Atheists lose court challenge to remove ‘In God We Trust’ from coins and bills

Atheists who failed to remove the national motto “In God We Trust” from U.S. coins and bills following an appeals court defeat have called their loss “utterly revolting.”

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minnesota, upheld in a 3-0 decision on Tuesday a lower court ruling from December 2016 that found that the national motto on money did not violate First Amendment free speech and religious rights.

As the New Doe Child # 1 v. The Congress of the United States case explains, 27 individuals who are atheists or children of atheists, along with two atheist organizations, declared that they “definitely do not trust in God.”

Circuit Judge Raymond Gruender explained that the motto did not constitute an establishment of religion, however, and rejected the argument that the atheists are being forced to uphold a message that goes against their beliefs by carrying money.

Gruender agreed with the Seventh Circuit that the arguments that “In God We Trust” on money transforms a constitutional practice into an unconstitutional establishment of religion is “too simplistic.”

“The Constitution does not prevent the Government from promoting and ‘celebrat[ing] our tradition of religious freedom,’ even if the means of doing so — here, adding the national motto to U.S. money — was motivated ‘in part because of religious sentiment.’ Placing ‘In God We Trust’ on coins and currency is consistent with historical practices,” he added.

Michael Newdow, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told Reuters in an email that it is “utterly revolting” that “the history of governmental denigration of a suspect class should trump [the] principle” that neutrality be the “touchstone” for analyzing claims under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

Non-profit law firm Becket said that crucial to the Eighth Circuit’s decision was the law group’s argument in a 2014 Supreme Court case, which stated that all Establishment Clause rulings must align with U.S. history on religion in the public square.

“The good news is you no longer need to be afraid that the pennies in your pocket are gateway drugs to theocracy,” said Diana Verm, counsel at Becket.

“The Court was right to say that the First Amendment does not ban ‘In God We Trust.’ For too long, the country has been stuck in what Justice [Neil] Gorsuch once described as ‘Establishment Clause purgatory.’ The court’s decision today is a huge step towards setting things right.”

Newdow has in the past failed in several litigation challenges against the “under God” phrase in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.

Becket argued that the atheist lawyer operates under the Supreme Court’s so-called Lemon test, from Lemon v. Kurtzman in 1971, rather than the Supreme Court’s most recent Establishment Clause case, Town of Greece v. Galloway in 2013.

“In God We Trust” has been in the center of much debate in the country. In August, a sweeping education bill signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott came into effect, which required all school buildings in the state to display the national motto.

Florida Democratic House member Kimberly Daniels, who sponsored the bill, said in March that “something so great should not be hidden.”

Chris Walker, a Lake County pastor, testified for the bill: “This motto has been part of our history, it’s been part of our nation. The principles that we stand on, and our forefathers created, was in God we trust.”

        

Pa. rules atheists can give invocations

judge banging gavel

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives policy allowing guest chaplains to pray before legislative meetings was struck down as unconstitutional by a United States District Court judge, who ruled that atheists can now give invocations because the old policy discriminated on the basis of religion.

Blessings and prayers for God’s guidance are not the only things that will now be called upon before lawmakers convene in the Keystone State.

“For years, Pennsylvania’s lower legislative house has had an invocation policy in place that allows for guest chaplains who are ordained clergy or members of the legislative body to give opening prayers before meetings,” The Christian Post (CP) reported. “Americans United for Separation of Church & State (AUSCS) – which along with American Atheists and a few other secular groups – filed the lawsuit in August 2016 against Pennsylvania over the policy.”

Atheist prayers … really?

U.S. District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner of the Middle District of Pennsylvania stated in his decision that the existing prayer policy was biased against atheists desiring to pronounce secular invocations before the legislative body.

“The Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ current guest chaplain policy facially violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” Conner concluded in his ruling posted on AUSCS’s site. “The House’s selection process invites members of the public to serve as guest chaplains, but draws a qualifying line of demarcation between theistic and nontheistic belief systems.”

The atheist-sympathizing judge contended that one of the Pennsylvania House’s pre-2017 opening invocation practices stood in violation to the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause.

“[Having visitors stand during the prayer and] thereby participate in a religious exercise [is unconstitutional],” Connor continued – noting that voluntary standing was acceptable. “Requiring visitors to stand and having Sergeants at Arms repeatedly and loudly direct consciously seated visitors to comply with the Speaker’s request to stand amounts to an unconstitutional level of coercion.”

Atheists rejoicing

AUSCS Associate Legal Director Alex J. Luchenitser – who has served as lead counsel in the case – celebrated the ruling.

“[I am] pleased the court has put an end to it,” Luchenitser declared in an AUSCS press release. “The Pennsylvania House of Representatives should fully welcome all Pennsylvanians – including nontheists – as legislators conduct business on behalf of the people. Instead, the House’s practice of barring residents who don’t believe in God from offering invocations created an atmosphere of exclusion and religious disfavor that was both discriminatory and unconstitutional.”

Atheists win longstanding battle

The courtroom invocation debate in Pennsylvania started back in August 2014, when two members of atheist groups presented requests to give secular invocations before a House session – both of which were swiftly denied.

“Samuel H. Smith – who served as House Speaker at the time – rejected their requests, arguing that the House was not ‘required to allow non-adherents or nonbelievers the opportunity to serve as chaplains,’” CP’s Michael Gryboski recounted. “When the lawsuit was filed, a spokesman for House Speaker Mike Turzai defended the practice of having only ordained clergy or members of the House give invocations.”

Two years later, in 2016, Turzai’s spokesman pointed to a ruling issued by the nation’s highest court in 2014 that backed Pennsylvania’s invocation rule.

“We believe our rule and policy comports with the Constitution and is consistent with long history of legislative prayer as recognized by the various Supreme Court (SCOTUS) cases,” the spokesman expressed at the time, according to The Huffington Post.

The SCOTUS decision clearly stated that town meetings in the state of New York could begin expressly with Christian prayers – provided one stipulation …

”In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Town of Greece v. Galloway that a New York town could open meetings with explicitly Christian prayers – provided other religious groups were not barred from giving invocations,” Gryboski recounted.

SCOTUS Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy pointed this out as he read the high court’s majority opinion that year.

“[L]egislative prayer – while religious in nature – has long been understood as compatible with the Establishment Clause,” Kennedy read from the opinion, according to CP. “As practiced by Congress since the framing of the Constitution, legislative prayer lends gravity to public business, reminds lawmakers to transcend petty differences in pursuit of a higher purpose and expresses a common aspiration to a just and peaceful society.”

Atheists gleaning from LGBT’s ‘inclusion’ campaign?

Atheists and Satanists have upped their game in the justice system by using the “inclusion” argument that has brought the LGBT community success in the courtroom to win battles spanning everything from same-sex “marriage” to transgender bathroom “rights” – in the name of so-called “equality” and “civil rights.”

“Satanists have even seen victories in the campaign for inclusion and have recently delivered invocations in Pensacola, Florida, and Soldotna, Alaska,” The Huffington Post’s Nick Wing pointed out. “Nonbelievers in Pennsylvania say theirs is the latest fight for full equality and acceptance of all Americans.”

Pennsylvania Nonbelievers President Brian Fields – a plaintiff in the Pennsylvania case – is savvy to the “equality” argument – using it to challenge Christianity while insisting that atheists have the same desire to pray for guidance and blessings – just as recognized world religions do.

“To say that theists can do this but nontheists cannot is quite clearly discrimination, but it also sends a message to the nontheist community that our voice doesn’t matter – that our point of view doesn’t matter,” Fields told The Huffington Post. “It reinforces religious ideas that nontheists don’t have a say when it comes to morality. For us, this is an opportunity to present another point of view, to say, ‘Hey, look, we’re in this together.’”

With the recent ruling, many Pennsylvanians are wondering why – all of a sudden over the past decade – there is a problem with a Christian practice that has endured and blessed residents throughout the state for 300 years.

“Sessions of the Pennsylvania House have been opening with prayer for more than three centuries – according to PennLive – and a look at the recent history of the practice suggests the legislature hasn’t done much to foster diversity, Wing informed. “In the period from Jan. 8, 2008, through Feb. 9, 2016, the plaintiffs found records of 575 invocations – 265 of which were delivered by guests. Of these, they documented 23 instances of Jewish rabbis giving prayers, three invocations given in the Muslim tradition and just one where the religious affiliation of the guest was not stated. All of the invocations over this period were monotheistic in nature.”

                         

Australia’s New Prime Minister Is an Evangelical Christian

Australia’s New Prime Minister Is an Evangelical Christian

Australia’s newest prime minister is a church-going evangelical Christian who isn’t afraid to stand up for his faith in a country largely viewed as secular.

Scott Morrison became prime minister Friday when the Liberal Party voted him in as its leader after ousting Malcolm Turnbull, the former prime minister and party leader. The Liberals are a center-right party in Australia, while the Labor Party is more center-left.

Morrison is a member of Horizon Church, a Pentecostal congregation in Sydney where he and his family are involved in ministries.

Hugh White, a professor at the Australian National University, told The New York Times that Morrison is a social conservative, although it remains to be seen how he will governor.

“The question is whether Morrison will choose to make his faith part of his political persona or to what extent he will,” White said. “At this point, he doesn’t seem to have shoved it in people’s faces.”

Morrison opposes same-sex marriage but abstained during a vote on its legalization. The Liberals had promised a vote on the issue if the public supported it in a public survey through the mail. The bill passed after the survey of 12.7 million people showed 61.6 percent supported it.

When Morrison was first elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 2008, he referenced his Christian faith.

“My personal faith in Jesus Christ is not a political agenda,” he said. “As Lincoln said, our task is not to claim whether God is on our side but to pray earnestly that we are on His. For me, faith is personal, but the implications are social — as personal and social responsibility are at the heart of the Christian message.”

Morrison then asserted that it had become “fashionable” to stereotype Christians as “extreme” and to “suggest that such faith has no place in the political debate of this country.” He suggested that his Christian faith impacts his political beliefs.

“This presents a significant challenge for those of us … who seek to follow the example of William Wilberforce or Desmond Tutu, to name just two,” he said.

“These leaders stood for the immutable truths and principles of the Christian faith. They transformed their nations and, indeed, the world in the process. More importantly, by following the convictions of their faith, they established and reinforced the principles of our liberal democracy upon which our own nation is built.”

Australia, he said at the time, is not a secular country but rather a “free country.”

“This is a nation where you have the freedom to follow any belief system you choose. Secularism is just one. It has no greater claim than any other on our society. As U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman said, the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not from religion. I believe the same is true in this country.”

                          

Pastor says witchcraft is working against Donald Trump

A self-styled Assemblies of God prophet in Alabama warned his congregation Sunday that President Donald Trump is being attacked by strong forces of witchcraft and he doesn’t see him surviving.

“I don’t know if you know this. And I don’t know if you gon’ believe me when I tell you this, but what’s happening right now in America is witchcraft trying to take this country over. It’s witchcraft,” the Rev. John A. Kilpatrick told his congregation at Church of His Presence in Daphne, Alabama, on Sunday. “It’s trying to take America back over. And I want to tell you something else. I am not being political but I don’t see how President Trump bears up under it.”

In his revelations to his congregation on Sunday, Kilpatrick urged them repeatedly to “keep your eye on the news” and make sure he didn’t have to call them to tell them to pray for the president.

“He’s as strong as I have ever seen a man be. But here’s what the Holy Spirit said to me last night and here’s what He said for me to tell you. He said tell the Church that so far Trump has been dealing with Ahab but Jezebel is fixing to step out from the shadows. That’s what the Lord said to me,” Kilpatrick explained.

“Last night when the Lord gave me this about the witchcraft, the Lord said He’s been dealing with this but He said pray for him now, because He said there’s about to be a shift and the deep state is about to manifest and it’s going to be a showdown like you can’t believe. So I’m coming to you as a prophet. As a man of God and I’m telling you it’s time to pray for the president,” he said to applause.

As he began explaining how witchcraft took Elijah out of power, Kilpatrick said he heard from the Lord during the sermon.

“Oh my God! I heard the Lord say there is gonna be an attempt to take him out of power,” he said of the president.

He then told the church to stand and pray and began praying in tongues.

“We gotta pray for this man,” he said. “God make him bold, make him strong. … Flush out every witchcraft spirit, flush it out Lord, flush it out. Flush it out in the open. Let’s see who it is. … Lord we pray for his wife. We pray for Melania. We pray for his children. We pray for all of his family. There is a lot in the balance Lord. Make this man like a Moses. Unintimidated.”

Kilpatrick told his congregation that his revelations about the president has nothing to do with politics but a “battle for the soul of America.”

“It’s almost like a stupor has come over America. It’s like no matter what’s reported on the news, no matter what’s discussed on panels, it’s just not sinking in. It’s not sinking in. Lord remove the veil. Lift the veil. Let it begin to soak into this nation. There’s a battle for the soul of America. Lord I ask in Jesus name expose those shadow spirits. Expose who the shadow government is. Snatch the curtain up Lord. Then America will really be free. Then the church will not be contained anymore. … Lord snatch the curtain up in the name of Jesus Christ,” he said.

“I’m not being political don’t get me wrong because I see good and bad in all of it trust me. But it’s almost like Trump is going in and trying to take America by the hand and say, ‘we can be great again’ and they’re trying to trip him every time he moves. God help this man,” he said closing his eyes and stretching his hand in faith.”

‘Abortion ice-cream’ stunt branded ‘disgusting’

Abortion campaigners in Oregon, USA have launched a fundraising initiative which sees abortion-themed ice cream sold at a local parlour.

The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and ice cream shop ‘What’s the Scoop’ are selling a limited edition ice cream called ‘Rocky Roe v. Wade’.

Sales of the ice cream, which refers to the legal case that decriminalised abortion across America, will help fund NARAL in their attempt to “defend reproductive freedom”.

Campaign

Half of the proceeds from three other flavours of ice cream will also be given to NARAL under a campaign dubbed #SaveRoe on social media.

NARAL is concerned that the appointment of another conservative judge to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump could lead to abortion being restricted or criminalised.

The move by NARAL has received heavy criticism from both pro-abortion figures and pro-life groups.

’Embarrassed to be pro-choice’

Jonathan Lockwood, a political consultant who describes himself as “pro-choice”, said he felt ‘disgusted’ by the stunt:

“What have we come to when aborting eight month pre-born babies or aborting babies because they’re little girls, is one acceptable, but worse, two is celebrated!

“I thought I was pro-choice when I came to Oregon, but after seeing first-hand how insidious this far-left agenda has become I am embarrassed to call myself pro-choice.”

’Distasteful’

A Twitter user known as Jai commented: “Doesn’t matter where your stance on abortion is, it’s still a surgical, invasive procedure to terminate a pregnancy – & you’ve made a flavor of ice cream dedicated to it. That’s psychotic.”

UK group the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) also spoke out saying:

“The gimmick this time perhaps reveals a little too much of how distasteful the whole abortion industry really is.

Coptic boy who saw father killed wants to join police ‘to protect Christians’

Marco (l) and Mina (r) standing next to the car that their father drove when he was killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

A young Christian boy from a small village in Egypt’s Minya region, who saw his father killed by Islamic militants, dreams of becoming a police officer so he can prevent similar attacks.

Mina was only ten years old when he and his brother Marco, aged 14, saw their father murdered, as a group of armed men ambushed their car on a desert road in rural southern Egyptin May last year.

They were following a bus full of pilgrims that was attacked first. All the Coptic men who would not accept Islam were shot. Then the gunmen heard Ayad’s pick-up truck approach.

Marco recalls how the attackers shot the men in the head, while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest).

“After killing my father and all the workers, one of the terrorists wanted to kill us but another one of them said to him: ‘Leave them alive to tell people what we did’,” he told World Watch Monitor last year. Their father died in Marco’s arms.

Shortly after the incident, Mina was interviewed by Reuters, recounting the horror of the experience.

Now, only in big pictures in the house is their father still with the boys and their two sisters, though the street where they live has also been named after him: Ayed Habib Tawadros Street.

Earlier this year, their mother, Hanaa, expressed concerned about the boys, Mina in particular, but now she says he is “doing better”.

However, in the absence of their father, she says they now feel very responsible. During his school holidays, Marco has continued his father’s work, making church bells, but Mina no longer joins him. “They always want to make sure that at least one man is in the house with me and their sisters,” Hanaa explained.

The emotional impact of what they went through has affected the boys’ lives in other ways too. In school they struggle to focus and have started to lag behind. But their mother says that, 15 months on, they have at least begun to dream again. Marco wants to become an engineer, while Mina says he hopes to become a police officer so “I can protect the Christians, and prevent attacks like what happened to my father”.

Encounter with Jesus on the moon left astronaut changed

James Irwin on the moon

In the rounded gray Apennine mountains of the moon, Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin had an encounter with God he would never forget. Irwin was the eighth man to walk on the moon and the first to ride in the Lunar Rover. Apollo 15 was a ‘J-Mission,’ which meant he and fellow astronaut David Scott spent an extended period on the lunar surface – almost three days, where they collected 170 pounds of geologic material including the famous “Genesis Rock.”

Scientists believe the rock dates back to the time the original lunar crust was formed, which they estimate at 4.5 billion years. “It was remarkable,” Irwin commented later. “It was sitting on a pedestal rock almost free from dust. It seemed to be saying, ‘Here I am, take me.’”

Irwin and Scott worked for an extended period with little rest prior to their liftoff. “Apparently, when Jim was suiting up his water tube kinked so he wasn’t able to get any water,” recalls Mary Irwin, his wife.

Outside their spacesuits, the temperature on the lunar surface was 150 degrees. “He perspired like crazy,” Mary says. “He was losing his electrolyte balance. An imbalance of sodium and potassium can trigger a heart attack,” she notes.

While Irwin did not suffer a heart attack, flight surgeons on earth who monitored the men were alarmed when they saw both astronauts develop irregular heart rhythms.

Irwin’s situation was more severe, with abnormal heartbeats every other beat. Neither man was told about their condition by Mission Control. Flight surgeons reasoned they were already getting 100 percent oxygen, they had continuous monitoring of their vital signs, and they were at zero gravity – conditions that partially replicated or even exceeded an ICU unit back on earth.

NASA also had concerns about wider dissemination of this sensitive health information. “If doctors said something and it was on the loop, who knows who would have leaked that to the press,” Mary notes. “They didn’t need that kind of situation terrifying people.”

As Irwin moved about the lunar surface, apparently unaware of his precarious health situation, he was struck by the size of the earth – about the size of his thumbnail.

“I was just amazed to see the earth,” he said. “It reminded me of a Christmas tree ornament – a very fragile one, hanging majestically in space. It was very touching to see earth from that perspective.”

At one point, Irwin had trouble with a planned experiment. “He was erecting an experiment that wouldn’t erect, due to a cotter pin or something of that nature,” Mary recalls.

Frustrated in his attempts to get the experiment to work, Irwin decided he would pray.

While raised in a Christian home – and a believer and churchgoer since age 10, he was a nominal Christian at this stage of his life. “Maybe he walked away from his walk with the Lord a little,” Mary suggests. “He described himself as a ‘bump on a log Christian.’”

But he really needed wisdom due to this problem and he said, “God I need your help right now.”

Suddenly Irwin experienced the presence of Jesus Christ in a remarkable way, unlike anything he ever felt on earth. “The Lord showed him the solution to the problem and the experiment erected before him like a little altar,” Mary says.

“He was so overwhelmed at seeing and feeling God’s presence so close,” she says. “At one point he turned around and looked over his shoulder as if He was standing there.”

This unusual encounter with Jesus – some 238,000 miles from earth, changed Irwin’s life forever.

After his return from the moon, Irwin rode in a ticker tape parade through the streets of New York. “There were thousands of people lining the street and he was trying to see all their faces,” Mary recalls. “God dropped it in his heart that he had a responsibility to mankind to share Jesus with everyone after that.”

Like other men in church history who have experienced dramatic encounters with God, the result was an increased power to witness for Jesus Christ, a confidence and boldness that fueled his passion to become an emissary for Jesus Christ to the nations.

Within a year of Irwin’s return from space, he resigned from NASA and formed High Flight Foundation, which is on a quest to reach the world as “goodwill ambassadors for the Prince of Peace.”

“God decided that He would send His Son Jesus Christ to the blue planet,” Irwin said, “and it’s through faith in Jesus Christ that we can relate to God. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes unto the Father except through me.’

“As I travel around I tell people the answer is Jesus Christ, that Jesus walking on the earth is more important than man walking on the moon.”

For two decades, Irwin traveled the world and presented small flags he carried from the moon to the leaders of various countries. “These flags were so powerful,” says Bill Dodder, a close friend to Irwin. “He took flags to each country as a means to witness for Jesus Christ.”

Dodder traveled with Irwin on several expeditions to Mt. Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark. “We ran the Great Wall of China together,” Dodder recalls.

Irwin continued to suffer heart problems after he left the space program. On the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 15 mission, he spoke in Aspen, Colorado. The next day he took a long bicycle ride to the Maroon Bells near Aspen. After the ride, he collapsed due to a massive heart attack and went to live forever with the God he loved – the same one he encountered on the surface of the moon.

It is ironic, perhaps, that his heavenly homecoming was within hours of the 20th anniversary of his earthly homecoming from the moon.

Dodder was with Irwin on the day he passed away. “The day before he died he said, ‘All I want to do is be faithful.’”

Russia Deploys Fleet Off Syria While Claiming U.S. Preparing for Possible Strike

breaking world news russia syria

(Worthy News) – The Russian Ministry of Defence said on Monday it had noticed Washington was building up its military forces in the Middle East in preparation for what Moscow feared was a possible strike on Syrian government forces, Russian news agencies reported.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov was quoted by agencies as saying that the USS Ross, a guided-missile destroyer, had entered the Mediterranean on Aug. 25 armed with 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles capable of hitting any target in Syria.

Up to 13 Russian warships have crossed the Bosphorus toward Syria so far this week as tensions between the U.S. and Syria continue to rise, according to ship spotters based in the Bosphorus Strait. [ Source: Ha’aretz (Read More…) ]

 

UK Councillor slams ‘extremist’ Christian flyers that speak of God’s love

A local councillor has described gospel tracts posted through letterboxes in Essex as “extreme”, but The Christian Institute says they speak of God’s love.

“What comes after Pride” explains how God opposes people who build up themselves – in contrast to Jesus who humbled himself by dying on the cross.

But David Burton-Sampson, a Basildon councillor, said the content was “appalling” and excludes people.

Very sad

Appearing on BBC Radio Essex, The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director Ciarán Kelly rejected Burton-Sampson’s assessment of the flyers.

“I think it’s very sad that this has been used to attack Christianity. I think it’s very sad that what is essentially a Bible tract is being called extremist literature.

“This seems to be the norm these days – whenever there is a view that is expressed that people don’t like, rather than engaging with that in any kind of way, they call out “bigot”, they call out “extremist”.

God’s rainbow

Mr Kelly also said the assumption the leaflet was speaking about LGBT issues was flawed since it does not mention homosexuality, “LGBT” or gay people.

Challenged over the use of the rainbow on the front cover he pointed out that all seven colours of the rainbow were used, not just the six used by LGBT activists.

He also noted that the row exposed a sad ignorance of Christianity, and that the rainbow is an example of God’s patience and love.

“God had first dibs on the rainbow”.

Astounded

However, Mr Burton-Sampson complained to Essex Police, who are now investigating the tract as a “hate incident”.

A spokesman said: “We received a report on Sunday, August 19 that leaflets with offensive messages on had been delivered to addresses.”

Mr Kelly said it would be “extraordinary” if officers took the matter further.

                           

‘Let’s Kill These Cops’: Convicted Rapper’s Video Not Protected Speech, Says Pennsylvania Supreme Court

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a rapper who had been found guilty of terrorist threats and intimidation after releasing a music video with lyrics that named particular Pittsburgh police officers and called for their death.

Jamal Knox, 24, had been facing drug charges after being found with 15 bags of heroin, $1,500 in cash and a stolen gun in April 2012. While awaiting trial, Knox, also known as “Mayhem Mal,” co-wrote a song entitled “[Expletive] the Police,” which included the names of the two arresting officers.

“This first verse is for Officer [name withheld] and all you fed force [expletive],” the rap tune stated. “And Mr. [name withheld], you can [expletive] my [expletive].”

“Let’s kill these cops, cause they don’t do us no good,” it declared, also suggesting that he knows the officers’ shifts and where they sleep.

A police officer found the music video for the song, which was soon taken down, and Knox was charged with witness intimidation and making terroristic threats. Knox appealed his conviction, arguing that he didn’t post the song online and that it wasn’t meant to be public. He also asserted that the song was simply artistic and protected by the First Amendment.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Defender Association of Philadelphia backed Knox in amicus briefs

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the lower court rulings, stating that the lyrics crossed the boundaries of free speech because they were “highly personalized” and were perceived to be real threats.

“They do not merely address grievances about police-community relations or generalized animosity toward the police. … Rather, they primarily portray violence toward the police, ostensibly due to the officers’ interference with [criminal] activities,” wrote Chief Justice Thomas Saylor on behalf of the unanimous panel.

“The calling out by name of two officers involved in [Knox’s] criminal cases who were scheduled to testify against him, and the clear expression repeated in various ways that these officers are being selectively targeted in response to prior interactions with [Knox], stand in conflict with the contention that the song was meant to be understood as fiction,” he said, according to Penn Live.

The court disagreed with Knox that his words constituted free speech protected by the First Amendment because they had the potential to incite violence.

“[S]peech which threatens unlawful violence can subject the speaker to criminal sanction,” Saylor concluded. “Threats of violence fall outside the First Amendment’s protective scope.”

Proverbs 10:11 reads, “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life, but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”

Jesus also taught in Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil, for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”