Tag Archives: Freedom of Religion

Federal government sues pro-LGBT Kroger for persecuting Christian employees

Kroger promotes LGBT tyranny over religious liberty
Kroger promotes LGBT tyranny over religious liberty

I thought this story about how the federal government is suing Kroger, a far-left grocery store chain, was interesting. You would never see a story like this happening in a Democrat administration. But in a Republican administration, religious liberty is still more important than the feelings of “being offended” of people on the left. Let’s see the story, then I’ll tell a personal story about this topic.

Here’s Christian Post reporting:

A major supermarket chain is facing a lawsuit after firing two employees over their refusal to wear a rainbow emblem that violates their religious beliefs as part of their work uniform.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against the Kroger Company Monday in response to action taken by Kroger Store No. 625 in Conway, Arkansas, against two employees. The employees were terminated after they refused to abide by the new dress code, which required them to wear an apron depicting a rainbow-colored heart emblem.

The women contended that wearing the apron would amount to an endorsement of the LGBTQ movement, which contradicts their religious beliefs. According to the EEOC, “one woman offered to wear the apron with the emblem covered and the other offered to wear a different apron without the emblem, but the company made no attempt to accommodate their requests.”

The EEOC alleged that when the women continued to refuse to wear the apron with the emblem visible, “Kroger retaliated against them by disciplining and ultimately discharging them.”

Kroger’s actions violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, argued the EEOC, which is working to secure “monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory damages” for the two women “as well as an injunction against future discrimination.”

More details about the two brave Christian women:

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, one of the women, Brenda Lawson, worked in the deli department at the store from 2011 until her termination on June 1, 2019. The other woman, Trudy Rickerd, worked as a cashier and file maintenance clerk from 2006 until her termination on May 29, 2019.

The complaint cited a letter written by Rickerd explaining her objection to wearing the apron. “I have a sincerely held religious belief that I cannot wear a symbol that promotes or endorses something that is in violation of my religious faith … I am happy to buy another apron to ensure there is no financial hardship on Kroger,” she said.

In case you didn’t know, Kroger has a reputation for putting LGBT rights above free speech and religious liberty:

Kroger has launched a 2020 Pride campaign company-wide, which includes its 3514 grocery stores across 42 states. The chain is the second-largest retailer after Walmart.

“At The Kroger Co., we embrace diversity and inclusion as core values, and we ingrain these in everything we do,” according to the company website. The site also notes that Kroger recently received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index in recognition of its commitment to LGBTQ-plus inclusion and equality.

Kroger also says:

“We’re one of the few retailers willing to openly advocate for and make real change toward LGBTQ-plus diversity and inclusion, and we’re proud to offer:
—Same-sex partner benefits and transgender-inclusive healthcare.

—An Associate Resource Group that provides an uplifting community for LGBTQ-plus associates and allies.

—Strong alliances with LGBTQ-plus suppliers through our partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Central Division, and seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory damages, as well as an injunction against future discrimination.

The article continues by describing some of the programs that Kroger champions that would make any Bible-believing Christian uncomfortable. But Christians don’t matter to Kroger.

Anyway, I wanted to tell a story about this. I spent about 10 years of my IT career in a large IT company. I was regularly pressured by non-Christians to accept and celebrate LGBT values. Pro-LGBT propaganda was hung all over the building. Diversity and inclusion concerns were made part of the performance evaluation process. And so on.

After the Florida gay nightclub bombing, I remember my manager bringing me a rainbow colored ribbon and telling me to put it on. I told her that I would take it and wear it later. But these ribbons were being dispensed company-wide as a formal effort to promote LGBT values. I have no doubt that my refusal to wear the ribbon was noted and may have affected my performance review and promotion decision.

Will you be allowed to pursue a Christian life plan in a Biden/Harris presidency?

Enraged Joe Biden howls out his hatred for Bible-believing Christians
Enraged Joe Biden howls out his hatred for Bible-believing Christians

One thing for certain. If Biden/Harris wins in November, I’ll be marking this blog as private before the end of the year, and that will be it for me writing on moral issues or supporting Christian exclusivism. We don’t have to look too far to see why that will be the prudent course of action.

Let’s start with this article from the Washington Examiner, about Kamala Harris – who will almost CERTAINLY be president at some point during Biden’s first term.

It says:

Unlike some Democrats, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s choice for running mate, isn’t neutral about religious liberty or pro-life issues: Her record shows she has aggressively opposed them both out of principle and for political gain. Religious liberty is hardly a lone conservative concept or a topic where only the political Right retains authority (it’s guaranteed by the Constitution). A look through Harris’s record as California’s attorney general and as a senator shows how she might govern on these issues alongside Biden, and it’s disturbing.

[…]Harris seems to disdain people of faith actively, and her record shows this too. When Hobby Lobby approached the Supreme Court asking for an exemption to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, Harris was already the attorney general of California. In 2014, she filed an amicus brief, telling the Supreme Court not to give Hobby Lobby a religious exemption. “Rights to the free exercise of religious beliefs, whether created by statute or by the Constitution, likewise protect the development and expression of an ‘inner sanctum’ of personal religious faith,” she wrote. “Free-exercise rights have thus also been understood as personal, relating only to individual believers and to a limited class of associations comprising or representing them.”

Worse, her logic was flawed. Like many who opposed the exemption, she claimed it would prevent women from getting comprehensive healthcare, which is absurd. Thankfully, the Supreme Court disagreed, and Hobby Lobby won that case in what is now a landmark ruling for religious liberty.

Regarding Joe Biden, there’s this post from PJ Media, about his address to the largest LGBT organization in America:

Biden announced at an event in Ohio on Saturday that his number one priority, if elected, will be to enshrine LGBTQ rights into federal law via the Equality Act, a contentious, Orwellian effort by left-wing bullies to silence Christians who believe biblical teachings on marriage and reject the view that boys can be girls and girls can be boys.

During a half-hour speech at the Hum4n R1ghts C4mp4ign’s annual gala in Columbus, Ohio, Biden said, “It’s wrong and it is immoral what [the Trump administration] is doing,” citing efforts to bar transgender troops from the U.S. military and protect medical providers from being forced to violate their consciences.

[…]During his speech Biden portrayed LGBTQ individuals as victims, ignoring the fact that it is people of faith who have been the big losers in this war of ideas. Bakery owners are being sued out of existence, medical professionals are being pressured to embrace transgender ideology, and major corporations are pulling their business out of states that seek to protect religious freedom — which, by the way, is what made Mike Pence Public Enemy #1 in the eyes of the cultural revolutionaries.

[…]”The current vice president uses religious freedom as an excuse to license discrimination across broadly [sic] areas and denying LGBTQ Americans their basic rights. It is wrong and it is immoral what they are doing,” he declared.

“Just look at how much damage has been done in the past two weeks,” Biden said. […]The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced plans to allow homeless shelters to turn away transgender people. This is beyond the scope of anything remotely what we’ve seen before.”

He was not luke warm. He is enthusiastic about using government to crush all who dissent against sexual purity and natural marriage. And that’s not surprising when you look at the rape accusations against him, and the sexual immorality of his son Hunter Biden.

We’ve had Trump/Pence for 4 years, and religious liberty hasn’t been harmed. Religious liberty is important to me. I need to be able to earn a living as a Christian, and spend my money on a Christian life plan. I can’t allow myself to be forced into a choice between complying with secular leftist tyranny and starving because I’m not allowed to work.

So, I won’t be voting for a Biden/Harris ticket in November. For people who care about policy, the only rational option is four more years of Trump/Pence.

Frank Turek lectures on the case against same-sex marriage

About the speaker Frank Turek:

Dr. Frank Turek is a dynamic speaker and award-winning author or coauthor of four books: Stealing from God:  Why Atheists Need God to make their Case, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Correct, Not Politically Correct and Legislating Morality. As the President of CrossExamined.org, Frank presents powerful and entertaining evidence for Christianity at churches, high schools and at secular college campuses that often begin hostile to his message. He has also debated several prominent atheists including Christopher Hitchens and David Silverman, president of American Atheists.

Frank hosts an hour-long TV program each week called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist that is broadcast Wednesday nights on DirecTV Channel 378 (the NRB Network). His radio program called CrossExamined with Frank Turek airs on 122 stations every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. eastern and is available continuously on the free CrossExamined App.

A former aviator in the US Navy, Frank has a master’s degree from the George Washington University and a doctorate from Southern Evangelical Seminary.  He and his wife, Stephanie, are blessed with three grown sons.

Frank Turek is one of my favorite speakers, and I admire him for being willing to take a public stand on controversial issues like gay marriage. He’s actually had to pay a price for that in his professional life, and I blogged about that before.

Here’s the lecture on gay marriage, featuring Christian apologist Frank Turek.

Outline:

Outline of Frank Turek's lecture on same sex marriage
Outline of Frank Turek’s lecture on same sex marriage

Introduction:

  • how to present your case against marriage safely
  • Christians are required to go beyond tolerance
  • loving another person can mean opposing the person when they want to do something wrong, even if they hate you
  • what did Jesus say about marriage? (see Matt 19:4-6)
  • what did Jesus say about sexual morality? (Matt 15, Matt 19)

Summary:

  • the same-sex marriage debate is about whether to compel people who disagree with the gay lifestyle to validate and normalize it
  • P1: the government has an interest in marriage because it perpetuates and stabilizes society – this is the purpose of marriage
  • P2-4: government can take 3 kinds of stances towards behaviors: promote, permit or prohibit
  • government promotes behaviors when it has an interest in them
  • same-sex relationships should be permitted, but not promoted
  • Q1: if same-sex marriage had serious negative consequences, would you reconsider their position?
  • Q2: are heterosexual relationships the same as homosexual relationships?
  • Q3: what would society be like if everyone married according to the natural marriage definition: one woman, one man, for life?
  • Q4: what would society be like if everyone married according to the same-sex marriage definition: man/man and woman/woman?
  • Should Christians care about law and politics? or should they just preach the gospel?
  • They should care because people often get their cues about what is moral and immoral based on what is legal and illegal
  • Many of the social problems we see today can be traced back to problems with marriage and family
  • Children do much better when they have a relationship with their mother and their father
  • Same-sex marriage necessarily destroys the relationship between a child and its mother or its father
  • When a country embraces same-sex marriage, it reinforces the idea that marriage is not about making and raising children
  • same-sex marriage shifts the focus away from the needs of the children to the feelings of desires of the selfish adults
  • does homosexuality impose any health and mental health risks?
  • what has the impact of legalizing same-sex marriage been in Massachusetts to individuals, schools, businesses and charities?
  • how same-sex marriage poses a threat to religious liberty
  • how should you respond to the view that homosexuality is genetic?

And at the very end, he shows this short video, which is only 5 minutes and explains the logic of opposing the redefinition of marriage:

My biggest concern is religious liberty, and we are seeing how same-sex marriage has proven to be incompatible with religious liberty. But I also care about children… I want them to have mothers and fathers who put their needs first. Marriage is about a commitment – it is the subjugation of feelings and desires to responsibilities and obligations. It is a promise. A promise to commit to love your spouse and children regardless of feelings and desires. It requires more self-denial, self-control and self-sacrifice. Not less.

Where does Pete Buttigieg stand on infanticide and religious liberty?

Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his partner

I saw a short video from the Iowa caucuses recently, in which a female Democrat voted for Pete Buttigieg, then was shocked to learn that Pete is a gay man in a “marriage” relationship with another man. This woman knew enough about the Bible to accurately state that God’s design for marriage is for one man and one woman. So she had concerns about what she had just done.

Here’s the video:

This is why we should urge voters to not pick their political candidates based on looks. Maybe put down the romance novels and the unicorn mug, and turn off the “your best life now” sermon long enough to do a policy assessment on the candidates, before you vote?

Anyway, let’s learn a bit about Pete Buttigieg, since he seems to be a favorite of Bible-believing Christian women, apparently.

Here’s a story from Life News.

Yesterday on “The View,” Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said that infanticide was not a thing. He claimed that nobody really seriously believes babies are killed and infanticides across United States.

But figures from the Centers for Disease Control show hundreds of babies are born alive and left to die after they survive failed abortion attempts.

The issue is serious enough that Congress has previously passed legislation requiring babies to receive medical care if they survive an abortion and Congress is currently considering legislation to hold doctors accountable for failing to provide that appropriate medical care.

During questioning, Meghan McCain asked Buttigieg about comments from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam defending infanticide and whether he would support any limits on abortions up to birth — even opposing partial-birth abortions.

“My point is that it shouldn’t be up to a government official to draw the line, it should be up to the woman who is confronted with the choice,” Buttigieg said defending abortions up to birth and infanticide.

I’m sure that the Christian Democrat lady would be surprised that Mayor Pete also supports infanticide. He looks so clean cut and handsome, and women can tell everything about a man’s character just by looking at him, am I right?

Next article is from Daily Wire:

Buttigieg has unabashedly embraced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) Equality Act legislation that would strike a massive blow to our nation’s religious institutions. Specifically, the Equality Act would create a federally protected status for gender identity, defined as the “gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

Any faith-based establishment — including churches, schools, and hospitals — with theological beliefs in conflict with this definition would likely face expensive legal battles, lawsuits, and public scrutiny. Case in point: A Catholic hospital was sued last year by the ACLU because it would not perform a risky sex-change surgery on a 16-year-old girl.

Unfortunately, the Equality Act would coerce health care and mental health professionals into providing dangerous gender-transition treatments for young children and adolescents, counter to their medical advice — and for many, against their religious beliefs.

Just as alarming, Buttigieg has imposed litmus tests based on what he deems theologically acceptable. We witnessed this first-hand when the former South Bend, Indiana mayor attacked Second Lady Karen Pence for teaching at a private school that adheres to her Judeo-Christian belief about marriage. In response, Buttigieg ridiculed the Pences and likened their religious views to that of “Pharisees.”

As a private institution, like thousands of such private schools that have long existed in our country, the school where Mrs. Pence teaches has the right to govern its school according to its own religious beliefs. Islamic schools, Buddhist schools, and Jewish schools are also free to do so under the United States Constitution.

As an individual running for our nation’s highest office, Pete Buttigieg is signaling how a Buttigieg administration would handle religious liberty. And his signals should frighten many.

I posted this story with the video, because I’ve been polling Christian women to find out how they keep themselves informed about politics. Although they all are anxious to vote, there doesn’t seem to be much work being done to read anything about the candidates, their achievements, their policies, etc. And it’s not just reading about the candidates, it’s reading about economics, foreign policy, etc. in general. It’s almost like they have a tremendous confidence in their intuition, such that they can tell everything about a person just by looking at that person’s appearance.

This reminds me of a girl I used to work with who was married to a libertarian. She came up to me one day with a set of photographs and asked me to guess which ones were serial killers. I thought it was stupid to do that, because “there’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face” as Shakespeare says. Well, she told me proudly how she had gotten them all right, because of her amazing skill at knowing all about people from their appearance. I remember talking to her about her libertarian husband, and whether she knew what libertarians believed about social issues like marriage and abortion, etc. She had no concern at all about it. Later on, she left the company, and wrote to me about her divorce.

It’s so strange to me that we are living in a world where character matters less than appearance. We all feel entitled to vote based on almost no real knowledge, just on our gut feelings. So you have Bible-believing people voting for candidates who disagree with the Bible from start to finish, who are in lifestyles that repudiate the words of Jesus about what marriage is, and who support legislation that would effectively end the practice of Christianity that is authentic to what the Bible teaches.

And then people tell me that I need to get married, and lower my standards because I’m “asking for too much”. Wow. I don’t think that women putting in a little work to find out what the candidates for PRESIDENT believe and have achieved is asking for too much.

Christian man shares his story of being banned by Canada’s armed forces for disagreeing with Islam

Four white Canadian police officers arrest black pastor
Canadian police officers arrest black pastor for preaching the gospel

I got an essay from a Christian man who lives in Canada who served with the armed forces, but was banned from re-enlistment for expressing orthodox Christian views online about Islam. On this blog, I have urged Christians not to entrust a secular government with too many responsibilities, because it results in diminished liberty. I hope my readers will learn something from his story.

The remained of this post is written by the Canadian writer.


I was in the Canadian army several years ago, and while during this brief period of my life I was somewhat eager to get out. It just wasn’t a good time and I had chosen a less than ideal trade. I also had a difficult time telling myself I did the right thing. My 3 year engagement was valuable in some ways, I made some of my best friends there, and it made me into somewhat of a disciplined civilian, one might say. After my release from the army, I went to school and studied Christian apologetics and philosophy, which gave me an excellent outlet to share ideas. I had taken a course on Islam through Veritas evangelical seminary, which was very informative. I had learned that Islam shares many core ideas of Christianity, but there was also something about it which undoubtedly drives much of the terrorist activity in the world. I decided I could no longer evaluate Islam through what the media was telling me, or some of the attitudes towards Islam I may have picked up in the army. Given the time in which I was in the army (2005-2008), during the Afghanistan conflict, no doubt there was a great deal of vilification of our enemy in order to dehumanize them. This seems to be how war works, as it makes it easier to kill who you believe to be sub-human.

No doubt, Islam has been heavily politicized since then. It has become the preferred religion of the Liberal party in Canada; the object of tolerance, and the line of demarcation, which if you do not tolerate you are a racist, even if you so much as raise concern with regards to its violent roots, and current activity. Either way, I had to understand it for myself.

Is this a misappropriated religion, used by those who would be violent anyway as a pretext to carry out their actions? Is there room for reform within Islam, can a believer move away from the violent passages in the Quran, and adopt a more peaceful form of Islam without compromising essential beliefs?
Without getting into the details of my piece, I answered these questions in the negative, while leaving open the very real possibility that a genuinely peaceful person might be a Muslim, that we might hold two, or more, conflicting ideas at once. I published my ideas on my former blog.

Since then, I had reapplied with the army, I even did my aptitude test again, bringing up my score, in order to open up a more desirable occupation than before. My chosen occupation was intelligence, and I was almost in. I suppose it was appropriate that the recruiter gathered their intelligence on me, and found my apologetics blog.

During the recruiting process, one form which all candidates must sign is “Operation Honour,” instantiated by General Jonathan Vance, an initiative not in place during my previous engagement. This outlines an understanding that members must not sexually harass, or discriminate against other CF members, and such can be grounds for dismissal, which seems reasonable.

I was called into the recruiting centre, and my reapplication to the military was closed due to this post, this post which expressed views criticizing a set of ideas, Islam, as a private citizen.

I had argued, with the recruiters, how no specific person was accused of violence, and how the piece was only intended to draw out the problems I saw contained within. They would have none of it, and were set on a year long deferral. It became clear to me that our freedoms of speech were under attack, and in order to hold jobs in government one cannot hold views contrary to the current cultural milieu. I have since had the opportunity to reapply, but with such a wax nose initiative in place, where any disagreement one might voice against a particular worldview, I am unsure how one’s career could survive in an atmosphere of whistleblowers, and where people’s feelings are a metric for one’s worthiness in the forces. Literally anything which rubs another the wrong way, any concern or disagreement, can become a nightmare for a member.

Would not the mere presence of me, a Christian, be an affront to Islam, or even a homosexual/LGBTQ member? The simple affirmation of Jesus being the Son of God is blasphemy to Islam, which only affirms Him as a prophet. How is anyone to function in such an environment as both a private citizen and a state employee, one which professes inclusivity, but has their own ideas of exclusivity in mind? In the name of tolerance, it does seem that our government, and its agencies, have become some of the most intolerant and divisive amongst us. They seem more interested in catering to special interest groups, rather than evaluating ideas, which is ironic considering my intended trade—intelligence, which examines sociopolitical influences on a region, ideas that might be useful for command decisions.

If Islam were the peaceful religion our politicians claim it to be, wouldn’t this be a valuable thing for a person in a command position to know? One could use this knowledge to reform violent practitioners away from their erroneous ways. Yet, they have chosen to protect it by brute political force, rather than allowing open discussion.

Sure, I was initially bitter about this, but it was a valuable lesson, and it has shown me how under the brief influence of a very pseudo-liberal government, how our basic freedoms of thought and speech become attacked, freedoms which I thought our military was interested in preserving, at home and abroad. I suppose it was a valuable awakening to no longer see the state as the preservers of morality, let alone our basic freedoms. For this, we need to look elsewhere.


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