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August 12, 2014 24

David Duke Exploits Gaza Situation With New Video

For­mer Klan leader and anti-Semite David Duke, pre­sent­ing him­self as a “peace activist” and an unbi­ased “his­to­rian” has cre­ated a new exploitive video on the war in Gaza. Duke uses the sit­u­a­tion in Gaza to pro­mote his own vir­u­lent brand of anti-Semitism and attempt to win sympathizers.david-duke-gaza-video

In the video titled, “Israeli Geno­cide in Gaza,” Duke accuses Israel of “bar­baric” mass mur­der and geno­cide. He also alleges that the media and politi­cians are con­trolled by Zion­ists who pur­posely mis­lead the public.

Iron­i­cally, Duke claims to be a his­to­rian “who likes to expose hypocrisy, decep­tion and manip­u­la­tion.” Yet he uses all three to paint Jews as mur­der­ers, liars and thieves. Duke also rep­re­sents him­self as a cham­pion of the Pales­tini­ans despite hav­ing been an active white suprema­cist for decades.

The real objec­tive of Duke’s video, which has received almost 32,000 views on YouTube, is to demo­nize Jews and to pro­mote the idea that Jews con­trol Amer­ica. At the end of the video, Duke exclaims, “Free Pales­tine and free Amer­ica and free the world from Zion­ist lies and tyranny.”

In addi­tion to the video on the sit­u­a­tion in Gaza, Duke has been try­ing to raise money to pub­lish “The Illus­trated Pro­to­cols of Zion,” a ver­sion of the noto­ri­ous anti-Semitic work that accuses Jews of a world­wide plot to con­trol the world.

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August 8, 2014 6

North Carolina Restaurant Discontinues Praying Customer Discount

Last week a North Car­olina diner’s reported four-year-old 15% cus­tomer dis­count for “pray­ing in pub­lic” before meals gained wide­spread atten­tion after a patron’s receipt show­ing the rebate was posted on Face­book.  This atten­tion was also the discount’s demise.  After mul­ti­ple news reports appeared, com­men­ta­tors and orga­ni­za­tions began spec­u­lat­ing that the prac­tice was ille­gal, and the diner ended the discount. north-carolina-restaurant-discount

Fed­eral pub­lic accom­mo­da­tion laws, which cover restau­rants and din­ers, pro­hibit unequal treat­ment of cus­tomers in the enjoy­ment of goods and ser­vices based on reli­gion, as well as on race, color, or nation ori­gin.  The dis­count may have vio­lated the law because it effec­tively favored reli­gious cus­tomers over non-believers or other cus­tomers who — for what­ever rea­son — choose not to pray in public.

The mar­ket­place brings together Amer­i­cans of all races, reli­gions and back­grounds.  In addi­tion to likely being ille­gal, com­mer­cial dis­counts based on reli­gious prac­tices are divi­sive, anti­thet­i­cal to our plu­ral­is­tic soci­ety, and sim­ply an ill-advised busi­ness prac­tice.  The diner did the right thing in dis­con­tin­u­ing the dis­count it was offering.

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August 7, 2014 0

Legislative Prayer Ruling Does Not Permit Prayers by Local Lawmakers

In the recent Greece v. Gal­loway deci­sion, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the types of open­ing prayers or invo­ca­tions that may be given at pub­lic meet­ings of leg­isla­tive bod­ies.  Accord­ing to the Court, clergy or com­mu­nity mem­bers can deliver sec­tar­ian prayers before munic­i­pal and county boards, coun­cils, and com­mis­sions.  How­ever, a fed­eral court in Vir­ginia has just deter­mined that the Greece deci­sion does not give carte blanche for invo­ca­tions by mem­bers of a Board of Super­vi­sors at pub­lic meetings.town-hall-image

Based on the Greece deci­sion, a super­vi­sor asked the court to revoke an order bar­ring sec­tar­ian prayers by Board mem­bers at pub­lic meet­ings.  Due to sig­nif­i­cant fac­tual dif­fer­ences between the Greece deci­sion and this case, Hud­son v. Pitt­syl­va­nia County, the court refused.

In his deci­sion, Judge Michael Urban­ski indi­cated that the Greece decision’s over­ar­ch­ing prin­ci­ple is that gov­ern­ment offi­cials “can­not dic­tate the con­tent of prayers offered at local gov­ern­ment meet­ings.” But that would be the exact result of revok­ing the order.  Unlike the Greece case, hav­ing super­vi­sors offer the invo­ca­tions would deny peo­ple of other faiths that oppor­tu­nity.  Also unlike Greece, super­vi­sors often direct cit­i­zens to par­tic­i­pate in prayers by ask­ing them to stand for invocations.

Based on these fac­tual dis­tinc­tions, the court appro­pri­ately con­cluded that “the active role of the … Board of Super­vi­sors in lead­ing the prayers, and, impor­tantly dic­tat­ing their con­tent, is of con­sti­tu­tional dimen­sion and falls out­side the prayer prac­tices approved in Town of Greece.”

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