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American House of Representatives Passes Measure on Religion Suits
By Ziad Bitti :: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 :: 18792 Views :: Government & Society

Califoria, USA -- Chaldean attorney, Kevin Najor reports that the House passed a bill yesterday that would bar judges from awarding legal fees to the American Civil Liberties Union and similar groups that sue municipalities for violating the Constitution's ban on government establishment of religion.

“Many of these organizations are simply trying to intimidate and use activist judges as a way to raise money for their personal causes.  Many attorneys are outraged at groups like the ACLU and other similar organizations that have become the strong arm of reckless causes.”

The bill would prevent plaintiffs from recovering legal costs in any lawsuit based on the Establishment Clause; the House said during a floor debate that it was particularly aimed at organizations that force the removal of Nativity scenes and Ten Commandments monuments.

"Liberal groups . . . scour the country looking to sue cities and states with any kind of religious display, regardless of how popular these displays are," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.). Because judges often require municipalities that lose such lawsuits to reimburse their opponents' legal fees, "citizens' precious monuments are being eroded with their own tax dollars," she added.

The bill, called the Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act, passed 244 to 173 on a mostly party-line vote.  Democrats overwhelmingly voted to allow groups to sue religious groups and recoup costs for the lawsuit. 

The American Legion, the Southern Baptist Convention and other conservative groups began pushing for the legislation after a Pennsylvania judge awarded $2 million to the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The two groups had successfully sued the school board in Dover, Pa., for requiring science teachers to teach "intelligent design" alongside evolution. The award was later reduced to $1 million.

Citizen groups were also irked when a judge awarded $550,000 to three groups -- Americans United, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU of Alabama -- after they prevailed in a lawsuit against former Alabama chief justice Roy S. Moore's display of the Ten Commandments.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.), said the ACLU and similar groups are "profiteering" from tax dollars. 

Public schools are predominantly intimated by these groups to encourage and support their causes.  Public schools remain a primary target by ACLU and other groups should they consider including any Christian religious history on school property, but often receive a pass for non-Christian history discussion.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.