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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.

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Culture and Religion

Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.

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Gun confiscation bingo

Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.

It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.

As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”

Royal Armouries
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)

This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:

May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.

“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”

This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.

The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/

from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.

Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?

So why is this important?

Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.

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Culture and Religion

Gay Americans speak out in support of Christian Baker, against the gay lobby

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The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.

-Patrick Henry

As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Now, however, after years of radical LGBT activist domination over the nation’s dialogue surrounding civil rights, liberty-loving gay Americans are pushing back.

All wheels have begun to squeak.

Masterpiece Cakeshop V. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled (7-2) in favor of Jack Phillips, a devout Christian and confectionary artist. In 2012, after declining to lend his artistry skills toward the custom adornment of a cake intended for the celebration of a same-sex wedding, Phillips was sued for discrimination and was later found guilty by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Although the Commission had deemed Phillips’s art – confectionary art is a subset of sugar art – as expression under the First Amendment, his religious views were publicly attacked by commissioners. It was this blatant governmental bias which persuaded the Supreme Court to reverse all previous rulings against Mr. Phillips.

Despite of the Supreme Court ruling’s narrow scope, by mid-day on Monday, freedom-loving gay Americans had begun to speak out in support of Jack Phillips’s Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, and celebrate the Supreme Court ruling in Mr. Phillips’s favor.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must… undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

-Thomas Paine

Pushing Back: Live on the Radio

Speaking with Rush Limbaugh on Monday, a Seattle woman who identified herself, saying, “I’m gay, I’m Hispanic, I’m female, I’m middle-aged, and I’m conservative,” stated:

I wanted to comment on the cake thing, on the Supreme Court judgment ruling on the cake matter. I wanted to say that I am so pleased to hear that, because I just don’t understand how people in this country can keep fighting against having their negative rights, against having what makes this country great, and against that which are the people that came to this country and come to this country, come here for. I just don’t get it… we are the country on this planet that stands for everyone to come and have liberty.

…[P]eople want to have freedom. But what they don’t understand is that freedom never needs to be defended. It’s liberty that needs to be defended. God gives us our freedom. God gives us the right to be free. We have to defend our liberty.

Another Limbaugh caller who identified himself as a wedded gay man, expressed disdain for the radical LGBT activists, describing them as “militant,” asserting:

…[I]t does not make our situation any easier when these militants are on the news because they do not represent me.

His {the husband’s] family didn’t show up at our wedding because they believe a marriage is between one man and one woman. And I don’t want to brand them a bigot or a homophobe for the rest of their lives when I could have an opportunity to have a relationship with them. I’d rather understand where they’re coming from and try to build off of what we have in common than brand them over a decision like a cake and then not have a relationship with the man I love’s family.

The caller continued his frank criticism, stating:

I think these militants make it worse, not better, and they don’t have me — in mind when they’re out there doing it… I just think they’re really loud and obnoxious, and so they get on the news.

They went on TV, and they said what their case was. They said it was never about the cake; it was about making them do what they wanted them to do. 

And I would rather go get a cake from somewhere else and not be on the news and have a chance at understanding where other people are coming from than force my will on them any more than I want them to force their will on me. I know a lot of people don’t accept gay marriage. However, it’s a lifestyle choice I made. They choose not to bake me a cake. I’ll get one somewhere else.

My sexuality makes up so small of who I am as a person; it really shouldn’t matter.

Pushing Back: Speaking Out on Twitter

Other non-totalitarian, liberty-loving gay Americans chose to push back by making their voices heard via social media.

Pushing Back: The New Squeaky Wheels

The phenomenon of gay Americans, fellow freedom-fighters, pushing back against the radical LGBT lobby isn’t unique to the Masterpiece Cakeshop court case. Since 2013, Chad Felix Greene- a wedded gay man – has “been writing in favor of religious freedom for those asked to participate in gay weddings.”

After Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, Mr. Greene stated:

LGBT’s hysterical denunciations and hair-on-fire rhetoric has not changed. Fortunately the argument has. We must continue fighting the rhetoric.

This case is not over.

Back in December of 2017, a gay duo – T.J. and Matt – made headlines for their open support of Jack Phillips and all who wish to exercise religious liberty and freedom of speech.  In a video for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the pair, standing outside the front entrance of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, explained:

We’re here to buy stuff from him and support him, because we don’t think any artist should be forced to create for something that violates their beliefs.

On Monday, echoing the same sentiment, Mr. Greene explained to his followers on Twitter:

The LGBT movement needs to understand that tolerance goes both ways. They have been behaving as though they are entitled to special treatment from everyone under the guise of ‘equality.’

We have equality. But we don’t have the right to demand others violate their beliefs for us.

The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages is what every part is entitled to and ought to enjoy.

-Benjamin Franklin

Reason to Hope

The trappings of authoritarian identify politics are being rejected and the walls are beginning to crumble. Liberty-loving Americans representing a plurality of circumstance and lifestyle, often hidden from the limelight of the media, are joining together in good will.

As a Christian and an artist, I count the mounting acts of ideological divergence – examples of bravery – from those in the gay community, as true blessings!

Alas! The Lord works in mysterious ways.

 

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Culture and Religion

Religious liberty lost and judicial tyranny won in Masterpiece Cakeshop decision

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Yesterday, in a narrow 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, a Christian baker who refused to bake a custom wedding cake for a homosexual couple based on the grounds that doing so would violate his religious liberty.

Wait a minute! 7-2? How is that a “narrow” decision?

While it’s true that Mr. Phillips was the victor in a lopsided vote total, the root issue concerning his case—freedom of religion—was left unanswered. The court’s decision wasn’t so much pro-First Amendment as it was anti-Colorado Civil Right Commission, which is why it’s being called a narrow decision.

Writing for the majority, Anthony Kennedy—the Justice responsible for Constitutionalizing same-sex marriage—confirmed this fact when he noted that the case created a “difficult situation” when it comes to how the LGBT agenda impacts religious liberty and how he believes that the issue “must await further elaboration” in the courts.

While people like Franklin Graham—a so-called evangelical who winks at Trump’s indiscretions because he was chosen by God’s hand”—proclaim that the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision was a “huge win for religious freedom” and serves as proof that God answers prayer, the reality is that religious liberty is no safer now than it was before this ruling.

In his analysis of the Supreme Court ruling, Daniel Horowitz, Sr. Editor at Conservative Review and an expert on judicial matters, points out how yesterday’s decision falls short of protecting religious liberty because the Court never addressed whether the state or federal government has the power to make laws forcing individuals to violate their consciences.

Meanwhile, the ACLU—who represented the plaintiffs in the case—was pleased with the Court’s decision, saying that it was “based on concerns unique to the [Masterpiece Cakeshop] case but that it reaffirmed its long-standing rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people.”

Translation? According to the ACLU, the Court affirmed the right for states to pass laws forcing businesses to serve anyone, anytime, anyplace for any reason; First Amendment be damned.

By the way, isn’t it a pretty good indication that this ruling failed to protect religious liberty when the lawyers representing the plaintiffs agreed with it?

In the end, this case is just another example of how we have become a post-constitutional America where judicial tyranny has replaced the checks and balances provided by three separate but equal branches of government. While Masterpiece Cakeshop won this case, the ruling could have just as easily gone the other way with a different set of judges hearing the same evidence.

Liberty isn’t supposed to be subject to the whims of special interests where political parties are pulling the strings, but that’s what we witnessed yesterday. Judicial tyranny will increase so long as so-called conservatives continue to rely on the Supreme Court to protect our Constitutional rights instead of fighting for the America created by our Founding Fathers.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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