Family Research Council

August 15, 2014 - Friday

Navy Sinks Censorship

Just when we thought the ship had sailed on Navy Lodge Bibles, its leadership is changing course. The same week that employees blew the whistle on the purge, Navy brass have stepped in to overrule the Lodge management. While housekeepers were busy tossing Bibles into lost and found bins, the chain of command says it was never alerted to the change.

Until the social media firestorm, senior leaders said they had no idea the facilities were stripping the books out of nightstand drawers. As soon as they heard, the Navy put a stop to it. Until a final policy can be reached, officers have ordered the Bibles back. "That decision and our religious accommodation policies with regard to the placement of religious materials are under review," Navy spokesman Commander Ryan Perry told Stars and Stripes. "While that review is under way, religious materials removed from Navy Lodge rooms will be returned."

That came as a huge relief to the thousands of people -- like you -- who contacted Navy leaders and urged them to respect the long and proud tradition of military religious freedom. Once again, Americans are seeing the positive results that come when people stand up -- and on -- their values!

Back in June, the Navy Exchange fired off a memo to its lodge managers explaining that the Bibles would be left to the commanders' discretion. That didn't suit the extremists at Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which demanded that the mere presence of a Bible (tucked away in a drawer!) somehow violated the Constitution. Obviously, the Navy disagrees, dealing another blow to the Foundation's already shaky credibility. With every overreach, every threatening letter to local communities, FFRF is exposing how slanted and subjective its agenda truly is on the public expression of religion. If it weren't for determined Christian citizens and service members, these bullies would run right over the majority of Americans.

The U.S. Armed Forces has never been hostile to the Bibles -- until now. We certainly hope the Navy is righting the ship on the Gideon giveaways and will correct this unintentional error. But for a military that relies on precision in its mission, it's alarming the number of "errors" we've seen on the religious liberty front. Given the pattern of hostility toward religion in our nation's military under the Obama administration it's difficult to accept that this was an isolated incident.

Fortunately, when the American people see an attack on religious freedom, they respond with all hands on deck -- and prevail. In this case, it's time for the intolerant few to check out of Navy hotels and make room for our First Amendment rights!

Left Tears into Cake Shops Piece by Piece

At Pennsylvania's Cake Pros shop, they're pros at more than baking. Lorraine Fleming knew the day might come when she'd have to stand up for her beliefs on marriage. And this month, it did. Like the bridal shop just a few hours down the road, Cake Pros was the target of an underground movement to expose and torment businesses with a moral view on marriage.

A lesbian couple put Lorraine's shop in the crosshairs, openly asking for a cake for their same-sex ceremony. Lorraine prayed about it for days but finally came to the conclusion that she couldn't, in good conscience, accept the order. One of the young women said she got a call from the shop to explain "that they were a Christian bakery, and the owner talked to Jesus for two weeks. And because it was two females getting married, she couldn't bake our cake."

The brides, Jennifer and Bethany, took to Facebook to vent, publicly ripping the shop. Now, Lorraine says, her employees can't walk outside without being harassed. Still, she insists, "I'm sorry for the damage that has been done as far as hurt feelings. (But) I'm not sorry for my decision, and I feel strong. I know that I'm doing the right thing."

Good for her! Like W.W. Bridal Boutique, Masterpiece Cakes, and Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Lorraine knows that the only way to stop bullies is standing up to them. In the Left's mind, surrendering your beliefs is just the price of doing business. But as far as most Americans are concerned, it's a price no business should have to pay. When asked, more than 80% said wedding vendors should be able to turn down same-sex "wedding" requests. In the meantime, thank goodness for Christians like Lorraine. She may bake cakes, but she's not about to sugar-coat her convictions!

California Sex Ed: Parental Guidance Is Advised

What's the difference between a Playboy magazine and Fremont Unified School District's sex-ed curriculum? The curriculum is free! The 9th grade textbook, which teachers unanimously approved, has been the center of a nationwide debate over the schools' role in parenting kids on sensitive topics like this. In this particular California District, thousands of parents are protesting the jaw-dropping topics in the "Your Health Today" curriculum -- including everything from bondage, sex toys, and various fantasies.

"It's a bit much for me," said mom Latonya Stevenson. "I'm not comfortable with my child -- I mean, wow, that's the graphics are extreme -- oh my gosh." Another parent said she was so shocked by the contents that she wrote to the author of the book, "and she said the target audience was college Freshman."

An online petition against the curriculum had 2,500 signatures before this week's board meeting -- at which several moms and dads spoke in opposition of the proposal. "They are very pornographic," one dad complained. "The pictures are very explicit." After an emotional back-and-forth, the school board seemed to get the message and pushed back the timeline of implementation until at least next year, when there can be a broader conversation.

Although the victory isn't a final one -- it is a step in the right direction. We applaud these parents for showing some muscle and voicing their objections. Obviously, this is all part of a coordinated effort to sexualize kids. If this were really about protecting children -- and not indoctrinating them -- Fremont would be implementing the only sex ed with a 100% success rate: abstinence.

** While Congress takes a summer break, so will the Washington Update. To get your daily fix of everything happening in the nation's capital, tune in to my daily radio show "Washington Watch" from 5:00-6:00 (ET) Monday through Friday. By the way, I'll be broadcasting next week from Jerusalem, Israel. Though the Update is on vacation, FRC will continue to move full steam ahead! Stay connected by visiting our website, the FRC Blog, and following us on Twitter and Facebook. See you after Labor Day!


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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