Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Columbine student's father 12 years later


Guess our national leaders didn't expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton , Colorado , was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness.. The following is a portion of the transcript:

"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer. Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need!

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!
My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"
- Darrell Scott


Do what the media did not - - let the nation hear this man's speech. Please send this out to everyone you can.
God Bless


Sunday November 3rd...

from 2 to 6 PM
at Raymond-Faulkner-Cook
American Legion Post 858
in Cleveland, NY.

Menu is turkey with all the trimmings
Adults................. $8.00
Seniors................ $7.00
Age 5 to 12...........$6.00
Under 5................ Free!

Come on over and enjoy
a fine meal this 
Sunday, November 3rd

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Liberty Institute Secures a Win for Student Banned From Writing About God

When 10-year-old Erin Shead received a school assignment to write about her idol, it was an easy decision…she chose to write about God.

However, when young Erin asked her teacher if she could write about God, she was told no. That night, after speaking with her mother, Erin decided to move forward with her plans. Fearful the teacher might not accept it, she completed a second assignment as well.

Erin's assignment about God
 The next day, Erin tried to hand in her assignment she had written about God, but the teacher rejected it, accepting her other project (about Michael Jackson) instead. Later, during a class discussion, the teacher told Erin to take the God assignment home because, leaving it on school property might violate the First Amendment.

Standing Strong
Erin’s mother, Erica, took the story public to bring attention to the religious discrimination happening at her daughter’s school.

Sadly, the classroom discussions over Erin’s assignment actually led to the young student being teased by her classmates. Recess discussions moved from mocking her belief in God to racial insults.

Liberty Institute immediately stepped in to help. Liberty Attorney Jeremy Dys had several conversations with the general counsel of Shelby County School on behalf of Erica and Erin, to investigate the situation and inform the district of students’ true constitutional rights.
Fortunately, in this situation Shelby County Schools did the right thing. This week, Erin was able to turn in her assignment with her original subject – God – and received an A.

  10-year-old Erin Shead
 Erin’s mother told WREG Memphis that she simply “wanted Erin’s right to be able to express herself not to ever be taken away again.”
“I just wanted every Christian to know that we have a right to be able to express ourselves,” she told the news outlet. “We understand that they’ve taken prayer out of schools, but they cannot take God out of our children.”

Culture of Fear
Situations like Erin’s are happening all to frequently. Aggressive anti-faith groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU have created a culture of fear inside our nation’s schools – to the point that a teacher fears that a piece of paper with the word, “God” scribbled on it by a 10-year old might violate the Constitution! They fire off demand letters and intimidate school officials with threats of lawsuits.

Now, school districts across the country are so afraid of potential legal action that they end up infringing upon students constitutional rights.

However, Liberty Institute is here to clearly explain what the law actually allows regarding the free exercise of religion. 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Outrage! U.S. Army Labels Christian Ministry as “Domestic Hate Group”

Last week, dozens of U.S. Army active duty and reserve troops were told during a briefing that the American Family Association (AFA) should be classified as a domestic hate group because of its traditional family values and religious beliefs.  Liberty Institute is providing legal counsel to AFA regarding this developing situation.

 The briefing was held last week at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. A soldier who attended the meeting contacted Fox News and provided a picture of the presentation that listed AFA alongside the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam. During the briefing, the soldiers were also told they could be punished for participating in any organization that is considered a hate group.

“Am I going to be punished?” 
The soldier, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said he was especially concerned because he is a supporter of AFA.

“I donate to AFA as often as I can,” he told the news outlet. “Am I going to be punished? I listen to American Family Radio all day. If they hear it on my radio, will I be faced with a Uniformed Code of Military Justice charge?”

The soldier told Fox News he was “completely taken back by this blatant attack not only on the AFA but Christians and our beliefs.”

This story should concern every American that values our First Freedom.

Alarming Pattern
The attacks on the religious freedoms of those in the military are increasing at unprecedented rate. The calls to Liberty from members of the military who are being persecuted for their faith are increasing.

One of those calls came from Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk who was recently relieved of his duties and reassigned because of his faith. Monk made the bold decision to stand for his religious freedom to serve as an example to his young sons. His story continues to make headlines across the country, shining a light on this very serious topic.

Liberty Institute is committed to fighting for Sergeant Monk and we know he will be vindicated. We are hopeful that as other members of the military follow Monk’s journey, they will be empowered to stand as well. And, when they are ready, Liberty Institute is here to defend them, free of charge.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Another traditional celebration bites the dust. As indicated below, the International Goodwill Committee has decided to discontinue the Annual Goodwill Days celebrated by the American Legion and the Canadian Legion. After 62 years, they are calling it quits due to lack of participation. Sadly, I recall many, many happy days of celebrating the continued joint activity, one year in the USA and the next year in Canada. 

It is a sad commentary on our current situation where the comraderie of our two nations must be dissolved, nevertheless the memories are in the minds of those who have been a part of this joint springtime activity timed to coincide with Memorial Day, a time to remember those who gave their lives for our great country.

These pictures are from the last Goodwill Day celebrated in 2013. I am so glad I had the opportunity to experience it. 
E-mail from John Konkol:

The International Goodwill Committee held its regular meeting in Clayton NY on October 6th 2013. At the meeting a vote was held and passed by 14 to 11 to dissolve the  International Goodwill Days held between the Royal Canadian Legions and the American Legions. This was due to the low participation and lack of volunteers.  I would like to thank all the people, communities, Legion Posts and Branches, dignitaries, guests, school bands, Marching Units  and Goodwill members on both sides of the border for making this a success for the last 62 years. Lifetime friendships and cross border relationships were made and will continue.  I would especially like to thank American Legion Post 904 Alexandria Bay NY, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 96 Brockville Ontario, American Legion Post 821 Clayton NY, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 92 Gananoque Ontario, American Legion Post 821 Cape Vincent NY and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 560 Kingston Ontario for all their years of hard work and dedication to this great organization. 


VA regional offices shut down
Because of the continuing government shutdown, VA closes all
public services at its regional offices
WASHINGTON (Oct. 8, 2013) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced it is placing more than 7,000 employees on furlough, effective Oct. 8, a move that will eliminate public access to all 56 of its Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) regional offices.
As a result of the furloughs, VBA can no longer conduct personal interviews and hearings, process GI Bill benefits, offer educational or vocational counseling, or provide outreach activities and programs -- including VetSuccess on Campus. The reduced work force also means that American Legion service officers are unable to use office space allocated to them at the regional offices.
Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of The American Legion, expressed outrage at the latest impact of the government shutdown on veterans. “Because Congress and the White House refuse to speak to each other, our country’s veterans are suffering more with each passing day of this extremely dangerous impasse.
“Now we’ve reached the point where VA can’t even process benefits claims for our men and women who served in uniform. Our nation’s leaders need a reality check. Do they really think they are serving the best interests of our veterans -- or the best interests of all Americans -- by forcing government agencies to shut down?”
On Oct. 4, Dellinger held a press conference at the World War II Memorial in Washington, a memorial that was initially closed to World War II veterans and is still closed to the public. He told reporters that the House of Representatives, the Senate and President Obama were all to blame for the shutdown.
Besides the 7,000 VBA workers furloughed, VA has also placed more than 2,700 OIT workers on furlough. This means that all development of VA software has ceased, including work on the Veterans Benefits Management System, which VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has repeatedly identified as a key component to eliminating the claims backlog.
In a statement, VA said claims processing will continue until funding is exhausted, “which is projected to happen in late October.” Mandatory overtime for claims processors, scheduled to continue until Nov. 16, has also been abruptly halted.
VA employees who staff the department’s compensation and pension call centers are still on the job. Veterans who want to file benefits claims or check on a claim’s status can still do so by calling (800) 827-1000.
VBA also announced it will no longer be able to respond to congressional inquiries until appropriations have been restored.
Secretary Shinseki is scheduled to testify Oct. 9 at a House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing that will examine the impact of the current government shutdown on VA operations.
Contacts: Marty Callaghan: 202-263-5758/202-215-8644, or Craig Roberts: 202-263-2982/202-406-0887, A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Dellinger is available at

Friday, October 4, 2013


Saturday, September 28, 2013
A homecoming dinner for Past Department Vice Commander for the 5th and 6th Districts DALE DINGMAN was held at his home post - Klock-Smith Post 1788 in Lafargeville, NY.

Several district officers from both the 5th and 6th districts were represented, including past 5th district commander Bill Park. Also present was the past department president Sally Johnston and her husband. 

Oswego County was represented by 5th district commander James R. Ellis and his wife Sharon; Betty Rowlee (past 5th district president); Delos Rowlee (past 5th district commander) and David Rowlee (Sons of the American Legion member).

A delicious meal of roast beef and ham with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and rolls was served by the post and auxiliary. A nice cake was the dessert of the day.

Dale received many fine gifts from those who appreciated his service to The American Legion. 

Dale was wary of something popping out of the gift box. But all seemed fine as he unwrapped the paper.

(Personal Comment: I have known Dale and his wife, Bonnie, for many years and there is not a single Legionnaire who is more dedicated and honest than Dale. He always tells it like it is and if he doesn't know the answer, he will find out what the answer is. A true "service before self" type of person and he deserves this tribute to his American Legion service. Thanks, Dale.) PDC Delos Rowlee