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It was a crime spree in Ocala, Florida, several years back that left multiple children injured in shootings, and although police knew the identities of the alleged shooters, they were unable to convince witnesses to come forward.
Article by Bob Unruh from WND.
So the chief, the late Greg Graham, listened to a recommendation from the NAACP that the community hold a private prayer event with the goal of obtaining statements that would allow the appropriate prosecutions.
With that goal, several individuals in the community set up the meeting, and Graham encouraged the attempt to obtain justice.
But now the American Center for Law and Justice is at an appeals court seeking to overturn a lower court’s claim that “government officials can no longer encourage citizens to pray amid a difficult time in their community, and volunteer chaplains can no longer lead those in their community in a time of prayer.”
The ACLU said recently its opening brief in the fight has been filed at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Time and again, the Supreme Court has upheld government involvement in and/or association with prayer including legislative prayer, prayer in the military, prayers offered by chaplains, and calls to prayer following a crime spree or other tragic event,” the ACLJ explained.
For instance, in one decision the high court found: “[T]he Establishment Clause permits a nondiscriminatory practice of prayer at the beginning of a town council session” and “Simply having religious content or promoting a message consistent with a religious doctrine does not run afoul of the Establishment Clause.”
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Beyond that issue, which should be able to be resolved easily, the ACLJ said another factor is that atheists who complained about the effort to crack down on crime claimed no other injury but being offended.
And specifically, their offense is “self-inflicted.”
“The plaintiffs testified that they opposed prayer but attended the community prayer vigil in order to observe the prayer. No one required them to attend the vigil – in fact, they were quite free to avoid it – so why should it be the fault of anyone else if they were offended?” the ACLJ said. “As Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch reiterated just last year, ‘[t]he presence of a disagreement, however sharp and acrimonious it may be, is insufficient by itself to meet Art. III’s [standing] requirements.'”
After the NAACP suggested a prayer effort, a vigil was planned and organized by private citizens, including volunteer chaplains and more.
The organizers requested, and obtained, a statement from Graham encouraging unity.
He also responded to those who later became plaintiffs that he was not allowed to cancel the private event. And his statement was similar to others he had issued encouraging resident to attend others events in the city.
The plaintiffs in the case include Daniel and Lucinda Hale, and court records show they “had never attended any other public gathering in the public square in Ocala.”
They said the “wanted” to attend to observe, “not because they wanted to participate in the vigil.”
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The ACLJ explained, “The plaintiffs sought out what they perceived would be offensive conduct and attended for the sole purpose of viewing that allegedly offensive conduct in order to bring suit. Such conduct on the part of a plaintiff constitutes an attempt to manufacture standing that cannot satisfy [constitutional] jurisdictional requirements.”
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
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Thank you and God Bless,
Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
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I would even be willing to entertain investments and partnerships at this stage. I’ve turned them down in the past because editorial purity is extremely important. I’ll turn them down again if anyone wants us to start supporting RINOs or avoid “taboo” topics like voter fraud, vaccines, or transgender supremacy. But I’d talk to fellow America First patriots who want to help any (or all) of our 10 news sites. Hit me up at jdrucker (at) substack (dot) com if you’re interested.
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