Category Archives: America

RFRAs have NEVER Harmed a Homosexual Person

By Casey Mattox
The Federalist

It has been 22 years since President Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. For two decades it has applied to every law in the District of Columbia and the federal government. In the intervening decades, 20 other states have followed suit with their own state RFRAs. These RFRAs hold government to a high burden of proof when it burdens religious exercise. Under RFRA, there are no guaranteed outcomes, but the government cannot take burdens on religious exercise lightly.

In two decades of RFRAs, the world has not ended. In fact, not a single person who identifies as homosexual has been harmed by these RFRAs. None. This may come as a surprise to you if you have watched any of the media coverage or been on social media for the last several days. The unhinged claims from the Left have been entirely detached from the reality that these laws have actually existed for decades and have never resulted in any of the things they worry will happen. This is not new. Dire warnings that are unsurprisingly not confirmed by future events have been a common theme in arguments from the Left in recent years.

Prophesying Doom that Never Materializes

The Equal Access Act is the reason your child can have a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at school. Most Americans would think that permitting students to voluntarily get together before school to pray is a good thing. But when Congress considered the act in 1984, some Democrats, including then-Rep. Barbara Boxer, opposed it because allowing Christian students to gather to pray “could usher in KKK and Nazi” student groups. More than 30 years later, it is clear Boxer was on the wrong side of history. Her worry that letting kids study the Bible would lead to “Mein Kampf” has not been realized.

Boxer’s worry that letting kids study the Bible would lead to ‘Mein Kampf’ has not been realized.

When the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2006, abortionists argued that approximately 2,200 partial-birth abortions per year were necessary for health reasons. This was important because the law lacked any health exception (except to save the mother’s life). When the Supreme Court issued its opinion eight years ago in April 2007, it held that the law was generally constitutional.

However, the Court invited any abortionist or woman filing a new challenge to show why a partial-birth abortion was necessary in one of those 2,200-per-year instances. Planned Parenthood warned of consequences for women’s health from the decision, just as Justice Ginsburg wrote in a dissent: “One may anticipate that such a preenforcement challenge will be mounted swiftly, to ward off serious, sometimes irremediable harm, to women whose health would be endangered by the intact D&E prohibition.”

Eight years later, no such complaint has been filed. I’m not aware of a single example of any woman who was harmed by not being able to have a partial-birth abortion procedure in that time.

There are three possible reasons: (1) by incredible fortune, the threats to women’s health making partial-birth abortion necessary ceased on April 18, 2007; (2) Women are harmed daily, but Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry lack the resources to file the invited lawsuits; (3) the claim that partial-birth abortion was necessary to protect women’s health was a lie.

Finally, when Texas passed HB2, the pro-life law that brought stardom to Wendy Davis, a primary focus of abortion supporters who opposed the bill was its prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks gestation, when the unborn child is capable of feeling pain. This provision was the centerpiece of the controversy, and Davis opposed it at length. But while virtually every part of the Texas law has been challenged in the intervening two years, the prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks has never been challenged. It has been Texas law since October 2013.

Time to Stop Listening

And Texas isn’t alone. Laws like it have been enacted in 13 states. But despite their cries of harm to women’s health, abortionists have only challenged these laws in the Ninth Circuit and in a now-pending Georgia state court case. At least 10 of these laws, including Texas’s, are in effect without legal challenge. As MSNBC reported, there is

a strategic reason to avoid challenging that [20-week] ban…. [A] Texas challenge would go to the conservative Fifth Circuit. Not only would that court potentially uphold the law…, the combination of decisions would create a split in the circuits that would make the Supreme Court likelier to hear it.

This is their choice. But at some point when your warnings of imminent harm are stifled by your own prudential choices, and none of the bad consequences you warn about ever happen, perhaps your claims just aren’t true. That’s critically important to keep in mind with the needless hysteria happening now over completely mischaracterized state religious freedom laws.

But history need not repeat itself. In the children’s story, when Peter repeatedly cries, “Wolf!” the townspeople finally stop listening. It’s time to stop giving credence to the Left’s cries.

Tax Day Reminder for Democrats: Pay Your Fair Share!

Democrats are great about deflecting attentions away from one basic fact: they don’t like to pay their fair share of taxes. They claim the rich don’t pay up, but history is filled with stories of Democrat leaders and elected officials who try to avoid taxpaying. The Clintons, Tom Daschle, Tim Geithner, and the late Ted Kennedy, just for starters.

McCain Running again and the People Groan

Multiple conservative groups rebelled right out of the gate to Senator John McCain’s announcement that he will indeed seek re-election in what is expected to be a historic 2016 election cycle.

Within hours of McCain’s announcement both Conservative Review and the Senate Conservatives Fund had emailed to rally supporters against McCain. The messages pointed out McCain’s record and weakened position. Senate Conservatives Fund called for a strong show of support to oust a weakened McCain and elect a fresh face to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate.

Conservative Review grants McCain an “F” with a 48 percent rating, calling out McCain for an extensive 32-year entrenchment in Washington. CR Editor Gaston Mooney said, “McCain’s consistent support for gun control, cap and trade, amnesty, and tax increases have put him at odds with just about every coalition inside the Republican Party and recent straw polls have shown that he is vulnerable. McCain pandered to the right in 2008 and now he is at it again.”

“There are few Republicans who have betrayed our conservative principles more than John McCain,” read the Senate Conservatives Fund letter. “McCain lost his way a long time ago.”

Both messages criticize McCain for his part in the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform and his support for amnesty, his vote for the taxpayer funded “Wall Street” bailout, his vote to fund implementation of Obamacare and criticism of efforts to halt that funding, opposition to a $1.3 trillion tax cut, support for a $600 billion tax hike, repeated votes to raise the debt limit and voting against term limits.

Mincing no words, the Senate Conservatives letter refers to McCain as “one of the most anti-conservative RINOs in the Senate.”

Senate Conservatives Fund is asking those supportive of a McCain alternative to put their money where their mouth is with a financial contribution and signature on their “Replace John McCain” in 2016 petition.

The grass roots, urges the letter, “is asking for our help,” citing polling that says 98 percent want a conservative alternative to McCain.

“To replace John McCain, we need to get hundreds of thousands of patriots united and working together. The Republican establishment in Washington will pour millions of dollars into this race to save him.”

According to FEC records, the Friends of John McCain campaign committee held $2 million in cash on hand at the end of 2014. Almost $1.2 million of that came from 2008 presidential campaign committee funds transferred in 2013, in addition to $1.3 million in individual contributions. It comes as no surprise that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is supportive of McCain as the “Friends of John McCain” committeetransferred $265,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2014 and late 2013.

The True Facts About Religious Freedom Laws

By Sarah Torre, Heritage Foundation

The mainstream media has launched an all-out blitz over a new law that protects the fundamental freedom of Indiana citizens from unnecessary and unreasonable government coercion.

The media’s gross mischaracterizations of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act ignore the truth: Religious Freedom Restoration Acts prevent government discrimination against religious free exercise and simply provide a way to balance religious liberty with compelling government interests.

Religious liberty isn’t an absolute right. Religious liberty doesn’t always trump. Religious liberty is balanced with concerns for a compelling state interest that’s being pursued in the least-restrictive means possible.

The First Amendment Partnership, an organization whose mission is “to promote and protect religious freedom for people of all faiths,” created the below infographic separating myth from fact on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts:

As Ryan T. Anderson and I explained Thursday, the Indiana law is good policy. Like the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana’s new law prohibits substantial government burdens on religious exercise unless the government can show a compelling interest in burdening religious liberty and does so through the least restrictive means.

These protections for religious freedom provide a commonsense way to balance the fundamental right to religious liberty with compelling government interests.

By passing its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana joins the 19 other states that have implemented such laws. Eleven additional states have religious liberty protections that state courts have interpreted to provide a similar level of protection. These commonsense laws place the onus on the government to justify its actions in burdening the free exercise of religion.

Cong. Franks: The Buck Stops at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

028_29Arizona Congressman Trent Franks responds to President Obama’s first visit to meet with veterans following the Phoenix VA scandal:

“President Lincoln explained that the role of government in caring for veterans is “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”  Unfortunately, the Phoenix VA is ground zero for the tragic failures of bloated, big government bureaucracies. It is demonstrative of the chaos of government empowering itself with the care of our veterans rather than empowering the veteran herself or himself.

“I fear that the mismanagement and lack-of-care provided to our veterans in Phoenix and around the country will be a microcosm of what we can expect from Obamacare, which puts government in control of healthcare, rather than the doctor and the patient.

“Last year Congress attempted to empower veterans by passing sweeping legislation that would provide better access to quality care. Unfortunately, failure by the executive to implement these changes only allowed access to relatively few.

“When it comes to serving those who have served us all with honor and distinction, the buck stops at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  I am encouraged that President Obama has finally decided to visit the Phoenix VA Hospital to hear about the travesties that took place there.  It is my hope that he personally invests himself to ensure that what took place here never happens again.”

Dr. Ben Carson’s Speech at 2015 CPAC

Cong. Love: We Hold the Moral High Ground

Senator Cruz: Stand with the People, Not Washington

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Religious Liberty Under Assault from Special Rights Efforts

Mom + Dad = Marriage