This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A lawsuit has been filed against the town of Castle Rock in Colorado, a state with an already-earned infamy for hostility to Christianity, because officials are trying to halt a church from serving those families who suddenly are homeless.

The lawsuit, in U.S. District Court in Colorado, accuses city officials of "apparently operating on the cynical thesis that they do not want the homeless in their area."

The case is being brought by First Liberty Institute on behalf of the on-site temporary and emergency shelter ministries of "The Rock," a church that operates on a 54-acre parcel there.

"The town has not only insisted the church end its efforts to offer temporary and emergency shelter for helpless and suddenly homeless people, it has also interfered with its ability to serve as a Red Cross emergency shelter and retaliated against the church by threatening the business license of a coffee service located in the church," First Liberty reported.

"Churches that take action to care for the homeless should be encouraged and affirmed, not opposed and retaliated against," said First Liberty's Jeremy Dys. "It’s not enough for the town to try to stop this church from using its property to provide temporary shelter to displaced single moms and their children. The town is also trying to prevent the church from partnering with the Red Cross in times of emergency."

The pastor is Mike Polhemus, and he said in a statement released by his lawyers, "Our mission is to transform society by loving others as Christ loved us. This includes providing such a level of outreach and aid to the surrounding community that, if we ever close our doors, the entire community would feel our church’s absence. It’s shocking that the town is preventing us from providing temporary shelter and wrap-around assistance to people who are in their greatest need, thus helping to reduce homelessness in our community."

The First Liberty report, in fact, noted that outside of the church's operations, Castle Rock "has no emergency or temporary shelters within town limits for individuals suddenly without a safe home."

"Along with providing food, clothes, shoes, financial assistance, and small kitchen items, The Rock works with individuals displaced due to life circumstances to provide a temporary place of shelter in one trailer and one RV parked on the back of the church’s property – more than 400 feet from any resident property. "

It also works with the Red Cross to provide emergency shelter during severe winter storms.

The lawyers, in a request for a preliminary injunction, explain, "No history or tradition justifies the town’s intrusion into the church’s property to dictate which portions of the church’s property may be used for religious purposes or how the church may go about accomplishing its religious mission. More generally, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits governmental hostility to religion."

In fact, it was the U.S. Supreme Court that scolded Colorado for its "hostility" to Christianity in the case involving specialty cake artist Jack Phillips, who was accused of discrimination by refusing to violate his faith and create an endorsement of same-sex marriage.

Literally the same state standard arose in a second Supreme Court ruling, involving web designer 303 Creative, when the high court ruled the state could not impose its beliefs on others.

The complaint explains, "The town’s prohibition of the church’s On-Site Temporary Shelter Ministry and Red Cross Partnership violates the church’s fundamental free-exercise rights, as protected by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act … and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, as well as the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Church brings this lawsuit to vindicate its fundamental free-exercise rights, as protected by RLUIPA and the Free Exercise Clause, as well as the Establishment Clause."

The lawsuit explains the church runs a variety of ministries, supplying food, housing assistance, clothing and more to the needy, as instructed by the Bible.

It uses an RV and a trailer, parked on a remote part of the church's property, for those with temporary and emergency housing problems.

It said the ministries, "manifestly further the health, safety, and welfare of Castle Rock by providing safe, dignified, temporary shelter for needy individuals in the community."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

An appeals court in Tennessee has released a "massive win for property rights" in the state by affirming a lower court's decision that game wardens are barred from conducting warrantless searches of private property.

The announcement comes from the Institute for Justice, which fought the case on behalf of landowners Terry Rainwaters and Hunter Hollingsworth.

The Benton County landowners sued when the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency ignored their "No Trespassing" signs and entered their properties to install cameras.

The IJ explained, "The victory applies broadly to all private land Tennesseans have put to 'actual use,' whether by fencing, farming, posting, gating, hunting, fishing, camping, or otherwise."

"This decision is a massive win for property rights in Tennessee," said IJ attorney and Elfie Gallun Fellow in Freedom and the Constitution Joshua Windham. "TWRA claimed unfettered power to put on full camouflage, invade people's land, roam around as it pleases, take photos, record videos, sift through ponds, spy on people from behind bushes—all without consent, a warrant, or any meaningful limits on their power. This decision confirms that granting state officials unfettered power to invade private land is anathema to Tennesseans’ most basic constitutional rights."

The Court of Appeals ruling, from Judge Jeffrey Usman, explained, "TWRA’s contention is a disturbing assertion of power on behalf of the government that stands contrary to the foundations of the search protections against arbitrary governmental intrusions in the American legal tradition, generally, and in [Article I, Section 7 of the Tennessee Constitution], specifically."

He said TWRA’s argument could be compared to warrantless searches conducted by British authorities that motivated the American Revolution. "Usman also rejected the idea that rural Tennesseans deserve any less protection against government intrusion than people in urban areas, explaining that the 'Tennessee Constitution does not disfavor actual uses [of property] more commonly associated with rural areas," the report said.

"TWRA’s abuse of power had to stop," said Hollingsworth. "For as long as I can remember, these officers have acted like a law unto themselves. But nobody—not even a game warden—is above the Constitution, and yesterday’s decision makes that crystal clear. I’d like to thank the Institute for Justice for helping us fight this battle for so many years, and my local attorney Jack Leonard, who has been by my side on this case since day one."

The state agents claimed they could trespass with impunity under the ancient federal "open fields" doctrines. That, from 1924, was when the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not protect any land beyond the home and its immediately surrounding area.

Like several other state constitutions, the Tennessee document "protects 'possessions' from 'unreasonable searches.' The term 'possessions' plainly covers private land, and it's heartening to see the Court of Appeals reject the federal rule and reaffirm Tennesseans' cherished right to be secure on that land," the IJ said.

The landowners were awarded nominal damages of $1 for the violations.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

There's a proposal pending that would give the World Health Organization, that international body that apparently helped China conceal the source of COVID-19, vast new authorities should there be another pandemic.

The plan essentially would give the international political entity the authority to make decisions on vaccinations, medication, shutdowns, even detaining individuals, and impose them on the entire globe.

There are a number of efforts to convince the Biden administration of the negative consequences of such an ill-considered plan.

But one other nation already has taken the lead in announcing its opposition.

That, according to the experts in international law at Liberty Counsel, is Great Britain.

There, officials are "now refusing to sign the World Health Organization's (WHO) Pandemic Treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) because the country says it would have to give away one-fifth of its 'diagnostics, therapeutics, or vaccines' according to the recent draft being negotiated," Liberty Counsel confirmed.

Liberty Counsel Action President John Stemberger said, "No sovereign nation should sign on to the World Health Organization’s power grab. Momentum is building to oppose the World Health Organization insidious plan for global control."

Already, 22 state attorneys generals have sent a letter to Biden opposing the International Health Regulations and the new Pandemic Treaty stating that 'we will resist any attempt to enable the WHO to directly or indirectly set public policy for our citizens.'"

Also, all 49 Republican U.S. senators also sent a letter to Joe Biden calling on his administration to drop its support for the international maneuver that would have America give up the nation's ability to make its own decisions about public health emergencies.

"The letter highlights that a proposed Pandemic Treaty and its International Health Regulation amendments, which may be implemented during this month’s World Health Assembly, would expand the WHO’s authority over the United States – a plan the senators called 'unacceptable,'" the report said.

The organization explained, "Article 12 of the proposed revised draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement states: 'WHO shall conclude legally binding standard PABS contracts with manufacturers to provide the following, taking into account the size, nature and capacities of the manufacturer: (a) annual monetary contributions to support the PABS System and relevant capacities in countries; the determination of the annual amount, use, and approach for monitoring and accountability, shall be finalized by the Parties; (b) real-time contributions of relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines produced by the manufacturer, 10 percent free of charge and 10 percent at not-for-profit prices during public health emergencies of international concern or pandemics, to be made available through the Network established under Article 13 for use on the basis of public health risks, needs and demand; and (c) voluntary non-monetary contributions, such as capacity-building activities, scientific and research collaborations, non-exclusive licensing agreements, arrangements for transfer of technology and know-how in line with Article 11, tiered pricing for relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines.'"

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A team of legal experts that has fought on behalf of the existence of simple faith statements, including the Ten Commandments, is warning a Minnesota county not to be misled by the "false arguments" being pushed by an anti-Christian organization.

The issue is that a new $75 million jail in Itasca County, Minnesota, features a number of faith slogans, including the Ten Commandments painted in the facility's gym.

The presence of those slogans, which the U.S. Supreme Court has concluded are legal, prompted an organization called the Freedom From Religion Foundation to launch a pressure campaign against the county.

The organization's members are insisting that the county paint over the slogans because they "violate" the First Amendment.

FFRF said it wants the county to "repaint and repent," and apologize to taxpayers for "wasting money on two paint jobs."

According to a report from Liberty Counsel, which has defended faith statements in multiple courts, FFRF also wrote to the county claiming it was in violation of "government neutrality" on religion.

However, Liberty Counsel noted that FFRF was citing the "Lemon Test," a now-defunct precedent used for years by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ended the use of that ideology in 2022 and now allows expressions of faith on government property. To censor all such statements would be to put the government in a position of discriminating against faith.

Liberty Counsel reported, "In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled and eliminated the 'Lemon Test' over a series of rulings. The first ruling that struck a blow was Liberty Counsel’s 9-0 victory in Shurtleff v. City of Boston on May 2, 2022. The case involved censorship of Christian viewpoints regarding flag raisings. The high court unanimously rejected Boston’s use of the 'Lemon Test' to censor Christian viewpoints on a public flagpole.

"Then on June 27, 2022, the Court buried the 'Lemon Test' in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District ruling 6-3 that the school district could not suppress private religious speech, such as silent prayer, on the school football field after games."

The court's new "test" for such rulings now is based on "historical practices and understandings."

The justices explained courts should consider the historical practices at the time the Establishment Clause was ratified to "faithfully reflect" the understanding of the Founders in determining the extent of religious expression in the public square, Liberty Counsel reported.

While, the report said, Sheriff Joe Dasovich was considering how to respond to the FFRF demands, Liberty Counsel noted the county "is well within the law to keep its displays."

Liberty Counsel noted the FFRF was resorting to "false arguments."

"The Ten Commandments provide a basic code of conduct and have played a significant role in the development of American law and policy that predates the Constitution. Currently, there are many displays of the Ten Commandments embedded in the architecture of the U.S. government," the organization documented.

Those include multiple displays at the Supreme Court, in the Library of Congress, and multiple other federal buildings.

"There is no need for Itasca County officials to ‘repent’ for its Ten Commandments display. The ‘Lemon Test’ has been dead for almost two years and any case that relied upon its questionable framework is no longer valid. Today, the line between religious expression and governmental endorsement is determined by original and historical practices, and the Ten Commandments have long been displayed in this nation for centuries as a symbol of law," explained Liberty Counsel chief Mat Staver.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A new vote in the United Nations General Assembly has given a boost to the demands by Palestinians to be declared a nation and given formal international recognition.

There are, in fact, multiple Arab nations represented at the U.N. that include Palestinians, who are not a nation.

Nevertheless, they have demanded the full privileges of being one, and a General Assembly vote this week saw 143 nations vote in favor of full recognition. Nine including the U.S. and Israel opposed the idea and 25 nations abstained.

The vote, however, was not enough to bestow nationhood, as the proposal also must pass through the U.N. Security Council, where a plan was vetoed by the United States.

report from Reuters said the proposal "determines that the state of Palestine ... should therefore be admitted to membership" and it "recommends that the Security Council reconsider the matter favorably."

Palestinians are pushing for more rights as their war with Israel still rages in the Gaza Strip.

It started when soldiers from the Gaza-based Hamas terror group invaded Israel Oct. 7, 2023, and slaughtered some 1,200 civilians, often in brutal and barbaric ways.

Riyah Mansour, who is in the U.N. under a partial recognition bestowed earlier on Palestinians, said, "We want peace, we want freedom."

However, Gilad Erdan, U.N. ambassador, said, "As long as so many of you are 'Jew-hating,' you don't really care that the Palestinians are not 'peace-loving.'"

He said the assembly actually was "shredding" the U.N. Charter,

The "state" of Palestine was recognized by 138 nations in 2019 and it was given the right to be a non-member U.N. observer.

It has not held elections in nearly two decades, and it has been criticized for human-rights abuses against journalists, human-rights activists and dissenters.

The U.N.'s process requires new members first to be approved by the 15-member Security Council, which Palestinians have been unable to obtain.

While the U.N. has claimed to support "two states" with a side-by-side Palestine and Israel, Palestinians actually advocate for their state to be "From the river to the sea," which would, in fact, eliminate Israel entirely.

Members claim to want their territory to be large swaths of what now is Israel.

The report noted that under American law, Washington is not allowed to fund any U.N. organization that grants full membership to any group that does not have the "internationally recognized attributes" of statehood.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Arthur Engoron, the New York judge who found there was "fraud" by President Trump and his companies in a case where no one lost money and the "victims" wanted to do more business with him, now reportedly is under investigation.

For possibly getting advice from a lawyer just before announcing a draconian $454 million fine against Trump.

The Gateway Pundit reports that real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey had a discussion with the judge and recommended the judge get the decision "right."

The report said the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is looking at whether Engoron broke the rules.

The case before Engoron claimed Trump's companies mis-valued properties while obtaining loans. The lenders testified the procedures used were standard in business practices, and they came to their own estimates of property values.

Engoron's claim was that Trump and each of the defendants “participated in aiding and abetting the conspiracy to commit insurance fraud by their individual acts in falsifying business records and valuations, causing materially fraudulent SFCs to be intentionally submitted to insurance companies."

The judge's determination – he found "fraud" before the trial and then held the hearings solely to determine the punishment – now is on appeal.

The Pundit explained, "Bailey stated publicly that he spoke with Judge Engoron three weeks before the decision, advising him to 'get it right.'"

Bailey charged, “I actually had the ability to speak to him three weeks ago,” Bailey told NBC New York on Feb. 16. “I saw him in the corner [at the courthouse] and I told my client, ‘I need to go.’ And I walked over and we started talking … I wanted him to know what I think and why…I really want him to get it right.”

A spokesman for Engoron claimed there was no improper communications.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Amid the violent takeovers of campus properties, the threats against other students and even professors, the vandalism that has been inflicted on university properties by those protesting in support of the terrorism of Hamas, one video has emerged that is triggering giggles, even laughter.

It's of pro-Hamas protesters at the Case Western Reserve Campus in Cleveland getting spray-painted.

Social media immediate applauded the results:

"This is fantastic. We need more of this!"

"Painters Lives Matter!"

"Great protest guys … you're covered in paint and the crew was inconvenienced by 5 minutes. Is Palestine free from the river to the sea now?"

"I'm pretty sure he told them to move. If you're told to move and you refuse, you're at fault. Granted, I would have probably just told the university to arrest them and remove them. They need to be suspended or even expelled."

"Give the contractor a bonus."

"I can't say I feel bad for them. I'd like to buy the contractor a beer though."

And, "Pity the contractor didn't do sandblasting."

Twitchy's commentary said, "There is nothing good about the pro-Hamas protests going on at college campuses. They range from foolish and stupid to hateful and vile, and usually involve some combination thereof. But even as we have to endure overprivileged students and professional outside agitators continue to try to destroy the American education institution, we've also been able to enjoy many of the responses to them."

It noted the Jewish UPenn student "who bravely and calmly refused to let protesters who were threatening him with violence deter him from walking on his own campus."

And those "UNC 'frat boys' who stood against a mob trying to remove an American flag and raise a Palestinian flag in its place."

Then, it said, there's "poetic justice."

The pro-Hamas protesters at Case Western had defaced a campus wall, and a contractor was summoned to repair the damage.

"When the protesters tried to stand in front of the contractors to prevent them from doing the job they were hired to do, their response was perfection."

It said, "We knew heroes didn't all wear capes. We weren't aware that some carried spray guns. … Whoever makes this paint or primer should add that feature to the can. 'Covers stains, fading, water damage, and whiny dweebs in a single coat.'"

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

In what is being viewed by many as a final plunge into wokeness, the Boy Scouts of America has announced a name change.

No longer will the name include "Boys."

It will be just "Scouting America." Effective next year.

USA Today reported the organization said its goal is to be more "inclusive."

To which one social media commenter noted, "What exclusion has there been? There's 'The Boy Scouts' and 'The Girl Scouts' … Am I missing something?"

It already was several years ago that the Boy Scouts agreed to allow girls to join, actually drawing a lawsuit from "The Girl Scouts."

Homosexual youth were allowed to join in 2013, and a ban on homosexual leaders ended in 2015. Girls were allowed to join in 2017.

The problem for the organization, however, had been hundreds of claims and lawsuits over abuse by adult leaders of children.

The organization filed for bankruptcy protection and last year agreed to a $2.46 billion settlement of claims from thousands.

The social media reaction included some darkly negative assessments: "Find another program to put your kids in. Pretty soon it will be run by drag queens and called twerk camp."

Radio host Mark Davis added, "God help us. We can't have 'Boy Scouts' anymore."

Back a few years ago, Erik Rush wrote in a commentary at WND, "Apart from acknowledging the undeniable ignominy of this once highly respected organization facing hundreds of lawsuits stemming from the sexual abuse of children, one next wonders how an outfit with a 110-year history of teaching boys how to become virtuous men and good community stewards wound up plummeting from such heights."

He noted, "In July of 2015, the Boy Scouts of America announced that it was lifting its national ban on homosexual adult leaders. This came after years of activist pressure, during which the BSA was encouraged to admit homosexual Scouts, Scout leaders, and, finally, girls to their ranks."

He continued, "Homosexuals were allowed into the Boy Scouts. The BSA is now experiencing an epidemic of sexual misconduct and lawsuits. This was not the case prior to their admittance of homosexuals into the organization. At this point, denying the correlation is as irrational as denying the existence of gravity."

Ironically, it was no less than the U.S. Supreme Court that said, as a private organization, the Boy Scouts were allowed to limit membership to those who met the group's qualifications.

In that case, the high court said under the constitutional right to freedom of association, the BSA was not doing anything unconstitutional by banning homosexuals from its ranks.

The decision came in a fight over a state law demanding "equal treatment" of homosexuals in "public accommodations."

In general, the ruling found that private organizations like the BSA may exclude a person from membership when "the presence of that person affects in a significant way the group's ability to advocate public or private viewpoints."

Shortly after its actions were formally endorsed by the court, the organization voluntarily abandoned them.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida – Best-selling biblical author Jonathan Cahn says the course of history can be changed with one important element, and individual believers in the God of the Bible play a major role in altering history.

That single element is prayer.

"You can change the course of history with prayer. Prayer can change the course of history," said Cahn, who was speaking on the National Day of Prayer Thursday evening before a crowd of hundreds at an event hosted by the Treasure Coast Christian Alliance.

"Roe versus Wade was overturned with the prayer of God's people," he said, referring to the 2022 Supreme Court ruling overturning the 1973 decision making abortion legal nationwide.

He quoted God from the Old Testament, saying, "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

"America took something that didn't belong to it," the Messianic Jewish pastor said. "The lives of its unborn children."

Cahn indicated the COVID pandemic of 2020, which he referred to as a "great plague," was a direct 50-year result of abortion being legalized in America, specifying New York, the first state to legalize abortion on demand through the 24th week of pregnancy.

"Abortion came to the American continent through New York. Fifty years later was the plague. Most cases of COVID came from the gate of New York."

"Our Temple of Baal is Roe v. Wade. [Biblical King] Jehu overturned the temple of Baal, and President Trump contributed in overturning Roe vs. Wade."

Cahn examined numerous events in recent news, including Iran's launching of 300 missiles against Israel on Saturday night, April 13.

"Persia is Iran, and Iran just attacked Israel. The first time in history. It's right in line with what the Bible says."

Cahn says the vicious hatred of all things associated with Israel "is exploding across America," as protesters on college campuses chant, "We are Hamas" and "Zionists don't deserve to live."

"The Bible says all nations will be against Israel," Cahn indicated.

He also mentioned the Oct. 7 "mystery" of the Hamas attack, saying "It was an attack on Israel, it was an attack on a Sabbath day, it was an attack on a high holy day (the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles), it was an attack on the first Sabbath of October 2023."

"With all the craziness, God is still on the throne, and He has no intention of getting off of it."

Cahn compared today's sinful age to the wicked times of young King Josiah in the Bible, who came to the throne at 8 years old, and according to Scripture, "did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left." (2 Kings 22:2 NKJV)

"We are at the Josiah moment: Sexual immorality, gender confusion, we're in trouble."

"At the last minute, God raises up this boy, God uses one man to change the course of the nation. This nation is either between judgment and revival. Revival is life or death. There is a way to be victorious no matter what's going on. Josiah didn't care what the polls said. He broke down the altars in his culture and in his life. If there's anything in your life that's not of God, that's an altar."

He also urged believers to be unafraid during these turbulent times.

"We need to fight in the Spirit. Embrace the fight, and fight the darkness. Don't be afraid of the fight. We have to be more radiant for God. ...

"You are here on Earth for a limited time as an agent of heaven. You are appointed for your age. The age is appointed for you. If it's dark, shine brighter.

"Don't be afraid of the End Times. He has appointed you for it. If He has appointed you, He has anointed you for it. If He has anointed you, He empowers you. If He empowers you, you will live!"

Cahn also noted how some believers often tell him how they wished they lived in biblical times.

"Congratulations! You're [now] in biblical times!"

"The world and the devil are raging against Him [God]. It's all going to pass. All the anti-Semitism, all the anti-Christianity will pass. But the Name of our God will not pass.

"He's chosen you for such a time as this. I've chosen you for victory. Rise and I will be with you! Arise and shine! For your light has come!"

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

new polling in the United Kingdom confirms that a big majority says parents are not criminals because they spank their children.

The YouGov.co.uk polling shows that among all adults, only 12% say spanking children definitely should be criminalized, and 18% say it probably should. But 35% say it probably should not and another 25% say it definitely should not.

Men stood out in their agenda for appropriate corporal punishment with 31% saying it definitely should not be criminalized. Only 19% of women put themselves in that category.

Age also made a difference with 50% of those 18-24 saying it should be criminalized, while 65% of those 50-64 said it should not, and an overwhelming 75% of those 65-plus in that category.

The Christian Institute commented on the polling of almost 4,000 adults in Great Britain, pointing out the result "comes amid pressure to ban smacking in England and Northern Ireland, with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health urging politicians to axe the legal defense of reasonable chastisement, which currently allows loving parents to lightly discipline their children without fear of prosecution."

The Institute reported, "The areas where support for a smacking ban was highest were in Wales (41 per cent in favor) and Scotland (38 per cent in favor). However, while those countries implemented bans in 2022 and 2020 respectively, 51 per cent of the adults surveyed in each nation remained opposed to criminalising parents. Support for a ban was lowest in the Midlands, with just 26 per cent in favour, and 64 per cent opposed."

The institute added, "Conservative voters were most likely to oppose a ban, with 77 per cent against it, with only 16 per cent in favour. Labour and Liberal Democrat voters were also broadly opposed, with 48 and 50 per cent opposed respectively, although 39 per cent of each group broadly supported a ban.":

Simon Calvert, spokesman for the Be Reasonable campaign, said: "The Great British public is far wiser on this issue than the so-called parenting experts. They understand that children are already protected from assault and so changing the law on reasonable chastisement would simply mean prosecuting innocent parents for harmless behaviour. When it comes to the question of whether a mum should be able to tap a tot on the back of the hand, we should trust parents, not criminalise them."

© 2024 - Patriot News Alerts