This controversy appears to be short-lived because Office Depot had a change of heart and apologized.
“We sincerely apologize to Ms. (Maria) Goldstein for her experience and our initial reaction was not at all related to her religious beliefs,” Office Depot Chairman and CEO Roland Smith, said in a statement, the Chicago Tribune reported. “We invite her to return to Office Depot if she still wishes to print the flier.”
The Tribune reported the company prohibits “the copying of any type of material that advocates any form of racial or religious discrimination or the persecution of certain groups of people,” as well as copyrighted material, company spokeswoman Karen Denning told the Tribune. The flier that Goldstein wanted to copy “contained material that advocates the persecution of people who support abortion rights,” she said.
“We are grateful that Office Depot has apologized for discriminating against Maria Goldstein based on the content of her flyers,” said Thomas More Society attorney Tom Olp. “This situation is a reminder that religious liberty is increasingly under attack today, but it is a fundamental American right that every one of us should value and defend.”
I want to end today’s commentary with a question for proponents of religious liberty.
Much like Christian bakers who refuse to take business that violates their religious beliefs, don’t secular companies have a right to refuse business that violates their beliefs?
“The Rankin County School Board and District Office are very saddened students will not be able to perform their halftime show they have worked so hard on this summer,” the district wrote in a statement to the Clarion Ledger newspaper.
In 2013 a student sued the district over a series of Christian meetings that had been held on school property, the newspaper reported. The district later settled the lawsuit and acknowledged they had violated the student’s First Amendment rights.
In July, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves ruled the district had violated the agreement after a Christian minister delivered a prayer at an awards ceremony.
Judge Reeves, who was appointed to the bench by President Obama, came down hard on the school district — ordering them to pay thousands of dollars in fines. He also warned the district that future violations would cost them $10,000.
“Defendants are permanently enjoined from including prayer, religious sermons or activities in any school sponsored event including but not limited to assemblies, graduations, award ceremonies, athletic events and any other school event,” the order reads.
Word about the band getting benched spread across the town quicker than kudzu. I must have received emails and Facebook messages from nearly the entire state – from Desoto County to Yazoo City.
Something must be done to right this wrong, people said. A message had to be sent to the likes of Judge Reeves. Locals gathered in coffee shops and garages to devise their plan.
And what they did — would become known as the musical shot heard around the world.
During halftime of Friday night’s game – a lone voice began to sing the forbidden song.
“Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,” the singer sang. And then – something remarkable happened.
Brittany Mann was there and she witnessed the entire moment of defiance.
“We were just sitting there and then one by one people started to stand,” she told me. “At first, it started out as a hum but the sound got louder and louder.”
She said it was a “truly incredible” moment to watch hundreds of people singing together in the stadium – a musical act of civil disobedience.
“At that moment I was so proud of my town – coming together and taking a stand for something we believe in,” she said. “It breaks my heart to see where our country is going — getting farther and farther away from the Christian beliefs that our country was founded on.”
I suspect Miss Brittany wasn’t the only one who felt a sense of pride in the Magnolia State on that warm summer night.
“We may be pictured as toothless, barefoot, uneducated people around the country, but we are far from it,” nearby resident Mandy Miller told me. “I’m from Mississippi and I’m not ashamed to take a stand.”
Oh what a sight it must have been — as hundreds and hundreds of people stood together and with one voice — sent a message to Judge Reeves.
“This is the kind of thing that makes me proud to be from the South,” Miss Mandy told me. “We are getting tired of being told to sit down and shut up. People are ready to fight back.”
Miss Mandy is absolutely right. The time has come to stand up to the secularists. The time has come to put an end to their cultural jihad.
I hope the Rankin County School Board will reconsider its decision and allow the marching band to resume performing “How Great Thou Art.”
And should Judge Reeves make good on his threat to financially punish the school district, I will personally pay the $10,000 fine.
Now that’s not too bad for a guy written off by the political pundits and the Mainstream Media and fellow candidates like Jeb Bush.
Mr. Trump is filling up football stadiums while Jeb! can barely fill up the banquet hall down at the Best Western.
Jeb!, meanwhile, has been casting dispersions on Mr. Trump’s political character.
“He’s been a Democrat longer than a Republican,” Jeb! said in remarks covered by The New York Times.
“I cut taxes every year; he’s proposed the largest tax increase in mankind’s history, not just our own country’s history,” he said. “I have been consistently pro-life; he until recently was for partial-birth abortion.”
And on and on and on he went – all but accusing Mr. Trump of being to the left of President Obama.
“There’s a big difference between Donald Trump and me,” he told reporters the other day. “I’m a proven conservative with a record. He isn’t.”
Since everybody seems to be fact-checking these days, let me make this one observation: Mr. Trump is the front-runner – and Jeb! isn’t.
Let’s just assume that Jeb! is telling us the truth — that Mr. Trump is not really a Conservative — that he’s a liberal wearing Pat Nixon’s cloth coat.
If that’s true — how sad is it that Mr. Trump is better playing a make believe Conservative than someone who professes to actually be a conservative?
Maybe Jeb! should replace his exclamation mark with a sad-faced emoji.
The other day a conservative commentator said Mr. Trump was ruining the GOP. Folks, the only thing responsible for ruining the Republican Party — is the Republican Party.
Children will now have “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” instead of a mommy and a daddy, according to Tennessee’s Administrative Office of the Courts.
Shortly after the Supreme Court redefined marriage, the state’s Office of the Courts revised its documents. A spokesperson for the courts confirmed to me that the words “Mother” and “Father” had been replaced by the terms “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”
I was alerted to the gender-neutral parenting documents by Kendra Armstrong, a family law attorney in Memphis and one of my longtime readers.
“Why are heterosexual parents having their rights violated?” she asked. “So now it’s improper and inappropriate in a court of law to refer to a parent as a mother and a father?
The court spokesperson did not elaborate on why they felt compelled to change the longtime wording or whether Parent 1 brings home the bacon or whether Parent 2 wears the pants in the relationship.
“It’s absolutely ludicrous to make the term mother and father obsolete,” Armstrong told me. “Quite frankly, the terms ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’ seem more offensive than mother and father. It’s implying that one parent is the first parent and the other parent is secondary.”
Armstrong said she was incredulous when her paralegal discovered the document changes – shocked that something like this would happen in, of all places, the Bible Belt.
“This is political correctness gone absolutely amuck,” she told me. “It’s just ridiculous.”
The State Department released a statement at the time noting that the changes reflected “improvements” that were being made to “provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.”
Brenda Sprague, the deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services, said the changes had nothing to do with political correctness.
“We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago,” she said.
Sounds to me like they’ve got an issue with old-fashioned baby-making – back when it took a mommy and a daddy to make a bundle of joy.
I know, I know. It’s old-school. But no matter how hard the Supreme Court and the cultural revolutionaries try to redefine what God defined – it still takes two to tango – ahem.
As for attorney Kendrick, she said she plans on ignoring the court-mandated changes – no matter the consequences. She plans on replacing all references to “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” with the words “mother” and “father.”
“I am exercising my right to free speech, freedom of religion and I am being a conscientious objector,” she declared. “I refuse to go to court with a parenting plan that refers to Parent 1 and Parent 2 instead of mother and father.”
On a side note – I suggested in my latest book that the true motive behind the gay marriage activists was to deconstruct the traditional American family – hence the ban on mommy and daddy.
I reckon it’s only a matter of time before Tennessee completely conforms to the demands of the gender-neutral crowd and begins referring to children as “Thing One” and “Thing Two.”