Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Should bad laws be questioned? This group says no....

A pair of Christian ministers in Idaho may face up to $1,000 in fines and six months in prison for refusing to perform same-sex weddings at their for-profit wedding chapel.

The owners, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, say  for the past several months, the city in which they reside has privately and publicly threatened to apply its nondiscrimination ordinance to them if same-sex marriage became legal in Idaho and the Knapps declined to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony at The Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.

"Each day the Knapps decline to perform a requested same-sex wedding ceremony, they commit a separate and distinct misdemeanor, subject to the same penalties. Thus, if the Knapps decline a same-sex wedding ceremony for just one week, they risk going to jail for over 3 years and being fined $7,000."

"Right now they are at risk of being prosecuted," the Knapps' attorney Jeremy Tedesco, told reporters, adding, "The threat of enforcement is more than just credible. The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines. The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple's freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected, just as the First Amendment intended."

Like this scenario shows, increasingly often, Americans are witnesses to the reality that redefining marriage is less about the marriage altar and more about fundamentally altering the freedoms of about 98 percent of Americans.

This is the brave new world of government-sanctioned same-sex unions -- where Americans are forced to celebrate these unions regardless of their religious beliefs, and where government officials are making it clear they will use their power to punish those who try to stand up for their convictions.

Activists will say that because a business operates publicly, the owners must obey all laws, specifically broadly written anti-discrimination laws. That is just plain dangerous. Under this premise, we are all at risk because now any government body can pass any law it chooses, and according to this premise, we are not to question it because it is the law. With this thinking, slavery should have remained legal. After all, even the Supreme Court said it was constitutional and, according to LGBT activists, we should not question such things, right?

The bottom line is, if a law strips an individual of his or her right to live their faith publicly, then it is a bad law, pure and simple, and must be changed. This is not about hatred of homosexuals. If the LGBT activists would think honestly about it, they would see that a person's love for God and the desire to adhere to His word trumps anything else, and they should try to genuinely understand the position this puts the believer in. 

In trying to exercise such understanding, LGBT activists would likely also come to know that out of love for God, Christians have love for our fellow human beings - period. Though I may not agree with someone, or even know them, I know that I feel actual love for my fellow human beings and I would do anything in my power to help someone in need of something. But I draw the line at violating God's Law to do so, and if I am forced to violate God's Law to "help" someone, then it is not genuine help in the first place

But regarding God's Law, LGBT activists are trying to convince us that the Bible is either false or that it does not state that homosexuality is a sin in the first place, which in fact it does in several passages, including Genesis 19, Roman 1:27, 1 Corinthian 6:9, and a couple in Leviathan that describe homosexuality as an abomination. And for the record, there is no sin in same-sex attraction, only in acting upon that temptation. 

Now stating this does not mean that I am personally judging those who engage in homosexual acts – it is not my place to do so, and I simply don’t. Again, this is the Bible’s teaching, it is not my personal judgment of anyone. I am more concerned with how God judges me for my own sins, though I am concerned for the eternal well-being of other sinners as well. That is out of love, not hatred. 

On the other hand, in Ezekiel 33:7-9, the Bible warns that we are complicit in one’s sin if we do not try to dissuade someone from it, and in several passages, including in 1 Corinthian, we are warned about being complicit in one’s sin by certain acts of association with those committing the sin. But nowhere does the Bible tell us to hate sinners, or we would all have to loathe ourselves. What the Bible asks us to do is hate the sin because of the damage it does to our soul. Anyone who has love for a fellow human being ought not only try to avoid committing his own sins, but help those struggling with sin to turn away from it.

This leads to another part of the issue. If a homosexual person honestly does not believe his sexual actions are sinful, then he might not be held accountable to God for them - and I pray that is the case because I don't want anything bad to befall any human being. But a believer who knows something is a sin, yet takes part in actions that go against God's teachings, either by committing the sin or being complicit in another's sin, is held accountable. 

And this is the position LGBT people are putting Christians in. We are taught about sin, and therefore we are accountable for actions that go against God's teachings. But just because an LGBT person may reject the Bible, is it not right that he or she demand that a believer reject it as well.

Moreover, LGBT activists are telling us that certain things aren't sinful, and therefore say we have no right to avoid what we know to be sinful. In other words, they are asking us to choose their word over God's Word, even though they don't seem to understand or accept that we believe doing so will put our souls in jeopardy. And thanks to bad laws that activists say should not be questioned, there is an attempt to force us to go against what we believe to be true based on literally thousands of years of Biblical teaching. Saying one is tolerant of religion but then denying people's right to live their actual religious beliefs is not supportive of religion at all - nor is it loving.

There are better ways to find common ground. Respecting people's individuality, showing understanding, and being tolerant of their beliefs - not forcing them to violate them - is a good place to start. 

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Anti-discrimination policies about control, not equality

There are claims that religion is being used to discriminate against women and LGBT people, but isn’t it the other way around? It seems our increasingly socialist-leaning government is the one using women and LGBT people to discriminate against religious people – namely Christians – to paint them as evil and strip them of their fundamental freedoms.

Wrong and hateful discrimination obviously exists, such as abusing someone for his sexual preference or religious views. But there is also the type we all practice daily in making the discriminating decisions on how to live our lives in ways best suited to our Constitutional right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. It is here that an over-reaching government, in the name of fairness, is putting our liberties at risk.

Cited examples of religious-based discrimination include business owners refusing to provide forced insurance coverage of contraception/abortifacients; pharmacies turning away women seeking to fill birth control prescriptions; and bridal salons, photo studios, and reception halls declining service to same-sex couples planning weddings.

But what some call religious-based discrimination is really just free commerce. Nobody has the right to demand a service be rendered, and under our First Amendment right to freedom of religion, citizens are free to not only worship as they choose, but to publicly live their religious beliefs, including in how they choose to earn a legal living.

As long as citizens are allowed these fundamental freedoms, they are empowered, and in that, government is kept in check. Of course this is despised by a big, godless government with big socialist dreams. Rather than strip citizens of individual liberty in one fell swoop, though, it’s being done incrementally and by dividing people.

First, freedom-loving citizens who don’t wish to be controlled must be vilified. A Christian morally opposed to paying for abortifacients is now simply a hater of women. If your religious beliefs tell you that photographing a same-sex wedding is the same as endorsing a sexual practice you believe is a sin, you are automatically a hater of homosexuals. And it is not enough to be maligned for not wanting to partake in certain commerce; now you will be punitively fined and even forced to do so, essentially making you a slave.

Complicit in this are certain activist women and LGBT people who demand their wants be met specifically by the very people who do not wish to meet those demands. To these activist “victims” it doesn’t matter that contraception is easily accessible overall, or that plenty of entrepreneurs would gladly provide services for same-sex events. These “victims” disregard available options and choose to impose their personal beliefs on religious people –the so-called “haters” – who ironically are the ones accused of imposing their beliefs on the “victims”.

Seeing the opportunity for control, government is increasingly backing the “victims” through anti-discrimination policies – most recently through LGBT policies that  address discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression – and which are being systematically implemented all over the country, including dozens of cities across Michigan (with plans for statewide implementation in the works).

On the surface, protecting against actual wrongful discrimination based on one’s sexual identity sounds fine. But when such policies can be used to undermine one group’s freedoms, while granting special powers to another group, it is no longer about equality, but control. In the attempt to defend certain aspects of human dignity, such policies end up pitting people against each other and create a protected class in which “victims” don’t need to prove their victimhood, but innocent people must prove they are not malicious discriminators. This sets the stage for a whole lot of trouble.

For instance, under these policies, not only are business owners being forced to provide services against their will, but an employer who hires a homosexual and then fires him because the employee stole from the register can be sued for anti-homosexual discrimination. The burden would be on the employer to prove his innocence.

Or, under the “public accommodations” clauses of some ordinances, a typical girl-crazy teenaged boy could say he “identifies as a girl” and enter the girls’ locker room to watch them shower. As many of these ordinances dictate, if a girl complains, she is the one punished for discrimination against a “gender-confused” boy. 

What’s most concerning is that activists oppose any and all religious exemptions currently built-in to some anti-discrimination policies. Imagine how far things would go should such so-called safeguards be removed. It would create a society where religion is forced underground completely and private entrepreneurs, clergy and every day citizens become unwilling servants of government without freedom of speech -- while the “victim” class is held up as justification for this control. Sadly, if those who value liberty don’t push back on these efforts, things will get rapidly worse.

What LGBT activists refuse to accept is that religious beliefs surrounding homosexuality go back thousands of years. LGBT activism is a few decades old. Read "After the Ball", the 1990 book written by homosexual activists that outlines a clear strategy that's been put in place for normalizing homosexuality, while painting Christians as bigots and homophobes. If LGBT's truly want acceptance, forcing people to forfeit their deeply held religious beliefs under threat of punishment is not the way to do it.

Socialism is all about dividing and controlling people, and government on every level is doing a spectacular job of this, as are the activists. Unfortunately, it is under the cloak of equality that serious progress is being made by those who want to replace the principles of individualism, Christianity, and the Constitution, with tyranny, slavery and life without God. 

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Friday, October 17, 2014

President Obama thinks Ebola czar more effective than travel ban

President Barack Obama said yesterday that he's considering appointing an Ebola “czar” to coordinate the fight against the virus in the United States but remains opposed to a ban on travel from West Africa. Meanwhile, he authorized calling up military reservists to send them to West Africa to help fight Ebola.

Just what can the military do that doctors and nurses cannot? But more important, how can allowing people to continue flying into America on flights that originated from the disease-stricken areas be in anyone's best interest? Is the president not aware of what Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan's travel to America has set in motion? Now Obama is open to anyone else who may be carrying the deadly disease to enter as well?

Obama's reasoning for not imposing a travel ban, by the way, is because he thinks it will devastate economic conditions in places like Liberia. What about the economic calamity an Ebola epidemic in America will have on our country? The disease continues to spread in West Africa where outbreak began in March and is now in the last district in Sierra Leone that had been unaffected by Ebola. Think that can't happen here?

Obama also said a travel ban will only make the disease harder to track. What? How can putting a lasso around the problem make it harder to manage? Why have so many other countries, such as Britain, Israel and even Haiti, imposed travel bans from West Africa but we haven't?

Here's why. Obama doesn't want to ban travel because he doesn't want Americans to make the connection between banning travel and keeping the disease out of our country. He doesn't want people to figure out that if a travel ban worked to stop the dissemination of ebola, then maybe we should slam the border with Mexico shut to make sure it and other diseases don't come in that way (such as the enterovirus problem fatally attacking children across America, and tuberculosis which is now spreading in Massachusetts where Obama dumped illegal immigrant children recently).

But Obama, as usual, refuses to close the borders through which Ebola and other diseased people could enter our country completely untracked. Remember, closing the borders would put Obama's precious amnesty dreams in peril and perhaps stem the flow of future Democrat voters.

As travel remains unimpeded and borders remain open, what exactly does our president see an Ebola czar accomplishing? By the way, the czar chosen, government insider , Ron Klain, doesn't even have a medical background. What we need is common sense. What we're getting from Obama is more bureaucrats who he must appoint because he is incapable of leadership himself on anything.

It's disgraceful that our government will demand things like sodas and trans fats be banned in the name of our "safety", but a tricky, contagious, fatal disease does not warrant the same control. It's bad enough that Obama and his fellow liberal America-haters have been putting politics above American freedoms for years, but now they are putting politics above human lives. That is beyond shameful and unacceptable, and even the staunchest Obama supporter should start thinking of their own loved ones at this point and the risk this unstable man in the White House poses to them. Enough is enough.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chimpanzees to get legal personhood? Court to decide soon.

ABC News reports that “[a] state appeals court will decide in coming weeks whether chimpanzees are entitled to ‘legal personhood’ in a case that could lead to expanded rights for animals such as gorillas, elephants and dolphins, according to the lawyer advocating for a 26-year-old chimp named Tommy.”

Unborn babies don’t have any rights. They can be killed for any reason. After all, they're not even considered humans. Although in this day and age it's safer to be a turtle or a bird. Liberals will lay down their own lives to protect one of these species.

Business owners don’t have any rights. They must sell to people even if they disagree with their immoral lifestyles or radicalized ideologies. If they don't, they'll be punitively fined and/or punished.

But chimpanzees . . . well, that’s a different story.

If given legal personhood, will chimps be able to get food stamps, collect unemployment, and free healthcare? Will 
gorillas, elephants and dolphins be able to vote? After all, liberals are opposed to voter ID laws, so why couldn't an animal's human caretaker fill out a ballot on the chimp's behalf? By the way, have you noticed that pet supply and other animal-related advertisements now refer to humans as "pet caretakers" or "guardians" rather than owners?

If given personhood rights, it won’t be too long before pets are designated “legal persons.” Then they can get married and receive tax breaks.

Think it's a stretch?

Well it wasn't too long ago that the idea of letting illegal immigrants vote and allowing two men to marry seemed like a stretch too. Now both are on the table. Why not chimpanzees as well?

God help us all. The world has gone insane. But this is what happens when the world turns its back on God - we get godless things.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pro-life messages countered by swastikas on Michigan college campus*

*From LifeSiteNews:
Pro-life messages at Eastern Michigan University were marred by swastikas and water this week. In a press release accompanied by several photos, Students for Life of America says that students at the university promoted life on Sunday night using chalked messages like "Life is precious, let's protect it" and "Women regret abortion." However, pro-abortion students threw water on at least one of the messages, and drew swastikas next to others.

A spokesperson for SFLA told LifeSiteNews that the pro-abortion students who confronted the pro-lifers also posted a photo of Savita Halappanavar, claiming that Halappanavar's 2012 death was due to the lack of a "life-saving abortion" in Ireland.

However, as LifeSiteNews reported last year, it was a lack of basic care that was responsible for Halappanavar's death, including the lack of a proper antibiotic regimen when she became ill. Halappanavar's death and the subsequent misunderstanding of the cause of death became a flashpoint for supporters of abortion, and was a key component of the ultimately successful effort to loosen Ireland's abortion laws.
“Eastern Michigan Students for Life, through our dedicated leadership team and members, want to change hearts and minds through loving means," said Rueben Ainley, the club’s vice president. [End LSN report.]
I find it interesting that women who support abortion call it "woman's healthcare" but they ignore the harmful risks and consequences. In fact, when Texas tried to require that doctors performing abortions have hospital admitting privileges in case of emergency abortion consequences, pro-abortion women decried this as harming women. What exactly do these women want? Do they even understand the issue at hand?