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Monday, December 31, 2012

Pickens County School District Receives Complaint About Prayer In Schools & Board Meetings

The Pickens County School Board has received a complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation concerning prayers at trustee meetings which the foundation said in a letter is “a serious constitutional violation.”

On the face, it appears that the Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation is simply trying to use the matter as a publicity stunt much in the same manner as Westboro Baptist protests military funerals.

School trustees received legal advice in a closed meeting on December 17, 2012 after the district received the complaint in November.

As of yet, the board has taken no action on the matter, but School Trustees will be briefed in January on what further action may need to be taken, if any.

A student is invited each month to the School Board meetings after being selected by a school’s principal or another faculty member.

An attorney for the Freedom from Religion Foundation,
“We hope that The School District Of Pickens County will follow court precedence indicating that school boards and school activities cannot institute prayer. The appropriate action would be to drop prayer from any order of business relating to school functions. We are also familiar with the matter that prayer is part of various sporting events around the county. It is beyond the scope of a public school board to allow prayer at any school function. The Supreme Court has consistently struck down school-sponsored prayers.  
Prayer at public school board meetings and other school functions is unnecessary, inappropriate, and divisive. It’s not a matter of majority rules. The Bill of Rights protects minority views as well.
The attorney also stated in a release that "a local resident" complained to the organization about the prayers, but refused to identify the person by name.

The release by the FFRF says prayers have included references to the “holy spirit” and often end with “in Jesus’ name we pray” or other references to Jesus.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation hints at legal action if the School District fails to take action on the matters before them by the end of January 2013.
“If they decide to continue with prayers then we’d have to examine whether there’s legal action or anything else that would need to be taken.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation website can be found at: FFRF.ORG 

There is no mention of the matter on the site which is rather comprehensive other than a link to a Greenville News article stating most of the information above.


Conservatives Of the Upstate

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Do I Look Fat With This iPad?

God has given us a true gift by making South Carolina's Upstate our home …

I personally thank God every day that I do NOT live in New York City!

The New York Times is reporting that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released crime data for the city as 2012 draws to a close, noting that a slight increase in the overall major crime index for the city can be entirely accounted for by an increase in iPhone and iPad thefts.

Information contained in Bloomberg's report … "As of Monday, the Police Department recorded 3,484 more major crimes in 2012 than for the same period last year. "

“If you just took away the jump in Apple thefts, we’d be down for the year,” said Marc La Vorgna, the Mayor’s press secretary.

So, this means …

• Apple is responsible for crime in New York City.

• Foods with trans-fat and drinks larger than 16 ounces (both banned in New York City) are causing obesity.

• Cigarettes and not the decisions of the people that smoke them are causing deaths.

Lest we forget, Bloomberg is also on record saying, "The need for guns of any type in modern society is questionable."

Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns initiative focuses on state and federal gun laws, his new Independence USA SuperPAC [Political Action Committee] goal is electing or defeating those who make the gun laws. He injected nearly $9 million of his personal funds into the in SuperPAC in 2012. 

Bloomberg is a people don't kill people kind of guy.

Apparently, it's Apple's fault for making phones that people can actually use that is causing crime.

Wonder what Bloomberg would think about Apple pulling all product sales and all four Apple Stores which account for nearly $1 Billion (that's with a "B") in retail sales each year for the city!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013 Pickens County Delegation Meeting Scheduled

The Pickens County Legislative Delegation will hold its annual public meeting at the Central Town Hall Court Room at 1067 West Main St in Central on January 3, 2013.

Reports from organizations and boards will be heard starting at 5:30PM.

The floor will be opened for public comments at 6PM.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meeting. Citizens will have an opportunity to ask questions and make comments to members of the Pickens County Legislative Delegation

The delegation will comment on various issues that may be introduced in the upcoming session of the General Assembly, which convenes on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

The Pickens County Legislative Delegation consists of two Senators: Senator Thomas Alexander and Senator Larry Martin, and four Representatives Joshua Putnam, Davey Hiott, Phillip Owens, and B. R. Skelton.

For further information, please contact the Delegation Office at (864)850-7070.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Pickens County Council To Elect 2013 Chairperson

The Pickens County Council will elect a new chairperson on Monday January 7, 2013 at 6:30PM.

The meeting is to be held in Council Chambers at the auditorium in the County Administration building located at 222 McDaniel Ave, Pickens SC 29671.

Easley Council woman Jennifer Willis served as the 2012 Chair.


Conservatives Of The The Upstate

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Op Ed: Connect-T-Cut

by Philip Smith "Rus"/webmaster, Conservatives Of The Upstate

Yesterday, tragic news gripped the country as 20 year old, Adam Lanza entered a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school and gunned down 20 children and 6 adults and then apparently shot himself.

Whenever I hear the state name "Connecticut", I think of when I was the age most of the children that were murdered yesterday. When my older brother and I would play Monopoly© - he always called the last light blue property "Connect-T-Cut". If he got all the properties in any group, he'd say every time that the property "wins the game".

"You know Rus, Connect-T-Cut wins the game."

Many parents see me walking home from school with my son every day. I volunteer a good bit at the school too. I am very blessed to know so many children by first and last name ... I'm thinking of all the kids I know and that I high five and point to and smile at everyday at the school.

They call me "Mr. Rus", "Cameron's Dad", "Mr. Smith" ... I can imagine there's someone like me in Newtown, Connecticut that just lost 20 friends who never judged them, who loved them without really knowing them, and was friends of their parents.

I take comfort in knowing the innocence of a young soul is an immediate and rejoiced line break at the gates of heaven and that a possessed/disturbed soul takes the hell express.

The scariest part of the shooting to me is that there are some very unstable people walking among us. Some people seem to be filled with hatred, but go freely about quoting the Bible or pretending to be a friend to some of us, yet they are on a hair trigger all the time.

Law enforcement & townspeople seem rather unconcerned about the unstable among us. I honestly think governments and law enforcement (not by force or punishment) could stem a lot of this by taking the threat of an unstable person more seriously and by building better relationships with everyone they touch and know.

As with any case, there were signs this was going to happen. Rarely does someone snap the 1st time or the 10th time ~ violently, like this.

Some of us assign this to God's will or God's judgement on a non-believing nation, it is my belief that God had no part of this incident.

1 Peter 5:8
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

God's will is comfort in times like this.

Some of us don't know what to think about the lives of these children being cut short by such an event and are afraid this is a sign of the end.

John 14:27
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

A convicted heart can understand most anything. As a Christian, I choose to focus on understanding what is revealed to me and seek knowledge about things that will advance my understanding of my friend's and family's tomorrow. We aren't necessarily meant to understand everything here on this earth, rather we are asked to focus our understanding on the relationship with our Father in heaven.

John 3:8
"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

James 1:5
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."

I feel comfort in knowing that MY faith is solid and intact - it is the one thing I truly CAN take with me.

Comfort to me is knowing that this could have happened 10/20/30 years ago to me ~ even in a much better world.

While I certainly believe God had no part in taking these children away from us, I know for certain it is only by his grace that I remain here today and will exist tomorrow.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."