Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christianity

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The University of Missouri has been rocked by race-related protests over the last few weeks—but it looks like activists may have found another villain: Christians.

In Mizzou’s “free speech zone”—apparently, the First Amendment right to free speech is not available throughout the public university’s campus—a man was identified as a Mizzou student and Christian preacher, but his name has not been identified.

Holding a protest sign that promised “salvation to all that obey Him,” and referenced the Bible verse Hebrews 5:9, the preacher was vocally criticizing the African-American community, claiming that many of them were arrested by the police because they had an attitude of “eff the police.”

He quickly attracted a crowd of angry black protestors, but the preacher continued his speech. The attack started after the preacher referenced the death of Michael Brown, the Missouri teenager who was shot while attacking a police officer and sparked the first waves of the so-called “Black Lives Matter” protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The preacher said: “Michael Brown died because he had a disrespect for authority.”

In a video uploaded to Periscope, that was quickly the straw that broke the camel’s back; a black male protestor ripped the preacher’s sign from his hands, threw it to the ground, and then began physically assaulting the preacher—first by pushing him, and then by punching him in the face. Both the attacker and the victim were quickly separated and held back by other protestors.

After the assault, another protestor grabbed the preacher’s microphone to turn the conversation away from Christianity, and back to racism and oppression.

Police have yet to make an arrest or identify the attacker. A later photo of the victim showed him with a bloody lip, but otherwise uninjured.

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boyscouts-gay-decision

It looks like the Boy Scouts of America is about to end its longstanding ban on gay adults serving as employees and volunteers.

The long-standing ban on gay adults serving as scoutmasters or in other roles as the organization has long been controversial–and, with the fight for gay rights quickly gaining ground, it appears that the Boy Scouts has decided to throw in the towel.

The Boy Scouts’ National Executive committee unanimously approved a resolution last week that would end the ban. The full executive board will vote on the measure later this month–and, if approved, the ban will be immediately lifted.

The Executive Committee cites “Rapid changes in society and increasing legal challenges at the federal, state, and local levels” for their change. And it appears likely that the rest of the board will follow suit.

“This is, for all intents and purposes, a done deal,” said Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and the executive director of the group Scouts for Equality. Wahls, who was raised by a lesbian couple, is noted for his 2011 address in favor of gay marriage to the Iowa House Judiciary Committee, which went viral on YouTube when he was just 19.

Wahls continued: “The Boy Scouts were effectively the last great civic institution that was still explicitly discriminating against gay adults. The resolution, as we understand, would end discrimination of employment with BSA.” He added, “It would be unprecedented for the National Executive Board to vote down a unanimous decision by the National Executive Committee. That has never happened before.”

Boy Scouts of America had previously dropped its century-old ban on gay youth in 2014, but retained its ban on gay adults.

However, the resolution wouldn’t force all Boy Scout units to hire gay adults: if the Boy Scout unit in question is chartered by a religious partner, they could continue to uphold the ban–at least, for now.

“It’s certainly not an ideal policy,” Wahls said, in regards to the religious exemption. “But it’s better than it was.”

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obama_angry

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is a fundamental human right under the Constitution, the fight over tax-exempt status for churches and religious schools that reject gay marriage as a matter of faith has begun.

And the Justices cannot say they didn’t see this coming.

After all, the Obama administration’s top lawyer said during oral arguments said that the charitable tax status of religious organizations that oppose gay marriage was “certainly going to be an issue” if the court found that gay marriage was a civil right.

Now Senate Democrats are faced with job of dealing with what they wished for and they do not know where it is safe to step.

Earlier this week, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, said he was unsure if he would support revoking the charitable tax status of religious schools telling The Weekly Standard that:

“There’s no question this was an historic decision, and now we’re going to go through a series of suggestions for new laws to implement it…” “I can’t predict how this will end. But from the beginning we have said that when it comes to marriage, religions can decide what their standards will be.”

When asked if religious protections would extend beyond houses of worship to religious schools that require employees to affirm their faith’s teaching about marriage, Durban said:

“Getting into a challenging area, and I don’t have a quick answer to you.” “I’ll have to think about it long and hard.”

Even Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont socialist who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate and is running for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, said “I don’t know if I would go there” when asked if religious institutions opposed to same-sex marriage should lose their tax status.

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) on the other hand appeared to be open to the idea of taking away the charitable tax status of some religious institutions because:

“Religious freedom allows you to deal with teaching your religious principles without interference of the government.

But when you’re dealing with rights of third parties, then the protections are afforded for you to get the privileges of your tax-exempt status.” “You have the freedom to teach, to preach the way you believe without losing your tax-exempt status, the answer is yes. If you are affecting the rights of third parties, then you’ve crossed the line.”

“Employment is subject to protections.” “I’m not sure how it applies to Christian-run schools.”

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) pushed back hard saying she strongly opposed revoking the tax-exempt status of religious schools opposed to same-sex marriage saying:

“I just think that religious organizations should not be taxed,” Baldwin told me. “The last thing we want is the government getting into looking at the principles of each particular faith and judging it. That is wrong and shouldn’t occur.”

But is Baldwin splitting hairs? Earlier this month, religious liberty advocates criticized Baldwin for saying that the First Amendment’ protection of the free exercise of religion does not protect “businesses and individuals” engaged in commerce.

That means Baldwin supports states that have fined and punished bakers, florists and other businesses owned by faithful Christians who have declined to participate in same-sex weddings. In fact, Baldwin expressly said that religious dissenters who decline to work gay weddings to the owners of “lunch counters that wouldn’t let people of color sit [there].”

Mainstream Democrats may have won on the issue of same sex marriage at the Supreme Court but opened up dozens of issues that must be addressed in implementing the consequences of the ruling leaving conservatives with plenty of targets to shoot at as the 2016 campaign unfolds.

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church-closed

Now that gay marriage has received the stamp of approval by the Supreme Court – a decision based on personal views and divorced from matters of law and the Constitution – there is little speculation about what will come next.

The showdown between the “Gay Mafia” and the tearing down of churches that reject gay marriage as a matter of religious doctrine has begun.

Cable comedian Bill Mahar is credited with coining the term “Gay Mafia” to describe the nameless faceless gay activists who don’t not wish to engage opponents on the merits of their arguments but to destroy their opponents and avoid debate altogether.

And the “Gay Mafia’s” likely message – now you have to marry us or we will sue. Red State editors writing under the pseudonym “stridentconservative” say:

“…that in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which fabricated a constitutional basis to legalize “marriage” between two people of the same gender, we will begin to see a new level of religious persecution for those who believe in God’s definition of this sacred arrangement such as we have never seen before…”

“Now that the court has issued its mandate, the extortion tactics will increase as the homosexual mob tries to eliminate all those who refuse to tolerate their sexual practices.

In fact, the lawsuits against churches (have) already begun in Britain where same-sex “marriage” was legalized just a month ago.”

In that case, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow and his civil partner, Tony, a British same-sex couple have gone to court to force churches to hold gay weddings. Their case rests on the fact that even though the British Parliament legalizing gay marriages, the law included a measure protecting churches from being forced into performing same-sex weddings.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s minority discussed this issue in their dissenting opinions but provided no binding judgement.

“Drewitt-Barlow said that he was still not getting what he wanted and the only option left to him and his partner was to take up the challenge in the courts. He added that he thought it was a shame that he was forced to take Christians to court to force them to accept gays.

“It upsets me because I want it so much – a big, lavish ceremony, the whole works. I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away. As much as people are saying this is a good thing, I am still not getting what I want,” said Drewitt-Barlow.”

As gay marriage opponents predicted, the “Gay Mafia” having won the “right” to marry, is now moving to drag churches against their will into the business of gay nuptials and there is little doubt that gay activists will try the same thing in the United States – stacking their “right to marry” above the religious freedoms of churches and synagogues to conduct marriages that comport with centuries of tradition.

This will not be accepted by the “fundamentalist mindset” of Christianity and other religions in the United States and that, according to Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary, the gay marriage “battlefield shifts to religious freedom.”

Dr. Land continued:

“Will the progressive, totalitarian and intolerant left weaponize the government and attempt to force or compel people to affirm same-sex behavior and relationships? Or will they respect the freedom of conscience guaranteed by the Constitution?”

“Here’s a guess: It’ll be the former scenario that’ll prove true.”

As we have already seen, gays :

“…have already cried out against Christian bakers who refuse to bake them wedding cakes… against Christian bistro, flower and chapel business owners who refused to perform their marriage ceremony… and against Christian pizzeria owners who (said no when asked) if they would cater a gay marriage”

In each case, the Gay Mafia moved in. Phone lines were jammed with hate calls… business locations and patrons where threatened with physical violence… boycotts implemented… and advertisers smeared as hate mongers all with the intent of shutting down Christian businesses – and the Department of Justice did nothing.

The ultimate test will come when the U.S. Department of Justice moves affirmatively to hold churches and Christian businesses civilly and criminally liable for remaining steadfast to their religious beliefs.

And no doubt, the Gay Mafia will also turn to the Internal Revenue Service to launch discrimination investigations and pull tax-exempt statuses. The ensuing chaos will play in the press as another case of a religious and bigoted attack on gays.

It is too bad that the U.S. Supreme Court majority made no effort to protect the clearly articulate constitutional right to religious freedom to fin the “right” of gays to marry – made up out of whole cloth – to appease the Gay Mafia for now.

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Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama compared the abhorrent actions of ISIS, which include beheadings and now, burning people alive, to Christianity.

The President stated, “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Obama went on to say, “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

While 724 years have passed since the Crusades ended, the President of the United States felt it appropriate to compare violent acts of today to violence that occurred at a time when barbers conducted surgeries and the majority of Europeans thought dragons were real.

Dragon theory, medicine and warfare have changed significantly since that time, yet ISIS chooses to revert to medieval tactics to instill terror in the minds of their enemies.

In 1095, when the first Crusade began by decree of a Catholic Pope, beheadings were an accepted form of execution, reserved for nobility. Commoners were drawn and quartered while women were burned alive.

Yet facts didn’t stop the President from comparing acts of modern men to the brutality of nearly 1,000 years ago.

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