Monday, June 03, 2019

The SPLC Is Not Just Trying to Silence Alliance Defending Freedom  – It’s Trying to Silence You

It’s been a year since Amazon removed Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from its AmazonSmile program, which allows customers to choose a non-profit group to receive a percentage of any Amazon purchase.

It didn’t take us long to find out why.

Amazon pointed to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which labels ADF as a “hate group” simply for holding beliefs shared by millions of Christians across the world.

These are beliefs that you likely share: Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Life is sacred from conception until natural death. God created man in His image – male and female.

But the SPLC has decided that these beliefs are no longer welcome in the public square. And it has directed its powerful allies and considerable resources – its assets are more than $500 million – toward silencing anyone who holds these beliefs.

Since then, the attacks have only intensified.

Microsoft used the SPLC’s “hate” label to cut off our ability to buy software at non-profit pricing. This adds more than $100,000 to our annual costs.

In Arizona, a secularist organization attacked ADF in newspaper editorials, billboard ads, and proposed legislation over our ability to sponsor a specialty license plate that proclaims our national motto: “In God We Trust.”
Members of the mainstream media parrot the SPLC’s false talking points.

For several months, opponents attacked ADF with vicious and dishonest billboards in Times Square.
But that’s not all.

ADF team members have also paid the price for the SPLC’s false charges.

They have been harassed online, disowned by their alma maters, and shouted down in public places. Some have had to be escorted by security officers when they speak on college campuses. One team member walked out of church to find her car window shot out days after arguing on behalf of our client Jack Phillips at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Those with ties to ADF – allied attorneys, Blackstone Fellows, and even highly qualified judicial nominees – have been doxxed and dragged through the mud in the media.

This is now how the SPLC spends its vast resources and power – harassing peaceful, conservative organizations and people simply because it disagrees with our beliefs.

It’s a far cry from the good work that the SPLC used to do, combatting truly despicable groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Since then, the SPLC has devolved into a far-left propaganda machine that raises money by labeling legitimate groups as “haters.” Even recent revelations that the SPLC suffers from an internal culture of sexual harassment and racial discrimination hasn’t seemed to slow it down in its campaign to silence those with whom it disagrees.

But the “hate” label doesn’t just impact us here at ADF. It impacts you.

ADF is the largest and most effective legal organization in the world dedicated to the defense of religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family. We advocate for the right of all people to freely live out their faith. And we do so at the highest levels – winning nine Supreme Court cases since 2011.

When we defend clients such as Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman, we are defending the right of all people to live and work consistently with their beliefs.

When we win for free speech on college campuses, that secures that right for everyone on campus – and gives future generations a better understanding of what it means to peacefully interact with opposing viewpoints.

Ultimately, when we defend religious freedom and free speech, we are defending you.

In all of this, ADF is motivated by this principle found in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [Love] always protects…”

We strive to uphold the truth and to protect freedom for everyone – not just for our clients or for ourselves, but for all Americans. In all our work, we seek to cultivate a society defined by respect and tolerance for different views, the free exchange of ideas, and robust debate and dialogue.

But if the SPLC had its way, we wouldn’t be defending that freedom for anyone.


Democrat Louisiana Governor Signs Abortion Ban: ‘I Have Been True to My Word and Beliefs’

On Thursday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) bucked party lines and signed SB 184, a bill banning most abortions in the state.

In a press release, the state's Democrat governor said that, by signing the pro-life bill into law, he is remaining true to both his word and beliefs:

“In 2015, I ran for governor as a pro-life candidate after serving as a pro-life legislator for eight years. As governor, I have been true to my word and beliefs on this issue.”

Edwards’ position on abortion is a deeply personal one. When his wife was pregnant with their first child, doctors found that the child had spina bifida and encouraged the couple to abort. They refused and now that daughter, Samantha, is almost 30 and lives a normal life as a school counselor.

Donna Edwards, John’s wife, said of their daughter in a 2015 campaign ad: “I was devastated – but, John Bel never flinched. He said, ‘No, no; we’re going to love this baby no matter what.’”

The bill outlaws abortion once a fetus’s heartbeat can be detected, at approximately six weeks of pregnancy. It includes exceptions only if the mother’s health is at “serious risk” and does not provide exceptions for rape, incest or other extreme circumstances.

Democrats have vowed to oppose all such pro-life legislation. “When Republicans are taking away women’s rights at every step, it’s on the Democrats to show that we are the party that will protect women. When we fail to do that, we make it absolutely hopeless for women around the country,” Democratic consultant Rebecca Katz said of the bill.

Edwards faces re-election in November of this year. His two major Republican opponents, Eddie Rispone and Ralph Abraham have tried to connect him to the increasingly pro-abortion politics of the national Democratic Party, even though the number abortions in Louisiana has declined with Edwards in office.


Illinois House Passes Sweeping Pro-Abortion Bill, Would Allow Partial-Birth Abortion

The Illinois House of Representatives passed the Reproductive Health Act by a margin of 65-40 on Tuesday, legislation that could dramatically expand abortion access. The bill now moves to the Illinois Senate, where Democrats hold a 40-19 advantage over Republicans.

Six Illinois House Democrats voted against the measure and another four Democrats voted "present." The governor has indicated he will sign the legislation into law, if it passes in the Senate.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, the bill eliminates spousal consent, waiting periods, and criminal penalties for abortion doctors. The bill (SB25) also overturns Illinois’ partial-birth abortion ban – partial-birth abortion is currently illegal at the federal level with an exception for the life of the mother.

In addition, the legislation, as explained by the ACLU of Illinois, requires private health insurance companies to provide coverage for abortion.

The Reproductive Health Act would ensure “that every individual has a fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about one's own reproductive health. Provides that every individual who becomes pregnant has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion, and to make autonomous decisions about how to exercise that right.”

It further provides “that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law, of this State.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), who has declared that Illinois “will be the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to guaranteeing women’s reproductive rights,” has expressed his willingness to sign the Act into law should it pass in the Illinois Senate.

“With reproductive health care under attack across the country, we must do everything we can to protect women’s rights in Illinois,” Pritzker said in a statement.

The Thomas More Society, a conservative legal group, strongly opposes the bill, stating last week that, “The Reproductive Health Act is an extreme bill that would basically enshrine abortion as a positive good in Illinois law.” The legal group has not yet decided whether it will challenge any of the bill’s provisions.

The passage of this bill in the Illinois House of Representatives comes as the 2019 legislative season has seen 16 states introduce “heartbeat bills,” the most polarizing of these being in Alabama and Georgia. Chicago Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Ill.), a leading proponent of the bill, has painted this bill as a response to the pro-life movement’s recent legislative gains.

“Today, Illinois says we are better than this war on women. Illinois says we trust women. Please join me in saying that loud and clear: ‘We trust women,’” the representative said.

Illinois has now joined Nevada, New York, and Vermont in introducing bills that shore-up access to abortion.


Australia: 'It's not a new start - it's degrading': Calls to raise Centrelink unemployment payments by $75 a week as jobseekers say they can't find work - but some don't agree

In my youth I lived on the dole for a time.  It was then  £2/7/6 pw., if that notation means anything to anybody these days. Equal to $70 these days. I lived well and even saved money on it.  But I spent nothing on beer and cigarettes and I ate exclusively at home.  I could even afford an egg or two with my breakfast porridge.  Eggs, porridge and milk are very cheap to this day and form a very solid  foundation for a day's nourishment. And you can generally get day-old bread for a song. Good for toast. I don't think it is hard at all if one is not spoilt by uncompromising expectations

There are renewed calls to increase Newstart unemployment benefits by $75 a week as many job seekers remain unemployed for years - but not everyone agrees.

Melbourne grandmother Caryn Hearsch, 62, has been unemployed for 10 years despite applying for over 750 jobs. 

'Newstart - who came up with that word? It's not a new start, trust me, it is not. It's degrading,' she told A Current Affair.

She is on the Newstart allowance of $40 a day - which has not changed for 25 years.

'It's like you apply for these jobs, and within a day or two, you get an email saying, "oh, we're really sorry but you're not the preferred candidate",' Ms Hearsch said. 'And it just gets really depressing and frustrating.'

Ms Hearsch relies on a friend to give her bread and milk since she barely has money for food after spending her allowance on bills and her mortgage.

The grandmother is not eligible for the aged pension for another four years and is eager to work in the meantime. 

An online poll of over 33,000 Australians revealed that 67 per cent of people support a $75 raise to the allowance. 

'It’s highly competitive job market out there. So just telling someone "get a job" is simply cruel and insensitive,' a Sydney man said.  'Try living on Newstart when your getting older but not old enough for age pension,' a grandmother said.

'The highest number of those that are on Newstart are over the age of 40 and many would love to be working. Age is one of the biggest problems with gaining work.'

The poll also revealed that 33 per cent of people oppose a raise to Newstart. 'No, go get a job. Raise the payment for families,' a Brisbane mother said. 'I just don’t agree if our taxes rise because of this,' a Melbourne father said.

'If the government wants to give extra to people on benefits that’s fine but it will impact on everyone else.'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated that he thinks the allowance is fine as it is. 'We have one of the best safety nets, if not the best, of anywhere in the world in our country,' he said.  

The Greens have a policy to increase the allowance by $75 a week while Labor has supported increasing the allowance by an undisclosed amount.

The Project was recently branded 'shameful and nasty' for a segment about living on Newstart which depicted a welfare recipient splurging $16 on avocado toast.



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.  Email me (John Ray) here


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