Category Archives: Church & State
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.
“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.
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
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.”
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 Cavuto – Fox 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.