Sunday, June 5, 2016


GENESIS 19:24-28
"Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace."

SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

Revelers wave rainbow flags during the annual gay pride parade in Tel Aviv June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly
(TRUNEWS) Israel may be known as The Holy Land, but in Tel Aviv, one of the world’s largest gay pride parades is taking place as tens of thousands of homosexuals make their pilgrimage to this Sodom-like mecca.
An estimated 200,000 people—including 30,000 tourists—participated in Tel Aviv’s gay pride parade on Friday, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
The 18th annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv on Friday was expected, as it always does, to draw thousands of Israelis and a large number of guests from abroad to march in the colorful parade and express this minority group’s mixed feelings: pride over the community’s achievements mixed with frustration over what they feel is the discrimination still inherent in today’s laws and their demand to honor every person’s right to choose “whom to love”.
According to The Jewish News Service:
This year’s parade began with a moment of silence for 16-year-old Shira Banki, who was stabbed to death by a haredi man at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade last year, and for the victims of the 2009 shooting attack at the Bar Noar LGBT youth club in Tel Aviv.
The 2016 Tel Aviv parade, titled “Women for Change,” highlighted women in the LGBT community and their so-called struggle for equal rights. The parade was launched by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who urged Israeli lawmakers attending the event to promote legislation to allow marriage and parenting equality, and promised that Tel Aviv will always be a city of tolerance and democracy that respects all minorities.
Transgender Beauty Pageant in ‘The Holy Land’
Activities have been ramping up all week, including an extremely popular transgender beauty contest. A man identifying himself as an ‘Arab Christian’ won Israel’s first transgender beauty pageant, at an event that brought together contestants from the Holy Land’s other main faiths in an in what they are labeling as an ‘unconventional show of tolerance and coexistence’.
In what organizers described as an ethnic “mosaic”, those vying for the Miss Trans Israel 2016 crown included a Jewish confectioner from an Orthodox Jerusalem family, a Muslim belly-dancer from Tel Aviv and a Christian ballerina from Nazareth.
Unlike elsewhere in the Middle East, Israel has mostly liberal laws on sexual identity, with openly gay and transgender troops in its conscript military. But people who are homosexual or transgender often face hostility from religious conservatives in the Jewish majority and Muslim and Christian Arab minorities.
“Israeli people like transgenders but they don’t have enough information about transgenders,” said pageant judge Efrat Tilma at the pageant’s venue, Tel Aviv’s Habima National Theatre.
“Among us there are judges, there are doctors, there are lawyers, there are people who are working in hi-tech positions and, as well, people who would like to go to the Israeli parliament and to represent us in our parliament.”
Carolin Khoury, a Muslim contestant, said she hoped Friday’s contest would “send a message to the Arab communities in Israel or abroad, to accept the other.”
US Christian Leaders Silent on Israeli Gay Pride
Amazingly, Christian leaders who claim to love and support Israel still remain eerily silent in denouncing these Sodom and Gomorrah activities. As previously reported by TRUNEWS, the 18th Annual Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv has been heavily promoted by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. This is the same agency that spends literally millions of dollars annually seeking to lure thousands of evangelical Christians from the US to visit ‘The Holy Land’.
Israel has become the best country in the Middle East for gay and lesbian individuals to live. In addition to the fact that gay people can serve openly in the Israeli military, Israeli governments have been promoting social equality for LGBT people for more than a decade. It should come as no surprise then that Israel’s capital of cool, Tel Aviv, has gained a reputation as one of the world’s top destinations for gay men.

Gay pride parade draws 200,000 to Tel Aviv
Fundamental Christian Perspective & Analysis



SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

Watch this little one with care, filled with God, and great in worth;
Babes, before they come to birth, shine above in azure air.
God in bounty gives us this, they are sent to us on earth,
All his wisdom in their mirth, all his mercy in their kiss.
 —Victor Hugo
Knowing how we have been misled by those we trusted hurts, especially from people like the Bush Clan who most Republicans blindly put a great deal of faith, time and money into. Knowing there are those who are going to support a person no matter what, hurts more.
This information has been researched and reported by many and has even been in our courts, so please read and help us remove the Gülen Charter schools and the entire movement from our shores and bring awareness as to our governments involvement in changing the world thru the hidden efforts of the CIA and world leaders.
In addition to his schools in the US, Gülen has schools and Madrasas (Arabic word for educational institutions) all over the world. His Madrasas were outlawed in countries like Russia and Uzbekistan and his schools were under investigation in the Netherlands. Plus, the origin of his immense wealth, which he uses to open and operate these schools all over the world, is unclear. As proven previously a great deal of it is American tax $$.
The CIA’s Graham Fuller, former handler of Fethullah Gülen, is currently one of the top American experts on Turkey and the Middle East. As a former CIA agent it was HE who endorsed Gülen to be allowed to not only enter the U.S., but take up residence in the Poconos Mountains, start over 100+ Charter schools collecting our tax dollars in the process along with the freedom to indoctrinate our children.
One of the frequently discussed issues in contemporary Turkey is the political influence of “The Gülen Movement,” (Hizmet) or the religious network inspired by the teachings of Fethullah Gülen. Almost all observers including the FBI agree that the movement needs to be taken as a serious “radical threat”. The very fact that one part the U.S. government gave this man permanent residency in our country claiming him to be an excellent scholar, while the rest of the country including the FBI look at Gülen for what he is – a “radical Muslim” while using our children and working within the confines and protection of our government is treasonous to me.
In an interview last year Fuller was asked if the U.S. would be sending Gülen back to Turkey as Prime Minister Erdogan had asked and Fuller basically stated Erdogan has no proof of any of the charges against Gülen and he would be staying in the US – Obama agreed.
With the very large role Fuller played in bringing Gülen to the U.S. (and keeping him here) he still fails to admit the dangers the Gülen schools and movement is placing on Americans within their very borders. Could this be because of Fuller’s link to other “radical” Muslims? You betcha!
In my previous article I explained his role in the Gülen “invasion” and now interesting facts are coming out in regard to how and when Gülen actually started working for the CIA.
Some Americans (especially in Washington) are upset with Wikileaks for the information he has released. I am not as I consider most of what he released was informing “we the people” of the back door maneuvers of our government and most of them against us – their main enemy.
Some of the information released contained details on US unease over Gülen’s operations with the classified documents recounting U.S. officials' growing concern over the large numbers of Turkish men seeking H-1B visas to work at American charter schools founded and funded by Fethullah Gülen and OUR tax $$.
Turkeys" consular officials had noticed that most of these applicants share a common characteristic - they are generally evasive about their purpose of travel to the US. One destination for visa holders was the Truebright Science Academy, a charter school founded in North Philly by followers of Gülen. An analysis of H1-B visas conducted by the Inquirer showed that the number granted for Gülen charter schools has grown substantially since that 2006 report. More than 2,500 have been issued since 2007. The acting chief executive at Truebright, Tansu Cidav, has declined to discuss the school's operation. State pension records show Turkish staffers at Truebright are paid more than their American counterparts. In the last school year, a Turkish math teacher who was not certified and spoke little English was paid $54,000; a certified American science teacher was paid $40,200. Keep in mind ALL Gülen workers including teachers are to give back 40% of their pay check which is then in turn given to one of the Gülen Foundations. That’s an additional $2,160 a year of OUR tax dollars funding GÜLEN!
TrueBright was refused a renewal of their contract and closed in December, 2014 because of numerous “failures”: failure to meet academic goals, lack of a defined curriculum, failure to attract students from its catchment area, not offering world languages or Advanced Placement courses as promised. TrueBright since its opening had not only been part of FBI and Dept. of Labor investigations but sued by several American employees alleging discrimination.
Another perfect example of the system not following up on the certification of teachers working in Charter schools and their unelected school boards. They are pleased to be able to offer these people less money and no benefits until caught (Teach for America teachers?) Most non-American teachers at the Gülen schools are uncertified in this country and here on the H-1B non-immigrant status visas. One-third of this schools teachers alone were from Turkey.
The reason they need to use so many H-1B visas is they bring over a person and they work for 6 months then they let them go and bring in a replacement. The first person then just stays in the US if and when forced to leave. Most are not!
Am I the only one here screaming at the parents who complain their children cannot understand most of the Turkish teachers? Then why in the heck (I am being nice) is your child in that school??? Didn’t you tour it or talk to anyone there before enrolling your child? Talk about putting the cart before the horse!
Can you believe the president of TrueBright’s unelected parent/teachers association was a minister – Rev. James W. Wright, Sr., who stated he had no knowledge that the school administration had lied about the number of seniors who had graduated from the school – they said 50 students and it was only 33.
Now the real wake-up call!
Former top CIA official Graham Fuller spent 20 years as operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. In 1982 Fuller was appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the CIA, and in 1986, under Ronald Reagan, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.
Following the days of the Boston bombings a brand new name began to emerge – Ruslan Tsarnaev. Discovered to be the bomber’s uncle, he became known to the press as Uncle Ruslan. “Ruslan” gained notoriety for the ferocity with which he denounced his own nephews and their alleged Islamic radicalism. He said all the right things the right way to the “authorities”. But wait – who is this guy anyway?
Uncle Ruslan, a lawyer, and his nephews and their family are from Chechnya! They are Russian Muslims!
As more information came to light about these brothers we find they had worked with the CIA/USAID and they were working and living at the home of none other than our reported Graham Fuller, strong proponent of political Islam, inspiration for the Iran-Contra affair, character reference on more than one occasion for Gülen, former Rand Corp. analyst and former FATHER-IN-LAW to Uncle Ruslan. Oops!
Fuller was also the senior CIA person who was the architect of the Afghan Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen war against the Soviets and he was also involved in creating a global jihad network, presumably acting on behalf of CIA interests.
Are Americans to still believe the CIA is not behind the increase of “radical Islam” in this country?
Yessir its true - Graham Fuller’s daughter Samantha Fuller had married Ruslan Tsarnaev (who has changed his name to Ruslan Tsarni) and he is the uncle of Tamerlane and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Bombers. Ruslan and Samantha Fuller were married in the early 1990’s and divorced sometime in 2004.
More than a little embarrassed, Fuller spoke to the press claiming Ruslan was “homesick” for Chechnya and that his English was “shaky”. Yet a few days later a very English-fluent Ruslan gave his press conference from his very affluent Maryland home denouncing his nephews to the world.
In 1995, Ruslan Tsarnaev incorporated the Congress of Chechen International Organizations in Maryland, using on the incorporation documents the very same address as Fuller’s home address in Rockville Maryland. Tsarnaev also at one time worked for one of the Dick Cheney’s Halliburton shell companies used as a front to obtain oil contracts from the Kazakhstan government and in 2005 was also working for the CIA/USAID which is part of the State Dept. and actually a front for the CIA allowing access to an array of places around the globe.
(USAID were the ones responsible through the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (Canvas) who took Middle East students and trained them in readiness for the ‘Arab Spring’. CANVAS is part-funded and supported by globalist foundations like George Soros’s Freedom House and Open Society Institute, as well as CIA-linked National Endowment for Democracy and, of course, the full frontal USAID – our $$.)
Through the investigation of the Boston Bombings, Fuller continued to state it was “absurd” to try and link the CIA to the Boston bombings. Really?
In addition, Fuller has long made the argument that Islam is a potentially useful geopolitical tool for the United States to manipulate for their own use. He has been quoted as saying, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”
Tamerlane and Dzhokhar came to the US in 2003 with their parents and sisters. In early 2011 Russian officials asked the FBI to look after Tamerlane’s activities. "The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country's (Russia) region to join unspecified underground groups."
The summer of 2011 interview of Tamerlane and his family didn’t reveal any problems according to the FBI. In January 2012 Tamerlane returned to Russia for 6 months and supposition is that he spent that time with Chechen Islamic rebels. His father claims he never left the US.
I might be a female, but when I went to school the object was to have you learn and become smarter – not like today where you are to leave after 12 years of schooling as a “dumbed down” indoctrinated shell! The CIA has its name tagged all over many dirty dealings which include things done inside and outside the US which have and continue to affect our lives and not necessarily in a good way.
Imam Gülen’s “movement” is described as “religiously-inspired” and some refer to Gülen as a scholar, however he only attended school through the 5th grade, but he seems to have smart enough people under him running his several hundred educational organizations such as K–12 schools, universities, and language schools (mostly English) that have been established around the world, mainly in Central Asia, Caucasus, Balkans, and 146 Charter schools in the U.S. You understand, Gülen claims he has NOTHING personally to do with the schools or foundations. But, isn’t Islam a religion?
How did he receive his U.S. residency status while he was ‘wanted’ by the then Turkish Government, is no longer a mystery. Now, this man owns and operates charter schools all across America obtaining our tax dollars through various foundations despite the fact his Madrasas were outlawed in countries like Russia and Uzbekistan.
Of course, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped in the establishment of the Turkish Gülen Charter Schools and the Gülen Movement in the US with a brokered deal to split the revenue from the sale of the oil captured in Iraq by ISIS Radical Islamic Terrorists, a deal made between Prime Minister Erdogan’s and Gülen’s factions in Turkey and overseen by the CIA. The captured oil was subsequently driven to the Turkish border in oil truck caravans to be sold by Prime Minister Erdogan’s son. For using her good offices to help Gülen, Clinton was paid an estimated $1 million with half going to the Clinton Family Foundation and half to the Clinton Presidential Campaign (payment to a political campaign by a foreigner is in violation of US Federal Campaign Laws). “So what difference does it make?”
Never forget that “a poor man’s war is terrorism while a rich man’s terrorism is war” – and sometimes those lines cross for the purposes of big-power politics.
Anyone wishing to form a national coalition to remove all Fethullah Gulen activities from the U.S. may contact me at
Click here for part -----> 12,

Clare Lopez: Gulen and the Gulenist Movement
Published on May 6, 2016
Clare M. Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, is the co-author of the recently published book “Gülen and the Gülenist Movement: Turkey’s Islamic Supremacist Cult and its Contributions to the Civilization Jihad.” Fethullah Gülen is the head of a vast political network in Turkey that promotes theocracy and has infiltrated the Turkish state. Gülen lives in the U.S. where he has established a significant number of charter schools. Her remarks included commentary on Gülen's erstwhile ally, now opponent, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Lopez is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Canadian Mackenzie Institute. In 2016, she was named to Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign national security advisory team. Since 2013, she has served as a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi. Formerly Vice President of the Intelligence Summit, she was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006, and has served as a consultant, intelligence analyst, and researcher for a variety of defense firms. She was named a 2011 Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute.
Already an advisor to EMP Act America, in February 2012 Ms. Lopez was named a member of the Congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security, which focuses on the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) threat to the nation. She serves as a member of the Boards of Advisors/Directors for the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, the United West, and the Voice of the Copts. She has been a Visiting Researcher and guest lecturer on counterterrorism, national defense, and international relations at Georgetown University.

Charters, Privatization Of Education & The Gulen Schools In The US: Sharon Higgins Speaks Out
Published on May 13, 2012
The largest charter school chain within the public school system in the United States is run by a secretive Islamic Imam called Fethullah Gulen. His charter school chain is getting tens of millions of dollars from the public for their schools and there are a growing number of examples of systemic corruption and siphoning off public funds into their financial empire.
Sharon Higgins is a researcher and blogger from Oakland, California who became concerned about the growing use of charters to privatize education and began to expose them in her
blog Http://­m.
She discusses her investigation of the Gulen schools, how they operate and the
threat they are to public education in the United States.
Other sites are at
Also more video on these issues at:

Gulen Operated Schools racism, bigotry and abuse of human rights
Published on May 27, 2016
The abuse of Gulenist operated charter schools across the USA is wide and deep, there are many lawsuits filed on human rights abuses based on Gender, Race, Religion and Ethnicity.
Gulen Movement uses the label "Islamophobic" to get out of investigations on their money mismanagement, grant abuses, human rights abuses, Visa abuse of H1-b, hiring non Americans, Educational law abuses and more. The Gulen Movement will be held accountable and not allowed to cry victim with "islamophobia" then not be able to demonstrate specifically what or how people are using Islam to investigate them. The gulen Movement will answer to their many lawsuits filed and to the American people. We will no longer tolerate racism, bigotry and theft of American money.

Arrangement Between Gülen Schools And The CIA Exposed!
Published on Jan 10, 2016
A memoir by a top former Turkish intelligence official claims that a worldwide moderate Islamic movement based in Pennsylvania has been providing cover for the CIA since the mid-1990s.

The memoir, roughly rendered in English as “Witness to Revolution and Near Anarchy,” by retired Turkish intelligence official Osman Nuri Gundes, says the religious-tolerance movement, led by an influential former Turkish imam by the name of Fethullah Gulen, has 600 schools and 4 million followers around the world.
* Joe Biggs Report


Official Photo

Bill would cut off foreign aid to countries that don’t take criminals back
Published on May 25, 2016
Republican lawmaker Brian Babin (R-Texas) is spearheading an effort to cut off foreign aid and visas to countries that refuse to take back citizens who enter the United States illegally and commit violent crimes.

Babin has introduced the Criminal Alien Deportation Act of 2016. It would require the Homeland Security Department to submit to Congress every 90 days a list of countries refusing to accept back citizens who commit crimes in the U.S.

The bill would also stop travel visa programs and cut foreign aid to uncooperative countries.

“This really has to do with folks who are aliens here, who have committed crimes, many of them, thousands of these crimes, violent crimes,” Babin said. “When their countries of origin are not taking them back it endangers American citizens.”

Watch The Hill's video to learn what prompted Rep. Babin to draft the bill.

Babin Introduces Criminal Alien Deportation Bill
Published on May 23, 2016
U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) introduced the Criminal Alien Deportation Enforcement Act of 2016 (H.R. 5224), which would withhold foreign aid and travel visas from any country that refuses to take back their own citizens who have been criminally detained in the United States.

Rep. Brian Babin on new focus on refugees coming into US

Babin Calls for an Immediate End to Sanctuary Cities
Published on Jul 10, 2015
U.S. Representative Brian Babin (TX-36) spoke on the House floor to call for an immediate end to sanctuary city policies. Babin said the consequences of government-sanctioned lawlessness are real – and the tragic killing of Kathryn Steinle at the hands of a five-time deported illegal alien in San Francisco should have never happened.

Babin Warns of Grave Threat Associated With
U.N.-Run Refugee Program
Published on Oct 29, 2015
U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) took to the House floor to speak out about the grave threat associated with the U.N.-run refugee program. Babin urged his colleagues to join him in supporting his legislation, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act (H.R. 3314), which immediately suspends the program to provide Congress time to fully assess the national security risks and investigate its financial burden on federal, state and local taxpayers.

86,000 criminal illegal immigrants have committed 231,000 crimes
in past two and a half years
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

The Obama administration is withholding from Congress and the American people detailed information about more than 86,000 illegal aliens who have committed serious crimes and continue to walk the streets in the United States, according to conversations with a member of Congress, who disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that “if the public knew about this there would be total absolute outrage” over the matter.
Rep. Brian Babin (R., Texas) told the Free Beacon that the administration is trying to suppress information about the release of some 86,000 criminal illegal immigrants who have committed 231,000 crimes in just the past two and a half years.
Babin, who is spearheading new legislation to boost the deportation rate of these criminals, many of whom continue to walk free across America, warned that the administration is not taking action to deport these criminal illegal immigrants once they are freed from U.S. prisons.
“All I can think of is they don’t want the general public to know what’s going on,” Babin said in an interview. “When you have 86,000 criminal aliens committing 231,000 crimes just over the last two and half years, I don’t think they want the public to know what’s going on.”
“I think if the public knew about this there would be total absolute outrage,” Babin said. “I talk to some of these victims families, it’s just incredible to see what has happened and the fact these people served time for felonies, they’re released from prison, they’re illegally here, and then not being deported, so they go back to their life of crime.”
Babin said that he has not “had any briefings by the administration” on the matter.
“My briefings are coming from the victims’ families or the victims themselves of these people who are being released and are criminal aliens here,” he said. “Some of these stories are absolutely tragic.”
Babin is the author of legislation that would halt travel visas and U.S. foreign aid to any country that refuses to take back its citizens.
The bill comes as the Obama administration has deported a very small number of illegal immigrants from the United States.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau deported nearly 410,000 aliens in 2012 when it received roughly $2.8 billion in taxpayer funds. The agency expelled just 235,413 aliens in 2015 but received around $3.5 billion to fund its deportation programs, according to the DHS statistics.
Deportations have dropped by 174,436 over the past three years despite an increase in funding totaling more than $680 million, according to the statistics.
Separate statistics issued by the Department of Homeland Security reveal that the administration deported less than 1 percent of foreigners who illegally overstayed their travel visas to the United States.
Babin compared the situation to a similar controversy over the administration’s plan to bring in more than 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year. Congressional critics of the plan have warned that federal authorities do not have the capability to properly vet these individuals for ties to terrorism.
“It’s kind of like our refugee situation,” Babin said. “It’s very, very difficult to get information about how these refugees are brought into our country and settled around into localities without the knowledge of the local citizens.”
When U.S. cities do finally learn about these refugees, “they have really no authority to stop it or even slow it down. All you can think of is that the administration really is not too wild about the American citizens finding out about how these things operate.”
At least 179,029 criminal illegal aliens who have been ordered deported from the United States continue to roam free, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Free Beacon disclosed in August 2015 that the administration had been keeping the release of violent illegal immigrants a secret from U.S. towns.
Babin said that his legislation would help remedy the program by penalizing foreign nations for their continued refusal to take back their citizens.
“This is a bipartisan bill,” he said. “There’s nothing partisan about this. We’re trying to protect U.S. citizens.”


QUOTE: “The only true shield standing between women and the bible, that handbook for the subjugation of women, is a secular government. U.S. citizens must wake up to the threat of an encroaching theocracy, and shore up Thomas Jefferson's 'wall of separation between church and state.' ”
—-Annie Laurie Gaylor, Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So (2004 edition)
"Gaylor is on the Board of Directors of the Women's Medical Fund, Inc., a group that helps women pay for abortion services."
Rita Bettis
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

DES MOINES, Iowa — Three church-state separation groups are expressing objection to a proclamation issued by the governor of Iowa that urges residents to participate in a statewide Bible reading marathon.
In April, Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation at the state capitol urging participation in a 99 county Bible reading marathon scheduled for June 30 through July 3. The Iowa Prayer Caucus, the National Governor’s Prayer Team and the United States Prayer Council organized the event.
“Whereas all Scripture is essential to prepare us to be the people God wants us to be and to accomplish the purpose for which he created us,” the proclamation reads in part, “and whereas, America, being founded upon biblical principles and Judeo-Christian ethics, as taught in the Bible, paid tribute to the Bible for its important influence upon the development of our nation by many of our great national leaders such as President Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson…”
“Now therefore, I, Terry E. Branstad, governor of the state of Iowa do hereby encourage all Iowans to join in this historic Iowa 99 county Bible reading marathon to take place June 30 through July 3, 2016 in front of all 99 courthouses and furthermore, encourage individuals and families in Iowa to read through the Bible on a daily basis each year until the Lord comes,” it says.
But the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa (ACLU), Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, and the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) are now expressing objection to the proclamation and assert that Branstad’s actions were unconstitutional.
“The governor’s proclamation is frankly outrageous and embarrassing, and inconsistent with our core American and Iowan principles of inclusion and respect of all its people of all faiths, as well as those who are not religious,” asserted Rita Bettis of the ACLU.
“Can you imagine the uproar if the governor used state resources to encourage people to go to a ‘God is Dead’ rally or a vigil to review how divisive religion is? Everyone can see how inappropriate that would be. This is exactly the same type of violation,” Annie Laurie Gaylor of FFRF also told reporters.
However, others state that Branstad’s proclamation is perfectly legal as it mirrors similar declarations made by the nation’s founding fathers.
“Gov. Branstad’s proclamation echoes Benjamin Franklin’s suggestion at the very Constitutional Convention itself that an appeal to God needed to be made for His intervention and that each day of the Convention must begin in prayer,” wrote Greg Baker of the Family Leader in a recent commentary on the matter.
“Or when President Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural address boldly proclaimed that God was judging America for its sins and in order for the Civil War to end, America need to repent. President Lincoln issued numerous proclamations, calling America to days of fasting, prayer, and repentance,” he outlined.
Nathan Oppman, also with the Family Leader, also pointed to similar historical facts.
“In 1774 Congress informally employed the services of the rector of Christ Church in Philadelphia, Jacob Duché, and on July 9, 1776, he was formally elected as the first Congressional chaplain,” he said. “After Duché defected, Congress elected two chaplains from different denominations: William White and George Duffield.”
“This dual nomination demonstrated Congress’ concern that they not favor particular denominations. This practice was formally adopted in 1789 under a joint resolution after the Constitution was approved,” Oppman explained.
“Throughout the Revolutionary period, Congress issued annual proclamations of fasting and thanksgiving, including encouragement to ‘confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease [God’s] righteous displeasure, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness,'” he also noted.
Oppman said this indicated that “not only was Congress comfortable supporting religion, but they were comfortable supporting the Christian religion in particular” and even directly mentioned Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
“Moreover, in Iowa, governors have long issued religious proclamations. Gov. Kirkwood in 1876 called on Iowans to observe a day of Thanksgiving and specifically referenced Christianity. Gov. Sherman again called for a day of Thanksgiving in 1881,” he explained.
Baker said that the concept of separation of Church and State has been distorted.
“We seem to think it means that pastors cannot speak about government in the church and that the government cannot mention God,” he stated. “The phrase and principle, however, was originally stated and applied to protect Americans and the Church from a national church being founded, much like those in Europe, such as the Church of England. In America, we did not want to require everyone to attend one national church led by the government. Rather, we believed the two should be separate institutions.”
“Not only is Governor Branstad’s proclamation clearly constitutional, but we should thank him for being humble enough to look to a higher power—and not just any higher power, but our Lord Jesus Christ and His word,” Baker said.