Archive for April 2009
Our good friend from the Alliance Defense Fund, Austin Nimocks, makes several excellent observations in his recent editorial published yesterday in a Vermont newspaper.
Give the whole article a read, but here are some highlights:
As we have expanded our societal tolerance for sexual behavior in recent years, the ongoing debate over same-sex “marriage” has actually started to bring about some agreement from both sides of the aisle. Agreement by same-sex “marriage” proponents and foes? Yes, you heard me right. And this agreement is worth exploring…since it will likely shape the same-sex “marriage” debate in Vermont and nationally for the next several years.
No, it’s not agreement on same-sex “marriage” itself. The agreement is that a serious conflict exists between same-sex “marriage” and religious liberty. On this point, there is no debate, except among the uninformed. Even same-sex “marriage” advocate, and Georgetown law professor Chai Feldblum understands this principle, if you read her Web site and writings. The question then becomes, “What do we do about it?”
. . .
Now, before you stop reading because you think you’re not “religious,” let me assure you that everyone is. That is, everyone has a set of values or beliefs by which we order our thoughts, values, and lives. Some of us follow a Judeo-Christian ethic, while others follow one grounded in purely secular principles. However, whatever the source of your religion, you’re entitled to hold those beliefs and order your life accordingly. And whether you support or oppose same-sex “marriage” is beside the point. Either way, you should unequivocally support the right of all Americans to disagree if they choose to disagree. This means that you should be able to disagree in spirit, word, and deed. And even if you’re not passionate about the same-sex “marriage” debate in and of itself, you should care about how this conflict is handled because the next great social debate could surround something about which you do care. If freedoms for all aren’t upheld in this battle, the legal precedents that flow might affect you next.
If H.R. 1913 becomes law, the protections perceived will not be the protections in reality.
Due to an ambiguity in the meaning of the phases “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” pedophiles may be granted protection, but grandmas and veterans won’t. In other words, if the same crime is perpetrated on a pedophile, grandma, and veteran, the criminal victimizing the pedophile will receive harsher penalties than that for his crimes against the grandma and veteran.
The crime remains the same. The status of the victim is the only difference. All violent crimes deserve equal justice. There should never be second class victims.
Jan LaRue, writing on the American Thinker, quotes from Catholic League president Bill Donohue:
“The House of Representatives will vote this week, possibly tomorrow, on a hate crimes bill championed by gay groups that includes pedophiles under the rubric of sexual orientation. This is the ultimate confession: liberal Democrats think of pedophiles as indistinguishable from homosexuals.
“When this subject came up last week in the House Judiciary Committee, an amendment to the hate crimes bill that would have excluded pedophilia from the definition of sexual orientation was defeated by Democrats along party lines, 13-10. This was considered good news by gay organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, left-wing groups like the ACLU and various Jewish groups like the ADL.
“The debate is over: for liberals, child molesters should be given the same rights as homosexuals. Moreover, they should be given more rights than pregnant women and veterans; the latter two categories were explicitly denied coverage under the hate crimes bill. Even worse, an amendment that would bar prosecution based in whole or in part on religious beliefs quoted from the Bible, the Tanakh (Judaism’s sacred book) or the Koran was defeated by Democrats along party lines, 11-8. In other words, religious speech may be denied First Amendment protection.
Has Iowa’s Supreme Court left you scratching your head and asking, “How did the Iowa Supreme Court make such a decision? It’s Iowa!?!”
Yeah, me too. In fact, it’s left me saying, “If this can happen in Iowa, why not here in WV too?”
Looks like we’re not alone. Jennifer Roback Morse tackled the issue and provides good insight for those of us in the Mountain State wondering if our SupCo would like to follow the progressivism of the Hawkeye State:
By now, everyone knows that the Supreme Court of Iowa has imposed same-sex “marriage” on the heartland of America, a mere 10 years after the people of that state had expressly voted against it. What very few people know is exactly how unfair this fight really was. Not only was the lineup within the courtroom imbalanced, but the trial court refused to hear relevant evidence. When the case made its way to the Iowa Supreme Court, they didn’t behave much better.
This case, known as Varnum v. Brien, began with a half dozen same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses in Polk County, Iowa. The county clerk, acting in accordance with the law, refused. Mind you, the state of Iowa did not go bothering unassuming people who were minding their own business. This was a staged case. These couples went to the clerk’s office intending to be refused. They sued Timothy Brien, Polk County recorder and registrar, an ordinary county employee.
The plaintiffs, that is, the people who complained, were not exactly average citizens battling the big mean state of Iowa all by themselves. They had the backing of homosexual-rights establishment organizations. The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund took in $20 million in 2007. Lambda Legal is a nonprofit devoted solely to bringing legal challenges like these.
By contrast, Polk County, Iowa, has a budget of $15 million for the entire court system.* One of the attorneys of record for Lambda Legal has degrees from Yale and Columbia. Iowa’s law was defended not by the state’s attorney general, nor even by the county attorney, but by two assistant county attorneys.
The case wasn’t a fair fight: It was more like David and Goliath without the benefit of divine intervention.
Read the rest via How Iowa Happened: National Catholic Register.
But, don’t take my word for it:
House Democrats have announced a vote could come as early as tomorrow on a “hate crimes” bill that supporters admit might allow federal officials to prosecute Christians who speak out against homosexual behavior.
. . .
When a nearly identical plan was developed in the last Congress, Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., admitted during a hearing on the bill it could be used to prosecute pastors merely for preaching against homosexuality under the premise that they could be “inducing” violence in someone.
. . .
WND reported previously that the plan was introduced by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who said, “The bill only applies to bias-motivated violent crimes and does not impinge public speech or writing in any way.”
. . .
However, critics cite United States Code Title 18, Section 2, as evidence of how the legislation could be used against people who merely speak out against homosexuality. It states: Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.
In a day and age where “human rights” are thrown around willy-nilly, Colson urges a re-examination of where those rights originate. Read the entire article that concludes:
The principle is set forth in the Declaration of Independence, the cornerstone of American government: “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
When health-care professionals refuse to perform or assist in an abortion because it violates their conscience, they are obeying a Higher Authority and His laws—the laws to which He holds every human being.
This is a principle articulated by great saints like Augustine and Aquinas and at modern times by Martin Luther King, who, in his famous letter from a Birmingham jail, echoed Augustine: “An unjust law is no law at all.”
To argue that human law must always supersede conscience is an invitation to tyranny. The Bill of Rights is an acknowledgement that certain rights—like freedom of religion—are simply, or should be, beyond government’s reach.
Sign the Family Research Council’s petition here.
This story gets more and more fascinating by the minute. For a recap, see the previous entry. For an update, watch the video from this morning’s Today Show, here.
For the full story from NBC, go here. Below is the conclusion to the online story that is worth reading and re-reading:
“It’s not about being politically correct; for me, it was being biblically correct,” Prejean explained. “When I’m asked a specific question, I’m going to give a specific answer. I’m not going to stand in the middle. I’m going to take one side or another.”
. . .
“I was true to myself, and I know now I can go out and speak to young people about standing up for what you believe in and never compromising anything, for anyone or anything, even if it is the crown of Miss USA,” Prejean said.
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