Wednesday, September 02, 2015
The Next Front in the War on Religious Freedom
Stop bellyaching about Washington. All the country’s best fascists are on your local city council
Not long ago, Colorado became a leader in the fight against religious freedom, when its Civil Rights Commission, self-appointed ministers of justice and theology, decided that a shopkeeper who refuses to participate in a gay wedding ceremony must be smeared and fined out of business. A Colorado appeals court says this is kosher, finding that the brittle sensitivities of a cakeless couple outweigh the constitutional rights of Christian business owners.
Now, in an effort to save everyone some time, the cultural imperialists at the Denver City Council have decided to skip the pretense of some trumped-up injustice and jumped right to discriminating against a business solely because of the beliefs of its CEO.
The Denver City Council’s Business Development Committee has stalled a seven-year deal with Chick-fil-A because CEO Dan Cathy spoke out against gay marriage back in 2012. Cathy, after being flogged for this misconduct, backed off, saying he regretted getting involved. But that won’t do. There are no prisoners in this culture war. So the City Council will meet in a couple of weeks to take up the topic again. Not so the members can take time to chew over the significance of a city’s punishing its citizens for their thoughts and beliefs or even to weigh the importance of tolerance in a vibrant city such as Denver. They’re waiting to have a closed-door committee hearing with city attorneys, who will brief them on the legal implications and practicality of shutting down apostates.
The only thing that might stop Denver from pulling this concession from an apologetic Christian, then, would be a few risk-averse bureaucrats. This, even though Chick-fil-A has not been accused of any infraction or crime. No one has even suggested it’s guilty of make-believe acts of discrimination. Chick-fil-A has given assurances, in fact, as all other concessionaires at Denver International Airport restaurants have, it will follow nondiscrimination policies laid out by law, which include protections for sexual orientation.
So what’s the point? Well, Councilwoman Robin Kniech asked a concessionaire this question: “If the national corporation with which you are affiliated once again puts themselves at the center of a national debate about depriving people and their families of rights, would you as a concessionaire have any ability to influence that?”
“I don’t believe so,” he answered. “I don’t think you would, either,” Kniech said. “And that’s my concern.”
So that’s her concern? Setting aside the oversimplification of the debate surrounding marriage, since when is it the interest of a city councilor to monitor the political activities of citizens and wonder how she deals with vendors who displease her sensibilities? Do Americans with minority opinions function under some different set of laws? The only entity with the power to deprive anyone or anyone’s family of rights, in this case, is the City Council. So please tell me how Kniech isn’t a petty tyrant.
Of course, Denver is not alone. A few years back, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel supported an alderman’s efforts to block Chick-fil-A from opening in his city because of, as the media like to say, the “anti-gay views” of its CEO — which, only a couple of years beforehand, had been the anti-gay views of President Barack Obama and Emanuel, his chief of staff. The Chicago City Council didn’t go through with it, after “assurances” from the company that the virtue of Chicago would be protected.
Denver Councilman Paul Lopez, who is leading the intellectual charge for the ban — a task that meshes poorly with his skill set — says that in the end, opposition to the chain at the airport is “really, truly a moral issue.” Now, when the Founding Fathers told us that government can make no law respecting an establishment of religion, I took it to mean that the belief system of a union-installed sock puppet on a city council would be completely irrelevant in matters of expression and faith. Really, truly.
Now, people are free to boycott and protest whomever they please. Citizens and elected officials have every right to work to cut off taxpayer funding to businesses and institutions they find morally distasteful. But if the city council of Anytown, USA, were to concoct reasons to deny permits to gay business owners who support same-sex marriage, many Americans would find that rightfully appalling. If you’re OK with the idea of a city council’s denying Christians who believe in traditional marriage the same freedom, you’re a massive hypocrite — and probably worse.
Appalling: Planned Parenthood Didn't Report Rapes of Underage Girls
Planned Parenthood staff did not report multiple rapes of a 14-year-old girl who got two abortions at the clinic that were four months apart, the Alabama health department found during a recently published review of the clinic.
In addition to sanitation problems, improper paperwork and a lack of caution when administering drugs to patients, the health department found the Alabama clinic failed to report the 14-year-old’s case to the authorities, and was otherwise careless with her health.
These deficiencies “require a plan of correction,” the review begins.
A 14-year-old mother of two visited the clinic in April, 2014, for an abortion, and returned that August for a second abortion. Planned Parenthood did not obtain proper consent from a guardian, as required by Alabama law, and did not take proper precautions when administering the medication abortions.
Carson Drops A Truth Bomb on Thug Culture
In a new USA Today op-ed, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson slammed some of the tactics used by the Black Lives Matter movement as “lunacy,” while singling out a host of liberal institutions which he says are the black community’s “real sources of our hopelessness.”
Carson singled out the entertainment industry — and the new hit movie “Straight Outta Compton” in particular — as one such institution.
“The entertainment industry…lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash,” Carson writes. “It is time for them to pick on someone else because we have had enough.”
“Demeaning women is not art, and it shouldn’t be profitable. Neither is glorifying violence and equating prison time with authenticity. Straight Out of Compton, #1 in movie theaters, is just the latest example. You only have to watch the trailers.”
The movie tells the story of the formation of the Los Angeles-based rap group, N.W.A. The group, whose most popular song is entitled, “Fuck the Police,” was started with drug money from one of its members, Eazy-E.
Addressing policing, which has been Black Lives Matter’s main area of focus, Carson acknowledges that the activists are right “that racial policing issues exist and some rotten policemen took actions that killed innocent people.”
“Those actions were inexcusable and they should be prosecuted to deter such acts in the future,” Carson says, while adding that “unjust treatment from police did not fill our inner cities with people who face growing hopelessness.”
In the op-ed, Carson calls out Black Lives Matter for its recent focus on Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. “There are many things to be angry about when you are consumed by hopelessness. Bernie Sanders isn’t one of them,” Carson writes.
Earlier this month members of the Black Lives Matter branch in Seattle disrupted a Sanders campaign event, forcing him off stage. The incident caused disruption within progressive circles and within the Black Lives Matter movement itself. Sanders is considered the most progressive candidate running for office.
Activists from other Black Lives Matters chapters have disrupted other events, including last month’s Netroots Nation, where Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley were presenting.
Carson, who describes the neighborhood of his childhood as one where “most Americans were told to never drive through,” pointed to his mother who helped protect him and his brother from falling victim to street crime.
“I can tell you she wasn’t worried about Socialist senators from tiny rural states,” Carson writes. “‘BlackLivesmatter’ could learn from her to focus on the real sources of our hopelessness.”
Carson calls on the protesters to march on local boards of education, city hall, the entertainment industry, crack houses, Washington D.C. and both the Democratic and Republican parties.
“The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time. Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations,” Carson says, asserting that public schools are controlled by teachers unions which focus more on helping teachers rather than teaching children.
He also calls for protests against city hall to help fight against crime and laments the federal government’s “War on Poverty,” saying that the $19 trillion spent on programs to fight poverty “have been a great American failure.”
Of the Democratic party, Carson writes: “Let’s tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed and housed. We want honor and dignity.”
He also accuses the Republican party of ignoring blacks for too long. “They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way.”
Obama Desecrates American History
Ohio lawmakers reacted angrily Sunday to the White House's announcement that President Obama would formally rename Alaska's Mt. McKinley — North America's highest peak — "Denali" during his trip to The Last Frontier this week.
"Mount McKinley ... has held the name of our nation's 25th President for over 100 years," Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said in a statement. "This landmark is a testament to his countless years of service to our country." Gibbs also described Obama's action as "constitutional overreach," saying that an act of Congress was required to rename the mountain, because a law formally naming it after Ohio's William McKinley was passed in 1917.
"This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action," Gibbs said.
The Ohio delegation's disappointment at the decision cut across party lines.
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 and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.