Al’s Afternoon Tea: A Cross at the White House and Turning the FACE Act Against Foes of Religion

"Here's to fair elections, religious freedom ... and good friends!"!"

By Al Perrotta Published on April 4, 2024

Let’s stop for a sip and quick look at some savory stories in the news.

15-Foot Cross Erected Outside the White House

A 15-foot cross was erected outside the White House at noon today, as part of a prayer vigil hosted by the Christian Defense Coalition. The group was demonstrating against the White House banning religious themes from an egg-decorating contest for the White House Easter Egg Roll, and the decision to issue a proclamation on Easter for Transgender Day of Visibility.

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, CEO of the D.C.-based Christian Defense Coalition, said in a statement.

The White House should be a place where all Americans, especially children, should be afforded the right to come and peacefully express their First Amendment rights and celebrate religious freedom. Sadly, the Biden administration has trampled these rights by prohibiting religious symbols and themes at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

It is hard to imagine President Biden has banned children’s artwork depicting them praying over a meal or attending church at Easter with their families. It is quite troubling [that] children are not allowed to publicly express their faith at the White House.

At this time, there is no indication the presence of the cross outside the White House induced screeching from the demons inside.

Did You Know the FACE Act Is Also Supposed to Protect Religious Services?

While writing about how four more pro-life demonstrators in Mt. Joliet, Tennessee have been found guilty of violating the federal FACE Act for this morning’s Brew, we came across something rather interesting. Thank you, Evita Duffy, for the heads-up.

While the “FACE” part of the FACE Act stands for “Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances,” and is designed to keep clear the way into abortion facilities — and has been weaponized by the Biden administration to persecute those peacefully and prayerfully protesting the murder of the unborn — abortion protection isn’t actually the full purpose of the law. The full title is “Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances & Places of Religious Worship” (emphasis added).

According to the U.S. Department of Justice:

This Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services or to exercise the First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship. 

In other words, it is supposed to protect the freedom to worship as much as it protects the freedom to enter a clinic and terminate a pregnancy.

For example, three pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested last weekend for interrupting a Holy Saturday service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Disrupting a religious service in New York is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of a thousand dollars and up to a year in prison. Yet the peaceful abortion protesters are facing up to 11 years. 

Will the Biden administration file federal charges against the pro-Palestinian group and mete out equal justice? Right now, that doesn’t seem likely As mentioned in the Brew previously, the administration has barely lifted a finger to go after the people setting churches and pro-life pregnancy centers on fire. 

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However, here’s where the ol’ “What’s good for the goose” trope comes in handy: Dear friends, what’s to stop a Republican DOJ from using the FACE act to prosecute anyone attempting to interfere in any way with worship in the future?

As the case of pro-life activist Mark Houck proved, even if local authorities don’t see a crime, that doesn’t mean the feds can’t come in and slap on the handcuffs. Thankfully, a jury quickly acquitted Houck; unfortunately, the jury hearing the case of the pro-life activists in Mt. Joliet case hasn’t followed suit.

Little Victories: Wisconsin Voters Ban Zuckbucks Private Funding and Staffing in Elections

Wisconsin won’t get fooled again.

Mark Zuckerberg spent more than $450 million on the 2020 election to, in essence, buy control of election offices in key swing states and fix things for The Big Guy in the Basement. Mollie Hemingway, author of the bestselling book Rigged, told The Stream the money was supposed to go toward helping ensure nonpartisan election administration during COVID. However, 99% of the money went toward “Get Out the Vote” efforts in Democratic areas.

For example, more than ten million “ZuckBucks” were spent in Wisconsin, subsidizing funding and staffing the supposedly neutral offices with progressive activists who then set out to gin up votes for Joe Biden. In one case, The Federalist reported, “a longtime Democrat operative who was embedded in the Green Bay City Clerk’s office [during the 2020 election] offered to help ‘cure’ absentee ballot envelopes and was given the keys to the room where absentee ballots were stored.”

They literally handed the keys to the election over to the Democratic Party. Biden “won” Wisconsin by a mere 20,682 votes.

Well, enough of that nonsense. On Tuesday, voters in Wisconsin banned any private funding of elections and mandated that only authorized legally and designated government officials oversee elections. Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court already declared ballot dropboxes illegal, though the Gov. Tony Evers (D) is fighting back.  

So the Badger State now has a pretty good shot at a free and fair election this fall.

Now if only voters could guarantee fair skies.

Are You Praying for the Weather Monday?

It won’t do much good watching Monday’s total eclipse if the sky above you is totally cloudy.

My house in Maryland isn’t in the path of totality; we’ll have partly cloudy weather and about 89% solar coverage. Dayton, Ohio, home of our Tom Gilson, is in the path of totality, is looking at mostly cloudy weather. And unfortunately, right now the forecast Monday afternoon for The Stream’s home base in the Dallas-Forth Worth metroplex, also in the path of totality,  is cloudy.

Please join us in praying for clear skies along the path of totality. 

In any event, I can forecast at least two amazing articles on the eclipse: One from Stream Editor-in-Chief Karla Dial discussing the message many people are saying God may be sending to our nation through this event and the actionable intelligence it provides for believers, and one from Stream Editor-at-Large Jay Richards on the proof that a total eclipse provides about God’s fine-tuning of the universe.

 

Al Perrotta is managing editor of The Stream, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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