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Supreme Court to Reexamine View of Church-State Relations

By Editorial Staff
Published November 1, 1989

WASHINGTON, D.C. (FR) – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a number of cases exploring the relationship between church and state during its current session which began on October 2.

The Court will decide the constitutionality of the Equal Access Act, passed in 1984, which requires schools to open their facilities to religiously-orientated student groups if they permit non-religious student clubs.

On July 3, 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case called Westside Board of Education vs. Mergens. The Court will examine equal access in the Mergens case, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled in favor of a Christian student group that had been forbidden to meet on school grounds. The Court could also review the Garnett case, a similar case, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against a Christian student group.

The Court is expected to uphold Equal Access by a wide margin.

Another case that may appear this session, but is not yet scheduled for review, involves Larry Witters, a disabled man from the state of Washington who wants to use funding from a state educational assistance program to pursue a seminary education. Previously the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that his individual choice to use a state education grant at a religious school did not pose a constitutional problem. But the Washington Supreme Court has since overruled the decision, claiming that the state’s constitutional prohibition of establishment of religion is stricter than federal legal codes.

Witters’ case is expected to win review because it involves a conflict between state and federal standards, and because the lower state court is acting out of accordance with the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jordan Lawrence, litigation director for Concerned Women for America, thinks that Witters’ case could lead to a landmark decision by the Court. “I think it has significant implications,” Lawrence said. “The case is innocently asking for the Supreme Court to review this whole area once again and adopt a constitutional principle that if the government makes money available to anyone, as an individual, they can use it to attend a religious institution. It could produce a very important decision.”

Other decisions made recently by lower courts have upheld the religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. In Denver, Colorado, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch ruled that students have a constitutional right to distribute a publication at their high school that promoted Christian principles. In New Orleans, Louisiana, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a public library in Oxford, Mississippi may not prohibit a Concerned Women for America prayer chapter from using its facilities because of the religious content of the group’s meetings.

These cases and other upcoming decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court promise to reestablish and uphold the constitutional right of religious freedom, which had been denied to millions of Americans in recent years.

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

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This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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The United States of America 2.0: The Great Reset (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!

Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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