Monday, March 30, 2015

Religious freedom bills are about rights, not discrimination

Last week Indiana became the 20th state to pass a religious freedom law (which is just the state version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993) and has faced angry protests and threats of boycotts as a result. But as Indiana Governor Mike Pence says, it "is not about discrimination [but] empowering people to confront government overreach."

Meanwhile, on a 24-7 vote, the Arkansas Senate has passed and sent to the House a bill to protect the religious freedom of everyone in the state from government intrusion on citizens' religious rights. Basically put, the measure prevents state and local government from taking any action that substantially burdens someone's religious beliefs unless government can prove a "compelling" reason for undermining religious freedoms. Governor Asa Hutchinson has stated he will sign the legislation should it reach his desk and you can be sure he will face similar backlash by angry activists - namely those who believe religious freedom laws undermine homosexual rights.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel opposes Indiana's adoption of its religious freedom law and thinks the upcoming NCAA games in Indianapolis should be moved to a more "gay-friendly" state like Illinois as a result. But apparently the mayor is unaware that Illinois is one of the 20 states that has such a law on the books - thanks to former-Senator Barack Obama who personally sponsored the bill that protects business owners' religious freedoms.

And while Apple CEO Tim Cook self-righteously boasts that he will pull all Apple business out of the state of Indiana, I have yet to hear him say he'll pull his business out of the Middle Eastern countries countries that kill people solely for being homsexual. What a hypocrite. Then again it's a lot easier to bully meek Christians who have been taught to turn the other cheek than it is to go up against groups that will actually murder someone for being homosexual.

By the way, these religious freedom laws do no more than protect the rights of conscience, so why all the fuss? Our Founding Fathers embraced such rights, and it was the idea that America was founded upon - the idea that individuals have inalienable rights, including and perhaps especially the rights of conscience, that put America on the path to her inimitable success.

Opponents of such freedoms are going ballistic but they simply don't understand what the upholding of our First Amendment rights is all about (which is all these laws actually do). Alarmists claim that these freedom laws allow a business owner to refuse to serve homosexuals, blacks, or any other person they choose to refuse service to for any reason. But it's simply not true. RFA's protect a private business owner from being forced by government to partake in an act that goes against deeply held Biblically based beliefs. While there is no Scriptural basis for refusing service to someone because of the color of their skin or whatnot, the Bible does warn against partaking in activities that go against God's Word - such as homosexual unions - and that is the argument at hand.

Based on their own reasoning though, I wonder if extreme activists would support a Jewish T-Shirt maker being forced to make shirts for a pro-Nazi Skinhead rally. Or would they support a black photographer being forced to record a Ku Klux Klan rally? Under the activist mentality, we're all fair game. Our individual beliefs are second-class citizens to politically correct superiority.

And while George Washington once stated his "wish and desire" that "the laws may always be extensively accommodated" to "the conscientious scruples of all men," today a well-organized, ridiculously well-funded movement of activists seeks to deceptively undermine even the most mild acknowledgement of those scruples.

In 1932, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini outlined fascism this way: "The Fascist conception of the state is all-embracing; outside of it, no human or spiritual values can exist…the Fascist State…interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people."

Like the sound of that? Because that is precisely the road we're currently on.

What should alarm all Americans is not the government's desire to collectively group the individual rights of conscience under state law; rather, what's especially disturbing is the increasingly powerful activist component that, with nearly complete support of the media, seeks to use the power of the state to demand we all think, act and believe like certain groups do. So much for tolerance and diversity.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Harry Reid puts country first by retiring. Finally.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who has led his party's troops since 2005, announced today he will not seek re-election to a sixth term.

Reid has been instrumental in encouraging illegal immigration by overhauling existing laws, encouraging amnesty, and promoting US tax dollars to provide housing, healthcare, education and other perks for lawbreakers. He was a champion of Obamacare, which has stripped countless Americans of their preferred health plans and he has been a vocal proponent of abortion, spending increases and tax hikes. Reid also used his tactical prowess to block GOP initiatives from going anywhere during his tenure as Democratic leader - then joined the voices who called the Republicans the "party of no".

What's interesting is Reid's quote in the YouTube video he posted to announce his retirement today: "I have had time to ponder and to think. We've (his wife and Reid) got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than ourselves," he said. "And as a result of that I'm not going to run for re-election."

Excuse me, Mr. Reid, but shouldn't you have been concerned about the citizens during your tenure? It's only by retiring that you finally admit you're putting the country first. Well, it's a day late and a dollar short, but I'll take it. Good riddance.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

US lacks leadership to fight radical Islam

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s magnificent Churchill-like speech to Congress this week, where he outlined the serious threats a fanatical Iran poses to Israel and the world, highlights how stark the difference between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama in their willingness to confront evil is.

Whereas Netanyahu unequivocally denounces evil, our president embraced it when he recently invited to the White House leaders of Muslim Brotherhood front groups with known terrorist ties in support of the Brotherhood’s ongoing efforts to retake Egypt.

Obama’s backing of the Muslim Brotherhood is eerie considering it was adopted by Adolf Hitler under the Third Reich and is the main supporter of virtually every Islamic terrorist group operating today, including Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, the Taliban, and Boko Haram, all of which want to rid the world of Jews and Christians.

Netanyahu understands that to achieve its goals, radical Islam aims to establish a worldwide caliphate by penetrating foreign cultures and building its presence until it’s the dominant force. We see this happening all over Europe now, and the goal to purge the world of “apostates” is being manifested right before our eyes with Jews getting shot, and thousands of Christians in the Middle East and Africa being ruthlessly beheaded, burned and buried alive.

In contrast, the day after ISIS fatally set a Jordanian man aflame, Obama rationalized modern ISIS barbarism by comparing it with Christians’ behavior during the Crusades, as if this excuses ISIS.  And at the recent conference on terrorism, which occurred just after the videotaped beheadings of 21 Christians by ISIS, Obama downplayed the victims’ Christianity and refused to identify radical Islam as a threat.

To Obama, the real threats, as documented in national security papers, are American Christians, veterans, and Tea Party patriots. But the documentation we should heed is that which shows evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has successfully placed operatives in key positions throughout the Obama administration, and documentation from former CIA operative Clare Lopez shows Obama’s systematic appointment of Islamic advocates with ties to Iran to posts within several US government agencies.

Outside efforts at influencing US decision-making are nothing new. But here, as Lopez states, “where the guiding force behind such influence emanates from the senior-most levels of a regime like Iran’s – which holds the top spot on the State Department list of state-sponsors of terror and makes no secret of its hatred for the United States and Israel…such operations must be viewed with serious concern.”

This is of no concern to Obama though. His current negotiations with Iran would leave it with vast potential nuclear capabilities, despite his claims to the contrary. Think about that: Under Obama, America would be enabling the chief terrorist state in the world – the same one that declared it would use a nuclear bomb to destroy Israel, our greatest ally and the only democracy in the Middle East, and eventually the USA by any means necessary.

Not surprisingly, Obama shamefully boycotted Netanyahu’s speech on this and dismissed it as “nothing new”. Iran’s regime, deeply rooted in militant Islam, is as radical as ever, and with its backing, chaos and death are pouring down upon the world (and that’s without a nuclear weapon). But rather than back Netanyahu, the one leader who stands against Iran, Obama displays contempt for him. To show greater deference to Iran than to our only ally in the most volatile part of the world cannot be blamed on incompetence, but on what can only be seen as a deliberate siding with evil. 

The left has set the narrative that anyone concerned about all of this is merely “Islamophobic”, and says it’s only a small number of Muslims who are fanatical, so there is no threat. However, that “small number” is roughly 15 to 25 percent of Muslims who support worldwide conversion by the sword. With about 1.6 billion Muslims globally, that means about 300 million Muslims -- about as many people as the entire U.S. population – want a worldwide caliphate, with more being recruited regularly.

In dealing with deadly jihadists, though, leftist ideology purports they can be tamed simply by appeasement and job programs, and to use America’s strength beyond that is immoral. But the truth is, making deals that empower our enemies is an immoral undermining of America herself.

Meanwhile, rather than close our borders, Obama punishes border agents trying to enforce existing laws, and he just allowed entry to several thousand Syrians. The FBI says it’s impossible to vet them all and that almost certainly some are or will become terrorists, while FBI Director James Comey reported that suspected ISIS members reside in all 50 states. And thanks to Obama’s expressed desire to ban certain types of ammunition, were any such bans to go through, our right to defend ourselves personally, should it come to it, would be diminished.

America has what it takes to fight radical Islam. We just don’t have the leadership to do it. Under Obama, America is in retreat, jihad is on the rise, a Christian holocaust is underway, and enemies are infiltrating the U.S. The writing is on the wall, and as Netanyahu said, we “have a moral obligation to speak up on these dangers while there is still time to avert them.” Unfortunately, I don’t see our president fulfilling this obligation anytime soon considering he seems to stand squarely on the wrong side of the battle.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Why Michigan's vote to allow Sharia Law is dangerous

The Michigan Taylor City Council unanimously approved a resolution this past Tuesday that supports a campaign for Sharia Law under the guise of "hate based on religion.” Apparently it is of no concern to this town council or other politicians that jihadists are conducting a genocide against Christians across the world. US politicians are too busy passing resolutions that prohibit anything that might offend Muslims, including criticism of Islam-backed activities, like honor killings, throwing homosexuals to their deaths from rooftops, and stoning women to death for the "crime" of being raped. Meanwhile, our own president refuses to even acknowledge that there may be a problem (see my related column on “Islamophobia” and the difference between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama’s approach to radical Islam).

At the same time, Islamic supremacists are embedding themselves in school boards, town councils, etc., to impose Islam on secular American society. Embedded Muslims and their well-paid stooges in local governments (like Taylor councilman Alex Garza, who spearheaded this vote) are passing resolutions to prohibit criticism of Islam and jihad.

Unfortunately, this sharia resolution is based on a false premise. For instance, the North Carolina parking dispute – in which a man shot and killed three Muslim students over a parking space – has been co-opted by the left as an "islamophobia" incident, despite the facts. For instance, the FBI's hate crime statistics for 2013 show the same statistics as previously reported ones -- that islamophobia does not exist, at least not in the way alarmists and politically correct zealots would like us to believe. 

In general, the false narrative of widespread Muslim victimization at the hands of "American bigots" is just that - false. Just as in previous years, most so-called hate crimes were not even religiously motivated – but the ones that were religiously motivated were anti-Jewish - not anti-Muslim. But we don't see politicians addressing that, do we? In fact Muslims suffered fewer total incidents than many groups and fewer per capita than gays or Jews. Anti-Islamic crimes did not involve greater violence than others and have not become more frequent.

But what difference does truth make when unfathomably dumb politicians can find their next pet cause? Votes like the one in Michigan are dangerous because they pave the way toward making Sharia Law increasingly potent throughout America. Consider that in France there are currently over 700 “no go” zones imposed by Muslims under Sharia Law. That means it is actually unsafe to go into those areas if you are not Muslim. With the soft mentality of US politicians doing the bidding for the same thing, it’s only a matter of time before we will have “no go” zones all over America. 

Meanwhile, pay close attention to what US public schools are doing when it comes to Christianity vs. the Muslim faith. All references to Christianity are being blatantly purged from public schools in the name of "separation of Church and State" yet children are being taught Muslim prayers and being taken on field trips to Mosques. What do you think that means? It's chilling. People had better rise from their politically correct slumber and wake up.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Illegal immigrants to get back-pay tax refunds worth billions

Illegal immigrants will receive “back pay” for tax refunds they would have received had they been working legally and paying taxes. Huh? Yes, it’s just yet another perk of President Barack Obama’s executive order for amnesty.  

The normal rule is that the IRS can audit for three years, so you can usually go back three years to amend your return or claim a credit you forgot. But what if you never had any income or never filed a return? Easy. Since an illegal immigrant under Obama’s executive action can now get a Social Security number, the immigrant road map is clear.

First, get the Social, then claim the Earned Income Tax Credit for the three open tax years, and just like that the IRS sends you three years of tax refunds. No matter that you never paid taxes, never filed a return, or if you worked off the books. Amnesty means absolution of all sins.

The IRS is defending its decision to let illegal immigrants claim up to three years’ refunds on income even if they never paid income taxes, telling Congress in a new letter last week that agency lawyers have concluded getting a Social Security number triggers the ability to go back and ask for previous refunds.

President Obama’s new deportation amnesty could grant Social Security numbers to as many as 4 million illegal immigrants, making many of them eligible for these tax refunds, which estimates say would come out to be billions of dollars paid to illegal immigrants.

“Section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code requires an SSN on the return, but a taxpayer claiming the EITC is not required to have an SSN before the close of the year for which the EITC is claimed,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen wrote in his letter to Sen. Charles E. Grassley on Wednesday.

In other words, the same organization that is going to take away the tax refunds of millions of Americans through Obamacare is going to give illegal immigrants refunds for taxes they never paid.

And speaking of Obamacare, some observers are saying it could make illegal immigrants more attractive to hire than U.S. born workers.

Welcome to Obama’s America, where your hard-earned tax dollars are going to those who (many anyway) have no interest in assimilating America’s values, but are more than happy to sponge off the fruits of hard working Americans’ labor. Of course, this is all with the president’s blessing, who is licking his chops at the prospect of a permanent Democratic voting base.

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