Thee Obama administration on Tuesday rejected a “right of conscience” complaint from anti-abortion groups in California who objected to the state’s requirement that health insurance plans include coverage for elective abortions.
The civil rights office at the Department of Health and Human Services said it had completed an investigation and dismissed several complaints after concluding California’s policy did not violate a decade-old rule adopted by Congress, known as the Weldon Amendment.
The office said the provision, which protects doctors, nurses, hospitals and other healthcare providers who object to performing abortions, does not extend to health insurance firms that have no moral objection to providing abortion coverage and instead are acting on the request of religious-minded customers.
The decision upholds a move by the California Department of Managed Care, which notified seven insurance providers in 2014 that state law does not allow them to offer coverage that limits or excludes abortions for some employers. The issue arose when faculty members at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Santa Clara University objected to this limitation in their insurance plans.
So, the religious schools and institutions cannot have plans that exclude abortion, because the Obama administration does not recognize the right of religious organizations to refuse to fund abortion. But the Obama administration does recognize the obligation of pro-life taxpayers to continue to pay the salaries and benefits of their Democrat overlords. You must pay the taxes for government, you just don’t get a say in what government does.
Alliance Defending Freedom reacted to the decision so:
Lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed one of the complaints, denounced the HHS decision.
“The Obama administration is once again making a mockery of the law,” said Casey Mattox, senior legal counsel for the alliance. “The state of California has ordered every insurer, even those insuring churches, to cover elective abortions in blatant violation of the law. We will continue to defend churches from this clear violation of the 1st Amendment and federal law and call on Congress to hold HHS accountable.”
I know that sometimes people vote for bigger government because they want a handout taken from their neighbors. But money isn’t everything – some things are more important. Like not violating the consciences of Christians. Don’t make Christianity harder for Christians to practice.
Yesterday, I wrote a lengthy post outlining the charges and countercharges between Breitbart’s Michelle Fields and the Donald Trump campaign. Fields claimed that Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, yanked her away from Trump when she tried to ask him a question about affirmative action, bruising her arm and almost causing her to fall. Fields tweeted a photo of the bruises, and aWashington Post reporter backed her account — as did an audio recording of the event.
The Trump campaign responded with scorched earth. Not only did it release a statement falsely claiming that no other reporter witnessed the incident, Lewandowski himself spewed forth a vile series of tweets that not only implied Fields was a fabulist, he also implied that she’d made up a sexual harassment charge in the recent past. The campaign demanded to see video evidence.
Here’s the video – the reaching for the reporter occurs at the 8-second mark:
Slowed-down video shows Lewandowski reaching more clearly, and now Fields has filed a criminal complaint. As I said before, the Trump campaign’s behavior has been reprehensible. When faced with a credible, corroborated claim of mistreatment, a responsible campaign pledges to investigate and treats the alleged victim with respect. Instead, the campaign chose to lie and — even worse — to attempt to ruin Fields’s reputation.
This is no surprise, since Trump’s rhetoric is borderline fascistic, and this staff and supporters have obviously picked up on it and putting it into practice. In talking with Trump supporters, what I’ve found is that they are angry, low-information voters. When confronted with the facts about their candidate, they resort to name calling, coercion and even violence.
One of my best friends was confronting a “Christian” supporter of Trump recently. The Trump supporter paralleled Trump with Jesus. My friend spoke up and listed out some of Trump’s immoral behavior, e.g. – adultery, frivolous divorce, abortion, strip clubs, casinos. She linked to evidence for all of these things. The Trump supporter responded by literally threatening her with damnation. He literally said “You are a liar. God damn you.” The person who this happened to can comment if she likes, I know she’s a reader of the blog.
Now some of the people who comment here don’t strike me as that crazy, but this is what I am seeing from Trump supporters in social media. He’s probably the most immoral candidate to run as a Republican, and yet his supporters will do anything to protect him.
The Christian bakers taken to court for refusing to make a cake promoting gay marriage say their experience is like living in a dystopian “science fiction” world where the state orders people to say things they do not believe.
[…]The family firm, based on Newtonabbey, near Belfast, found itself at the centre of an international storm in summer 2014 after cancelling an order for a cake featuring the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie with the slogan “support gay marriage”.
[…]The McArthurs, who are evangelical Christians, said they could not in conscience make the cake because they believe same-sex marriage is against the teaching of the Bible.
[…]But Mr Lee, backed by the Equality Commission, a state-funded body which operates in Northern Ireland, said it amounted to discrimination under laws which ban refusing to provide services on grounds of religion, race or sexual orientation.
[…]Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled that refusing to produce a cake calling for the change did amount to discrimination against Mr Lee.
She said the McArthurs did not have the right to ‘manifest’ their belief in a commercial setting.
You don’t have a right to act like a Christian outside your church. When you are outside your church, you have to act like a progressive atheist. That’s “neutrality”. Progressive atheists have to act like progressive atheists in public, and Bible-believing Christians have to act like progressive atheists in public. That’s “equality”, according to the taxpayer-funded “Equality Commission”. That’s their job, actually – converting the taxes collected by Christian taxpayers into witch-hunts against those same Christian taxpayers.
But look, there is more hope in the UK than there is here:
Speaking to The Telegraph, the couple said they had received hate mail and online abuse but had no regrets.
It came as Peter Tatchell, the veteran gay rights campaigner, emerged as a surprise supporter for the McArthurs’ appeal.
He said that, while he totally disagreed with their views on gay marriage, it is a basic “infringement of freedom” to force people to promote ideas to which they conscientiously object.
See? Now look here. I have no problem with gay people living how they want, signing contracts about wills and hospital visitation, and so on. But what I do object to is their desire to redefine marriage for all of us, so that people like me who have a different view of what marriage is have to be fired, pay fines and go to jail – all for disagreeing with their view. Well, excuse me, but I am allowed to have a different view.
At least one gay activist (Tatchell) has sense enough to be tolerant of those who disagree with him. That’s real tolerance, not like these secular leftist fascists in the UK government. I hope there are more like him.
Last point. How did the Christians feel about it?
Speaking to The Telegraph, the couple said they had received hate mail and online abuse but had no regrets.
[…]Mr McArthur said he had been bewildered to find himself up against the courts and a state equality body for supporting what is currently the law.
[…]He insisted that, rather than discriminating against a gay customer, the family were themselves effectively suffering discrimination by being denied the right to refuse to endorse gay marriage.
“For us, I think it means you have to leave your Christianity at your house and in your church, once you go out the door in the morning you can forget about your Christian beliefs,” he said.
[…]but [our faith affects] every part of our lives.
“It is impossible for us not to bring it with us during the day.”
He added: “It is our human right to live according to those beliefs and we can’t do something that goes against those beliefs, we can’t be forced to do it.
“That is basically what the Equality Commission expect us to do, they expect us to go against our Christian beliefs despite how we feel.”
“It is like something out of a science fiction book: ‘you have to do this, there is no choice … you must do this, no matter what your conscience tells you, no matter how hard, never mind that you couldn’t do that, you have to do it we demand it of you’.”
So, UK taxpayers must pay taxes to the government that wants to silence and coerce them. I wonder that anyone who claims to be a Bible-believing Christian could support overreach by a bloated secular government. We need small, limited government where government is focused on its Constitutional responsibilities – not on using force to make us all think alike.
I don’t think that most people of other religions, except perhaps Orthodox Jews, really understand what is required of Bible-believing Christians. We are expected to honor God in everything we do, and acknowledge him in all of our thinking and decision-making, including decision-making about morality. Although most secular people think morality is illusory and that truth takes a backseat to hedonism, that is not the Christian view.
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
You may not believe that, but don’t push your views on us, using the power of government. Christians are not like you. We are not here to have a good time on Earth. Our religion is not a community activity that is engaged in for social cohesion of feelings of comfort. Bible-believing Christians think that Christianity is true – objectively true. You’re not just trying to get us to try a different flavor of ice cream when you push your different morality on us – you’re trying to get us to live a lie. And your “feeling offended” by our disagreement is not justification for using the government to coerce us (which is fascism, by the way). If we Christians are right, the worst thing that a non-Christian person can do is to discourage us from pursuing God in Christ. You do not want to face God if you are the person who causes a Christian to turn away from God. That is the worst thing you can do. And yet so many people on the secular left do exactly that… in the public schools, in the university, in the court rooms, in the media, in Hollywood, etc. Stop it.
I can’t link to every article I’ve read about this topic in the last few days, but I thought that I’d better put up something about what is happening on university campuses, now that Judeo-Christian values have been driven out.
Moderate conservative David French posts this message from the University of Missouri in National Review:
So, if you feel offended by someone else’s free speech, the laws of the United States do not allow you to punish them. But university campuses are their own little fascist societies, run by secular leftist tyrants. They have ways of getting around the laws of the United States, even as they grow fat from taxpayer subsidies. It’s just disgusting. This is why we need to either scale back non-STEM departments in universities. Indoctrination programs will stop when we remove all the subsidies they get. When students have to pay for an education that is actually useful, then these left-wing re-education camps will disappear.
What do students learn in these left-wing seminaries? How to earn a living by creating value for others? Oh no – they hate capitalism. They learn that the first amendment (free speech) is morally evil.
Here’s Breitbart News reporting on one of the little brainwashed fascists:
[University of Missouri Students Association Vice President Brenda Smith-Lezana] was asked, we have tensions simmering at Yale University, protests erupted at that university because an email was sent to students urging them not to wear racially offensive Halloween costumes, and one professor complained that universities are becoming places of ‘censure and prohibition.’ What’s your feeling? Do you believe that that’s a place that we’re heading for [on] American campuses now, a place of censure and prohibition?”
She responded, “I personally am tired of hearing that First Amendment rights protect students when they are creating a hostile and unsafe learning environment for myself and for other students here. I think that it’s important for us to create that distinction and create a space where we can all learn from one another, and start to create a place of healing rather than a place where we are experiencing a lot of hate, like we have in the past.”
Would you hire someone like that? I would not. But this is the kind of person the secular left produces. I cannot imagine that anyone in the private sector would want to hire someone like this who cannot bear to hear opinions that disagree with her own, and actually wants those who make her feel bad to be silenced, coerced and punished.
Sounding more like a 1970’s version of teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa, then an assistant professor of communications, Melissa Click was caught on video harassing a young student journalist who was attempting to report on the ongoing protests taking place at the University of Missouri.
Student Journalist Tim Tai, who was actually on assignment and freelancing for ESPN to cover the racially charged protests on Monday, was suddenly confronted by the agitated Assistant Professor Melissa Click blocking him from filming the protesters.
Professor Click is heard yelling for protesting students to help her stop Tai from taking photos, as the protesters push Tai as he tries to explain how the First Amendment actually works in a free society.
And Professor Click responds with a mind bogging retort; “I know, that’s a really good one, I’m a communication faculty and I really get that argument, but you need to go,” she says.
Tai is seen and heard trying to talk his way through the recalcitrant crowd who shouted at him, chanted “hey, hey, ho, ho, journalists have got to go” and generally made it impossible for Tai to carry out his First Amendment-protected assignment from ESPN to photograph the tent city.
The confrontation seems to heat up further as another student reporter, Mark Schierbecker, tries talking to Click. She tells him to “get out,” hits his camera and yells: “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?
Ah yes, an assistant professor of communications. A useless clown hiding from the demands of a private sector job in her “safe space” in academia. Unemployable as she is, she is still capable of forcing her mindless little captives to accept her own fascistic values. And at taxpayer’s expense. And if they don’t accept her secular leftist views, well, that’s what suspensions, expulsions and campus police are for.
What was evident at the University of Missouri, and in last weekend’s confrontation over free speech at Yale, is that political dialogue on universities is disintegrating to the level of 1968, when many schools became places of physical and intellectual chaos.
Missing today, as then, is adult leadership. Too often university presidents, their boards of trustees and leading political figures default, and quickly, to the most reactionary progressives in modern student bodies. We want to be clear about this, because so many of these university leaders regard themselves as principled liberals. But their timidity is putting at risk the classical liberal values that are the essence of the idea of a university.
Many of our readers by now have seen the video of the Missouri communications professor calling for “muscle” to ban a student reporter from covering their protest. Or last weekend’s video of a Yale student shrieking at a dean to resign for defending free speech. Professors increasingly acquiesce to student demands for “trigger warnings” about course material that might offend them. Small student minorities ban commencement speakers or boo them into silence.
Today’s progressive activists, unlike their liberal antecedents, believe that ideas with which they disagree or which they deem morally repugnant don’t deserve to be heard. And so they shout them down or tell their speakers to “shut up” or “resign.” They believe that free-speech protection is a quaint obstacle to getting what they want, which is control.
Please remember to never vote for Democrats. They are the ones who inundate these leftist seminaries with taxpayer money. If secular leftist administrators, professors and students have to sink or swim on their own strength, they would be far less politicized. We have to starve the left-wing seminaries and force them to focus on preparing students to work, instead of indoctrinating them in hatred and intolerance.
NBC News reports that a county clerk is now in jail for refusing to recognize gay marriage.
A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has turned away same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, was found in contempt of court and taken into custody on Thursday.
Davis, 49, was in federal district court to appear before a judge after refusing to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples in Rowan County. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, has said doing so would “violate God’s definition of marriage” and infringe on her personal religious beliefs.
District Court Judge David Bunning said that she is bound by an oath of office to perform her duties under the law, and ordered her to jail.
Obviously, Clinton is as much a Christian as the atheist Obama: not Christian at all. And it turns out that all the talk of tolerance and diversity on the secular left was just lies.
Anti-marriage demonstrators cheer fascism
So the Christian woman is in jail. Here are some supporters of diversity and tolerance chanting their support for using the government to coerce someone against their religion and conscience:
They want to force us to agree with them, and our religious liberty is no defence to government coercion. Imagine this woman tried to run away from the police who were arresting her – what would happen then? This is the America we got for voting for the Democrats.
Some people who claim to be Christians actually think Jesus is a fool
You might think that jailing people for agreeing with Jesus would not be supported by many Christians, but actually, many people who claim to be Christian do disagree with Jesus on issues like marriage:
For some people, keeping the money coming from government is more important than actually following what the Bible teaches. That chart shows who is good at following the Bible and who is not.
What should she have done?
In this particular case the right course of action is civil disobedience until you are fired. It’s important to do this so that the public has a clear understanding of what is happening. If you substitute an example like Nazi Germany forcing a Christian in government to murder Jews, then you can see that there are some cases where Christans have to refuse to do what the government wants them to do. Marriage is one of the cases where Christians should prefer to be fired rather than act against conscience.
Now, if you can get a conscientious objection that allows you to recuse yourself from duties that conflict with your duty to Christ, that is a good enough compromise. Because then you keep your influence in government (which is important!). But if there is no opt-out, then just let them fire you. I would say that you can resign, but in this case it’s better to resist and let it become a news story. That way, in the next election, people will remember where the fascists stand on religious liberty. Maybe some of the fake Christians will actually vote the right way.
How to live your life in preparation for tyranny
I would suggest that Christians stop making bad decisions with their education and career. When things like this happen, it’s important for you to have savings and skills, so you can find another job. In a very real sense, your ability to be a faithful Christian is going to hang on the decisions you make about school and work and spending vs saving your earnings. Jesus was not a person who pursued fun, thrills and travel for travel’s sake. He did not go on adventures. I think it’s time that we start to get serious about having an influence and making ourselves defensible against threats like this.
Right now, the fascists are running everything, and we seem to be disinterested in doing the degrees and careers necessary to have an influence. Some people like to think that God is speaking to them through their feelings, and telling them to have fun, go on adventures, and feel happy. But God is not your feelings. These threats are real. You need to start doing what actually solves the problem, instead of following your heart.
You want to plan your life out in a way that will allow you to defend against these threats and recover from losses. That means you don’t get to do whatever you feel like. It means you study hard things, do hard work, pay off your debts, save and invest, and stop complaining that work is boring. Christianity is not about having fun.
Here are a couple more posts for you to read about this issue: