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Posts tagged ‘Religious Liberty’

NYC Orthodox community holds large protest over new coronavirus restrictions


Reported by Joe Marino and Kenneth Garger | New York Post | October 7, 2020

Hundreds of members of the Borough Park Orthodox community took to the streets Tuesday night defying orders to disperse and lighting a fire in protest of new state mandated restrictions imposed on area synagogues, schools and non-essential businesses over a COVID-19 surge.

One large crowd huddled closely together at the corner of 50th Street and 15th avenue at about 9 p.m. as community activist Heshy Tischler ripped Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio over the order that shuts down schools completely and limits houses of worship to 10 people in certain COVID-19 hot spots.

Much of Borough Park is subject to those measures — the most restrictive — which also shutters non-essential businesses. The level of restrictions, broken down into three color-coded categories, are guided by coronavirus diagnosis data.

“It’s called civil disobedience, we can fight back,” Tischler told the crowd after tearing up his face mask. “Do not allow them to torture you or scare you,” he said, referring to the elected officials.

The closures must be made no later than Friday — though a spokesman for de Blasio tweeted that they would likely begin Thursday — and run for at least two weeks.

Councilman Kalman Yeger later showed up at another protest on 13th Avenue, according to Boro Park News. here, the lawmaker told the crowd: “We are not going to be deprived of the right that we have in America, like everybody else in America, the right to observe our religion.”

The protests swarmed in numbers later in the night with demonstrators shutting down 13th Avenue to vehicular traffic. Things also turned unruly when the crowd lit a rubbish fire after midnight at the intersection of 46th Street and 13th Avenue and chased away two city sheriff’s deputies who responded.

The defiant crowd chanted “Jewish lives matter,” as they held their ground.

At about 1:30 a.m. FDNY firefighters and cops put out the flames to the dismay of the protesters.

Earlier in the night, Yeger was among four local Jewish lawmakers who released a joint statement slamming Gov. Cuomo over the edict.

“We are appalled by Governor Cuomo’s words and actions today. He has chosen to pursue a scientifically and constitutionally questionable shutdown of our communities,” said the statement from Yeger, State Sen. Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and Councilman Chaim Deutsch.

“His administration’s utter lack of coordination and communication with local officials has been an ongoing issue since the start of the pandemic, and particularly recently as we face this uptick.”

The lawmakers said that even though they represent COVID-19 hot-spot neighborhoods, the Cuomo administration has left in the dark leading up to Tuesday’s decision. Also brought up by the legislators, was Cuomo’s choice to display PowerPoint images of New York’s Jewish community gathering en masse during his Monday press briefing.

“Governor Cuomo’s choice to single out a particular religious group, complete with a slideshow of photos to highlight his point, was outrageous.

“His language was dangerous and divisive, and left the implication that Orthodox Jews alone are responsible for rising COVID cases in New York State,” the elected officials said.

Read the full article: https://nypost.com/2020/10/07/nyc-orthodox-community-protests-new-coronavirus-restrictions/

Read more at 1776coalition : https://1776coalition.com/

Ted Cruz Releases New ‘SACRED’ Bill – It Would Cancel Federal Funds For Governments That Discriminate Against Religion


Reported By Adam Casalino | July 30, 2020

Ted Cruz Releases New ‘SACRED’ Bill – It Would Cancel Federal Funds For Governments That Discriminate Against Religion

Sen. Ted Cruz is concerned that local governments may have violated Americans’ Constitutional rights during the lockdowns. Democrats allow large protests (in some cases, with thousands of people), while at the same time they are forcing churches to close. Meanwhile, these same Democrats are all too happy to take federal funds.

But Cruz is working to put a stop to that with his new SACRED bill:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would render state and local governments ineligible for federal coronavirus relief funds if the attorney general deems they are discriminating against religious individuals or institutions…

Cruz’s bill comes as religious people throughout the country have increasingly resisted lingering coronavirus lockdown mandates that forbid large assembly both in houses of worship and other establishments.

Religious liberty is protected by the First Amendment. The law makes it very clear that the government cannot prohibit Americans’ exercise of their faith. Yet numerous Democrats in states across the country have denied churchgoers the right to worship. In Chicago, the mayor actually sent a police raid into a church. New York’s de Blasio personally tried to shut down a Jewish funeral. Churchgoers have been fined and arrested. In California, they are not even allowed to sing.

Yet these same leaders look the other way as thousands protest in the streets, “social distancing” rules blatantly ignored.

Early on during the lockdowns, AG Barr showed support for churches. He directed U.S. attorneys to investigate any cases where governments violated religious rights. Thanks to Barr, several lawsuits against state governments worked out in churches’ favor. But still, Democrat leaders persisted in denying Americans the right to worship.

Cruz is calling out these local governments, hitting them where it hurts. States are eager to gobble up federal funds to address challenges related to the pandemic. Blue states have been in debt for years. So, any excuse to get federal cash would be welcomed.

If Cruz’s bill is passed, it would strike a huge blow against any state that tries to undermine religious rights.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ted Cruz introduced a bill to deny federal funds to states that deny religious rights.
  • Numerous Democrats have denied First Amendment rights to citizens during the lockdowns.
  • At the same time, these leaders allowed large protests and riots.

Source: Daily Wire

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adam Casalino

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Adam Casalino is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and graphic designer. He is a regular contributor for the Patriot Journal. Find his other work: http://www.talesofmaora.com

DOJ to Gavin Newsom: Start Reopening Churches in California


Reported by JOEL B. POLLAK | 

URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/faith/2020/05/20/doj-to-gavin-newsom-start-reopening-churches/

Attorney General William Barr appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) warned California Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday that his reopening plan discriminates against religion and must be modified to allow for religious services to reopen. Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband pointed out that Newsom’s plan allows a variety of businesses to reopen in “Stage 2,” but does not allow churches and other houses of worship to reopen until “Stage 3,” for no apparent reason.

Citing Attorney General William Barr’s April memorandum warning state and local governments to respect First Amendment rights of religious freedom — “[T]he Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis,” Barr wrote — Dreiband argued that while California could determine the pace of its reopening, it could not infringe on religion:

Of course we recognize the duty that you have to protect the health and safety of Californians in the face of a pandemic that is unprecedented in our lifetimes.

Laws that do not treat religious activities equally with comparable nonreligious activities are subject to heightened scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. … Religious gatherings may not be singled out for unequal treatment compared to other nonreligious gatherings that have the same effect on the government’s public health interest, absent the most compelling reasons.

California has not shown why interactions in offices and studios of the entertainment industry, and in-person operations to facilitate nonessential ecommerce, are included on the [essential workforce] list as being allowed with social distancing where telework is not practical, while gatherings with social distancing for purposes of religious worship are forbidden, regardless of whether remote worship is practical or not.

Places of worship are not permitted to hold religious worship services until Stage 3. However, in Stage 2, schools, restaurants, factories, offices, shopping malls, swap meets, and others are permitted to operate with social distancing.

Whatever level of restrictions you adopt, these civil rights protections mandate equal treatment of persons and activities of a secular and religious nature.

Dreiband told Breitbart News Sunday recently that the DOJ had achieved results by writing to local governments to inform them that they were infringing on religious liberty, and they had backed down from draconian restrictions.

The Los Angeles Times notes that while several California churches have already challenged the state’s stay-at-home orders, none has yet been successful. Dreiband acknowledged these decisions, but argued in his letter that the decisions do not address discrimination in the reopening plan.

Politico noted that Gov. Newsom has tried to mollify religious communities: “I want to just express my deep admiration to the faith community and the need and desire to know when their congregants can once again start coming back to the pews, coming back together,” he said Monday.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Religious Liberty: It’s What Trump Didn’t Say


Authored by Bryan Fischer | Thursday, May 4, 2017 @ 1:45 PM

Religious Liberty: It's What Trump Didn't Say

The religious liberty executive order President Trump signed hardly helped the cause of religious liberty.

There was no word of comfort, encouragement, or support for those who have been victimized by the relentless persecution of the homosexual lobby. – Bryan Fischer

Donald Trump just issued his executive order on religious liberty with evangelical luminaries from all across the fruited plain in attendance. The order is designed to neutralize the Johnson Amendment, which on paper at least threatens churches which engage in political activity, and to prevent organizations, like The Little Sisters of the Poor, from being forced to provide abortifacients for their employees. 

These are essentially hollow promises on the president’s part. No church has ever been deprived of its tax exempt status using the Johnson Amendment. In fact, conservative evangelicals have for years tried to goad the IRS into going after them for preaching political sermons, to no avail. African-American churches have utterly ignored the restrictions of the Johnson Amendment for decades, for which we can be grateful, since that’s where the civil rights movement came from. Their pulpits were used to galvanize and mobilize parishioners to engage in direct political action, with nary a peep from the IRS. So the Johnson Amendment is a toothless tiger. 

With regard to the contraceptive battle, that battle has already been fought and won in the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court, in the Hobby Lobby case, has already ruled that businesses cannot be forced to violate their deeply held moral and religious principles to provide abortion-causing pills to their employees. So it was a nice gesture on the president’s part, but essentially meaningless. 

Meanwhile, the gravest concern is aroused by what the president did not say. The draft of this executive order that was leaked to the liberal media in February contained robust protections for Christians engaged in business from being compelled by government to violate their own values and consciences in showdowns with the radical, vitriolic, and virulently aggressive LGBT lobby. 

Our recent history is rife with Christian bakers being fined $135,000 for refusing to bow the knee to the god of Sodom, Christian florists being sued for everything they own, and Christian photographers subject to stiff fines for declining to participate in same-sex ceremonies. Christian adoption agencies specializing in hard-to-place children have been shut down. We’ve seen story after story of Christian students being expelled from counseling programs for not meekly submitting to the gay agenda, and professors being terminated or denied tenure for the same reason. 

This morning’s empty and symbolic action on the president’s part most likely betrays the hidden hand of the president’s uber-liberal daughter, Ivanka, who likely leaked the February draft to a liberal rag (The Nation) in order to stir up enough intense outrage from the LGBT community to strangle this baby in the cradle. It worked. Ivanka wore out her red pencil eviscerating the original order, leaving us with today’s order which has very nice language but is virtually entirely lacking in substance. 

The president’s words today were fine, and encouraging as far as they went. The problem with the president’s speech in the Rose Garden is what he did not say. There was no word of comfort, encouragement, or support for those who have been victimized by the relentless persecution of the homosexual lobby. They apparently will have to wait for another day, waiting without any assurance that this new administration will stand with them and protect their constitutional liberties. The best grade we can give the president for today’s remarks is an incomplete. 

Bryan Fischer Host of “Focal Point”

Rome’s Iconic Trevi Fountain to Be Dyed Red in Honor of New Christian Martyrs


waving flagby Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D., 21 Apr 2016

In a move reminiscent of the first plague of Egypt, the city of Rome will dye its most emblematic fountain blood red in commemoration of the many new martyrs killed in our time for their faith in Jesus Christ.

According to the Catholic News Agency, the Trevi Fountain will be dyed red on the evening of on April 29 “in recognition of all Christians who even today give their life for the faith.”

The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need has organized the event to “call attention to the drama of anti-Christian persecution.” Vatican Cardinal Mauro Piacenza will introduce the ceremony, which will feature testimony from Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, Syria, as well as other witnesses to Christian massacres in Yemen, Pakistan, Turkey and Kenya.

In a statement posted on their website, the group said they hope this program will create “a long-lasting, concrete reaction everywhere so that the persecuted people of the 21st century can return as soon as possible to fully enjoying their natural right to religious freedom.”

The Italian daily Il Giornale noted that there are 150 million persecuted Christians throughout the world, “a genocide that too often silent Western institutions refuse to recognize.”

The organizers added that “the systematic violation of the right to religious freedom, especially that of Christians, must become the central issue of the public debate.”

The year 2015 saw “the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history,” according to a watchdog organization that has been monitoring Christian persecution for decades.

Open Doors, an organization founded in 1955 to assist persecuted Christians, publishes an annual “World Watch List,” reporting on attacks against Christians and ranking the most hostile national environments for believers. “The 2016 World Watch List documents an unprecedented escalation of violence against Christians, making this past year the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history,” Open Doors CEO David Curry said at the rollout of the list. Persecution in “continuing to increase, intensify and spread across the globe,” he said.

Pope Francis has spoken frequently during his papacy on modern-day martyrs. On April 7, the Pope called martyrs “the lifeblood of the Church.” “It is the witness of our martyrs of today – so many! – chased out of their homeland, driven away, having their throats cut, persecuted: they have the courage to confess Jesus even to the point of death,” he said.

In his Good Friday ceremony of the Stations of the Cross last month, the Pope denounced the global persecution of Christians, who are still “killed, burned alive, throats slit, and beheaded with barbarous blades amid cowardly silence.” The ceremony was held in the iconic setting of the Roman Coliseum, a symbol for many of the earliest Christian persecutions and martyrdom. Francis underscored the evil of these atrocities, carried out in the name of God and religion.

“O Cross of Christ, we still see you today in the fanaticism and terrorism of the followers of a religion who profane the name of God and use it to justify their unprecedented violence,” in evident reference to the Islamist terrorists behind much Christian persecution today.Christian Persecution

According to the biblical account of the plagues of Egypt, God commanded Moses and Aaron to turn the Nile and all the waters of Egypt to blood, as a sign to Pharaoh. “Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone,” God tells Moses. Yet despite this sign, Pharaoh’s heart was “hardened” and the persecution of God’s people continued.

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Deal: reject ‘religious liberty’ bills that allow discrimination


waving flagBy Greg Bluestein and Aaron Gould Sheinin – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Updated: 8:26 a.m. Friday, March 4, 2016  |  Posted: 2:53 p.m. Thursday, March 3, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://www.myajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/deal-reject-religious-liberty-bills-that-allow-dis/nqcrL

no more rinos

Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday issued a powerful biblical appeal against “religious liberty” legislation in the General Assembly and said he would reject any bill that legalizes discrimination.

His statement and those of other legislative leaders, businesses and religious groups have given gay rights supporters confidence that they may soon be able to move from defense to offense in pursuit of expanded legal protections for gays and lesbians in Georgia. Big Gay Hate Machine

The governor said he is not interested in any bill that “allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith,” and he urged religious conservatives not to feel threatened by the legalization of gay marriage. Asked whether that meant he would reject such legislation, and aide to the Republican governor said he would.Leftist Propagandist

Deal also called on his fellow Republicans pushing for the measure to take a deep breath and “recognize that the world is changing around us.”

Deal has already called on lawmakers to make changes to House Bill 757, which originally said no pastor would be forced to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony. It was amended in the Senate to include provisions that would allow individuals and organizations to deny service to same-sex couples or gays and lesbians if it violates their religious beliefs.

Mar. 2, 2016 – Atlanta – Representatives from Georgia Equality, Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign delivered copies of 75,000 emails to lawmakers and Gov. Nathan Deal to the governor’s office on Wednesday. The messages not only urge state leaders to defeat so-called religious liberty legislation they believe would legalize discrimination, but also for the state to adopt civil rights protections for all, including the LGBT community. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, said Thursday that he agrees with the governor.

“Speaker Ralston appreciates and shares Governor Deal’s sincere commitment to protecting religious liberties while ensuring that Georgia continues to welcome everyone with genuine Southern hospitality,” Ralston spokesman Kaleb McMichen said.More Liberal Gibberish

Supporters of the bill, however, say it is not intended to legalize discrimination but to prevent government from forcing religious believers to act in a way that violates their deeply held religious beliefs.

Mike Griffin, the head of public affairs for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said the times are changing, but not everything is. “God’s word is not changing,” Griffin said. “When it comes to the issue of marriage, while that’s changed, God’s definition has not.”

HB 757, Griffin said, “does not seek to disenfranchise anyone, it doesn’t seek to discriminate against anyone.” “It protects people of faith from discrimination by the government coercing them into actions that violate their religious beliefs,” Griffin said.

But Deal said his religious faith tells him there are other ways.

“What the New Testament teaches us is that Jesus reached out to those who were considered the outcasts, the ones that did not conform to the religious societies’ view of the world. … We do not have a belief, in my way of looking at religion, that says we have to discriminate against anybody,” he said. “If you were to apply those standards to the teaching of Jesus, I don’t think they fit.”Picture2

Deal quoted the Gospel of John that showed Jesus reaching out to an outcast.

“What that says is we have a belief in forgiveness and that we do not have to discriminate unduly against anyone on the basis of our own religious beliefs,” Deal said. “We are not jeopardized, in my opinion, by those who believe differently from us. We are not, in my opinion, put in jeopardy by virtue of those who might hold different beliefs or who may not even agree with what our Supreme Court said the law of the land is on the issue of same-sex marriage. I do not feel threatened by the fact that people who might choose same-sex marriages pursue that route.”Picture3

Griffin, however, turned to a different verse from the Bible: Matthew 19: 4-6. “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

The bill, Griffin said, “just narrowly defines this one area of marriage.”

But, as Deal and Ralston, along with powerful businesses such as Delta Air Lines, Home Depot and tech-giant Twitter, have called on Georgia’s leaders to embrace diversity, gay rights activists see an opportunity.

“Governor Deal has powerfully articulated a message of unity for Georgia,” Jenner Wood, chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, said. “His words will spread far and wide to affirm our reputation as a welcoming state that celebrates both our faith traditions and our diversity.”More Liberal Gibberish

Wednesday, after he delivered 75,000 emails calling on the governor to veto HB 757 should it reach his desk, Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham said he is increasingly optimistic.

“Over the last week we’ve seen an outpouring of concern,” he said. “The eyes of the nation are on Georgia. It’s really a pivotal time. (Lawmakers) need to decide if they’re going to cling to the bias and discrimination of the past or keep Georgia an open, fair, hospitable place to live and do business.”

After Deal’s latest comments on Thursday, Graham agreed there are ways to protect those on all sides of the issue.

“A comprehensive civil rights law in Georgia can protect all communities and groups from discrimination and can reinforce our state motto of wisdom, justice and moderation,” Graham said.

Chad Griffin, president of the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign and no relation to Mike Griffin, said it’s time for Georgia to move forward.

“We want to not just kill the bad legislation that hurts Georgians but now move forward with legislation that protects LGBT Georgians,” he said.More Liberal Gibberish

A House panel earlier this year rejected a plan to do just that. But a bipartisan group of lawmakers has filed a resolution that would create a House study committee that could spend the months between legislative sessions examining the conundrum from all sides and propose a solution before lawmakers return in January.

“I’m hopeful,” said state Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Atlanta, the primary sponsor of House Resolution 1513. “I have formally requested a hearing this morning.”

Death of a nation Die true battle In God We Trust freedom combo 2

Number ONE Socialism in America Story: “Something Sickening Was Just Done To Christian Bakers Who Refused To Make Lesbian Wedding Cake”


Reported by Melody Dareing December 30, 2015

URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/something-sickening-was-just-done-to-christian-bakers-who-refused-to-make-lesbian-wedding-cake/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=ConservativeHeadlinesEmail&utm_campaign=PM1&utm_content=2015-12-30

kleins

Tyranney AlertIt was not enough for bakery shop owners Melissa and Aaron Klein to pay more than $136,000 fine to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. The state has now wiped out all cash from all their bank accounts too – and did it right before Christmas.

Melissa Klein said was checking on their three bank accounts when she found out the government took every penny. The money was even taken from a separate account the couple uses to keep their church tithe. The amount totaled around $7,000.

“It was like my breath was taken away,” Melissa Klein said in a telephone interview. “I panicked. Everything was gone.”

The couple, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, faced the wrath of the state in 2013 after they would not bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. While the Kleins will bake cakes for homosexuals for other events, like birthdays, Aaron Klein told the couple they could not support a lesbian commitment ceremony because of their Christian beliefs about marriage. Same-sex marriage was not yet legal in Oregon at the time. The couple held a commitment ceremony in June 2013 and were legally married on May 23, 2014, four days after same-sex marriage was legalized in Oregon.

Even though same-sex marriage was not yet legal in the state, the Kleins were hauled before the bureau on discrimination claims under the state’s public accommodations law. The government then ordered them to pay $136,927.07 judgment for causing “emotional suffering.” They paid it in full to avoid a state-mandated nine percent interest penalty, according to their attorney. The money was given to the Kleins through donations.

“The least expensive option to stay in compliance with the law was to pay the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries funds that will be kept in a separate account until they prevail in their court appeal,” said attorney Tyler Smith in a prepared statement regarding the case.

The couple had to shutter their retail shop and now work out of their home. They were also slapped with a gag order prohibiting them from speaking publicly about their decision to refuse baking a wedding cake for same-sex marriages.

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said in a 2013 interview that he was not trying to shut Sweet Cakes by Melissa down. He wanted them to change their views. “The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate.”Picture2

pure socialismStill, closing the business and issuing a gag order was not enough for Avakian, who actively supports gay rights in his social media posts and public comments. He authorized the move to wipe out the Kleins’ bank accounts, even the one meant for the church.

“We had three accounts,” Mrs. Klein said. “I have one account that’s labeled, ‘God’s money’ – our tithing. They just took it.”

The Kleins’ case is on appeal and Smith said they would continue to fight it even if it means taking it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Aaron and Melissa will continue to work to ensure that every American has the First Amendment right to express their faith-based beliefs, and to conduct their daily affairs according to their conscience,” Smith said.

Big Gay Hate Machine In God We Trust freedom combo 2

4 Supremes alert America: ‘Trouble is coming’


Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts

America needs to prepare for a major governmental assault on religious liberty in the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling, but those standing against the tide can find plenty of inspiration from those who pioneered the concept of religious freedom at the American founding.

Michael Farris is co-founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association and author of “The History of Religious Liberty.” The book details the fierce fight for the religious freedom provisions that eventually emerged in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Farris said history is critical to understand in the wake of the marriage decision and the brand new threats to liberty being advocated on the political left.

The day after the Obergefell v. Hodges decision was handed down, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., told MSNBC she believed religious liberty was a much narrower concept than has been understood for centuries. “Certainly the First Amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs,” Baldwin said. “But I don’t think it extends far beyond that. We’ve seen the set of arguments play out in issues such as access to contraception.”More Evidence

She added, “Should it be the individual pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled? In this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts, and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.”What did you say 05.jpg

Michael Farris’ “History of Religious Liberty” is a sweeping literary work that passionately traces the epic history of religious liberty across three centuries, from the turbulent days of medieval Europe to colonial America and the birth pangs of a new nation. 

Farris is dumbfounded at Baldwin’s reading of the First Amendment. “The ignorance of members of Congress and the U.S. Senate never ceases to baffle me. How did they get there in the first place without taking a basic civics course? Or maybe they have and they just don’t believe it,” Farris said. “This senator has just simply walked away from not only the text of the Constitution and the meaning of the Constitution but our great American traditions.”

In fact, Farris believes Baldwin’s concept of religious liberty is almost completely backward. “It is an institutional right,” he said. “Churches have religious freedom, but it’s primarily an individual right. The Supreme Court – back in the day when it used to think straight – would say things like it’s not up to the government or the courts to determine which individual within a faith has correctly understood the demands of that faith. You’re allowed to go your own way.”SCOTUS GIANT

In response to the court decision, Govs. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, and Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, have announced their states will vigorously protect the religious liberty of the people. Farris applauds the efforts but warns those policies won’t stop all government intrusion into Americans’ lives or the practices of religious institutions. “That’s a good thing. It limits the areas where a church or a school can expect an attack. But a Christian college residing in one of those states can still expect an attack from the IRS or from the accrediting association or from the U.S. Department of Education if they don’t go along with the federal edicts on this,” said Farris, who warned schools and churches would be wise to protect themselves legally now given the dire warnings offered in the dissents to the Obergefell decision. “We have four justices on the Supreme Court effectively warning all the religious institutions, ‘You better do something about this because trouble’s coming.’ I don’t think that’s an idle speculation,” he said. “That’s about as strong of a warning from about as high a source as you can possibly get.”

<div>Please enable Javascript to watch this video</div>Farris expects the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to provide federal protection for Christian individuals and organizations, but only to the extent that Justice Anthony Kennedy acknowledges it.

In “The History of Religious Freedom,” Farris details the long, unlikely triumph of religious freedom in America’s founding. Just as in Europe, colonial America witnesses various denominations cracking down on others.

Modern history textbooks credit enlightenment thinking for the emergence of religious liberty in America. To Farris, that’s academic fantasy, cp 11and true scholars have actually debunked that notion. “It’s simply not true,” he said. “I lay out the historical evidence in great detail. One Harvard historian around the 1920s said the evidence that people who are indifferent to religion, that basically is the enlightenment crowd, were the cause of religious liberty is an unsustainable argument. There is simply no evidence for that point.” He added, “It was people who cared very deeply. It was grassroots kinds of Christians fighting establishment kind of Christians who gave us religious liberty for everybody. The battle for religious liberty wasn’t settled on the Mayflower.”

Protections for the free exercise of religion were anything but guaranteed in America. Farris said the colonial government of Virginia teamed with the Anglican Church to punish dissenters as late as the 1770s. In 1776, Virginia’s Declaration of Rights became the first declaration of religious liberty anywhere in the world.

In 1789, Congress approved the Bill of Rights and sent them to the states for approval. That same year, the French Revolution unfolded. The upheaval in the two countries has long been compared, especially as the U.S. moved forward with stability and France subsequently endured the Reign of Terror and the Napoleonic era.

Farris said there are key reasons for the very different results of revolutions rooted in freedom, including America’s much deeper respect for personal religious liberty and vastly different views about the nature of man.

“France believed that man was perfectable and that we could create our own utopia, whereas the American Revolution followed the Christian biblical idea that all men are sinners and that’s why you needed limited government, because you can’t trust any man in government to rule faithfully forever,” he explained.

According to Farris, the greatest parallel between the colonial struggle for religious freedom and today’s cultural battles is where the battle lines are drawn. Religious freedom was not championed by the ruling class. “It was a monumental battle,” he said. “It was the common people, who believed in Jesus, who believed the Bible was the authority for their faith and their life, who really fought the war and won. Many of them paid with their lives.”

Farris said the founding generation should serve as inspiration for the religious freedom fights of this century.

“Common people armed with bravery and faith in God can turn anything around,” he said. “I’ve seen it in my own life through the homeschooling movement. We were outnumbered and outgunned by the teachers’ unions day after day after day. We won battle after battle after battle because (we were) common people armed with the Constitution of the United States and belief in the Word of God.”

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Bill of Rights’ Most Important Liberty: Religion


waving flagWritten by Bethany Blankley

John-Adams-Quote-Liberty-Lost1

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, listed non-negotiable constitutionally guaranteed freedoms in specific order, unchanged since 1791. James Madison, its chief architect, listed freedom of religion first; then speech, press, assembly, petition, right to keep and bear arms, and freedom from forced quartering of military members in one’s home.

Freedom from civil government overreach and interference was essential to establishing sustainable civil order and a just rule of law; the first ten amendments — only 468 words — were added to protect what the founders considered “preexisting rights” from federal government “encroachment.”

Freedom of religion was un-mistakenly listed as the first freedom of the Bill of Rights. And the term “religion” was well understood from its original context derived from the State of Virginia’s Bill of Rights. In Article 1, Section 16, Virginia’s Bill of Rights defines “religion” as “the duty which we owe to our Creator… the manner of discharging… [of which] can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.”

(Many significant words and phrases used to write the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution were selected from preexisting documents and individual state constitutions’ declaration of rights, which provided more detailed definitions.)

Virginia’s Bill of Rights legally defined “religion” as a means to secure freedom from government coercion, which enabled a foundational protection for other freedoms. The Bill of Rights, by defining religion, allows people to believe and act by “reason or conviction” without fear of being coerced to violate their “dictates of conscience.” In this way, religion is jurisdictional– the Bill of Rights ensures that the government cannot force a citizen to violate his/her conscience.AAA02

James Madison articulated in Memorial and Remonstrance:

“The Religion … of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as they may indicate. This right in its nature is an unalienable right. It is unalienable; because the opinions of men … cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also; because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. … This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”GOD

Madison believed that citizens were first “subject[s] of the Great Governor of the Universe,” who must first make his/her “allegiance to the Universal Sovereign” before they could consider being a “member of Civil Society.”ONE NATION

He considered religion first and foremost “immune” from any and all civil authorities. The wording used for the First Amendment’s two religion clauses were specifically straightforward: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” All matters of religion were exempted from civil authority.

Madison asserted:

“In matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society, and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance.”

want_rel_liberty_rAs a legal and jurisdictional matter, Madison asserted that all men are first subject to God as an immutable fact based on the Christian worldview (Mark 12:17, Psalm 24:1). It was imperative to specify that no government could ever have authority over one’s relationship with God. Understanding that even governmental authority itself originates from God (Romans 13:1) — moral standards could not be mutually exclusive from rule of law.

Furthermore, freedom of conscience, under the jurisdiction of freedom of religion, established the next four freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. They include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to peacefully assemble, and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. These four freedoms granted constitutional security for “residual sovereignty” of the people, not the government. The Bill of Rights ensured freedom of religion as the foundation for all other liberties. No other amendments were possible if freedom of religion had not first been guaranteed as an unalienable right.One Nation Under God

Bethany Blankley; http://BethanyBlankley.com

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. She worked on Capitol Hill for four U.S. Senators and one U.S. Congressman, for a former New York governor, and for several non-profits. She earned her masters degree in theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her bachelors degree in politics from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley & BethanyBlankley.com.049590d9aa5e45170821a5ba6f11ac12  SCOTUS Death lost forever liberty 

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Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon


waving flagThe Proverbial Camel

California Orders Churches To Fund Abortions—Or Else


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22, 2014 By

Read More At: http://thefederalist.com/2014/10/22/california-orders-churches-to-fund-abortions-or-else/

Tyranney Alert

California Orders Churches To Fund Abortions—Or Else

A regulatory change in California has placed abortion in the category of ‘basic health services’ all insurance plans must cover. Even those churches buy. Photo John Ragai / Flickr

For the past four years, the Obama administration and its friends on the Left were careful to claim that they still strongly support religious liberty while arguing that Hobby Lobby’s Green family, Conestoga Wood Specialties’ Hahn family, and others like them must lose. Principally, they contended, religious liberty protections could not be applied to Hobby Lobby because (1) It is a for-profit corporation, (2) It isn’t a church (and thus not a true “religious employer,” and (3) It is wrong on the science—Plan B, a copper intrauterine device, et cetera, they claimed, do not cause abortions. They implied, if not claimed outright, that they would surely support religious freedom in another case, but Hobby Lobby was unworthy to claim its protections.

The State of California is now calling their bluff. California’s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state to immediately begin covering elective abortion. Not Plan B. Not contraceptives. Elective surgical dismemberment abortion.

At the insistence of the American Civil Liberties Union, the DMHC concluded that a 40-year-old state law requiring health plans to cover “basic health services” had been misinterpreted all these decades. Every plan in the state was immediately ordered, effective August 22, to cover elective abortion. California had not even applied this test to its own state employee health plans (which covered only “medically necessary” abortions). But this novel reading was nevertheless quietly imposed on every plan in the state by fiat.

The news has slowly leaked out as insurers grappling with this change have begun quietly informing employers of this sudden change in the terms of their policy. This is howCP 01 Kaiser Permanente broke the news to one California church that its insurance policy for its pastors and staff would now include elective abortion coverage:

I want to formally share with you that on August 22, 2014, the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) notified Kaiser Permanente and other affected health plans in writing regarding group contracts that exclude ‘voluntary termination of pregnancy.’

This letter made clear that the DMHC considered health care services related to the termination of pregnancies – whether or not a voluntary termination – a medically necessary basic health care service for which all health care services plans must provide coverage under the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act.  You may recall that at the request of some employer groups with religious affiliations, Kaiser Permanente submitted a regulatory filing in May 2012 properly notifying the DMHC of a benefit plan option that excluded coverage of voluntary terminations of pregnancies. The DMHC did not object to this filing, permitting Kaiser Permanente to offer such a coverage contract to large group purchasers that requested it. The DMHC acknowledged that it previously permitted these contract exclusions, but now is requiring health care service plans to provide coverage of all terminations of pregnancies, effective immediately.  To that end, the DMHC requires Kaiser Permanente and similar health care service plans to initiate steps to modify their plan contracts accordingly.

Effective August 22, Kaiser Permanente will comply with this regulatory mandate.

police_stateChurches Can Exclude Chemical Baby Killing, But Not Surgical

Several other California churches have received similar notices from their insurers, and others will follow. While California (like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS) exempts churches from its contraceptive mandate, there is no exception to this bureaucratic abortion mandate. This leaves California churches in the illogical and impossible position of being free to exclude contraceptives from their health plan for reasons of religious conscience but required to provide their employees with abortion coverage.

This California mandate is in blatant violation of federal law that specifically prohibits California from discriminating against health care plans on the basis that they do not cover abortion. Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation have filed administrative complaints with the HHS Office of Civil Rights (which oversees this federal law) on behalf of individual employees and seven California churches forced into abortion coverage in violation of their conscience.

What will be the administration and the Left’s response to this unprecedented attack on religious liberty? If they couldn’t stand with Hobby Lobby because it was a for-profit business, not a church, and because they thought its conscience concern was misplaced on the abortifacient nature of Plan B, will they now demand religious liberty for churches forced to cover elective abortion? If not now for religious liberty, when?

Do the administration and the left-wing commentariat continue to see any life in the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections at all? The Left’s response to California’s abortion mandate will reveal whether their claims of respect for religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case were serious or mere fig leafs for an even more dismal view of religious liberty than they have let on.

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School Bans Christian Club — Again


Obamacare

October 6, 2014 By

http://www.tpnn.com/2014/10/06/school-bans-christian-club-again/

Starnes Christian Club
CP 01Educators at Ward Melville High School are either woefully ignorant of the U.S. Constitution or they really don’t like Christian teenagers.

For the second year in a row, the Long Island, New York high school has denied students the right to form a Christian club.

“I feel like they have something against me and my faith,” 17-year-old John Raney told me. “I feel marginalized.”

John is the founder of Students United in Faith, a service-oriented Christian club. Nearly 20 young people wanted to join the club – but the school said no.

“I wanted to start the club because I thought it would provide a safe space for Christians to meet and talk about their faith,” he said.

As John noted, there aren’t many places like that in Long Island — especially at Ward Melville High School.

So here’s the back story:

cp 12Last year, the school pulled the same stunt. They banned John’s club because of its religious nature. Attorneys with Liberty Institute, a law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, stepped in and threatened to sue.

After a school district investigation, Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich reversed the ban and apologized to John.

She told television station WCBS the initial reason for rejection was “apparently inaccurately conveyed.”

And by “inaccurately conveyed” she means they got their hand caught in the religious liberty cookie jar.

Fast forward nine months later and the school once again is telling the Christian kids they aren’t welcome to co-mingle.

I called the school district to find out what was going on. They said they would get back to me. I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, John said Assistant Principal Christian Losee cited a lack of student interest in the group as well as the school’s “financial limitations.” But those excuses did not hold water.

John said there were at least 17 students who wanted to participate in the club. That seems like a pretty respectable number.  And if, in fact, the LMSELCHD Sacred Cowschool had money trouble, why did they approve four new clubs this year?

So John picked up the phone and called Liberty Institute, a nationally known religious liberty law firm. “I cannot imagine why they would come back a second time to discriminate,” said attorney Hiram Sasser. “For some reason, Ward Melville High School does not want to follow the Equal Access law.”

Sasser fired off a letter to the school district demanding the Christian students be allowed to form their club.

“This is not a complicated issue,” Sasser wrote. “Simply put, public schools cannot discriminate against religious clubs and must treat them equally, and provide them equal access to school facilities, as non-religious clubs.”

Attorney Sasser was able to compile a list of all the school’s clubs – 33 in all. They’ve got everything from a fishing club to a ceramics club. They even have a Gay-Straight Alliance.

“They let all these other clubs meet with no problem whatsoever,” John told me. “But the second me and my friends mention faith or mention God, they get up in arms about it – like there’s something wrong with believing in these things.”

Sasser said the law is clear. It doesn’t matter if only two people wanted to join the Christian club – the school would have to accommodate them.

“If they allow the fishing club, they have to allow the Christian club, too,” he said. “They cannot exclude the Christian club.”

After what happened last year, I suspect the school knows that. It seems to me they’re just engaged in a bit of bullying and intimidation.

“It sends a chilling message to all faith groups – telling them the school views these clubs as not acceptable,” Sasser said.

more tolerantJohn’s mom, Trudy Fischer, told me she’s proud that her son is sticking up for the club.

“I was really surprised in today’s age that children still have to stand up for their First Amendment rights,” she said. “Tolerance is really preached in their school. They talk about tolerance, but when it comes to this – there is no tolerance. They want to shut them up.

That’s right, Trudy. They want your son to shut up. They want to marginalize these young Christian teenagers and make them think there’s something inappropriate, something sleazy about their religious beliefs. But what’s truly sleazy is government-employed bigots continuing to bully Christian teens trying to do good deeds.

Republished with permission. Originally published at FoxNews.com.

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Bobby Jindal: Angry Americans Ready for ‘Hostile Takeover’ of Washington


http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/bobby-jindal-hostile-takeover-washington/2014/06/22/id/578509#ixzz35W7HQXzk

 Reported by NEWSMAX.COM

Trigger the VoteLouisiana Gov. BobbyJindal on Saturday night accused President Barack Obama and other

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Democrats of waging wars against religious liberty and education and said that a rebellion is brewing in the U.S. with people ready for “a hostile takeover” of the nation’s capital.

Jindal spoke at the annual conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group led by longtime Christian activist Ralph Reed. Organizers said more than 1,000 evangelical leaders attended the three-day gathering. Republican officials across the political spectrum concede that evangelical voters continue to play a critical role in GOP politics.

“I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States,” Jindal said, “where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.”War on Christians

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The governor said there was a “silent war” on religious liberty being fought in the U.S. — a country that he said was built on that liberty.

“I am tired of the left. They say they’re for tolerance, they say they respect diversity. The reality is this: They respect everybody unless you happen to disagree with them,” he said. “The left is trying to silence us and I’m tired of it, I won’t take it anymore.”

Earlier this week, Jindal signed an executive order to block the use of tests tied to Common Core education standards in his state, a position favored by tea party supporters and conservatives. He said he would continue to fight against the administration’s attempts to implement Common Core.

“The federal government has no role, no right and no place dictating standards in our local schools across these 50 states of the United States of America,” Jindal said.

Jindal used humor in criticizing the Obama administration on several fronts, referencing the Bergdahl prisoner exchange and the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

“Are we witnessing right now the most radically, extremely liberal, ideological president of our entire lifetime right here in the United States of America, or are we witnessing the most incompetent president of the United States of America in the history of our lifetimes? You know, it is a difficult question,” he said. “I’ve thought long and hard about it. Here’s the only answer I’ve come up with, and I’m going to quote Secretary Clinton: ‘What difference does it make?'”

The conference featured most of the well-known Republicans considering a 2016 presidential run, including Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Jindal is expected to announce after the November midterm elections whether or not he will launch a presidential bid.

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Christian Persecution

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