Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia decried having to “veto a so-called ‘religious freedom’ bill. It’s such an oxymoron,” on WTOP radio Wednesday.
The bill that McAuliffe vetoed is a short one, and simply states that religious organizations or clergy should not be required to participate in the solemnization of marriages and should not be penalized for their refusal to do so. Its language specifically aimed to protect the actions of those “with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”
It is not uncommon for Democrats to question religious freedom legislation, saying that it goes beyond defending religious freedom and into anti-LGBT discrimination.
[…]Upon celebrating the Supreme Court’s blocking of Texas abortion restrictions, McAuliffe said that Virginia was a few years ahead of the Supreme Court, and that these laws were enacted to shut down “women’s health clinics,” which, according to Gov. McAuliffe, “operate with no profit margin as it is.”
“I’m a very fiscally conservative, pro-business Democrat,” McAuliffe said directly before rebuking a bill passed by the Virginia General Assembly to scuttle government funding for Planned Parenthood.
Every day, it seems like some new assault on Constitutional freedoms by secular leftist fascists who want to force their views on others using the power of the government.
1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.
2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8
He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.
Terry McAuliffe thinks Jesus is wrong about that, and everyone who votes for Democrats like Terry McAuliffe affirms that Jesus has no authority on moral issues.
To be a Christian, minimally, is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. That means that we accept what Jesus teaches, on whatever he teaches about. We don’t overturn the teachings of Jesus in order to make people who are rebelling against God feel better about their rebellion. It is central to the Christian worldview that Christians care more about what God thinks of them than what non-Christians think of them. But I do think that we need to do everything that is legal to protect our religious liberty, so that being faithful is no harder for us than it needs to be.
This article about religious liberty in Canada is from Vancouver Sun. (H/T Glenn)
Ontario’s top court has dismissed an appeal from a private Christian university that forbids sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage, denying its proposed law school accreditation in the province.
The ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeal on Wednesday dealt a significant blow to Trinity Western University in a legal battle which pitted freedom of religion against equality rights.
A panel of three appeal court judges found that while the university’s religious freedom had been infringed upon, the institution discriminated against the LGBTQ community.
Trinity Western — which is fighting similar cases at appeal courts in Nova Scotia and British Columbia — expressed disappointment at the ruling, saying it would be taking its fight to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Ontario case saw the Evangelical Christian institution based in Langley go up against the Law Society of Upper Canada after the regulatory body voted not to accredit the university’s planned law facility.
At the heart of the dispute was Trinity Western’s “community covenant” or code of conduct, which all students are required to agree to.
The key point about the code of conduct is that it doesn’t discriminate against any particular group, e.g. – LGBT. It also forbids excessive drinking and premarital sex by heterosexuals:
It includes requiring students to abstain from gossip, obscene language, prejudice, harassment, lying, cheating, stealing, pornography, drunkenness and sexual intimacy “that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”
Now read this next part carefully. Although there was no legal support for denying a Christian university religious liberty and freedom of association, there was the hurt feelings of the LGBTQ community:
“The part of TWU’s Community Covenant in issue in this appeal is deeply discriminatory to the LGBTQ community, and it hurts,” the appeal court ruling said. “The LSUC’s decision not to accredit TWU was indeed a reasonable conclusion.”
In Canada “it hurts” means the end of human rights like religious liberty and freedom of association. Why? Because the Christian community in Canada has – for decades – voted to increase the size of government at the expense of liberty, in order to get free stuff. It doesn’t matter if the Christians who wanted a Christian university are hurt. Or that the Christian students at TWU are hurt. Only the hurt of the LGBT community matters, and their hurt changes laws, criminalizes dissent and annihilates natural rights. There are no such things as freedom of religion and freedom of conscience in Canada. There never was free speech, either. Anything that might hurt the feelings of left-wing groups has to be made criminal.
I’ll put this as plainly as anyone can: Canadian “Christians” have been voting to transfer wealth and power to a big secular government for years. They wanted government to cover health care, and now the government thinks that health care is providing free sex changes, free IVF and free abortions. Canadian “Christians” wanted their 30 pieces of silver more than they wanted the freedom to act as if the Bible was true in public. It turns out that the more wealth and power that you transfer to a secular government, the more likely they are to abuse that wealth and power in trampling out any ideology that interferes with their buying votes from their favored special interest groups.
While many assume that family rejection is the leading cause of depression among LBGTI individuals, a new study has found that in fact the problem appears to stem predominantly from the higher incidence of relationship problems among homosexuals.
Dr. Delaney Skerrett led a team of researchers from the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) in studying suicides in Queensland. He found that a leading cause of suicide among “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex” (LGBTI) people is stress from their romantic partners.
“We tend to assume that the psychological distress LGBTI people are often going through is due to family rejection. But it seems that’s not so much the case. The conflict seems to be largely related to relationship problems, with partners,” Dr. Skerrett said.
In fact, he said, “The numbers are telling us there’s a general acceptance at the family level,” something he said is “great” and “really heartening!”
Instead, the study, which was published on April 2 in Asia Pacific Psychiatry, found that “LGBT individuals experienced relationship problems more often” than heterosexuals, “with relationship conflict also being more frequent than in non‐LGBT cases.”
That confirms previous studies finding that homosexuals also face higher rates of intimate partner violence than heterosexuals. A 2007 study in the Journal of Urban Health, which is published by the New York Academy of Medicine, found that 32 percent of homosexuals have been abused by at least one partner during their lifetime.
The researchers with AISRAP also found that a higher percentage of homosexuals took their lives [out] of despondency, rather than other psychological illnesses. While one-eighth of all Queensland suicide victims had been diagnosed with a psychosis that impaired their judgment, Skerrett reports “there were no such diagnoses among LGBT individuals.” The conclusion adds to the consensus that depression disproportionately besets active homosexuals.
But there’s more to say – let’s look at an individual case now, which will put some meat on the bones of the studies.
Here’s an article from the liberal New York Times.
Here’s the set up:
BOB BERGERON was so relentlessly cheery that people sometimes found it off-putting. If you ran into him at the David Barton Gym on West 23rd Street, where he worked out nearly ever morning at 7, and you complained about the rain, he would smile and say you’d be better off focusing on a problem you could fix.
That’s how Mr. Bergeron was as a therapist as well, always upbeat, somewhat less focused on getting to the root of his clients’ feelings than altering behavior patterns that were detrimental to them: therapy from the outside-in.
Over the last decade, he built a thriving private practice, treating well-to-do gay men for everything from anxiety to coping with H.I.V. Mr. Bergeron had also begun work as a motivational speaker, giving talks at gay and lesbian centers in Los Angeles and Chicago. In February, Magnus Books, a publisher specializing in gay literature, was scheduled to print a self-help guide he had written, “The Right Side of Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and Beyond.”
It was a topic he knew something about. Having come out as gay in the mid-1980s, Mr. Bergeron, 49, had witnessed the worst years of the AIDS epidemic and emerged on the other side. He had also seen how few public examples there were of gay men growing older gracefully.
He resolved to rewrite the script, and provide a toolbox for better living.
“I’ve got a concise picture of what being over 40 is about and it’s a great perspective filled with happiness, feeling sexy, possessing comfort relating to other men and taking good care of ourselves,” Mr. Bergeron said on his Web site. “This picture will get you results that flourish long-term.”
But right around New Year’s Eve, something went horribly wrong. On Jan. 5, Mr. Bergeron was found dead in his apartment, the result of a suicide that has left his family, his friends and his clients shocked and heartbroken as they attempt to figure out how he could have been so helpful to others and so unable to find help himself.
To his friends, Mr. Bergeron maintained a positive tone. He went on vacation, dated some, visited museums.
Still, he privately expressed misgivings about what the future held. Olivier Van Doorne, a patient of Mr. Bergeron and the creative director of SelectNY, a fashion advertising firm, recalled Mr. Bergeron telling him that every gay man peaks at one point in his life.
“He said a number of times: ‘I peaked when I was 30 or 35. I was super-successful, everyone looked at me, and I felt extremely cool in my sexuality.’ ”
Mr. Siegel, the therapist who supervised Mr. Bergeron in the early days of his career, said: “Bob was a very beautiful younger man, and we talked a lot about how that shapes and creates a life. The thesis of his book is based very much on his own personal experience with that. And the book also emphasized what to do when you’re not attractive or you no longer have the appeal you once had. The idea was to transcend that and expand your sexual possibilities.”
With the book about to be printed, Mr. Bergeron became convinced that he’d written too much about the shame and isolation involved with hooking up online; that people weren’t even really doing that anymore, now that phone apps like Grindr and Scruff had come along.
His book, he felt, had become antiquated before it even came out.
[…]Though some of his friends, Mr. Rappaport among them, wondered whether drugs were involved, leading to a crash Mr. Bergeron did not anticipate, the suicide seemed to have been carried out with methodical precision. On an island in the kitchen, Mr. Bergeron had meticulously laid out his papers. There was a pile of folders with detailed instructions on top about whom to call regarding his finances and his mortgage. Across from that he placed the title page of his book, on which he also wrote his suicide note. In it he told Mr. Sackheim and Mr. Rappaport that he loved them and his family, but that he was “done.”
As his father remembered it, Mr. Bergeron also wrote, “It’s a lie based on bad information.”
An arrow pointed up to the name of the book.
The inference was clear. As Mr. Bergeron saw it at the end of his life, the only right side of 40 was the side that came before it.
I think that the problem is that in the gay lifestyle, you have a typically male emphasis on physical appearance, sex and pleasure. There is none of the moderating influence of women, which tends to push men into commitments, responsibility and stability. Stuff that provides fulfillment and meaning and purpose after you lose your youth and appearance.
If you really love a person, then you don’t tell them that the dangerous thing they want to do is not dangerous. That’s not love. It’s easier for you to approve of them and be liked by everyone, but it’s not love.
Here is what your taxpayer dollars are going to pay for at the Department of Justice.
Religious liberty champion David French writes about it at National Review:
At an afternoon news conference, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a “significant law enforcement” action — its own lawsuit. At the same time, Lynch indicated that the DOJ retained the authority to federal funding to key state entities, issuing a not-so-veiled threat of dramatic action before the courts issue a definitive ruling. At the same time, she preposterously compared the act of preserving bathrooms for people of the same sex to, of course, “Jim Crow” and hearkened back to the days of segregated water fountains.
A public-relations battle over bathrooms and showers has transformed into a fight over the meaning and indeed authority of the Constitution itself. In its zeal to advance the sexual revolution, the Obama administration has defied the will of Congress, unilaterally rewritten federal law without even bothering to go through a statutory rulemaking process, and now seeks to bring a sovereign state to heel through a combination of threats and lawsuits.
French explains that there is no support for what the DOJ says in federal law:
Title VII prohibits private and public employers (including state governments) from discriminating on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.” Title IX prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating on the basis of “sex.” Neither statute prohibits sexual-orientation or gender-identity discrimination. For more than 20 years, LGBT activists have sought to amend federal law through the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would essentially add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes within federal nondiscrimination law. For more than 20 years, LGBT activists have failed. ENDA hasn’t passed even when Democrats controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress.
Rather than wait for the law to change, however, federal regulators and lawless federal judges have incrementally changed it by executive and judicial fiat, steadily expanding the scope of Title VII until July 2015, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission unilaterally amended the statute. In a document entitled “What You Should Know about EEOC and Enforcement Protections for LGBT Workers,” the Commission declared that it interprets and enforces Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination as forbidding any employment discrimination based on ” (boldface in original).
At a stroke, the EEOC decided that it was going to essentially enforce ENDA — a statute that doesn’t exist. Democracy wasn’t working fast enough for the Obama administration, so it decided to give authoritarianism a try.
So why exactly are social conservatives fighting the gay activists on this? Simple. We want to protect people’s right to privacy, as well as protect them from sexual assaults.
Here’s a case of privacy violated from last week, as reported by CBS News:
Frisco police are looking for a man they say photographed a young girl in a Target changing room.
Benito Valdez with police says it happened at the Super Target on Preston Road. “The man was in a female dressing room at the Target and was seen by the victim, over the wall with his cell phone, taking photos of the victim.”
It occurred at Target, of course- they let you use any bathroom you feel comfortable with, regardless of your sex.
A sexual predator who falsely claimed to be transgender and preyed on women at two Toronto shelters was jailed indefinitely on Wednesday.
Justice John McMahon declared Christopher Hambrook — who claimed to be a transgender woman named Jessica — was a dangerous offender.
Gay rights activists like to ask how many sexual assaults have been committed by transgendered people. The answer is none or few, but no social conservative is worried about that – we are worried about cases like the one above, where a real predator pretends to be trans in order to get access to bathrooms, showers and yes, women’s shelters. But none of this is a problem for the Department of Justice, and besides, they would probably be more considered about the criminal rather than the victim anyway. That’s how liberals think.
But gay rights is a priority for the Department of Justice, under Barack Obama. Do you know what isn’t a priority? Criminal investigations.
President Obama’s top law enforcement officer declined to give a firm answer on whether or not her department would take any action on the Hillary Clinton email scandal investigation before the end of election season.
At a press conference held to announce the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the state of North Carolina over its controversial bathroom safety legislation, Attorney General Loretta Lynch was asked why the DOJ was able to move so quickly on the latter of the two cases and slowly, in contrast, on the former. When pressed, Lynch would only say that the investigation against the former Secretary of State was simply still “ongoing.”
No need to investigate the IRS for persecuting conservative groups, or to investigate Hillary Clinton’s unsecure private e-mail server in a timely fashion. No! The priority is to make sure that private businesses are forced to allow biological men into women’s bathrooms, because that’s what the gay activists want. Remember that Lynch is also passionate about prosecuting anyone who is critical of radical Islam. Not radical Islamic terrorists, but people who are critical of radical Islamist terrorists.
North Carolina on Monday filed a lawsuit against the federal government in response to a letter from the Justice Department that gave the state until the end of the day to scrap a controversial law regarding access to public bathrooms or risk losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.
Gov. Pat McCrory was given until Monday to notify the Justice Department that he would not enforce House Bill No. 2, which the federal government says limits protections for LGBT people. The measure has drawn a firestorm of protest from across the country.
The suit filed against the federal government, which lists McCrory and other state officials as plaintiffs, called the Justice Department’s position on the law “baseless and blatant overreach.”
North Carolina’s suit said that Title VII, which the Department of Justice said House Bill No. 2 violates, doesn’t recognize transgender status as a protected class. “If the United States desires a new protected class under Title VII, it must seek such action by the United States Congress,” the suit said.
McCrory had already indicated that he wasn’t going to back down, saying on Sunday: “It’s the federal government being a bully. It’s making law.”
[…]House Speaker Tim Moore said, “That deadline will come and go. We don’t ever want to lose any money, but we’re not going to get bullied by the Obama administration to take action prior to Monday’s date. That’s not how this works.”
[…]In letters, federal civil rights enforcement attorneys focused on provisions requiring transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond to their biological sex.
[…]If the federal government yanked funding, the 17-campus UNC system could lose more than $1.4 billion in public money.
[…]Another $800 million in federally backed loans for students who attend the public universities also would be at risk if it’s found that enforcing the law violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on sex.
A federal lawsuit against the state is also possible, the Justice Department said.
In America, we have set up a system where the states are supposed to have jurisdiction over certain things that the federal government cannot control. We call this idea “federalism”. And it is a major reason why we are more prosperous than other nations. We believe in pushing decision-making down to the lowest level where a problem can be solved, because then it will be solved efficiently. But apparently, the socialists in the federal government – whose salaries are paid by our taxes – have decided that they know best and must force their views down onto the states. And what view are they forcing? They want private businesses in North Carolina to be forced to allow men into women’s bathrooms.
Do we not have other more pressing problems for the Obama administration to solve? Perhaps they can work on the IRS targeting of conservatives? Or perhaps they can work on the $20 trillion dollar debt, which has doubled since the Democrats took over the budget. Or perhaps they can back out of their deal to give Iran nuclear weapons? Or perhaps they can investigate their trafficking of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels? Or perhaps they can fix the small problem of the labor force participation plunging to 62.8%? Or perhaps they can repeal Obamacare, which is set to raise health insurance premiums again by double digits in the coming year? Or perhaps they can repeal Dodd-Frank, which did nothing to fix the mortgage lending crisis that was caused in part by the two authors of the bill? Or perhaps they can privatize student loans and defuse the $1.3 trillion student loan bubble? Or perhaps they can get to work on modernizing our military – particularly our aging ballistic missiles submarines and our decrepit intercontinental ballistic missiles?
Or they could just focus on pushing a gay rights agenda down onto North Carolina. This is what you get when you elect an incompetent clown for a President, I guess.