Christian Coalition

The issue of churches meeting in New York City public school buildings for Sunday services may be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
     
Sixteen years ago the Bronx Household of Faith sued the city over a policy preventing churches from holding worship services in public schools.
     
Lawyers with Alliance Defending Freedom have asked the high court to uphold the freedom of churches and other congregations to rent schools for services.

"New York City seems to have a kind of secularist viewpoint, sort of a leftover from the 1950s and 60s," ADF senior counsel Jordan Lorence told OneNewsNow. "It has this extreme view of separation of church and state that says If we let a church meet in a public school, there goes the neighborhood."   

"When the government accommodates religious speakers, private religious speakers and private religious groups, it's fulfilling its duty to accommodate and protect their rights to freedom of speech and religious liberties under the First Amendment," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had high praise for President Obama for leading the coalition attacking Islamic militants in Syria, and criticized those who condemned Israel for its war with Hamas in a speech to the United Nations Monday.

Speaking at the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, Netanyahu said the threat of Hamas and ISIS reaches far beyond Israel as Islamic militants across the globe share the same goal of world domination.   

“Last week, many countries here rightly applauded Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS. Weeks before, some of those same countries opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree, and both seek to impose power well beyond the territory under their hold,” Netanyahu said.  

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister, told reporters before Netanyahu’s speech Monday that it's clear that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has no intention of making peace with Israel, calling his speech to world leaders last week "a message of hatred and incitement."

Lieberman also questioned Abbas' legitimacy to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, saying he doesn't control the Gaza Strip, where Hamas remains in charge of security and elections have been postponed for more than four years.

Abbas accused Israel in his speech on Friday of carrying out "war crimes" and conducting a "war of genocide" in Gaza, but stopped short of saying he would pursue war crimes charges against Israel. He said he would ask the U.N. Security Council to dictate the ground rules for any talks with Israel, including setting a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands.

Lieberman said Abbas has "lost his way."

"Because he failed with all his domestic issues, he tries to resolve his domestic problems with some escalation in his rhetoric here in U.N., on the international arena," Lieberman said. "But it's clear he has no support."

Mohammed Ishtayeh, an aide to Abbas, responded to Lieberman's comments, saying: "If Lieberman and his government seek peace, why are they building settlements on our land? They left no land without settlements, no land for the Palestinians to live in."

Ishtayeh added: "Lieberman was trying to cover the war crimes his government committed in Gaza, but we have prepared the indictment list to take Israel to the ICC," using the acronym for the International Criminal Court. "We are going to build an international coalition against the Israeli occupation and its crimes, particularly building settlements on our land."

Lieberman said Israel is ready for a "comprehensive, reasonable solution" and has tried for many years to achieve a "strategic breakthrough" in its relations with the Palestinians, but "I'm sorry to say that we don't have a reliable partner from the Palestinian side, and it's a problem." He pointed to the more than 18,000 missiles and shells launched at Israel from Gaza since it withdrew from the territory.

During the 50-day Gaza war, which ended Aug. 26, Israel launched thousands of airstrikes against what it said were Hamas-linked targets in the densely populated coastal territory, while Gaza militants fired several thousand rockets at Israel. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, the vast majority civilians, and some 18,000 homes were destroyed, according to U.N. figures. Sixty-six soldiers and six civilians were killed on the Israeli side.

The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the world's largest bloc of Islamic countries, has been lobbying Abbas to seek membership in international agencies, including the ICC. That would open the door to war crimes charges against Israel for its military actions in Gaza and Jewish settlement construction on West Bank land the Palestinians want for a future state.

The federal government is giving an ObamaCare insurance navigator Seedco, which has a reported history of fraud, $1.4 million to operate in Tennessee this fiscal year. 

Last year, Seedco received $1.2 million for the same services in Tennessee. 

As reported, the federal government sued Seedco on the grounds it faked at least 1,400 of 6,500 job placements under a $22.2 million federally funded contract with New York City. 

Seedco, according to National Review, had to settle that lawsuit. 

Meanwhile, state Comptroller Justin Wilson reported last year certain Memphis residents participating in the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families program falsified paperwork and wrongly received almost $30,000 in taxpayer money through a Seedco subcontractor. 

Alicia Hartinger, spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the navigator program, said Friday the $1.4 million is for a 12-month cycle.

Seedco, Hartinger added, had to compete for the money against other potential navigators, although she didn't say how many. 

Hartinger downplayed concerns about Seedco's past problems.

Recent events have shown public disdain for Israel is on the rise.

Audiences boldly booed Sen.Ted Cruz, R-Texas off stage recently after he made pro-Israel remarks.

The United Nations continues to investigate and condemn Israel for defending itself against Hamas terrorist attacks.

Anti-Semitism is so bad in Germany that Chancellor Angela Merkel recently led a rally to gather support for Israel in Berlin.

Merkel said it's Germany's "national and civic duty to fight anti-Semitism." But not many countries are standing with Germany in support of Israel.

Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce Thursday that he is resigning from the Obama administration, a Justice Department official confirmed to Fox News. The decision would cap a tumultuous six-year term for the nation's top law enforcement official. 

Holder is one of the few Cabinet officials to have stayed on since the beginning of the Obama presidency. The Justice official said Holder has agreed to remain on the job until his successor is confirmed.

According to the official, Holder has discussed his plans with Obama on "multiple occasions" in recent months. 

"[He] finalized those plans in an hour-long conversation with the president at the White House residence over Labor Day weekend," the official said. The official added that Holder has "no immediate plans" after leaving the post. 

Holder, who previously worked in private practice and before that was federal prosecutor, was one of the most controversial members of the Obama administration. 

He was held in contempt of Congress by the Republican-led House in 2012 for failing to provide key information about the botched Operation Fast and Furious program. He is the only sitting Cabinet member to have been held in contempt of Congress. 

Holder and GOP lawmakers routinely clashed, over Fast and Furious but also over his department's handling of the IRS targeting scandal, its civilian prosecution of terror cases, surveillance of media outlets and other issues. 

President Obama’s claim last spring that 8 million people had enrolled in ObamaCare recently got a significant downgrade from the head of the agency overseeing the plan.

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a congressional committee that "as of August 15, this year, we have 7.3 million Americans enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace coverage and these are individuals who paid their premiums."

A key part of her statement was Tavenner's reference to those who paid, because just signing up isn't enough to be counted as enrolled.

As Doug Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, explained, "it’s not enough to sign up. You have to sign up and pay on a regular basis to really be enrolled."

That is one reason both state and private insurance officials have been saying their enrollments were shrinking.

"They've deteriorated quite a bit, this was anticipated to some degree, but I think it's exceeded expectations in some cases," said Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

For instance, state officials in Florida say their enrollments are now 220,000 lower than the administration's count in April, going from some 983,000 to just over 762,000, a drop of more than 20 percent.

A state official said some may have been duplicate enrollments because of website problems on Healthcare.gov. The others, he said, just didn't pay their premiums and lost their coverage, a problem insurance companies are also reporting.

Robert Laszewski, of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, said, "I've talked to a number of insurance companies around the industry and they're indicating that they're down as low as 70 percent of the original enrollments they had."

In fact, Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, the nation's third largest insurer, said recently that his company had 720,000 people sign up for exchange coverage as of May 20, but only 600,000 turned out to be paying customers.

He added he expects that number to fall to "just over 500,000" by the end of the year. That would leave Aetna's paid enrollment down some 30 percent from its original sign-up numbers.

Many analysts think enrollments across the industry will continue to erode.

"So the enrollment that the administration was touting in March and April," Capretta said, "I think you could bring that down by at least 20 percent going into the end of the year."

The Congressional Budget Office is predicting 13 million total enrollments at the end of the next open enrollment in February 2015. So the number they're starting from makes a big difference:

"If we've got closer to 6 million enrolled," Laszewski said, "they'd have to enroll more people in 2015 than they did this past year."

Panelists at a recent congressional hearing on religious freedom criticized the Obama administration for failing to protect or promote religious freedom around the world.

The United States "has had no impact on the global rise of religious persecution," Dr. Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, told  the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security.

"The reality is we have nothing in our religious freedom policy to respond to what's going on in the Middle East now -- nothing, except speeches, words and reports," Farr said.

"We need a strategy that has action as a part of it," he continued. "But here I'm not talking about just talking about strategies, [but] a presidential directive to develop a strategy on religious freedom and national security that will put us in a position to be able to do something."

The panelists encouraged the Senate to approve the recent nomination of Rabbi David Saperstein to serve as the next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

Senator Portman's Iraqi Christians Resolution Condemning ISIS Passes Senate


Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that his resolution (S. Res. 530) condemning the violence and persecution of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities by ISIS passed the Senate. The resolution, authored by Portman and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), urges the President to reaffirm America's commitment to religious liberty by leading an international effort to provide safety for refugees fleeing persecution, ensuring timely processing of visa applications from religious minorities, and working with the Iraqi government to strengthen protections for religious minorities.

"The United States must stand up for religious freedom not only at home, but also in regions of the world experiencing turmoil like the Middle East," Portman stated. "As we execute the U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS, it's important that we stand up and say we will not tolerate targeted violence against Christians, Yazidis, or any other religious minority in Iraq and that terrorists committing these brutal acts must be stopped"... (READ MORE)

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Official statement from Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski in reaction to the GAO’s new report on abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is reacting to the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) new report on abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The report shows that taxpayer dollars are currently going to pay for over one thousand health insurance plans that include abortion. 

Official statement from Rep. Lipinski:

“Under the Hyde Amendment, which has been included in every government funding bill for more than two decades, no federal taxpayer dollars are to be spent for abortions or health care plans that cover abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother’s life.  Despite my fight to include similar language in the ACA, an accounting gimmick was inserted into the bill instead to try to alleviate the concerns of the large majority of Americans who oppose their tax dollars paying for abortion.  This gimmick required health insurers to create a separate fund to pay for abortions and no taxpayer dollars were to go into that fund.  Instead, every enrollee in a plan was to pay their own money into that fund"... (READ MORE)

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Nonpartisan, Independent Watchdog Demonstrates Obamacare Uses Taxpayer Dollars for Abortion Coverage

A new report prepared by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) demonstrates that, despite the president’s clear promise, taxpayer dollars are being spent on abortion plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Just over five years ago, President Obama stood before a joint session of Congress and declared to the American people, “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.” But the GAO report confirms that the administration is failing to uphold its promise. The independent watchdog found that the health law’s accounting gimmick is not being enforced and more than one thousand plans available on the health insurance exchanges cover abortion on demand. Additionally, the GAO found that information about abortion coverage for plans available on the exchanges is not uniformly available to consumers... (READ MORE)

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Congressional Prayer Caucus Co-Chairman Forbes: My dad taught me these 3 valuable things

Sometimes the best advice doesn't come from a book, from a microphone, from behind a desk in Washington, or even from people who are leaders in their field. Sometimes the best life lessons are found deep in the roots of where we came from. My dad passed away years ago, but I carry with me the lessons he taught me. Three in particular shape my perspective day after day:

Little things make big things happen. Back when I was young, I remember we needed to build a new shed. Those were the days before stores like Home Depot or Lowes existed. Brand new lumber was expensive, so folks often reused materials that others in the community didn't need. That summer, Dad and I used the boards from an old abandoned barn – pulling them down one by one, ripping out the nails, and taking off the tin and straightening it to reuse. We hauled our supplies back to the house and got to work. I don’t know how much of a help I really was, but I chose to stay beside Dad the entire time working alongside him... (READ MORE)

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Click here and find ways you can help build our organization, promote our campaigns, and spread the word to others.  Your participation makes a difference!

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Speaker Boehner: House Is Ready to Work with President on Plan to Destroy ISIS, but White House Must Address Strategy Questions


At his weekly press briefing, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the House stands “ready to work with the president to put in place a plan that would destroy and defeat ISIL,” while underscoring the need for the president to address questions and concerns that remain regarding his strategy.  Following are Speaker Boehner’s remarks:

“Last night the president finally began to make the case that the nation has needed him to make for quite some time: that we must destroy and defeat this terrorist threat.  ISIL is a sophisticated and determined enemy, and in order to be successful we must have a comprehensive strategy designed to destroy and to defeat it. 

“I think that last night the president made a compelling case for action, but as I said in my statement last night, there are still questions and concerns that remain.  For example, I support the president’s plan to train and equip Iraqi Security Forces and the Syrian opposition.  But I remain concerned that those measures could take years to fully implement at a time when ISIL’s momentum and territorial gains must be halted and reversed immediately... (READ MORE)

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Senate Democrats Would Overturn Free Speech Protections to Silence Critics

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate Floor today regarding Senate Democrats’ attempt to limit free speech:

“Earlier today, one Democrat Senator urged his colleagues to get serious about the real challenges facing our country – challenges like dealing with the threat of ISIL. He implored fellow Democrats not to focus all their time instead, quote, ‘doing things that are of lesser importance.’

“Yet, his voice seems to have been ignored by the Democrats who run the Senate. Because here we stand, debating their proposal on whether or not to take an eraser to the First Amendment... (READ MORE)

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Chairman Rogers Introduces Short Term Continuing Resolution to Maintain Government Operations, Prevent Shutdown

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers has introduced a short term Continuing Resolution (CR) (H.J.Res.124) to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2014. 

The legislation continues funding for government programs and services at the current annual cap rate of $1.012 trillion until December 11, 2014. This rate of funding will remain in place for the length of the continuing resolution, or until Congress approves the annual Appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2015. The bill is “clean” and does not contain highly controversial provisions.

Chairman Rogers gave the following statement on the introduction of the CR... (READ MORE)

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Helping Families Keep Their Plan & Peace of Mind

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after bipartisan House passage of H.R. 3522, the Employee Health Care Protection Act, which would allow Americans in the group insurance market to keep or choose the plans they like

“In this tough economy, hardworking families need all the peace of mind they can get, and by helping them keep the plan they like, Bill Cassidy’s bill does just that.  It would mean getting more people back to work, lowering costs at home, and restoring opportunity.  Of course, to protect our workers from all of ObamaCare’s broken promises, we need to repeal this law and replace it with solutions that lower costs and protect jobs... (READ MORE

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Help Build the Coalition

Click here and find ways you can help build our organization, promote our campaigns, and spread the word to others.  Your participation makes a difference!

Connect with Us!

You can now connect with Christian Coalition of America on YouTubeFacebook and Twitter.  It's a great way to stay informed and help spread the word to others that you know.  Connect with us today!

Thursday marks 13 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Around the country, many are pausing to remember those lost in the tragedy.

At New York City's ground zero, family members read the names of each victim lost more than a decade ago.

"I'm just waiting for the pain to go away," one grieving loved one said.

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon in Virginia, and at the nation's capital, leaders of the House and Senate presented Congressional Gold Medals honoring the fallen heroes of 9/11.

"With these medals we honor the heroism of first responders and ordinary citizens," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"We remember the perseverance of the loved ones they left behind and the advocacy of the 9/11 families who turned their grief in to action to make our nation safer," she said.

Meanwhile, in the midst of memorials and ceremonies, another battle rages in the U.S., with many sounding the alarm about the continued threat of terrorists around the globe.

"Thirteen years after 9/11, it's still a dangerous world," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.

"That threat remains; it is constantly there," NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says it is time to get back on the offense in the war on terrorism.

"The terrorist threat, far from receding like a tide, has been advancing and multiplying. ISIS is now attracting thousands of radicals from Europe and potentially hundreds from the United States eager to join in the slaying of non-believers," Cheney warned.

"A fair number are doubtless eager to return home to Britain, France and elsewhere," he continued. "These are but a few of the features that make the situation today one of the most dangerous we have faced certainly in my lifetime."

Meanwhile, many changes surround the 9/11 anniversary, with One World Trade Center is near completion.

"This buildings success and height is a sign of the revival and resurgence of downtown Manhattan and the city and the state and the region to the events of 9/11," Pat Foye, executive director of the Port Authority, said.

In addition, the National September 11 Memorial Museum has opened and the fences have come down around the memorial plaza.

And in Shanksville, a memorial has been set up marking the spot where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed.

All of these monuments represent efforts to make sure the nation never forgets.