Thursday, January 31, 2008
UPDATE 12/17/09: Judge requires Christians, found guilty, to pay $6,600
UPDATE 8/22/13: NM Supreme Court rules photographer violated Human Rights Act
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence will be available for media interviews following a hearing before the New Mexico Human Rights Division Monday and Tuesday. ADF attorneys represent a Christian photographer being tried under state antidiscrimination laws for declining to photograph a same-sex “commitment ceremony.”
“Christians shouldn’t be penalized for abiding by their beliefs. The state cannot force unwilling people to promote a message they disagree with and thereby violate their conscience,” said Lorence. “The state’s prosecution violates our client’s First Amendment rights. The government cannot make people choose between their faith and their job.”
A same-sex couple asked Elaine Huguenin, co-owner with her husband of Elane Photography, to photograph a “commitment ceremony” that the two women wanted to hold. Huguenin declined because her Christian beliefs are in conflict with the message communicated by the ceremony.
The same-sex couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Division, which is now trying Elane Photography under state antidiscrimination laws for sexual orientation discrimination. The agency will hold a hearing Monday and Tuesday.
Neither marriage nor civil unions are legal between members of the same sex in New Mexico.
Human 'rights' is becoming an oxymoron when it comes to the homosexual movement. If they succeed the only people who will be allowed any 'rights' are those who agree with gay activists...
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
From "Archbishop Chaput: "Anti-Discrimination" Bill May Force Closing of Catholic Charities" by Hilary White, posted 1/28/08 at Lifesite.org
DENVER, Colorado, January 28, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an editorial in the Register, the newspaper of the Denver archdiocese, Archbishop Charles Chaput has warned that a proposed law may result in the end of one of the largest charitable organisations in the state.
HB 1080 seeks to impose restrictions on religious groups, forbidding them from hiring staff based on religion, and adding "sexual orientation" to the list of characteristics against which it is prohibited to "discriminate" in employment. HB1080 applies to religious groups that receive federal or state funding, which would include the organization Catholic Charities.
The bill, currently before the Colorado General Assembly, will place Catholic Charities in the position of having to close its doors, warns the Chaput. While Catholic Charities purpose is to help the poor, not proselytize, it exists "as part of the religious mission of the Catholic Church," and not just for the sake of "generic do-goodism."
"When it can no longer have the freedom it needs to be 'Catholic', it will end its services. This is not idle talk. I am very serious."Read the entire article.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
From "Lesbian Suit Against Christian School Tossed" posted 1/25/08 at Worldnetdaily.com
A California judge has ruled that Christian schools can set standards for behavior for their students, and impose penalties if they are not met.
The decision comes from Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gloria Trask, who found "no triable issues" on claims that a Christian school discriminated against two girls because of their perceived sexual orientation, according to a report in the North County Times.
Trask recently dismissed the claims made against California Lutheran High School in Wildomar by the two girls and their parents.
The case developed in 2005 when the girls, members of the junior class, were expelled after school officials noticed behavior by the two that may have indicated a lesbian relationship.But it's not over yet...
Attorney Kirk Hanson, representing the students, said he would appeal the dismissal of the case. He said he'll continue to argue the school is a business and must abide by state discrimination requirements.
"That's (appeals court) where this case would have ended up regardless," Hanson told the newspaper. "Win or lose at the trial level, the case is going to be in front of a court of appeal."
But John McKay, a lawyer for the school, said, "The First Amendment gives Christian schools the right to educate children on the (basis) of Christian beliefs. We're right on the First Amendment (regarding) free association."Read the rest of this article.
The only problem is, in our legal system, even when you win you often lose because it is so incredibly costly to finance a legal defense.
How many Christian schools and ministries can afford to defend their freedom?
Friday, January 25, 2008
You can’t help but feel a little sorry for Amanda Beck. She’s a reporter from Reuters who was among the first to cover a new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, which warns about an outbreak of a virulent, drug-resistant, and potentially deadly strain of Staph infection afflicting certain segments of the homosexual community.
Although outbreaks of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, have primarily been confined to hospitals in the past, the study determined that, due to “high risk behaviors” beyond hospital walls — such as “anal sex” — men who have sex with men are now 13 times more likely to contract the infection.
Because this particular strain can be transmitted through “skin-to-skin contact,” researchers fear the outbreak “has the potential for rapid, nationwide dissemination” and will spread to “the general population.” Once it does, they say it will be “unstoppable.” The initial reporting by some in the mainstream media, even The New York Times, was fairly accurate and balanced. It superficially addressed the study’s lucid data and sound conclusions. But all that quickly changed. You see, by even reporting on this study, Amanda Beck and her media codefendants deviated from the script. They broke the rules. And in so doing, they really, really ticked off that 500-pound homosexual activist gorilla and his yappy, apple polishing lapdogs back at media central... Read the rest of this commentary.
Because this particular strain can be transmitted through “skin-to-skin contact,” researchers fear the outbreak “has the potential for rapid, nationwide dissemination” and will spread to “the general population.” Once it does, they say it will be “unstoppable.”
The initial reporting by some in the mainstream media, even The New York Times, was fairly accurate and balanced. It superficially addressed the study’s lucid data and sound conclusions.
But all that quickly changed.
You see, by even reporting on this study, Amanda Beck and her media codefendants deviated from the script. They broke the rules. And in so doing, they really, really ticked off that 500-pound homosexual activist gorilla and his yappy, apple polishing lapdogs back at media central...
Read the rest of this commentary.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Just when you think you have heard it all, along comes a story that is almost too ridiculous to be true. But it is. The idiocy of federal bureaucracies apparently is never-ending. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which might easily be called the Department of Political Correctness, has decided to take on the Salvation Army. Yes, the Salvation Army, that phenomenally successful assistance organization which began in Great Britain over one hundred and forty-years ago. The Salvation Army, which has helped thousands of people in countries all over the world, is being sued by the EEOC.
...It all started in a thrift store in Framingham, Massachusetts. Two Hispanic employees were given one year to learn English in order to speak the language of the country in which they live and the language spoken by other employees. They failed to do so; in turn the employees were fired. The EEOC filed a lawsuit against the Salvation Army claiming the employees had suffered “emotional pain, humiliation and embarrassment” as a result of the English-only policy.
Read the entire article.
From “I have this stain on my soul” published 1/8/08 at CaliforniaCatholicDaily.com
Abortion rights activists are “warily” watching the “mobilization” of a movement of men who claim that aiding and abetting abortions gotten by their wives or girlfriends has left them with emotional or psychological scarring, reported the Jan. 7 Los Angeles Times.
“If anecdotes from grieving women can move the Supreme Court, what will testimony about men's pain accomplish?” asked the newspaper.
...The Times interviewed three men who say they have been troubled by abortions they’ve aided. One, Chris Aubert, said he had been unconcerned about the abortions of two of his girlfriends -- one of which he helped pay for. But then he and his wife saw an ultrasound image of their first child, and he saw abortion was wrong. Aubert and his wife subsequently became Catholic, and they now have five children.
A successful Houston lawyer, Aubert admitted that, had the abortions not occurred, he might not have “the blessings I have now… that’s an intellectual debate I have with myself. I struggle with it.” His former girlfriends, too, he said, might have a better life, now. Yet, he always goes back, he said, to the fact that abortion is immoral. And though he does not feel the angst other men say they feel, "I have this stain on my soul," Aubert said, "and it will always be there."
Read the whole article.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
From "'Lot of evidence' shows even if condoms always used disease can still be transmitted" posted 1/12/08 at WorldNetDaily.com
London health experts say something needs to be done beyond making condoms available to lower the number of children with sexually transmitted diseases, because the handouts from school nurses just aren't doing the work.
"There is … a lot of evidence to show that even if condoms are used all the time the disease can still be transmitted. We need to focus on better sexual education that involves parents, not just the school nurse," Trevor Stammers, a physician and healthcare ethics lecturer, told the London Evening Standard.
He said the government's dedication to contraception should be reconsidered.Read the whole article.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Isn't it remarkable that atheists, who did virtually nothing to oppose slavery, condemn Christians, who are the ones who abolished it?
Consider atheist Sam Harris, who blames Christianity for supporting slavery. Harris is right that slavery existed among the Old Testament Jews, and Paul even instructs slaves to obey their masters. During the civil war both sides quoted the Bible. We know all this. (Yawn, yawn.)
But slavery pre-dated Christianity by centuries and even millennia. As we read from sociologist Orlando Patterson's work, all known cultures had slavery. For centuries, slavery needed no defenders because it had no critics. Atheists who champion ancient Greece and pre-Christian Rome somehow seem to forget that those empires were based on large-scale enslavement.
Atheist Michael Shermer says Christians are "late comers" to the movement against slavery. Shermer advanced this argument in our Cal Tech debate in December. That debate is now online, and you can watch it at michaelshermer.com.
But if what Shermer says is true, who were the early opponents of slavery who got there before the Christians did? Actually, there weren't any...
The truly ironic thing is that if black slavery were still present in the U.S. I suspect very few of today's Christians would raise a voice or lift a finger against it. To speak out for righteousness has fallen into tremendous disfavor. Having imbibed the spirit of the age, even the Church has decided that tolerance (of any and all but the most obviously hideous behavior) is considered loving, and a great virtue. Conversely, speaking out for righteousness is considered unloving and a great spiritual faux pas.
Strangely, many Christians now see the proclamation of God's Law as an 'obstacle to the Gospel' rather than God's instrument to teach men and women what righteousness really is -
thereby leading them to realize they are wretched sinners in need of a savior.
Booker T. Washington certainly saw standing up for righteousness differently than we see it today:
"If no other consideration had convinced me of the value of the Christian life, the Christlike work which the Church of all denominations in America has done during the last 35 years for the elevation of the black man would have made me a Christian."
-Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery, 1907)
Read the rest of this helpful article and consider what the implications are for Christians to stand against the great evils present in our society today such as the promotion of sexual immorality (even to children), abortion, pornography, destruction of religious freedom etc...
Saturday, January 12, 2008
From "Kangaroo Court" by Ezra Levant, posted 1/11/08 at ezralevant.com
This is a remarkable and powerful speech delivered by the editor of a Canadian magazine who has been hauled before the disastrous Alberta "Human Rights" Commission as it attempts once again to circumscribe fundamental liberties in such a way as to advance its own socio-political vision.
In case you're blissfully ignorant of this commission, search the LifeSite News website for Alberta Human Rights Commission to learn more about its cultural mischief-making:
ALBERTA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION INTERROGATION
Opening remarks by Ezra Levant, January 11, 2008 – Calgary
My name is Ezra Levant. Before this government interrogation begins, I will make a statement.
When the Western Standard magazine printed the Danish cartoons of Mohamed two years ago, I was the publisher. It was the proudest moment of my public life. I would do it again today. In fact, I did do it again today. Though the Western Standard, sadly, no longer publishes a print edition, I posted the cartoons this morning on my website, ezralevant.com.
I am here at this government interrogation under protest. It is my position that the government has no legal or moral authority to interrogate me or anyone else for publishing these words and pictures. That is a violation of my ancient and inalienable freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and in this case, religious freedom and the separation of mosque and state. It is especially perverted that a bureaucracy calling itself the Alberta human rights commission would be the government agency violating my human rights. So I will now call those bureaucrats “the commission” or “the hrc”, since to call the commission a “human rights commission” is to destroy the meaning of those words.
I believe that this commission has no proper authority over me. The commission was meant as a low-level, quasi-judicial body to arbitrate squabbles about housing, employment and other matters, where a complainant felt that their race or sex was the reason they were discriminated against. The commission was meant to deal with deeds, not words or ideas. Now the commission, which is funded by a secular government, from the pockets of taxpayers of all backgrounds, is taking it upon itself to be an enforcer of the views of radical Islam. So much for the separation of mosque and state.
I have read the past few years’ worth of decisions from this commission, and it is clear that it has become a dump for the junk that gets rejected from the real legal system. I read one case where a male hair salon student complained that he was called a “loser” by the girls in the class. The commission actually had a hearing about this. Another case was a kitchen manager with Hepatitis-C, who complained that it was against her rights to be fired. The commission actually agreed with her, and forced the restaurant to pay her $4,900. In other words, the commission is a joke – it’s the Alberta equivalent of a U.S. television pseudo-court like Judge Judy – except that Judge Judy actually was a judge, whereas none of the commission’s panellists are judges, and some aren’t even lawyers. And, unlike the commission, Judge Judy believes in freedom of speech.
Read the rest of this amazing address.
Friends, pay attention to “ENDA” (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) and “Hate Crimes” legislation here in the US Congress. As “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are codifed as protected classes, faithful pastors/elders, preachers, teachers, Christian business owners, and pro-family activists — and maybe even YOU — will be sued (ie, financially ruined), as is already happening in UK and Canada, and in fact, already happening here in the US.
Alberta Christian Pastor Hauled Before Human Rights Tribunal For Letter to Editor on Homosexuality
Christian Political Party Before Human Rights Commission for Speaking Against Homosexuality
Human Rights Complaint Filed Against Catholic Bishop for Defence of Traditional Marriage
Homosexuals Seek to Shut Down Canadian Pro-Family Websites
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (PPGG) has aired a new commercial featuring a stereotyped gay man showering teens with condoms and contraceptive pills aimed specifically at 18 to 24-year-olds.
The ads, aired on MTV, VH-1, Comedy Central and TLC, are set to a "Mile High Club" theme, where Stephen, a flagrantly stereotypical gay man "educates" the teenage passengers about 'safe sex' by shoving contraceptives at them. At the end of the commercial, Stephen sits on the pilots lap and hits on him.
"PPGG created this campaign to stress the importance of sexual health in a creative way and one that breaks free from the old ineffective paradigm of relying on fear-mongering tactics to inspire desired behavior changes," said Dian J. Harrison, PPGG's President and CEO in a press release. "We want young people to take control of their sexual health and well-being by using prevention every time they have sex. This ad's message normalizes pregnancy prevention and safer sex in a healthy, cool, and humorous way."
The commercial, which will run through February 2008, is the latest in a series of raunchy sex-obsessed commercials aired by the heavily-tax-funded PPGG and aimed subverting at teens and young adults.
In early 2007, PPGG made a commercial that showed a sloppy-looking male angel eating popcorn at the head of the bed watching a couple having sex. Then his female angel counterpart appeared imploring him to do something. The male angel uses a TV remote and rewinds the scene of the couple in bed. This time the woman asks her male partner if he has any protection, to which he exclaims, "Yeah, of course." The woman responds, "Amen!"
In 2006, PPGG produced a spot depicting a young woman working with power tools who later hops into bed with a man, selects items from a Planned Parenthood "safe sex" tool case and exclaims, "Nice tool!"
"The organization's shameless promotion of its attempts to influence teenagers with a morally reprehensible TV spot is just another reason why all taxpayer funding of the group should be yanked immediately," said Jim Sedlak, executive director of American Life League's STOPP International.
According to PPGG's 2006 tax return, $12.2 million of its $22.1 million budget comes from taxpayer sources by means of fees and contracts from government agencies.
Watch the video.
Friday, January 04, 2008
From "Brampton Ontario - Shades of Stalinist Russia" posted 1/4/07 at No Apologies with Tristan Emmanuel
It first came to my attention over the Christmas break, when I got an email. I was pretty convinced this couldn't be true. Not even in "liberal" Canada. The story is about the city of Brampton, Ontario, and how it plans to start regulating religion within its boundaries.
It's a convoluted tale but the way I understand it, the bureaucrats in Toronto's western-most suburb decided to have a look at the way churches, mosques, temples, and other "places of worship" have traditionally been exempted from paying property taxes. That initial idea then spawned a whole bunch of other questions, and pretty soon a study was launched on "Places of Worship".
It was all done very quietly, but some churches got wind of it. Some of them would go to City Hall to get their variances renewed or extended, only to be told not to worry about it for now, because the City was doing a study on "Places of Worship", and all that stuff about variances would probably change anyway.
Which got some of those churches asking about the study. But the City wouldn't produce a copy, citing confidentiality rules. In fact, to this day, Brampton hasn't produced a copy for public perusal. A search of their website would lead you to believe the study doesn't even exist.
But last summer, someone with a bit of sympathy for the churches leaked a copy. A draft of the report - the one that doesn't even officially exist - is about a hundred pages long, and parts of it read like they could have been written in Stalinist Russia.
• The study recommends a redefinition of what constitutes "places of worship" - including a removal of provisions expressly allowing church properties to be used for "community services" such as day care centres, soup kitchens, etc.
• There is a recommendation for major restrictions on new church start-ups, including regulating what space these start-ups could rent, where, and for how long.
• The study sets a stated goal of having only one "place of worship" for every 10-thousand residents. (There's no express mention of shutting down existing churches, but the goal would apparently be achieved by flatly denying applications for new churches to be built until that ratio is achieved.)
• The policy also includes major increases in permitting fees for things like zoning and variance issues. (One church reportedly had to pay the City of Brampton $400-thousand for the permits and approvals to put up a new sanctuary.)
• And the real shades of Stalinist Russia come with the proposed regulations on "house churches." Regularly-scheduled private gatherings in homes would be restricted to no more than 20 people - children included.
I don't know the demographic landscape of this area but there are reports that this particular crackdown on religion is due to a large influx of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs which is creating some discomfort among native Canadians.
It is interesting to see how everything is working together to destroy religious freedom.
One merely has to observe what has happened in the UK and is now in Canada to see that freedom of religion, the bedrock of all freedoms, is disappearing. (See related coverage below for examples.) Incredibly, it seems to be going with barely a whimper of protest.
Here in the US, legalizing same-sex marriage and passing anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation and cross-dressing will create a situation in which Biblical Christianity is officially in direct opposition to public policy. The above article illustrates different ways the government can make life very difficult for those who refuse to join the bandwagon.
General indifference and the abdication of responsibility among Christian leaders to stand for righteousness makes the outcome almost certain. The above article probably prophesies our future...
Read the whole appalling account.
Canada: Pastor Found Guilty of 'Hate' Crime
BC, Canada: Parents Cannot Opt Children Out of Gay Curriculum
UK: Anti-Gay Comment Could Land You in Jail for 7 Years
UK: Anglicans Fined for Refusing to Hire Homosexual Youth Worker
UK: Religious Schools May Not Teach "Christians Sexual Morals as if They Were Objectively True"
Thursday, January 03, 2008
From "I Don't Feel 'Called,' Either" by Sonja Dalton, posted 1/2/07 at MissionAmerica.com
See if you notice a pattern here:
• When a courageous Christian school board member questioned the profane, sexually explicit, and violent content of books on her district’s required reading lists, a handful of her supporters contacted about sixty churches in the district asking for their support — but not one pastor or minister “felt called” to show up at the school board meeting and publicly oppose such morally corrupt material.
• When a Christian mother noticed that her son’s reading list included a blatantly anti-Christian and factually false assignment, she spoke with other Christian parents, but they just “didn’t feel called” to speak to the teacher or principal. Likewise, her church’s coordinator for high school Bible study “didn’t feel called” to alert other parents in the congregation or to counter the propaganda in group discussions with students.
• When I speak with mature fellow Christians about evangelizing in homosexual neighborhoods, somehow they, too, “don’t feel called” to that particular ministry.
After hearing this pious response over and over, I began to wonder if I’d missed something, so I consulted my favorite online concordance in a quest for Bible authority, hoping to learn that I, too, could wait to “feel called” to cook a dish for the next potluck. You can imagine my disappointment when I discovered...um...nothing.
You see, the Bible doesn’t say a thing about “feeling” called. It says that Christians are called, period.
• We are called to be saints, set apart, to belong to Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:6, I Corinthians 1:2)
• We are called to be sanctified by the Spirit and by belief in Truth, to be conformed to the image of Jesus, to serve His purposes. (Romans 8:26-30, II Thessalonians 2:13-15)
• We are called to live in manner worthy of the calling — to walk in holiness. (Galatians 5:24, Ephesians 4:1, I Thessalonians 4:7, II Timothy 1:9)
• We are called into fellowship with and service to other believers. (I Corinthians 1:2,9, Galatians 5:13-14)
• We are called to preach the gospel, to proclaim His excellencies. (Acts 16:10, I Peter 2:9)
• We are called to suffer for doing good. (I Peter 2:21)
• We are called to stand firm. (II Thessalonians 2:15)
• We are called to eternal life. (I Timothy 6:12, I Peter 5:10)
Sometimes I don’t “feel” like abstaining from temptation or selflessly serving others — and I never “feel” like suffering, especially not unjustly. But nonetheless I am called — and so are you.
Please read the rest of this thought provoking commentary.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
From "69-year-old Pro-Lifer Assaulted and Seriously Injured" by John Conolly, posted 1/2/07 at Lifesite.org
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, January 2, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A 69-year-old pro-life sidewalk counselor was assaulted and seriously injured on December 22 while attempting to talk to a woman over a privacy fence, resulting in serious injuries.
Ed Snell, a counselor with a group that talks to women to convince them not to go into the Hillcrest abortion clinic, was pushed from a platform attached to the top of his truck which enabled him to talk over the 7-foot privacy fence the clinic erected in an attempt to prevent the counselors from talking to the women.
The man who attacked Snell jumped the fence and "leaped on the vehicle with Ed and catapulted him off of the vehicle and onto the ground," said John McTernan, a fellow activist and good friend of Snell.
Snell's friends called 911 when it appeared he was unconscious. When police arrived, witnesses identified the assailant, only to be met with arrest threats from the female officer who was dispatched. She allowed the attacker to go free, and police only arrested the man after the serious nature of Snell's injuries was released.
"It is unbelievable that an officer would allow an attacker to go free after inflicting life-threatening injuries on an elderly gentleman, then threaten to arrest the witness to the crime," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "That was not only unprofessional conduct, but it showed a fundamental lack of respect for Mr. Snell's life and beliefs. She should face serious discipline."
When the Hillcrest abortion clinic was called for comment, the receptionist shouted, "He got what he deserved! He earned what he got!" before hanging up.
Mr. Snell suffered internal hemorrhaging in his head, four compression fractures of vertebrae, a broken shoulder and two broken ribs. Doctors feared he might die before they were able to stop the hemorrhaging.
Snell was released from the hospital on Christmas Eve, and is currently recovering in his home in Harrisburg. Doctors expect his injuries to take eight weeks to heal. Bishop Kevin Rhodes of Harrisburg visited Snell on the day he was released.