'Pledge' Mom Sues to Reinstate God, E-mail Under Fire & more

'Pledge' Mom Sues to Reinstate God, E-mail Under Fire & more

In Today's Edition:
  • Mother of Girl in Pledge of Allegiance Lawsuit Wants 'Under God' Kept
  • 'Religious E-Mail' Spurs Suit
  • Ukraine: Authorities Halt "Jews For Jesus" Mission
  • Worship War 'Silly' But Harmful, Speaker Says

Mother of Girl in Pledge of Allegiance Lawsuit Wants 'Under God' Kept

According to a report from the Associated Press (AP), Sandra Banning, whose daughter was named in the Pledge of Allegiance case, asked a court Aug. 5 to keep the words "under God" in the pledge. If the court will not allow "under God" to be retained, Banning requested that references to her daughter be taken off the lawsuit. In the court motion, Banning said she wants her daughter to be able to recite the pledge, "exactly as it stands, as part of her education." According to AP, Banning said neither she nor her daughter, both Christians, believe there is anything wrong with reciting the words "under God" in the pledge. Banning, who has sole custody of her daughter, has never been married to Michael Newdow. It was Newdow who filed the original suit that caused the Pledge to be declared unconstitutional in June.

Banning said her daughter would be harmed by a "lifetime of public scorn" if she becomes known as the "little atheist girl that attacked the pledge," according to the motion. "I don't want to interfere with Mr. Newdow's civil rights, but I would like anything about my daughter to be removed from the case, for the court to acknowledge the child has not been harmed," Banning said.

'Religious E-Mail' Spurs Suit 

(From Charisma News Service) -- A Christian receptionist has sued Dallas school officials over a policy that bars employees from sending personal e-mails with "religious purposes." In a lawsuit filed Thursday, LaDonna DeVore, a front-desk secretary in the Highland Park school district's administration building, claims she was targeted after sending a private message that included a proclamation by President Bush concerning the National Day of Prayer, "The Dallas Morning News" reported.

According to the report, DeVore's suit alleges that her supervisor told her that the e-mail violated the district's electronic-communications policy, which prohibits "commercial for-profit purposes, political purposes, religious purposes, religious worship, or proselytizing." DeVore's attorneys said the policy is unconstitutional.

"If they open up their e-mail system for private use...they can't discriminate when employees want to express religious sentiments," said Stuart Roth of the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing DeVore, the "News" reported. "This case is that much more ironic, because all our client did was to distribute, verbatim, a proclamation issued by the White House from our president." (www.charisanews.com)

Ukraine: Authorities Halt "Jews For Jesus" Mission

(Keston) -- The regional authorities in the city of Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine) have banned a street evangelism campaign organized by the mission organization Jews for Jesus and a local Protestant church, claiming that the campaign had failed to get the necessary prior approval. The church's pastor told Keston News Service he did not think that handing out leaflets and speaking to individual passers-by was a "mass event" requiring official approval.

A Jews for Jesus representative told Keston that mission members had been detained by police (and released without charge) and that the authorities had banned one of the mission's films. Opposition from the local Jewish community to the street campaign resulted in some violence, which each side reported that the other provoked. Condemnation of the campaign was aired on local and even national television.

Worship War 'Silly' But Harmful, Speaker Says

Associated Baptist Press (ABP) reports that Christian musical artist Kyle Matthews says the battle over praise and worship raging in local churches is a "silly war," but it has dire consequences. The worship war is "silly," because it's unnecessary and damaging, noted Matthews, a composer and performer from Nashville, Tenn., at a seminar during the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly this summer. "If anybody wins, we all lose."

For example, he said, defenders of traditional worship can be guilty of failing to reach out to a non-churched culture. At the same time, however, advocates for contemporary worship might ignore the value of tradition and lessons of church history. According to ABP, Matthews, who often leads worship in as many as three churches in a weekend, said too many churches are being torn apart over worship style and that the war is "unwinnable." He cited religion researcher George Barna, who says culture "reinvents itself" every three to five years. That means that by the time a church or worship leader decides that a particular style is best or most effective, it is already on the way to being out of date.