Tag Archives: Religious Freedom

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.

If Elizabeth Warren wins in 2020, expect her to end Christian private schools

Elizabeth Warren will says Christian schools are her enemy
Elizabeth Warren will says Christian schools are her enemy

It’s hard to see into the minds of the Democrat party candidates to know what they believe about God. But I think that support for infanticide and opposition to Christian churches, schools and other organizations is a pretty good sign of what they really believe. Elizabeth Warren for example is pretty clearly not a Christian, and has an obvious contempt for the Bible.

Here’s the story from Western Journal:

On Sunday Sen. Elizabeth Warren shared a HuffPost article on Twitter bashing private Christian schools for having “anti-LGBTQ+ policies.”

The article focused attention on a U.S. Supreme Court case attacking Montana private religious schools and attempting to take away tax credits to individuals who contributed to private schools because the money supports policies that “discriminate against LGBTQ staff and employees.”

Such policies include having bathrooms designated for people according to their biological gender and hiring faculty and staff who abide by Christian marriage values.

“States should focus on funding public schools, not private ones — especially ones that maintain anti-LGBTQ+ policies. We must ensure every kid–especially LGBTQ+ kids–can get a high-quality public education,” Warren tweeted.

The article explains that these Christians schools respect what the Bible teaches in various areas. Some schools expect teaches to be Christians. Others affirm a Biblical view of sexuality – sex allowed only within a heterosexual marriage. Some of them just don’t want men in women’s bathrooms. But none of this is OK with Elizabeth Warren, because she thinks that the hurt feelings of LGBT people are more important than the Constitutional rights of Christians.

Why might Warren be taking this position? Well, Democrats have traditionally enjoyed massive support from public schools. And public schools see private schools as threats to their monopoly. When private schools offer children a better education, public schools prefer to shut them down rather than work harder.

Take a look at these donations by the American Federation of Teachers:

Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union
Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

The article notes:

Public school groups have been vocal about their feelings towards the case, claiming that it “could have a devastating effect on education and play a major role in disintegrating the U.S. doctrine of the separation of church and state.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said that this case could turn the American understanding of “separation of church and state” upside down, and that “it will basically change over 200 years of practice in the United States,” The Daily Wire reported.

Those in favor of public funding for private schools argue that school choice and voucher programs give lower income students the same opportunities as students from more well-to-do families.

Democrats like to talk about how they don’t take money from “big corporations”. But if you take a look at that graph above, you’ll see that some people have bought themselves a whole lot of influence with the Democrat party. Do these unionized public school teachers and administrators have YOUR interests at heart?

Have you heard of Kristen Waggoner and the Alliance Defending Freedom?

Kristen Waggoner of Alliance Defending Freedom argued Jack Phillips’ case before the Supreme Court. (Photo: Jeff Malet/The Heritage Foundation)
Kristen Waggoner of Alliance Defending Freedom argued Jack Phillips’ case before the Supreme Court. (Photo: Jeff Malet/The Heritage Foundation)

I was very surprised to see the far-left Washington Post post a balanced article on Alliance Defending Freedom. The ADF is a group of lawyers who do battle in defense of religious liberty and conscience in the Supreme Court. They have won 9 cases at the Supreme Court in the last 7 years, despite having to argue in front of a court that had a 5-4 liberal majority.

Here’s some of the article:

Two days before the announcement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s retirement, a woman who stood to gain from it was on the steps of the Supreme Court once again. Kristen Waggoner’s blond bob was perfectly styled with humidity-fighting paste she’d slicked onto it that morning at the Trump hotel. Her 5-foot frame was heightened by a pair of nude pumps, despite a months-old ankle fracture in need of surgery. On her wrist was a silver bracelet she’d worn nonstop since Dec. 5, 2017, the day she marched up these iconic steps, stood before the justices and argued that a Christian baker could legally refuse to create a cake for a gay couple’s wedding.

Her job was to be the legal mind and public face of Alliance Defending Freedom., an Arizona-based Christian conservative legal nonprofit better known as ADF. Though far from a household name, the results of ADF’s work are well known. Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was just one of ADF’s cases at the Supreme Court this term. The organization has had nine successful cases before the court in the past seven years, including Burwell v. Hobby Lobby…

I follow very few people on Twitter, only about 27-30. One of those people is Kristen Waggoner. She is the lead counsel in many of these Supreme Court cases. She is the best at what she does.

Her silver bracelet is engraved with a famous passage that I think has inspired many Christian women of courage. It’s from the book of Esther. The bracelet says “For Such A Time As This”. It’s a phrase that is taken from Mordecai’s warning to Esther that God is sovereign over her life, and that he has put her into a position to defend her whole nation from threats.

Here’s the passage in context from Esther 4:6-17:

6 So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate.

7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews.

8 He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

9 Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said.

10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai,

11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai,

13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:

16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

Kristen Waggoner is our Esther. She actually has much better character and abilities than the real Esther .

Her biography is here on the ADF web site.

It says, in part:

Kristen K. Waggoner serves as senior vice president of U.S. legal division and communications with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Waggoner oversees the U.S. legal division, a team of 100 attorneys and staff who engage in litigation, public advocacy, and legislative support. Since she assumed this role, ADF has prevailed as lead counsel in eight U.S. Supreme Court victories, including Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which she argued at the Supreme Court and won. She continues as lead counsel in Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington, which the Supreme Court remanded to the lower courts. She also served as counsel for the free speech victory that the Supreme Court handed down in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.

I consider it amazing that more Christians don’t know who she is. Christians tend to admire famous celebrities, athletes, artists. And prosperity gospel preachers. But these people merely entertain us. Kristen Waggoner is not an entertainer, she is a warrior. She goes into the most dangerous places and fights for the liberty of every one of us. She’s become a sheep dog in order to protect the sheep. Right now, we are facing challenges from people who are trying to use the law like a weapon to bully and silence anyone who tries to live out an authentic Christian life. Powerful people are trying to say that when a Christian’s liberty makes them FEEL BAD, that means that the Christian’s liberty needs to be suppressed. The ADF is there to make sure that they don’t succeed.

Whenever the ADF goes out to battle, I make sure to write about their cases on this blog. We should all be informed and give respect to Kristen Waggoner and everyone who works for the ADF. They are some of the most effective and influential Christians, and they deserve our gratitude and our respect.

More about her background

One of the other groups I like a lot is the Heritage Foundation, my favorite think tank. I have similar admiration and respect for the people who work there, such as Genevieve Wood and Jennifer Marshall. The Daily Signal, a news site operated by the Heritage Foundation, has posted a story about Kristen Waggoner’s background.

It says:

Waggoner grew up as Kristen Kellie Behrends in Longview, Washington, about two hours south of Seattle and an hour north of Portland.

What she treasures most about her upbringing, Waggoner says, is that she was steeped in consistent values at home, church, and school that shaped her worldview without sheltering her.

Her father taught her from Scripture about “being an Esther, being a Deborah, used by God,” she says, and that “joy and fulfillment come from having a purpose that’s bigger than ourselves.”

“It’s not about us, we’re a part of a bigger story that has to do with helping human flourishing. And that just shaped my whole life, even now.”

[…]Once a teacher in public schools, today her father is a licensed minister in the Assemblies of God denomination. He is associate pastor of Cedar Park Church in Bothell, Washington, and superintendent of an affiliated school system.

Young Kristen would go to the principal’s office to visit her father three or four times a day, sometimes because she got into trouble. In these encounters, he urged her to find and develop her talents, and apply them in a way that would honor God.

And one day, Waggoner recalls, she saw clearly that defending ministries and religious freedom should be her path.

[…]“The right of conscience is critical to the existence of the country and is the first freedom that our other civil liberties are directly connected with,” Waggoner says. “I wanted to be a part of that—that fight to preserve it for my children and my grandchildren.”

On this blog, I put a lot of emphasis on Christians being careful about what they study in school, what jobs they take, how they manage their money, and who they choose to marry. The goal of all this is to make sure that young Christians are thoughtful about having a vision for their lives, and pursuing that vision in a way that minimizes wildness, fun and thrills. Becoming a hero doesn’t happen by accident, it takes planning and execution. There is no path to success that involves doing whatever feels good moment-by-moment. In order to make a difference, we need to be careful about doing what works, not pursuing fun and thrills in the moment.

Religious liberty defenders evaluate Trump’s new executive order

Trump holds up Bible he "received from his mother" to evangelicals
Trump holds up Bible he “received from his mother” to evangelicals

The Alliance Defending Freedom is a prominent defender of religious liberty. They fight out religious liberty cases at the highest level – the Supreme Court of the United States.

Here’s what they thought of Trump’s executive action on religious liberty:

“During his campaign, President Trump stated that the first priority of his administration would be to preserve and protect religious liberty. In speeches, he said the Little Sisters of the Poor and other people of faith will always have their religious liberty protected on his watch and will not have to face bullying from the government because of their religious beliefs. Religious voters took him at his word, giving the president a mandate to affirm and protect Americans’ first freedom.

“The current outline of the Religious Liberty Executive Order released by White House officials recalls those campaign promises but leaves them unfulfilled.

“First, no specific relief is offered to families like the Vander Boons in Michigan, who were threatened with the effective closure of their family-run business for simply expressing a religious point of view on marriage that differed from that of the federal government.

“Second, the outline directs the IRS ‘to exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson Amendment.’ But Americans cannot rely on the discretion of IRS agents, some of whom have abused that discretion for years to silence pastors and intrude into America’s pulpits. Nor does the outline do anything to prevent a future, hostile administration from wielding its power to penalize any church who dares exercise its constitutionally protected freedoms in a manner that displeases those in authority. A legislative problem like the Johnson Amendment demands a legislative solution like the Free Speech Fairness Act.

“Third, the outline indicates it will ‘provide regulatory relief for religious objectors to Obamacare’s burdensome preventive services mandate, a position supported by the Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby.’ The president certainly should fulfill his promise to protect the Little Sisters of the Poor, a host of Christian colleges, and others from having to choose between violating their consciences and paying crippling fines to the IRS.

Here is an article by religious liberty hero David French of the ACLJ in National Review. He makes a key point that must be understood by pastors who want to know if the coast is clear to speak about policy from a Christian perspective.

Excerpt:

Next — and this is important to understand — an executive order cannot repeal a statute, and legal restrictions on political activity by churches are statutory. They’re part of the so-called Johnson Amendment, a rarely enforced provision of the tax code that prohibits 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations from, as the IRS explains, “directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

The Johnson Amendment is constitutionally problematic (to put it mildly). Lyndon Johnson rammed it through Congress for the noble purpose of stopping nonprofits from supporting his primary opponent and preserving his own political hide, and it’s been on the books ever since. Though it’s rarely enforced, it hangs like the Sword of Damocles over the heads not just of churches but of every 501(c)(3) in the United States. First Amendment lawyers are desperate to find a good test case to challenge it, but the IRS’s general lack of enforcement means that the right case is elusive. So the amendment remains.

The answer to the Johnson Amendment, however, is to either repeal the statute or overturn it in court. This order does neither. In fact, a lawyer will commit malpractice if he tells a pastor or director of a nonprofit that this order allows a church or nonprofit to use its resources to support or oppose a candidate. Even if the Trump administration chooses not to enforce the law, a later administration can tear up Trump’s order and begin vigorous enforcement based on actions undertaken during the Trump administration.

Imagine, for example, that churches rely on this order to mobilize support for Trump in his 2020 reelection campaign. Imagine he loses to Kamala Harris. Then, suddenly, churches across the land would be instantly vulnerable to IRS enforcement action. Thinking they were protected, churches would find themselves in the worst of predicaments, with their rights and possibly even existences dependent on the capricious mercies of the federal courts.

Although many evangelicals bet on Trump to do something to protect religious liberty, the President has not done anything with this executive action to solve the problems. I cannot help but think that we would have been better off with someone who was more aware of the challenges, and who had a track record of battling for religious liberty in his record.

Although Trump whiffed again on religious liberty, there are several pieces of legislation that Congress could take up to solve the problem.

Here are four of them:

Perhaps we can count on Trump to sign them – if the Republicans get them passed.

U.S. Civil Rights Commission chairman says religious liberty is just “intolerance”

Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign
Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign

The Washington Times reports on a story that shows what Democrats really think about the moral standards described in Judeo-Christian religious texts.

Excerpt:

The chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights said that “religious freedom” and “religious liberty” have become merely “code words” for intolerance, “Christian supremacy” and committing every form of identity-politics sin, and thus they must yield before anti-discrimination laws.

The remarks, released Thursday in a report on “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties,” is the latest example of an increasingly hostile reception in liberal circles to one of the six specified rights at the core of the First Amendment — the “free exercise” of religion.

“The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance,” said Martin R. Castro, a Chicago Democrat named USCCR chairman by President Obama in 2011.

[…]It’s the area of sexual orientation and gender identity where the greatest conflicts lie, and the report offered little support to those who see their work or artistic expressions — creative photography, cake decorating or flower arranging, for example — as also expressions of their religious belief about marriage being the union of one man and one woman.

Is all moral disapproval able to be dismissed as “intolerance”? The truth is that Jews and Christians have been taught from the Bible to put the needs of children above the selfishness of adults. That is why we have rules around sexuality that confine sexuality to within a life-long, faithful, loving commitment of marriage. God decided that a man and a woman cannot have the pleasure of sex without first committing to  each other for life. That commitment is proof that obligations are more important to the man and the woman than their selfish need to have pleasure in this life.

It’s not that Jews and Christians single out homosexuals for “discrimination”. We have the exact same disapproval for no-fault divorce, premarital sex, abortion, infanticide and adultery. And we ought not be forced by government officials to celebrate (or subsidize) behaviors that go against our commitment to subjugate sexual urges to the needs of children. Anyone who understands children knows that they need a stable environment to grow up in, and access to their biological mother and father. That is the ideal situation, and that is the arrangement that we celebrate with the word “marriage”, even though we are permissive to let people live how they want.

The word marriage is very important. I would not call cohabitation “marriage”, nor would I call multi-partner relationships “marriage”, nor would I call serial promiscuity “marriage”. I would not even attend a marriage ceremony by professed Christians unless I knew that they had been chaste during their courtship. I would not attend the wedding of a person who had previously initiated a divorce, either. I don’t want to celebrate or acknowledge any relationship where recreational sex was given more weight than the needs of children for stability, and access to their mother and father. That is the real issue with religious liberty and conscience. I have a right not to endorse or participate in activities that put adult selfishness above the needs of children. And it’s my decision what I do or do not celebrate – it’s not the decision of a secular leftist bureaucrat.

Double standard

Meanwhile, pastors who oppose homosexuality in their sermons actually do face discrimination and intolerance.

Consider this article from The Stream: (H/T George)

A pastor filed suit against the Georgia Department of Public Health Wednesday, accusing the agency of religious discrimination after officials allegedly fired the man because of his sermons, which called homosexuality a sin.

Dr. Eric Walsh worked as the director of Pasadena’s public health department and served on President Barack Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDs. The Georgia Department of Public Health then offered him the job of running a district of the state health department in 2014 .

When news broke that Walsh had been offered the job, LGBT groups expressed their outrage, largely because he had called homosexuality a sin at the church where he is an associate pastor. The LGBT community called on the department to not hire Walsh because of his “anti-gay propaganda and religious rhetoric.” Walsh also spoke against evolution, Islam and Catholicism.

The health department rescinded their offer, and Walsh filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint in 2014 alleging religious discrimination.

[…]First Liberty, a religious liberty group representing Walsh, points to a copy of an email the group obtained where a government official discusses assigning employees to listen to Walsh’s sermons on YouTube.

“OK…I have an assignment for several of us,” the email reads. “We have to listen to his sermons on You Tube tonight. If we take a couple of hours each, then we should cover our bases. I will enlist Dwana to help us. Kate is going to listen to them as well.”

First Liberty says this email, plus the unwarranted withdrawal of the offer, is serious evidence of discrimination.

“I couldn’t believe they fired me because of things I talked about in my sermons,” Walsh said in a statement. “It was devastating. I have been unable to get a job in public health since then.”

How is that not intolerance? Do you think his lawsuit has any chance of success if the government is run by people like this Civil Rights Commission chairman?

Voting matters

Back to the Civil Rights Commission chairman: How does someone with that view get appointed to such a high position? The answer is that many, many people who read the Bible and go to church thought that it would be a good idea to vote for a President who would appoint this man to his high position.

Which Religions Voted for Obama in 2008?
Which Religions Voted for Obama in 2008?

Lots of people who claim to be religious voted for Obama, and now we know what he thinks of Bible-believing Christians.