Atheists Try Interception on Intercession
Plenty of football players exercise on Chestatee High School's field -- it's the exercising of their faith that atheists object to! Georgia locals found that out the hard way when the bullies at the American Humanist Association lined up against the team's posters and prayers. In a move that's almost comical, the national group sent an undercover photographer to practices and games, hoping to catch the team in an act of blatant religiosity. "We have received reports," AHA insisted, "that CHS coaches have joined players in prayer while standing in a circle, hands interlocked." Gasp!
The organization's legal team fired off a letter to the Hall School District, complaining that the tradition somehow violated the Establishment Clause. Among other things, AHA explained, the team's workout schedule and one cheerleader sign included Bible verse references: "Iron Sharpens Iron, Proverbs 21:17" and "Fortitude 2014, Gal. 6:9."
Fortitude is something the team must have already perfected, because the coaches and players aren't about to back down. On Thursday, the town crowded the football field for an impromptu prayer rally -- as more than 200 people turned out to tell the atheists that if they don't like the prayer "stick their fingers in their ears!"
Even the district's congressman, Doug Collins (R), was offended. "The liberal atheist interest groups trying to bully Chestatee High School kids say they have a reason to believe that expressions of religious freedom are 'not an isolated event' in Northeast Georgia," Collins said. "They're right. In Hall County and throughout Georgia's 9th District, we understand and respect the Constitution and cherish our right to worship in our own way."
It's "disgusting," he told Fox News's Todd Starnes, "that while innocent lives are being lost in Iraq and other places at the hands of radical religious terrorists, a bunch of Washington lawyers are finding the time to pick on kids in Northeast Georgia." That certainly helped embolden the local superintendent, who showed no signs of cowering to the seven-page demand letter. In the meantime, we commend the families of Chestatee High for standing their ground. No matter how it turns out, it's encouraging to see what happens when the community becomes the biggest cheerleader for religious rights!
Obama and the Persian Golf
President Obama may be a decent golfer, but he obviously needs a bigger handicap on his foreign policy game. While the leader of the free world tees up everything but a solution for the Middle East, even the Washington Post and New York Times are suspicious of his priorities. Dana Milbank's "Obama vacations as the world burns" called out the President for sticking to his plans to jet off to Martha's Vineyard -- "a decision," he wrote, "that if not in the category of stupid stuff, could fit under the heading of 'tone deafness.'"
The optics for a White House renowned for its PR skills were less than flattering. While the administration did draw the line at another late-night TV stop after the airstrikes started, nothing could keep the President from his $32,400-a-plate donor dinners. His steady diet of fundraising dinners had already raised plenty of eyebrows -- especially compared to his predecessor's. At the same point in his presidency, George W. Bush had gone to 217 fundraisers -- 178 less than Obama.
Granted, Democrats will probably need the money after the last two years of party incompetence, but no amount of campaign cash can make up for the missing leadership America so desperately needs. Unfortunately, this is consistent with the indifference Americans have come to expect from an administration that did nothing as terrorists took over Syria. Months later, a "wartime vacation" (as Milbank calls it) isn't exactly helping the President's foreign policy approval ratings -- which sits at a pitiful 38%. And that doesn't include the French, who've expressed pretty strong feelings about the President's projected disinterest. (You know you're slacking when the inventors of laissez faire are criticizing you!) "I know it is the holiday period in our Western countries," said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, "but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation."
Meanwhile, in Iraq, the U.S. has stepped up its military presence -- and just in time, it seems. The handful of media who have made it to Mount Sinjar paint a horrifying picture of the conditions there, as the thousands of people pinned on the slopes resort to desperate measures just to stay alive. In the absence of water, rumors of children drinking their parents' blood are horrifying, while others frantically try to survive the sweltering heat.
Of course, the oblivion isn't just limited to the President. The head of American diplomacy -- Secretary of State John Kerry -- is so clueless that he spent yesterday's stop in the Solomon Islands talking about climate change. The only climate he should be focusing on is the Middle East's! He says the sky is falling on global warming, when what's actually falling are bombs -- in a global crisis of the administration's partial making.
Jindal Joins Star-Studded Values Voter Summit Line-up!
Seats aren't the only thing filling up at next month's Values Voter Summit -- so is the program. Conservative stars are packing out the schedule across the Friday and Saturday event. And now, FRC Action is pleased to announce that Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.) is among them. The Louisiana Governor will be making his second appearance at VVS, which is slated for September 26-28 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. He joins confirmed speakers like Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Senator Rick Santorum, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, Erick Erickson, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Star Parker, the Benham Brothers, Fox News's Todd Starnes, the Duggar Family, and many more! Don't miss your chance to help shape the debate before the midterm elections! Click over to ValuesVoterSummit.org and register today. Tickets are just $99 for adults and $50 for students (scholarships are available).
** "Why is Hillary doing stupid things?" Find out in Ken Blackwell's new column for Townhall. Check it out here.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.