Tag Archives: ADF

Supreme Court upholds vicious anti-Christian decision by 9th Circuit CA

Barack Obama speaking to Planned Parenthood
Barack Obama speaking to Planned Parenthood

Free speech and religious liberty hero David French wrote about the Stormans family case on Tuesday, in National Review.

Just as a preliminary comment, I really like how upset David French is sounding lately. I have written posts in the pasts where I was upset, and said things that I wanted to take back. And I have a whole herd of editors who regularly tell me if the drafts that I send them are “too mean”. But this article by Mr. French has some comments that were I think a little over the edge, but that’s just fine with me. I liked it a lot. It’s time to be direct and say what is really motivating the secular left.

He says:

Today the Supreme Court declined to hear one of the most extraordinary and plainly vicious anti-Christian cases I’ve ever seen. My friends and colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom represent the Stormans family, owner’s of an Olympia, Washington, pharmacy called Ralph’s Thriftway. The Stormans — like many Christians pharmacists — decline to fill prescriptions for abortifacients (drugs that can kill a fertilized egg, often by preventing implantation). When customers request abortifacients, the Stormans decline to fill the prescription and then refer them to one of “more than 30 other pharmacies within five miles of Ralph’s.”

This process is entirely conventional and normal. Indeed, it was so mundane that the state of Washington stipulated that “facilitated referrals do not pose a threat to timely access to lawfully prescribed medications.” In other words, the fact that the Stormans refuse to sell abortifacients didn’t cause a single person to lose access to the drug of their choice. But to anti-Christian bigots, it is intolerable that Christian professionals exist unless they bow the knee to the Baal of the sexual revolution, so Washington’s governor took action — demanding that the Washington State Board of Pharmacy issue regulations that required pharmacists to issue abortifacients regardless of religious or moral objections. In his dissent from the Court’s denial of certiorari, Justice Alito described the state’s anti-religious motivations:

The District Court found that the regulations were adopted with “the predominant purpose” to “stamp out the right to refuse” to dispense emergency contraceptives for religious reasons. Among other things, the District Court noted the following. When the Board began to consider new regulations, the Governor of the State “sent a letter to the Board opposing referral for personal or conscientious reasons.” The State Human Rights Commission followed with “a letter threatening Board members with personal liability if they passed a regulation permitting referral” for religious or moral reasons. And after the Board initially voted to adopt rules allowing referrals for reasons of conscience, the Governor not only sent another letter opposing the draft rules but “publicly explained that she could remove the Board members” if need be.

Ah, yes. The “Human Rights Commissions” that exist in so many countries, whose primary purpose is to stamp out the basic human rights of Bible-believing Christians using the power of the state.

The governor in question, by the way, is Christine Gregoire, who narrowly defeated a wonderful conservative a while back named Dino Rossi in 2004, and then defeated him again by a larger margin in 2008. I wonder how many “Christians” voted for Gregoire in Washington state in those elections. Rossi favors an exception for the Christian pharmacists.

More:

Christian pharmacists could either comply with state demands or close their pharmacies — an action that could actually “reduce patient access to medication by forcing some pharmacies—particularly small, independent ones that often survive by providing specialty services not provided elsewhere—to close.”

Predictably, the Ninth Circuit sided with the state. Just as predictably, our pitiful Supreme Court let the ruling stand. So Washington gets away with its pure anti-Christian animus, and it establishes a state religion to the god of sex. While Washington is an outlier (for now), it is showing Blue America the path forward — and any red state governor who refuses to defend religious liberty is completely without excuse. They can’t rely on federal courts to cover for their own lack of courage and conviction. As for the church? If it keeps gutlessly delegating defense of its liberties entirely to lawyers and politicians, then it will richly deserve its legal fate. It’s time to take a stand.

So, in the state of Washington, one of the most liberal and secular states in the union, you can’t be a Christian and be a pharmacist.

I think what French is trying to say there is that groups like the ADF and the ACLJ have been a thin line of resistance to judicial tyranny for many years, but Christians are not helping things by voting for Democrats – usually because they are looking for a handout from the government at their neighbor’s expense. Remember, Obama got Supreme Court picks when he was elected and then re-elected. People who voted for Obama voted for a more liberal Supreme Court – and the persecution of real Christians, like the Stormans.

You can read more about the case from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) web site. And the Daily Signal has more about the history of the case.

Now, keep in mind that this is the same state that is going after a Christian florist who referred her a gay customer to another florist for their wedding. She had served him faithfully for years, but when she turned him away for their wedding, then the state decided to go after her for her life savings and business. Never live in this immoral state.

ADF offers advice on SCOTUS marriage redefinition ruling

States with non-discrimination laws
States with non-discrimination laws

(Source: ACLU)

Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defending Freedom offers advice to churches on how to respond to the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage to remove the gender requirement.

He says:

[…][T]he greatest threat for churches lies in the application of the Court’s decision to believers who live in jurisdictions covered by so-called “non-discrimination” laws and ordinances. Everywhere that marriage has been redefined in the last several years has seen an awakening of non-discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. These laws are peppered throughout the states and local governments and are a linchpin of the sexual revolution’s broader legal and political strategy: to establish non-discrimination laws at all levels throughout the country and to to “ensure that religion is not used as an excuse to discriminate.”

In coming days, the threat from these non-discrimination laws will materialize in numerous ways as same-sex couples marry. But there are proactive steps your church can take to protect itself.

I put the map from the ACLU above. I think that’s what he is talking about when he says non-discrimination states. Keep in mind that the ACLU supported redefining marriage, and opposes religious liberty.

Erik’s article covers 3 areas:

  1. Church’s statement of faith
  2. Pastors officiating same-sex marriage ceremonies
  3. Church’s facility usage policy

Part 3) was the most interesting to me:

3. Churches should ensure their facilities usage policies are revised to allow only uses consistent with the church’s religious beliefs.

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, some churches may be approached by same-sex couples seeking to be married in the church facility. Churches should not feel as if they have to close their doors to the community just to prevent wedding ceremonies with which they disagree. Churches must continue to be a welcoming presence in the community and can do so through updating or revising their facility usage policy. The key point is to tie usage of the church’s facility to the statement of faith and religious beliefs of the church. And then to make clear that uses inconsistent with those religious beliefs will not be allowed. Alliance Defending Freedom has a sample facilities usage policy available in our Protecting Your Ministry manual.

So you update your statement of faith, and then tie usage of the the facility to that statement of faith. Simple.

I took a quick look at the booklet, and it also talked about tying employment within the church and church membership to the statement of faith.

Denny Burk summarizes those:

2. Religious Employment Criteria

Your church can best avail itself of the First Amendment’s protection in employee disputes if you create and faithfully enforce religious employment criteria for every employee. That requires churches to do at least two things: (1) require all employees and volunteers to sign a statement affirming the church’s statement of faith and standards of conduct, and (2) create written job descriptions for every employee and volunteer position.

4. Formal Membership Policy

If your church does not have a membership policy, you need to change that. Biblically, this should already be a priority for your church. You need to specify what the requirements for membership are, how one joins, how one resigns, and the procedures for church discipline. If all of this isn’t spelled out up front, your church could be exposed (see ADF guide pp. 17-18).

So what to make of this? Well, the ADF is an organization that I admire and trust. I cannot abide Christians who do not want to understand the details of what is happening with religious liberty in their country. The ADF has first class lawyers from the top law schools, and they defend religious liberty at every level of our justice system, up to and including the Supreme Court. If you want to help your church protect itself from prosecution, then you must point them to the ADF booklet linked above.

And this is especially true if you are in one of those states in the map above. In looking over the map, I noticed that much of the trouble we have been having with Christian businesses getting sued are in states that have these laws… Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, New York, and so on. Pay attention to that map and make decisions about where to live accordingly.

Should the secular left allow Christians to be social workers?

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

This is from religious liberty rock star David French, writing in National Review. He writes about a new Tennessee bill that protects Christian social workers from having to violate their consciences when doing their jobs.

He says:

The Tennessee legislature has passed a bill protecting from liability “counselors and therapists who refuse to counsel a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist.”

[…]Two legal cases I worked on immediately come to mind. The first involved a young woman named Emily Brooker, a social-work student at Missouri State University. Emily’s academic “crime” was refusing a professor’s demand that she sign her name to a letter to the state legislature advocating gay adoption.

Rather than recognizing that teachers can’t compel students to engage in political advocacy, the professor accused her of a “Level 3” grievance (the university’s most serious academic offense). The department then subjected Emily to a Star Chamber–style political inquiry, where a panel of professors demanded to know whether she was a “sinner” and kept her from having a lawyer, an advocate, or even her own mother in the room. The panel convicted her of the offense and required her to change her beliefs as a condition of graduation.

In the second case, I represented Julea Ward against Eastern Michigan University. Julea was in the final stages of her graduate counseling program when she was asked to counsel a gay man about his same-sex relationship. She declined and referred the file to another counselor who had no moral objections. The client was counseled without incident. Indeed, he didn’t even know his file had been referred.

The university, however, found her referral intolerable and subjected Julea to a “formal review,” accusing her of “imposing values that are inconsistent with counseling goals” and of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Once again, a student was summoned to the Star Chamber, and once again public officials probed a private citizen’s religious beliefs. One university official actually held it against her that she “communicated an attempt to maintain [her] belief system.” She was expelled from the program just weeks before graduation.

David French used to work at the Alliance Defending Freedom, but now he works for the American Center for Law and Justice.

I noticed that Casey Mattox at the Alliance Defending Freedom has a warning for Christians who think that the advance of the sexual revolutionaries won’t affect them.

Mattox writes:

While the anti-conscience activists pretend that conscientious objectors are declining goods or services because of sexual orientation, every case disproves that characterization. These creative professionals serve all persons. They object only to facilitating and celebrating a particular event that would require them to advance a message contrary to their religious convictions.

The left had historically mocked suggestions that any pastor would ever be forced to perform a same sex wedding in violation of their faith. But the mask is slipping. See the hysterical response to a Georgia law that would have done little more than protect pastors, churches and other nonprofit religious organizations from hosting and solemnizing a same-sex marriage. Indeed, the left has already attempted to force a pastor to perform a same-sex wedding that would violate his faith. And within hours of the Supreme Court’s decision finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, activists were urging termination of tax exemptions for churches that decline to perform same-sex weddings.

Not every same-sex wedding is a church wedding, but some are. If Christian videographers, wedding coordinators, musicians, and othercreative professionals – let alone pastors themselves – are required to provide their services for same-sex weddings, some will even have to be physically present, even participating in religious worship where they believe the prayers prayed, hymns sung, and scriptures read in support are actually blaspheming their own God.

The opponents of RFRA and like religious freedom protections are still quick to deploy their “separation of church and state” cliché, but one side is demanding that the state fine people for declining to participate in a religious service. It isn’t mine. It’s the ACLU and its allies who are ready to use the power of the state to compel unwilling people to participate in religious services.

[…]Of the same-sex marriage agenda, Erick Erickson has coined the phrase, “You will be made to care.” But in some cases this is insufficient. You must participate. Even if the left must use the power of the government to fine you if you refuse, you will be made to worship their god.

I think a lot of Christians sort of don’t think it’s a problem if they keep their faith in a box and only let it out to see the light of day for purposes of feeling good, or having community. But Christianity isn’t like that. It’s not something for the benefit of the Christian, it’s a worldview. And part of that worldview is not only doing the things that God wants us to do as individual, but also declaring and defending God’s values and character to others, when the subject comes up for discussion. We are not free to promote things that God does not agree with.

Should fascist Democrats allow Christians to work for a living in America?

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties
Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

The story is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran lived the American dream. That is, until he was fired from his childhood dream job for writing a book during his own private time.

Cochran’s book, published in 2013 and called “Who Told You That You Were Naked?,” expresses a biblical view on marriage and addresses homosexuality from his Christian perspective.

An active member in his church, he led a men’s small group Bible study and, after discussion with his group on Adam’s sin in the Book of Genesis, researched the words “naked” and “clothed” from the perspective of what the Bible says. He decided to write 162 pages about the topic in a men’s devotional book.

Cochran was reported to have asked the city’s ethics officer for permission before publishing the book and gave a copy of the book to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in January of 2014.

Fast-forward a few months, and Cochran received a 30-day suspension without pay, after an LGBT activist group started to protest the book.

“LGBT citizens deserve the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation, and deserve to be respected for their positions without hate and discrimination,” Cochran said, according to a January article from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “But Christians also have the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation and be respected for their position without hate and without discrimination.”

After 34 years as a firefighter, Cochran’s fairy-tale career came to a halt in January due to his personal views on gay marriage.

“I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community,” Mayor Reed said in a statement. “I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”

[…]“I want to be clear that the material in Chief Cochran’s book is not representative of my personal beliefs and is inconsistent with the administration’s work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all citizens,” Reed stated after he had given Cochran a suspension.

Irony! And I’m sure that the Democrat Reed would say that he is as much a Christian as Cochran, even though he’s not a Christian in any way shape or form. Many Democrats claim to be Christians and even attend churches where they sing and jump around waving their arms. But they’re not authentic Christians.

More:

Cochran had worked his way up, and out from the poverty he grew up in, to be named Atlanta fire chief in 2008. In 2009, he was appointed administrator of the United States Fire Administration under President Barack Obama. Less than a year later, he was back to his position as chief in Atlanta.

Investigation into Cochran found that he did not show discrimination against anyone during employment, yet he was terminated anyway.

[…]“The part that got me in trouble was the fact that in the book I dealt with sexual challenges that Christian men have and spoke of biblical marriage and biblical sexuality,” Cochran said in August while speaking at a religious libertyrally in Iowa.

There is something funny about sin. Not only do the people who do it want to be free to do it, but they also don’t want you to disapprove of it. So, if they have to use government power to force you to approve of it, they will.

It never occurs to me to use the government to force people to approve of what I am doing with my life. I’m chaste, I don’t believe in premarital sex. There is no support for this anywhere in the society, certainly not in the government, the education system, the mainstream media, Hollywood, and so on. There is not even support for this in the church. Yet, I don’t insist that people celebrate me – I don’t even feel ashamed of what I’m doing. It’s not easy, but not hurting women and being able to look at them as people instead of objects is a pretty good balance to the social disapproval I get. I’m just not interested in promiscuity, Tinder, Grindr, hooking up, monogamish, domestic violence, drug addiction, no-fault divorce, suicide, depression, sexually-transmitted diseases, abortions, and all the other things that the sexual revolutionaries push on me. Not interested.

So, that’s the difference between sin and not sin. Sin requires you to get people to agree with you. You feel so bad inside that you want everyone to affirm you, hoping that the shame and guilt you feel because of what you are doing will go away. Hoping that if all the humans agree with you, and support you, then God will have to overlook what you are doing. Hoping that if everyone is as sinful as you, then all of you will get into Heaven somehow.

Here are two more things about me. First, I wouldn’t be writing a thing about sexual issues unless I was using an alias. The champions of the sexual revolution occupy the commanding heights, and they are very happy to punish dissenters. Second, one of the big reasons why I am so picky about marriage is because I would rather save my money and make a difference by writing than get married and have kids and be forced to go silent for fear of becoming unable to support my family. The scarier these restrictions on open Christianity become, the more difficult the choice between making a difference and marrying becomes. Seems like I have to choose between speaking up and defending myself, or going silent and providing for a family.

ADF offers advice on SCOTUS marriage redefinition ruling

States with non-discrimination laws
States with non-discrimination laws

(Source: ACLU)

Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defending Freedom offers advice to churches on how to respond to the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage to remove the gender requirement.

He says:

[…][T]he greatest threat for churches lies in the application of the Court’s decision to believers who live in jurisdictions covered by so-called “non-discrimination” laws and ordinances. Everywhere that marriage has been redefined in the last several years has seen an awakening of non-discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. These laws are peppered throughout the states and local governments and are a linchpin of the sexual revolution’s broader legal and political strategy: to establish non-discrimination laws at all levels throughout the country and to to “ensure that religion is not used as an excuse to discriminate.”

In coming days, the threat from these non-discrimination laws will materialize in numerous ways as same-sex couples marry. But there are proactive steps your church can take to protect itself.

I put the map from the ACLU above. I think that’s what he is talking about when he says non-discrimination states. Keep in mind that the ACLU supported redefining marriage, and opposes religious liberty.

Erik’s article covers 3 areas:

  1. Church’s statement of faith
  2. Pastors officiating same-sex marriage ceremonies
  3. Church’s facility usage policy

Part 3) was the most interesting to me:

3. Churches should ensure their facilities usage policies are revised to allow only uses consistent with the church’s religious beliefs.

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, some churches may be approached by same-sex couples seeking to be married in the church facility. Churches should not feel as if they have to close their doors to the community just to prevent wedding ceremonies with which they disagree. Churches must continue to be a welcoming presence in the community and can do so through updating or revising their facility usage policy. The key point is to tie usage of the church’s facility to the statement of faith and religious beliefs of the church. And then to make clear that uses inconsistent with those religious beliefs will not be allowed. Alliance Defending Freedom has a sample facilities usage policy available in our Protecting Your Ministry manual.

So you update your statement of faith, and then tie usage of the the facility to that statement of faith. Simple.

I took a quick look at the booklet, and it also talked about tying employment within the church and church membership to the statement of faith.

Denny Burk summarizes those:

2. Religious Employment Criteria

Your church can best avail itself of the First Amendment’s protection in employee disputes if you create and faithfully enforce religious employment criteria for every employee. That requires churches to do at least two things: (1) require all employees and volunteers to sign a statement affirming the church’s statement of faith and standards of conduct, and (2) create written job descriptions for every employee and volunteer position.

 

4. Formal Membership Policy

If your church does not have a membership policy, you need to change that. Biblically, this should already be a priority for your church. You need to specify what the requirements for membership are, how one joins, how one resigns, and the procedures for church discipline. If all of this isn’t spelled out up front, your church could be exposed (see ADF guide pp. 17-18).

So what to make of this? Well, the ADF is an organization that I admire and trust. I cannot abide Christians who do not want to understand the details of what is happening with religious liberty in their country. The ADF has first class lawyers from the top law schools, and they defend religious liberty at every level of our justice system, up to and including the Supreme Court. If you want to help your church protect itself from prosecution, then you must point them to the ADF booklet linked above.

And this is especially true if you are in one of those states in the map above. In looking over the map, I noticed that much of the trouble we have been having with Christian businesses getting sued are in states that have these laws… Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, New York, and so on. Pay attention to that map and make decisions about where to live accordingly.