Category Archives: Culture

Overruling the Courts: How We End the Reign of Liberal Judges in 2016

By Andrew Thomas, former Maricopa County Attorney 

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage confirms, once again, that conservative efforts to end liberal judicial activism on major issues have failed. On matters that determine our quality of life and culture-immigration, criminal justice, abortion, marriage-the left enjoys clear mastery of the courts, and has for the last fifty years. To end this tyranny, Congress must use its power under Article III, section 2 of the Constitution to remove jurisdiction from the federal courts over these issues. This will allow the states and the people to decide these matters, restoring self-government on the issues that matter most.

For the past half century, conservative political leaders have vowed to combat liberal judicial activism. These efforts, quite simply, have failed. Unelected liberal judges now effectively run America, making every ultimate policy decision-often in defiance of the will of the people.

Unchecked liberal court rulings have subverted the Constitution, wreaking havoc on our national sovereignty and such bedrock institutions as the family and religious freedom. On the issues that determine our quality of life and culture-immigration, criminal justice, abortion, marriage-the left enjoys clear mastery of the courts and is seeking to mop up and fully implement their social agenda. Except for occasional “crumbs from the master’s table,” conservatives no longer can win in court on the issues that matter most.

To reverse this destructive trend and restore self-government, two things must happen. First, Congress must use its power under Article III, section 2 of the Constitution to remove jurisdiction from the federal courts over these issues. Second, conservative leaders and organizations must work together and insist that candidates for president and Congress in 2016 take a clear position on whether they support stripping the federal courts of this jurisdiction. Otherwise, candidates will continue to mislead conservative voters with often self-serving promises and tactics that, for a half century, have failed to turn the tide.

These jurisdiction-stripping measures would ensure, at a minimum, certain states can become “Faith and Family Networks.” There, people of faith may live in relative freedom from harassment until the courts and other institutions can be properly reformed.

An American Tyranny: Why Our Government Is Election-Proof

Starting in the 1960s, liberal activists took over the federal courts and used them to assault and fundamentally change American society. Under the leadership of former California politician Earl Warren, the U.S. Supreme Court imposed on the nation sweeping liberal policies that lacked popular support. To accomplish this, the high court claimed it had discovered new constitutional “rights.” These “rights” were conferred on individuals hostile to the rule of law and traditional American values. They included criminals and prison inmates, illegal immigrants, flag-burners, and a motley group of liberal provocateurs at war with the social conventions that had protected civilization for millennia.

Converting the Supreme Court into what Justice Hugo Black called a “day-to-day constitutional convention,” activist justices remade the nation. They threw out state laws designed to stop illegal immigration, administer capital punishment, significantly limit or ban abortion, defend marriage, honor religious faith through governmental action, and protect the innocence of children from unrestrained “freedom of expression” in the mass media. These activist rulings, to paraphrase Justice Antonin Scalia, rewrote the “Constitution for a country I do not recognize.”

For example, thanks to federal court rulings, convicted murderers are allowed decades to appeal their sentences through state and, afterwards, federal courts. These delays effectively nullify capital punishment, which the American people support. The Supreme Court has invalidated state laws allowing juries to impose capital punishment on heinous criminals who, for example, rape children. Today, the death penalty is carried out only at the whim of judges, and is no longer an effective deterrent to murder or other grave crimes.

Likewise, the federal courts have knocked down state laws addressing the ongoing influx of illegal immigrants. Activist judges have overturned legislation which made it a crime for an illegal immigrant to enter a state. Other state laws targeting illegal immigration have met the same demise. This has happened even though the Framers of the Constitution expressly reserved for the states broad police powers allowing them to pass and enforce such laws-laws which defend the rule of law and basic American sovereignty.

Unelected federal judges, not elected officials, now have the final say on every national policy issue. This has made our government election-proof. Voting for president or members of Congress means little if federal judges, not elected officials, make the ultimate decisions on all public policies. As power has shifted to the federal courts, elections have become increasingly meaningless. Voter distrust of government has soared.

Moreover, the judiciary has become a firm bastion of liberalism. The courts have given America, for the past fifty years, a steady series of now-entrenched liberal court rulings. These have shattered the nation’s traditions, quality of life and culture. The courts steadfastly refuse to overturn these rulings. Except for occasional and very marginal victories, it is no longer possible for conservatives to win in court on the issues that matter most.

A Half Century of Failure

How did activist liberal judges accomplish this? Those who should have fought back against them did not. Failing to mount a successful counterattack were a succession of presidents and members of Congress-in particular, as a practical matter, the leaders of America’s conservative party, the Republican Party. Many of these leaders tried and meant well. Most, however, shunned the fight out of political self-interest. To avoid controversy and attacks from the liberal media and other allies of liberal judges, these leaders sacrificed the Constitution and self- government.

Misleading Campaign Promises and Ineffective Tactics

Every election cycle, Americans witness a disingenuous ritual. Republican candidates promise to fight the most recent batch of liberal court rulings with tactics proven, over the last fifty years, to be completely ineffective. The first stock promise: seeking to amend the Constitution. This is a political cop-out. The Framers deliberately made amending the Constitution an extremely difficult and unlikely process. This makes pledging to amend the Constitution a dodge, a high- sounding way to avoid seriously addressing activist court rulings.

Equally slippery is the second standard promise: passing more laws to challenge the offending rulings. New conservative laws, conservatives are told, will set up more cases and, eventually, victories in court. These laws are then litigated for many years, often a decade or longer. Any eventual gains from these cases are tardy and trifling. By then a whole new generation of Congressmen are in office, ready to try the same tactic before an often-forgetful conservative electorate. This political promise, in short, is the hackneyed political equivalent of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown again and again.

Despite decades of litigation, the core liberal court rulings remain untouched. For fifty years, federal judges have not reversed a single, major liberal precedent on a cultural issue. Conservative gains in court have been rare and extremely modest, while the left and its social agenda romp virtually unchallenged through the nation’s courthouses. Trumpeting these tiny and infrequent conservative “victories” are lawyers who earn income from these cases and allied politicians; their public declarations of victory often mislead conservatives into thinking they are winning the nation’s cultural battles when, in fact, they are being routed.

Finally, GOP presidential candidates offer the quadrennial chestnut of promising to appoint “strict-constructionist judges.” This tactic also has failed. The left makes confirmation of such candidates for judgeships a horrific and doubtful enterprise. Prospective judges who are honest and open enough to articulate right-of-center views prior to nomination are crucified by liberal media elites and pressure groups during the confirmation process. The savaging of the late Judge Robert Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas were clarion events in this regard. Indeed, the left knows how and when to fight: Had Bork been confirmed instead of his replacement, Anthony Kennedy, America would be a very different country today.

Regardless, it is hard even to find potential conservative judges, no matter how diligently a president searches for them. Lawyers are overwhelmingly liberal. For this reason, the number of conservatives in this pool of potential judges is very small. Even when they can be found, attorneys with seemingly conservative credentials frequently “flip” after donning a black robe. To do otherwise requires them to withstand tremendous professional and personal pressures and enticement from liberal legal insiders, the media and fellow judges. Few are strong enough to do so.

“The Liberal Courts”

What Judge Robert Bork foresaw as the “political seduction of the law,” in a landmark book published when Barack Obama was a law student, has materialized. The left has thoroughly politicized the law and the courts. Conservatives cannot win there on the issues that matter most. Conservative leaders and voters must acknowledge this reality and act accordingly.

How did the left capture the courts? This takeover was inevitable once liberal activists took over academia. To be a lawyer, one must complete seven years of higher education, receiving both a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctor. This means undergoing seven years of indoctrination by committed liberal professors. Thirty years ago, the late Allan Bloom warned about the damaging effects of liberal bias in higher education. But this was a thorny problem to solve, and so it was ignored. Now, it has changed the country.

Liberal indoctrination in American higher education is well documented. Some 72 percent of college professors describe themselves as liberal. Only 15 percent call themselves conservative. Not surprisingly, a 2010 analysis by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute concluded that the more college degrees a person earns, the more liberal that person becomes. When Americans are asked, for instance, whether they believe public-school teachers should be allowed to lead a prayer in school, 57 percent of high-school graduates say yes. That number drops to 40 percent for college graduates, 30 percent for master’s degree holders, and only 17 percent for Ph.D.’s.

This dynamic is particularly stark in law school. Those who dissent from liberal positions during class discussions literally are hissed at and ridiculed. Professors tolerate and sometimes encourage this environment. The message is delivered. Few who graduate from law school are conservative.

The American Bar Association and other bar associations reflect and enforce these biases. Indeed, an attorney who publicly calls the judiciary politicized or liberal risks disbarment; ethical rules charge bar associations with targeting attorneys who, in their judgment, unfairly challenge the “integrity of the judiciary.” Lawyers who speak out also face professional ostracism and retaliation in more obvious ways, as the courts control the outcome of their cases and their livelihoods.

In short, conservatives must view the courts as they do the media. Both institutions have become firmly liberal. Occasional “crumbs” from either institution do not alter this reality. Conservatives should use the phrase “liberal courts” as frequently and reliably as they say “liberal media,” for the terms are equally true.

Indeed, there is an incestuous relationship between the liberal courts and the liberal media. Through generous rulings, the courts have all but shielded the media from libel suits. The media reciprocate by giving the courts “air cover,” reflexively defending them from conservative critiques by pounding those who dare articulate them. Hollywood benefits financially from liberal court rulings, and so leaders of the motion-picture industry do their part, as well. Movie producers uniformly offer films that depict judges as wise, fair and benevolent.

Reclaiming Self-Government

Congress has the power to end this tragic and ruinous state of affairs. That power resides in Article III of the Constitution.

Article III of the Constitution specifies that the U.S. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction only over disputes between states and cases in which foreign diplomats are a party. On any other issue, Congress can limit or eliminate entirely the jurisdiction of the high court and the other federal courts. In other words, the people’s elected representatives in Congress can roll back judicial abuses through a simple majority vote of both houses.

Article III, section 2 provides the Supreme Court “shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” This language expressly allows Congress to withdraw jurisdiction from the federal courts to uphold the will of the people.

Congress has done this in the past, though not on the controversial cultural issues where action is urgently needed today. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld past congressional restrictions of its jurisdiction. Indeed, the language of Article III is so clear and unambiguous that the high court has been obliged to concede such limitations despite its obvious conflict of interest in allowing its own powers to be curbed.

In a string of rulings going back to right after the Civil War, the high court has acknowledged Congress holds this power under Article III. One justice recognizing this constitutional reality was Chief Justice John Marshall, whose opinions first asserted the Supreme Court’s right to strike down laws it deemed unconstitutional. Marshall observed that all federal judicial powers “are limited and regulated” by Congress.

In the Federalist Papers, written to persuade the earliest Americans to adopt the new Constitution, Alexander Hamilton echoed this understanding. He stated the courts were designed to be the “least dangerous” and “weakest” branch of government. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court would be “confined to two classes, and those of a nature rarely to occur.” Likewise, federal appellate jurisdiction would exist only “with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make” (Hamilton’s emphasis). There would never be a “superiority of the judiciary to the legislative power,” meaning the courts could not overrule Congress and the people. Indeed, Hamilton noted Congress could impeach activist judges who engaged in “deliberate usurpation on the authority of the legislature.” Leading legal scholars and other observers have quoted Hamilton and other Framers in upholding Congress’s power to restrict the jurisdiction of the federal courts.

Congress should restrict jurisdiction in those areas of public policy where federal judges have engaged in repeated, substantial abuses of power to thwart the will of the people. Specifically, Congress should pass an act restricting federal-court jurisdiction so that henceforth, each state may:

  • Make it a crime, prosecutable under state law, for an illegal immigrant to enter the state;
  • Ban same-sex marriages and protect related religious freedom;
  • Allow juries to impose the death penalty on criminals as determined by state law, and impose a two-year time limit for federal courts to rule on federal appeals of state capital cases; and
  • Fully regulate or end abortion as the people of the state or their elected representatives deem fit.

This “Empower the States Act” will restore to the states and the people their rightful authority to govern themselves on key areas of public policy.

Returning these matters to the states is not a perfect solution. Because of the deep intellectual rot in the judiciary, many state courts are liberal. Yet state judges are closer to the people and more accountable because many are elected. Also, many state constitutions have a right of referendum, allowing the people to vote directly on these matters.

Conclusion: Empowering the States

In 2016, conservative voters cannot settle for the same evasions and self-serving rhetoric offered by presidential and congressional candidates for the past half century. They must insist that candidates agree explicitly that if elected, they will act to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over these matters and end the reign of liberal judges. Fifty years of failure have proven nothing else will work.

To force candidates to address these issues forthrightly, conservative leaders, activists and voters must be dogged and focused. Republican politicians in particular routinely court conservative voters and rely upon them at election time, but try to avoid tackling these issues. They want to be spared the “air war” that erupts in the liberal media when conservative elected officials address a major social issue. As a result, Republican leaders typically settle for what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich memorably called “managing the decline” of the nation. This is a generous and artful way of accusing such leaders of political cowardice and dereliction of duty, terms that are just as true and fair.

Conservatives must demand more. The hour is very late.

The “Empower the States Act” will create “Faith and Family Networks,” states and clusters of like-minded states where people of faith can live without harassment. This is a realistic stopgap measure to protect these basic liberties until the courts and other institutions can be properly reformed.

To achieve this, conservatives cannot allow candidates to change the subject, talking instead of such easy and shopworn fare as cutting taxes or curbing the bureaucracy. Many news items compete for the voters’ attention. Yet the left shrewdly remains focused on controlling the courts because they know this is their source of ultimate power. In contrast, by losing such focus, conservatives have seen their civilization wrecked by liberal activist judges.

Only by pinning down candidates and holding them to their word on these issues can Americans realistically hope to end the left’s stranglehold on the courts. In the process, the electorate will have taken the surest path to a brighter national future.

Notes

Justice Black:  Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 85 S. Ct. 1678 (1965)(Black, J., dissenting).

Justice Scalia:  United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 116 S. Ct. 2264 (1996)(Scalia, J., dissenting).

Liberal court rulings:  E.g., Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492 (2012)(disallowing state law barring illegal immigrants from entering state); Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S. Ct. 1684 (1961) and Miranda v. Arizona,384 U.S. 436, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966) (expanding the rights of criminals and inmates); Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S. Ct. 705 (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 112 S. Ct. 2791 (1992)(right to abortion); Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 82 S. Ct. 1261 (1962) and Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S. Ct. 1560 (1963)(forbidding public schools from conducting prayer or Bible readings);Obergefell v. Hodges, Citation Pending (2015)(right to same-sex marriage).

Bork:  Robert H. Bork, The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law (New York: Free Press, 1990).

Bloom:  Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987).

Liberal indoctrination in higher education:  Intercollegiate Studies Institute, “The Shaping of the American Mind,” February 2010.

Law school climate:  Andrew Peyton Thomas, The People v. Harvard Law: How America’s Oldest Law School Turned Its Back on Free Speech (San Francisco: Encounter, 2005), pp. 24-26.

Supreme Court and appellate rulings acknowledging Congress’ power to restrict  jurisdiction under Article III, Section 2:  Ex parte McCardle, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 506 (1869)(1867 Act); Lauf v. E.G. Skinner & Co., 303 U.S. 323 (1938)(Norris-LaGuardia Act); Felker v. Turpin, 517 U.S. 651 (1996)(Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act)); Garcia v. Att’y Gen. of the United States, 329 F.3d 1217 (11th Cir. 2003)(Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act); Napier v. Preslicka, 314 F.3d 528 (11th Cir. 2002)(Prison Litigation Reform Act).  In Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723, 128 S. Ct. 2229 (2008), the Supreme Court, in a narrowly written decision, invalidated a federal restriction on its jurisdiction over enemy combatants held in Guantanamo, Cuba.

Chief Justice Marshall:  Durousseau v. United States, 10 U.S. (6 Crach.) 307 (1810).

Hamilton:  Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, Nos. 78 and 81 (available online athttp://constitution.org).

Intellectual support for jurisdiction-stripping measures:  E.g., Raoul Berger, Death Penalties: The Supreme Court’s Obstacle Course (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1982); R. Randall Bridwell and William J. Quirk,Judicial Dictatorship (Rutgers: Transaction, 1995); Patrick J. Buchanan, “Our Judicial Dictatorship,” Buchanan.org, October 10, 2014; Phyllis Schlafly, The Supremacists: The Tyranny of Judges and How To Stop It(Dallas: Spence, 2004).

Appendix – Proposed Legislation

114th Congress

1st Session

H.R. ____________

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

A BILL

To amend title 28, United States Code, with respect to the jurisdiction of the Federal courts over certain cases and controversies involving illegal immigration, marriage, capital punishment and abortion.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1.  SHORT TITLE

This Act may be cited as the “Empower the States Act of 2015.”

SEC. 2.   LIMITATION ON JURISDICTION

(a)  In General – Chapter 99 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“Section 1632.  Limitation on jurisdiction

No court created by an Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, state laws that:  prohibit illegal aliens, as defined by Federal immigration laws, from entering a state; pertain to any type of marriage; determine what criminal conduct makes a criminal offender eligible for capital punishment; set a time limit, for a period of two years or more, for Federal appeal and review of state death-penalty cases; or regulate or prohibit abortion”.

(b) Conforming Amendment – The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 99 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

“1632.  Limitation on jurisdiction”.

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court’s Outrageous Over-reach Not in Best Interests of America or Homosexuals

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex “marriage” — at odds with Supreme Court precedent — will not help people with same-sex attraction. It will not empower them; it will not enhance their lives.

It will expose their most pressing need: to overcome same-sex attraction.

This decision, imposed by judicial fiat and not by the people through their elected representatives, will demonstrate the many problems fraught by same-sex dynamics – namely short-lasting, unstable, and risky relationships, high rates of domestic violence, higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse.

And most sadly, the children trapped in homes without their father or their mother will become a living testimony to developmental deficits forced upon them by adults.

Furthermore, only small percentages of same-sex attracted people are even interested in getting married. The institution of marriage is at odds with their libertine view of relationships and sexual activity.

Same-sex marriage is now to be on full display, and it cannot match the timeless union of one man and one woman as the gold standard for men, women, children, communities and society.

This decision does not move America forward. It is a societal setback rubberstamped by over-reaching judicial activists.

This is not progress. It is a digression which will have serious, negative long-term consequences.

Militant homosexuals need to heed this call: do not persecute, do not punish those who disagree with you. You will only prove the threats we raised against same-sex marriage are on full display and are ringing true. No matter how much you deny it.

Stop the vandalism. Stop the harassment. Stop the fascism. And stop the hate.

Respect the consciences of those who don’t agree with you. Don’t force anyone to participate in something they consider immoral. You can find others who do agree with you and who will participate in your ceremonies.

Be as respectful to others as you wish them to be to you. Those of you considered leaders of homosexual pressure groups must call for civility and restraint from those among you who are now emboldened to lash out against us.

America is watching you now. You are getting what you wanted, but not what you need.

You are selling yourselves short of something that is so much better for you, so much more fulfilling and wholesome. You can overcome same-sex attraction with counseling. And with prayer and the support of your family and friends. It is available to you today. Here in Arizona and elsewhere. Accept it. Embrace it. Seek what is best for you, not what others, not what homosexual pressure groups guided by a profit motive tell you that you need.

Tiny Gilbert Church Wins Supreme Court Victory in Battle of David vs. Goliath

Ending a 10-year legal battle with the Town of Gilbert, Good News Community Church today won a 9-0 victory at the U.S. Supreme Court for free speech.

The U.S. Supreme Court gave churches everywhere a free speech victory today when it ruled that religious signs must be given the same treatment as other messages posted on street corners.

The court unanimously ruled the town of Gilbert, Arizona had discriminated against churches by passing an ordinance barring corner signs advertising services, but allowing other types of signs to be displayed.

The decision overturns a previous ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — the most overturned court in America.

“In today’s secular climate, government increasingly views the free speech rights of churches as less valuable than other types of speech,” said Bruce Hausknecht with Focus on the Family. “That attitude – whether intentional or not – carries over into unconstitutional restrictions on speech such as the Town of Gilbert’s sign code in this case. It is gratifying to see the Supreme Court issue a unanimous decision in favor of the church, especially when two lower federal courts got it horribly wrong.”

Gilbert’s lawyer made that very point in oral arguments at the Supreme Court. In a shocking disregard for the First Amendment, he said church speech isn’t as important as the speech of others. The Town of Gilbert got smacked down for that callous disregard of free speech.

The Alliance Defending Freedom (headquartered in Scottsdale) represented Good News Community Church and its 82-year-old pastor, Clyde Reed, in the lawsuit.

“The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling is a victory for everyone’s freedom of speech,” said ADF attorney David Cortman, who argued the case for the Supreme Court earlier this year. “Speech discrimination is wrong regardless of whether the government intended to violate the First Amendment or not, and it doesn’t matter if the government thinks its discrimination was well-intended. It’s still government playing favorites, and that’s unconstitutional.

“The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling is a victory for everyone’s freedom of speech,” Cortman said. “Speech discrimination is wrong regardless of whether the government intended to violate the First Amendment or not, and it doesn’t matter if the government thinks its discrimination was well-intended.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the court, said that was an impermissible content-based regulation.

“The First Amendment … prohibits enactment of laws ‘abridging the freedom of speech,’’’ Thomas wrote. “Under that clause, a government, including a municipal government vested with state authority has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content.”

In a rare display for fairness, the left-stream media outlet Arizona Central/Arizona Republic turned in the best line of the day on the victory for free speech:

The U.S. Supreme Court preached a bit of gospel — from the Greek word meaning “good news” — for a small Gilbert Presbyterian church on Thursday.

The Blaze reported …

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a major victory to a small Arizona church on Thursday, ruling that local officials cannot restrict messages on signage based on “how worthy the government thinks [they are],” according to the conservative legal firm that represented the house of worship.

CitizenLink contributed to the report

Poll: 2016 U.S. Senate Election in Arizona

The Pillars of Modern American Conservatism

By Alfred Regnery
First Things

Over the past half century, conservatism has become the dominant political philosophy in the United States. Newspaper and television political news stories more often than not will mention the word conservative. Almost every Republican running for office—whether for school board or U.S. senator—will try to establish his place on the political spectrum based on how conservative he is. Even Democrats sometimes distinguish among members of their own party in terms of conservatism.

Although conservatism as we know it today is a relatively new movement—it emerged after World War II and only became a political force in the 1960s—it is based on ideas that are as old as Western civilization itself. The intellectual foundations on which this movement has been built stretch back to antiquity, were further developed during the Middle Ages and in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England, and were ultimately formulated into a coherent political philosophy at the time of the founding of the United States. In a real sense, conservatism is Western civilization.

The basic foundations of American conservatism can be boiled down to four fundamental concepts. We might call them the four pillars of modern conservatism:

The first pillar of conservatism is liberty, or freedom. Conservatives believe that individuals possess the right to life, liberty, and property, and freedom from the restrictions of arbitrary force. They exercise these rights through the use of their natural free will. That means the ability to follow your own dreams, to do what you want to (so long as you don’t harm others) and reap the rewards (or face the penalties). Above all, it means freedom from oppression by government—and the protection of government against oppression. It means political liberty, the freedom to speak your mind on matters of public policy. It means religious liberty—to worship as you please, or not to worship at all. It also means economic liberty, the freedom to own property and to allocate your own resources in a free market.

Conservatism is based on the idea that the pursuit of virtue is the purpose of our existence and that liberty is an essential component of the pursuit of virtue. Adherence to virtue is also a necessary condition of the pursuit of freedom. In other words, freedom must be pursued for the common good, and when it is abused for the benefit of one group at the expense of others, such abuse must be checked. Still, confronted with a choice of more security or more liberty, conservatives will usually opt for more liberty.

The second pillar of conservative philosophy is tradition and order. Conservatism is also about conserving the values that have been established over centuries and that have led to an orderly society. Conservatives believe in human nature; they believe in the ability of man to build a society that respects rights and that has the capacity to repel the forces of evil. Order means a systematic and harmonious arrangement, both within one’s own character and within the commonwealth. It signifies the performance of certain duties and the enjoyment of certain rights within a community.

Order is perhaps more easily understood by looking at its opposite: disorder. A disordered existence is a confused and miserable existence. If a society falls into general disorder, many of its members will cease to exist at all. And if the members of a society are disordered in spirit, the outward order of society cannot long endure. Disorder describes well everything that conservatism is not.

The third pillar is the rule of law. Conservatism is based on the belief that it is crucial to have a legal system that is predictable, that allows people to know what the rules are and enforce those rules equally for all. This means that both governors and the governed are subject to the law. The rule of law promotes prosperity and protects liberty. Put simply, a government of laws and not of men is the only way to secure justice.

The fourth pillar is belief in God. Belief in God means adherence to the broad concepts of religious faith—such things as justice, virtue, fairness, charity, community, and duty. These are the concepts on which conservatives base their philosophy.

Conservative belief is tethered to the idea that there is an allegiance to God that transcends politics and that sets a standard for politics. For conservatives, there must be an authority greater than man, greater than any ruler, king, or government: no state can demand our absolute obedience or attempt to control every aspect of our lives. There must be a moral order, conservatives believe, that undergirds political order. This pillar of conservatism does not mean mixing up faith and politics, and it certainly does not mean settling religious disputes politically. It also does not mean that conservatives have a monopoly on faith, or even that all conservatives are necessarily believers.

Each of the four pillars is closely related to all the others. Liberty, for example, is considered a gift of God and must be protected by the rule of law. The rule of law itself is dependent on the natural law—a transcendent law reflected in every orderly and civilized society, demarcating good and evil. Tradition and order are best reflected by our common law—a law developed over centuries by reasonable people in their everyday lives, which sets the rules for social order consistent with the past. And tradition is an important dimension of belief in God. What could demonstrate tradition and order more fully, for example, than the Old Testament and the history of the Jewish people, or the doctrines of the Christian Church?

Homosexual Group Wants to Deny Children Their Mother or Their Father

Equality Arizona is beginning a new effort called Project Jigsaw: Connecting Every Child with a Loving Family. The purpose is to “create an environment where all couples, regardless of sexual orientation or gender, have the opportunity to provide a stable, loving home for a child.” Through adoption.

Those are the talking points.

Here is the truth. There is a lot more to it than Equality Arizona is saying. It’s the quality of the home environment that counts the most. It means everything to children in their formative years.

Adopting children into the homes of either two men or two women is not in childrens’ best interests. Sure, we understand some same-sex couples want to raise children, but let’s ask the children who have already been through this experience.

They are telling us it was not a good way to grow up. Far from it. Katy Faust says so. Dawn Stefanowicz says so. Meg says so. Heather Barwick says so.

Read what Dawn said:

My biggest concern is that children are not being discussed in this same-sex marriage debate. Yet, won’t the next step for some gay activists be to ask for legal adoption of children if same-sex marriage is legalized? I have considered some of the potential physical and psychological health risks for children raised in this situation. I was at high risk of exposure to contagious STDs due to sexual molestation, my father’s high-risk sexual behaviors, and multiple partners. Even when my father was in what looked like monogamous relationships, he continued cruising for anonymous sex.

Governor Doug Ducey also made some noise recently about just putting children in any loving home. He and others are making a big mistake if they don’t take a deep look at the history, the social science and the personal testimonies on this.

The average homosexual relationship lasts 18 months — hardly a “loving home” or conducive to the stability young boys and girls need.

We have more than enough fatherless children in America. Our prisons bear the result of that. No two women can offset the absence of dad. No two men can offset the absence of a nurturing mom. The kids are not all right.

And we just saw another example of domestic violence with two female pro basketball players who beat the snot out of each other and then quickly got married to try to assuage law enforcement.

Homosexuals also engage in far more risky behaviors than married male-female couples. Like drug abuse. And alcohol abuse. AIDS, of course, is much more prevalent among homosexuals.

A majority of male homosexuals were sexually abused as children. Many girls also struggle with same-sex attraction because of the unhealthy home environments they were raised in.

So now you want to take people with deep-seeded personal issues and mollify them with all kinds of rights and complicate their problems by giving them custody of children?

It makes no common sense. Arizona, Governor Ducey, CPS, adoption agencies, do not repeat the mistakes with young, sensitive, impressionable children. It is not like you are operating in the dark with no credible information to base your decisions on. We know the results in advance if you go down this road. Stop. Think about it. Forget political correctness.

One more question for the governor and any other elected official: is it worth scoring political points at the expense of children whose lives will be put at risk.

No.

Every child needs a mom AND a dad. No alternative can substitute for this fact. Children raised in the homes of married mom and dad do better in every physical, emotional, social, and educational level. Every one. This is not debatable.

Senator Flake, Here’s How a Real Leader Responds to Lawlessness and Corruption

Just a few days ago 10 Republican members of the U.S. Senate voted to affirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general of the United States. While we were overjoyed at the departure of Eric Holder — the most lawless, most corrupt attorney general in U.S. history — his replacement is just as bad and totally unacceptable as he is. She should never should have been confirmed. Everyone knows that if the Democrats were in control of the Senate they would have refused to affirm a Republican president’s nominee for attorney general.

Nonetheless, we were curious to see how Arizona’s junior Senator Jeff Flake justified his vote to affirm Lynch. This is the message he posted on his official Senate website:

“I was pleased today to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general. While I disagree with Ms. Lynch on many policy positions, I have always believed that the Senate should give deference to the president to pick his Cabinet unless there is something disqualifying in a nominee’s background.

“Furthermore, with Loretta Lynch confirmed, Eric Holder’s tenure as head of the Department of Justice draws to a close. Not a bad day in Washington.”

So it’s “not a bad day in Washington” when the people we sent to D.C. to oppose the most lawless, radical, un-American presidential administration in our history refuse to do their jobs.

Now let’s look at how a real leader — Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who voted against Lynch’s confirmation — responded to the same responsibility set before him:

The Senate must never confirm an individual to such an office as this who will support and advance a scheme that violates our Constitution and eviscerates established law and Congressional authority. No person who would do that should be confirmed. And we don’t need to be apologetic about it, colleagues.

Ms. Lynch has announced that she supports and, if confirmed, would advance, the president’s unlawful executive amnesty scheme—a scheme that would provide work permits, trillions in Social Security and Medicare benefits, tax credits of up to $35,000 a year (according to the Congressional Research Service), and even the possibility of chain migration and citizenship to those who have entered the country illegally or overstayed their lawful period of admission. The president has done this even though Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation that would implement such a scheme.

President Obama’s unlawful and unconstitutional executive action nullifies current immigration law—the Immigration and Nationality Act—and replaces them with the very measures Congress refused to adopt. Even King George the Third lacked the power to legislate without Parliament.

During her confirmation hearing in the Judiciary Committee, I asked Ms. Lynch plainly whether she supported the president’s unilateral decision to make his own immigration laws. Here is the relevant portion of the hearing transcript:

Sessions: I have to have a clear answer to this question—Ms. Lynch, do you believe the executive action announced by President Obama on November 20th is legal and Constitutional? Yes or no?

Lynch: As I’ve read the [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion, I do believe it is, Senator.

Of course, the lawful duty of the Attorney General is to enforce the law that exists, not one she or the president might wish existed.

One of the most stunning elements of the president’s scheme is the grant of work permits to up to 5 million illegal immigrants—taking jobs directly from citizens and legal immigrants.

Peter Kirsanow, Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights has written at length about how this undermines the rights of U.S. workers, especially African-American workers, and other minorities, suffering from high unemployment. At her confirmation hearing, I asked Ms. Lynch about what she might do to protect the rights of legal U.S. workers. Here is the exchange in question:

Sessions: Who has more right to a job in this country? A lawful immigrant who’s here or a citizen—or a person who entered the country unlawfully?

Lynch: I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here. And certainly, if someone is here, regardless of status, I would prefer that they would be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace.

This is a breathtaking statement. It is unprecedented for someone who is seeking the highest law enforcement office in America to declare that someone in the country illegally has a “right” to take a job.

This nation is—as George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley has put it—at “a constitutional tipping point.” Professor Turley, who is a nationally recognized constitutional scholar and self-described supporter of President Obama and his policies, testified before the House of Representatives in February 2014, 9 months before the president announced his unprecedented executive action:

“The current passivity of Congress represents a crisis of faith for members willing to see a president assume legislative powers in exchange for insular policy gains. The short-term, insular victories achieved by this president will come at a prohibitive cost if the current imbalance is not corrected. Constitutional authority is easy to lose in the transient shifts of politics. It is far more difficult to regain. If a passion for the Constitution does not motivate members, perhaps a sense of self-preservation will be enough to unify members. President Obama will not be our last president. However, these acquired powers will be passed to his successors. When that occurs, members may loathe the day that they remained silent as the power of government shifted so radically to the chief executive. The powerful personality that engendered this loyalty will be gone, but the powers will remain. We are now at the constitutional tipping point for our system. If balance is to be reestablished, it must begin before this president leaves office and that will likely require every possible means to reassert legislative authority.”

One of those means is the advice and consent power. It was created for just such a time as this. It is not only appropriate, but necessary, that the Senate refuse to confirm a president’s nominees when that president has overreached and assumed the legislative powers of Congress. It is particularly necessary when the president’s nominee is being appointed specifically for the improper purpose of advancing the president’s unconstitutional overreach—all through the powers of the office to which they have been nominated.

Congress must not confirm anyone to lead the United States Department of Justice who will advance the president’s unconstitutional actions. Congress has a limited number of powers to defend the Rule of Law and itself as an institution and to stop the Executive Branch from overreaching. It is unthinkable that we would ignore one of those powers in the face of such a direct threat to our constitutional order—and it is part of an escalating pattern of overreach.

Every day that we allow the president to erode the powers of Congress, we are allowing the president to erode the sacred Constitutional rights of the citizens we serve. We have a duty to this institution, to the Constitution, and to the American people not to confirm someone who is not committed to those principles but rather who will continue in violation of them. For those reasons, I will oppose this nomination and I urge my colleagues, regardless of party, to do the same.”

Senator Sessions, you are an inspiration and a true patriot and leader. We applaud your courage and your integrity in standing up to evil and to minimize harm to this great nation. You are doing what you were elected to do.

As for you, Senator Flake, the same cannot be said. We do not compound one mistake by replacing it with a second mistake. The lack of reasoning, the void of depth and intellect in your brief, casual statement is stunning. And unacceptable.

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.

Scottsdale Councilwoman Keeps up Drumbeat for Attacks on Your Religious Freedom

Last week the Scottsdale City Council voted 5-2 to defeat a proposed sexual orientation nondiscrimination policy. Councilwoman Linda Milhaven was one of the two council members who voted for the controversial proposal. Then she wrote the following commentary in the left-wing publication Scottsdale Independent. We took exception with several of her statements and present her commentary for you now along with our objections, FYI:

Milhaven: Why is treating everyone fairly considered controversial in Scottsdale? [THE ASSUMPTION THAT EVERYONE WILL BE TREATED FAIRLY IS INCORRECT.]

By Linda Milhaven Apr 3rd, 2015

Why is it controversial to consider a law to treat everyone fairly?” [WHY DON’T WE RELY ON THE U.S. CONSTITUTION FOR FREE SPEECH AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY?]

That was the question I got from a citizen after a recent city council meeting. We were considering whether to or not to add sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the city’s non-discrimination ordinances.

At that meeting, the council affirmed their support of the Unity Pledge, [IS THERE A HUGE PROBLEM WITH HOUSING AND HOSPITALITY FOR LGBT IN SCOTTSDALE??? NOT LIKELY.] adopted late last year, supporting LGBT inclusive non-discrimination policies and directed staff to help promote of the pledge.

The next step is to begin the public process to include these principles in our City ordinances. [AT WHAT COST TO THE CONSTITUTION? TO THE CITIZENS OF SCOTTSDALE? TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM? ]

We have received many e-mails and have heard from many constituents — many for and some against. While I believe that everyone is acting in good faith, I am still trying to understand the side that argues against including the principles of the pledge in our ordinances. [THEN PLEASE HEAR OUR CONCERNS AGAIN.]

Some argue that less government is better. I agree; however, some laws are good and necessary. This is the basis for our political debate. What is necessary vs. unnecessary regulation? [TAKING SIDES IN THE CULTURE WAR IS ONLY GUARANTEED TO ALIENATE AT LEAST HALF THE CITY’S CITIZENS.]

In my opinion, we currently have non-discrimination ordinances and adding members of the LGBT community to the list of protected citizens is simply the right thing to do. [LGBT ARE NOT IMMUTABLE TRAITS. SO-CALLED “SEXUAL LIBERTY” IS BEING USED TO BLUDGEON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACROSS THE COUNTRY. DON’T LET SCOTTSDALE EXHIBIT PREJUDICE AGAINST CHRISTIANS AND OTHERS OFFENDED BY WHAT THEY CONSIDER BIBLICAL SIN.]

Some argue that there is no evidence of a problem. [IN THIS DAY AND AGE MOST PEOPLE DO NOT DARE SPEAK OUT AGAINST LGBT FOR FEAR OF JOB LOSS, PHYSICAL THREATS, PUBLIC SMEAR CAMPAIGNS AND HYSTERIA INITIATED BY MILITANT LGBT. CORPORATE AND MUNICIPAL AMERICA IS TRIPPING OVER ONE ANOTHER TO SUBMIT TO EVERY LGBT DEMAND. WHAT MORE CAN YOU POSSIBLY GIVE THEM?] Are they suggesting that members of the LGBT community should publicly share their stories and make themselves vulnerable to additional discrimination/harassment without any protections before we are willing to protect them?

Some assert religious freedom would be compromised. However, religious organizations set their own membership rules [NO. THEY DON’T. STATE, LOCAL, AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS ARE CHIPPING AWAY AT THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION’S FIRST LIBERTY – RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. CHRISTIANS ARE BEING TOLD TO “CHECK THEIR FAITH AT THE DOOR” AND TO KEEP THEIR BELIEFS TO THEMSELVES, THAT WHEN THEY GO INTO BUSINESS THEY SUDDENLY BECOME “SECULAR.” PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES ARE TELLING CAMPUS MINISTRIES THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO REQUIRE OFFICERS BE PEOPLE OF FAITH.] and hiring practices. They may include or exclude anyone they please from their organizations. Government does not and cannot regulate that. [YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG. OBAMACARE AND NONDISCRIMINATION POLICIES ARE BEING ELEVATED ABOVE CONSTITUTIONAL RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, AND CHRISTIANS ARE FORCED TO GO TO GREAT LENGTHS IN EXPENSIVE COURT CASES TO LITIGATE FOR THE FREE EXERCISE OF LIBERTY. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONS ALL OVER THE NATION ARE ELEVATING “SEXUAL LIBERTY” ABOVE THE CONSTITUTION.]

Government does, however, make laws that bind all of us, regardless of our religions affiliations. In fact, non-discrimination laws protect citizens from discrimination based on their religion. [YOU HAVE IT BACKWARDS. NONDISCRIMINATION LAWS ARE USED AS BATTERING RAMS AGAINST THE RELIGIOUS.] Why would some religious organizations want to exclude anyone from the same protections their members enjoy? [YOU INCORRECTLY CHARACTERIZE THE PRESENT REALITY. RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS ARE EXCLUDED FROM FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE BECAUSE OF THE OUTBREAK OF NONDISCRIMINATION LAWS.]

Combining the assertion that we do not have a problem with the assertion that a non-discrimination ordinance will infringe on personal religious rights is puzzling to me. What personal religious rights? The right to discriminate against members of the LGBT community in the marketplace and the workplace? How can one say that there is no discrimination but then argue to protect their right to discriminate? [NO, NO, AND NO – WE ARE OPPOSED TO BEING COMPELLED BY GOVERNMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH WE HAVE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTIONS.]

Some suggest an ordinance will open the business community to frivolous lawsuits. How can one assert that a lawsuit claiming discrimination is frivolous unless one thinks that discrimination is acceptable? [IT IS NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MAKE IT OUT TO BE. THERE WILL BE LAWSUITS. HUMAN RELATIONS BOARDS, THE ACLU, AND OTHERS ARE NOT IN THE HABIT OF PROTECTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. “SEXUAL LIBERTY”AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CANNOT CO-EXIST. ONE IS ALREADY BEING ELEVATED ABOVE THE OTHER. TOO MANY CITY COUNCILS ARE FAVORING “SEXUAL LIBERTY” AT THE EXPENSE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. THIS IS AT ODDS WITH AMERICA’S HISTORY AND CONSTITION AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION.]

Members of the business community have been the strongest advocates of a non-discrimination ordinance. They tell us an ordinance is vital to their ability to attract and retain workforce talent and customers. [THIS IS A COMMON TALKING POINT, BUT WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE TO BACK IT UP? THERE IS NONE. BUSINESSES ARE MERELY POSTURING THEMSELVES AS LGBT FRIENDLY, BUT THERE IS NO EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION IN THE BUSINESS AND CORPORATE WORLD. BIG BUSINESS IS EXTREMELY ACCOMMODATING TO LGBT PEOPLE. THERE IS NO HARM BEING DONE. THERE IS NO LAW, NO LACK OF LAW SHACKLING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY FROM HIRING ANYONE WHO HAS A LEGAL RIGHT TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES.] They tell us lack of an ordinance will do us harm. How can one argue that they are protecting the  business community when they ignore the business community’s pleas for an ordinance? [IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL TO ASK FOR EVIDENCE THAT THIS ORDINANCE IS ACTUALLY NEEDED. IN THE SCOTTSDALE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. YOU WILL LIKELY FIND LGBT NOT ONLY WORKING FOR THESE COMPANIES, BUT ALSO SOME LGBT ARE IN POSITIONS OF MANAGEMENT AND DOING VERY WELL FOR THEMSELVES. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO GOVERN ALL THE CITIZENS, AND NOT TO FAVOR ANY GROUP OVER ANOTHER. LET THIS UNFOUNDED DEMAND GO AND CONCENTRATE ON MORE SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES.]

I believe the city should study the issue and hear from the public. [MOST DEFINITELY! THANK YOU FOR THE WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN TO THE COMMUNITY.] Let us know where you stand. Do you think the city should begin the public process to expand its non-discrimination ordinances to include LGBT non-discrimination? [NO. THERE IS NO PROBLEM. MOVE ON TO MORE SUBSTANTIVE NEEDS AND TOPICS TO PROMOTE YOUR CITY. THANK YOU FOR READING. BEST REGARDS.]

COUNCILWOMAN MILHAVEN, THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS: THERE NEVER WAS ANY DEMONSTRATION THAT THE ORDINANCE IS NEEDED. THE PEOPLE OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI AND FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS JUST REJECTED SUCH MEASURES, AS DID FOUNTAIN HILLS.  BUT THERE IS PLENTY OF EVIDENCE THAT THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE WILL INFRINGE UPON THE FREEDOM OF SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS TO OPERATE THEIR BUSINESSES ACCORDING TO THEIR FAITH. EVERYONE’S CONSCIENCE COUNTS. SO WHY UNNECESSARILY DIVIDE THE CITY? WHY RESTRICT THE CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOM OF A LARGE CONSTITUENCY OF THE CITY?

Arizona Cardinals: Regarding Adrian Peterson — DNAC

Your Arizona Cardinals are contemplating the addition of Adrian Peterson to the team. They need a good running back.

Peterson is a good one, no doubt about it.

But last year the Cards released a practice team player for domestic violence. Apparently if he’d been a standout player like Peterson … he’d still be on the team today … if skill level is apparently the dividing line here.

Is Peterson a good catch?

Yes, if felony child abuse charges are the method of measurement. Yes, if leaving a path of seven illegitimate children scattered about  the country is among the criteria. Yes, if touchdowns are more important than being a good citizen in the community.

The Cards could take a good lesson from retired NFL coach Tony Dungy, now an NBC football analyst.

In his coaching days, Dungy and his coaching staff carefully scrutinized character and talent as they prepared for the annual NFL draft. If a potential draftee had some character issues, Dungy wrote DNDC next to his name: Do Not Draft Character.

Cardinals, if you’re wise, you’ll write DNAC next to Peterson’s name: Do Not Acquire Character.