Category Archives: Faith
QUARTZSITE, Ariz. — A small Arizona church that helps the homeless will now be able to remain open after receiving more than $68,000 in donations to cover an illegal tax bill it was required to pay by June 15 to avoid foreclosure. La Paz County required the church to pay the tax even though both state law and the Arizona Department of Revenue say the church isn’t liable.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Church of the Isaiah 58 Project of Arizona in a lawsuit over the taxes, but because state courts have been unwilling to defer payment of the back-taxes until the completion of litigation, the congregation faced foreclosure. Supporters of the church, which operates on a shoestring budget of only $50,000 per year, contributed enough to pay the tax bill, allowing the church to stay open and continue its lawsuit.
“After an outpouring of support from Christians across the country, this church won’t have to shut its doors and discontinue its crucial ministry,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “Now we can move forward and challenge the unjust actions of one county official who has illegally impeded the church’s efforts to help the least fortunate in a struggling community.”
Under state law, the church qualified for an exemption from property taxes and filed the appropriate paperwork with the La Paz County property assessor. The assessor sat on the paperwork for three years before granting a tax exemption and then only granted it for the years 2009 and later, leaving the church with back taxes for 2007-2008 that it should not owe.
A September 2013 decision from the Arizona Court of Appeals in Church of the Isaiah 58 Project of Arizona v. La Paz County upheld an earlier Tax Court ruling that said the church had to pay the tax bill before challenging it as illegal. ADF attorneys have argued, however, that state law does not require the church to do so when it is challenging an illegally assessed tax so high that the congregation can’t pay the bill and ask for a refund later.
The Arizona Supreme Court recently declined to hear an appeal, leaving the church with no choice but to raise enough money to pay the illegal tax bill to stay open, continue its lawsuit, and then seek a refund of the bill if it prevails.
–Alliance Defending Freedom
What is tolerance? Has tolerance come to mean moral apathy in today’s society? How can one effectively engage different worldviews and help build a society based on mutual respect rather than double standards? What are the implications for religious freedom?
On Thursday, June 5th at 7:15 PM – at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria, AZ – Christian author and apologist Ravi Zacharias will appear on stage with Jewish broadcaster Dennis Prager to engage in a meaningful conversation about the broken moral compass that guides our national conversations about faith, freedom and the cultural issues that divide.
We live in trying times. Those of us who take belief in the God of the Bible seriously feel burdened by the problems that arise in our increasingly secular society. People are abandoning truth, Western culture is failing, and the lines between right and wrong are becoming irrevocably blurred.
The goal of this event is to allow two prominent voices in the public square – one Jewish (Prager), and one evangelical Christian (Ravi) – to engage in an open, honest and entertaining dialogue about these challenges we face as a nation and civilization. This is about asking and answering tough questions in a God-honoring and purposeful way.
Our moderator for the evening’s conversation will be best-selling author and lawyer, David Limbaugh.
Christ’s Church of the Valley and Pastor Mark Moore are our hosts for #RaviPrager, and Pastor Moore will facilitate a Q & A time between the audience and our speakers to close out the evening.
Tickets are $20 for General Admission seating, and $100 for VIP Reserved seating (and admittance to a catered pre-show VIP reception with Ravi, Dennis and David starting at 6:00 pm).
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.
That crowing you hear is from the homosexual pressure groups, jubilant from their semi-capture of the Boy Scouts of America. BSA announced today that boys struggling from same-sex attraction can join scouting troops, but self-identifying homosexual adults cannot lead Boy Scout troops.
The homosexual activists have been out to conquer the Boy Scouts for decades. They’re halfway there now. But God has a way of taking of what some intend for evil and turning it around for good.
Here’s what I mean. In whose company would boys with sexual confusion most benefit?
From the Gay-Straight Alliance in their public schools? It’s a politically pressure group working from within to whip public schools into compliance with homosexual activist demands.
Or in the presence of Christian scout leaders teaching moral codes?
Same-sex attraction is extremely rare in the U.S. Only about 2 percent of the population struggles with same-sex attraction. Most Boy Scout troops probably won’t have anyone with same-sex attraction involved. There are thousands of small towns in America where boys are well-bonded with their own gender and don’t have these unfortunate struggles. So for many troops, this will be a non-issue.
Perhaps in girly-man towns like San Francisco, some troops will be entirely made up of boys with same-sex attraction. But that will be the exception to the norm.
Men and boys with healthy male identities can provide healthy role modeling for boys who are confused. And in today’s climate of moral relativism, a weekly dose of Judeo-Christian morality will be extremely valuable to boys who are struggling. And in fact, therapists who work with males going through these struggles encourage them to engage in activities with males in order to develop healthy male bonding.
Now this isn’t to say that there won’t be some problems, and that condemnation of the BSA’s foolish decision today isn’t justified. The Left is falling back on its tired and worn-out clichés again today.
Chris Wallace, of Fox News, was on the Mike Gallagher Show today, making trite, senseless, typical leftist points (remember, he is the son of Mike Wallace):
- “Times have changed.” So what. Morality has not changed, Chris.
- “Laws used to prevent inter-racial marriage.” That was about race, not gender, Chris. This argument has never worked for the Left.
- “They aren’t going to jump ‘em in the tent!”
Oh, no, Chris? There are going to be 17-year-old boys with same-sex attraction taking advantage of younger boys on camping trips. And that’s where the threat lies. These boys should not be allowed to have a free run at younger, vulnerable boys. The supervision now must be on red alert. Remember, many homosexuals were tragically molested/raped as youngsters, and they learned unhealthy sexuality as a result. What better opportunity for an older homosexual boy to take advantage of younger boys on a night in the woods? It’s the same tempation faced by many pedophiles working at Disney Land, and by many priests with access to young boys.
But the new rules being what they are … all you boys with unwanted same-sex attraction desiring a scouting life … be sure to bring your Bible to next week’s meeting. You’ll learn a lot about how to be morally straight and about God’s plan for male-female marriage. Take notes; it will do you good. And be sure to drop your membership in the GSA at your local school; it does NOT have your best interests in mind. God bless you.
Two marginal professional athletes – both without a team to call home — dominated the nation’s news cycle today – and for radically different reasons. Both were first-round draft picks in their respective leagues.
A young pro struggling to get his career going was released today. He’d been given one chance to shine in his brief pro career, and he enjoyed spectacular success. But after being traded to another team, he mostly rode the bench last fall, before his release today.
He spent much of his early life sacrificially working with his family to help better the lives of poverty-stricken people in Africa. In a time devoid of heroes, he’s a role model for young men. And he’s destined to become a great husband, father, and mentor. He’s already in demand as a religious and motivational speaker in the Christian community. Yet he’s been scorned and attacked by fascists and the Left-stream media for his faith. The sheep in the Left-stream media’s echo chamber repeatedly say he’s the most polarizing athlete in America.
He lives a clean and healthy lifestyle, but people complain he’s “too Christian.” Recently he’s been working out at a feverish pace in MaricopaCounty to fine-tune his game. He is hoping to sign on with another team and prove he belongs in the National Football League. His coaches marvel at his integrity, his work ethic and how much he has improved his skills and fundamentals in the past three months.
No one of note praised him today.
This aging journeyman center has bounced around the NBA for a dozen years. He has had low visibility from his seat on the bench of six pro teams, and he has not been recognized for anything of note in his communities. Averaging just 3.6 points per game in his career, he has not registered on anyone’s radar. Until today — for something that has nothing to do with his profession.
He has a personality disorder of a type that is often caused by neglect or, at worst, traumatic experiences including abuse. But current and former presidents and the commissioners of the National Basketball Association and the National Football League are tripping over each other to congratulate him. Along with former coaches. They’re hoping many more of their athletes will go through whatever it is he’s been through – and often times it isn’t something you’d wish on anyone – so they can gush how wonderful it is.
“We are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. A former president, the scandal-ridden Bill Clinton, said the “announcement today is an important moment for professional sports.” One of this journeyman center’s former coaches, who just traded him away, said he is “extremely happy and proud” of this player, whose career is nearing its end. “I am extremely happy and proud” of him, said Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner. ESPN is ready to declare him athlete of the century. The Democrats are probably booking him as keynote speaker for their 2016 national convention. Stanford University would gladly name this alum president. And with his newfound fame, he could easily win an election in practically any left-wing state. Neil Armstrong didn’t get this many accolades for walking on the moon.
You probably know Athlete A is Tim Tebow, released today by the New York Jets of the NFL, and Athlete B is Jason Collins, released by the Washington Wizards at the end of the season, and who announced he is homosexual. Collins could not be more highly exalted if he’d just won the Super Bowl and permanently established world peace. He wrote a lengthy story in Sports Illustrated to announce he prefers having sex with men, which biologically speaking, can’t be very much fun.
But the left-wingers are exhilarated. Some to push the radical homosexual agenda. Others just going with the flow to say the right things and sound enlightened, rather than to stand apart and look at what’s really going on.
Until years ago, the American Psychiatric Association’s official position on homosexual behavior was that it’s a personality disorder. But homosexual fascists caused such a ruckus that they intimidated the APA into discontinuing that. Their decision had nothing to do with science and everything to do with activist threats, pressure and political correctness.
The truth is that homosexuality is most often caused by negative events in a person’s life, including sexual abuse and parental disconnection. Collins said his family life is good, intact. But maybe some day after this clamor dies down, a TV or print reporter will interview him and the truth will come out. This man deserves sympathy for what he’s experienced. But the accolades may only serve to the detriment of younger boys who might think the abuse they’ve suffered is normal and acceptable. Many are being deluded, and what is being celebrated today is not compassion.
Three-fourths of homosexual men studied by the CDC did not even know they have HIV. Male homosexuals live 20-30 years less than heterosexual men, because of AIDs, cancer, drug and alcohol abuse, and more. These men suffer high rates of anal cancer. In one study, 41 percent of homosexual males reported having been forcibly raped as children. Do you still consider yourself compassionate, Coach Doc Rivers, Bill Clinton, Roger Goodell, David Stern, Barack Obama, and all you who glorify damaging and destructive life events? Your praises for Collins may have a devastating impact on countless young people listening to you and who look up to pro athletes. You would have multitudes risk severe health hazards in exchange for political correctness. We have an epidemic in this country and around the world … and you on the Left are celebrating its cause.
The political correctness will have a devastating fall-out, as Rush Limbaugh and a caller noted today:
CALLER: My question, let’s say player A comes out and says he’s gay, and he’s a quarterback, running back, something like that. Player B on the opposing team sacks him a few times over a season or in a game, is that gonna be considered a hate tackle? And will Obama come out and say, “My son’s not gonna play because there’s too much hate in football”?
RUSH: I have to tell you something. I haven’t even pondered this. You have a gay quarterback or a gay running back, and there’s a vicious penalty that requires the referees to throw a flag, will the people on TV in the sports media say, “I wonder if they hit the guy hard because he’s gay, I wonder if there’s payback? I wonder if that was a hate hit?” Given, Dan, that we’re talking about liberals in the media, that wouldn’t surprise me. I hadn’t even considered that. I can totally see that happening. I can see the allegation that a particularly egregious hit could be alleged to be a hate hit. And then, ladies and gentlemen, might we start hearing whispers, whispers, whispers of perhaps a bounty on gay players on certain teams? That kind of thing could be reported even if it wasn’t happening. If some reporter thinks it might happen, all he’s gotta do is raise the possibility. Are there bounties in the NFL against the gay players? I hadn’t even thought of that.
The Left certainly has its priorities out of whack. No wonder our country is so confused and in such moral chaos. What’s up is down; what’s down is up. God forgive us.