Boom: The Supreme Court Just Issued A Decision In Favor Of A Church Battling Government

The United States Supreme Court overturned a law Thursday which prohibited an Arizona church and other religious institutions from displaying advertisements for events.

In Reed v. Gilbert, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Pastor Clyde Reed and the Good News Community Church in Gilbert, Ariz., which challenged a town ordinance placing restrictions on “directional signs” advertising events for religious organizations. The restrictions mandated that signs be limited to six square feet in size and could only be put up within 14 hours of an event. Political signs and others, however, could be displayed for several months. Western Journalism’s B. Christopher Agee gave background on the case last year:

Two lower courts found that the town is within its rights to impose differing rules on sign placement based on the parties involved, provided the regulations are not based on the sign’s content.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas offered the court’s opinion. “The Town has offered no reason to believe that directional signs pose a greater threat to safety than do ideological or political signs,” wrote Thomas. “If anything, a sharply worded ideological sign seems more likely to distract a driver than a sign directing the public to a nearby church meeting.”

A sign ordinance narrowly tailored to the challenges of protecting the safety of pedestrians, drivers, and passengers—such as warning signs marking hazards on private property, signs directing traffic, or street numbers associated with private houses — well might survive strict scrutiny.

The signs at issue in this case, including political and ideological signs and signs for events, are far removed from those purposes. As discussed above, they are facially content based and are neither justified by traditional safety concerns nor narrowly tailored.

Concurring opinions were filed by Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan.

h/t: The Washington Examiner

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Just Revealed What Happens To Anyone Who Messes With The Flag In His Jail

During a recent interview with Breitbart News, Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio touched on several ways he is able to inject patriotic elements into the extensive jail system he oversees.

One way Maricopa County inmates are compelled to honor America under the tough sheriff’s command is hanging on the wall of every cell. The American flag is displayed prominently everywhere inmates are housed, he explained, adding that “if anybody tinkers or messes around” with the banner, he or she will be placed on a diet of bread and water.

He also plays God Bless America and The Star-Spangled Banner throughout the jail, encouraging inmates to sing along.

Arpaio has been both criticized and praised for the strict manner in which inmates are treated while in his agency’s custody. There are a few perks, however, for veterans. During the interview, which took place the same week as Flag Day, Arpaio shared a recent example.

“Since many people don’t remember what Flag Day is all about,” he said, “—it’s also the anniversary of the U.S. Army – I decided to spend part of the day at the jail and talk to all the former veterans. Also, a few months ago I decided to put all inmates on a  vegetarian diet – no more meat – however, for veterans, on Flag Day, I did give them hot dogs and beans and corn and that type of thing.”

In honor of their sacrifice, Arpaio said he also houses veterans together while in his jail system.

“We have 180 inmates that are veterans,” he said, “so I placed the veterans in their own area. They painted all the branches of the services on the walls – red, white and blue.”

Arpaio noted that this ward has none of the assaults and other behavior issues seen throughout the rest of the jail. He suggested there is likely a fair amount of self-policing taking place within this community.

“My theory,” he said, “is we’ve had some sergeants there and they kind of, in their own way, helped me because they can supervise the other inmates that were privates, et cetera.”

Should patriotism be encouraged in America’s penal system? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

ISIS-Connected Islamists Say Something Scary About Phoenix Mosque Protest

As reported by Western Journalism, armed bikers are planning to protest outside of a Phoenix mosque Friday evening. Now, one of the organizers of the event, Jon Ritzheimer, states he has received death threats against himself and his family.

He wrote on Facebook Thursday night:

Credible threats being made and now having to move my family into hiding. Real nice Islam. Thank you for showing your true colors. I have not made any threats nor do I condone any threats. I’ve been preaching peace this whole time and once again Islam shows its lack of tolerance for others freedom. I will say that I think this cartoon contest is completely stupid, but this is all to show what Islam is about. The only one threatening with violence and that has a track record of it is them. Rally going on as planned.

Ritzheimer emphasized he does not want violence at the rally; “I WANT PEACE,” he wrote on Facebook.

Over 1000 people have indicated on Facebook that they plan to attend the event, which has caused Phoenix police to be working feverishly to ensure the public’s safety. The police may close roads in the vicinity, and area businesses and other organizations have been notified.

“We’re working hard with our federal partners and other city departments to make sure we have enough officers; road closures. I think it’s going to be a traffic nightmare among other things,” Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner said.

The Islamic Community Center, where the protest will take place, is located in the north part of the city just off the busy I-17 freeway, a few miles south of Phoenix’s Metro Center Mall.

The Denny’s restaurant parking lot, where the rally attendees plan to gather before going to the mosque, plans to close for a few hours Friday evening.

One Islamist posted Ritzheimer’s home address online.

Ritz home address

Another issued a death threat against those attending the rally.

Tweet - threating Islam rally attenders

In the Facebook event post, Ritzheimer encouraged event attendees to bring their firearms. “This Islamic Community Center is a known place that the 2 terrorist(s) [responsible for the Texas attack] frequented. People are also encouraged to utilize (their) second amendment right at this event just (in case) our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack.”

Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey hopes common sense will prevail at the event.

“Of course I’m a believer in free speech and the First Amendment. I’m also a believer in good judgment and common sense,” he told local CBS affiliate KPHO.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Republican Senator Just Got Called Out Big Time For Doing This To Make Himself Look Better

The American Conservative Union wasted little time exposing Arizona Sen. John McCain’s misleading use of its rating system. The organization, which also hosts CPAC each year, grades legislators each year based on their allegiance to conservative values.

McCain, gearing up for his sixth Senate bid, was apparently anxious to publicize his conservative bona fides as fellow Republicans continue to perform well in hypothetical matchups against him. The 2008 GOP presidential nominee shared the following Twitter post this week:

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The ACU, however, pointed out that releasing his 2014 rating out of context is deceptive.

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As Breitbart reported, McCain’s annual ratings have varied widely, with his highest grade corresponding with a year during which he faced a tough primary opponent. The ACU cited his recent low rating of 52; however, he received scores nearly as dismal in 2008 and 2006.

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McCain received a perfect score – 100 percent – from the ACU in 2010, the year he squared off against J.D. Hayworth for his party’s nomination ahead of his last re-election campaign. Since then, his relationship with Arizona Republicans has faltered. In fact, he was censured by his own party for failing to represent conservative ideals during the same year he received his recently-touted 91 percent ACU rating.

With a number of potential candidates hinting that they might challenge McCain in the upcoming primary, time will tell if he shifts noticeably to the right in an effort to gain conservative support. In any case, it is clear from social media reaction that there are plenty of Americans who simply do not trust him.

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Do you support John McCain? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Bikers Planning Highly Controversial Action At Terror-Linked Mosque

Armed bikers are planning a protest outside of a Phoenix mosque on Friday.

The event will take place at the Islamic Community Center, which was once the place of worship for the ISIS-inspired attackers of the Draw the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Dallas in early May.

Elton Simpson attended the mosque over a 10 year period, but stopped going to services there a few months ago. His fellow jihadist, Nadir Soofi, went infrequently and stopped going altogether about a year ago.

The center’s president, Usama Shami, told local NBC affiliate 12 News: “We are not educating people to do violent acts, so why are we being held responsible in the minds of some people?” He recently received a death threat in the mail against himself and his family, which the FBI is investigating.

The organizers of the anti-Islam rally, Jon Ritzheimer and Flash Nelson, stated the center was chosen because of Simpson’s and Soofi’s former affiliation.

The Facebook invitation to Friday’s “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” reads:

ROUND 2!!!!!!! This will be a PEACEFUL protest in front of the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix AZ. This is in response to the recent attack in Texas where 2 armed terrorist, with ties to ISIS, attempted Jihad. Everyone is encouraged to bring American Flags and any message that you would like to send to the known acquaintances of the 2 gunmen. This Islamic Community Center is a known place that the 2 terrorist frequented. People are also encouraged to utilize there [sic.] second amendment right at this event just incase [sic.] our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack.

A ‘Draw Muhummad Cartoon’ contest is planned as part of the event, with the participants asked to display their artwork in front of the Islamic Center.

Ritzheimer told 12 News: “I don’t condone any threats being made to the mosque.” Nevertheless, he does have strong feelings about the Muslim faith. He posted a picture of himself on Facebook wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “F— Islam.”

When asked about the shirt, he said: “I’m a Marine. I am outspoken. And I’ve just had it.”

Ritzheimer believes the Quran at its core incites violence. “It’s not that some people are out perverting this religion. It’s these guys are following the book as it is written.”

Shami is encouraging members to ignore Ritzheimer and his supporters on Friday, saying that they were not looking for an “intellectual conversation.”

He said: “”Everybody has a right to be a bigot. Everybody has a right to be a racist. Everybody has a right to be an idiot.”

“They are looking to stir up a controversy, and we’re not going to be part of it,” Shami added.

Approximately 250 people have indicated they plan to attend the biker rally on Facebook.

Phoenix police and the FBI are aware of the rally. The police have not commented on the security measures that will be in place.

h/t: Gateway Pundit 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth