Thursday, February 23, 2017
A Militant Secular Agenda Is Being Imposed on Americans
President Trump is considering an executive order on religious liberty, the draft of which holds much promise. But legislation is also needed: religious liberty is currently imperiled on several fronts.
The war on religion—and that is exactly what it is—is being led by agents of government and activist groups seeking to impose a militant secular agenda on Americans. What drives them more than any other issue is an irresponsible interpretation of sexual freedom.
The activists and lawmakers pushing this cause accuse many religious institutions of resisting their agenda. They are correct. Traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, and Muslims, reject abortion and homosexuality, and they find attempts by the government to encroach on their beliefs and practices objectionable. There is much to object to, especially at the state level.
Many states are considering pro-abortion legislation. In Connecticut, they are weighing a bill that takes aim at a familiar target: crisis pregnancy centers. These centers are the epitome of choice—they give young pregnant girls the choice of giving their baby up for adoption—yet the pro-choice lobby works to deny them this choice.
In Illinois and Maryland lawmakers are considering bills that would allow Medicaid and state employee health insurance to cover abortions.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing the legislature to consider a bill that makes abortion legal for any reason, and at any time during pregnancy, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned; he wants Roe codified in the New York State Constitution. Rhode Island lawmakers are studying similar legislation.
New Mexico is considering a bill that would force Catholic hospitals to pay for and perform abortions. The ACLU and other anti-Catholic organizations are lobbying for it.
Most outrageous, there is a coordinated effort going on in 18 states to expand abortion rights. They want abortion to be covered in both public and private insurance plans, including Catholic ones.
This fight is being led by pro-abortion lawmakers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In St. Louis, city lawmakers passed a bill last week that threatens to do the same.
On the LGBT front, the following states are weighing measures that would treat LGBT rights as analogous to race and religion in the workplace: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Texas. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe recently signed an executive order that protects LGBT rights among state employees, contractors, and subcontractors.
New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who chairs the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, recently sent a letter to President Trump calling on him and his administration to make religious liberty protections a priority. They also called on the Congress to do the same.
Lori specifically cited the Health and Human Services mandate issued by the Obama administration as a grave threat to religious liberty; it would make religious institutions such as the Little Sisters of the Poor pay for abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare provisions.
The most immediate relief needed is to secure the kinds of religious exemptions in law that have been traditionally afforded. Not to do so is to allow the government to police Catholic non-profits and other religious entities.
President Trump needs to issue a strongly worded executive order on religious liberty, one that is as wide in scope as the law allows. Similarly, lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels need to pass bills that safeguard religious liberty from the heavy hand of government. At stake is the First Amendment and the beliefs and practices of millions of Americans.
Pawns of Liberals
Ordinary black people cannot afford to go along with the liberal agenda that calls for undermining police authority. That agenda makes for more black crime victims. Let’s look at what works and what doesn’t work.
In 1990, New York City adopted the practice in which its police officers might stop and question a pedestrian. If there was suspicion, they would frisk the person for weapons and other contraband. This practice, well within the law, is known as a Terry stop. After two decades of this proactive police program, New York City’s homicides fell from over 2,200 per year to about 300. Blacks were the major beneficiaries of proactive policing. According to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald — author of “The War on Cops” — seeing as black males are the majority of New York City’s homicide victims, more than 10,000 blacks are alive today who would not be had it not been for proactive policing.
The American Civil Liberties Union and other leftist groups brought suit against proactive policing. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that New York City’s “stop and frisk” policy violated the 14th Amendment’s promise of equal protection because black and Hispanic people were subject to stops and searches at a higher rate than whites. But the higher rate was justified. Mac Donald points out that while blacks are 23 percent of New York City’s population, they are responsible for 75 percent of shootings and 70 percent of robberies. Whites are 34 percent of the population of New York City. They are responsible for less than 2 percent of shootings and 4 percent of robberies. If you’re trying to prevent shootings and robberies, whom are you going to focus most attention on, blacks or whites?
In 2015, 986 people were shot and killed by police. Of that number, 495 were white (50 percent), and 258 were black (26 percent). Liberals portray shootings by police as racist attacks on blacks. To solve this problem, they want police departments to hire more black police officers. It turns out that the U.S. Justice Department has found that black police officers in San Francisco and Philadelphia are likelier than whites to shoot and use force against black suspects. That finding is consistent with a study of 2,699 fatal police killings between 2013 and 2015, conducted by John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center, showing that the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a black police officer were consistently greater than the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a white officer. And little is said about cops killed. Mac Donald reports that in 2013, 42 percent of cop killers were black.
Academic liberals and civil rights spokespeople make the claim that the disproportionate number of blacks in prison is a result of racism. They ignore the fact that black criminal activity is many multiples of that of other racial groups. They argue that differential imprisonment of blacks is a result of the racist war on drugs. Mac Donald says that state prisons contain 88 percent of the nation’s prison population. Just 4 percent of state prisoners are incarcerated for drug possession. She argues that if drug offenders were removed from the nation’s prisons, the black incarceration rate would go down from about 37.6 percent to 37.4 percent. The vast majority of blacks in prison are there because of violent crime — and mostly against black people.
That brings us to the most tragic aspect of black crime. The primary victims are law-abiding black people who must conduct their lives in fear. Some parents serve their children meals on the floor and sometimes put them to sleep in bathtubs so as to avoid stray bullets. The average American does not live this way and would not tolerate it. And that includes the white liberals who support and make excuses for criminals. Plain decency mandates that we come to the aid of millions of law-abiding people under siege. For their part, black people should stop being pawns for white liberals and support the police who are trying to protect them.
Facebook freezes out Christian mom for quoting Bible about homosexuality
Leviticus 20:13 says: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them"
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to use his platform to build a worldwide “inclusive community.” However, a Christian ‘vlogger’ found out there appears to be no room in it for her as long as she quotes Bible passages about homosexuality.
Elizabeth Johnston, aka the “Activist Mommy,” says there is a big disconnect between Zuckerberg’s recent call for a global “inclusive community” and Facebook’s “censorship of Christians.”
“They are muzzling me and my biblical message while Mark Zuckerberg claims that FB is unbiased,” she stated in a news release.
She has had her page frozen three times now, twice in seven days, because of her posts. Last week, she posted her argument that the Bible condemns homosexuality, using Old and New Testament sources. Facebook summarily removed the post and suspended her access to the page. It also stripped her of her ability to respond to private comments for three days.
Once she was unfrozen, she complained about censorship and restored the original blog. Facebook removed it again. She was frozen for another seven days and cut off from her 70,000 followers.
“The post Facebook deleted included no name-calling, no threats, and no harassment. It was intellectual discussion and commentary on the Bible,” Johnston said of her scriptural choices, which were unmistakably strong condemnations of homosexuality.
Johnston has asked Facebook to explain “why the doctrine of tolerance only applies to those who subscribe to Mark Zuckerberg’s Silicon Valley leftist ideology.”
LifeSiteNews has also asked Facebook, which 1.86 billion people use each month, if it will allow discussion of homosexuality at all, or only if the Bible is not cited.
Facebook has not responded to either query.
Johnston says she’s “very appreciative of the platform Facebook gives us to promote family values.” She told LifeSite she could understand being censored “if I were threatening people or posting slander. But this is a classic case of censorship of Christians and our First Amendment rights to free speech.”
Facebook states that it “removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation … ”
Johnston acknowledges that she depends on Facebook’s unequaled access “to connect with my supporters.” She also acknowledges that Facebook “has the right to set their own rules.” However, she notes that Zuckerberg also claims to be unbiased.
All it takes to be frozen as she has been, Johnston told LifeSite, is for a few “liberal trolls and bullies” to complain.
In response to Facebook’s action, Johnston said she has joined a new rival site, Andrew Torba’s Gab. Torba has himself been frozen by Facebook censors and is offering his platform as a “free speech alternative to Twitter, to Facebook, to Reddit.”
Discrimination against heterosexuals
A British couple who want their relationship recognised in law without the "patriarchal baggage" of marriage have lost the latest stage in their fight to be allowed a civil partnership.
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan say they and other couples face discrimination because only same-sex couples are eligible for civil partnerships.
The High Court ruled against them last year, and on Tuesday the Court of Appeal upheld the decision by a 2-1 margin.
Since 2005, gay couples in Britain have been able to form civil partnerships, which give them the same legal protection, adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual married partners. Same-sex marriage became legal in 2014.
The couple's lawyer, Karon Monaghan, said Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan wanted "to enter into a legally regulated relationship which does not carry with it patriarchal baggage, which many consider comes with the institution of marriage".
The Government says it wants to see the impact of gay marriage on civil partnerships before deciding whether to extend them to everyone, abolish them or phase them out.
The three appeals judges agreed the situation was discriminatory, but two of the three said the Government should be given more time to decide on the future of civil partnerships.
Ms Steinfeld said that although the couple lost, "all three judges agree that we are being treated differently because of our sexual orientation".
Mr Keidan said they would appeal to the Supreme Court unless the Government agrees to change 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 and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.