Sunday, September 08, 2013
Feds Fight To Stop Baptisms
Todd Starnes of Fox News online brings us some harrowing stories of government oppression of Christians, here in our own backyards. In a recent article he discussed the problems some churches in Missouri were having with the federal government. Apparently, the Feds don’t like watching Christians baptize converts.
The National Park Service recently began requiring churches to obtain special use permits in order to baptize converts in public waters. The National Park Service (NPS) also began requiring these churches that wanted to baptize to give the NPS notice of their plans forty-eight hours in advance.
To make sure that the churches didn’t try and skirt the rules the NPS even brought in boulders and large rocks to place along the path so that the churches couldn’t drive up their elderly congregants to observe the baptisms.
Just a few weeks ago, in the town of Olympia in Washington State, a church was denied a permit to have their baptisms in Heritage parks.
What reason could the state have possible given for telling citizens they couldn’t gather in a public area? The Attorney General said that partaking in a religious sacrament on public property was a violation of the state constitution.
The same thing happened to a congregation in Miami, Florida back in 2011, when their baptism service was shut down by lifeguards on a Miami beach.
Meanwhile, all across our nation the federal government is teaming up with smaller public entities to accommodate the views and beliefs of American Muslims.
Fortunately for our brothers and sisters in Missouri their local Congressman, Rep. Jason Smith, stepped in and provided them with the necessary support to get the NPS to back down and rescind their policies. Missouri Christians can once again use the “public waters” freely.
'Sorry mom, I'm STRAIGHT', says son of politically "correct" mother
A mother who wrote a book about her young son's love of 'all girl things' like Barbies and high heels has now revealed that her older son felt that he needed to come out as straight.
Lori Duron, who lives in California's Orange County, started writing a blog and later a book about her son C.J.'s affinity for girls' toys and clothing, and used her position as a way to tell other parents how she was creating a welcoming environment for her gender non-conforming son.
In a new essay for The Huffington Post, she explained how she was careful use all-inclusive pronouns and never assume that either of her two sons were attracted to girls.
As a result, her 10-year-old son Chase felt compelled to 'come out' to her as a boy that likes girls.
'I'm careful how I phrase things. I ask my oldest son Chase if he thinks anybody in his class is cute. I leave it open so that he can answer honestly,' she wrote in the essay.
After a number of such interactions, she got an unexpected response from Chase. 'Mom, I'm straight. It's time you faced the facts,' Chase said. 'I know what you're doing. You always leave it open, like I could be gay. But I'm not,' he continued.
Many parents of LGBT children have stories of their own moments when their son or daughter was ready to come out as a homosexual or lesbian, but Mrs Duron is one of the few who had a similar experience with a straight child.
She writes how her unexpected parenting methods come from her own experience of growing up with a gay brother.
Mrs Duron wrote that her mother's reaction to her brother's admission of his sexuality, which happened ' a time and in a place where it wasn't discussed, let alone embraced', encouraged her to be overly cautious and supportive or whatever sexuality her children identify with.
'By trying to eliminate the need for a gay son to come out, I created an environment where a straight son felt the need to come out,' she wrote. 'As I try to learn from my mother's mistakes, I may be making some new ones of my own. I guess that's how it goes with parenting.'
Don't Brits drop rubbish? Council puts up anti-littering signs in THREE foreign languages but not English
A council has come under fire for putting up signs warning of fines for littering in three different languages – and none of them is English.
Labour-run Haringey council was accused of wasting taxpayers’ money on the signs which are ‘unintelligible’ to the majority of passers-by.
The tri-lingual signs have sprung up in North London to the alarm of local residents.
The large signs have been attached to lamposts warning of a £75 fixed penalty for anyone caught dropping litter or throwing rubbish from their car.
It status that it is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and states that fines can be as high as £2,500.
But the warnings are written in Greek, Turkish and Slovenian- with the only English being the name of the council under its black and orange logo.
The signs have raised eyebrows on the streets of Haringey. Kay Carter, local resident and Conservative activist, said: ‘This is yet another appalling waste of money from Labour-run Haringey council.
‘If signs are necessary they should be in English. It's ridiculous to waste council taxpayers money on signs that target a small segment of the local population and are unintelligible to the rest.’
Earlier this year Haringey council was accused of ordering CCTV 'spy' cars to hit minimum targets for issuing penalty notices - despite the practice being illegal.
The alleged policy revealed in a series of leaked emails. They showed the council's CCTV cars were told to issue at least 260 fines a day - a total of 87,360 a year. The council has denied imposing a quota for fines.
A Haringey Council spokesman said: 'Littering is an offence that our residents rightly expect us to tackle, and that includes issuing on-the-spot fines to people caught littering. 'However, these are old signs that were used for a limited time in areas where a number of people caught littering did not understand English. 'We no longer produce any enforcement signs that do not include English.'
Walter E. Williams
Here's a question: What is the true test of one's commitment to freedom of expression? Is it when one permits others to express ideas with which he agrees? Or is it when he permits others to express ideas he finds deeply offensive? I'm betting that most people would wisely answer that it's the latter, and I'd agree. How about this question: What is the true test of one's commitment to freedom of association? Is it when people permit others to freely associate in ways of which they approve? Or is it when they permit others to freely associate in ways they deem despicable? I'm sure that might be a considerable dispute about freedom of association compared with the one over freedom of expression. To be for freedom in either case requires that one be brave enough to accept the fact that some people will make offensive expressions and associate in offensive ways. Let's explore this with an example from the past.
In 1958, Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman, two Virginia residents, traveled to Washington, D.C., to marry. Upon their return to Virginia, they were charged with and found guilty of violation of Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, held that laws banning interracial marriages violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment. The couple's conviction was reversed. Thus, Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws not only violated the U.S. Constitution but also violated the basic human right of freedom of association.
Now let's ask ourselves: Would Virginia's laws have been more acceptable if, instead of banning interracial marriages, they had mandated interracial marriages? Any decent person would find such a law just as offensive -- and for the same reason: It would violate freedom of association. Forced association is not freedom of association.
Before you say, "Williams, where you're going with this discussion isn't very good," there's another case from our past. Henry Louis Mencken, writing in The Baltimore Evening Sun (11/9/48), brought to light that the city's parks board had a regulation forbidding white and black citizens from playing tennis with each other in public parks. Today most Americans would find such a regulation an offensive attack on freedom of association. I imagine that most would find it just as offensive if the regulation had required blacks and whites to play tennis with each other. Both would violate freedom of association.
Most Americans probably agree there should be freedom of association in the cases of marriage and tennis, but what about freedom of association as a general principle? Suppose white men formed a club, a professional association or any other private association and blacks and women wanted to be members. Is there any case for forcing them to admit blacks and women? What if it were women or blacks who formed an association? Should they be forced to admit men or whites? Wouldn't forced membership in either case violate freedom of association?
What if you wanted to deal with me but I didn't want to deal with you? To be more concrete, suppose I own a private company and I'm looking to hire an employee. You want to deal with me, but I don't want to deal with you. My reasons might be that you're white or a Catholic or ugly or a woman or anything else that I find objectionable. Should I be forced to hire you? You say, "Williams, that's illegal employment discrimination." You're absolutely right, but it still violates peaceable freedom of association.
Much of the racial discrimination in our history was a result of legal or extralegal measures to prevent freedom of association. That was the essence of Jim Crow laws, which often prevented blacks from being served in restaurants, admitted into theaters, allowed on public conveyances and given certain employment. Whenever one sees laws or other measures taken to prevent economic transactions, you have to guess that the reason there's a law is that if there were no law, not everyone would behave according to the specifications of the law.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.