4 years ago

1st Amendment debate ignites after Univ. of Alabama removes pro-life display

Bama Students for Life display in the UA Student Center
Bama Students for Life display in the UA Student Center

University of Alabama officials last week removed a pro-life display from the Ferguson Student Center without warning, citing the display’s potentially offensive nature as the reason for the decision. Now the students responsible for the display, members of the pro-life group Bama Students for Life, are fighting back and asking for the University to respect their 1st Amendment rights.

A member of the group took the following video when confronting the University official responsible:

Yesterday, the group, which is currently represented by The Alliance Defending Freedom, provided a letter to University officials condemning their censorship of pro-life voices at UA, and requesting that the University correct their wrongful early termination of the group’s display.

The letter cites US Supreme Court case Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393, 409 (2007), which prohibits educational institutions from prohibiting free-speech that they may find offensive.

“Universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not arenas for censoring particular viewpoints just because someone feels offended,” said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “We support Bama Students for Life and look forward to continuing to working with them to ensure that their constitutional freedoms are protected.”

The group believes they were operating within the University’s display case rules, and had otherwise gone through the correct channels to have their material displayed for their reserved amount of time.

As a public university, the University of Alabama has very little to hide behind when it comes to excuses for restricting the Constitutional rights of their students. And this is not the first time UA has been condemned for attempting to silence student voices it doesn’t like.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) lists UA as a “red light” school on their scale of individual rights. “A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech,” FIRE explains on their website.

FIRE lists numerous instances in which they believe the University of Alabama infringed upon the rights of its students expressing views across the ideological spectrum. Examples include ordering a pro-choice group to get a permit for non-disruptive expression or face arrest; “disparate treatment of conservative organizations;” and “attempt[ing] to limit freedom of speech and right to petition.”

A spokesperson for the University of Alabama told Yellowhammer that the incident has compelled them to review their policies.

“The University of Alabama respects our students’ First Amendment rights to express their opinions,” said Cathy Andreen, the University’s Director of Media Relations. “As a result of this incident, we are reviewing our guidelines for the display boards in the student center.”

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15 mins ago

4 Alabama men arrested on drug trafficking charges

Four men accused of trafficking meth in Cullman County, Alabama, have been arrested in a raid.

AL.com reports the men are each charged with trafficking methamphetamine, unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

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County Sheriff Matt Gentry says the Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team executed a search warrant on Friday. The team found drug paraphernalia, marijuana and 4 ounces of methamphetamine.

Thirty-seven-year-old David Jerry Reynolds, 39-year-old Damian Alan Blair and 58-year-old Robert Earl Brock are being held in jail. Thirty-two-year-old Steven Ray Moore is out on bail.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

1 hour ago

Police: Missing Alabama boy found safe in Mississippi

Police say the missing 5-year-old boy who was reportedly abducted from a bus stop in Alabama has been found in Mississippi.

Sylacauga Police said in a Facebook post Monday that Malachi Quintanilla was taken by a woman possibly related to the boy’s biological father.

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AL.com cited the post and reported that police did not believe the abduction was random. The department said the two may have been heading to New Orleans, where the woman lives. It said the boy was found safe in Lee County, Mississippi, later that day.

The U.S. Marshal’s Service and the FBI assisted in the investigation. The police department has said it will issue a formal statement at a later time.

(Copyright Associated Press 2018)

How should Christians think about Trump’s North Korea stance?


Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

TRUMP’S TAKE ON NORTH KOREA

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, last Wednesday evening around 6:15, President Donald Trump along with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan held a press conference. They talked about a number of different things, including trade, but the primary focus of that press conference was North Korea. It was also revealed just before that press conference that CIA director, Mike Pompeo, who is the nominee for the Secretary of State, met secretly with Kim Jong Un over the Easter weekend. 

The whole coming together of this summit between Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, has taken a lot of twists and turns. What’s your take on all this?   

DR. REEDER: Tom, I think that what we’ve got here, in the populist appeal of President Donald Trump to the reaction of overreach in the previous administration of governmental authority and power and its cultural agenda, it seems as if there’s this profane conduct, instead of a turnoff, an appeal to a significant segment of the voting population and his unabashed sentiment that — Look, I’m a businessman. I know the art of the deal. I’ll make the deal and it’s not going to be business as usual from the unproductive tactics of our politicians, ‘the accepted practices of statecraft.’

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And I think people elected him with that in mind and now he’s doing it. It’s very befuddling to the media because, whether this is directly by the book — his book, The Art of the Deal — or he is just showing you the intuition of his approach to being a businessman, you can see him doing things that they say — That is unbecoming of a president. He shouldn’t do that with these tweets, and statements, and interviews and derogatory statements.

WHY DOES THIS DRAW SO MUCH IRE FROM THE MEDIA?

And so, they ridicule him for that, which seems to be his way to put the other person on their heels. On the backside, he is sending secret envoys such as the previously unknown and secretive trip that Michael Pompeo made to talk with him, from which we now get this “possible summit” and now the media criticizes him because these trips set this up were not publicly done in the manner in which summits are usually arranged.

The third thing he’s said is this — Well, listen, you need to know, respectively, I’ll walk away from the table if we’re not getting any progress. If you’re not willing to walk away, you’re not going to be able to accomplish it and he is letting them know — Hey, respectfully, but I’ll walk away unless we get… — and he names the progress he wants in denuclearization, not just a treaty, but actual denuclearization.

TOM LAMPRECHT: When he says he will walk away from the table, he’ll either not go to the negotiations if it’s not going in the right direction or he’ll get up and leave. Is that a message to North Korea or to the media?

DR. REEDER: I believe “respectfully” was for the media, to tell them — Hey, I’m not going back to Tactic 1 — which is to put them on their heels with insults and name-calling. I think it was also a message to the president of North Korea, this dictator, that is — You’re not going to dictate this. I am now dictating the fact that it won’t continue unless we get the desired result.

HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN POLITICIAN NEGOTIATE CHARITABLY?

Tom, from a Christian world and life view, I want to make sure with no ambiguity that a Christian — whether it’s business, politics, relationships or whatever — must always say the truth, say what they mean, mean what they say and never be mean when they say it.

That doesn’t mean you can’t say tough things, but it says you never say even tough things meanly. If I go to someone who is entrapped in sin, I want to identify the sin and I may have to say some tough things, but it’s going to be clear I’m going to speak the truth in love and I’m going to love with the truth.

And I think that should carry over into every arena of life, that we treat people made in the image of God with dignity and their positions that they hold with dignity because I also reject, as a Christian, any form of pragmatism that the end justifies the means. I believe the means will always, ultimately, determine the end.

ADDRESSING AND FREEING THE AMERICANS HELD CAPTIVE

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, you mentioned earlier three Americans being held captive in North Korea. I don’t want to end today’s Today in Perspective without bringing up our brother in Christ, Andrew Brunson, who was a pastor out of Black Mountain, North Carolina.

There was a hearing held on Andrew Brunson over in the country of Turkey where he’s being held captive. He was actually sent back from that hearing to a more notorious prison in Turkey. He was accused of terrorism because of evangelism.

DR. REEDER: We have a committee on the persecuted church under our missions committee. This has been an area of focus. In fact, even as we speak, I am going to be reading a letter from Andrew Brunson and I’d like for you to read it in just a moment so that people can get a personal sense of it as well as his commitment to Christ as a believer and as a pastor.

Here is a man that is just unbelievably faithful. He has spent years in Turkey. He has a heart for the people in Turkey. And, Tom, he not only has a heart for the people in Turkey, he is willing to endure for the people in Turkey.

Tom, he pastors a church of 25 people. Here is a Southern Baptist pastor — he’s one of our brothers in ministry in a sister denomination, the Southern Baptist — faithful to the Word of God, loves the Lord, loves the people and loves where he has been called as a pastor.

And he tries to do, as Paul told Timothy, “the work of an evangelist”. Therefore, as he shared his faith, they arrested him– in this “secular” Islamic nation, they arrested him — they put him in prison, they have given him a trial and, in that trial, have declared evangelism as a terrorist act. And, therefore, they have moved him from that prison to a what they call “intense” prison. We would call it something like maximum security, but it’s a no-holds-barred incarceration. I can’t imagine what he’s going through — obviously, I want to pray for him but I don’t want to even dwell on it. He longs to be with his wife and back to his church, but, Tom, he has made it abundantly clear that he will be faithful to Christ in life and in death.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Let me read that letter:

Let it be clear, I’m in prison, not for anything I’ve done wrong, but for who I am, a Christian pastor. I desperately miss my wife and children, yet I believe this to be true: it is an honor to suffer for Jesus Christ as many have done before me. I know that God’s grace is sustaining me even when I do not feel that grace and I know that the prayers of God’s people are surrounding me and giving strength.

One of my big fears has been that I will be forgotten in prison. Thank you for not forgetting. It reminds me that I’m not alone and that I need to stand firm with my face pointed in God’s direction always. To the extent that I am known, I want to be known as a servant and lover of Jesus Christ.

I have prayed for this land and its people for many years for God to pour out great blessing. In my weakness, I pray daily for strength and courage to persevere and remain faithful to my king until the end. My deepest thanks to my family around the world that are standing with me and praying for me.

DR. REEDER: So, Tom, let’s end by making a personal appeal to all who listen to this program and then anyone you’d like to share this program with. No. 1, we will not forget Pastor Andrew Brunson. That means, No. 2, we will be in prayer for him.

Thirdly and finally, a word of warning: what he is going through here, Christian ministers may one day go through here, for we are always just a generation away from the movement of the Gospel to another area of the globe if we don’t apply the wonderful, glorious gospel in life and in ministry through faithful church and faithful Christians in our own country. Having said that, now pray for Pastor Brunson. May the Lord deliver him and may He deliver sinners in that nation and around the world through his witness.

COMING UP TOMORROW: ARMY CHAPLAIN DISCIPLINED — VIOLATION OF HIS RELIGIOUS RIGHTS?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Wednesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A Fort Bragg chaplain is facing a disciplinary action — does he follow the tenets of his faith or does he follow the Army’s equal opportunity policy?

DR. REEDER: And here are the first steps of the persecution that I just warned about. Here is a faithful minister being faithful to his Army regulations, faithful to his confession of faith, faithful to his Bill of Rights liberties, and yet his livelihood is about to be taken away from him, this decorated chaplain.

Why? Because of his faithfulness and his embrace of his first liberty as found in the Bill of Rights and faithfulness in ministry there in the Army. We’ll look at the particulars of that and what is happening in this targeting, not of his life as Andrew Brunson, but of his livelihood which is usually the first step of an authoritarian persecution in any nation.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

2 hours ago

VIDEO: Alabama Gov. Ivey’s killer one-liner at Yellowhammer Women of Impact Awards

Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey and top female leaders from across the state gathered in Birmingham last month as honorees at Yellowhammer Multimedia’s inaugural Women of Impact Awards held at Ross Bridge Renaissance Resort & Spa.

National media personality Dr. Gina Loudon emceed the standing-room-only event, saying Alabama will always be her “sweet home” after she worked as a radio host in Birmingham.

WATCH the 3 min. video to see Gov. Ivey give the best one-liner of the evening:

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Here is the full list of amazing honorees:

3 hours ago

My child has Type 1 Diabetes and life is challenging — here’s what helps

Struggling. That’s what the mom right before me in line to check in late to school had written in the “reason” column. The mom who signed “struggling” had already left by the time I was signing in, but I thought, “Aww, I want to give her a hug and be her friend.” I also cracked up laughing. I love the honesty of it. I might get that embroidered on a shirt. “Struggling” in a nice, innocuous, tidy script font on the breast pocket of a tidy shirt.

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We all have days when we struggle. Sometimes those days turn into weeks and months. When that happens, it is time to reach out for support. Find your support. As Rebekah Rap likes to say on T1D Mod Squad, “Find your tribe and love them hard.” Support makes all the difference and comes in varying degrees. What has made the biggest difference for me is just knowing I am not alone in my struggles. It doesn’t remove what I’m dealing with at the moment, but it certainly changes my attitude and makes it easier for me to keep calm and carry on.

The morning of the struggling sign in, I had put an insulin infusion site on my son before school. The process is much improved from our early days. When he was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 21 months old, he used syringes and we had to inject him with insulin at least 6 times a day and more if he wanted an extra snack. Seven months after diagnosis he got a pump. He was two years old then and I had to physically restrain him with my body while also trying to correctly inject a cannula just under the skin of his tummy or thigh. It was like trying to pin down an angry octopus for a tentacle piercing. Every three days. The angry octopus learned quickly and got wily. He would hide. Barter. Beg. It ended in tears and screaming for both of us. My husband was highly involved (thank goodness) and in those early days, he was my go-to for putting on sites. My job was to hold the squirming, crying, frantic toddler. But there were plenty of times when I had to do it myself or call on our sweet neighbor Ashley to help. Thank the Lord for compassionate friends and neighbors. And I eventually adapted so that I could do them myself with less drama, less struggling for all involved.

Now at age 6, we have streamlined the process with input from the boy himself. We put on numbing cream, wait at least 15 minutes, wash it off, wipe the area with rubbing alcohol, and wait 2 minutes for it to dry completely. Just before we apply a new site, my son chooses a number of deep breaths to take. He’s done as few as 6 and as many as 23. I do the deep breathing with him. The day he chose 23 we were both feeling pretty mellow by the end! After the deep breaths, he spreads his feet out to brace himself and tells me, “Readyyyyyy… seeeeet…. gooo…” in a shaky voice. I squeeze the spring-loaded applicator that shoots the needle and cannula into his skin. I count 10 seconds and then pull the needle out, leaving the cannula in place. He gets one Nerd or one Jelly Belly for holding still during site changes. So, all of that to say, while this particular morning’s insulin infusion site change wasn’t as traumatic as it has been for us in the past, it still took up a chunk of time and was an extra hurdle for us. Add in two knocks to the head in one week with trips to the pediatrician for concussion evaluations and yeah… I have an active 6-year-old boy. I’m struggling. But I’m here. And so is he.

(Sugarrushsurvivors.com)

A major turning point for me was meeting my co-blogger Alese and having someone to talk with in person who understood the language of T1D. I asked her on a recent random Tuesday what her mental To Do list looked like.

(Sugarrushsurvivors.com)

In the spirit of support, I am preparing a new page on my site for resources and I will add to it as I am able. Know that whatever you are dealing with in this moment, you are not alone. Reach out. Find people who have been where you are. We are here with you and we can help.

Type 1 diabetes has no cure, is not caused by diet, is an autoimmune disease, and can develop at any age. Symptoms can appear suddenly and are often mistaken for flu, strep, and/or urinary tract infections. Symptoms may include:
— Increased thirst
— Frequent urination
— Weight loss (or in children, failure to gain)
— Extreme hunger
— Fatigue, lethargy
— Irritability or mood swings
— Blurry vision
— Yeast infection
— Odd smelling breath or urine (sweet, fruity, or like acetone)
— Heavy or labored breathing
— Nausea or vomiting

Erin Turnham lives in Montgomery and blogs about life as the mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes at Sugar Rush Survivors.