Category Archives: Faith & Freedom
But you and I know better. And we are seeing stories like these two more often that show why our First Freedom is in jeopardy:
La Paz County forcing closure of church that helps the homeless
The Church of the Isaiah 58 Project runs a homeless shelter out of its church in La Paz County. Along with providing medical care, shelter, and clean clothes, the church also provides nearly 13,000 meals to the County’s homeless every winter.
As the assessor wasn’t applying state law as intended by the policymakers, our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit defending the church in court. In 2013, Gov. Brewer vetoed a CAP-supported bill intended to clarify state law to ensure the assessor would properly apply the law.
Now, a church that operates on a $50,000 annual budget owes a tax lien of $68,000 by June 15 or it will be forced to close its doors. This is the definition of injustice. Since our nation’s founding, churches have been exempt from property taxes. Not only because of the very clear benefits they provide to our communities, but also because of the fundamental principle that the government should stay out of the business of the church.
If you would like to help the church by making a donation, you can click here.
The intolerance of tolerance
You may recall right before the veto of SB 1062, 11 law professors, led by University of Virginia Law School Professor Douglas Laycock, sent a letter to Gov. Brewer in an attempt to clarify all of the misinformation and lies surrounding the bill.
But like those few who actually read the bill, Professor Laycock recognized that the media hype surrounding the bill had completely distorted its true impact. As a longtime legal expert on First Amendment law, Professor Laycock knows how laws like Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act were designed to operate and why they were necessary.
Writing that letter has not come without a cost. Since that time, the homosexual community has come after Professor Laycock – starting with an open letter, accusing Professor Laycock of harming homosexual students with his work.
They also filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking “among other things, university-funded travel expenses and cellphone records for the past two-and-a-half years,” and “a full, transparent accounting of the resources used by Professor Laycock which may be going towards halting the progress of the LGBT community and to erode the reproductive rights of women across the country.”
These types of intimidation tactics are designed to suppress speech and restrain diversity of opinion. You can only imagine that these accusers will only be satisfied if Professor Laycock completely renounces his work, or is forced out.
Hardly an exercise in true freedom.
Whether it’s Elane Photography, Hobby Lobby, the 2013 veto (mentioned above) or the 2014 veto of the CAP-supported bill (HB 2281) that would have ensured churches that rent their property don’t pay property tax, there is no shortage of stories that show that our religious freedom is in danger of being eradicated in the name of “tolerance.”
Among the most important purposes of civil government are to restrain evil, bring good to society, and bring order to society. On all three grounds, it is right to conclude that government should define and regulate marriage.
Marriage restrains evil by promoting sexual faithfulness between a man and a woman, by establishing a legally binding commitment for parents to care for their children, by establishing a legally binding commitment for spouses to be financially responsible for and to care for one another, and by providing a legal protection to keep women from being exploited by men who might otherwise enjoy a sexual relationship for a time and then abandon a woman and any children she may have borne.
Second, marriage brings good to society in multiple ways. It promotes social stability, economic well-being, educational, and economic benefits for children, the transmission of moral and cultural values to the next generation, and a stable social unit for interactions within society.
Third, the establishment of marriage brings order to society to the general public will know who is married and who is not. Marital status can be established as a matter of public record so that in various ways the society as a whole can honor and protect individual marriages and can know who is responsible for the care and protection and training of children, and for the care of spouses who have medical, financial or other needs. In this way, defining and regulating marriage gives stability and order to a society. It is an extremely important social good that government should encourage and protect.
Only civil government can define a standard of what constitutes a marriage for the state, nation, or whole society.
If no definition of marriage is given to an entire society, then chaos and much oppression of women and children will ensue. Without government establishment of what constitutes marriage, the result is a proliferation of children born in temporary relationships without commitment, and more children born with no one taking responsibility for their general well-being and welfare.
The worldwide consensus throughout history is that society as a whole, through its governing authorities, needs to define and regulate marriage for its citizens. The greatest cost benefit to government and society is when children are protected by a permanent, faithful, co-residential, sexual coupling of a committed, married man and woman.
Since marriage provides great benefits to society with immense value, society has an interest in protecting and encouraging marriage. The Supreme Court has frequently confirmed this, declaring in 1885 “the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman” is “the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization.”
The history of marriage law in the U.S. shows that society has a strong interest in protecting and encouraging marriage between one man and one woman because of the great benefits that accrue from this institution – in multiple ways, benefits that no other relationship or institution can give.
Comparing the environment marriage provides during the pregnancy and birth of a baby with the environment of a cohabiting couple with no legal commitment attached, or to the environment provided by a temporary sexual liaison with no ongoing relationship, or to the environment provided by a homosexual couple that lacks either a mother or a father, or to the environment provided by a single mother who bears a child through in vitro fertilization or surrogate motherhood, it is evident the environment provided by the married heterosexual couple provides far more security for the child.
The environment is also better for the mother because marriage provides a better guarantee that the father will not abandon her to care for the child alone – including at cost to the taxpayers through government welfare programs. The environment of marriage is also better for the father because it provides strong legal and societal expectation that he will stay around and act responsibly with regard to the responsibilities formally associated with fatherhood.
All societies need babies to survive and thrive, and marriage between one man and one woman is the best environment for the birth, care, and raising of children. Children living with their own married parents attain significantly higher educational achievement. They are much more likely to enjoy a better economic standard in their adult lives and are much less likely to end up in poverty. Their physical and emotional health is better. They commit fewer crimes and experience less drug and alcohol abuse. They’ve demonstrated higher standards of integrity and moral principles.
Furthermore, children living with their own parents are less likely to experience physical abuse and are more likely to live in homes providing support, protection, and stability for them. They, in turn, are more likely to establish stable families in the next generation – requiring fewer government resources. Marital fidelity is highest among a married man and woman, resulting in the fewest STDs of any types of relational coupling. In addition, the highest rates of domestic abuse in society are among homosexuals – particularly females.
All of these factors are demonstrable through scholarly, peer-reviewed data – much of it provided by university researchers who describe their political leanings as Left.
And for all the reasons outlined above, marriage between one man and one woman is the basic building block of a stable society. It’s essential to the continuation of a healthy, stable society. It is highly beneficial for government to encourage and reward marriage between one man and one woman – through laws and policies. Policies and laws to the contrary do harm to the nation.
Homosexuals, as a whole, cannot provide the same benefits to children or society. Male homosexuals can expect a life expectancy shorted by 25-30 years. They are at a heightened risk of chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease (infectious hepatitis), fatal immune diseases including cancer, fatal rectal cancer, multiple bowel and other infectious diseases, higher rates of suicide, more drug and alcohol abuse, and adverse consequences due to risky behavior – most notably, frequent sex with hundreds, if not thousands, of anonymous sex partners.
Media in America typically represent homosexual couples as “normal” parents. But that is not an accurate portrayal of social realities. Nor is it an honest attempt at journalism, for the result is to delude society with false information. Media refuse to acknowledge that science has proved indisputably that homosexuality is not genetic, and fail to recognize the many social problems associated with homosexual relationships. The main reasons for dishonest, skewed, and false reporting by media is its collective liberal worldview, and its fear of protest by homosexual advocacy groups.
Furthermore, heterosexual marriage lasts many times longer than homosexual relationships (about 18 months. And when hetero marriages pass the 10-year mark, the divorce rate drops precipitously.
Postscript: Homosexual activists are attempting to place an initiative on the general election ballot in November of 2014 to overturn Arizona’s constitutional protection of marriage between one man and one woman. If they succeed in changing the law, everyone in Arizona loses. Additionally, the result of same-sex “marriage” means a loss constitutional freedom for Americans; same-sex “marriage” will over-rule the First Amendment’s recognition of free speech and religious freedom because to oppose same-sex “marriage” will result in punishment, job loss and marginalization for those opposed. For so many reasons, the best outcome for Arizona society is to defeat this effort.
Information cited from:
Wayne Grudem, Politics and the Bible.
Marcia Barlow, The Marriage Advantage, United Families International
Sexual Orientation, United Families International
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.