A Stand for Religious Liberty at God and Country Rally

February 23, 2012

Kelly Shackelford God and Country Rally Athens TXOn a cold and wet morning this past Saturday, hundreds of Texans packed the Lakewood Church of the Nazarene in Tyler, TX to take a stand for religious freedom and to educate and encourage pastors and their congregations to stay informed about important issue of faith.  Local pastors and state and national leaders, including Liberty Institute’s President Kelly Shackelford, laid out how our religious liberty is under assault.  The first amendment has rarely been attacked so openly and overtly like what we are seeing today. Just a few recent examples include: (1) the Obama administration’s HHS mandating that Catholic institutions and other religious organizations must provide abortifacents and birth control in violation of their own teachings and conscience, (2)  the Obama administration challenging the right of churches to hire their own pastors and employees based on their religious beliefs at the U.S. Supreme Court,  and (3) liberal activist groups like the ACLU trying to tear down crosses at our veteran’s memorials around the country.

Here is a video with some of the highlights from the rally:

The genesis of the God and Country movement in fact started here in Texas last December when an atheist group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation demanded that a Nativity scene in Athens be removed from the court house lawn.  In an inspiring show of support for religious freedom and the true meaning of the first amendment, thousands of people gathered in Athens on December 17, 2011 to stand against the ever growing attacks on Christians and people of faith.  As a result, the first amendment prevailed and the Nativity scene was not removed.

If there ever was a time, the time is now for people of faith to take a stand and for pastors to lead their congregations in engaging in the important issues of faith going on in our culture.

One of the most important ways they can do that is to inform and encourage people of faith to vote.  As we are in primary election season, it is important for churches to know that they can register their members to vote, to pass out and encourage their members to use our voters guides, and for pastors to know that they can speak out on important issues like religious liberty as they feel lead to from the Lord.

As witnessed in the God and Country Rally, we are excited that people are starting to wake up and see what is at stake. We look forward to continuing to be part of the fight to reclaim and defend our religious freedoms, and it certainly will be one of our top priorities as we head into the next legislative session.


Rally for “God and Country” this Saturday

February 14, 2012

In case you haven’t noticed, your religious freedoms are under attack. From the Obama administration’s HHS mandating that Catholic institutions and other religious organizations must provide abortifacents and birth control in violation of their own teachings and consciences to liberal groups like the ACLU trying to tear down crosses at our veteran’s memorials around the country, the very foundations of our first amendment are under assault. Here in Texas last December, an atheist group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation demanded that a Nativity scene in Athens be removed from the court house lawn.

God and country rally

In an inspiring show of support for religious freedom and the true meaning of the first amendment, thousands of people gathered in Athens on December 17, 2011 to stand against the ever growing attacks on Christians and people of faith.  Building on that rally, the “God and Country” movement is:

Calling all Christian Leaders, regardless of faith, and conservatives throughout America to harness our voices in a network of alliances to reclaim our First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and the “free exercise” of our religion.

The kick-off event is the God and Country Rally this Saturday in Tyler. See the details here:

God And Country Rally

 Doors Open 9:00 A.M. CST

February 18, 2012 · 10:00 A.M. CST

Lakeview Church of the Nazarene

10818 Spur 248 · Tyler, Texas

No Charge

 Seating is limited to 500 capacity

 RSVP at God-Country.org

Liberty Institute’s President and CEO, Kelly Shackelford, will address the rally along with other Christian leaders and pastors from across the state. To quote Dr. Nathan Lorick, a founding pastor of the movement, “This is a time when Christian Leaders should stand up for Christianity in America by becoming active in the pulpit while speaking with their congregations about protecting their first amendment rights.”  We encourage people to attend the event to learn about the significant rights that Churches and Pastors have to stand up for truth and to educate and engage their congregations on the importance of voting.

It’s time to take a stand to reclaim and defend our religious freedoms.  If you will not, who will?


Texans Rally in Athens, Say “Don’t Mess with Christmas”

December 21, 2011

Athens_Tx_Nativity_Rally_Henderson_CountyThis past Saturday, an estimated 5,000 Texans rallied to support the Nativity Scene at the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens, Tx. The Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation, who has a history of attacking religious freedom around the country, had sent a letter to county officials stating that the religious display on the courthouse lawn should be removed from county property.  On Saturday, with law and history on their side, 5,000 Texans stood for true religious freedom and sent the clear message: “Don’t Mess with Christmas in Texas.”

The rally was filled with moving music and speech as Pastors from all around the area united in support of the Nativity scene.  Pastor Nathan Lorick of  First Baptist Church of Malakoff, encouraged the crowd to no longer stand as the silent majority and challenged everyone to recognize that “the truth of the Bible was not a mere afterthought but instead a foundational basis on which we live.”

Please check out some great pictures and video from the rally below:

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*Special thanks to our local conservative and tea party friends for proving the pictures and video

 


War on Christmas comes to Henderson County

December 16, 2011

Athens_Tx_Nativity_Henderson_CountyIf Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because they are the same atheist group currently behind the attacks on the Tenth Mountain Division’s Big Mountain Jesus statue in Whitefish, Montana, the veterans memorial, that Liberty Institute is defending. They are also the same group that earlier this year filed suit against Governor Perry and the Houston Prayer rally and lost.  It seems FFRF is also investing much of their energy into waging war on Christmas, with the latest attack taking place in Athens, Texas in Henderson County.

In Henderson County, FFRF sent a demand letter to county officials demanding that they remove a nativity scence from the courthouse square. The County correctly responded to FFRF that the nativity scene was constitutional under established U.S. Supreme Court precedent.  The group also made known their plans to post a sign reading “At this Season of the Winter Solstice, LET REASON PREVAIL.” The banner goes on to state that religion is a “myth and superstition.” Fortunately, local pastors and Christians are taking a stand against the false claims by FFRF and will be holding a rally at the courthouse this Saturday, December 17, 2011.

Pastor Nathan Lorick of First Baptist Church in Malakoff, a neighboring town to Athens stated in a recent article that “The point that I’m standing on is that we are seeing persecution on Christianity on the rise in America and I think there’s some great examples of that even recently, one being what we are going through,” he said. “Christianity for far too long has been the silent majority. We need to stand up and speak up in love, but with conviction. We believe enough in our God and we believe enough in our faith that we need to take a stand for what we believe in.”

Pastor Lorick, who will be officiating the rally on Saturday, really hit the nail on the head.  As we have seen with our stand on the “Under God” license plate, unless Christians stand up for their rights, the left will continue to try to chip away at our religious freedom piece by piece.  We applaud the folks from Henderson County and from across the state that will be standing up for religious freedom this Saturday.

Update: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has put out a statement offering support to the Henderson County Judge over the challenge to the Courthouse Nativity Scene.  See the statement here.


Statesman: Suit Over Houston Prayer Rally “Misguided”

July 15, 2011

Did I read this correctly?  Is this really from the Austin-American Statesman, dismissing the suit by their liberal friends at the Freedom From Religion group, who are suing Gov. Rick Perry over his participation in the Houston Prayer Rally event (The Response)?  Read for yourself.  http://www.statesman.com/opinion/suit-over-perrys-prayer-event-misguided-1609874.html


Fox 7 Interview on Lawsuit to Stop Prayer Rally

July 14, 2011

Liberty Institute was interviewed by Fox 7 in Austin yesterday on the lawsuit filled by an atheist group, The Freedom From Religion Foundation, to stop the Prayer Rally in Houston that will be attended by Governor Perry.  Fox 7’s story on the lawsuit is here.


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