Thursday, September 21, 2023

‘Society Must Be Rooted in the Truth’: DeSantis Unveils Religious Liberty Agenda

As president of the United States, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will rely on God, empower parents, protect religious liberty, and stand up to the government and corporate forces waging a war on Christians, the governor told the 2023 Pray Vote Stand Summit on Friday night.

“I don’t know how you could be a leader without having faith in God,” the 46th governor of Florida told the audience of conservative Christian leaders. It is “faith in God that gives you the strength to stand firm against the lies, against the deceit, against the opposition.”

“People ask me, ‘How do you become a good leader?’ Well, one of the first things you need to do is put on the full armor of God,” DeSantis told a capacity crowd inside Washington, D.C.’s Omni Shoreham hotel.

Personal suffering brought him to rely on divine providence. After the candidate announced that doctors had diagnosed his wife, Casey DeSantis, with cancer in October 2021, “we received prayers from people all across the United States, and we were able to witness firsthand the power of prayer as that lifted her spirits and put her on the road to a full and complete recovery,” said DeSantis. “So, thank you.”

The governor said specialists designated Florida’s first lady cancer-free last May.

Prayer has become increasingly important because “we do have a spiritual decline in this country,” said DeSantis. Democrat-dominated states such as California imposed lockdowns in the name of fighting COVID-19 that closed churches and synagogues but left liquor stores and strip clubs open. Deaths of despair skyrocketed, as more than 100,000 Americans overdosed in a combination of open borders, lax drug enforcement, and isolation.

Rather than crack down on illegal border crossings, which broke historical records under President Joe Biden, “we see weaponized government going after parents who are going to a school board meeting or faith leaders who are engaging in pro-life activism.”

“We see the sense of becoming unmoored from our traditions, faith, and even common sense itself,” DeSantis continued. “Attempts have been made to wipe our Judeo-Christian religious symbols from our national heritage and national culture” because liberal bureaucrats do not like competing narratives.

“They want political leftism to be the established religion of this country,” he said. “The minute you try to bring [a Christian worldview] outside of that Sunday morning context, then the elites in our society are going to drop the hammer.”

But during this time of national decline, Americans must “be able to live their faith in all aspects of their life, not just on Sunday morning” because “reviving the spirit of America is essential to helping reverse America’s decline. And this revival is going to begin in our religious institutions.”

Religious liberty has won in recent Supreme Court cases involving coach Joe Kennedy’s right to pray in public and the right of the Christian-owned firm 303 Creative to refrain from designing websites that violate the owner’s Christian view of marriage, he said. But “the fact that that even had to go to the U.S. Supreme Court shows us that religious liberty is not flourishing the way it should.”

“Your right to practice your faith is not something that’s given to you and simply tolerated by political elites. It is something that is endowed to you by the hand of Almighty God,” said DeSantis. “We must win the fight to restore religious freedom as the Founding Fathers of this country intended.”

DeSantis, the most significant challenger to former President Donald Trump in the polls, vowed to restore religious freedom through an ambitious agenda that mirrors his actions in Florida, which “stood strong as a citadel of freedom and a refuge of sanity.” He promised to name Supreme Court nominees who reflect the jurisprudence of Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr., “the two greatest justices on the court.”

“We are going to tear up all government regulations that force groups to choose between government funding and their faith. Instead, we’re going to actively incorporate the faith community into our administration,” he said. He touted the Hope Florida program, started by his wife, Casey, that connects disabled people with jobs—a program he said had taken “6,200 mostly poor women who are trying to raise children off of government assistance entirely.”

DeSantis vowed to instate “universal school choice,” to end discrimination against religious schools and faith-based institutions in public funding, to repeal a federal law that bans clergy from endorsing candidates in elections, and to end the judicial punishment and persecution of people who put their Christian views into practice. Instead of divisive equity programs, “we’re going to create divisions of conscience and religious freedom in the departments of Education, Labor, and [Health and Human Services] to protect religious liberty across all agencies of government,” he said.

“My Department of Justice will investigate and prosecute attacks on faith-based pregnancy crisis centers and pro-life activists, which the Biden administration is currently ignoring,” he said. His administration will begin “quickly dismissing these meritless lawsuits” and hold those who initiated them accountable. “We have also stood up to protect the culture of life by enacting the strongest pro-life protections in the modern history of Florida: The Heartbeat Protection Act.”

The crowd responded most heartily to DeSantis when he took on the transgender political agenda. DeSantis took pride in outlawing “the gruesome practice of giving minors puberty blockers and gender surgeries,” he said. “It is mutilation. It is wrong, and it has no place in a free and just society.”

DeSantis won a sustained standing ovation when he promised “to stand up to the biggest, baddest companies, like Disney,” he said. “We are not going to let these big companies run roughshod over the education of our children,” and “Republicans out there who side with companies like Disney are wrong.”

He added that he will clarify “whenever sex and gender appear in a government document, we refer to the only two sexes that actually exist.”

“We are also the first state to prevent teachers from forcing students to identify their pronouns. We’re not doing the pronoun Olympics in the state of Florida,” he quipped. “We have ensured that our bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms are safe places for our girls and for our women.”

Through a comprehensive attack on each facet of intersectionality, DeSantis promised to “leave the woke mind virus in the dustbin of history where it belongs, once and for all.”

DeSantis, who won a double-digit reelection in the state with America’s third-largest Jewish population, said he governed as “the nation’s most pro-Israel governor,” opening trade missions with Israel and opposing the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement. “America must always stand with the Jewish people,” DeSantis said.

“We led with purpose. We led with conviction. And we delivered unprecedented results,” he said. “What we’ve shown in Florida is that there’s a hunger for truth. People see the deceit that’s out there. They see lies told by the media and the Left. They know that we need to restore sanity to this society once and for all.”

“We cannot fly the white flag of surrender into the face of the hostile forces that are doing everything they can to upend our way of life. We must stand firm for the truth. We must fight back. And we must win in 2024,” he said.

“I will get the job done,” DeSantis vowed. “And with God’s help as your president, I will not let you down.”


Study Reveals Children’s Mental Health Deteriorated After Taking Puberty Blockers

The majority of children on puberty blockers experienced fluctuations in their mental health, including one-third who experienced negative impacts, according to a study reviewed by BBC.

According to the outlet, the original 2021 study of 44 children who all took puberty blockers for a year or more found “no mental health impact,” reportedly. Now, a re-analysis of the data suggests that 34 percent of the children saw their mental health deteriorate while 29 percent saw improvements.

Reportedly, the authors of the new study have welcomed the new evidence. Though, the new study has not appeared in a peer-reviewed journal yet. The authors claimed that “they felt there was an urgency in getting the information into the public domain,” (via BBC):

In 2011, a team from the Tavistock's Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) - England's only NHS specialist gender clinic for children - and University College London Hospitals (UCLH) embarked on what became known as the early intervention study.

They enrolled 44 children, aged between 12 and 15, over the following three years. The study looked at the impact taking puberty blockers - medicines used to postpone puberty in children - was having. It resulted in the age at which puberty blockers could be offered on the NHS being lowered.

When the landmark study's results were published in 2021, it revealed blockers brought "no changes in psychological function" to those taking them.


Prof Susan McPherson, from the University of Essex, and David Freedman, a retired social scientist, have since re-analysed the data. They instead looked at the individual trajectories of each of the young people in the early intervention study.

They found, after 12 months of puberty blocker injections - 34% of the children had reliably deteriorated, 29% had reliably improved, and 37% showed no change, according to their self-reported answers.

The proportions were a little lower in the parents' scores, but in three quarters of the cases, there was broad agreement between parents and their children.

Last year, Townhall covered how England’s NHS warned that most transgender children could be experiencing a “transient phase” they will eventually grow out of. This came after the NHS announced that it would shutter its only dedicated gender identity clinic for children, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in response to recommendations from an “expert review.” The review criticized the clinic’s long waiting lists and “raised concerns over a lack of consensus about how the health service should assess, diagnose and treat young people seeking gender services,” Reuters noted.

Daily Mail reported that at least 15 children under the age of 4 years old were referred to the Tavistock clinic to undergo “gender-affirming” care, which can include hormone therapy treatments, puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgery. In total, over 5,000 children were referred to the controversial clinic in the past two years. Only half of the referrals were for children aged 15-plus.


Like other ‘antiracist’ activists, Ibram X. Kendi proves he’s only in it for himself

The real measure of an individual’s character isn’t what he portrays to the public but how he treats people in private. Truly righteous people treat others with respect and dignity when there is no one else around and no social credit to be earned for doing the right thing.

This distinction matters — especially for people who’ve made a career lecturing others on the appropriate way to treat people, especially those with perceived less power in society.

But when no one was looking and nothing was to be gained, it seems Ibram X. Kendi used his power and privilege as the director of a think tank to exploit and mistreat the people who worked underneath him as if they were people who are beneath him.

Amid confirmation of layoffs being made at Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, former and current faculty have spoked out about the mismanagement, “exploitation” and enrichment of Kendi.

“There are a number of ways it got to this point, it started very early on when the university decided to create a center that rested in the hands of one human being, an individual given millions of dollars and so much authority,” stated Spencer Piston, BU political science professor.

Former assistant director of narrative at the center and a BU associate professor of sociology and African American & Black Diaspora Studies, Saida Grundy, also described a lack of structure, leading to her working additional hours that were unreasonable, especially for the pay she was receiving.

“It became very clear after I started that this was exploitative and other faculty experienced the same and worse,” Grundy lamented.

With tens of millions of dollars flowing in from major donors shortly after the center’s founding in 2020 from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, the Rockefeller Foundation and biotech company Vertex, Grundy also saw the missed opportunity to directly help black students at Boston University.

“Those donations could have been going to benefit black students.”

Grundy is correct that much of the donation money could have been utilized in objectively more helpful ways to serve the people Kendi claimed to be advocating for. But the line between rhetoric and action was a line that Kendi never had any intentions of crossing.

Kendi used the dogma of antiracism to project a new moral standard at a time when many Americans momentarily questioned their behavior and culpability.

As he demanded that everyone should check their privilege and feel socially accountable for the exploitation of people, he was simultaneously exploiting the emotions of a nation to solidify his nobility status amongst the upper class in academia.

Kendi’s boutique moral philosophy on historical events and human interaction has only made him notable amongst the upper class.

Those elites declare racial enlightenment over the naïve majority who prefer to treat people like they’d want to be treated.

The antiracism think tank operated more like an antiracism piggybank with only one man listed as its financial beneficiary.

Kendi’s interest have become clearer as time has gone on: His “research center” was for the benefit of one black person, not black people.

Remember the $90 million windfall Patrisse Cullors and the Black Lives Matter organization scored and their frivolous spending habits with donation money, buying mansions and funneling cash to board and family members?

Activist Shaun King has also repeatedly been accused of raising money for recipients and causes that never saw it.

This is a similarly disappointing realization after tens of millions of dollars have been placed in the hands of an advocate who has shown little regard to produce a return for his bold aspirations.

Kendi had systemic control over his own research center yet used his position to take advantage of the people whom he was leading and continued to reap the academic clout that legitimizes his profiting in over $32,000 a speech.

Kendi suggests that people should become more race-conscious to be better anti-racists, but I believe it’s more important to be elitist conscious.

We need to be aware of the behavioral patterns and condescending rhetoric of the people who think they know better than us about everything.

If we were all good anti-elitists, we’d ignore the utopian rhetoric of social progressives and anti-racists and focus on their behavior.

This readjustment would help us quickly realize that race is a tool to distract us from noticing they are getting rich from dividing us into categories of human characteristics.

The only remedy to moral elitism is moral anti-elitism: This is how we have an anti-elitist society.


Guards with assault rifles hired to protect Philly cheesesteak joint

A Philadelphia cheesesteak restaurant has reopened for business — now with assault rifle-carrying guards because of violent crime plaguing the City of Brotherly Love.

A video from the reopening of Jim’s West Steaks & Hoagies in West Philadelphia on Sunday shows customers lining up to order sandwiches under the watchful eye of heavily armed security guards.

“The violence has spiked,” co-owner Cortez Johnson told WPVI of the city that has seen a surge in murders, many in an area close to the newly reopened food spot.

“You want people to feel safe and be safe. So when they come out and eat, they don’t have to worry about no type of harm,” Johnson said.

The gun-toting security guards will stand vigil outside the eatery during business hours from Thursday to Sunday each week, according to WPVI.

“Our lines are down the block, so while you’re standing here in line, connecting with other people you may not know, we have security right here just to keep you guys safe,” Saul Landers, the chief financial officer of Jim’s West, told the outlet.

“If you want to secure your business and you want to make sure everyone is safe, you have to spend that extra money,” he added.

Kevon Darden, the owner of Presidential Protection Services, said those working security at the beloved food joint all have a “military, police and law enforcement background.”

“It’s not just myself, it’s usually other agents who are sworn and certified by the state of Pennsylvania to do security work when they’re off duty,” he told WPVI.

Some customers voiced their support for having heavily armed guards on the lookout.

“Safety and good food is always a plus,” Nitah Dunham told the outlet.

Mario Maiale said he’s “not a big fan of guns, but I get it. “If it deters it [crime], I can’t complain,” he said.

But another customer, William King, said he was worried about the optics in the city, where a nearby gas station also made headlines for hiring AR-15-toting guards. “It’s a little overkill. Even if you have an armed guard, OK. But, walking around with a machine gun, it’s not family-friendly,” he added.

In 2015, the eatery was targeted by armed robbers who made off with $215 in cash stolen from the register and customers, the Philly Voice reported. No injuries were reported.

The business recently reopened after being closed since 2019.

Philly’s famous cheesesteak joints have sometimes been the scene of violent disputes among customers.

In 2021, a football argument between a Giants fan and an Eagles fan who were waiting at Pat’s King of Steaks escalated into a deadly shooting.




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