Category Archives: Persecution

I went to a hate group meeting

I spent last week with a hate group. How ‘bout you? For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Last week, ABC and NBC copied and pasted a label from the Southern Poverty Law Center and ran it as a headline on their website. “Jeff Sessions Addresses anti-LGBT Hate Group.” The group they were referring to wasn’t the Klan or doesn’t have any history of violence. It was the Alliance Defending Freedom, a premier legal organization defending religious liberty. In fact, ADF just won their seventh case in seven years at the Supreme Court!

Look, it doesn’t surprise me at all that the SPLC, a group that has far strayed from its roots, adopted a wholesale liberal agenda, and incited violence against conservative organizations, would call ADF “a hate group.” That just demonstrates how much of an extremist organization they really are.

But for the major media outlets like ABC and NBC to use that terminology for a respected legal organization, even if they did put the words in scare quotes, is simply slander. And they should apologize.

Orthodox Jewish grade school in UK fails inspection for refusal to teach about sexual orientation

An orthodox Jewish girls’ elementary school in London has failed a government inspection for the third time because it refuses to teach students, who range in age from 3 to 8, about homosexuality and gender reassignment.

( Read the rest of this story.)

You can not be a Swedish pro life midwife

Swedish midwife vows to continue her battle for the right to refuse to participate in abortion.

( Read the story. )

And this man could have been president! But remember, more than 13 million Americans wanted him in the White House.

And this man could have been president! For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Senator Bernie Sanders apparently thinks Christians don’t belong in public office. As he was grilling Russel Vought during his confirmation hearing for a budget office position, he excoriated an article Vought wrote defending Wheaton College’s statement of faith.

Muslims, Vought wrote, “do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.”

Now to Sanders, this was unacceptable and Islamophobic. “Mr. Chairman,” said Sanders, “this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”

So Sanders believes that he should exclude Vought because it is unacceptable to exclude someone for their beliefs? Logic, anyone?

But the real issue here is that Christians have always believed that “no one comes to the Father except through [Jesus].” The idea that Christians with mainstream Christian beliefs have no place in government might be the most extreme thing that this extreme politician has ever said. But remember, more than 13 million Americans wanted him in the White House.

Be careful what you wish for by Cal Thomas

Read the column.

 

Opening Closed Minds The Chick-fil-A Way

Listen to, or read a Breakpoint radio commentary.

Police were not shown respect, so how about free food for them

Read a post from Facebook.

For the First Time, Russia Ranked Among Worst Violators of Religious Freedom

Russia’s ongoing crackdown on religious minorities, foreign missionaries, and evangelists has earned it a spot among the worst countries in the world for religious freedom.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which flags religious freedom violators for the State Department, listed the former Soviet state among six new Tier 1 “countries of particular concern” (CPC) in its latest annual report, released Wednesday.
It is the first time in the commission’s almost 20-year history that Russia has made the list. A total of 16 countries currently hold the CPC designation, and another dozen are being reviewed as Tier 2.

( More )

Trinity Lutheran before the Supreme Court

( Below is the Breakpoint radio commentary for today. )

Okay, so government cannot “establish religion.” We get that. But can it discriminate against religion? We’ll find out.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in what David French, over at the National Review called “the most important case about recycled tires in American legal history.”

Now French was, of course, being facetious. As he made clear, while the case did involve recycled tires, the critical thing is its potential impact on religious freedom.

The basic facts of the case, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, are as follows: Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, operates a licensed pre-school and day-care facility. Its facilities include the type of playground that you and I played on as kids. In other words, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and, perhaps, a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Fortunately, or so it seemed for Trinity Lutheran, the state of Missouri has a program which provides “funds for qualifying organizations to purchase recycled tires to resurface playgrounds.”

Trinity Lutheran applied for such a grant and seemed to have easily met the qualifications. I say “seemed,” because it was then informed that such a grant would, in Trinity’s case, violate a provision in Missouri’s state constitution that “no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, section or denomination of religion.”

The provision is one of 36 so-called “Blaine Amendments” in state constitutions. These amendments were originally aimed at Catholic schools and were born of the now-incredible belief that the public schools were a principal instrument in safeguarding America’s Protestant Christian character.

I know, ironic.

The church sued the state government, claiming that this kind of singling out of churches violated the free exercise of religion. After all, whatever else the free exercise of religion means, it should, at a minimum, mean that you can’t be denied a government benefit available to similar organizations solely on account of your religion.

Case closed, right? Well, unfortunately, no. The First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Thus while Trinity Lutheran argued the “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” part, the state emphasized the “no law respecting an establishment of religion” part.

If you’re wondering how protecting kids from scrapes and broken bones constitutes “an establishment of religion,” well, welcome to the tortured world of establishment clause jurisprudence. The late justice Scalia wrote that the cases involving Christmas displays required “scrutiny more commonly associated with interior decorators than with the judiciary.”

While I can only speculate what Scalia would have made of this case, it was clear from oral arguments that the majority of the court was skeptical of Missouri’s claim that protecting kids on a playground constitutes an establishment of religion.

If there was a theme to most of the questions, it was just how “extreme,” to use David French’s word, Blaine amendments like Missouri’s are. Justice Breyer asked the lawyer defending the law if, under the constitution, a city could deny fire and police to places of worship while providing it for everyone else. The reply was a hedged semi-“yes.”

While it’s always risky to predict the outcome based on oral arguments, French is right when he predicts that Trinity Lutheran will win.

Actually, it already has. Missouri’s new governor has announced a change in the policy that will permit Trinity Lutheran to apply for the grant. But Missouri’s Blaine Amendment, and three dozen similar provisions across the country, still stand.

So while the Court could declare the case moot, let’s pray that it decides the case in a way that deals a major blow to laws like Missouri’s across the country. Because the damage done by them to religious freedom is a lot worse than just skinned knees.

midwife is being forced to perform abortions ( I guess she can’t make the choice to be pro life ) 

Swedish midwife loses fight to be exempt from performing abortions