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America's Conservative Christian Alternative for News and Information - Circa 1986

Past News Archives


No Clergy or Prayers at New York's 9/11 Memorial?


"In a city where the most residents in recent memory now cite religious faith as strongly important, New York is tone-deaf to exclude all religion when remembering the slaughter of over 3000 innocents." -- Mark Tooley, IRD President


WASHINGTON, /Christian Newswire/ -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office has announced that the principle ceremony marking the 9/11 terrorist attacks will exclude clergy and formal prayers. The move by city hall allows "moments of silence" and for families to share, but specifically excludes religious figures. Bloomberg's controversial decision comes when the Barna Group polling firm finds that 46 percent of New York area residents reported attending worship services in the previous week in 2010, up from 31 percent in 2000. The latest figures also show that 61 percent of New York-area residents agree strongly that religious faith is very important to them.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented: "In a city where the most residents in recent memory now cite religious faith as strongly important, New York is tone-deaf to exclude all religion when remembering the slaughter of over 3000 innocents. "To exclude clergy even at a memorial service implies that religion is not welcome in the public square, even in mourning. "From presidential inaugurals to opening Congress, to countless civic events routinely in every community across America, clergy and prayers have been a regular part of public life for years. The exclusion of both clergy and prayers is deeply at odds with America's robust religious life and even with the beliefs of most New Yorkers."

"Secularist groups like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State naturally applaud New York's ignoring most Americans and most New Yorkers by pretending religion is unimportant, even when remembering mass slaughter and heroic sacrifice."


The Institute on Religion & Democracy works to reaffirm the church's biblical and historical teachings, strengthen and reform its role in public life, protect religious freedom, and renew democracy at home and abroad.

Hikers' Sentencing Should Remind Americans of Threat from Iran's Apocalyptic 'Twelvers'
Tehran's Leaders Insist on Israel's Destruction to Spur Messianic Figure's Appearance, 'Radical Islam' Author Explains, as America Approaches 10th Anniversary of 9/11

 /Christian Newswire/ -- The weekend sentencing of two American hikers to eight years in an Iranian prison on espionage charges should give Americans pause as Tehran's regime - spurred by a radical, apocalyptic theology that insists on Israel's destruction - continues to target the West and America approaches the 10th anniversary of 9/11, says cultural apologist Dr. Jim Denison. In his essay, "U.S. Hikers and Iran's Apocalyptic Leaders," published Monday on the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture website at, the author of the new book "Radical Islam: What You Need to Know," explains that Iran's top leaders, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, are "Twelvers," adherents of Shiite Islam's largest branch. Twelvers believe a Messiah-like figure, the Mahdi ("guided one"), will arise at history's end to rule the world for Islam. Among the beliefs of many Twelvers: Israel and America - the "little Satan" and "Great Satan," respectively - must be attacked to bring about the Mahdi's arrival. This figure would then show up, believers contend, to protect the Muslim world from Western reprisal.
Such beliefs, Denison reminds readers, explain Ahmadinejad's declaration in 2005 that Israel must be "wiped off the map."

"Are Iran's leaders using the two American hikers and other foreign detainees to incite their people against the West?" Denison asks. "Did they charge our citizens with espionage so they could claim the West is attacking Islam? Since the Qur'an requires Muslims to defend Islam (Qur'an 2:190), this accusation would legitimize an attack against Israel and the West out of obedience to Islam's holy book." The Twelvers are just one part of the extremist movement that Denison describes in his book, a primer on radical Islam, which he calls "the greatest threat our children have ever faced." "Radical Islam" is the first in the "Unlocking the Truth" series of books offering a spiritual perspective on key cultural issues facing America. A free, sample chapter is available at
Denison is the author of six other books, including "Wrestling with God: How Can I Love a God I'm Not Sure I Can Trust?" by Tyndale House Publishers.

Denison's daily cultural commentary is made available worldwide to thousands of subscribers at His faith perspective sheds light on topics ranging from same-sex marriage, to bioethics, to the recent turmoil in the financial markets. The Denison Forum on Truth and Culture ( was founded in 2009. The Forum responds to issues through a variety of communications and channels, including a column in "The Dallas Morning News," books, articles and speaking engagements. Denison currently serves on the board of the Baylor Health Care System. He is chairman of the advisory board for Dallas Baptist University and former senior pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church, a 10,000-member congregation in Dallas.

A complete bio and photo, table of contents for "Radical Islam," endorsements and more on the Denison Forum can be found at For a free copy of the book or a sample Q&A, please contact Ty Mays at 770-256-8710 or

Free Speech Now Welcome at Cypress College -- Settlement Reached in Two Pro-Life Cases

CYPRESS, Calif.,
Aug. 30, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Life Legal Defense Foundation today announced the settlement of two civil rights actions it filed in 2008 and 2009 against Cypress College, on behalf of a group of young pro-life activists. The settlement includes significant changes to the school's free speech policy and payment to plaintiffs for both monetary damages and their attorneys' fees.

The first suit arose from an incident in February 2007, when three members of the Survivors (, based in Riverside, California, were arrested and jailed for refusing to stand in a yellow painted square marked "free speech area" that was located next to a construction zone. The young people were accused of trespassing on property not open to the general public, though their peaceful activities took place entirely in open areas of the public college.

Recognizing that Cypress College was open to the general public, the Orange County District Attorney Office dismissed the charges and a judge declared the pro-lifers factually innocent.

The second suit arose just one year later, when the Survivors returned to Cypress College to once again engage in peaceful free speech activity. Cypress College administrators directed the arrest of the five pro-lifers and this time accused them of causing a disturbance on campus. All criminal charges were dismissed when the prosecutor reviewed video coverage of the activities that proved that no disturbance had occurred.

In response to the false arrests, LLDF attorney Allison Aranda filed suit challenging the constitutionality of Cypress College's free speech policy. After three and a half years of litigation, Cypress College has agreed to amend their free speech policy, thereby opening up the main areas of campus for peaceful First Amendment activities.

"This victory is a long time coming," said Katie Short, legal director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. "We have been battling Cypress College over their free speech policies for years. This victory shows that, with a lot of patience and persistence, it is possible to open the eyes of college administrators and successfully preserve the free speech rights of young people on our public college campuses."

Life Legal Defense Foundation is a non-profit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens, committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information call Allison K. Aranda at 951-541-9327.

Troubled Abortionist Nicola Riley Admits Lying to Gain Licensure in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 31, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Utah abortionist Nicola Riley has admitted that she lied to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) about a criminal conviction and incarceration in order to gain licensure in that state.

As part of a settlement agreement with DOPL Riley admitted her deception and must now pay a fine of $10,000 to be paid over 18 months. She also has three months to write and submit an essay to DOPL describing how her unprofessional conduct has affected her patients and her profession.

"While we are happy that the DOPL acted to discipline Riley for lying, we are disappointed in the relatively light punishment considering the seriousness of the offense," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "This sounds more like a school detention assignment than discipline for lying to obtain a medical license. Other states have taken her deception much more seriously."

Riley is best known for her involvement with the notorious Steven Chase Brigham in a botched late-term abortion at a secret abortion clinic in Elkton, Maryland, last year. Riley's Maryland license has been suspended.
Operation Rescue conducted further research on Riley and discovered she had a criminal conviction during her service in the U.S. Army. Operation Rescue received a copy of her criminal record through an open records request and discovered that she had grossly misrepresented her involvement in a credit card/identity theft ring on her medical license applications in the states of Maryland, Wyoming, and Utah.
On those applications she stated that she served one year at Ft. Leavenworth Military Prison for not quickly reporting the credit card fraud that was being perpetrated by her subordinates. In truth, Riley was herself deeply involved in fraudulently obtaining credit cards by using personal information stolen during her military duties. She then made large purchases using the fraudulent credit cards. Riley actually served 30 months in prison for her crimes.

Operation Rescue forwarded the documents to medical oversight boards in all three states where Riley held licenses. Maryland has filed formal charges against Riley for lying on her medical license application. Wyoming forced Riley to surrender her license there or face revocation hearings. Utah has barred Riley from doing abortions but so far has allowed her to keep her license pending the outcome of the Maryland disciplinary action.
"Riley's entire medical career is based on a lie. Riley broke a sacred trust that makes her completely unfit for the practice of medicine. A doctor that cannot be trusted to tell the truth cannot be trusted at all," said Newman.

About Operation Rescue┬« 
Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and has become a strong voice for the pro-life movement in America. Operation Rescue is now headquartered in a former abortion clinic that it bought and closed in 2006.  From there, Operation Rescue launches its innovative new strategies across the nation, exposing and closing abortion clinics through peaceful, legal means. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to stop abortion and ultimately restore legal personhood to the pre-born in obedience to biblical mandates. 





Personhood Ohio Seeks to Stop All Abortions Statewide


OHIO, /Christian Newswire/ -- Personhood Ohio is a group whose mission is to ensure equal protection for every preborn child's right to life. Their goal is to obey the Lord's command to love "the least of these" through ending the dehumanization and murder of preborn children in this state.  The group is collecting signatures for a petition to get a Personhood Amendment on the ballot so Ohioans can vote to protect ALL preborn human beings by law.

The Ohio Constitution, Article 1, Section 1 currently reads:

"All PERSONS are, by nature, free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety."

The Personhood Amendment would add this one sentence:

"The word 'person' or 'persons' applies to every human being at every stage of the biological development of that human being or human organism, including fertilization."

The first step is to get 1,000 signatures and submit the legal language of the amendment to the Ohio Attorney General's office for approval.  Director of Personhood Ohio, Zanesville family physician Dr. Patrick Johnston says, "We've had forty years of legal child-killing in America. Why haven't pro-life forces united to put the issue before the voters? Why do we continue to respect the immoral and unconstitutional Roe v. Wade decision? Ohio has the right and obligation to protect all innocent children within our jurisdiction. There will be no lasting mercy and blessing for us until there is justice for the preborn."

Personhood Ohio solicits volunteers through their website They are aiming to get the amendment on the 2012 ballot.





FRC to Deliver 55,000 Petitions Urging Mayor Bloomberg to Reverse Decision Banning Clergy and First Responders from 9/11 Ceremony


WASHINGTON, /Christian Newswire/ -- Family Research Council (FRC) announced today it has so far gathered more than 55,000 signed petitions that join New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera's efforts to urge Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reverse his decision to prevent clergy and first responders from participating in the Ground Zero commemoration. The petitions will be presented to the Mayor's office on Thursday afternoon, three days prior to the ceremony.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following comments: "Ten years ago, in the wake of the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history, Americans turned to God for solace. Members of the clergy on the scene and across the nation gave aid, comfort and hope to the shocked, the fearful and the bereaved. As the tenth anniversary of that day approaches, we would do well to turn our eyes again toward our Protector.

"Unfortunately, New York City Michael Bloomberg would have us look the other way. At a Ground Zero commemoration for the families of victims, Mayor Bloomberg is allowing the presence of politicians and presidents, but no pastors or prayer. The mayor of course will be there, but while we appreciate political leadership, on September 11th, it was not, nor is it now, nearly enough.

"Pastors are not invited to the event, as Mayor Bloomberg apparently thinks that the invited politicians will be able to offer enough comfort to the families. But Mayor Bloomberg's glaring omissions from the event do not end with clergy. The very people who hallowed the ground, the living embodiment of selfless courage we vowed 'never to forget' - New York's first responders - won't even be invited.

"While the mayor may be blind to those he's leaving aside, the rest of the country is taking notice. More than 55,000 Americans and New Yorkers have signed petitions to Mayor Bloomberg asking that he reverse his decision to deny first responders and prayer a place at this most solemn remembrance. Petition signers reflect the views of the vast majority of Americans who understand that this nation needs prayer more than politics," concluded Perkins.

Click here to view FRC's web video urging the Mayor to reverse his decision.




Washington, D.C. Prohibits Prayer and Free Speech on the Public Sidewalk in Our Nation's Capitol
D.C. police officers have threatened to arrest people praying and counseling on the public sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood.

WASHINGTON, /Christian Newswire/ -- For many years, the pro-life community has been allowed to pray, counsel and have a peaceful witness on the public property surrounding the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Pro-Lifers Peacefully Praying on Public Property Surrounding Planned Parenthood

Several weeks ago Planned Parenthood put up a fence around that public property and police are now threatening to arrest anyone who stands inside that fence.

View photos of new fence and "No Trespassing" sign

Watch video of peaceful pro-life witness outside of DC Planned Parenthood

The Christian Defense Coalition is challenging this unconstitutional crushing of prayer and free speech and has applied for a permit to hold a prayer vigil on the public sidewalk leading up to Planned Parenthood. That prayer vigil will take place on Tuesday, June 8, at 11:00 A.M. at Planned Parenthood 1108 16th St. NW Washington, D.C. Faith leaders will risk arrest before they surrender their First Amendment rights or allow prayer to be banned on the public sidewalk in the heart of our nation's capitol.

The Christian Defense Coalition and their supporters are being represented by the American Center for Law and Justice.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states, "It is both disturbing and a disgrace that prayer and free speech have been banned and prohibited here in our nation's capitol. "For many years, peaceful pro-life activists were allowed to pray, counsel and share on the public sidewalk and property in front of Planned Parenthood. "Now after putting up a fence around that public property, the Washington, D.C. Police Department is threatening to arrest anyone who steps inside that fence to pray and counsel. Yet, that sidewalk and property still remain public."  On Tuesday, June 8, we have applied for a permit to pray on the public sidewalk leading up to Planned Parenthood. Our hope is that the City of Washington, D.C. will honor and respect the First Amendment and allow us to celebrate our free speech rights in the nation's capitol.

"However, even if we are threatened with arrest and taken to jail we will not be bullied or intimidated into silence or surrender. When free speech and public prayer are banned and prohibited, it is the duty of people of faith to peacefully challenge that injustice and boldly take a stand." Dr. Martin Luther King stated, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' If we allow the trampling of the First Amendment here in Washington, D.C., then free speech rights are at risk all across America." For more information or interviews call: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 540.538.4741 202.547.1735

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