Category Archives: Church & State

CAP: Hobby Lobby and 1062

By Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) rights of the Green Family (who own Hobby Lobby) and the Hahn family (who own Conestoga Wood Specialties) had a very real tie to Arizona’s SB 1062.

One of the primary purposes CAP supported SB 1062 was to clarify Arizona’s own Religious Freedom Restoration Act to ensure that every Arizonan is not forced to surrender their religious beliefs merely because they start a business.

In the majority opinion, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito echoed this fundamental principle when he wrote:

“Business practices compelled or limited by the tenets of a religious doctrine fall comfortably within the understanding of the “exercise of religion” that this Court set out in Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Ore. v. Smith.

Any suggestion that for-profit corporations are incapable of exercising religion because their purpose is simply to make money flies in the face of modern corporate law.”

Make no mistake, this was no small victory for religious freedom, but it also is not the final word. There is still much to be done to ensure every Arizonan is free to live and work according to their faith.

As with SB 1062, opponents have launched a massive misinformation campaign about the decision. Take time to understand what government mandates were objectionable to the Green and Hahn families. The federal government attempted to compel the family-owned businesses to provide and pay for abortion medication in their employee health insurance plans. Hobby Lobby did not object to providing 16 of 20 contraceptive medications mandated by the government – it’s the other four that can function to cause an abortion that were objectionable.

Endorsements for Arizona Primary Election

The Arizona Conservative is endorsing candidates for public office in the Grand Canyon State in advance of the August 26 primary elections. Voters have two choices: candidates who will champion FREEDOM for the individual and those who will push policies that deny and reduce personal freedoms – the candidates of socialism and excessive government CONTROL of your life. Whom do you want in office? Those who protect your constitutional freedom, or those who would expand government and take away more and more of your freedom? Your vote will impact every facet of American society and culture. Check back frequently as we are examining more candidates and propositions and making recommendations:

Office Freedom Control
Governor Andy Thomas Fred DuVal
Secretary of State Will Cardon Chris Campas, Terry Goddard
Attorney General Mark Brnovich Felicia Rotellini
State Treasurer Randy Pullen
Supt. Of Public Instruction Diane Douglas Sharon Thomas, David Garcia
Mining Inspector Joe Hart Manuel Cruz
Congress-District 1 Adam Kwasman Ann Kirkpatrick
Congress-District 2 Martha McSally, Chuck Wooten Ron Barber
Congress-District 3 Gabriela Saucedo Mercer Raul Grijalva
Congress-District 4 Paul Gosar Mikel Weisser
Congress-District 5 Matt Salmon
Congress-District 6 David Schweikert
Congress-District 7 Steve Gallardo, Cesar Chavez
Congress-District 8 Trent Franks Helmuth Hack
Congress-District 9 Wendy Rogers, Andrew Walter Kyrsten Sinema

Arizona Legislature

District 1

Senate:

House: Linda Gray, Karen Fann

District 2

Senate:

House:

District 3

Senate:

House:

District 4

Senate: Connie Uribe

House:

District 5

Senate: Kelli Ward

House: Sam Medrano

District 6

Senate: Chester Crandall

House: Brenda Barton

District 7

Senate:

House:

District 8

Senate: Irene Littleton

House: Darla Dawald

District 9

Senate:

House: Ethan Orr

District 10

Senate:

House:

District 11

Senate: Steve Smith

House: Vince Leach, Mark Finchem

District 12

Senate: Andy Biggs

House: Eddie Farnsworth, Warren Peterson

District 13

Senate: Don Shooter

House: Darin Mitchell, Steve Montenegro

District 14

Senate: Gail Griffin

House: David Gowan, David Stevens

District 15

Senate: Nancy Barto

House: John Allen, David Smith

District 16

Senate: David Farnsworth

House: Kelly Townsend, John Fillmore

District 17

SenateA Steve Yarbrough

House: J.D. Mesnard, Jeff Weninger

District 18

Senate: Tom Morrissey

House: John King, Jill Norgaard

District 19

Senate:

House:

District 20

Senate: Kimberly Yee

House: Paul Boyer, Carl Seel

District 21

Senate: Debbie Lesko

House: Rick Gray

District 22

Senate: Judy Burges

House: David Livington, Phil Lovas

District 23

Senate: John Kavanaugh

House: Jay Lawrence, Michelle Ugenti

District 24

Senate:

House:

District 25

Senate: Dr. Ralph Heap

House: Rusty Bowers, Justin Olsen, Jerry Walker

District 26

Senate:

House:

District 27

Senate:

House:

District 28

Senate:

House: Shawna Bolick

District 29

Senate:

House:

District 30

Senate: Gary Cox

House:

 

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Mesa mayor — Danny Ray

PROPOSITIONS

Tempe–475: Non-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity

NO: This proposition is not in the best interests of individuals who are struggling with same-sex attraction and who are confused about their gender.  Furthermore, these non-discrimination bills, fronted by leftists seeking to destroy traditional marriage and family structure, are cited by activist judges to over-rule the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and the free exercise of religion.  For these reasons, VOTE NO.

 

 

 

Gov. Brewer Takes another Whack at Religious Freedom

We told you earlier this year that religious freedom is more at risk today under Governor Jan Brewer than it ever was under former Gov. Napolitano. Under pressure from far Left extremists several weeks ago, she vetoed an amendment which would have protected religious freedom in Arizona. And now further proof:

Brewer vetoed a bill that would have equal treatment for churches with regard to property taxes.

HB 2281 was supported by Republicans and Democrats. The Arizona Constitution exempts churches from paying property taxes. But churches that rent facilities for their worship services don’t enjoy the same exemption. HB 2281 would have remedied that.

Governor Brewer sided with atheists in opposing this bill.

How sad. How disappointed we are in this governor.

The Agenda: Cultural Marxism in America

Freedom vs. Progressivism

CATEGORY FREEDOM                   VS. PROGRESSIVISM
Constitution Limits the government in order to protect the citizen; the   Constitution and the Bill of Rights are what they are and don’t allow for imagined intentions A living, breathing document whose meaning changes   arbitrarily; creative interpretations by activist judges, at the urging of  special interest groups, fabricating new “rights” that infringe on the Bill of Rights; revisionist casting of the Bill of Rights seeks to create utopia;   rights are to be rationed by the government
Family The basic unit of society: married mother and father caring for their children contributes to healthy society Based on adult happiness, regardless of gender; government content to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on family breakdown
Marriage One man and one woman committed to the best interests of the family Any coupling or grouping and based on adult happiness
Theology Jesus died for the sins of all mankind for all time; all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; the government is not a   theocracy, but religion is the moral conscience of the nation Secular humanism is the religion of government, public schools, and mass media; government is “god”; man is the master of his fate, the captain of his ship (Invictus)
Morality Transcendent moral order; God’s Word in the Bible; obedience to something higher than one’s self Relative: determined by the individual; situational ethics
Government The Constitution protects the citizen from the government;   localized control preferred; powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution Centralized federal control over state and local levels;  seemingly every human activity imaginable   requires government regulation administered by an ever growing army of regulators; there are almost 1,000 federal agencies and divisions enforcing laws; the executive and judicial branches of government are free to usurp the   legislative branch to set and enforce policy
Basis of freedom The Bill of Rights; God-given natural law; inalienable rights Open to government interpretation; Non-discrimination   laws, “hate” crime laws
The Courts One of three equal branches of government; decisions based on originalism; bound by the Constitution, which protects citizens from the government Superior to the executive and legislative branches; decisions open to interpretations favored by leftists; to be used for gains that special interests are not able to achieve legislatively; the judiciary   makes unilateral “amendments” to the Constitution; protects government interests at the expense of citizens
Supreme Court   justices Limited by the Constitution Unlimited by the Constitution; open to citation of international law and the fabrication of new “rights” under the guise of   constitutionality
The Church Protected from the government by the First Amendment Naturalism; science; government needs protection from the church based on the ACLU’s false claim of a “separation of church and state” not based on history, the Constitution, or original intent
Public education The student is to be served by the best educational choice possible; local control Public schools, run by teachers’ unions, are prioritized over the education of students; federal government control
Taxation Low tax rates stimulate business investment, hiring and job creation; tax rates should be fair across the board; the federal   government should raise only the revenue needed to fund the activities authorized by the Constitution High tax rates allow government to expand social welfare programs; whomever earns the most should be taxed more; the tax rate on the  wealthy could extend all the way to 100 percent; Karl Marx urged “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax”
Economy Capitalism; economic equality is unachievable because people invest differing levels of education, motivation and risk Socialism, which is the path to communism, and centralized   control by the federal government; government intervention; the   redistribution of wealth is staged by coercion
Market Free enterprise and minimal government regulation; the   free market is the most transformative economic system; the free market  creates the most wealth and opportunities for people Massing of centralized control and power over the market; high tax rates removing money from the private sector; statists oppose the free market and seek to control it; demonization of wealth creators by government and unions
Political   competition Compete against opponents; freedom to disagree Destroy the enemy; punish anyone who opposes us (fascism)
Crime Man is fallen and susceptible to evil and must be punished with stiff sentences for law-breaking Man is a victim and subject to forces beyond his/her control; light sentencing
Government Constitutionally ordered, divided into three branches to provide a system of checks and balances Domineering and with few restraints; to be used for   personal and special interests’ gains; the courts are to be used to gain what cannot be achieved through the legislative process
Property Private ownership of personal property; what belongs to one man is the object of his care and economy Maximum government ownership; taxation and laws intrude upon private ownership; what belongs to no one in particular is wasted by   everyone
Achievement Self determination; hard work and achievement are rewarded It’s unfair if some have more possessions than others;   everyone should have the same amount of things, with government acting as regulator; those with what government deems excessive must be punished
Life Man is made in the image of God; humans should be protected from conception to natural death; human embryos should not be used as a commodity or sacrificed for experimentation Man is just another animal and nothing special; human life   is expendable; only “wanted” children should be born; depressed citizens should be allowed to find another person to kill them; the elderly and the disabled are using up too many medical resources and should not be allowed to   continue living; people and government have the right to determine who lives and who dies
Autonomy Citizens should be left alone to tend to their own affairs; private enterprise; private decisions in work, life, education, worship; government’s intrusion into personal lives must be extremely limited Increasing government control of and regulation over citizens’ personal lives
Second Amendment Citizens have the constitutional right to bear arms and to self protect; a gun is vital to a citizen’s self defense and is no better or   worse than the person holding it Only the government should have the right to own a gun; citizens have no right to protect themselves
Law Uphold the rule of law Selective use of the rule of law and liberal preference for applications of “law”

Former Arizona Sheriff: Counties can Stop ObamaCare, Unconstitutional Government Actions

Former Graham County, Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack says county sheriffs can prevent federal and state officials from imposing unconstitutional policies on America’s citizens. Mack, a member of the National Rifle Association Hall of Fame, made his remarks in an anonymously written book, They Fired the First Shot, published in 2012.

Among those unconstitutional policies sheriffs can prevent from being imposed on citizens are Obamacare and the HHS mandates forcing Christians to pay for abortion murders, Mack said. The HHS abortion pill mandate forces Christian-owned businesses and ministries to fund abortion. Any business or organization refusing to do so will be fined so heavily it will be forced to close down. That’s unconstitutional, despite the mistaken ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court a year ago.

Mack told the author of The Fired the First Shot:

“The sheriff actually does have a responsibility and a duty to make sure that the Obamacare regulations and the bureaucratic regulations and policies of Washington, D.C., do not supersede and never will supersede a church’s right to conduct its affairs according to its own dictates and conscience.”

Never before Obama has a U.S. president so blatantly and brazenly attacked Christians, religious freedom and the Constitution.

Mack continued:

“What I hope would happen is that the sheriffs nationally would let the federal government know there’s certain things we are not going to allow you to do within our communities and our jurisdictions. And as the duly elected sheriff, I represent the people of this county and we are not going to allow you to come in and shut down any hospitals. We are not going to allow you to fine churches or arrest anybody out of the churches. Your Obamacare and your policies do not supersede the Bill of Rights. We put them on notice that we are going to stand in the way.”

Mack said such actions would actually prevent armed conflict over jurisdictional authorities. Also, he said sheriffs could form posses to protect the citizens from the federal government’s attempt to enforce unconstitutional policies.

It would take numerous sheriffs across the country willing to stand up to federal/Obama bullies, Mack says. If it was just a tiny effort by few sheriffs, it would likely fail.

On what constitutional grounds could sheriffs thwart Obama, the IRS and others who would attempt to impose tyranny on America’s citizens? Mack says …

“We are focusing on the principle that the county sheriff has the authority and the responsibility to protect our Constitution and to protect our rights against tyranny. People have gotten this brainwashed notion that the federal government can do anything it wants, and they cannot. And local and state governments can do anything they want, and they cannot. So the entire premise of our governments is basically based on this false notion that government can do anything it wants to us. That the government can violate all our rights, violate the Constitution, even though they have sworn a sacred oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.”

Obama Regime Endorses Hateful, Anti-Christian Extremism

“Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.”

“We MUST vigorously support the continuing efforts to expose pathologically anti-gay, Islamaphobic, and rabidly intolerant agitators for what they are: die-hard enemies of the United States Constitution. Monsters, one and all. To do anything less would be to roll out a red carpet to those who would usher in a blood-drenched, draconian era of persecutions, nationalistic militarism, and superstitious theocracy.”

– Mikey Weinstein, hateful, anti-Christian extremist, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which inspired Floyd Corkins to try to murder the staff at Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

Let these words sink in.

These are some of the angriest, most vulgar and vile, and certainly some of the most hateful remarks ever directed at American Christians. American Christians serving in the military, risking their lives for liberty, by the way.

These are among the most hateful, disgusting, incendiary remarks we’ve ever seen. And Barack Obama’s military leaders agree with them. Breitbart.com reported this week that Weinstein will be a consultant to the Pentagon to develop new policies on religious tolerance, including a policy for court-martialing military chaplains who share the Christian Gospel during spiritual counseling of American troops.

That created such an uproar that the government backtracked and toned down its anti-Christian threat.

But do not let down your guard. The times are ominous and the hour is late. The persecution of the Church is in a full sprint. And President Obama — the most radical and antagonistic president ever, against religious freedom — is encouraging it.

This latest outrage is not surfacing in a vacuum. Recently it was learned that a U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief identified “Evangelical Christianity” and “Catholicism” as examples of “religious extremism” like al-Qaida, Hamas, and the Klu Klux Klan.

Col. (Ret.) Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said: “Men and women of faith who have served the Army faithfully for centuries shouldn’t be likened to those who have regularly threatened the peace and security of the United States. It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization. It also appears that some military entities are using definitions of ‘hate’ and ‘extreme’ from the lists of anti-Christian political organizations. That violates the apolitical stance appropriate for the military.”

These troubling developments are reminders that the so-called “progressive movement” represents anything but progress. Progressivism — as Democrats define it — is taking America backward, coursening the culture, spreading hate and fascism. They have no intention of competing fairly in the marketplace of ideas, preferring instead to lie, demonize, and destroy their opponents as “enemies.” It’s part of the politics of destruction, a hideous practice all too characteristic of the Clinton and Obama administrationws.

Phoenix ready to take a radical left turn

If you own a business, please be sitting down when you read the latest proposal. The new ordinance being fast-tracked by Mayor Stanton is a disaster for local small businesses in the City of Phoenix. For the first time, any business with one or more employee will be subject to criminal penalties of up to a Class 1 misdemeanor, the highest misdemeanor one can receive.

The proposal requires all businesses that operate in Phoenix to accommodate any individual that wants to express their personal gender or identity. If for example, a man wanted to use the woman’s bathroom in order to express himself then the business owner will be required to allow him to do that or face a criminal penalty and civil litigation. A criminal penalty that will be enforced by the City of Phoenix.

This is a difficult thing to discuss. It opens the door to individuals claiming you are a bigot, old fashioned and someone who condones discrimination. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe in full transparency and you, the citizens, have every right to know what your leaders are up to. And, you need to know about it before it passes next week. Click here to read the ordinance (see “2013 Proposed Human Relations Ordinance changes”)

The language of the ordinance is so broad; the floodgates of litigation against businesses will be opened. What’s worse, the business community has not even been made aware of this and almost all of the elected leaders in the City were unaware of these proposed changes until last week. This tactic of ramming through such dramatic changes without input from community that will be impacted the most, our local small businesses, shows a total disregard for our business community. This lack of transparency must stop immediately. I have sent a letter and called on the City Manager to immediately notify all businesses in the City of Phoenix of these changes-before the vote next week. Click here to read the letter.

This proposed ordinance should be continued to allow all affected parties an opportunity to comment and have their voices heard. Discrimination is deplorable and we should not stand for it. However, the proposed changes are poorly crafted and go after a non-existent problem.

If this ordinance passes as it is expected to do, business will be forced to hire more lawyers than employees.

My best to you and your family,

Sal DiCiccio, City Council member, Phoenix

9th Circus Rules against Gilbert Church’s Religious Freedom

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against religious freedom Friday when it allowed the Town of Gilbert to infringe up on the First Amendment rights of Good News Presbyterian Church.

Judge Paul Watford, in his dissent, said the sign ordinance is unconstitutional because it favors political and ideological signs over signs promoting events, like those the church used:

“Gilbert’s sign ordinance violates the First and 14th amendments by drawing content-based distinctions among different categories of non-commercial speech.”

The church’s attorney is considering whether or not to file an appeal.

Rev. Clyde Reed said, “We thought we had a solid case, but the 9th Circuit said it wasn’t solid enough.”

The right reverend was being kind to the court. Everyone knows the “9th Circus” is a major player in the left-wing transformation of the western part of the nation. This court is never going to issue a fair ruling on any social issues, such as the sanctity of life, marriage, or religious freedom. It’s a biased court, and that’s why it is also the most overturned appeals court in America.

Good News Presbyterian’s fight with the town started eight years ago when Gilbert officials told the church it was posting signs advertising worship services in public rights of way too early. The church tried to accommodate the city, but the city refused to be satisfied.

The church filed a lawsuit in 2008 and said its First and 14th amendment rights were being violated.

Watford agreed, but the other two judges on the panel said the “restrictions are based on objective factors relevant to the creation of the specific exemption and do not otherwise consider the substance of a sign.” As such, the law is constitutional, they wrote.

In 2009, the 9th Circus upheld a lower court decision against the church’s request for an injunction to block enforcement of the ordinance. The Appeals Court sent the case back to the local court so it could weight constitutional considerations in the case. The district court upheld its earlier ruling, as did the 9th Circus Friday.

Jeremy Tedesco, legal counsel for the church, and from Alliance Defending Freedom, said: “To us, it’s a very simple case of content-based discrimination.”

Cong. Quayle Fighting Obama’s Unconstitutional Power Grab

By Arizona Cong. Ben Quayle

President Obama is attempting to compensate for his lack of leadership with unprecedented assertions of personal power. He won’t work with Congress, so he’s decided to ignore it entirely.

I believe the debate that ensued after President Obama’s edict on immigration has glossed over the worst part of it: the fact that it was done without even the slightest input from the legislative branch. President Obama in effect declared that because he didn’t agree with the law, he wouldn’t enforce it. The constitutional implications are vast. What is to stop the president from ending the enforcement of other sections of criminal law, or for that matter, any part of the law?

The day after I sent you my last update, I flew back to Washington and introduced a bill to nullify this unconstitutional power grab. My bill, which has already picked up nearly 30 co-sponsors, would keep these policy changes from taking effect, and would bar the use of these kinds of power grabs in the future. I discussed my bill with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network, as well as Fox and Friends. Enjoy the clips here: Neil CavutoFox and Friends

I’ve told you many times in this newsletter about my work to hold the Obama Administration accountable for the tragic “Operation Fast and Furious.” The issue once again came to the forefront this week. Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has been pressing the Obama Administration to surrender subpoenaed documents on the operation, but Attorney General Holder has repeatedly stalled efforts to hand over the documents.

Because of this, Chairman Issa threatened to hold a contempt of Congress vote against Holder if the documents weren’t handed over by Wednesday of last week. Rather than comply with this legitimate Congressional investigation, President Obama declared that the documents would not be handed over by invoking executive privilege. Executive privilege exists to protect vital national security secrets, not to protect the President from the wrongdoing of his own administration. Once again, the President has abused his power in the worst way.

Chairman Issa responded by holding a contempt vote on the Oversight Committee, and it passed. House leadership has pledged to hold a contempt vote on the Floor of the House this week. This is just what I’ve been asking for the last several weeks, and I will eagerly vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt when the vote occurs. These continued abuses of power must not go unanswered, and the Administration’s attempts to avoid accountability must not continue.

Later in the week I introduced a resolution with my colleague Trey Gowdy of South Carolina calling for the appointment of an outside special counsel to investigate recent national security leaks to the news media. Senator McCain introduced a similar resolution in the Senate.

The New York Times and other outlets have recently written stories having to do with American cyber warfare programs against the Iranian nuclear enrichment program, the American anti-terrorism drone campaign and terrorists being targeted by our armed forces. The information leaked was highly-sensitive and classified. Many speculate that these leaks were made to bolster the national security credentials of the Obama Administration.

In response to the leaks, Attorney General Holder appointed two investigators to supposedly find out who was responsible. The problem is that, as members of the administration themselves, these investigators are faced with a blatant conflict of interest that will compromise their ability to properly carry out the investigation. One of them even donated $4,300 to President Obama’s campaigns. An investigation of this magnitude must be carried out by a special counsel with unquestionable objectivity. I hope the House will join with me in calling for this kind of investigation.

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