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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal to Hear 'Pledge of Allegiance' Case

October 6

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to review a Florida law that requires public school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day unless they have their parents' written permission excusing them.

The justices declined Monday an appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida on behalf of a high school student removed from his math class because he remained seated during the pledge.

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Lawyer Sues to End Dallas Group's 'Threat' Prayers

October 6

A former military lawyer who served in the Reagan White House and worked for Ross Perot is suing a Dallas-based religious organization in a case that could test the limits of free speech and prayer.

Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said he wants Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former U.S. Navy chaplain, to "stop asking Jesus to plunder my fields ... seize my assets, kill me and my family then wipe away our descendants for 10 generations."

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Poll Finds Just One-Third of Americans Back Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

October 6

A new national poll finds just one-third of Americans back the pro-abortion health care bills in Congress. Meanwhile, the nation's Catholic bishops condemned a Senate committee's vote against an amendment that would have cut off taxpayer-funding of abortions in the Baucus health care bill.

The latest FOX News poll shows a decline in the support for the government-run health care bills pending in Congress, each of which fund abortions.

Now, just one-third, 33 percent, of Americans favor the bills while a majority of 53 percent of those polled oppose it.

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Participation in Second Annual 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday' More Than Doubles From Last Year

October 6

More than 80 pastors from 30 states and nation's capitol embrace constitutional freedom over IRS censorship

LEAWOOD, Kan. - Eighty-three churches from 30 states and the District of Columbia participated in the Alliance Defense Fund's second annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday on Sept. 27. Pastors at those churches preached biblically-based sermons about the positions of electoral candidates and current government officials. More than twice the number of pastors participating in last year's inaugural event exercised their constitutional right to free religious expression this year, despite a controversial rule often used by the Internal Revenue Service and activist groups to silence churches.

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California City Council OK's Uncensored Prayers

October 6

In California, the Lodi City Council has voted unanimously to let religious leaders give uncensored prayers before meetings despite criticism that it promotes Christianity.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent the council a letter in May saying that it should make all prayers nondenominational and nonsectarian. The group threatened a lawsuit if the council didn't comply.

The letter prompted the council to call a meeting on the issue Wednesday night attended by about 500 people, many of whom supported the prayers.

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Christian Legal Group Takes Up Cross for Religion

October 6

In a remote corner of the Mojave Desert, there's a war memorial dating to the 1930s. On top, there's an 8-foot cross that is, for now, obscured by a plywood box lest anyone driving 900 miles out of their way happen upon it and take offense at the endorsement of religiosity on public land.

The ACLU and others want the cross taken down. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Wednesday.

In Plano, there's a team of conservative lawyers fighting to make sure the cross doesn't go anywhere. Because when there's a legal squabble involving religion in the public square - even in the middle of nowhere - there's a good chance the Liberty Legal Institute will get called in.

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School District Settles Student Bible Club Lawsuit

October 6

Lindenhurst Union Free School District has settled a lawsuit filed by a student who alleged that officials had violated his civil rights by refusing to let him form a Bible club.

The district, which denied the allegation, agreed to pay the high school student, identified in court papers only as "A.Q.," nominal damages of $1.

The district also paid $2,500 for legal expenses to the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based Christian organization that sued the school district on the student's behalf.

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