incessant harping on unproved global warming. It is "not the corporation's job to save the planet," he says. The Beeb's future appears to be as bleak as November in London.


Christians fighting back

The lady would have been put right off the air if she had made obscene and derogatory comments about blacks or homosexuals, but it is good to see some consistency creeping in

Before Kathy Griffin won a creative arts Emmy last weekend for her reality show, "My Life on the D-List," she joked that an award would move her to the C-list. She was right: "C" as in censored. The TV academy said her raucous acceptance speech will be edited when the event, which was taped, is shown Saturday on the E! channel. The main prime-time Emmy Awards air the next night on Fox.

"Kathy Griffin's offensive remarks will not be part of the E! telecast on Saturday night," the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said in a statement Monday. In her speech, Griffin said that "a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus." She went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off-color remark about Christ and proclaim, "This award is my god now!" The comedian's remarks were condemned Monday by Catholic League President Bill Donohue, who called them a "vulgar, in-your-face brand of hate speech."

According to the TV academy and E!, when the four hour-plus ceremony is edited into a two-hour program, Griffin's remarks will be shown in "an abbreviated version" in which some language may be bleeped. The program was in production and unfinished, an E! spokeswoman said Monday. Requests for comment were left Monday evening by phone and e-mail with Griffin's publicist. They were not immediately returned.

The Catholic League, an anti-defamation group, called on the TV academy to "denounce Griffin's obscene and blasphemous comment" at Sunday's ceremony. The academy said Monday it had no plans to address the issue in the prime-time broadcast.

The organization may have another delicate issue to consider, this one involving an off-color fake music video that aired last December on "Saturday Night Live" and won a creative arts Emmy for best song. Andy Samberg of "SNL" said Saturday that he had yet to be asked by the TV academy to perform the tune with Timberlake on the Fox broadcast, but he was willing. Timberlake, on a concert tour, is scheduled to be in Los Angeles next weekend. The subject of their "(Blank) in a Box" video: wrapping a certain part of the male anatomy and presenting it to a loved one as a holiday present. The academy has said that "show elements are in the process of being worked out."


There is no conspiracy

Comment from Australia by Andrew Bolt

MATTHEW Ricketson until last year headed RMIT University's school of journalism, teaching tomorrow's reporters how the media "really" works. Now The Age's media writer, Ricketson is flogging his views to a wider audience of the Left that's always up for conspiracy theories. Last weekend they got fed a ripe one, with Ricketson warning "something is afoot among columnists on Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspapers: "Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun and, yesterday, Janet Albrechtsen of The Australian, have abandoned their longstanding support for John Howard's prime ministership." Ricketson said: "Other News Limited columnists, such as Paul Kelly, editor-at-large of The Australian, and Steve Lewis of the Herald Sun have already jumped ship".

True enough, several News Ltd columnists - and not a single Fairfax one, strangely - have indeed seen the resignation of John Howard as inevitable and have said so. So, how does Ricketson interpret all this? He suggests only two options, both of which assume Murdoch gave his columnists orders to ditch Howard: "Is Murdoch creating public opinion, as is often alleged, or trying to catch the horse as it bolts from the PM?"

There is, of course, a third and obvious explanation, which Ricketson fails to mention: that Murdoch columnists simply write what they really think, reacting to events that are obvious to anyone with eyes to see and the courage to report. But Ricketson's preference for a conspiracy over reason is rampant among the Left and is even taking hold in the Right, too, as Howard's future now sinks with his polls.

Take Richard Farmer, Labor strategist and writer for an internet gossip site of former Fairfax editor Eric Beecher, who claims: "Murdoch tabloids (are) becoming friendlier to Labor" because "continuing with an anti-Labor campaign dominated by columnists Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt, only for Labor to still win, would put an end to the illusion of power, which Rupert Murdoch uses to his advantage so ruthlessly".

This theory that Murdoch orders his writers to speak his own mind is peddled by many of the usual suspects, from radical propagandist John Pilger to RMIT's journalism graduates. But here's the hitch: if Murdoch has dictated an anti-Howard line to his columnists, why did two of them, The Australian's Dennis Shanahan and Christopher Pearson, persist this past week in saying Howard should stay? Why was the Daily Telegraph's Piers Akerman - another Murdoch man - on the radio just yesterday, backing Howard and whacking me? Why was his colleague Malcolm Farr counselling Howard to stay? And why did it take until last week for Albrechtsen to argue what I've said for months? Boy, some conspiracy, when half the plotters are attacking the other half.

I know you can't change Ricketson's mind with facts, but I'd love to hear him explain why Murdoch's columnists, allegedly all singing in their master's voice, include such loud Leftists as Jill Singer, Phillip Adams, Paul Syvret, Jim Soorley and's Tim Dunlop. Or have him try to work out why I keep fighting our global warming hysteria, when Murdoch says we must give the planet "the benefit of the doubt".

Sorry, Matthew, but Murdoch figured long ago that debate sold papers - and readers were adults with the brains to hear both sides of an argument and decide for themselves. That's why there are more Left-wing columnists on Murdoch's Australian papers than there are Right-wing presenters on the ABC. If Ricketson really has a nose for conspiracy, why won't he sniff at Aunty instead?



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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