Showing posts with label Religious Freedom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religious Freedom. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2015

[VIDEO] ‘Today we’ve seen judicial LAWLESSNESS cross over into judicial TYRANNY!’

Ted Cruz has released an impassioned response to the arrest of Kim Davis and it is fantastic. This should be the response of every conservative who cares about liberty!
“Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny. Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America.
“I stand with Kim Davis. Unequivocally. I stand with every American that the Obama Administration is trying to force to chose between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court decision.
“In dissent, Chief Justice Roberts rightly observed that the Court’s marriage decision has nothing to do with the Constitution. Justice Scalia observed that the Court’s decision was so contrary to law that state and local officials would choose to defy it.
“For every politician — Democrat and Republican — who is tut-tutting that Davis must resign, they are defending a hypocritical standard. Where is the call for the mayor of San Francisco to resign for creating a sanctuary city — resulting in the murder of American citizens by criminal illegal aliens welcomed by his lawlessness?
“Where is the call for President Obama to resign for ignoring and defying our immigration laws, our welfare reform laws, and even his own Obamacare?
“When the mayor of San Francisco and President Obama resign, then we can talk about Kim Davis.
“Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office. That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in pubic office, they must disregard their religious faith–or be sent to jail.
“Kim Davis should not be in jail. We are a country founded on Judeo-Christian values, founded by those fleeing religious oppression and seeking a land where we could worship God and live according to our faith, without being imprisoned for doing so.
“I call upon every Believer, every Constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis. Stop the persecution now.”
Amen and Amen and Amen!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

[OPINION] Obama pressed to reverse legal opinion on religious freedom

(Washington Jewish Week via JTA) — More than a dozen Jewish organizations signed on to a letter urging President Barack Obama to instruct the Justice Department to reverse a legal opinion that allows religious organizations to avoid religious nondiscrimination laws in hiring.
The Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah and B’nai B’rith International were among the 130 signatories of the letter sent Aug. 20 by civil rights, education and secular advocacy groups.
In the letter, the groups ask the president to instruct the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel to “review and reconsider” a 2007 memorandum that has been used to promote “taxpayer-funded discrimination plain and simple,” as the American Civil Liberties Union put it.
The memorandum concludes that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, religious organizations seeking federal grants could not be compelled to follow religious nondiscrimination laws pertaining to hiring.
“The OLC Memo reaches the erroneous and dangerous conclusion that the religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) provides a blanket override of a statutory non-discrimination provision,” the letter reads in its opening.
Under the RFRA, which was introduced in the House by now-Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and in the Senate by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., the government cannot “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” except when the government can demonstrate that the burden is a “furtherance of a compelling governmental interest” and “is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
The signatories contend that the Office of Legal Counsel memo has been applied without any regard for the “government’s compelling interest in prohibiting [hiring] discrimination.”
Other Jewish groups that signed the letter are Bend the Arc, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Keshet, Jewish Women International, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Union for Reform Judaism, Women of Reform Judaism and Nehirim.
Reminding Obama that he had pledged to end federally funded hiring discrimination, the signers warned that leaving the opinion in place would tarnish his legacy.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Obama Administration Tightens Grant Rules for Religious Groups

Religious groups that refuse abortion counseling no longer can get grants to help trafficking victims unless they ensure the counseling is provided by a third party, under new guidelines by the Department of Health and Human Services.
In guidance quietly posted online in June, the agency said groups competing for grants must offer "the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care," which includes abortion counseling and referrals. If groups don't offer the services, they must propose an alternative approach to remain competitive for a grant.
That has at least one anti-abortion advocate contending the new policy may violate the federal Weldon Amendment, a law saying federal money can't be awarded if it's being used to discriminate against healthcare entities that won't provide or refer women for abortions.
Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, which stages a big anti-abortion march in Washington every January, called the policy change legally questionable.
"We need to ask if this is legal," Mancini said. "I think it is terrible the Obama administration is willing to put abortion policy ahead of good, loving services to these women who have already gone through the mot undignified treatment of people that could happen."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Persecuting Christians, attacking free speech

My parents immigrated to the United States in 1951, after surviving the tyranny of Nazi Germany and Soviet communism.

It never would have occurred to them that any American, such as Aaron and Melissa Klein of Oregon, would have their freedom to speak, their right to live their lives according to their religious beliefs and their ability to practice their chosen profession taken away by an unapologetic, self-righteous government bureaucrat in basic disregard of the most fundamental tenets of the First Amendment.

But that is exactly what has happened to the Kleins, who committed what is these days the socially unacceptable faux pas of refusing to bake a wedding cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer. Instead of going to one of the dozens of other bakers who would have baked them a cake, this lesbian couple filed a claim for “emotional damages” against the Kleins with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).

BOLI is run by Commissioner Brad Avakian, a generous financial supporter of Basic Rights Oregon, the largest homosexual rights group in Oregon. This means he has an inherent conflict of interest in the matter.

In fact, emails obtained through a public records request show Avakian and other employees at BOLI worked behind the scenes with the gay lobbying group to organize the persecution of the Kleins through the administrative hearing process. The Kleins lost their bakery business because of a boycott and the burden of defending themselves in the administrative process that lacked the due process protections of a court, where Avakian himself was the final judge, jury and executioner.

On July 2, just days before we celebrated the Declaration of Independence and the fight for our liberties, Avakian issued a final resolution of the complaint. He ordered the Kleins to pay Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer $135,000 for “emotional” damages.

Apparently, not getting the cake they wanted caused them “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “shock,” “uncertainty,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” and a host of other symptoms. Of course, they didn’t lose their jobs, their profession, or their ability to make a living as the Kleins did.

But Avakian didn’t stop there. He found it unacceptable that the Kleins defended themselves in the media and -- horrors -- on their Facebook page! Apparently, talking about how they try to live their lives in accordance with their religious beliefs was too much.

By “repeatedly appearing in public to make statements” about the complaint, the Kleins are “liable for any resultant emotional suffering experienced by” the lesbian couple. Therefore, Avakian ordered the Kleins to “cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing, or displaying” any communication about their beliefs about sexual orientation and public accommodations. He overruled the hearing officer’s recommendation to dismiss this part of the claim.

America was founded on the basis of religious freedom and free speech. Freedom from persecution like that instigated by Avakian drew many to America, from the pilgrims to the Huguenots. Those principles were embedded in our First Amendment and ingrained in American culture -- until now.

The issue here is not same-sex marriage, a fiercely debated social issue, or whether you approve of it. The issue is that all Americans have the right not only to live their life according to their religious principles without the government dictating what social mores are acceptable, but also the right to speak freely -- particularly when they are being hounded by the government.

Benjamin Franklin once wrote that “freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.” With this unfair, unjust, and unwarranted judgment and gag order against the Kleins by an unprincipled government official, that pillar has just been destroyed in Oregon.

 - Hans von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a former Justice Department attorney.
Originally appeared in Providence Journal

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Gov. Sam Brownback (R) of Kansas is acting to protect clergy and religious organizations from punishment for refusing to recognize or provide services for same-sex marriages.

He’s issued an executive order, titled “Preservation and Protection of Religious Freedom,” that states:
[T]he protection of religious liberty from government infringement is a constitutional and fundamental state interest, and government is obligated to take measures that advance this interest by preventing government interference with religious exercise in a way that complements the protections mandated by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution…
The order, which also complements protections offered in the Bill of Rights of the Kansas Constitution, prohibits the state from taking any discriminatory action against “individual clergy or religious leader,” or any “religious organization” that objects to a marriage that conflicts with its religious beliefs or moral conviction that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
“We have a duty to govern and to govern in accordance with the Constitution as it has been determined by the Supreme Court decision,” said Brownback in a statement. “We also recognize that religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as Kansans and Americans, and should be protected.”
“The Kansas Bill of Rights affirms the right to worship according to ‘dictates of conscience’ and further protects against any infringement of that right,” he added. “Today’s Executive Order protects Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs.”
“While we disagree with the decision of the Supreme Court, it is important that all Kansans be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve,” the governor said.
According to the Washington Post, militant LGBT groups have condemned Brownback’s executive order.
“Having nothing to do with religious freedom and everything to do with enabling discrimination, this executive order is divisive, unnecessary, and sends the wrong message,” said Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign.
She reportedly referred to the idea that clergy could be forced to participate in same-sex marriages as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized them nationwide as false rumors.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), however, announced in an op-ed in the WaPothat it “can no longer support” the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) because “it is now often used as a sword to discriminate against women, gay and transgender people…”
“Religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others,” wrote Louise Melling of the ACLU.
Melling views situations in which those who invoke the federal RFRA to protect their free exercise of faith as “abuses” if it means same-sex marriage and abortion are not accepted.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

East Tennessee hardware store puts up 'No Gays Allowed' sign

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2015: A new sign has been posted at Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Grainger County.
The sign reads, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion."
The sign bears the signature of the store's owner Jeff Amyx.
We'll have more on this story later today on 10News and
ORIGINAL STORY: (WBIR) An East Tennessee store owner is using what some call a controversial sign to express his beliefs following the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage.
Several WBIR 10News viewers brought this story to our attention on Facebook.
Jeff Amyx, who owns Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Grainger County, added the 'No Gays Allowed' sign because gay and lesbian couples are against his religion.
Amyx, who is also a baptist minister, said he realized Monday morning that homosexual people are not afraid to stand for what they believe in. He said it showed him that Christian people should be brave enough to stand for what they believe in.
"They gladly stand for what they believe in, why can't I? They believe their way is right, I believe it's wrong. But yet I'm going to take more persecution than them because I'm standing for what I believe in," Amyx said.
He said he has no plans to take the sign down.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

ABC, NBC Highlight ‘Growing Outrage’ Over Arizona Religious Freedom Bill

The Arizona legislature just passed legislation allowing private businesses to be protected from legal action for practicing their religion. The bill, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, allows private businesses the right to practice their religious beliefs and refuse service to anyone, such as a gay couple, if they believe it would violate their religious conscience.
On Saturday February 22, both ABC and NBC framed the new legislation in opposition of religious freedom, with NBC’s Lester Holt calling the bill “controversial” and how “opponents dubbed it the right to discriminate bill.” [See video below.]
ABC World News host David Muir offered only a quick news brief on the story, but that was enough to show the network’s agenda. Muir peddled how there was “growing outrage over a new law that allows businesses to turn away gay customers if it violates their religious beliefs.” Muir did briefly mention that Governor Jan Brewer (R-A.Z.) hadn’t decided whether or not to support the bill before going on to highlight the opponents of the religious freedom bill:
Meantime, some businesses already deciding tonight. This pizzeria in Tucson now saying they won't turn away gays, but instead, legislators who passed the bill
While NBC’s Nightly News did provide a more complete story on the Arizona law, it still framed the segment against the religious freedom argument. Host Lester Holt introduced the segment, calling the legislation a “controversial bill” before turning to reporter Joe Fryer for a full story.
Fryer began his report by peddling the liberal line that the bill was “controversial” before hyping how “100 angry protesters sounded off outside the capital. They're upset with legislation that would allow business owners based on their religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians.” For his part, Fryer did provide two sound bites from supporters of the Arizona bill, but the NBC News reporter surrounded them with rhetoric opposing the legislation.
Fryer then went on to use two cases, one in Oregon and one in Washington State to promote the agenda of the religious freedom bill’s opponents:
They point to laws around the country like Washington State where a flower shop was sued after not providing flowers for a same-sex marriage. And Oregon where last month the state ruled a bakery violated the civil rights of a lesbian couple after refusing to make their wedding cake.
Nowhere in the segment did Fryer explain why a Christian bakery may object to baking a cake for a gay wedding because it violated their religious convictions. Instead, he used the case as not an example of religious freedom but rather an argument against the Arizona bill.
After providing two brief clips from the bill’s supporters, Fryer claimed that “business is what may suffer, some argue if the bill becomes law.” The NBC reporter continued to promote the anti-religious freedom argument and showcased how “A pizza shop in Tucson is so upset with the bill it posted this sign: we reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona legislators. This comes nearly four years after Arizona passed a controversial immigration law that was signed by Governor Jan Brewer.”
ABC and NBC seem perfectly content arguing on behalf of the bill’s opponents and jumped on the left’s “outrage” and “controversial” nature of the bill rather than adequately include the religious freedom side of the debate.
Continue Reading....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Anti-Christian Valerie Jarrett Targets Hobby Lobby As ‘Corporate Entity’ Trying To ‘Seize A Controlling Interest’ Over Women

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett called out Hobby Lobby and insisted the Obamacare mandate case that will go before the Supreme Court is about whether big corporations can restrict women from having access to birth control.
The case is actually a religious freedom complaint against the administration for the Health and Human Services mandate requiring insurance to provide free coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization. If the plaintiffs win, it would not allow them to restrict employees from buying these products on their own, only that the employees would not get them for free.“No corporate entity should be in position to limit women’s legal access to care, or to seize a controlling interest over the health care choices of women,” Jarrett wrote on the White House blog. “To take that type of power away from individuals, and to let the personal beliefs of a woman’s boss dictate her health care choices would constitute a major step backward for women’s health and self-determination.”
The high court will hear the case from two family-owned companies, the Oklahoma-based chain Hobby Lobby and the Pennsylvania-based Conestoga Wood Specialties Store Corp., both of which argue that paying for employee-based coverage of these drug violates their religious freedom.
“Today, there are people trying to take this right away from women, by letting private, for-profit corporations and employers make medical decisions for their employees, based on their personal beliefs,” said Jarrett, whose blog was cross-posted on the Huffington Post.

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