Posts Tagged ‘Religious Freedom’
If you’re opposed to the idolatrous cult of the Messianic Nanny State, beware…the Obama administration has you in their cross-hairs.
In a blistering letter to President Barack Obama, the Rev. Franklin Graham said the IRS targeted the two non-profits he heads with an audit last year after the organizations took out ads urging people to support biblical principles on marriage and in choosing political candidates.
In the letter, dated Tuesday, Graham said in light of recent revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, he does not believe the audit was “a coincidence — or justifiable.” Graham, son of famed Christian evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, now heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association based in Charlotte, N.C., and Samaritan’s Purse, a worldwide relief organization headquartered in Boone.
“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” Graham concluded in the letter. “This is morally wrong and unethical — indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’”
James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate disclosed today that he was a victim of IRS discrimination, in a revelation that adds to the growing Internal Revenue Scandal.
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, says he faced discrimination from the federal agency when trying to start a new group.
Family Talk Action Corporation is a Christian ministry that was formed for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ; of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family. Dobson is the president and CEO.
On September 2, 2011, Family Talk Action filed a Form 1024 with the Internal Revenue Service requesting § 501(c)(4) status. The attorney completing this form had submitted scores of similar applications over his 26 year career with none being rejected.
In January and February 2013, Family Talk Action’s counsel called the IRS reviewing agent, R. Medley (ID no. 52402), to inquire regarding when there would be a determination of the application. Her voice mail box was full on each of these calls so no message could be left. On March 6, he called Ms. Medley again and got routed to her voice mail again. This time, he was able to leave a voice mail message and requested a return call.
Medley did not call back until March 19. Family Talk Action’s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I don’t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is “not educational” because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a “partisan right-wing group” because, according to Ms. Medley, it only presents conservative viewpoints.
She then added, “you’re political” because you “criticized President Obama, who was a candidate.”
Dobson and Graham weren’t the only targets during the 2012 campaign:
The Biblical Recorder, the official news journal for North Carolina Southern Baptists, found itself in the same situation in March – audited for the first time since the Baptist newspaper was founded in 1833.
The newspaper garnered national attention last summer after Editor Allan Blume published an interview with Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy. In reference to his support of the traditional family, Cathy said he was “guilty as charged.”
The Biblical Recorder also published the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s ads affirming traditional marriage.
And then – came the telephone call from the Internal Revenue Service.
“It raised some red flags and made me wonder why we were being targeted for an audit when we have been around since 1833 and have never been audited before,” Blume told Fox News. “Putting it all together made me wonder.”
Blume said the timing may have been coincidental – but “it didn’t seem that way.”
“There seems to be a very anti-Christian bias that has flowed into a lot of government agencies – oppression literally against Christian organizations and groups,” he said. “It makes you wonder what’s going on.
Blume said the newspaper was eventually cleared, but the audit consumed time and money.
“It was a lot of time and energy that we didn’t have,” he said. “It took some of our staff literally several weeks of doing nothing but that (the audit),” he said.
IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status to two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.
“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
Planned Parenthood endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012.
The IRS also pressured another pro-life group about its religious activities. “The IRS withheld approval of an application for charitable tax-exempt recognition of Christian Voices for Life, questioning the group’s involvement with ’40 Days for Life’ and ‘Life Chain’ events,” according to the law firm. “The Fort Bend County, Texas, organization was subjected to repeated and lengthy unconstitutional requests for information about the viewpoint and content of its educational communications, volunteer prayer vigils, and other protected activities.”
With this much coordination against his “enemies,” there’s NO WAY Obama didn’t know about it.
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood government that Obama arms, funds and supports is violently persecuting religious minorities, using our tax money to do it:
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s governing majority, is not actually crucifying the nation’s Christians. But they are nonetheless actively persecuting Coptic Christians who are said to be one-tenth of the population of the largest Arab country. A photograph of two young men set afire during recent demonstrations is pretty striking.
Demonstrations have turned into riots as Egypt’s police cracked down on the Copts. The Copts were protesting against increasing sectarian violence directed at the country’s Christian minority.
Typically, what has been happening is the Copts protest against Islamist violence directed at them and their churches. St. Mark’s Cathedral has been the target of Muslim extremists in recent week. When the Copts face police, they get tear gassed. And then they are the ones arrested. The Muslim Brotherhood authorities will pick up Coptic youth—hopefully the ones not yet set on fire—and jail them.
Then, the police grab some of the Islamists perpetrators and jail them. Later, following a much-ballyhooed “reconciliation,” the authorities release all—perpetrators and victims alike.
In Syria, the rebels that the U.S. is supporting – who are trying to overthrow Assad – are Islamic extremists who are threatening to exterminate any Christians left behind who don’t convert to Islam:
Syria’s Christians fear an Islamist takeover should the current government be overthrown. During the ongoing civil war there has been a well-documented rise in the number of salafi-jihadist groups operating in Syria that pose a direct threat to Syria’s Christian community. These militant opposition forces espouse an Islamist ideology, which incorporates elements of Wahhabism and Salafism and whose stated goals and objectives are by definition hostile towards Christians. Firsthand accounts from Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon reported by award winning investigative journalist Nuri Kino detail the horror in which they described kidnappings, rapes, harassment, theft and other violent reprisals at the hands of Islamist groups.
Those who survived reported “just being Christian is enough to be a target,” disproving theories that violence and kidnapping directed towards Syrian Christians is purely incidental or for economic reasons.
Once again, our taxpayer money is going towards funding Islamic extremism and the suppression of religious liberty.
Krauthammer Warns: Gay Marriage Case Could Lead to All-Out ‘Assault on Religion’
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Last summer, lesbian journalist and activist Masha Gessen admitted in a radio interview that the purpose of pursuing gay marriage is to destroy the institution of marriage entirely:
“It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.
The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.
I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three… And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.”
The end point of liberalism is a coercive secular state in which the religious have no meaningful rights. American church leaders are kidding themselves if they think the gay-marriage juggernaut is going to stop at civil marriage. It won’t. It will quickly travel past court houses to churches, demanding that all religions bless gay marriages.
Denmark casts a shadow of this future, where the gay-marriage juggernaut has smashed through church doors. Last year the country’s parliament passed a law requiring all Lutheran churches to conduct gay marriage ceremonies. “I think it’s very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married,” said Manu Sareen, Denmark’s minister for gender equality. Reluctant bishops have to supply ministers to satisfy the right whether they like it or not.
Iceland and Sweden have similar arrangements. Since many of the bishops are in the tank for gay marriage anyways and since these churches are “state” churches, this pressure generates little news. But it is instructive nonetheless. Where gay marriage exists, religious freedom gradually disappears, to the point where ministers have to choose between serving as secularism’s stooges or facing societal oblivion.
In America, this pressure will take the form of “discriminatory” churches losing government grants, permits, and participation in programs. It will be the death of religious freedom by a thousand little cuts here and there: canceled speeches of religious figures at state universities, lost HHS grants, the refusal of city governments to recognize churches that don’t permit gay marriages, “hate crime” legislation that extends to opposition to gay marriage, and so on. All of this will have the effect of pressuring churches into blessing gay marriages. A law forcing priests and ministers to preside at gay marriages won’t need to be passed; the invisible law of indirect governmental pressure will do the trick.
[...] The goal of the gay-marriage juggernaut is to make Christians pariahs, as irrelevant to public life as racists. It doesn’t have to pass a Denmark-style law to force churches to conduct gay marriages; it can achieve the same end through punitive political correctness.
Short answer: because if they acknowledge parents’ fundamental right to educate their children, they will have to recognize it for all parents here, as well.
Uwe and Hanna are home-school parents from Germany. But Germany doesn’t tolerate home schooling. Those who do are harassed, fined, imprisoned, and can lose custody of their children. Uwe and Hanna had such a religious and moral problem with what German government schools were teaching that they chose to school their children themselves, just as millions in this country do every day. But Germany’s laws, based upon a 1938 law signed by Adolph Hitler, believe that Germany’s children belong to the State from an educational standpoint. The law prohibits parents from educating their own children so that Germany can prevent a different worldview, or “society” as the law states, from arising.
After increased persecution from the German state, Uwe and Hanna fled to the United States. A Federal judge heard the arguments and granted them asylum, stating that Germany’s law and policy was “Nazi-esque”.
Immediately, the Obama Administration filed suit against the ruling and will bring the case before the United States Court of Appeal for the Sixth Court on April 23. They are seeking to deport the Romeike family, which would send Uwe and Hanna back to Germany to face jail and possibly the loss of their children.
Why does the administration seek to do this?
Because it agrees with the German law. It doesn’t believe that parents have a right to educate their children. It is more in line with the National Education Association that homeschooling shouldn’t be allowed. It believes that the government can best educate “America’s children”. It doesn’t want another worldview taught in this country. It wants America’s children to have one worldview and one worldview only.
That is why they don’t want to grant asylum to the Romeike family. That would affirm parental rights—rights that have been fought for by so many courageous parents over the last 40 years in this country. Rights that I believe will take a serious hit if this case is won by the Administration.
Think of it this way: if the Administration wins this case, the legal statement and precedence will be set that parents do not have a fundamental right to educate their children and if the State were to ban home schooling, it would not be a violation of parental rights at all.
In the twisted mind of the Left (the ideology of which the United Nations is the primary propagandist), telling a woman that she can’t murder her child is the same as genitally mutilating her.
Offering a person the counseling and therapy needed to address the deep wounds at the root of same-sex attraction is equal to torturing and beating them.
You can’t even reason with someone that detached from reality and logic. Black is white, up is down, wrong is right, love is hate, night is day…and nothing you say will convince them otherwise.
A recent United Nations report on torture and mistreatment in health care systems around the world singled out lack of access to abortion as a form of “torture,” classifying it as a human rights violation on par with female genital mutilation, forced sterilizations and state-sanctioned beatings.
The report also says governments should recognize the preferred sex of ‘transgender’ individuals without regard to biology, arguing that forcing such people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in order to prove their case is equivalent to torture.
[...] The report calls for the “elimination of homophobia” in health care settings, calling on “all States to repeal any law allowing intrusive and irreversible treatments, including forced genital-normalizing surgery … ‘reparative therapies’ or ‘conversion therapies,’ when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned.”
[...] One of the main ‘protection gaps’ identified was a lack of easy access to abortion in some countries.
“The Committee against Torture has repeatedly expressed concerns about restrictions on access to abortion and about absolute bans on abortion as violating the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment,” Mendez wrote.
In the densely-worded 23-page report, Mendez devotes an entire section to “Reproductive Rights Violations.” While a list of violations towards the beginning of the section includes female genital mutilation, forced abortion, and forced sterilizations, much of the text that follows is focused on abortion access.
If anyone wants to argue that the same government currently forcing religious institutions to purchase the abortion pill through ObamaCare will not eventually use civil rights violations in order to attempt to force the Church to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies — good luck with that.
But this would have been unthinkable five years ago.
It was just three months ago that the White House and media piled on a reverend for preaching the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality. The result was his invitation to speak at Obama’s inauguration being rescinded.
This would have been unthinkable five years ago.
With the election of Pope Francis, we have news anchors openly clamoring that the Church is out of step on same-sex marriage.
This would have been unthinkable five years ago.
Fifteen years ago, the same leftists and media assuring us today that same-sex marriage won’t be imposed on the Church were telling us that civil unions (which I’ve always supported) would never lead to gay marriage.
With all that in mind, am I really supposed to buy that, within five years (maybe five days), the left and the media won’t be incessantly asking this question: “If the Church cannot legally refuse to marry an interracial couple, how can it legally refuse same-sex couples?”
As long as there are still Christians who actually follow Christ and uphold his word, a vast amount of people around the world — never mind Islam — will never ever see gay marriage as anything other than a legal encroachment of God’s intent.
So those Christians must be silenced. The left exerted a great deal of energy to convince everyone that the gay lifestyle is an alternative form of normal. It then has exerted a great deal of energy convincing people that because the gay lifestyle is just another variation of normal, gay marriage must be normalized.
Meanwhile, those Christians are out there saying it is not normal and are refusing to accept it as normal because of silly God dared to say marriage is a union between a man and woman.
Any Christian who refuses to recognize that man wants to upend God’s order will have to be driven from the national conversation. They will be labeled bigots and ultimately criminals.
Already we have seen florists, bakers, and photographers suffer because they have refused to go along with the cultural shift toward gay marriage. There will be more.
Once the world decides that real marriage is something other than natural or Godly, those who would point it out must be silenced and, if not, punished. The state must be used to do this. Consequently, the libertarian pipe dream of getting government out of marriage can never ever be possible.
Within a year or two we will see Christian schools attacked for refusing to admit students whose parents are gay. We will see churches suffer the loss of their tax exempt status for refusing to hold gay weddings. We will see private businesses shut down because they refuse to treat as legitimate that which perverts God’s own established plan. In some places this is already happening.
Christians should, starting yesterday, work on a new front. While we should not stop the fight to preserve marriage, and we may be willing to compromise on civil unions, we must start fighting now for protections for religious objectors to gay marriage.
Churches, businesses, and individuals who refuse to accept gay marriage as a legitimate institution must be protected as best we can. Those protections will eventually crumble as the secular world increasingly fights the world of God, but we should institute those protections now and pray they last as long as possible.
Pope Francis: Lack Of ‘Religious Values,’ Government Control Of Education Are Traits Of ‘Totalitarianism’
From our nation’s founding until the Supreme Court ruling on Engel vs. Vitale in 1962, school children across the country began their day with a prayer like this:
“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”
How shockingly “offensive” to ask God to bless us, huh?
Until 1963, students could voluntarily choose an elective such as “New Testament Survey,” which studied the most influential book in history (especially Western Civilization). Teachers could read from the Bible in a historical context, and teach children to recite “The Lord’s Prayer” (seeing as it’s the most well-known poem in the world).
But now, no more. American school children have no idea of where common cultural references such as “David vs. Goliath,” “The Golden Rule” or “going the extra mile” come from. The have no frame of reference for understanding why the Reformation was such a pivotal point in European history, how Henry VIII’s break away from Rome was so significant, and the reason why the Puritans and Separatists were so intent on escaping to the New World. Children today aren’t taught where Thomas Jefferson got the phrase “Nature’s God” for the Declaration of Independence, or why our founders built our nation on the idea that unalienable rights come from our Creator.
They have no idea of an absolute moral standard – a Natural Law – which no man, woman, king or president is above.
And that’s exactly how tyrants want it. If there is no recognized authority above the state, the state reigns supreme in people’s lives, and can do as it pleases with no accountability.
Pope Francis witnessed this first-hand in Argentina, and he offered this warning:
In a 2011 book, Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio, the new Pope Francis, stated that parents have a right to raise their children in accordance with their religious beliefs and that sometimes when the government intervenes to deprive young people of that religious element, it can produce terrible consequences, including “cases like Nazism” whereby many students were indoctrinated with views alien to those espoused their parents.
The book, in Spanish, is entitled Sobre El Cielo Y La Tierra (On Heaven and Earth), by Jorge Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka, the latter an Argentinan rabbi. The book is in interview-style and Skorka asks the cardinal a variety of questions throughout 29 chapters.
In Chapter 18, “Sobre la educacion” (On Education), the future Pope Francis says, “In the Bible, God presents himself as a teacher. ‘Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms,’ it says. A believer is obliged to raise his children. Every man and every woman has a right to educate their children in their religious values.”
“When a government deprives children of this formation, it can lead to cases like Nazism, whereby children were indoctrinated with values opposite to those of their parents. Totalitarianism tends to take over education so it can use the water for its own mill,” said then-Cardinal Bergogolio.
Every year, the federal government spends well over a trillion dollars more than it takes in. As a result, it has racked up seventeen trillion dollars in debt, most of it in the last decade. In seven years at current rates, the U.S. will need almost a fifth of the GDP from the rest of the world just to finance our national debt.
Just two of our federal entitlements, Medicare and Social Security, have “unfunded future liabilities” of $46.2 trillion. Total liabilities are $86.8 trillion or more. Entitlements and other mandatory spending will burden more and more of the federal budget in the coming years. At today’s burn rate, before long no realistic amount of tax revenue will be able to service the debt and fund the government’s basic functions.
We need not worry about the federal government defaulting, since, unlike U.S. states or private citizens, it can print the money it needs to pay the bills. It can and will do so if we don’t make a course correction fast. Massive monetary expansion will ultimately devalue every dollar in circulation and trigger the sort of hyperinflation that flattens entire societies in short order. That’s bad enough, but when government borrows and spends for our supposed benefit, somebody else will have to foot some or all of the bill. If our faith applies to every aspect of life, then it must have something to say about this moral outrage.
[...] In the twentieth century, more than a hundred million people were murdered by their own governments. And that was just in communist countries. History and scripture agree: because of sin, governments with too much power become propagators of evil and destruction.
This speaks directly to government debt, since deficit spending is a symptom of government doing more than it can or should. The federal government now borrows and spends with such reckless abandon that it is careening toward a global economic catastrophe. If Christians can’t muster the courage to speak out against what Rep. Paul Ryan has called “the most predictable debt crisis in history,” we won’t deserve to be taken seriously after the collapse.
Sadly, many Christians don’t know how to disciple our nation to turn the tide because they’ve never studied God’s design for economics or the Biblical role of government. They can’t teach what they don’t know. The key to real reformation, says R.C. Sproul, Jr., is for Christians to understand and work to implement Biblical economic principles:
Christian author and teacher R.C. Sproul, Jr. told CBN News Anchor Lee Webb that he believes it’s time to return to the basics when it comes to economics.
“When we’re left arguing about whether or not we should have a marginal tax rate of 45 percent or 48 percent, and the conservative is stuck arguing for the 45 percent we’ve had an insufficient reformation in our thinking,” Sproul said.
Sproul believes that reformation will happen only when we return to scripture to see what God has to say about economics. That’s why he produced a video series called “Economics for Everybody.” It’s a compelling, even entertaining approach to a topic many find boring.
[...] Sproul provides historical evidence that nations most influenced by biblical Christianity are nations that, by and large, have prospered. They are nations marked by decentralized governments and free markets.
But nations that reject God are marked by centralized power, tyranny, and no free markets. Unfortunately, he said he has observed some of those troubling trends in America now.
“The United States is not a free market. It’s an interventionist economy that’s been moving closer to socialism for over a century now,” he said. “I am not optimistic about our nation’s future economically.”
“We live in a country in which the state forbids me to hire a man unless I promise to pay him X number of dollars,” Sproul explained. “We now live in a country where I can’t hire 50 men unless I promise to buy them all health insurance, including access to abortion.”
“This is not economic liberty. This is not free markets,” he said. “We’re missing the fact that we’re the frog and the water is boiling.”
That’s why Sproul believes it’s not enough to think conservatively. We must think biblically and train our children biblically.
“It’s my conviction that education is always and everywhere religious,” he said.
“And it’s not a surprise that when 80 percent of evangelical parents have their children in the government’s schools that they’re going to embrace the religion of the government which is the worship of the state,” he said.
Sproul cautioned Christians to avoid despair. One way to do that is by returning to the beginning, to the Creation Mandate and begin to see that our work is part of worship.
If you have never watched the “Economics For Everybody” series, I highly recommend it! We cannot teach what we do not know!
Exiled from Vanderbilt: How Colleges are Driving Religious Groups off Campus
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Freedom of association is under assault on campus. Across the country, universities are using “non-discrimination” policies to force student groups to admit members and leaders who do not share the core values and beliefs of the group.
In practical terms, that means Republican groups would be required to allow Democrats to join and apply for leadership positions, pro-life groups would have to include pro-abortion activists, and religious groups would be forced to admit those who oppose their religion and seek to destroy their group through a “hostile takeover” with their own members.
Vanderbilt University has informed a small Christian student organization that it will no longer be recognized as a student group because it requires its members to have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, according to email correspondence provided to Fox News.
“It just shows how radical the Vanderbilt administration has become in enforcing a policy that is nonsense,” said Kim Colby, senior counsel for the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom. “A lot of jaws dropped when we saw how far the Vanderbilt administration was taking this.”
Colby told Fox News the Christian group did not want to be identified because “they just don’t want to be caught in the crossfire of the culture wars.”
The group reached out to the Vandy chapter of the Christian Legal Society so others would know what had happened, Colby said.
“They are a small group of students who want to gather together and worship God,” she said. “That’s basically all they want to do.”
According to email correspondence from the university, the group’s constitution was not approved because the university took issue with a requirement that leaders have a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ.”
[...] Colby said the student group has decided not to comply with the university’s demands.
“They’re going to leave campus rather than take those five words out of their constitution,” Colby told Fox News.
Colby said it’s becoming clear that Vanderbilt University is specifically targeting Christian organizations.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Similar policies are being adopted across the country:
Rollins College has determined that a Christian student organization is in violation of the school’s nondiscrimination policy because the group requires its leaders to be followers of Christ.
The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously not to exempt the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from the policy – meaning the Christian group will no longer receive funding and will not be recognized as an official campus organization.
Will your alma mater or child’s university be next? Go to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to learn more.
Justice Department: Home Schooling not a ‘Right’
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Illegal aliens – including drug dealers and other criminals – are welcome to come across the border in droves, according to this administration.
But a Christian family fleeing persecution in the form of fines, jail time and the confiscation of their children? Not worthy of asylum, according to our Justice Department. And why? Because parents don’t have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their own children, our own government argues.
THIS is why the Parental Rights Amendment is so desperately needed!
The U.S. Justice Department says home-schooling is not a fundamental right.
That was the argument the Obama administration made in federal court against an evangelical Christian family from Germany seeking asylum in the United States.
Germany broadly forbids home-schooling. So the Romeike family was forced to flee the country or risk losing their five children to the German government, which was trying to force them to put their children in public schools.
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is working on the Romeike family’s behalf.
Michael Farris, founder and chairman of HSLDA, wrote about Germany’s home-school ban in his blog saying, “It is thought control. It is belief control. It is totalitarianism dressed up in politically correct lingo.”
The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 after authorities fined them thousands in euros and forcibly took their children because they homeschool. In 2010, a U.S. immigration judge granted the Romeikes political asylum — the first time this status was granted based on compulsory schooling laws. The judge found the family has legitimate fear of persecution in Germany, where a small group of Christian homeschooling families have already been jailed, fined and stripped of their children.
[...] At a German public school, the children were bullied for their Christian beliefs. The Romeikes found school textbooks filled with inappropriate content. Still, Uwe says, “We knew that homeschooling would not be an easy journey.” The Romeikes came to the U.S. when “all other doors seemed to close.”
In Tennessee, Uwe teaches piano while the children play basketball and take science classes at a local co-op. Uwe says the uncertainty they face now hardly compares to the fear of “waking up with the police at your front door, there to take your children … not knowing if you will ever get them back.”
Only in the deranged minds of Leftists does patriotism = racism.
A group of students at a California high school basketball game were told to remove patriotic bandanas and stop chanting “USA, USA” because school administrators wanted to be sensitive to other spectators.
The incident occurred during a basketball last week between Camarillo High School and Rio Mesa High School in Ventura County.
A school administrator pulled aside four boys and told them to either remove their American flag bandanas or leave the game. The boys complied but returned to lead the crowd in a chant of “USA, USA.”
Both schools have a large Hispanic student population.
Student Austin Medeiros and the other boys were suspended for their actions – but the punishment was later lifted by school officials.
Still, students are upset over what happened and staged a protest at the school’s flagpole by wearing red, white and blue.
“We’ve done it always,” Medeiros told the Ventura County Star. “It’s something we do. It’s the same group of friends. We’re all very patriotic.”
Daniel Smyth writes at the Washington Times about a new scheme in New York to use anti-discrimination laws to force pro-lifers to either compromise their convictions or go out of business:
New York could soon shut down Catholic and other health care providers for not offering or referring for abortions. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with enough support in the New York state legislature, could sign a reproductive health act (RHA) this year. Among other actions, the act would declare that New York “shall not discriminate against the exercise of…[abortion] rights…in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.”
The New York State Catholic Conference argues this “no discrimination of abortion rights” provision could “permit state regulators…to require support for abortion from any agency or institution licensed or funded by the state.” As the state grants medical licenses, New York could deny licenses to — and thus shut down — such institutions as Catholic and other hospitals or clinics that refuse to support abortion. New York could also deny these institutions Medicaid payments and other funding, which some of these institutions need for financial stability.
Other provisions in New York’s RHA would establish abortion on demand in New York. For instance, the RHA would permit abortions until birth, allow public funding of abortion and repeal the requirement of parental notifications for minors’ abortions.
Sadly, this is only the latest example in a larger agenda to attack and marginalize people of faith:
Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to close their doors in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., because their religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by their jurisdictions.
A graduate student in Michigan was expelled from a counseling program because her religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by school officials.
Christian pharmacists in Illinois were told to find other professions because their religious beliefs regarding when life begins were deemed unacceptable by the state.
Private business owners are facing enormous fines because their beliefs about when life begins have been deemed unacceptable by the federal government.
Pastor Louie Giglio did not deliver the closing prayer at President Obama’s inauguration ceremony because his religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by the administration.
[...] Compared with others around the world, people of faith in America enjoy extraordinary freedoms. Our lives are not in danger. We do not face imprisonment or torture for holding unpopular convictions.
Yet when people of faith are restricted from fully participating in society — owning businesses, entering the medical profession or providing much-needed charitable services — an intolerable trade-off has occurred. The government has exceeded its boundary, and the figurative wall between church and state must be strengthened.
[...] The tide has turned, and we have begun to see the emergence of a state-created orthodoxy. It deems support for traditional marriage unacceptable. It discredits those who believe that life begins at conception. It disfavors their faith — held for centuries by their predecessors — and creates a regulatory framework to prevent them from fully participating in the public square.
When the government says, “You can believe whatever you want, but you will be penalized if you exercise those beliefs,” we have entered dangerous territory. We cannot allow a religious litmus test to determine who may participate in American life. We must defend the Constitution not only in form, but also in effect.
The radical gay left could give lessons in bullying, which is a shame, since I have several wonderful conservative gay friends who oppose this kind of behavior, and these disgusting tactics give the gay community a bad name.
Since the owner of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” bakery in Oregon declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony, the bullies have been out in full force.
Trolls came in droves to spam the bakery’s Facebook page with hateful, threatening and pornographic comments and images (all in the name of “love” and “tolerance,” of course). They went after anybody who dared post comments of support. They harassed the bakery’s recommended vendors, family and friends, and spammed their Yelp and other business review pages with hate and slander.
They “doxed” the family – who have small children – by publicly posting their personal information where identity thieves and dangerous people could find it:
They sent activists after Aaron and Melissa’s personal Facebook pages to harass them:
Someone even created a fake impersonator page in an attempt to slander them, by posting a racist, homophobic quote and claiming that it was Aaron and Melissa who said it (warning, foul language):
The conveniently cropped screen shot has since gone viral, and a reporter at the Examiner gave false confirmation that the quote was real.
What they’re NOT showing you is the whole picture (click to enlarge):
Notice, the impersonator page only has 8 “likes,” while the REAL page had over 600. Notice also that under “Recent Activity,” it says “joined Facebook,” meaning that the impersonator page was only recently created, while the REAL page has been on Facebook since 2010.
The impersonator page, which used images lifted from their website, was only online for a couple of hours – long enough to post a couple of disgusting quotes and take screen shots to outrage the gullible.
The REAL page looks like this:
Several boycott pages have also been set up on Facebook, as well as one specifically designed to bully, called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa is run by Homophobes,” which uses the same photos as the real page in order to confuse people. Facebook insists the page doesn’t violate their terms of service and refuses to take it down.
Sadly, much of the bullying has come from Christians who blame this family for the treatment they’re receiving and claim that they deserve it. ”Just bake the cake! What’s the big deal?” “Who are you to judge?” “People like you are why gays hate Christians!” “Jesus loves gays, and you should, too!” They compare the owner to the Westboro Baptist freaks, even though he NEVER said he hates gays or called them an “abomination,” or anything of the sort. He simply politely said, “I’m sorry, I don’t make cakes for gay weddings.” When they asked why, he explained it violated his faith. And now some Christians are harassing him for it. It’s really sad. There IS a balanced approach between the ridiculous claim that “God hates gays” and just caving to the entire leftist agenda.
This honestly has nothing to do with Aaron and Melissa or cake. They’re just the pawns these radicals needed to make a frightening example out of anybody that dared to stand in their way. I recommend that Christians and conservatives read Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals,” so they understand the playbook tactics that are being used against us. My friend Barbara Curtis, a former radical leftist who became a Christian author and mother of 12, did a book study to help Christians understand what we’re dealing with.
Most of us innocently living our daily lives have no idea how cruel and dangerous these people can be if you end up in their cross-hairs. I hope the church is waking up to the fact that the enemy we are dealing with is VERY real, and ignoring the problem is not the answer. Neither is throwing our own under the bus, as many Christians are apt to do to save their own hides. We can’t afford to be naïve and think, “If we just give them everything they want, they’ll leave us in peace.” No. They want to destroy us and everything our faith stands for. They don’t need a provocation to come after us. Our mere existence is a threat. That is the reality.
I hope the church is beginning to wake up and realize that we are ALL on the front lines of the culture war now. Even a small family bakery is no longer safe and off-limits.
Thankfully, this family is also receiving lots of support from Christians, conservatives and libertarians (some of whom are gay) who recognize that nobody should be intimidated by government and harassed by bullies for exercising their 1st Amendment conscience rights. Even if you disagree with their particular stand on this issue, it’s important to remember that someday YOU might be bullied and coerced because of YOUR convictions, whatever they are.
It’s also important to recognize that there are many people who support gay marriage who do NOT condone bullying of this sort. There are some people who are genuinely hurt and offended, who will probably show up to protest, and who just need to be reached out to with love and respect. It’s a great opportunity to start a conversation, but that can only happen in a civil atmosphere where both sides feel safe.
No wonder the left does everything it can to make sure that this debate is hyper-emotionalized and anything BUT civil.
Slew of online hate reviews plagues ‘Sweet Cakes’ bakery
Obamacare Regs Slam Middle Class Families With Fines If They Can’t Afford Insurance, Cheapest Plan Will Be $20K Per Family
That “free” healthcare they shoved down our throats is going to come as a real punch to the gut for families like mine! Our budget is strapped enough as it is, and now we’ll be slammed with thousands of dollars in fines because we’ve chosen to cash pay our providers.
We haven’t been able to afford health insurance for the past three years. I’d like to just buy catastrophic coverage like you can for other insurance (car, home), but nooooo, you HAVE to buy comprehensive for stuff you don’t want (drug detox, psychotherapy, etc.) which is more than a mortgage payment, and you’re not allowed to shop across state lines for a better deal. They take away your choices and box you in until you have NO CHOICE but to go on a government plan. And that’s EXACTLY the agenda here – they want to bankrupt the insurance industry by taking away their customers and forcing everyone onto single-payer.
This HURTS poor and middle class families, and they don’t give a damn, because they want to force us all into government healthcare. It’s infuriating!
In new, final regulations issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said that parents must pay a federal fine under Obamacare if their children or dependent spouses are uninsured for any part of the year.
[I]f a child goes without government-defined health insurance coverage for any month of the year, their parent must pay a fine to the government, regardless of whether they claim the child as a dependent or not.
The only thing that matters to the IRS is whether the parent could claim the uninsured child as a dependent.
The same rule applies for an uninsured spouse if the couple files a single tax return. If they file a joint return, both parents are liable for the fine.
[...] Uninsured adult family members use the full per-person cost of $695 per person when calculating their penalty, while uninsured children are penalized half of the adult cost – $347.50 per child. The amount of penalty parents may face will change every year after 2016, the IRS said, and parents will face a phased-in penalty between 2014 and 2016.
For 2014, parents could face a penalty of either $47.50 per child – under 18 – up to $285 total.
For 2015, the per-child penalty is $162.50 per child up to $975 total.
For 2016, the per-child penalty is $347.50 per child up to $2,085 total.
The per-person penalty is capped at $2,085 for 2016, but that cap will rise with inflation every year thereafter.
While the per-person penalty is capped each year, families can still owe more if their income is high enough because the law states that families must pay the greater of either the per-person penalty of 2.5 percent of their taxable income.
What can you do to avoid the fines? Just put that $20,000 in extra cash you have laying around to good use:
In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.
Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.
The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.
The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.
For middle-class families that are barely making it right now, this is going to drive millions of them into poverty and forced dependence on the welfare state. It infuriates me how many Christians supported this travesty because they bought the lie that this is “compassion!”
A small, family-owned bakery in Oregon is being investigated for “discrimination” by the Oregon Department of Justice because their faith compelled them to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony.
A woman and her mother came into the bakery asking about wedding cakes. During the course of the conversation, the baker, Aaron, asked the groom’s name. He was told that there was no groom – rather, a second bride. At this point, he apologized and explained that he did not make cakes for homosexual weddings.
The woman apparently left in a huff, and her mother came back to give Aaron a piece of her mind. A few days later, Aaron discovered that a formal complaint had been filed against him for “discrimination,” by the lesbian partner who hadn’t even been present for the discussion. The Oregon Attorney General is now investigating.
Once upon a time in America, the exchange of goods and services was voluntary, unhappy customers were satisfied with taking their business elsewhere, and signs that said “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” actually meant something.
Now, the government wants to tell business owners who and what they must serve, regardless of their convictions. But the sacrament of marriage is particularly sacred and holy to people of faith, and to redefine it in any way is a sin. To take part in a ceremony which seeks to redefine that sacrament would be a violation of this baker’s faith.
Obviously, Aaron has no problem serving gay customers for occasions like holidays and birthdays. This woman had bought a cake from him once before, and had been served with no issue. If she hadn’t been happy with the service, she wouldn’t have come back.
But this time, the customer was asking Aaron to participate in a ceremony which violated his faith. He has a 1st Amendment right to abstain, and the customer has a right to be unhappy about it and never buy there again, but not to force him to accommodate her wedding against his conscience.
A quick peek at their website reveals the reason why this customer’s disgruntled fiance chose to make an intimidating example out of Aaron and his family:
No small business should be bullied into acting against their conscience. I bet if he refused to bake a cake for a Westboro Baptist or Klan rally, nobody would bother him. Or a cake to promote a candidate or cause he doesn’t agree with. Or a Muslim “wedding” with a 6-year-old bride. The only difference here is that he dared to refrain against a liberal pet agenda.
People have a right to discriminate against certain behaviors they find offensive. They have a right to not be bullied by the government for honoring their conscience. The Oregon Attorney General should be ashamed of wasting taxpayer money and pursuing such a spurious complaint. Please show them your support!