InterChurch News 

'A truthful witness saves lives' -Proverbs 14:25

Member: California Newspaper Publishers Assoc. / Digital News  

 July 2024 | Est. 2013  




"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil ... 

who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right."

- Isaiah 5:20-23








News (cont'd)     


InterChurch News

Monday, 2 June 2014. Riverside InterChurch News Service is an online news site to provide timely news relevant to help meet the information needs of the Riverside evangelical community. Our goal is to distribute a semimonthly news sheet to affiliate churches to supplement the website.


Sign White House website petition for the rescue of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls 

A petition drive has been set up on the White House website to petition the Obama Administration to "work with the United Nations and the Nigerian government to bring home the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram" terrorists.

To reach the goal of 100,000 signatures by May 25th, 72,988 signatures are needed.

In a report by Baptist Press, it is estimated 90 percent of the nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped were of Christian faith.

Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, has claimed responsibility and stated the Christian schoolgirls will be sold into sex slavery.

The girls were abducted April 15th from their government school.

Earlier this week assistance from Israel was accepted by the Nigerian government to help in the effort to rescue the schoolgirls and locate Boko Haram. American assistance was accepted last week and drones are being used for surveilance. 

However, even though America is now involved in rescuing the missing girls, meeting the signature goal of 100,000 by May 25th will continue to let the Obama Administration know the American people care about the girls and their families -- whether they are Christian or Muslim.

The petition is listed in We the People under Foreign Policy, or with the search key type in "Nigerian schoolgirls." 

Editor's Update 5.25.2014: The petition has since been removed from the White House website -- the 100,000 signature goal was not met within the 30-day limit. However, the Obama Administration has sent an additional 81 military personnel to help locate the missing girls. Israel has since joined in the effort as well.  


Sen. Feinstein: "I support whatever actions are necessary to locate, capture and eliminate the terrorists responsible" for kidnapping over 200 Christian schoolgirls

Washington - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) released the following statement May 7 concerning U.S. assistance in helping locate hundreds of kidnapped  - mostly Christian -- Nigerian schoolgirls:

"Sending U.S. experts to Nigeria to help locate the kidnapped schoolgirls is just the first step," the Senator said. "I would support whatever actions are necessary to locate, capture and eliminate the terrorists responsible for this reprehensible act. I support sharing with Nigerian and others whatever intelligence is necessary to help bring these kidnappers to justice."

"Terrorists groups like Boko Haram and al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb," Feinstein continued, "have been gaining strength, and we must not allow a safe haven to develop from which these groups can grow, plan and launch attacks."

"This development, the kidnapping of schoolgirls for the purpose of human trafficking, is intolerable and the world must not tolerate such evil," Feinstein said.

Over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their government school on April 15th by Boko Haram Islamic terrorists.

Baptist Press ("Aid Needed in Nigeria") reported 90 percent of the schoolgirls were Christian and a majority of the 50 or so schoolgirls who were able to "escape" were Muslim. 

Editor's Note: sign the petition via the White House website to petition the Obama Administration to "work with the UN and the Nigerian government" and provide resources to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls and stop Boko Haram at: We the People.


Lake Elsinore City Council pay Humanist legal fees over Veteran's Memorial crosses

The Lake Elsinore City Council and the Washington D.C. based American Humanist Association (AHA) reached an agreement on April 22 after a year long battle over crosses in the proposed Diamond Stadium Veteran's Memorial as the City Council agreed to pay $200,000 in AHA legal fees and seek a new design, according to a City press release.

The City Council's decision followed the February oral ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson against the Veteran's Memorial design, which included an American soldier kneeling on one knee in front of two rows of crosses and Stars of David symbolizing veteran's grave markers.

The memorial's original design was approved by the City Council in November 2012. The design was challenged with a lawsuit in May 2013, as AHA and two local residents, Diana Hansen and John Larsen, filed suit against the City of Lake Elsinore and the City Council members.

"While the court's decision is disappointing to myself and my colleagues," said Mayor Natasha Johnson through a City press release, "we must do what is best for our City and the community overall. This memorial has always been about recognizing the men and women who bravely served to protect our country and our freedoms."

"By moving forward and settling this matter," Johnson continued, "we can refocus on this goal and design a memorial that we can be proud of."

The American Humanist Association sought recovery for legal fees in excess off $230,000, but settled for $200,000. The City also agreed to waive its right to appeal, according to the press release.

The City did not incur attorney fees as the case was handled pro bono by Pacific Justice Institute, according to the press release.

See related story: Federal Judge rules Lake Elsinore War Memorial crosses unconstitutional

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Two California pro-life constitutional amendment petitions fail to qualify for ballot

Two statewide constitutional amendment petitions, one to redefine the definition of a person as beginning at conception -- a fertilized egg -- and the second to prohibit abortion for an unemancipated minor until 48 hours after parental notification, failed to garner enough votes to qualify for the November ballot, according to the Secretary of State's office.

The "Redefinition of Person" petition was filed to the Initiative Coordinator of the Attorney General's Office by the California Civil Rights Foundation on Friday, September 27, 2013 and approved for circulation by the Secretary of State.

It failed May 2, 2014 to garner the 807,615 required signatures within the 150-day circulation period.

The initiative was designed to extend "constitutional protections of due process and equal protection to all fertilized human eggs by redefining persons and including each and every human organism from the commencement for biological development," according to the Secretary of State's summary.

The SOS summary cited the initiative posed "potentially significant costs to state and local governments from the establishment of due process and equal protection rights for zygotes, embryos, and fetuses."

Co-sponsors of the initiative included Gilbert Montelongo of National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Ronnie D. Allen of International Faith Based Coalition, Harold M. Hervey of Conservative Party USA, Jesse Lee Peterson of Brotherhood Organization for a New Destiny, and Bishop George McKinney, senior pastor of St. Stephens Cathedral.

The proposed amendment cited by the proponents as "California Equal Rights Amendment," would have been added to Section 2. Article I, Section 7(c) to the California Constitution as: "The term 'PERSON,' as it is applied to all living human beings, applies to all living human beings from the beginning of their biological development as human beings (i.e., human organisms), regardless of the means by which he or she was procreated, method of reproduction, age, race, sex, gender, physical well-being, function, size, level of development, environment, and/or degree of physical or mental development and/or disability." 

The other pro-life constitutional amendment petition, "Abortion Restriction. Parental Notification and Waiting Period for Females under 18," was designed to "prohibit abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician or other authorized medical professional notifies her parent/legal guardian in writing," according to the Secretary of State's summary.

Filed September 23, 2013 with the Attorney General's office by John Smith, the petition was later approved for circulation by the Secretary of State and had 150 days to garner 807,615 signatures -- the required number for a constitutional amendment.

The "Parental Notification" petition failed to meet the required signature count April 28th.

The proposed constitutional amendment provided exceptions for "medical emergency, parental waiver or parental abuse documented by notarized statement from law enforcement, protective services, or certain relatives."

"The people of California have a compelling interest in protecting minors from the known risks of secret abortions," the initiative summary read, "including the danger of not obtaining prompt care for health and life threatening complications when a minor's parents are unaware that she has undergone a secret abortion."

The filing fee for a statewide Constitutional Amendment ballot initiative is $200.

see: news archive #2

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Federal judge rules Lake Elsinore stadium war memorial crosses unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Washington D.C. based American Humanist Association and two residents of Lake Elsinore this week to stop construction of a proposed city war memorial depicting a WWII solider kneeling in a war cemetery in front of crosses and Stars of David grave markers.

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson cited the design "violates both the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause and the Establishment and No Preference Clauses of the California Constitution," according to the Press Enterprise.

The veterans memorial was to be displayed in front of Lake Elsinore Diamond, the city-owned baseball stadium home to the Lake Elsinore Storm, a Class A farm team of the San Diego Padres.

The City of Lake Elsinore released a statement posted on their attorney's, Pacific Justice Institute, website:

"We are disappointed with the court's decision. We plan to take a close look at the ruling. Our goal has always been to recognize the men and women who have bravely served to protect our country and our freedoms. We remain committed to this goal."

Lake Elsinore is considering an appeal. PJI has represented the city pro bono.  

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K-12 public school transgender bathroom choice bill on hold while count challenged 

Pacific Justice Institute issued a press release today to clarify the status and implementation of AB 1266, the K-12 public "School Success and Opportunity Act," referred by the law firm as the "Co-ed Bathroom Bill."

"The proponent of a referendum has 21 days to begin the examination of disqualified signatures alleged as invalid," the press release states. "The proponent can then file a lawsuit in order to have a court independently review the petitions."

"The challenged law will not go into effect while judicial review is pending," the press release states.

To underscore the position of PJI regarding a stay in the implementation of AB 1266 into the K-12 public school system, PJI cites a quote from a Supreme Court judge in a former California case:

The referendum process "... is necessarily a disruptive, undeferential procedure by which the people halt in their track the operation of duly enacted statutes. Nonetheless, the Constitution guarantees that the people's voice shall be both heard and obeyed. It clearly mandates the stay ..." Assembly of State of Cal. v. Deukmejian.   

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Prop 8 legal team believes Supreme Court will OK a state's right to define marriage

"It defies reason that a voter-passed law, still on the books, can be blocked by the collusion of a handful of politicians."

So ends a press release and nearly a year of silence from Prop 8 legal defense team General Counsel Andy Pugno who tried last year to represent the people of California and the constitutional amendment to retain the definition of marriage as between one man, one woman before the U.S. Supreme Court -- only to be told in a 5-4 vote his team had "lack of jurisdiction" (or legal standing).

Only California Governor Jerry Brown's office, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, had legal standing to represent the seven million voters who voted in favor of the amendment.

Governor Brown had refused to defend the Prop. 8 amendment, as did his predecessor, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Pugno, of, states the Supreme Court dodged the key question: Is there a federal constitutional right to same-sex "marriage" that prevents states from adhering to the man-woman definition of marriage?

He believes the answer to that question can be as soon as late this year with a couple of cases on a fast track to the Supreme Court including the State of Utah where the Supreme Court ordered a stop of the "hasty issuance of same-sex marriage licenses" while the case goes through its appeals.

"I still firmly believe that the Court -- when forced to finally answer that question -- will uphold the rights of states to decide for themselves," Pugno stated.

"And if the Supreme Court rules there is no nationwide right to same-sex 'marriage,'" Pugno stated, "... rejecting the conclusion of Judge Walker in the Prop 8 case, the current scheme blocking Prop 8's enforcement in California will become unsustainable."

The scheme Pugno refers to is the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses by 58 county clerk offices -- clerks required to abide by the state constitution -- yet "commanded" to issue marriage licenses by the Governor and his Attorney General (after the Supreme Court ruling) despite the retention of the marriage amendment in the state constitution. 

Pugno vows "to remain engaged in this battle," monitor cases as they advance to the Supreme Court, and "prepare for opportunities to resurrect Proposition 8's enforcement."

"We'll continue to promote traditional marriage in the hearts and minds of our children and generations yet to come," Pugno stated.

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InterChurch News -- Local, International Reach

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