‘New York Times’ OK with Censoring Art

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Catholic League president Bill Donohue (photo) comments on the New York Times’ reaction to art that was banned by the Guggenheim:

When the Catholic League protested a vile video exhibit at the Smithsonian in 2010 that featured large ants crawling over Jesus on a crucifix, an editorial in the New York Times said, “The Catholic League is entitled to protest.” But it strongly criticized the decision of the museum to pull the video, saying that it was giving into the “bullying” of Rep. John Boehner. It cited its support for “culturally challenging images.”

When the Catholic League protested a filthy exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1999 that featured a huge portrait of Our Blessed Mother adorned with elephant dung and pictures of vaginas and anuses, an editorial in the New York Times applauded the decision of the museum to “defend artistic freedom.”

When the Catholic League protested an obscene play at the Manhattan Theatre in 1998 that featured Jesus having sex with the twelve apostles, an editorial in the New York Times cheered the performance, saying, “This is not only a land of freedom; it is a land where freedom is always contested.”

But when the Guggenheim decided to ban three exhibits that upset animal rights activists, two of which are videos–the exhibition starts today–the New York Times failed to issue an editorial defending the art. What gives?

Why is it that when Catholics are offended, the New York Times always lectures us on the need to understand that art is supposed to make us “uncomfortable.” Is it saying that the artistic community has no right to make the animal rights crowd “uncomfortable”?

Why the silence on the Guggenheim censors? We’d love to read an editorial in the New York Times that explains its reasoning.

Foundation for Moral Law Urges Eleventh Circuit to Protect Pensacola Cross

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Oct. 5, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Yesterday, the Foundation for Moral Law filed an amicus brief in the case of Kondrat’yev v. City of Pensacola, which is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. In that case, a group of atheists and humanists sued the City of Pensacola after being offended at the presence of a cross in Bayview Park. The plaintiffs were represented by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Humanist Association. The trial judge reluctantly ordered the City to remove the cross, but the City appealed.

The cross has stood undisturbed in Bayview Park for 76 years without anyone seeking its removal. The original wooden cross was donated to the City by the Jaycees in 1941. The same group replaced the aging wooden cross in 1969 with the current version. The cross has provided a gathering place for Pensacolians for Easter sunrise services, Veterans Day events, Memorial Day events, and other community gatherings for decades.

Foundation President Kayla Moore said, “The Freedom From Religion Foundation has continued its unrelenting assault on our nation’s Christian heritage by attacking the Pensacola Cross. The Founding Fathers would have had no problem with the cross, and we are happy to help defend it.”

Matthew Clark, one of the Foundation’s staff attorneys, added, “Recently, a majority of Justices on the Supreme Court have been analyzing cases like these in light of the First Amendment’s actual history instead of the confusing tests that the Court has manufactured over the years. We are confident that the Supreme Court would uphold the constitutionality of the Pensacola Cross if it took the case in the future.”

Victory Over LGBT Agenda for Miami Counselors

MIAMI, Fla., Oct. 4, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Yesterday, an overwhelming majority of the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners voted 7-4 to reject Proposed Ordinance 17-1359, which sought to ban any discussion with or counseling provided to minors who have unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion.

The ban proponents misrepresented their actual goal of prohibiting licensed counselors, and anyone “not licensed” by the state – including pastors, teachers, and parents – from simply talking to any minor (including a parent’s own child) about the child’s unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion. The ban prohibited anyone from saying to a minor that same-sex activity or identifying as the opposite sex is harmful, wrong, or should be resisted. The majority rejected the poorly-drafted speech ban, as a violation of First Amendment free speech, religious exercise, and parental rights, as well as on the grounds that government should not be inserting itself between a client and a counselor.

Prior to the vote, Liberty Counsel partnered with Christian Family Coalition to provide analysis and support to commissioners concerned about the First Amendment rights of their constituents. Jonathan Alexandre, Director of Public Policy for Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action, testified in person against the proposed speech ban at the hearing today. After more than five hours of debate, in which more than 70 people spoke against the ban, the commissioners rejected it as targeting speech with which the ban’s proponents disagreed.

Liberty Counsel has been instrumental in defeating such bans at the state level in numerous states, including Florida. Florida proponents of such counseling bans have turned to municipal governments to try at the local level what they have not accomplished statewide, hoping to generate the false perception of overwhelming support. Yet, such local bans violate the jurisdiction the Florida Legislature holds over licensed professionals engaged in state-wide practice.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which also has jurisdiction over Florida, has found that a law similar to the proposed speech ban, involving speech, licensed medical doctors, and questions about patients’ gun ownership was an unconstitutional infringement of the “substantial First Amendment protection” accorded to health care provider-client “communications about medical treatment” Wollschlaeger v. Governor, Florida, 848 F.3d 1293, 1309 (11th Cir. 2017) (emphasis in original). The proposed speech ban would have violated not only the free speech rights of counselors; the doctor-patient relationship; the right of client self-determination; the right of minors to hear and receive information, which was bad enough. The proposed ban was even more egregious, in that it purported to apply to all other people – including clergy and pastors, priests and parents.

“We commend the majority of Miami-Dade County Commissioners who voted for the First Amendment,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Municipalities have no authority to invade the counselor-client relationship. The speech ban’s attempted reach beyond ‘licensed’ professionals to anyone and everyone else, including pastors counseling church members and parents counseling their own minor children, was an egregious First Amendment violation. Licensed counselors and unlicensed persons all have First Amendment rights to counsel minors against the harms of homosexuality and gender confusion, for secular, scientific, and religious reasons. We are pleased that the majority of the commissioners rejected this proposal,” said Staver.