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Education

Calif. schools a war zone for Christian, parental rights

Michael F. Haverluck   (OneNewsNow.com) Wednesday, November 28, 2012

After a rocky road of legislation challenging parental and religious rights at every turn over the past months in California, public schools continue to be a breeding ground for policies geared to eradicate all Christian influences from students.

In a state where public schools are required to celebrate Harvey Milk Day ─ to honor a child sexual predator in the name of "gay" rights ─ the battle is on to keep the government from essentially declaring war on everything Christian.

And just what kinds of challenges are parents already up against in the Golden State?

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed SB 1172, which bans parents from being allowed to seek counseling for children who think they are homosexual. He also just signed AB 2109 so that children can be injected with potentially dangerous vaccinations without parental consent. In addition, Brown has signed AB 1856, which forces foster parents to positively support homosexuality, bisexuality, cross-dressing and sex changes among abused kids in their care.

But that's not all that California residents have to contend with.

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112812If you want to pray, you have to pay

With the aforementioned obstacles to religious rights and parental authority already in play, a lawsuit was waged last week to keep a Southern California school district from denying a Christian group equal access to school facilities.

After warning the Buena Park School District for months about its alleged unconstitutional discrimination against the Child Evangelism Fellowship of West Orange County, the American Center for Law & Justice sued the district on the Christian organization's behalf. Instead of granting CEFWOC the same equal access it allows the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and other non-religious organizations, the BPSD declared that the fellowship would have to pay an annual fee of $4,255 to meet after hours on school property ─ when other clubs are allowed to meet there for free.

Even though the Christian club was designed as a means to let students, after school hours, participate in educational and recreational activities with a biblical perspective, the district argued that the meetings were considered religious services and therefore denied the club classroom space last spring ─ because no payment was submitted.

French, David (ACLJ)"It's stunning that in the roughly quarter-century since the Supreme Court began deciding a series of cases that guaranteed Christian groups equal access to schools that some public school districts - indeed some entire states - simply haven't gotten the message," said ACLJ senior counsel David French. "Religious censors are nothing if not inventive, and the justification for this blatant discrimination was a discriminatory California law requiring schools to charge outside groups for access to schools for 'religious services.'"

French notes that when it comes to religious speech, schools offer anything but an equal playing field.

"Aside from the fact that Child Evangelism Fellowship isn't holding 'religious services,' this law represents the latest effort at treating religious speech as different in kind - with inferior constitutional protections - than other forms of speech," French contends. "Defending hard-won religious freedoms requires constant vigilance."

Despite the fact that court rulings have backed religious expression within public schools for generations, French points out that blatant viewpoint discrimination at the hands of the secular political agenda espoused on campuses prevails today.

"Religious censors still exist, and even decades of court precedent haven't persuaded them to stand down," French maintains. "Their goal remains the same - to shove religious expression to the margins of public life."

Solving the equal access equation

While the ACLJ's Child Evangelism Fellowship lawsuit moves forward, it is celebrating a victory from another equal access battle in California earlier this month. The Christian legal group warned a public school in a letter on a local church's behalf that the church has a legal right to equal access on campus to distribute materials on release time religious and moral instruction.

Heil

"Under California law, parents are permtted to request that their children be released from school supervision for a limited period every month in order for their child to receive religious and moral instruction that the child does not receive from the public school," asserts ACLJ senior counsel CeCe Heil, who did not disclose the name of the school or church, since an agreement was made prior to legal action. "Unfortunately, the school district had a policy that prohibited anyone from distributing 'religious materials' including information related to the release time religious and moral instruction that was authorized under state law."

This censorship was explicitly geared to silence Christian religious viewpoints in a political climate that only tolerated secular dogma.

"To make matters worse, the district allowed distribution of secular materials and specifically targeted religious materials for discrimination," Heil added, noting that the school's policy was a classic case of viewpoint discrimination against religious speech ─ in violation of the First Amendment. She further notes that the school district's policy was "inconsistent with the state law, which allows supervised release time for religious and moral instruction."

More California legislation causing hesitation

Meanwhile, other recent bills that fly in the face of biblical beliefs could have profound effects both on campus and at home.

Homosexual pride flagBesides Gov. Brown signing SB 1140, which paves the way for same-sex "marriage," California State Assembly member Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 43, which passed several weeks ago, as state legislators now petition President Obama and Congress to include sexual orientation and gender identity in landmark federal anti-discrimination laws under so-called "queer rights."

"While California offers some of the most expansive protections for LGBTQ individuals, without a comprehensive response by the federal government, many LGBTQ Americans continue to be at the mercy of state and local laws that can either protect them or target them for discrimination," states Lara, who equates individuals' choice in sexual behavior with race.

"There have been recent gains in federal protections, however nothing can match the safeguards, symbolism and promise of equality for all people like the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity alongside 'race, color, sex, national origin, and religion' in our nation's landmark federal antidiscrimination acts."

Brown also inserted his leftist ideologies when it comes to the sanctity of human life, recently signing SB 623 to reauthorize certain nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives to terminate preborn children. This state bill is said to violate the rights of conscience of those in the medical field with sincerely held religious beliefs.

And even though Brown recently vetoed SB 1476, which would have allowed a child to have three or more legal "parents," many are reminded of the reversal of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2008 decision to veto Harvey Milk Day, which he then signed into law the following year. The "evolution" of Schwarzenegger's stance was reportedly due to President Obama awarding Milk with the presidential Medal of Freedom. It is also claimed that an Academy Award-winning film about Milk's life starring Sean Penn influenced the former governor's endorsement of Milk Day and the homosexual agenda.


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