Tag Archives: Totalitarianism

How would the Democrats’ “Equality Act” affect Christians and conservatives?

21 states have SOGI anti-discrimination laws
21 states have SOGI anti-discrimination laws

I’m following this Equality Act legislation as it moves through the House of Representatives. The bill would prohibit individuals and businesses from discriminating by sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). These SOGI laws already exist at the state level, in places where Christians are being sued and coerced to affirm and celebrate gay rights.

Here is a good article from The Stream, explaining 7 ways that the law would affect you:

  1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.
  2. It would compel speech.
  3. It could shut down charities.
  4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.
  5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.
  6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.
  7. It would enable sexual assault.

Let’s take a quick look at some examples of these changes already in progress.

I’m not covering #1, because everyone knows about the case against the Washington state florist, and the case against the Colorado baker and the case against the New Mexico wedding photographers.

For #2, here’s an example:

Virginia high school teacher Peter Vlaming lost his job for something he did not say.

A county school board voted unanimously to fire the veteran teacher over the objections of his students after he refused to comply with administrators’ orders to use masculine pronouns in referring to a female student who identifies as transgender.

If this goes national, I could get into the same sort of trouble at work for misgendering a co-worker or a customer.

For #3, I’d already heard about how foster parent and adoption agencies in some SOGI anti-discrimination states shut down because they couldn’t place children in traditional-marriage homes.

Here’s a different example:

In Anchorage, Alaska, a biological male born Timothy Paul Coyle goes by the name of Samantha Amanda Coyle. On two occasions, Coyle tried to gain access to the city’s Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center, a shelter for homeless, abused, and trafficked women.

In one attempt, authorities said, Coyle was inebriated and had gotten into a fight with a staffer at another shelter, so Hope Center staff paid Coyle’s fare to the emergency room to receive medical attention. Coyle sued the center for “gender identity discrimination.”

If thise goes national, you can expect that any social services organization would be charged with discrimination for any attempt to separate out men from women in bathrooms, showers, sleeping ares, etc.

For #4, we know already that biological males are identifying as women, and now biological women are unable to compete with them to win any prizes.

Here’s an example of #5, where medical professionals can be coerced to perform sex-change surgeries:

Under state sexual orientation and gender identity laws, individuals who identify as transgender have sued Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey for declining to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women who wanted to pursue gender transition.

For #6, I’ve blogged recently about how Canada allows the government to seize children from parents who disagree with gay rights and transgender transitioning.

But it happens in the USA, too:

In Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements.

After the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic recommended these treatments for the girl’s gender dysphoria, the parents wanted to pursue counseling instead. Then the county’s family services agency charged the parents with abuse and neglect, and the judge terminated their custody.

Similar cases are proceeding through the courts with children as young as 6 years old.

And for number #7, I’ve blogged before about sexual assaults in bathrooms and other places by transgender women (biological men).

Here’s an example:

A complaint under investigation by federal education officials alleges that a boy who identifies as “gender fluid” at Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, sexually assaulted Pascha Thomas’ 5-year-old daughter in a girls’ restroom. The boy had access to the girls’ restroom because of Decatur City Schools’ transgender restroom policy.

School authorities refused to change the policy even after Thomas reported the assault. Eventually, she decided to remove her daughter from school for the girl’s emotional well-being and physical safety.

As in all the examples mentioned, if the Equality Act became law, like the Democrats want it to, then any of these things could happen to you, if you decline to celebrate or participate in the gay agenda.

Although the Constitution lays out rights, those rights don’t matter to Democrats, your exercise of those rights makes people engaged in LGBT lifestyles feel unhappy. Their unhappy feelings trump your Constitution rights. At least that’s the case if the Democrats pass their bills, and appoint their judges to the courts.

Can feminism be defended with reason and evidence? Jordan Peterson vs Cathy Newman

Can radical feminism be defended rationally and evidentially?
Can radical feminism be defended rationally and evidentially?

There was a short discussion recently on UK Channel 4 between Canadian university professor named Jordan Peterson, and a radical feminist with an undergraduate degree in English named Cathy Newman. While you watch, imagine that she is teaching some non-STEM course that you’ve enrolled in. Would you dare to disagree with her?

First, the video, which has over 11 million views:

And here is an article from the UK Spectator: (paywalled)

Whatever else anybody might think of him, Professor Peterson is a man of remarkable learning and experience, and does not appear to have arrived at any of his views by the now common means of ‘I reckon’. Yet Newman, who approaches the interview with the trademark sourness she employs for everyone she expects to disagree with, treats this is just another chance to burnish her own social justice credentials and expose her guest as a bigot. Big mistake.

Storming straight in with the differences between the sexes, in the opening minutes it is clear that Professor Peterson is willing to back up all his views with references, data and calm analysis. 

By 11 minutes in she is saying ‘I think I take issue with (that)’, before demonstrating that she can’t. Soon she is reduced to dropping the bombshell observation that ‘all women are different’. By 16.45 there is a palpable win, as Peterson points out that Newman has exactly the disagreeable and aggressive qualities that allow certain types of people to succeed. By 19.30 she is having to throw out things to him that he hasn’t even said, such as ‘You’re saying women aren’t intelligent enough to run top companies’. A minute later and she is reduced to countering empirical evidence with anecdote. Peterson presents the data about men in general and Newman responds with the ‘I know plenty of men who aren’t (like that)’ card. Shortly after that (at 22.25) Newman is reduced to spluttering and then silence. She tries to pull herself together. But she can think of nothing to say.

To be honest, Cathy Newman is nothing like the women I’m friends with. All of my closest friends are Christian women. All of them are anti-feminist to some degree, with the most successful one professionally (Dina) being the wisest and most anti-feminist of all. When I think of my panel of wise Christian women advisors – each with one or more STEM degrees – I don’t recognize Cathy Newman in them. But Cathy Newman does remind me of the radical feminists I encountered when I was doing my BS and MS degrees in computer science at the university.

In my experience, radical feminists debate using six tactics:

  1. Deny facts or evidence because men were involved in researching them or discovering them
  2. Countering empirical data with anecdotes and personal experiences
  3. Taking arguments and evidence as if they are personal attacks
  4. Becoming hysterical and crying
  5. Claiming that disagreement with feminism will produce violence against women and women committing suicide, etc.
  6. Trying to get you expelled, fired or silenced – often by making false accusations or faking hate crimes against themselves

It’s important for everyone to understand the views of others in order to know how defensible our own views are. In order to get the best scholarly case for radical feminism, I like to read feminist academics like Christina Hoff Sommers, Camille Paglia, Jennifer Roback Morse, etc. who evaluate and critique radical feminist scholarship. That’s how I encounter the ideas of those I disagree with (as well as listening to and watching debates).

Here’s a short Factual Feminist video:

I understand the claims that are made by radical feminists, but I am also aware of what the evidence says. I don’t try to stop feminists from making claims, I just study how to refute their claims.

But what about the radical feminists? Do they do a good job of understanding those who disagree with them? Let’s take a look at an example which I think is representative of feminist tolerance and open-mindedness.

The Toronto Sun reports on a sociology professor who gave her students an assignment – an assignment with some very peculiar constraints.

Excerpt:

A Ryerson University student who wanted to write a paper on the “myth” of the male-female wage gap was told by her prof that not only was she wrong, she should only rely on feminist journals for her assignment instead of business sources which “blame women,” her sister says.

Josephine Mathias, 21, a fourth-year political science student at University of Toronto, took to YouTube Wednesday to criticize the assignment given her twin Jane for a sociology class.

[…]After Jane sent an email describing her intention to write about the wag gap, her instructor replied that her premise was wrong, Josephine said.

Here’s what the professor said:

“Perhaps you want to write your paper on the glass ceiling. You need to look at feminist sources on this issue…Do NOT use business sources. They blame women. The reality is patriarchy,” says the instructor’s email, posted online.

In a copy of the assignment provided to the Toronto Sun by Josephine, the instructor also notes that Ontario and Canada government websites and Statistics Canada will not be considered scholarly sources.

“Government websites state government policy that is devoid of analysis, and usually reproduces mainstream stereotypes, assumptions and misconceptions,” the assignment says.

What is interesting is that the professor makes about $167,000 a year – higher than the average professor’s salary. And she’s not teaching computer science or petroleum engineering. I find it interesting that another Canadian university reprimanded a grad student for showing a debate clip that offered both sides of the transgenderism debate. Leftist tolerance. Leftist open-mindedness.

Once you’ve paid your tuition, and the leftist has the grading pen, you lose every argument. Either you get an F, or you get expelled. If you’re in the workplace, you get fired. False charges are often made. Hate crimes are faked. Anything to play the victim, rather than address the arguments and evidence. This is how people on the left “debate”.

As I wrote previously, the more women embrace radical feminism, the more toxic they become to men. Not just in the classroom or the workplace, but in relationships. Who wants to marry someone whose only response to reason is fury? Men might be OK with temporary arrangements with abusive women. At least while those women have youth and beauty. But men don’t marry abusive women. At least, not if they have any wisdom.

(Image source: Independent Man)

Canada’s Supreme Court bans Christians from practicing law in Canada

Canada election results 2015
Canada election results 2015

The headline is a bit broad, but give me a minute, and I’ll explain what the judges decided. For one thing, it’s only in Ontario and British Columbia where the ban is in effect. Also, the basis of the ban is that Christians cannot be lawyers if they believe that sex before marriage  or outside of marriage is morally wrong. Let’s take a look at an article from the less leftist of Canada’s National newspapers, the National Post.

Excerpt:

Trinity Western University suffered a stinging loss in the Supreme Court of Canada on Friday, which found that law societies in B.C. and Ontario were justified in not accrediting the university’s prospective law school because of its policy on premarital sex. But no one should harbour any illusions that the pain will be limited to the small Christian school in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.

The impact of the court’s decision against TWU will seriously afflict the engagement of religious communities with public life across this country, regardless of whether it’s the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army or Muslim and Jewish charitable organizations.

The Supreme Court was asked to decide whether TWU’s Christian “community covenant,” in which students and staff agree to the understanding that sexual relations must be limited to heterosexual marriage — which, by definition, excludes homosexual relations — was a legitimate prerogative for an accredited law school. In layman’s terms, the court had to discern the balance between Charter-protected religious freedoms and emerging rights of sexual minorities to live their identities freely and fully.

The court ruled that the refusal of the two law societies to accredit TWU’s law school was a “reasonable” balancing of rights. Its logic was that LGBTQ students would be unlikely to apply to TWU given the community-covenant requirement, so they effectively would have 60 fewer spaces available to them. Other students have access to the 16 current law schools, plus TWU’s 60 spots, and that therefore constitutes an inequality. By compiling that perceived inequality with the fact that students at TWU commit to reserving sexual intimacy for within traditional Christian marriage, the court concluded that the TWU covenant created a “public interest” harm to the reputation of and public confidence in the legal profession. These outweighed, in the court’s assessment, the “minor” consequences of denying religious freedom to the TWU community.

The effect of this ruling is that Bible-believing Christians who study law at the only Bible-believing law school in Canada cannot practice law in two of the most populated provinces. But Ontario is the province that contains the large city of Toronto, as well as the capital city of Ottawa. This basically means that Trinity Evangelical Law School graduates would be unable to be lawyers or judges at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is fine with LGBT people practicing law in Ontario and British Columbia, including at the Supreme Court, just not Christians who believe in the Bible. But those Bible-believing Christians should definitely have to pay taxes, including the taxes that go to pay for the salaries of their overlords on the Supreme Court. Basically, if you’re an evangelical Christian in Canada, then you’re good enough to be a slave, but not much else. You can work to pay for your secular slave masters, but you can’t have the same rights as people who don’t believe the Bible.

I think it goes without saying that the Supreme Court judges weren’t able to get this ruling from the text of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They just made it up from their own secular leftist values. This is actually normal for judges in Canada. There are no judges on the Canadian Supreme Court who accept that the Charter overrules the will of the judges.

Here’s a reaction to the ruling that I thought was interesting:

“Perhaps most disappointing from our perspective, the majority failed to account for or even address the equality rights of prospective TWU students or TWU’s freedom of association. These were issues we raised in our oral and written arguments to the court,” says Schutten. “The majority says it need not address those rights claims, because it is sufficient to ask whether the violation of freedom of religion is justified.” ARPA Canada believes that these other rights should play an important part in the “proportionality” analysis of the law societies’ decisions.

There is no freedom of religion in Canada. And there is no freedom of association in Canada. From previous rulings by Canadian Human Rights Commissions, we know that there is no freedom of speech in Canada. There is no right to self-defense from criminals in Canada. And there are no parental rights to educate your own children according to your Christian worldview in Canada. In Ontario, the man who wrote the education curriculum is now behind bars for child pornography, and the Supreme Court had nothing to say about whether that was morally wrong. For a long time, there has been covert discrimination against Bible-believing Christians in Canada, and now the Supreme Court has just shown what has been going on for decades and decades in universities and in government, in order to keep serious Christians out of positions of influence. From classroom teachers, to business owners to Supreme Court judges, Christians have been banned from the public square. Just like what happened to Jews in 1930s Germany.

Any Bible-believing Christian born in Canada has one mission: to get educated in a STEM skill that America needs, and then get out of that godless country. Kudos to those wise Christians who saw what was coming and got out early. It’s not the place for Christians to have a full and meaningful Christian life.

Supreme Court sides with Christian baker against secular left fascists and ACLU

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

On Monday, the Supreme Court finally ruled on one of the cases where Christian bakers were persecuted by gay couples and gay rights activitists who wanted to use the power of the government to control the behavior of Christians. Basically, the gay rights activists wanted Christians to act like non-Christians on moral issues. They were using the power of the state to force their morality on Christians. It was the height of intolerance and bigotry.

Here is the first article from Fox News that I’m linking to, written by Kristen Waggoner. Kristen is lead counsel on this Colorado case, as well as the Washington state case against the florist Barronelle Stutzman.

Excerpt:

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of cake artist Jack Phillips, saying the Colorado Civil Rights Commission unjustly punished him when it ordered Jack to create a custom wedding cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. As the court said, “[t]he neutral and respectful consideration to which Phillips was entitled was compromised here …. The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection.”

You’ll hear a lot of lies about the case from the mainstream media.

Here’s the truth:

Jack has never refused to serve any person based on who they are or what they look like. Everyone is welcome in his shop—even the two men who sued him. In fact, he told those men that, even though he couldn’t create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage, he would be happy to sell them anything else in his shop or design a cake for them for a different occasion.

Over the years, Jack has declined to create many custom cakes because of the messages they express. If you’re looking for a ghoulish Halloween cake, a boozy bachelorette-themed dessert, or a cake celebrating a divorce—Masterpiece Cakeshop isn’t your place.

Here’s what the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ordered Jack to do:

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to design cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse same-sex marriage regardless of their religious beliefs, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

Here’s an example of the hostility to Christianity of the Colorado commissioners:

Commissioner Diann Rice makes the following comment just before denying Phillips’ request to temporarily suspend the commission’s re-education order:

“I would also like to reiterate what we said in…the last meeting [concerning Jack Phillips]. Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust… I mean, we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use – to use their religion to hurt others.”

The Commissioner certainly wasn’t shy about ramming her secular leftist ideology down Jack’s throat, and with the full power of the secular state behind it. But she wasn’t willing to allow Jack to live according to his beliefs. He had to be forced to accept her beliefs and her morality. At gunpoint, really.

Another prominent defender of liberty is David French, who used to work for the ADF, and is now at ACLJ. He wrote about the case for National Review. He addresses the all-important question about what we can expect from future rulings. Will this decision apply broadly or narrowly?

He writes:

[…][T]he Court focused on Phillips’s second claim, holding (by a 7–2 margin) that Colorado violated his right to free exercise of religion when it held him in violation of state public-accommodation law. Justice Kennedy focused on two critical aspects of the case to support his ruling. He first condemned anti-religious comments made by state commissioners during the hearings before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. He especially singled out a commissioner’s claim that “freedom of religion” has been used to “justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history,” including slavery and the Holocaust. The commissioner called Phillips’s religious-freedom claim “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use.”

[…]Had Kennedy stopped his opinion at that point, Phillips’s victory would have been important, but profoundly limited. The obvious response would be for the commissioners to reconsider the case, cleanse their rhetoric of outright hostility, deliver the same result on a cleaner record, and put the more difficult free-speech claim right back in the Court’s lap. But Kennedy didn’t stop. He found a separate ground for concluding that Colorado was motivated by anti-religious animus, and that separate ground will make it difficult for states to take aim at “offensive” religious exercise, even when it occurs in a commercial context.

It turns out that the state of Colorado had protected the right of bakers to refuse to create cakes with explicitly anti-gay messages.

[…]All bakers — regardless of religion — have the same rights and obligations. At the same time, gay and religious customers enjoy equal rights under state public-accommodation statutes. Any ruling the commission imposes will have to apply on the same basis to different litigants, regardless of faith and regardless of the subjective “offensiveness” of the message.

This is a severe blow to the state. It hoped for a ruling declaring that the cake wasn’t protected expression and a free-exercise analysis that simply ratified the public-accommodation law as a “neutral law of general applicability.” Such a ruling would have permitted the favoritism on display in this case. It would have granted state authorities broad discretion to elevate favored messages and suppress dissent, all while operating under the fiction that they weren’t suppressing protected expression or religious exercise.

It was an excellent idea for whoever asked for those anti-gay cakes to do that so that we would know that the law was not being enforced equally. Because of that, we got a broad ruling that will be applicable elsewhere. It’s not everything we wanted, but it’s more than I expected.

Democrat senator imposes religious test to bar Christians from public office

Anti-marriage gay activists vandalize church
Anti-marriage gay activists vandalize church

CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been nominated to be Secretary of State. He would be a great pick, and you can already see from his previous job that he’s well qualified. But what if we decided not to care about his professional qualifications, and instead tried to oppose him based on his religious convictions?

That’s what Democrat Senator Cory Booker did, here’s the video: (and as you’re watching, consider what relevance this has to the job of Secretary of State)

Ben Shapiro, an orthodox Jew, reported on the exchange at the Daily Wire:

On Thursday, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) offered a bizarre critique of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Pompeo wasn’t sufficiently enthusiastic about homosexual sex.

Yes, this is a real thing.

Booker asked Pompeo, “Do you believe gay sex is a perversion?”

Pompeo is a religious Christian, so presumably he does. He answered, quite properly, “When I was a politician, I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry. I stand by that.” He also informed Booker, “My respect for every individual regardless of sexual orientation is the same.”

This isn’t the first time that prominent Democrat senators have attacked Christian nominees for their Christian religious beliefs.

Remember when Bernie Sanders did it?

Partial transcript:

Sanders: Let me get to this issue that has bothered me and bothered many other people. And that is in the piece that I referred to that you wrote for the publication called Resurgent. You wrote, “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.” Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?

Vought: Absolutely not, Senator. I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith. That post, as I stated in the questionnaire to this committee, was to defend my alma mater, Wheaton College, a Christian school that has a statement of faith that includes the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation, and . . .

[…]Sanders (shouting): I understand you are a Christian, but this country are made of people who are not just — I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?

So basically, there is Bernie Sanders using the power of government force a Christian to deny the exclusivity of Christian theology. Something that no authentic Christian could do in good conscience. But he’s not the only one.

Here’s Democrat senators Dick Durbin and Diane Feinstein doing the same thing.

This is from National Review.

Excerpt:

This afternoon, during a confirmation hearing for 7th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein attacked the nominee for her Roman Catholic faith.

Barrett is a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who has written about the role of religion in public life and delivered academic lectures to Christian legal groups. Drawing on some of these materials, Feinstein launched a thinly veiled attack on Barrett’s Catholic faith, asserting that her religious views will prevent her from judging fairly.

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.” Feinstein is clearly hinting here at the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, a ruling that Feinstein supports so vociferously that she has even called it a “super-precedent.”

[…]Other Democratic senators took issue with Barrett over her faith as well. Senate minority whip Dick Durbin criticized Barrett’s use of the term “orthodox Catholic,” insisting that it unfairly maligns Catholics who do not hold certain positions about abortion or the death penalty. (Durbin himself is a Catholic who abandoned his previous pro-life position.) “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” he later asked Barrett point blank.

To me, the more important thing about these stories is how comfortable secular people are about forcing their secular convictions down the throats of others. What they’re essentially saying is this: “I can use power to push my worldview onto you, and I can use power to stop you from living according to your convictions”. You can be certain that Diane Feinstein has answers to all of the same big questions that theists have answers to: “does God exist?” “did Jesus rise from the dead?” “is there a purpose to suffering and evil?” “is there life after death?”, etc. She has different answers to those same questions, but she wouldn’t accuse herself of having dogma. She feels very comfortable pushing her worldview through political power, but doesn’t think that theists ought to be able to do the same. questions with their respective worldviews? The answer is simple.

Why are Christians perceived as irrational? Atheists perceive Christians as having a worldview that is not based on fact. And they perceive themselves as having a worldview that is based on fact. How did this happen?

Well, simply put, Christian leaders made it happen, by refusing to focus on apologetics and evangelism. For better or worse, Christian churches (from fundamentalist Pentecostal to conservative Presbyterian) have decided that evangelism and apologetics are not important enough to focus on at church. And the result of this is that as non-Christians work their way through school and into the workplace, they never encounter any intelligent Christians who have reasons and evidence for their beliefs. Not just Christian beliefs, but policy beliefs, too. The church has failed to teach their members and adherents the importance of having answers, and this (along with the Sexual Revolution) is one of the main reasons why America has gone secular.

Even if you spend your childhood and teen years in church, you will never hear serious discussion of whether God really exists or whether the Bible is historically reliable. These things will be assumed to be true. You will be shamed if you ask questions, and you will even be shamed if you study apologetics to know how to answer these questions. This is considered pious by most church leaders, no matter what denomination you’re in. Atheists are not blind to the fact that most people who profess Christ are ignorant of competing views, and cannot explain why they hold their views using reason and evidence. And that’s why they are comfortable bullying us.