Friday, July 22, 2011

Organization Helps To Bring Free Health Care To Virgina

The Remote Area Medical Health Expedition is making its twelfth visit to Wise County on July 22.

The number of people needing free healthcare seems to be greater than ever. Before all of the medical equipment is unloaded and set up, lines are already beginning to form for free eye, dental and medical care.

Its offered by the organizers of the Remote Area Medical Expedition based in Knoxville.

Of all of these types of events held by RAM worldwide, this is one of the largest. "I think we did 38 of these things last year, of which this was one of the largest. Every time we come to Wise County, Va. we reckon we're going to see somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 patients," RAM organizer Stan Brock said.

"I think you can probably take this event and have it anywhere in the nation because there's such extensive health care need. [You can] certainly use this as the poster child but you could take this and replicate it anywhere in the nation," said Teresa Gardner, the executive director of the local Health Wagon.

There will be screenings and basic health checkups, but there are a couple of needs that are most in demand. "Dental and vision, actually dental because there's such a big need for dental care here in the Appalachian region," said Paula Meade, the Health Wagon clinical director.

Even though the medical staff won't see the first patients until Friday morning, the line for tickets to get treatment is already forming. "If you want a ticket to get in and get out you need to come early. I don't have insurance, this is the way I get my mammogram done. I did a breathing treatment here last year that's how I found out I have COPD," said Linda Allen, one of the first in line.

Volunteers have another health concern as well. They hope people don't get too hot standing in line for hours as they wait to be seen.

The event opens Friday morning and runs through the weekend at the Wise County Fairground.

Last year more than 1,400 people were helped with dental problems and more than 1,000 got an eye test. More than $2 million of free medical care was provided.

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VA's Reaction To Censoring Veterans From Saying "Jesus" Or "God" Hits All Time Low

A Texas-based Christian law firm that defends First Amendment freedoms says the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' reaction to accusations of religious censorship at the Houston National Cemetery stoops to a "new low."

As previously reported on OneNewsNow, Liberty Institute has filed suit on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, and The National Memorial Ladies over allegations of religious hostility and unlawful censorship by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and its director of the Houston National Cemetery.

The suit accuses officials of closing the cemetery chapel and banning the words "God" and "Jesus" from prayers during veterans' burial services, unless families put their requests in writing and submit prayers for pre-approval. But in a brief filed in federal court, the VA denies the allegations.

"The Department of Veterans Affairs, instead of fixing this religious censorship ... and [its] continued dishonoring of veterans, [has] stooped to a new low, referring [to the veterans groups] now as liars," reports Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute director of litigations. "And it's absolutely outrageous that they would attack these veterans, whose only thing they've ever done is that they have served our country well. And now, because these veterans have spoken up, [the Department of Veterans Affairs is] attacking these veterans and stooping to a new low. It's absolutely hideous."

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California "Gay History" Law On Hold For Now

California's plan to teach children to accept and appreciate homosexuality is on hold.

Last week Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 48, which requires public schools -- kindergarten through 12th-grade -- to teach about homosexual role models in history and sociology. According to a pro-family coalition that opposes the measure, it requires "a selective treatment of history by requiring that only events that reflect positively on people in the LGBT community may be discussed."

Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute has received a stay blocking introduction of the curriculum this fall.

"This is not only going to effect the textbooks being produced one or two years out, but it was also going to be impacting the curriculum, bringing outside speakers, transsexuals, homosexuals to talk about themselves or historical figures," the attorney explains.
LinkPacific Justice Institute has prepared and filed a referendum to go on a future ballot that would repeal the law. The state attorney general is reviewing the petition, and once approval is obtained a drive to obtain signatures will begin.

"Parents, moms and dads out there are outraged and they're ready to go," says Dacus. "We have 90 days to get half a million signatures, but I'd like to think that we have enough people in California with their heads on straight to protect our children."

The PJI president says he is depending in part on the church in California to rise to the occasion and provide sufficient volunteers to obtain the signatures.

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Texas Seeks To De-Fund $64 Million From Planned Parenthood

Initial estimates of the amount of taxpayer funds the Planned Parenthood abortion business in Texas stands to lose for a bill Gov. Rick Perry signed were in the $30-40 million range. Now, one pro-life group says that number could be as high as $64 million.

“The final version of the state’s budget bill and the subsequent agency adjustments yielded $64.2 million reallocated away from the abortion industry,” says Texas Right to Life director Elizabeth Graham. “In Texas, Planned Parenthood has been dealt the greatest defeat in their 95-year history by Texas Right to Life and several heroic Pro-Life Texas state legislators.”

“In the State House, all eight of Texas Right to Life’s amendments to redirect family planning funds away from the abortion industry passed overwhelmingly (the highest vote total the pro-abortion opposition could garner was 40 of the 150 House members),” she explained. “The final amendment earned 113 votes to snatch the last $9 million.”

Although Graham says federal law prohibits further reductions, she says Texas state legislators ultimately cut out 37 percent of the Planned Parenthood funding the abortion business gets in Texas — in what she says will be a “blow” that “will severely hamstring the Texas abortion industry.”

Graham applauded State Senator Tommy Williams, a Republican from The Woodlands, who implemented the second phase of our two-prong strategy to incapacitate the abortion giant. he successfully added a rider “to establish a priority so that entities and agencies not involved in abortion are to be the top priority for family planning grants and contracts.”

“Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers would only qualify under the last priority, meaning that little or no family planning funds would be left for them after the other “clean” contracts have been awarded,” the TRTL director says.

“This removal of over $64 million of our Texas tax dollars marks the culmination of five years of work by Texas Right to Life’s legislative team and interns. We identified the funding streams, studied the rules, sought legal counsel about state compliance with federal laws, and obtained a copy of the state’s family planning budget,” Graham concludes. “The 82nd Texas Legislative session brought historic Pro-Life victories to Texan women, unborn children, and families.”

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More and More Churches Having Services In Public Places

Churches are holding worship services in public places with greater regularity than some might think. It is not uncommon today to see portable church signs outside public buildings and schools on Sundays.

Thousands of believers today are gathering more often in public schools, skating rinks, parks and empty buildings to avoid the financial burden.

As additional housing opens and property rental fees go up, churches often rent non-traditional spaces until they can build a permanent facility or develop a congregation large enough to support one.

However, some Americans continue to fight over the place of religion making the debate between church and state one of the more recent battlegrounds in the public forum.

Critics, including the courts, are concerned that making arrangements for churches to worship in public places is unconstitutional.

One such case involves a religious group in New York’s Bronx borough that is fighting to use a local school for Sunday religious services.

New York City officials recently said churches that meet in public schools must leave by the end of the school year. The announcement is bringing the issue back into the news again.

The decision came after the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled 2-1 last month that churches meeting in schools are unconstitutionally converting the schools into state-sponsored Christian churches, basically barring worship services from public buildings.

Some church advocates worry that the decision will spread to other parts of the country and prohibit church planters from keeping their doors open to Christians.

The justices wrote that it is "reasonable for the board to fear that allowing schools to be converted into churches might foster an excessive government entanglement with religion that advances religion."

Meanwhile, the Alliance Defense Fund, the Christian legal group representing the Bronx church, says it is appealing the court's ruling.

"Religious groups, including churches, shouldn't be discriminated against simply because they want to rent a public building just like other groups can," ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence said in a statement.

"The idea that people of faith may be singled out for discrimination is flagrantly contrary to the U.S. Constitution," he said. "The 2nd Circuit greatly erred by not putting an end to the board's continued defiance of the First Amendment."

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