Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Leftmedia Blasts AG Sessions for Speech to 'Hate Group'

Religious liberty requires a robust defense of the freedom of conscience. And freedom of conscience is expressed in an individual’s right to either accept or reject various beliefs, ideas or behaviors as their own conscience dictates. In other words, an essential and foundational component of freedom of conscience is the right to be discriminating. For a society to espouse a commitment to protect individual freedom, that society must allow for individuals to choose to discriminate against ideals and behaviors they find objectionable, so long as they don’t prevent another individual from also engaging their liberty of conscience.

This week the mainstream media ran stories criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions for delivering a speech to a “hate group.” NBC News’ headline read, “Jeff Sessions Tells ‘Hate Group’ DOJ Will Issue Religious Freedom Guidance,” and ABC News’ even more biased headline read, “Jeff Sessions addresses ‘anti-LGBT hate group,’ but DOJ won’t release his remarks.” So what was this dastardly “hate group” Sessions addressed? It was the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a civil liberties organization dedicated to defending Americans’ right to religious freedom. Hardly a “hate group.”

How did the Leftmedia come to libeling a long-respected civil liberty organization? The answer: the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That once-respected organization has taken a hard-left turn in recent years and has essentially designated every politically conservative organization a “hate group.” The SPLC has become so politically biased that to reference it as a credible and authoritative source is akin to referencing Joseph Goebbels as an authority on the accuracy of Allied news stories.

As for the claim by ABC News that the DOJ refused to release Sessions’ remarks, the full transcript of his speech was published by The Federalist. And it’s a good speech, well worth the read. Once again, this serves as yet another example of gross bias in the Leftmedia, as well as its sad state of journalistic integrity.


Feminism faltering in Ireland

A referendum to rid the constitution of a clause saying that a woman’s place is in the home could fail, according to a new Sunday Times poll.

Just 41% of respondents in the Behaviour & Attitudes survey said they would vote in favour of removing article 41.2.1 from Bunreacht na hEireann, while 39% said they would vote against repealing it. One in five said they did not know how they would vote. More men (42%) would support its removal than women (40%).

Josepha Madigan, a Fine Gael TD who has called for a referendum to remove the clause, said the poll finding was surprising, and it showed an information campaign would be necessary before any poll is held.

“There must be a misconception about what it would actually mean,” said Madigan, a family-law solicitor. “It might be that home-makers, who are mostly women, would be afraid of being forced out to the labour force if they voted for it. Nobody is saying that. If you take it out of the constitution, you do not have to go out to work.”

Article 41.2.1 says: “The state recognises that, by her life within the home, woman gives to the state a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.” It says the state shall “endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home”.

Older voters are more resistant to dropping the constitutional clause, with 46% of those aged over 54 saying they would vote no, compared with 33% of those aged under 35.

Better-off ABC1 voters (42%) were more enthusiastic about abolition than farmers (35%), while voters in Connacht and Ulster were the least enthusiastic, with 44% saying they would vote no.

In Dublin, 54% of voters gave it the thumbs-up. Green Party supporters (62%) registered the highest approval and people who voted for independents the lowest at 35%, just ahead of Fianna Fail at 36%.

Support on the “yes” side is generally much higher before referendums are called. This is regarded as desirable, because support for “yes” often ebbs away during referendum campaigns, when other issues, such as satisfaction with the government, begin to feature in the debate.

In February 2013, 88% of members of the Constitutional Convention voted in favour of amending the article, and recommended the government call a referendum on it.

Only 12% of the convention’s delegates favoured its abolition, however. In a separate vote, 98% preferred altering the article to make it gender-balanced and to acknowledge the importance of other carers in the home.

“I don’t think people would have a difficulty with that, because there are increasingly more men in the home than there used to be,” said Madigan, who chairs the Dail’s budgetary oversight committee.


Do some rights matter more than others?

Court’s announcement that they will take up Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Right Commission indicates that religious liberties will be one of these contentious decisions; while decades of precedent seemed clear, recent decisions have made this issue murky, and now the Supreme Court will provide clarity.

The facts of the case are quite simple; Jack Phillips, a Colorado cake artist, declined to design and create a custom cake honoring a same sex marriage because doing so conflicted with his religious beliefs. For this reason, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled Phillips in violation of discrimination based on sexual orientation under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA).

The American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) has already jumped on this case. LA Times reporter David Savage explains, the ACLU urged the Supreme Court to turn down the appeal in this case because it could open a “gaping hole” in civil rights enforcement if business owners can simply cite their religious beliefs as a reason to deny service to certain customers.

However, Phillips lawyers defend that his denial of services is not an act against the same sex couple, but rather a defense of his religious liberties and ideology.

Phillips lawyers defend in their request for appeal that Phillip will not produce any cakes violating this religious ideology, “This includes cakes with offensive written messages and cakes celebrating events or ideas that violate his beliefs, including cakes celebrating Halloween (a decision that costs him significant revenue), anti-American or anti-family themes, atheism, racism, or indecency. He also will not create cakes with hateful, vulgar, or profane messages, or sell any products containing alcohol.”

This is where the Supreme Court must be careful in their ruling.

The Free Exercise Clause which Phillips is using to defend his ability to deny the gay couple services, has already been ruled on before, but these ruling provide less clarity rather than more.

In the 1990 Supreme Court case Employment Division v. Smith, the courts ruled that a law may burden the practice of religion as long as it did not serve to punish individuals who practice that religion. In the case, an individual working for rehabilitation organization was fired for ingesting peyote, a drug used for sacramental purposes by the Native American Church.

This ruling was a stark change from the 1963 case Sherbert v. Verner, where the court ruled a woman could not be denied unemployment benefits after being fired for refusing to work on the sabbath; as well as the 1981 case Thomas v. Review Bd. Of Indiana Employment Serv. Div. where the Supreme Court ruled a man could also not be denied benefits after leaving his job for religious interests.

Congress desperately tried to change the precedent of Smith in favor of Sherbert in 1993 with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but the Supreme Court ruled against Congress’s authority to do so.

Consistently, the Supreme Court and the federal government have lacked a clear position on religious liberties in the workplace. While they have fiercely defended workers ability to leave positions that do not comply with their religious observance, they have also ruled that the government has some grounds to limit free exercise of religion as long as it does not serve to punish the religion.

But if Phillips does not discriminate against same sex couples at any time besides when it conflicts with his religion, is reprimanding him for his actions not a punishment for his beliefs?

In a similar case to the one the Supreme Court will see in October, a florist refused to create a floral arrangement for a same sex marriage in Washington State. As Kerri Kupec, a lawyer in the case from the Arizona-based group Alliance Defending Freedom explains, “All Americans should be free to peacefully live and operate consistent with their convictions without threat of government punishment… Under this kind of rationale that’s happening in Washington state, a gay singer could be forced by the government to perform at a religious conference that is promoting marriage as a man-woman union.”

The implications here are the same. Nobody would think to force a priest to perform a wedding ceremony outside of a church, so why must a private citizen be forced to work in a way that conflicts with their religious beliefs? Does the First Amendment not apply to all Americans practicing faith not only to clergy?

As Phillips lawyers make clear in their appeal request, “It is undisputed that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission does not apply CADA to ban an African-American cake artist from refusing to create a cake promoting white-supremacism for the Aryan Nation, an Islamic cake artist from refusing to create a cake denigrating the Quran for the Westboro Baptist Church… Neither should CADA ban Jack Phillips’ polite declining to create a cake celebrating same-sex marriage on religious grounds when he is happy to create other items for gay and lesbian clients.”

This will be new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s first opportunity to rule on the issue of religious liberties, and hopefully, will create a clear precedent that government cannot violate individuals First Amendment rights. While the ACLU and the left paint this as an opportunity for discrimination, the Court must realize this is a much more critical moment for government intervention into American lives.


Rainbow Mafia Politicizes Gender-Reveal Parties

Is it a boy or a girl? It used to be such an innocent question. Now, mothers aren’t just politically incorrect for throwing a gender-reveal baby shower; they’re also considered by the Left to be a danger to their children. Even more troubling, the American medical community is starting to comply with the homosexual agenda.

Like everything else in the twisted ideology of progressivism, words no longer mean what they mean. Gender has been co-opted so that it no longer has anything to do with one’s anatomy. Instead, gender is a malleable political term describing how one feels about oneself, and it’s used to advance a political and cultural agenda.

On the surface it seems innocent. It always does. The notion that we shouldn’t force our children to think of themselves as boys or girls may seem harmless at first, but there’s a broader objective: to completely alter the social structure of our civilization and to undermine our values.

As a society, we used to believe that failing to properly raise children as boys or girls was emotionally and psychologically damaging. Now the Left is successfully turning that thinking on its head.

In an article for Cosmopolitan magazine, Diane Stopyra opines, “My discomfort with the gender-reveal party goes beyond my standard objection to fanfare surrounding gestational markers — which is primarily that, because we don’t celebrate non-pregnancy-related milestones with the same enthusiasm, we’re reinforcing the archaic notion that a woman’s value rests squarely in her ability to grow tiny humans. The issue with gender-reveal parties in particular is: Aren’t they potentially damaging to said tiny humans?”

Nicole Russell responds in the Washington Examiner, “A social construct has attempted to hijack gender into becoming the political statement they want rather than the basic anatomy that it is. The author cites a professor who says these parties just give in to gender stereotypes — boys want to be sheriffs and girls wear pink — which is just a shame. Yet for all their politically correct fanfare, both the author and the professor cited are forgetting: Stereotypes surrounding gender arose for a reason. Boys and girls often gravitate towards certain toys and behaviors because of their gender. That’s been going on for centuries.”

Russell is right. Gender-reveal parties don’t force boys to become firefighters or push girls to become teachers (or, God forbid, mothers). Boys naturally gravitate toward professions that are suited to their gender, but leftists want us to believe that a male construction worker is somehow the victim of child abuse because his parents allowed his gender to go unchecked.

Not that long ago, most Americans would think it laughable to suggest that a baby shower, er, gender-reveal party, is sinister and damaging to the fabric of our society. But this view is becoming more commonplace as the Left continues its total war on our culture.

If we accept this view, then women who value their ability to have children, let alone celebrate it, are not merely victims of an archaic societal structure but are responsible for inflicting psychological harm on their children. Progressives want mothers to look with disdain at their natural ability to give birth and to reject any parental influence as a threat to their child’s development.

And this movement goes far beyond politics. It’s also aided and abetted by the medical community. According to an official American Medical Association statement, “Acknowledging that individuals’ gender and sexual identities do not always fit neatly into binary paradigms, delegates to the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago took several actions that support broadening how gender identity is defined within medicine and how transgender patients are treated by society.”

Basically, the AMA is sanctioning transgenderism, even though there is plenty of evidence showing that transgender youth and adults experience emotional and psychological problems. Data reveals, for example, that adults who consider themselves transgender have much higher suicide rates.

That’s right. Billy may not have to suffer through the “oppression” of getting a toy dump truck for his birthday, but down the road he’s likely to face a wide range of complex and problematic thoughts and emotions. But not to worry; at least Billy’s parents can sleep at night knowing they saved him from a life beset by the dangerous idea that he’s a boy.

Years ago Hillary Clinton wrote, “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us,” and progressives ever since have tried to diminish the roles that parents play in the lives of their children. Indeed, 20 years later it’s even more clear that the progressive plan was to subvert the way we think about children and parenting. Sure, everyone within a village has a role. That’s nothing new.

But the values of the village are often very different from those we want for our children. Indeed, some villagers are seeking to undermine nearly everything about child-rearing that we know to be best.

So go ahead and throw a gender-reveal party while you still can. But don’t let the neighbors find out. If word gets out that you’re celebrating motherhood and the gender of your child, the village idiots won’t be pleased. And don’t think for a second that they’re not watching.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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