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Posts tagged ‘First Amendment’

The United States of…Not America


waving flagAuthored By: David Barton | Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017 1:40 PM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/government/2017/02/the-united-states-ofnot-america/

Here’s a simple question: “What is America’s first-protected, most-important, and longest-cherished politically-protected right?” The answer? The rights of religious conscience. But the Supreme Court of Washington State just became another in the line of recent courts who know nothing of, or don’t care about this inalienable right.

The early colonists arriving in America came largely seeking this right. In Europe, the governments consistently told them how to practice their faith, and punished them if they did not do what the government wanted; but the religious-minded colonists believed that no one but God could tell them how to practice their faith.

The Pilgrims journeyed to America in 1620 to escape the hounding government persecution in England, as did 20,000 Puritans in the 1630s. In 1632, government-persecuted Catholics fled to America; in 1654, persecuted Jews from Portugal; in 1680, persecuted Quakers arrived here, as did persecuted Anabaptists from Germany in 1683, 400,000 persecuted Protestants from France in 1685; and so forth. These settlers, having been punished for exercising their rights of religious conscience, promptly enshrined these rights in their own governing documents, including Rhode Island in 1640, Maryland in 1649, Jersey in 1664, Carolina in 1665, Pennsylvania in 1682, and so forth. As John Quincy Adams affirmed, “The transcendent and overruling principle of the first settlers of New England was conscience.”

In 1776 when America separated from Great Britain, the rights of religious conscience were once again promptly preserved in the new state constitutions and then in the federal Constitution. According to the Founding Fathers, this was one of the most important rights they protected:

“No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience.” “[O]ur rulers can have no authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted.” “It is inconsistent with the spirit of our laws and Constitution to force tender consciences.” Thomas Jefferson

“Government is instituted to protect property of every sort…Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” James Madison, Signer of the Constitution

“The rights of conscience and private judgment…are by nature subject to no control but that of Deity, and in that free situation they are now left.” John Jay, an Author of the Federalist Papers and original Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court

“Consciences of men are not the objects of human legislation.” “The state [does not] have any concern in the matter. For in what manner doth it affect society . . . in what outward form we think it best to pay our adoration to God?” William Livingston, signer of the U. S. Constitution

Based on this long tradition, today . . .

Conscientious objectors are not forced to fight in wars;

Jehovah’s Witnesses are not required to say the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools;

The Amish are not required to complete the standard twelve years of education;

Christian Scientists are not forced to have their children vaccinated or undergo medical procedures often required by state laws;

Seventh-Day Adventists cannot be penalized for refusing to work on Saturday;

And there are many additional examples.

It was because the rights of religious conscience were so important that they were specifically protected in the constitutions of the individual states—such as that of Washington, which declares:

Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief, and worship shall be guaranteed to every individual; and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion . . .

But despite the clarity of this clause, we now get word that the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that Baronelle Stutzman, a devout and pious Christian florist… was bound by state law to use her artistic talents to design floral arrangements to celebrate what she viewed as an immoral event: a gay wedding. The pretext for overriding the florist’s rights to free speech and religious liberty was Washington’s so-called “public accommodations law,” which required the owner, Barronelle Stutzman, to provide goods and services to customers “regardless” of their sexual orientation.Big Gay Hate Machine

Several things are wrong with this decision.

First, Baronelle has been economically-fined and governmentally-coerced to use her talents and skills in a way that violates her sincerely-held religious beliefs.

Second, the explicit wording of the Washington State constitution has been completely ignored by the Washington State Supreme Court. In essence, a Washington state court has deemed the Washington state constitution to be unconstitutional, just because they don’t want to uphold its provisions.

Third, the court elevated a state law (their “public accommodations law”) above the state constitution; but constitutions always trump statutory laws—always.

Fourth, John Adams described us as “a government of laws and not of men,” but decisions like this make us just the opposite: the personal predilections of judges are now routinely placed above constitutional provisions duly enacted by the people.

Two centuries ago, Thomas Jefferson rejoiced that “the comparison of our government with those of Europe are like a comparison of heaven and hell,” but this happy distinction is now disappearing. Because of this ruling (and dozens more like it in recent years), America is becoming more and more like the tyrannical governments of Europe that millions of early colonists fled in order to be free from the government persecution of their inalienable rights of religious conscience.amen

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David Barton Author of numerous best selling books and Founder and President of WallBuilders More Articles
 

The culture war comes to a Tennessee high school football game


Football leaning on a football helmet in the grass / David Lee | Shutterstock

The scene: A high school football player lies injured on the ground. Just minutes before, he was doing the thing he would almost certainly choose to do above all else. Now he is seemingly paralyzed and unable to move his legs. The clock ticks. Nothing changes. A half hour passes, with the young man still lying on the field as the crowd looks on and grows increasingly uncomfortable with what the fates have in store. The situation appears hopeless.

Then, into that breach, steps another player. He asks a youth pastor in attendance at the game to offer a prayer. Gridiron opponents quickly become brothers-in-arms as players and coaches from both teams bow their head and call down aid from above. There is light in the darkness, and after the impromptu prayer huddle breaks with an “Amen,” the grateful crowd applauds.

But in that crowd is also someone for whom the consolations of God are a grievous offense. Where others see peace and possibility, they see a dire need to make the world flat. And so, anonymously of course, like a certain serpent in the garden, they make a call to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). A group based in Wisconsin that has been remarkably successful at doing what should be impossible: Convincing people that our country’s founding was based on godlessness.picture6 picture7

The prayer, the FFRF has charged along with the male complainant, is a violation of the Constitution. No matter that there is nothing even remotely resembling the establishment of a religion going on here. Or that this is exactly what the free exercise clause of the First Amendment is designed to protect.

Evil is on the march, and marching out in the open.

Because we don’t do open-and-shut cases anymore when it comes to the foundational principles of our country. We choke the life out of them.

We’ve been down this road over and over again. In case you haven’t heard, we even sue nuns now for not paying for other women to have sex. This is what eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil ultimately looks like in a culture bent on committing suicide, via the joyless crusade of the God-haters. They have traded a righteous inheritance for a cesspool and called it the dictates of “reason.” Yet that word most certainly doesn’t mean what they think it means. For these types of fools never seem to run out of ways to torpedo dignity and civility with their ugliness and folly. There’s nothing “reasonable” about that. Only sadness and wickedness.

Such a bad tree will produce bad fruit. Like a new investigative video, which revealed Planned Parenthood implementing abortion quotas to increase the number of dead babies at the hands of their modern-day holocaust. Including the use of pizza parties to motivate employees to sell and perform more murders. That is the pitch-black utopia the God-haters seek to sell us.

What a vile trade the usurpers of liberty are making. Prayer is oppression, while promoting violence against the innocent is lionized as fundamental to the future of democracy. And they’re not even pretend to hide it from us anymore. Evil is on the march, and marching out in the open. combined

The devil is telling us exactly who he is, and showing us the ash heap of history he desires to jettison us. Sadly, some of our fellow countrymen thunderously applause at this ode to the macabre. The Declaration of Independence is a dead letter to them, and the most fundamental right is to strip the world of any ultimate meaning other than the whims of the self.

“Ye will be like God,” said the serpent, with forked tongue. The same forked tongue being used to lie to us now. There’s always fine print, though, when it comes to that sort of Faustian bargain. And rest assured, the devil is always in those details.

Which brings me to another man of faith, who once said a prayer in the face of the laughter of those who did not believe. He uttered the phrase “Talitha Koum,” and a little girl rose from the dead to the wonderment of all. Good thing that didn’t happen on a public high school football field, or Jesus could have expected a strongly worded letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. And maybe even a court injunction to go along with his scourging and crown of thorns.

There are simply moments that belong to God alone to bring light to the darkness in our midst. Those in attendance at that high school football game in Tennessee recognized just such a moment when they fell on bended knee and sought out God’s mercy, and my prayer for them is this: May their righteous response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s jihad be to pray all the louder and all the more publicly in the future, and may that include praying for the souls of the God-haters who seek to persecute them. For God is just, and His justice cannot sleep forever.

amen

Will the Church Come Alive in 2017?


waving flagAuthored By: Walker Wildmon / Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Walker Wildmon Assistant to the President FollowMore Articles

While there is much work to be done in order to bring spiritual revival to America, I believe an awakening Church is the first step in this endeavor.

– Walker Wildmon

Most of us have ideas about how we’d like 2017 to look. Some would like to study Scripture on a more frequent basis.  Others would like to spend more time with their spouse or kids and some would like to improve their physical wellness by exercising. These are all great goals some of which I might actually be participating in myself. In general, I’d like to see myself become a better steward of my spiritual and physical well-being.

Along with these goals, I also have things that I’d like to see the Church in America move towards and see our country fulfill when it comes to public policy.

For years it has seemed as though the Church in general has been asleep. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of vibrant churches across this great land. For the past several decades a war has been fought over the forced acceptance of homosexuality and abortion. Since the dawn of creation God’s people have viewed all forms of sexual deviancy and the murder of innocent life as two horrific sins that cannot be accepted in the public square, much less in our churches. Christians have been in the cross hairs of this agenda and in return it has caused some to shrink back in order to avoid public shaming. I do not blame the world for our passiveness but I place the blame solely on the Church’s shoulders. The Bible mentions over and over again that we will face trials and difficulties because of our faith and that we must not grow weary (Galatians 6). I’m hopeful that the Church in America will come alive spiritually in the near future and become more engaged in making disciples (Romans 13).AMEN

Along with the Church coming alive spiritually, I’m hopeful that believers will activate themselves in the public policy arena to see laws passed which reflect constitutional, and more importantly, biblical principles. Some policies that come to mind regard abortion, school choice and religious freedom.

life-begins-at-conception

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

Abortion, while unconstitutional and barbaric has been legal since 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled on the well-known Roe v. Wade case. Simply because it is legal according to the Supreme Court and has been so for over forty years doesn’t mean we can’t fight to end abortion and save countless babies. Currently, the Supreme Court is split 4-4 between liberal and conservative justices but all it takes is President Trump appointing pro-life justices to one or two present and future vacancies on the high court to give us a pro-life constitutional majority. Assuming this occurs, Americans have a strong chance of seeing Roe v. Wade overturned and in return granting states the sole authority to regulate or outlaw abortion. In the meantime, Americans can pressure their congressmen and women and their senators to defund the largest abortion provider in the United States. Planned Parenthood and its affiliates perform more than 300,000 abortions per year, which amounts to approximately one out of every three in the country according to a Heritage Foundation report. The American Family Association issued a call to action recently which equips you with the proper tools to see that this organization receives no more taxpayer subsidies. Click here to take action.AMEN

School choice is a fairly simple issue. Families shouldn’t be stuck in a failing school system simply because of their zip code. If the federal government will remove itself from local education and allow states to enact school voucher policies, families will have more opportunities to excel in education. A voucher program will also create necessary competition between schools and districts that will almost instantly raise the bar higher, which will in turn improve the educational quality for our children. Taking a free market approach to schooling is necessary if we expect our schools and students to thrive. The Daily Signal published a great article titled “Education Made Simple: What is School Choice?”AMEN

Lastly, it is time for the marginalization of Christians by government officials and offices to end. Over the past eight years we’ve had florist, bakers, and pastors driven out of their occupation or even placed in jail (Kim Davis) for their beliefs. Members of congress have proposed legislation called the First Amendment Defense Act or FADA that “Prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” In essence, this would put an end to federal judges and local courts forcing people of faith to either compromise their religious beliefs or face government sanctioned fees and penalties.AMEN

If the Church in America will awaken spiritually and become engaged, not only in the local church but also in the public arena, we could see some positive changes take place in America in the near future. Changes such as defunding Planned Parenthood, allowing school choice and advancing religious liberty will surely lift the weight of spiritual darkness that has covered this land for the past several decades. While there is much work to be done in order to bring spiritual revival to America, I believe an awakening Church is the first step in this endeavor.AMEN

On October 1st the USA Will Hand Over Control of the Internet, Endangering Free Speech – Call Congress Now!


waving flagBy Bethany Blankley September 7, 2016

obama- Marxist tyrantObama has once again broken federal law by instructing the U.S. Dept. of Commerce to relinquish U.S. control of the Internet’s Domain Name System to a ‘privatized’ international body, which will take place on October 1, 2016.

  • Call your senators: 202-224-3121.

  • Tell them to pass S.3034,“Protecting Internet Freedom Act.”

  • The United Nations and other countries have no authority to control access to information and eliminate Americans’rights protected by the First Amendment.

  • Obama broke the law. Americans have a constitutional right to free speech and freedom of the press.

Tyrant Obama

icann

Here’s what happened.

Congress ordered a federal agency (NTIA) to not let a government contract lapse– especially one that includes the IANA function (comparable to an “Internet phone book”), which has been managed by a non-profit organization in California since 1998. The agency chose not to comply with a Congress mandate. Meaning, a federal agency run by unelected bureaucrats ignored elected members of Congress, which is illegal. And Obama is doing nothing about it.

Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration) Administrator, Lawrence E. Strickling, confirmed that “the NTIA intends to allow the IANA functions contract to expire as of October 1.” Because the agency did not comply with Congress, and failed to renew its contract before the end of this month, the government will be illegally allowing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to take over management of the IANA function.
(ICANN is “the private (non-government) non-profit corporation with responsibility for IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions, the services previously performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).”) The Commerce Department does not have the authority to “turn over control of the Internet to ICANN.” It’s against federal law.

The Washington Examiner reports that:

“the feds are constitutionally prohibited from transferring federal property without approval from Congress. A coalition of 25 advocacy groups like Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Heritage Action sent a letter to Congress making those points last week.”

In response, the coalition of 25 advocacy groups maintain:kingobamafingerconstitution-300x204

“Congress twice enacted appropriations riders prohibiting any use of taxpayer funds ‘to relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration [NTIA] … with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority [IANA] functions.’

“We agree that Internet governance should work from the bottom up, driven by the global comm- unity of private sector, civil society and technical stakeholders. But that “multi-stakeholder” model is fragile. Without robust safeguards, Internet governance could fall under the sway of governments hostile to freedoms protected by the First Amendment.

“If NTIA allows the contract to lapse, it will have violated federal law (31 USC § 1341(a)(1)(A). See also 31 U.S.C § 1350).”

Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) – R introduced S.3034 on June 8, 2016. The bill has been read twice and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which is ridiculous. It’s now the first week in September and the Senate still has not acted. If the Senate does not act they will be allowing a government agency to again break federal law and the very system the U.S. government created. This will end the U.S. government’s “historic role as a guarantor of Internet governance,” and eliminate any constitutional protections of free speech and freedom of the press.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley facebook.com/BlankleyBethany/ & BethanyBlankley.com.

House Panel Set To Consider Law Protecting Religious Americans From Discrimination


waving flagAuthored by Randy DeSoto June 30, 2016

Over a year after it was introduced, the First Amendment Defense Act, designed to protect Americans from being discriminated against by the federal government based on their religious beliefs, will soon get a hearing in the House of Representatives. The Daily Signal reports that the hearing is set for July 12 in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.Happy Happy Joy Joy

The proposed legislation, H.R. 2802, prohibits;

“The federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that:

(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or

(2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

 

H.R. 2802 lists specific discriminatory acts the federal government may not take, including:

  • Altering the federal tax treatment of, cause any tax, penalty, or payment to be assessed against, or deny, delay or revoke certain tax exemptions of any such person.

  • Disallowing a deduction of any charitable contribution made to or by such person.

  • Withholding, reducing, excluding, terminating, or otherwise denying any federal grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, loan, license, certification, accreditation, employment or similar position or status from or to such person.

  • Withholding, reducing, excluding, terminating or otherwise denying any benefit under a federal benefit program.

 

The bill currently has 171 co-sponsors, all of whom are Republican, save Rep. Daniel Lipsinski, D-Ill.

Dan Holler, with the conservative advocacy group Heritage Action for America, is encouraged that the committee is finally moving forward with a hearing and hopes the legislation will now be expedited. “Given the bill’s broad support, both on the committee and within the Republican conference as a whole, there is no reason for delay,” he said.

Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign, said of the bill when it was introduced, “Once again, House Republicans are pursuing an extreme agenda that is designed to harm LGBT families under the guise of religious freedom. The right to believe is fundamental. The right to use taxpayer dollars to discriminate is not.” Leftist Propagandist

Clearly, the organization would not be willing to accept the federal government denying a businesses or individuals contracts or tax benefits because they believed in or advocated for LGBT issues; however, it is supportive of allowing the federal government to do just that to people of faith.

A related issue came up in the House of Representatives in May when Rep. Sean Maloney, D-N.Y., offered legislation seeking to codify an executive order by President Obama barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers, with no exception for those with sincerely held religious beliefs.

The amendment passed with 40 Republicans joining the Democrats in a 223-195 win for Obama; however, the overall bill it was attached to was soundly defeated, so the amendment did not become law.

H.R. 2802 may be able to garner broader support because it zeroes in on specific discriminatory acts by the federal government against religious Americans. Liberal objections to religious liberty measures passed in certain states in recent years have centered on concerns that business owners, based on their religious beliefs, would be allowed to discriminate against LGBT customers.

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Liberal Gun Control Arguments SHUT DOWN With 1 EPIC Meme


waving flagBy: Wilmot Proviso on June 23, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/gun-control-shut-down/

In the social media gun control wars of 2016, the great liberal argument has been that the Second Amendment was designed by founding fathers who simply couldn’t foresee a gun like the AR-15 being invented.

Never mind, of course, that the AR-15 wasn’t used in the Orlando terrorist shooting, or the fact that Democrats and liberals know so little about guns that they can barely talk about them without making a serious mistake.

There’s also the fact that they’re discounting that the founding fathers didn’t put it that way when they wrote the Second Amendment, as a new meme pointed out.

Exactly:

musket meme eric

The Second Amendment does not read“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed, unless the gun looks really scary and fires bullets that aren’t musket balls, and you can load more than one bullet at a time, and — really, why do you need a gun? Let’s pass some gun control laws.”

The Second Amendment wasn’t just an afterthought for the founding fathers. It was one of the cornerstones of the Bill of Rights — the one amendment that would make sure all of the others weren’t violated.

The founders weren’t ignorant men, either. They studied military history and knew the pace of progress. They knew that more advanced firearms were coming, and they hoped that they were writing a document for a nation that would survive hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

To say that they hadn’t seen weapons like the AR-15 coming is to dramatically underestimate their foresight.

And yet, nobody challenges the Bill of Rights on any of the other counts. Free speech is so much freer in 2016 than it was in the 1700s, but most of us don’t believe it’s time to do away with the First Amendment.

So, as this meme demonstrates — if you want to complain about the Second Amendment not being designed for modern weapons, get off the computer and write me out a letter. Or, better yet, stop complaining.

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Calif. school calls sheriff to stop 7-year-old from handing out Bible verses


waving flagBy Joe Newby – June 4, 2016

BibleIt seems the First Amendment right to free speech and freedom of religion is officially dead, at least in one California school district.

On Thursday, Liberty Counsel said that officials with the Desert Rose Elementary School were so upset over notes containing Bible verses they called the local sheriff to make it stop.

According to Liberty Counsel:

The situation started with an encouraging note and Bible verse from mom Christina Zavala, tucked into a packed lunch for her little boy (“C”). The seven-year-old boy read the note and verse, and showed them to his friends during lunch time at school.

Mrs. Zavala’s daily note for her son soon turned into an expectation by the other children during lunch, who excitedly begged C for copies of the notes, which grew to include short stories from the Bible to provide context for the verses.

However, when one little girl said “teacher – this is the most beautiful story I’ve ever seen,” “separation of church and state” was the response, and the notes were banned from lunchtime distribution. C was told that the school gate was the only location at which he could give the Bible verses to his friends, and only after the bell rang.Combined

In April, Liberty Counsel said, Mrs. Zavala wrote to say the situation was corrected, but the school informed her that her son was reprimanded in front of the class and ordered to stop talking about his religion or sharing her notes.

The story continues:

The Zavalas and C complied with the school gate directive, and soon, as many as 15 fellow students looked forward to the after-school Bible notes. However, on May 9, 2016, Principal Melanie Pagliaro approached Mr. Zavala at that location, and demanded that C only hand out the notes on a public sidewalk, far from the exit, off school property. The family immediately complied.Gaged by the Left

But it got a whole lot worse (Emphasis added):

Later that day, however, a Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff knocked at the door of C’s home, demanding that C’s note sharing cease altogether because someone might be offended.” C’s family then asked Liberty Counsel to help protect their child’s constitutional freedoms.

“This is a clear, gross violation of the rights of a child,” Liberty Counsel said.  “That the CP 01school district enlisted a police officer to intimidate C and his family makes this case even more outrageous.”

“I would expect something like this to happen in Communist Romania, where I went to elementary school, but cops don’t bully 7-year-olds who want to talk about Jesus in the Land of the Free,” said Horatio “Harry” Mihet, Esq., Vice President of Legal Affairs & Chief Litigation Counsel of Liberty Counsel.

Liberty Counsel has sent the Palmdale school board a letter demanding they correct this breach of the boy’s Constitutional rights.

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