A Louisiana lawman is livid over the federal governmentâ€™s decision to cut off funds for two programs to help troubled young people, all, he says, Â because he refused to sign a pledge to bar prayer or any mention of God at their meetings.
Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, La., told Fox News the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights defunded $30,000 for their Young Marines chapter as well as a youth diversion program.Â Federal officials objected to a voluntary student-led prayer in the departmentâ€™s youth diversion program and an oath recited by the Young Marines that mentions God, according to Whittington, who blasted what he considers the governmentâ€™s Â â€œaggression and infringement of our religious freedoms.â€
â€œWe were informed that these are unacceptable, inherently religious activities and the Department of Justice would not be able to fund the programs if it continued,â€ Whittington told Fox News. â€œThey wanted a letter from me stating that I would no longer have voluntary prayer and I would also have to remove â€˜Godâ€™ from the Young Marineâ€™s oath.â€
â€œI flat said, â€˜Itâ€™s not going to happen,â€™â€ he told reporters. â€œEnough is enough. This is the United States of Americaâ€”and the idea that the mere mention of God or voluntary prayer is prohibited is ridiculous.â€
Whittington further emphasized that heâ€™s more concerned about the censorship than he is the lost funds.
â€œThe money is not the issue,â€ he stated. â€œItâ€™s the principle of the matter. What is going on here? Who is dictating what can or canâ€™t be said in Bossier Parish?â€
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington was greeted with loud applause and shouts of â€œAmenâ€ when he said he will not remove God from the Young Marines program during its 27th class graduation ceremony today.
The program has lost about $30,000 in federal funding because of a voluntary prayer cadets recite.
â€œHe doesnâ€™t need the politicians,â€ Lindea McCroix, whoâ€™s 9-year-old daughter Savannah Truelove graduated. â€œGod will take him through it.â€
The department has never received a complaint about the voluntary prayer, which states â€œâ€¦ I will set an example for all other youth to follow and I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my Country and its flag, my parents, myself or the Young Marinesâ€¦â€
The prayer has been a part of the program since its inception 10 years ago. A random audit showing the federal funding sparked the controversy.
â€œWeâ€™ve never had one complaint from anybody for anything,â€ Whittington said, noting the department tried to compromise with the Department of Justice, which said God must be removed in order for federal funding to continue.
â€œI said, â€˜Keep it. Weâ€™re not doing it. Game over.â€
Speaking to about 2,000 young people, which included many Catholics, Obama seemingly argued that religious education can promote division and resentment.
â€œIf towns remain dividedâ€”if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we canâ€™t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to hardenâ€”that too encourages division and discourages cooperation,â€ Obama said, according toÂ the Scottish Catholic Observer.
JustÂ two days beforeÂ Obama made his comments, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,Â spokeÂ to a crowd in Glasgow, Scotland. Mueller told his listeners that religious education upholds the dignity of the human person, and Catholic schools should promote â€œall that is good in the philosophies of societies and human culture.â€ Mueller said that Catholic education is â€œa critical component of the Church.â€
In addition, MuellerÂ advocatedÂ for an understanding of â€œCatholicâ€ which includes the breadth of â€œall that is good in the philosophies of societies and human culture.â€ The archbishop spoke of relativism as a threat to education because the objects of educationâ€”the true and the goodâ€”â€œstand in some way outside the personâ€ and are transcendent.
â€œA danger in the relativism of modern society is the assumption that human freedom essentially entails creating oneâ€™s own truth and moral good.â€
Mueller said that the implications of relativism â€œwould lead to the breakdown of society… if pursued to their logical conclusion.â€
How ironicâ€”and perhaps providentialâ€”that Archbishop Mueller spoke his faith-filled words in Scotland at about the same time President Obama spoke his words of sabotage in Ireland.
As is often the case, Obama begins his process of undermining faith, the Constitutionâ€”whateverâ€”by speaking to young people, hoping to divide them from those who will hand down the traditions and the culture to them. In truth, it is Obamaâ€”not faith or the Churchâ€”who is the Great Divider, the promoter of class warfare, envy, racism, etc.
A landmark Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act has set up a stand-off between Republican-led states and the Obama administration over controversial voting laws that until now had been stalled.
The 5-4 ruling on Tuesday addressed a 1960s-era provision that largely singled out states and districts in the South — those with a history of discrimination — and required them to seek federal permission to change their voting laws.
The court ruled that the formula determining which states are affected was unconstitutional.
In doing so, the court potentially opened the door for certain states to proceed with voter ID laws and other efforts that to date had been held up because of the Voting Rights Act. Prominent among those are voter identification laws in Alabama and Mississippi.
The Voting Rights Act is what unscrupulous Attorney General Eric Holder used to block states from implementing voter ID laws aimed at combating election fraud. The Left relies on fraud to win closely contested elections.
[…] Â The ruling recognizes that widespread systematic voting discrimination is a distant memory. Today black Americans fully participate in the democratic process by voting, running for, and winning elective office at every level of government up to and including the highest office in the land.
But this is bad news for the race industry which thrives on making mountains out of molehills.
Predictably, leftist demagogues and community organizers across the fruited plain are howling now that a key tool they used to frustrate electoral integrity efforts has been taken away.
He was one of the most quiet and softspoken students of the Joshua High School graduating class, and what the valedictorian wasn’t allowed to say at commencement exercises is making national news.
â€œMost people have never ever heard me speak much less see me smile,â€ said Remington Reimer, as he addressed the large crowd gathered Thursday at Owl Stadium.
And then, the Burleson resident began what would have appeared to have been a traditional graduation speech â€“ thanking his parents and naming special teachers that have helped him along the way and telling the crowd how proud he was of his class and how close they all were.
He discussed perseverance in life, and told fellow graduates its the finish that matters. He then told a story about a runner who finished a race with a broken leg. He added that, years from now, it wouldn’t matter that he was valedictorian or first in his class but, rather, that he and his classmates finished the race and finished well.
Nice words. Nice kid. Another graduation day in America.
Then Reimer discussed his faith and thanked God for â€œsending His only son to die for me and the rest of the world.â€
Reimer, who has secured an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, talked about free speech and the U.S. Constitution and how that â€œyesterday, I was threatened with having the mic turned off and…â€
And then the mic was turned off.
[…] Â Another Facebook posting emailed to the Burleson Star clarified what Reimer had said after the microphone was cut off:
â€œWe are all fortunate to live in a country where we can express our beliefs, where our mics won’t be turned off, as I have been threatened to be if I veer away from the school-censored speech I have just finished. Just as Jesus spoke out against the authority of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who tried to silence him, I will not have my freedom of speech taken away from me. And I urge you all to do the same. Do not let anyone take away your religious or Constitutional rights from you.â€
The crowd roared with enthusiasm and Reimer sat down.
Unfortunately, it didn’t stop with censorship. Â Afterwards, the principle apparently threatened to put his future in jeopardy by disparaging his character to the Naval Academy, where he had been recently accepted:
A Texas high school principal threatened to sabotage a valedictorianâ€™s appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy after the student delivered a speech that referenced God and the U.S. Constitution, the boyâ€™s attorney alleges.
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation with the Liberty Institute, said Joshua High School principal Mick Cochran threatened to write a letter to the U.S. Naval Academy disparaging the character of Remington Reimer.
â€œIt was intimidating having my high school principal threaten my future because I wanted to stand up for the Constitution and acknowledge my faith and not simply read a government approved speech,â€ the teenager said.
Sasser is now representing the teenager and is calling for the Joshua Independent School District to issue a public statement exonerating him of any wrongdoing.
He said the speech was edited and reviewed by four different school officials â€“ including an officer in the JROTC. Sasser said the censorship violated federal and state laws.
[…] Â The following day the principal met with Reimerâ€™s father and informed him â€œthat he intended to punish Remington for his perceived misdeed.â€
â€œSpecifically, he threatened to send a letter to the United States Naval Academy advising them that Remington has poor character or words to that effect,â€ Sasser told Fox News.
After consulting with a school attorney, the principal temporarily retracted the threat, Sasser said.
â€œThe principal said he wanted to try to ruin him for what he did â€“ for talking about the Constitution and his faith,â€ Sasser said. â€œI donâ€™t know if heâ€™s going to be able to continue to be the principal of that school.â€
Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, a pro-life Republican from Washington state, recently shared the sad news about her unborn baby and a potentially fatal diagnosis.
Beutler posted a message on Facebook saying her unborn child has been diagnosed with Potterâ€™s Syndrome, a condition which prevents the childâ€™s kidneys from developing properly and is typically fatal for the baby.
On May 1, Beutler, 34, announced that she and her husband, Daniel Beutler, were expecting their first baby this fall.
â€œWe donâ€™t know what the future holds for our family, but we ask for your prayers and appreciate the privacy a family needs in such circumstances,â€ Herrera Beutler wrote. â€œAccording to the medical information and advice weâ€™ve received, I will be able to continue to balance the responsibilities of an expectant mother with serving as your representative in Congress.â€
â€œOur baby has a serious medical condition called Potterâ€™s Syndrome,â€ Herrera Beutler announced Monday on Facebook. â€œWe have had a second opinion and the medical diagnosis was consistent with the initial news: there is no medical solution available to us. We are praying for a miracle.â€
â€“ Oh goodyâ€¦ and sheâ€™s GOPâ€¦. letâ€™s all watch this one develop. Letâ€™s see if she follows the party line â€¦.
â€“Abort the baby. Wait a few months. Get pregnant again. This is not a big deal.
â€“ Why not be proactive and get an abortion?
â€“ Sorry, prayers wonâ€™t do a damn thing.
â€“ She should just go to a Planned Parenthood and be done with â€œitâ€, after all, itâ€™s not a human yet.
â€“I laugh at her in that her political ideology has her in a corner I would wish nobody in.
This sickening behavior â€“ gloating over a babyâ€™s illness and her motherâ€™s pain â€“ is more common than you might think.
[…] Â What motivates these people to abuse women who have chosen to carry to term despite a poor prenatal diagnosis? I strongly suspect that many of them have been involved in an abortion â€“ or know they would want one in a similar situation. It angers them to see someone make a choice they didnâ€™t have the courage to make themselves. But itâ€™s impossible for any normal-thinking person to really know what motivates them.
Like all good sociopaths, the bullies try to shift blame on to the victims, saying they were â€œasking forâ€ such treatment because of their political views. Since a pro-lifer would â€œforceâ€ women in her situation to give birth, she deserves to be shamed and harassed throughout her difficult pregnancy.
But anyone with a normal sense of compassion and empathy would say thatâ€™s not just irrational. Itâ€™s evil. Few things are more sociopathic than abusing a pregnant woman carrying a terminally ill child â€“ no matter what her political affiliation.
A veteran member of the U.S. Army Band said he is facing retribution and punishment from the military for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his car, reading books written by conservative authors like Mark Levin and David Limbaugh, and serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party.
Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a 25-year Army veteran and conservative Christian based at Fort Myer in Washington, believes his outspoken opposition to gay marriage prompted higher-ups to take a closer look at his beliefs. The recipient of an Army Commendation Medal and a soloist at the funeral of former First Lady Betty Ford, Sommers said his core beliefs are enough to mark a soldier for persecution in todayâ€™s military.
[…] Â Sommersâ€™ troubles began last April when he was told to remove pro-Republican, anti-Obama bumper stickers that were on his privately owned car.
The stickers read: â€œPolitical Dissent is NOT Racism,â€ â€œNOBAMA,â€ NOPE2012â€ and â€œThe Road to Bankruptcy is Paved with Ass-Fault.â€ That sticker included the image of a donkey.
His superior officer told the solider that the bumper stickers were creating â€œunnecessary workplace tension.â€
â€œThe types of stickers on your car were creating an atmosphere detrimental to morale and were creating unnecessary workplace tension,â€ the officer wrote in an Army document obtained by Fox News. â€œA Soldier must balance their personal feelings with the mission of the U.S. Army. Even the slightest inference of disrespect towards superiors can have a demoralizing effect on the unit.â€
Attorney Wells said once he got involved, the military backed off of filing a formal reprimand.
â€œHeâ€™s allowed to have those bumper stickers on his car,â€ he said. â€œThe DoD regulation allows it. There was nothing obscene about it.â€
During the summer months, Sommers came under fire for reading the works of Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and David Limbaugh.
Sommers was reading Limbaughâ€™sÂ â€œThe Great Destroyerâ€Â backstage at a U.S. Army Band concert at the U.S. Capitol. A superior officer told him that he was causing â€œunit disruptionâ€ and was offending other soldiers.
â€œI wasnâ€™t reading aloud,â€ he said. â€œI was just reading privately to myself. I was told they were frowning on that and they warned me that I should not be reading literature like that backstage because it was offensive.â€
Sommers said he was told to refrain from reading the book â€œwhile in uniform or within sight of anyone from the band.â€
â€œThis is the first time since (my superior officer) indicated I had offended others with my choice of reading material, that I was officially counseled about it,â€ he said. â€œThe statement took my breath away. I was speechless.â€
In spite of those incidents, the Army promoted the soldier in September to the rank of master sergeant. But the promotion would also mark the launch of an effort by the military to punish the soldier.
His promotion coincided with a controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A. The companyâ€™s president told a reporter that he was â€œguilty as chargedâ€ when it came to supporting traditional marriage. Gay rights activists pounced- calling for a boycott of the Christian-owned company. And some Democratic officials vowed to block Chick-fil-A from opening restaurants in their cities.
In response to that, Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee launched a national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day to rally support for the restaurant chain.
â€œI was inspired by Gov. Huckabeeâ€™s appreciation day,â€ Sommers told Fox News. â€œAnd since I wasnâ€™t able to participate in the event, I decided to serve Chick-fil-A at my promotion party.â€
Itâ€™s a long-standing tradition within the U.S. Army Band for promoted soldiers to host a party for their fellow troops. So the soldier decided to have Chick-fil-A cater the meal.
â€œMy family likes Chick-fil-A and we like what they stand for,â€ he said. â€œI can make a statement and at least express a religious point of view at my promotion party â€“ theoretically without any fear of reprisal.â€
The soldier also tweeted about the party: â€œIn honor of DADT repeal, and Obama/Holderâ€™s refusal to enforce DOMA act, Iâ€™m serving Chick-fil-A at my MSG promo reception for Army today.â€
He also tweeted to radio host Mark Levin: â€œ@Marklevinshow â€˜luv ya, Mark! Fellow Virginian & MSG, Army. Being promoted today, serving Chick-fil-A @ reception in honor of DADT repeal.â€
Both tweets were cited in an official military document.
â€œAs a Soldier you must be cognizant of the fact that your statements can be perceived by the general public and other service members to be of a nature bordering on disrespect to the President of the United States,â€ the document stated.
Sommers said he paid for the party with personal money, not government funds.
â€œI had no idea a Chick-fil-A sandwich would get me in trouble,â€ he said.
He was later summoned by a superior officer, who the soldier said is openly gay, and was told that unidentified individuals were offended by the tweets and some considered them to be racist.
Sommers was reprimanded, threatened with judicial action and given a bad efficiency report. An investigation was also launched.
â€œItâ€™s an obvious attempt to set him up and force him out of the military,â€ Wells said. â€œThey recently did an NCO evaluation that effectively torpedoed his chance at promotion and he could be forced out of the Army.â€
On Saturday, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin urged soldiers to post pictures of themselves reading books written by conservatives like Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and David Limbaugh. Palin did so after an “outrageous” report surfaced that revealed the U.S. Army was punishing a soldier for reading books written by conservative authors.
“Whether you agree or disagree with this soldierâ€™s opinions, I think we can all agree that the apparent retribution he faced for proudly reading certain authors is outrageous,” Palin wrote.
A member of the U.S. Army Band who said he was reprimanded for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal car, serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a party and reading books written by conservative authors like Sean Hannity is now facing Article 15 charges â€“ which cropped up shortly after he went public with his complaints.
Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a decorated soloist with the Army Band, is being charged under a federal law that permits commanding officers to conduct non-judicial proceedings for minor offenses.
Sommers is accused of giving a superior officer the wrong date for a doctorâ€™s appointment. Heâ€™s also accused of failing to carry out an order. In order to comply with that order, Sommers would have had to disclose private information about his autistic sonâ€™s medical records.
The charges were handed down one day after Sommers told Fox News that he was facing discrimination and persecution because of his conservative political and religious beliefs.
â€œThe timing does seem strange,â€ retired Navy Commander John Bennett Wells told Fox News. â€œItâ€™s suspicious. No matter whatâ€™s happening it looks like a graduated attempt to build a case against him on some really ridiculous charges.
Wells is representing the 25-year veteran who, until last summer, had a spotless record.
The dam has broken, the curtain has been lifted, and the flood of scandals coming to light this week is finally beginning to open people’s eyes.
1. Benghazi.Â Four Americans were abandoned to die in the middle of a terrorist attack. Â In the aftermath the administration changed the talking points, lied about a stupid video being to blame, and spent months trying to hide the truth as they intimidated and blocked access to witnesses.
2. Â The IRS admits to targeting Tea Party groups. Â It turns out they were also targeting pro-life groups, pro-Israel groups, religious groups, and pretty much anybody who dared to criticize Obama’s policies. Â They were also leaking confidential information about the opposition to their political friends.
So how is Obama trying to squirm his way out of trouble?
One unique excuse being offered by David Axelrod is that the government is simply too big for Obama to know what’s going on. Â Yes, Â you heard that right…the liberals’ favorite argument that more government is the solution to every problem has suddenly turned into an excuse for ruling class ignorance andÂ incompetence.
â€œItâ€™s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that itâ€™s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. â€¦(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there â€” because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.
The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I donâ€™t think it should exist. And I donâ€™t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. Thatâ€™s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.
I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I donâ€™t see why they shouldnâ€™t have five parents legallyâ€¦ I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that babyâ€™s biological father is my brother, and my daughterâ€™s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of threeâ€¦ And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s compatible with the institution of marriage.â€
The end point of liberalism is a coercive secular state in which the religious have no meaningful rights. American church leaders are kidding themselves if they think the gay-marriage juggernaut is going to stop at civil marriage. It wonâ€™t. It will quickly travel past court houses to churches, demanding that all religions bless gay marriages.
Denmark casts a shadow of this future, where the gay-marriage juggernaut has smashed through church doors. Last year the countryâ€™s parliament passed a law requiring all Lutheran churches to conduct gay marriage ceremonies. â€œI think itâ€™s very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married,â€ said Manu Sareen, Denmarkâ€™s minister for gender equality. Reluctant bishops have to supply ministers to satisfy the right whether they like it or not.
Iceland and Sweden have similar arrangements. Since many of the bishops are in the tank for gay marriage anyways and since these churches are â€œstateâ€ churches, this pressure generates little news. But it is instructive nonetheless. Where gay marriage exists, religious freedom gradually disappears, to the point where ministers have to choose between serving as secularismâ€™s stooges or facing societal oblivion.
In America, this pressure will take the form of â€œdiscriminatoryâ€ churches losing government grants, permits, and participation in programs. It will be the death of religious freedom by a thousand little cuts here and there: canceled speeches of religious figuresÂ at state universities, lost HHS grants, the refusal of city governments to recognize churches that donâ€™t permit gay marriages, â€œhate crimeâ€ legislation that extends to opposition to gay marriage, and so on. All of this will have the effect of pressuring churches into blessing gay marriages. A law forcing priests and ministers to preside at gay marriages wonâ€™t need to be passed; the invisible law of indirect governmental pressure will do the trick.
[…] Â The goal of the gay-marriage juggernaut is to make Christians pariahs, as irrelevant to public life as racists. It doesnâ€™t have to pass a Denmark-style law to force churches to conduct gay marriages; it can achieve the same end through punitive political correctness.
ObamaCare provides millions of dollars in grants to hire community activists and others as “navigators” to assist individuals enroll in health insurance provided by state or federal exchanges and,Â according to recent reports, register people to vote. In aÂ new rule proposedÂ Wednesday, HHS lays out numerous guidelines for these “navigators”, including paying them up to $48/hour for their work. The rule, guidelines and voter registration effort are a potential vehicle to resurrect ACORN or an ACORN-like entity.
[…] Â Requirements for “navigators” is that they have no existing insurance licenses or certifications, conflicting with several recently enacted state laws. They also must be attuned to racial, ethnic and cultural sensitivities, understand “underserved communities” and provide translation services for virtually every language.Â AARP, NAACP and SEIU are prominent members of Enroll America’s advisory board.
One health expert with close ties to HHS told Breitbart News,Â “The navigator program, as evidenced by the leadership of Enroll America and yesterday’s rule from CMS, will be a jobs program for unemployable Obama For America campaign volunteers and ACORN remnants.”
[…] Â October 1st is the first day individuals can enroll for a program through the exchanges. The government, as a result, will have to hire and train tens of thousands of workers on the complex subject of health insurance over the next few months. Think of it as an enormous census program with less training for a more complex subject.
The 61-page online Obamacare draft application for health care includes asking if the applicant wants to register to vote, raising the specter that pro-Obama groups being tapped to help Americans sign up for the program will also steer them to register with the Democratic Party.
On page 59, after numerous questions about the applicant’s identity and qualification for Obamacare, comes the question: “Would you like to register to vote?” The placement of the question could lead some to believe they have to register to vote to get health care.
[…] Â In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Monday,Â Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee, said HHS is overstepping its bounds by a mile.
[…] Â Boustany, a Louisiana Republican, said the application raises two alarming issues: What does HHS plan to do with all the information it collects on each applicant, and will pro-Obama groups like AARP and Families USA — which might be tapped asÂ “navigators” to sign people upÂ to Obamacare — steer them to register as Democrats. Others have indicated that groups like Planned Parenthood and ACORN could also act as navigators.
â€œThis is classic community organizing on steroids — with the taxpayer footing much of the bill,â€ ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief told Breitbart News. MonCrief further stated:
ACORN solidified its power in whatever community it was in by helping people with government assistance applications and voter registration. After we processed your public assistance application, we knew where you belonged to each government program. When it came time to fill a bus to the polls, the same person that helped you get food stamps or tax advice could show up and press you to go vote. Â Simply put, your local SEIU chapter or spin-off organization of ACORN will receive government funds and private donations to transition as many people into the Obamacare exchanges as possible â€“ all while keeping tabs of your voter registration data to later run get-out-the-vote efforts. In California alone, theÂ cost of navigatorsÂ is expected to be in the ‘hundreds of millions of dollars.’
True the Vote and its Latino initative, Voto Honesto, expressed unease with the new arrangement Obamacare navigators will bring, citing the risk of increased voter intimidation in future elections.
â€œVoter intimidation can take many forms, all of which are felonies,â€ Engelbrecht said. â€œThis navigator system brings with it the unabated risk that community organizers will attach strings between the public benefit and the recipientâ€™s vote â€“ especially in the minds of the most economically vulnerable among us.â€
The election watchdog said it would be expanding efforts in emergent communities to expose such coercive activity in election cycles to come.
â€œWe base our concerns over reports already received from the 2012 Election,â€ Engelbrecht said. â€œOur Voto Honesto initiative met a startling number of naturalized Americans in south Texas and Arizona who said their newly-minted citizenship was threatened if they did not vote correctly. The same people who helped register them to vote at the naturalization ceremony later showed up at their doorstep as part of a GOTV effort, pushing them to the polls. Thatâ€™s unacceptable.â€
A recent United NationsÂ reportÂ on torture and mistreatment in health care systems around the world singled out lack of access to abortion as a form of â€œtorture,â€ classifying it as a human rights violation on par with female genital mutilation, forced sterilizations and state-sanctioned beatings.
The report also says governments should recognize the preferred sex of â€˜transgenderâ€™ individuals without regard to biology, arguing that forcing such people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in order to prove their case is equivalent to torture.
[…] Â The report calls for the â€œelimination of homophobiaâ€ in health care settings, calling on â€œall States to repeal any law allowing intrusive and irreversible treatments, including forced genital-normalizing surgery â€¦ â€˜reparative therapiesâ€™ or â€˜conversion therapies,â€™ when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned.â€
[…] Â One of the main â€˜protection gapsâ€™ identified was a lack of easy access to abortion in some countries.
â€œThe Committee against Torture has repeatedly expressed concerns about restrictions on access to abortion and about absolute bans on abortion as violating the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment,â€ Mendez wrote.
In the densely-worded 23-page report, Mendez devotes an entire section to â€œReproductive Rights Violations.â€Â While a list of violations towards the beginning of the section includes female genital mutilation, forced abortion, and forced sterilizations, much of the text that follows is focused on abortion access.
If anyone wants to argue that the same government currently forcing religious institutionsÂ to purchase the abortion pill through ObamaCareÂ will not eventually use civil rights violations in order to attempt to force the Church to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies — good luck with that.
But this would have been unthinkable five years ago.
It was just three months ago that the White House and media piled on a reverend for preaching the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality. The result was his invitation to speakÂ at Obama’s inauguration being rescinded.
This would have been unthinkable five years ago.
With the election of Pope Francis, we have news anchors openly clamoring that the Church is out of step on same-sex marriage.
This would have been unthinkable five years ago.
Fifteen years ago, the same leftists and media assuring us today that same-sex marriage won’t be imposed on the Church were telling us that civil unions (which I’ve always supported) would never lead to gay marriage.
With all that in mind, am I really supposed to buy that, within five years (maybe five days), the left and the media won’t be incessantly asking this question: “If the Church cannot legally refuse to marry an interracial couple, how can it legally refuse same-sex couples?”
As long as there are still Christians who actually follow Christ and uphold his word, a vast amount of people around the world â€” never mind Islam â€” will never ever see gay marriage as anything other than a legal encroachment of Godâ€™s intent.
So those Christians must be silenced. The left exerted a great deal of energy to convince everyone that the gay lifestyle is an alternative form of normal. It then has exerted a great deal of energy convincing people that because the gay lifestyle is just another variation of normal, gay marriage must be normalized.
Meanwhile, those Christians are out there saying it is not normal and are refusing to accept it as normal because of silly God dared to say marriage is a union between a man and woman.
Any Christian who refuses to recognize that man wants to upend Godâ€™s order will have to be driven from the national conversation. They will be labeled bigots and ultimately criminals.
Already we have seen florists, bakers, and photographers suffer because they have refused to go along with the cultural shift toward gay marriage. There will be more.
Once the world decides that real marriage is something other than natural or Godly, those who would point it out must be silenced and, if not, punished. The state must be used to do this. Consequently, the libertarian pipe dream of getting government out of marriage can never ever be possible.
Within a year or two we will see Christian schools attacked for refusing to admit students whose parents are gay. We will see churches suffer the loss of their tax exempt status for refusing to hold gay weddings. We will see private businesses shut down because they refuse to treat as legitimate that which perverts Godâ€™s own established plan. In some places this is already happening.
Christians should, startingÂ yesterday, work on a new front. While we should not stop the fight to preserve marriage, and we may be willing to compromise on civil unions, we must start fighting now for protections for religious objectors to gay marriage.
Churches, businesses, and individuals who refuse to accept gay marriage as a legitimate institution must be protected as best we can. Those protections will eventually crumble as the secular world increasingly fights the world of God, but we should institute those protections now and pray they last as long as possible.
The map of the Middle East displayed in anÂ Obama administration videoÂ released days before President Barack Obamaâ€™s visit to Israel shows the Jewish state dispossessed of substantial parts of its current territory, including its capital.
The map of Israel, displayed repeatedly during the video, shows the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, northern Israel, and areas surrounding what is currently the West Bank as non-Israeli territory. The Golan Heights is shown as part of Syria; Jerusalem is shown as part of the West Bank; and northern Israel is shown as part of Lebanon.
The itinerary on the White House website also implies that Jerusalem is neither Israelâ€™s capital nor even part of Israel.
From our nation’s founding until theÂ Supreme Court ruling on Engel vs. Vitale in 1962, school children across the country began their day with a prayer like this:
“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”
How shockingly “offensive” to ask God to bless us, huh?
Until 1963, students could voluntarily choose an elective such as “New Testament Survey,” which studied the most influential book in history (especially Western Civilization). Â Teachers could read from the Bible in a historical context, and teach children to recite “The Lord’s Prayer” (seeing as it’s the most well-known poem in the world).
But now, no more. Â American school children have no idea of where common cultural references such as “David vs. Goliath,” “The Golden Rule” or “going the extra mile” come from. Â The have no frame of reference for understanding why the Reformation was such a pivotal point in European history, how Henry VIII’s break away from Rome was so significant, and the reason why the Puritans and Separatists were so intent on escaping to the New World. Â Children today aren’t taught where Thomas Jefferson got the phrase “Nature’s God” for the Declaration of Independence, or why our founders built our nation on the idea that unalienable rights come from our Creator.
They have no idea of an absolute moral standard – a Natural Law – which no man, woman, king or president is above.
And that’s exactly how tyrants want it. Â If there is no recognized authority above the state, the state reigns supreme in people’s lives, and can do as it pleases with no accountability.
In a 2011 book, Â Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio, the new Pope Francis, stated that parents have a right to raise their children in accordance with their religious beliefs and that sometimes when the government intervenes to deprive young people of that religious element, it can produce terrible consequences, including â€œcases like Nazismâ€ whereby many students were indoctrinated with views alien to those espoused their parents.
The book, in Spanish, is entitledÂ Sobre El Cielo Y La TierraÂ (On Heaven and Earth), by Jorge Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka, the latter an Argentinan rabbi. The book is in interview-style and Skorka asks the cardinal a variety of questions throughout 29 chapters.
In Chapter 18, “Sobre la educacion” (On Education), the future Pope Francis says, â€œIn the Bible, God presents himself as a teacher. â€˜Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms,â€™ it says. Â A believer is obliged to raise his children. Every man and every woman has a right to educate their children in their religious values.â€
â€œWhen a government deprives children of this formation, it can lead to cases like Nazism, whereby children were indoctrinated with values opposite to those of their parents. Totalitarianism tends to take over education so it can use the water for its own mill,â€ said then-Cardinal Bergogolio.
Freedom of association is under assault on campus. Â Across the country, universities are using “non-discrimination” policies to force student groups to admit members and leaders who do not share the core values and beliefs of the group.
In practical terms, that means Republican groups would be required to allow Democrats to join and apply for leadership positions, pro-life groups would have to include pro-abortion activists, and religious groups would be forced to admit those who oppose their religion and seek to destroy their group through a “hostile takeover” with their own members.
Vanderbilt University has informed a small Christian student organization that it will no longer be recognized as a student group because it requires its members to have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, according to email correspondence provided to Fox News.
Colby told Fox News the Christian group did not want to be identified because â€œthey just donâ€™t want to be caught in the crossfire of the culture wars.â€
The group reached out to the Vandy chapter of the Christian Legal Society so others would know what had happened, Colby said.
â€œThey are a small group of students who want to gather together and worship God,â€ she said. â€œThatâ€™s basically all they want to do.â€
According to email correspondence from the university, the groupâ€™s constitution was not approved because the university took issue with a requirement that leaders have a â€œpersonal commitment to Jesus Christ.â€
[…] Â Colby said the student group has decided not to comply with the universityâ€™s demands.
â€œTheyâ€™re going to leave campus rather than take those five words out of their constitution,â€ Colby told Fox News.
Colby said itâ€™s becoming clear that Vanderbilt University is specifically targeting Christian organizations.
Rollins College has determined that a Christian student organization is in violation of the schoolâ€™s nondiscrimination policy because the group requires its leaders to be followers of Christ.
The collegeâ€™s board of trustees voted unanimously not to exempt the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from the policy â€“ meaning the Christian group will no longer receive funding and will not be recognized as an official campus organization.