by Nathan Cherry
We’ve all heard of a Christian being sued for refusing to take part in a same-sex ceremony. Sure you have. There’s a baker in Colorado, a photographer in New Mexico, a florist in Washington, these are just a few of the many people being attacked by LGBT activists and the government for refusing to violate their religious convictions. (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, click here.)
By Vijeta Uniyal, via The Commentator
The Leftwing narrative is running unopposed on European campuses. The institutions of higher learning that once heralded the age of enlightenment are looking more and more like Leftwing, neo-totalitarian Seminaries, and I say that coming from India
While giving finishing touches to his Ph.D. dissertation the Dutch student Jerke de Vries had a seemingly harmless idea. A believing Christian that he was, he decided to thank God in his dissertation acknowledgement.
What seemed like a nice gesture to him, did not sit well with the members of the Dissertation Committee at the University of Wageningen (The Netherlands). They gave him a choice between God and the doctoral title.
He was ordered to blacken the sentence acknowledging God in several hundred printed copies of his dissertation, or face a certain rejection of his thesis.
Apparently in the committee’s view, it is one thing to acknowledge a favorite pub, a regular hang-out or even the local soccer team, like other b[u]tch mates, but by mentioning God the student had clearly crossed the norms of acceptability.
Finally, Jerke de Vries did bow down to the dictates of the committee, but kept his pride by physically removing the entire acknowledgment page from several hundred copies of his dissertation, instead of blackening out the ‘objectionable’ sentence, as the committee had instructed.
What happened last week in a Dutch University is not an isolated case of academic overreach by overzealous members of a committee. Universities throughout Europe and North America are increasingly turning into hostile places, not only for believing Christians, but for anyone holding convictions other than the ones approved by the leftwing establishment.
From Christian Concern
By John Jalsevac, LifeSite News
In a surprising last-minute turn-around, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that they are granting “indefinite deferred action status” to the Romeikes, meaning the beleagured German homeschooling family won't be deported to their home country after all.
The development amounted to a shocking and welcome 180-degree turn for the family, who just yesterday had learned that the Supreme Court rejected their appeal of a lower court ruling refusing to grant the family asylum in the United States.
That decision meant that the Romeikes had run out of legal options, and likely faced deportation to their home country, where homeschooling is a punishable crime. Other German homeschooling families have suffered heavy-handed persecution from the government, including crippling fines, loss of custody of their children, and even imprisonment.
Today’s decision by the DHS was announced by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) on their Facebook page, in a post that has been liked over 13,000 times, and shared just as many in the space of a few hours.
“The Romeike’s can stay!!!" they wrote on their page, adding "This is an incredible victory that can only be credited to our Almighty God."
“What an amazing turnaround—in just 24 hours,” said HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris. "I also want to thank those who spoke up on this issue—including that long ago White House petition. We believe that the public outcry made a huge impact."
Below is the Hansard transcript from a recent debate on a few Statutory Instruments relating to the Same Sex Marriage legislation – in particular, the Use of Armed Forces’ Chapels Regulations 2014 and the draft Overseas Marriage (Armed Forces) Order 2014.
His Grace is of the view that what's done is done, and it is now the law of the land. The state's definition of marriage diverges from the ontological reality and the historic sacrament of Holy Matrimony: the vernacular will adapt to Parliament's decree. This will not be undone. But there are loose ends (many, many loose ends) and these Statutory Instruments aim to tie up a few.
This debate is interesting for the way that the Ministry of Defence Minister Anna Soubry treats those of a Christian conscience, in this case Sir Edward Leigh (Roman Catholic) and Sir Gerald Howarth (Church of England), with utter contempt and rudeness. Those who witnessed the exchange were shocked and appalled at the Minister's arrogance. His Grace reproduces the whole exchange because context and primary reasoning are important.
The transcript is a typical Hansard version of the truth – the words are correct, but they cannot show the disdain and sheer nastiness of the Minister. For that, you need to watch the video above. Like them or not, both Gerald Howarth and Edward Leigh make sense of the world through the lens of Christianity: the Church is woven into their lives, and Christ provides their moral compass. While many may believe that compass to be skewed – or, rather, that it does not point in a ‘progressive’ direction – at least they have a moral sense. Ms Soubry is a relativist and a modernist, and in this her third career (after TV presenter, and criminal barrister) as a politician, she is being used by others to do their dirty work – in both the House and on TV. She is personally quite charming, but with a majority of just 389, she is fighting for every vote, and if that means trimming her ‘conscience’ to the secularising zeitgeist and slapping aside a few pesky Christians, that’s exactly what she’ll do.
But it may, of course, be more than that. Perhaps, as with so many of her ilk, she simply does not recognise for a second that someone who disagrees with her might be right. And certainly not a Christian.
by Adam J. MacLeod, Public Discourse
State lawmakers should make it clear that religious and moral reasons are rational and legitimate, and that property owners may act or refrain from action in obedience to conscience.
Even property law is sexy now. It is perhaps a measure of how thoroughly sexualized our culture has become that a subject that has caused countless first-year law students to nod off during 8:00 AM classes has been transformed into the latest front in the culture wars, a battleground between sexual expression and religious conscience.
Kansas, Arizona, Missouri, and Georgia have considered or are considering legislative measures designed to protect the liberty of property owners to obey conscience. Many responses to these proposals have been less than edifying: The return of Jim Crow! The abomination that causes segregation! A new religious right to discriminate! These inflated characterizations of the bills obscure a rather pedestrian fact, which many people on both sides of the issue have missed: The bills (mostly) restate existing property law. (Perhaps the commentators nodded off in property class.)
Initial reactions to the bills were notable for the confusion of the authors. Among those who expressed concern about the proposed laws, the loudest commentators have misunderstood the nature of the liberty being asserted; misunderstood the underlying dispute about the nature of marriage; misstated the religious and moral convictions at issue; and demonstrated blindness to, or ignorance of, the use of sexual preference to fuel a bourgeoning industry that employs non-discrimination laws to discriminate against religious observers.
By Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist
Most Reporters Are Simply Too Ignorant To Handle The Job
March 3rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Religious Liberty Comments Off
By John Stonestreet, Breakpoint
By Ross Douthat, New York Times
March 3rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Religious Liberty Comments Off
By Brendan O'Neill, Spiked
Anyone who values diversity of thought and tolerance of dissent should find the sweeping consensus on gay marriage terrifying.
I have been doing or writing about political stuff for 20 years, since I was 18 years old, during which time I have got behind some pretty unpopular campaigns and kicked against some stifling consensuses. But I have never encountered an issue like gay marriage, an issue in which the space for dissent has shrunk so rapidly, and in which the consensus is not only stifling but choking. This is the only issue on which, for criticising it from a liberal, secular perspective, I’ve been booed during an after-dinner speech and received death threats (‘If you’re dead, you can’t talk shit about gay marriage’). It’s the only issue on which both hard right-wingers and the wettest leftists have told me to STFU. It’s the only issue on which even friends have said, ‘Stop writing about it. It isn’t worth it.’
Many are commenting on the juggernaut-like rise to respectability of the gay marriage issue. Christopher Caldwell of the Weekly Standard says gay marriage has gone ‘from joke to dogma’ in a decade. Time magazine says there has been a ‘seismic social shift’ on gay marriage, which has been ‘as rapid and unpredictable as any turn in public opinion [in history]’. Another gay-marriage supporter says ‘the pace and scale at which acceptance of marriage equality has shifted is breathtaking’, which he puts down to the efforts of the warriors for ‘marriage equality’. There has been a ‘sea change’ in attitudes, commentators tell us, especially in political circles, where everyone who’s anyone (or who wants to be) now genuflects at the gay-marriage altar. Even Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, scourge of liberals everywhere, now accepts the idea of gay marriage, leading one observer to tell gay-marriage proponents: ‘Lay down your guns… the enemy has surrendered.’
How do we account for this extraordinary consensus, for what is tellingly referred to as the ‘surrender’ to gay marriage by just about everyone in public life? And is it a good thing, evidence that we had a heated debate on a new civil right and the civil rightsy side won? I don’t think so. I don’t think we can even call this a ‘consensus’, since that would imply the voluntaristic coming together of different elements in concord. It’s better described as conformism, the slow but sure sacrifice of critical thinking and dissenting opinion under pressure to accept that which has been defined as a good by the upper echelons of society: gay marriage. Indeed, the gay-marriage campaign provides a case study in conformism, a searing insight into how soft authoritarianism and peer pressure are applied in the modern age to sideline and eventually do away with any view considered overly judgmental, outdated, discriminatory, ‘phobic’, or otherwise beyond the pale.
By Bishop David Anderson, AAC
By Bruce Hausknecht, CitizenLink
February 28th, 2014 Jill Posted in Religious Liberty Comments Off
From Citizen Link
Read also: Arizona Family Group: Gov. Brewer’s Veto Marks ‘Sad Day for Arizonans’ by Bethany Monk
By Ryan T Anderson, The Foundry
By Bob Christie, Deseret News
The Arizona Legislature gave final approval to legislation that allows business owners asserting their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays, drawing backlash from Democrats who called the proposal "state-sanctioned discrimination" and an embarrassment.
By Eric Teetsel, First Things
The new sexual revolutionaries have shifted focus from the legal sanctioning of gay marriage to the elimination of dissent. Around the country, so-called“non-discrimination statutes” undercut the rights of religious believers to live according to the demands of their faith when those demands conflict with the “new normal.” Must people of faith conform to values that contradict their beliefs?
By Peter Baklinski, LifeSite News
A homosexual student has filed a human rights complaint against his former French Catholic high school for what he calls a pattern of “homophobia” he says he experienced while being a student there.
February 15th, 2014 Jill Posted in Religious Liberty Comments Off
By Gillan Scott, God & Politics in the UK
It all started on Wednesday morning when I tweeted a link to a Daily Mail article.