November 25, 2016 Radio Commentary

Thanks Be to God!

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, November 25, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Whether your Thanksgiving dinner was turkey and all the trimmings or a bologna sandwich, you should thank God you ate it in the United States of America, because this is a special country, which has been, especially, blessed.

Most of those blessings can be traced back to the beginning of this great country when the Founding Fathers honored God in the document that has become the world’s oldest written constitution. Of the original 13 colonies, only Rhode Island refused to participate in the 1787 Constitutional Convention, when 55 delegates from the other twelve colonies hammered out the governmental structure that formed the 13 colonies into one union.

Among the delegates were 31 lawyers, 19 military veterans, 28 former congressmen, two college presidents, three college professors, several doctors and scientists, and a surprising nine from foreign countries. The Bible was the chief source of their education; all but four belonged to mainstream religious congregations; and in their personal writings, 34 percent of their quotations were from the Bible.

A major part of their work was the Declaration of Independence, which sets forth the basic ideals of the United States and is the true preamble to the Constitution. The Declaration refers to God five times: God as Creator of all men, God as supreme Lawmaker, God as the Source of all rights, God as the world’s supreme Judge, and God as our Patron and Protector. Continue reading

November 18, 2016 Radio Commentary

Where Did Religious Freedom Go?

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, November 18, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

For years, large sections of the United States, including the state of Georgia, were known as the Bible Belt, but things are a-changin’ and religious freedom has been targeted for extinction, even in the Bible Belt.

On Monday, October 3rd, Henry County teachers at East Lake Elementary School received this memo: “You are hereby directed to remove all items which contain religious symbols, such as crosses, printed Bibles, angels, Bible verses, printed prayers, and biblical quotations from the common areas, hallways, classrooms, and office of East Lake Elementary School.”

A Henry County Schools spokesman defending those instructions said, “That is a federal law that we’re abiding by. We just sent out these reminders and things to be aware of and we’ve been doing that for the past two decades.” Since all the prohibited symbols are Christian and the prohibited quotations are from the Bible, parents in Henry County should require the local school board to amend the memo to prohibit other religious symbols, such as hijabs, burkas, and prayer rugs and quotes from the Quran, or rescind the prohibition against Christian symbols.

On October 26th, a press conference was held at the Georgia capitol to announce that Dr. Eric Walsh would not hand over his sermons to the state that had served him with legal papers demanding that he give state officials copies of his sermon notes and transcripts. Soon after the press conference, the state rescinded the demand that should never have been issued. Continue reading

May 13, 2016 Radio Commentary

Why Deal Vetoed RFRA

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 13, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

On March 28, 2016, Governor Nathan Deal explained his veto of H.B. 757 that was introduced as the Pastor Protection Act, and became an issue to him when it was amended into the more comprehensive religious liberty bill that passed.

In the complete transcript of his explanation about the veto, Governor Deal referred to cases in other states. Concerning the New Mexico photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex wedding, the governor explained that New Mexico’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act was NOT used in that decision, because it did not apply to the case.

However, New Mexico’s Human Rights Act was used to determine the outcome of the photographer’s case. But, Georgia has NO Human Rights Act that could require a business to compromise religious beliefs to satisfy customers.

Then he cited the bakery case in Colorado where Colorado’s Public Accommodation Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Georgia has NO public accommodations act prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. We dodged THAT bullet this year, when H.B. 849 whimpered and died in committee, but the issue is far from dead. Continue reading

March 11, 2016 Radio Commentary

Athletics, Religion, Tattoos, and Space Flights

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, March 11, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

This year’s religious liberty debate took on a new subject February 1st when Senator Burt Jones introduced S.B. 309. Despite the haggling over religious liberty bills, this not only passed the Senate February 18th, it immediately passed the House Education Committee March 2nd.

S.B. 309 may be the first-of-its-kind in Georgia, and it’s especially important in this culture. It provides that (a) no high school or high school coaching staff receiving state funds could participate in interscholastic athletic events in athletic associations that do not allow personal and voluntary religious expression of student athletes. Likewise, (b) high schools that receive state funds could not participate in athletic associations that don’t allow member schools to organize and play scrimmage matches, games, or other athletic competitions with nonmember schools.

S.B. 309 passed the Senate 39-16 on February 18th, and passed the House on March 10th by a vote of 123-34. It becomes law July 1st, unless the governor vetoes it. Continue reading