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Good for Texas: Protecting religious conscience rights benefits at-risk adoptive children

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Liberals will take exception to Texas’ latest move to protect faith-based adoption organizations from being forced to violate their consciences. That’s because most liberals are really statists who believe the government should enforce complete uniformity in the name of equality. The idea that differing and even mutually-exclusive ideals can be beneficial to children and society is beyond their narrow worldview.

For the record, and likely to the disappointment of some misguided evangelical friends of mine, I have absolutely zero problems with LGBTQ couples adopting and/or fostering children. In fact I enthusiastically encourage anyone of any background, faith, or creed to participate in child welfare activities. The foster care system in our country is overloaded with at-risk children, and we need more families participating, not less. It is for this very reason that I fully support and praise the infamous adoption discrimination bill that Governor Greg Abbott of Texas signed into law last week. Confused? Stay with me.

Last week the state of Texas enacted HB3859 which allows private agencies to refuse placement of foster and adoptive children into homes based on deeply held beliefs and further protects them from lawsuits for such decisions. Opponents argue that it gives organizations the green light to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, which it absolutely does and most likely will occur. However, as with most important issues sound opinions must come from more than just scratching the surface of an issue. We must fully understand the intent and implications before we make a call to arms. Resist the urge to come out swinging at the first mention of discrimination.

The intent of the law is clearly spelled out in its opening paragraph. Texas is attempting to attract more private agencies to help an overwhelmed foster care system as well as protect the agencies it already has. Surely we can all claim this as common ground when it comes to finding homes for children. The need for this law arose from the exodus of many faith-based foster care agencies as they drastically scaled back their involvement in the state for fear of litigation resulting from their own theologically driven policies. In fact almost all Catholic agencies suspended their operations in the state of Texas, and we can hardly blame them.

Activism against discrimination towards the LGBTQ community has become a significant part of pop culture in recent years, and has been further emboldened by successful lawsuits towards individuals and businesses that discriminated for religious reasons. These individuals lost enormous amounts of money and some lost their own livelihood. Regardless of how you feel towards those specific cases, we should all be able to understand how this is bad for faith-based non-profits doing charitable work for children – children whose well-being is, more often than not, in immediate danger. Resources spent fighting litigation means fewer resources spent helping children, and many organizations would rather pull out altogether in an effort to focus their resources in alternative endeavors with less risk of financial loss.

The obvious counterargument is faith-based groups could simply choose not to discriminate against LGBTQ couples. Why not be all-inclusive? Easy enough, right? This argument ignores the underlying problem completely. Violating your core beliefs to appease someone is a betrayal of your own self, as I have previously written. The simple truth is that respecting the deeply-held beliefs of others regardless of our own opinions is a fundamental aspect of freedom, and speaking of freedom, there is nothing preventing LGBTQ groups from establishing their own child-welfare organizations.

Under the law LGBTQ agencies could freely discriminate against any person or religion they choose, even free to serve only LGBTQ families if they were inclined to do so. Ironically the state of Texas is making a great effort to make child-welfare inclusive by protecting those freedoms. The Texas legislature even went so far as to include a provision in the law mandating that private agencies refer families to other organizations that will provide the services being denied. There is absolutely no reason to expect that anyone will be denied in the end, and when all else fails families can choose to adopt and foster directly through the state.

I can confidently say that arguments against HB3859 are largely self-defeating. It is a brilliant example of innovative, forward-thinking progress. We must get past the word ‘discrimination’ and come to realize that this law opens the door for a broad, diverse group private organizations to do a good work. Don’t stand in the way.

Paul Caputo is a rare thing in modern America, a Millennial with deeply rooted social conservative views and opinions. Paul is an educated and experienced financial professional with a background in corporate accounting & finance. As an active member of his community, Paul is an adoptive & foster parent as well as a leader and mentor for teenage youth. Paul is driven by a core set of Judeo-Christian beliefs that not only direct his political ideals, but also who he is as an individual. Consequently, Paul is very outspoken against the current conservative establishment that has made a dramatic shift towards the left.

Culture and Religion

Trump betrays conservatives: Nominates anti-Christian, pro-LGBT activist to EEOC

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Trump betrays conservatives Nominates anti-Christian pro-LGBT activist to EEOC

When US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy created a non-existent constitutional right to same-sex marriage out of thin air in Obergefell v. Hodges, justices in the minority of the 5-4 decision “legalizing” the practice warned of the inevitable threat it would create to the First Amendment right to religious freedom.

While LGBT radicals and their allies in the Gay Mafia deny it, warnings by Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito about the threats have proven to be true. In fact, the threat to religious liberty resulting from the LGBT agenda existed even before Obergefell.

In a piece I wrote shortly after the same-sex marriage ruling, I joined my fellow conservatives in expressing our concerns over the possible loss of religious liberty. In the article, I quoted several pro-LGBT activists who flat-out admitted that taking down religious liberty was the plan all along. One of those activists is Chai Feldblum, a homosexual activist appointed as a commissioner to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Barack Obama.

The “zero-sum game” is how homosexual activist law professor and Obama EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) appointee Chai Feldblum describes the legal battles between modern “rights” based on homosexual “orientation” (read: behavior) and the traditional American principle of religious liberty.

“Gays win, Christians lose,” Feldblum said, predicting homosexuals would win most of the legal contests.

Well, it looks like Donald Trump is ready to give Feldblum and the LGBT agenda a big boost.

In an announcement last week, the “most pro-LGBT” Republican candidate for president re-nominated Feldblum to keep her job at the EEOC. And despite claims by some in Trump’s inner circle of “evangelical advisors” that this only happened because Trump wasn’t briefed on Feldblum or involved in her nomination, the track record of the man who swore to “do everything in (his) power to protect LGBTQ citizens” at the Republican National Convention indicates that this is right in line with the priorities of President Trump and Vice President Pence.

For example, when Trump followed Jared and Ivanka’s advice to reaffirm an Obama executive order that essentially legalized discrimination against Christian business owners by requiring them to embrace the LGBT agenda or lose their right to do business with the federal government, Pence–who has a history of his own when it comes to caving to LGBT radicals–defended the pro-LGBT decision.

“I think throughout the campaign, President Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration. I mean, he was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him”

In June, Trump pretended to reverse an Obama directive that allowed students to use bathrooms and showers based on their gender identity. In reality, Trump’s order opened the door for the government to prosecute schools that fail to recognize a transgendered student’s “right” to use the facility of their choice.

From the very beginning, the Fellowship of the Pharisees have defended Trump because he’s “God’s man,” and he will protect religious liberty. It seems to me that nominating a pro-LGBT, anti-Christian lesbian activist to a federal job where she can advance the LGBT agenda fails in that department.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

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Culture and Religion

Call it what it is: What Myanmar is doing to the Rohingya people is genocide

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Call it what it is What Myanmar is doing to the Rohingya people is genocide

The United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein said yesterday that “acts of genocide have been committed” by Myanmar’s military against Rohingya Muslims, forcing over 650,000 of them to flea to Bangladesh. He is being guarded in his remarks. The reality is that this is clearly genocide and the worst crimes against humanity the world has seen in a very long time.

This cannot be overstated: Anyone who researches enough about what’s being done to Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar can only come to the conclusion that this is ethnic cleansing to the highest degree. It’s a purge worthy of the “genocide” label. Let’s put aside the reluctant and politically correct wording used by diplomats and address this as what it is.

What follows is a series of articles that tell different aspects of the story. Please take a moment to read them. It’s imperative that we gain a clear understanding of the atrocities being committed so we can render aid to these people immediately.

First, the statement by the U.N. officially regarding genocide:

U.N.’s Zeid toughens warning of ‘genocide’ in Myanmar

https://in.reuters.com/article/myanmar-rohingya-un/u-n-s-zeid-toughens-warning-of-genocide-in-myanmar-idINKBN1EC08M“It’s very hard to establish because the thresholds are high,” he said. “But it wouldn’t surprise me in the future if the court were to make such a finding on the basis of what we see.”

Myanmar denies committing atrocities against the Rohingya and has previously rejected U.N. criticism for its “politicisation and partiality”. The Myanmar military says the crackdown is a legitimate counter-insurgency operation.

What the Myanmar military is doing to these people is not a “legitimate counter-insurgency operation.” Gang rape on a massive scale is not for counter-insurgency. Throwing babies in fires is not a counter-insurgency strategy. Burning down villages does not qualify as merely counter-insurgency.

The Myanmar government signed an agreement to bring refugees back in safety. Since then, they’ve continued their reign of terror, including destroying villages in whole or in part:

40 Rohingya villages burned in Myanmar since October

https://bdnews24.com/neighbours/2017/12/18/40-rohingya-villages-burned-in-myanmar-since-october-hrwHuman Rights Watch says it has identified 40 Rohingya villages in Myanmar’s Rakhine State that had buildings destroyed in October and November.

This brings the total number of villages partially or completely destroyed since the military crackdown began in August up to 354, it said in a statement on Monday.

Satellite imagery analysis performed by the group showed that dozens of buildings were burned the week of Nov 23, when Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement begin returning refugees in Bangladesh within two months.

Keep in mind that everything many of these people own, which isn’t much, remains in the villages they were forced to leave. The military’s actions aren’t just harming people directly today. They’re also preventing them from being able to rebuild their lives and have a future if they’re ever allowed to return home. Destroying villages that have been emptied out is clearly an attempt to take away any hope these people have even if they do return.

While the United Nations tries to figure out how to properly word their condemnations, real violence is being perpetrated against these people. It’s telling when seasoned international journalists and experienced aid workers are shocked by what they’re finding.

Violent rape just one of many disasters for Rohingya refugees

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/violent-rape-just-one-many-disasters-rohingya-refugees-n830351Aerlyn Pfeil knows about rape. She’s worked with victims of sexual violence in South Sudan, Somalia and Papua New Guinea.

But Pfeil has never seen anything like the sexual abuse victims in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

“I’ve never had a population talk so freely about the assault that they were experiencing,” said Pfeil, a midwife who is on the board of Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders-USA.

“I have had women come in who were gang-raped or brutally raped and are now recovering from fistulas but I have never heard so many stories of so many women being publicly raped and then killed,” she added.

These stories aren’t isolated. This has become the norm for those who have survived the attacks and made their way to Bangladesh. Unfortunately, conditions are only improved once they make it there because they don’t have Myanmar military trying to rape or kill them. Otherwise, the conditions aren’t acceptable by third world standards. They aren’t just missing certain basic needs like medicine for the sick or schooling for the young. Even in the “safety” of their refugee camps, they’re malnourished with scarce fresh water and unbearable living conditions.

Things are going to get worse once monsoon season hits.

Save the Children Australia’s Ian Woolverton has seen a lot. The camps in Bangladesh aren’t the first place he’s experienced horrendous conditions faced by masses of people, but this situation has stood out for him as exceptional.

In the name of humanity, don’t look away from the plight of the Rohingya people

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/18/in-the-name-of-humanity-dont-look-away-from-the-plight-of-the-rohingya-peopleI have stood among tsunami flatted buildings in Aceh and Japan. I have held the hand of a dying infant in flood swamped Pakistan. I have attempted to console the families of loved ones lost to the Bali bombings. And I have helped retrieve the body of a dying man trapped in an earthquake crumpled building.

But nothing prepared me for what I have now witnessed – a city sized population living in squalor after fleeing the horror of human rights atrocities in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.

Here in the southern Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazar we’re hearing from child survivors and their families about the most horrific atrocities, including killing and maiming, abductions, all forms of sexual violence, persecution and forced displacement.

Let me bring this home, so there can be no misunderstanding, no hiding from this heinous man-made tragedy.

It’s time to act

While many of us in America worry about Christmas gifts or argue about the validity of NFL kneelers, hundreds of thousands of people are suffering, forced from their homes because they held different religious beliefs. They were attacked because they were vulnerable. They are being raped, beaten, and murdered because nobody is standing up for them.

The United Nations will do nothing other than slap some toothless sanctions against Myanmar, if that. They couldn’t even get a reasonable draft resolution to pass. They are worthless.

The United States and other western governments have the capacity to do something. I’m not suggesting an invasion, but threats need to be made. It’s a rare occasion when I’m willing to suggest we get involved in international affairs. I’ve never held to the neocon beliefs that we’re the world’s police. On the other hand, these are extreme situations. We didn’t act when Syria used chemical weapons against its own people. The subsequent refugee crisis that has changed the face of Europe was a direct result of our early inaction.

What’s being done to the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar is worse. They aren’t caught in the crossfire. These people are being directly targeted by a rampaging military with no restrictions.

Not to make this political, but it should be noted the outrage from Muslim leaders around the world is exponentially greater against President Trump acknowledging the capital of Israel than towards Myanmar who is actively raping, murdering, or displacing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims.

This is genocide. We need to contribute to help these people have access to livable conditions. Then, we must work with our allies to force Myanmar to protect its own people from its own military. What we cannot do is sit back and hope it goes away soon. It won’t unless we do something about it.

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Culture and Religion

Pre-born baby killers love to talk choice, but objectors to abortion have none

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Pre-born baby killers love to talk choice but objectors to abortion have none

Micaiah Bilger of Lifenews.com pointed out how the pre-born baby murder advocates want to force everyone to pay for birth control and abortion services.  Case in point, an opinion piece by Crystal Strait, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

We (Planned Parenthood) believe that denying access to contraception is both illegal and immoral. Thanks to the ACA’s birth control benefit, 55 million women gained access to contraception.  For so many of us, access to birth control has been a given. It’s been 45 years since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized birth control and the impact of that decision has been immeasurable.

So you see Mr. and Miss. Anti-Abortion, your conscience is nothing.  End of discussion, accept abortion, accept the fact that women are now sexually liberated and if we don’t want a child, we shall move heaven and hell to make sure it never is conceived… and if one is conceived then we have abortion services as back up.  Get over it punks, you lost.

That is basically the attitude of the pre-born baby killers inc. (as well as population control advocates).  They want to be free to copulate like jackrabbits but not procreate like jackrabbits.  Trouble is we become their slaves in order for them to have their “sexual freedom.”  We also have to renounce our faith in life-affirming God in order for people to be sexually liberated.  Just another reminder of how progressivism is becoming the Church of the State.

This is why Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz hits on America’s judiciary as hard as he does.  They have to be put in check, or we shall be eventually checkmated and the progressives will have absolute power to do whatever they want, and we will have another Nero, Stalin, Pol Pot, Casto to deal with again.  Only this time in America itself.

References

Planned Parenthood: Christians Should be Forced to Fund Abortions, It’s “Immoral” Not To

http://www.lifenews.com/2017/12/15/planned-parenthood-christians-should-be-forced-to-fund-abortions-its-immoral-not-to/Choice. It’s a word that Planned Parenthood loves to use when promoting the killing of unborn babies in abortions.

But now, the abortion chain is abandoning its favorite word in an underhanded attempt to force Christians to pay for birth control, including methods that may cause abortions, in their employee health plans.

Crystal Strait, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, recently wrote an opinion piece for The Sacramento Bee to argue their case.

California is right to sue over birth control rollback

http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article189856679.htmlFor so many of us, access to birth control has been a given. It’s been 45 years since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized birth control and the impact of that decision has been immeasurable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked contraception as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Yet here we are, in 2017, with a president who wants to restrict birth control access and move us back to the dark days of inequity and inequality.

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