Category Archives: Religious Freedom

SIGNS OF OUR TIMES: Politics over Principle/Beware the ‘Light’ in Light Rail

The fix is in on the Scottsdale City Council. Subtitled: Money Talks, Principles Walk. Advocates of the homosexual agenda have apparently flipped the upcoming vote of enough council members to pass the radical and unneeded “bathroom bill.” One council member is approaching what could be her third term — along with the accompanying pension, if elected. A leftist council member pushing for the bathroom bill promised her campaign cash if she goes along. Getting re-elected is more important than doing the right thing. The fix is in.

More on Scottsdale’s bathroom bill … Council members received 98 letters about the bathroom bill. They say six letters, in opposition, from the public were “over the top.” And this proves Scottsdale is NOT a welcoming city to homosexuals. Therefore the bathroom bill is needed, say they! Who knew? That Scottsdale, of all places with its vibrant arts community, is “not” a “welcoming” community? One would think homosexual activists would have descended on the city en masse long before it got to the writing of six letters, and — aided by their left-stream media lemmings — would have stampeded the city into a bathroom bill before all this supposed hate had built up. The fix is in.

Who’s to say homosexual advocates didn’t write those letters? Homosexuals have been exposed for numerous fake hate crime allegations across the country. And who’s to say what is and what isn’t “over the top”? Let’s see these letters, council members. Release them to the public. The fix is in.


Speaking of homosexual advocates. They are shopping for victims up and down Arizona. They are calling churches and Christian schools. “We’re lesbians. Can we enroll our kid in your youth class … in your school?” The hoped-for answer is a no. That would set the grounds for legal complaints of sexual discrimination and put a big chill on the right of Christians to actually act on their convictions. This is part of an organized campaign to create a climate of fear, to push Christian organizations to compromise. Under the threat of the legal hammer. Advocacy groups will come out with a claim that 80 percent of churches and Christian schools are bigoted organizations and strict new laws must be passed on local and state levels to stop this. Tax exemptions must be revoked. Accreditations must be removed.


Just looking at financials for Valley Metro Rail for the years 2012 and 2013. And talk about UPSIDE DOWN! Hoooly sub-sa-deeeeeeeeees, Batman!

For both years, operating revenues were: $31 million. Operating expenses were … brace yourself: $76 million, for both years. OUCH!!! CRUNCH!!! What a hit!

And out of the $31 million in revenue, just $12.7 million came from fares in 2013 and $11.9 million from fares in 2012.

The bulk of the revenue came from member city contributions and grants. Nothing like burdening the backs of taxpayers with a losing proposition.

But wait a minute. City contributions and grant money comes from somewhere. It comes from you. It is taken out of the hands of taxpayers. To call this “income” is misleading. Member city contributions and grants should actually be posted to the expense side of the ledger.

More accurately, Valley Metro Rail should report revenue of $12.7 million in 2013 and $11.9 million in 2012 … AND … $94 million in expenses for 2013 and $95 million in expenses in 2012. That’s the truth of the matter from YOUR perspective.

In an average week in 2013, light rail moved 101,000 people. At a cost of $1.46 million. With fare revenue of $236,000. That’s an unacceptable “return on investment” of 1:6. $1 taken in for every $6 spent. And that’s on you; you are footing the bill.

This is just what the skeptics warned us about a decade ago: that light rail would not be a wise financial investment. It’s subsidies on steroids. The “light” in light rail stands for precious little to show for a huge price tag strapped around the taxpayers’ necks.

Voters: next time, wise up! Don’t be taken in by promises of blue skies.

New Book Exposes Left-Stream Media’s Folly over HB1062

Less than two years ago, extremists on the far Left fringe and their media lemmings in Arizona and around the nation successfully waged a campaign of fear, deceit and distortion against a state religious freedom bill, HB 1062. They stampeded Gov. Jan Brewer into fearfully vetoing this harmless, but helpful, bill. Virtually every television station in Arizona bought the lies of homosexual activists … hook, line and sinker, and engaged in yellow journalism. Even a Phoenix sportscaster, Mike Jurecki, foolishly shot off his mouth about what the bill would not do, further spreading the Big Lie, the Big Narrative of the Left. We saw again how gullible, how ignorant and misinformed and how horribly misguided the left-stream media really is. And just how easily the left-stream media could be led by extreme leftists, without pretending to be fair or factual.

Outside of The Arizona Conservative, there were few in this state who really stood up to speak the truth to this manufactured “crisis.”

Now Ryan Anderson of The Heritage Foundation has addressed what happened here — in his book “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom.” He writes the following in Chapter 5: Religious Freedom: A Basic Human Right. We think this is well worth your read:

In February 2014, the State of Arizona considered a minor legislative clarification to its state RFRA, attracting incendiary media coverage. The New York Times editorialized that the Arizona legislation had passed “noxious measures to give businesses and individuals the broad right to deny services to same-sex couples in the name of protecting religious liberty.”

The Times got it wrong. The Arizona bill, an amendment to the stat’s 1999 RFRA protections, never even mentioned same-sex couples. In provided that the RFRA protections would extend to any “state action” and would apply to “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution or other business organization. In other words, the bill would have protected all citizens and the associations they form from undue burdens by the government on their religious liberty and from private lawsuits that would have the same effect.

Kirsten Powers jumped into the fray with a USA Today column misleadingly titled “Arizona Latest to Attack Gay Rights.” She warned that the law “would result in nothing less than chaos,” even though the federal government has operated under the same rules for twenty years and Arizona had had similar protections since 1999. A bipartisan group of law professors set the record straight in a letter to Governor Jan Brewer:

The bill has been egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics …

We should not punish people for practicing their religion unless we have a very good reason. Arizona has had a RFRA for nearly fifteen years now; the federal government has had one since 1993; and RFRA’s standard was the constitutional standard for the entire country from 1963 to 1990 …

[The proposed law] would amend the Arizona RFRA to address two ambiguities that have been the subject of litigation under other RFRA’s. It would provide that people are covered when state or local government requires them to violate their religion in the conduct of their businesses, and it would provide that people are covered when sued by a private citizen invoking state or local law to demand that they violate their religion.

The rhetoric about giving bigots a license not to serve gays and lesbians was simply nonsensical. Indeed, religious liberty claims in connection with same-sex marriage have never been about turning away certain persons or groups, but about not endorsing certain actions or ceremonies.

But the lies worked, and Governor Brewer, a Republican, vetoed the bill. Among those applying pressure were Arizona’s two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, as well as Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney [and State Senator Bob Worsley], showing that both political parties are susceptible to abandoning principle once the media dial up the heat. Or big business. National Football League officials expressed concern about holding the Super Bowl in Arizona, as scheduled, should the religious liberty bill be enacted.

The scholar’s letter flew right over the head of the frightened governor, who vetoed the bill and got the rabid radicals off her back.


2012 DNC Convention voice vote preference to leave “God” out of platform Matthew 10:32-33 — Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
You have a legal right to kill your unborn child. You have an obligation to fund Planned Parenthood with your tax dollars. You have an obligation to fund abortion with your tax dollars, and will be punished if you refuse. Jeremiah 1:4-5 — The word of the Lord came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Genesis 1:26-27 — Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 9: 5-6 — And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.

Proverbs 6: 16-19 — There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Deuteronomy 5:17 — You shall not murder.

Deuteronomy 30:19 — This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

You have a legal right to marry a person of the same gender. Government should pay for sex changes. Children should experiment sexually. Genesis 5:2 — He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind”[a] when they were created.

Matthew 19:5 — For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

Your rights come from government. Galatians 5:1 — It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Animals and the earth are of greater value than human beings. Genesis 1:26 — Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Man, animals, birds and plants evolved from a lower order, by accident. Genesis 1:21 — So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.

Genesis 1:25 — God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Human beings make their own morality. Romans 1:22 — Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

Jeremiah 10:14 — Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images he makes are a fraud; they have no breath in them.

You are not encouraged to work. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 — For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

Sedona Succumbs to Cultural Marxists

IMG_0125The Sedona City Council just passed an LGBT special rights ordinance, 7-0. And the mayor demonstrated she needs to take a lesson in running a meeting and protecting the right of all speakers to be heard.

During the meeting, intolerant and hostile LGBT proponents made obscene and vulgar gestures and insults at opponents. They took over the meeting from the mayor and shouted down opponents.

Between an August 12th hearing and this week’s council meeting, LGBT radicals demonstrated zero need for a special rights ordinance. They demonstrated nada examples of discrimination or unwelcoming behavior in Sedona. The only argument was that someone recalled racial discrimination in Arizona from 52 years ago.

In this day and age of political correctness, if any discrimination had ever been exhibited in Sedona, it would have made international news and drawn hordes of left-stream media. But that is not what we see in Sedona, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa or any cities which have recently entertained ideas about passing LGBT special rights ordinances. It’s a false issue solely based on political correctness and the homosexual agenda.

And so we award culture scores of F to Mayor Sandy Moriarty, Vice Mayor Mark DiNunzio, and council members Scott Jablow, Angela LeFevre, John Martinez, Jon Thompson and Jessica Williamson. All of them possess very fervent imaginations … and a healthy fear of the LGBT movement. In fact, they are more afraid of the LGBT cultural Marxists than you. They are more concerned about LGBT pressure than religious freedom.

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.

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.

Glendale Pastors Rise up in Defense of Religious Freedom

By Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy

When five Houston pastors had their sermons subpoenaed after speaking out against an overreaching ordinance that severely threatened religious freedom, clergy across the nation began to recognize what is at stake.

Not only are businesses at risk of being penalized or shut down for holding to their religious beliefs, but the fundamental freedoms of churches and pastors are on the line.

It’s in this context that I’ve been blessed to see church leaders throughout the town of Glendale rise up to speak out against a so-called “non-discrimination” ordinance in their town.

Prior to Christmas, some members of the Glendale City Council made it clear their goal was to pass one of these ordinances before the Super Bowl. Yet after an outcry from the people of Glendale and local pastors, this process has been greatly slowed down.

Pastor John Kelley of Calvary Community Church spoke at a Council meeting in December and urged the Council to not hastily pass the measure, and truly hear from the community.

“The city has historically made decisions quickly that we’ve regretted. I plead with the council to not hurry but to listen. It will have a tremendous impact on people of faith as well as the rest of the citizens,” Pastor Kelley said. “Please, listen to us and seek our voice in this decision.”

Then just this week, more than 50 pastors and church leaders from Glendale showed up at the Council to urge them not to pass one these ordinances.

Senator Flake: You’re Just Wrong

Senator John McCain’s surrogate, Senator Jeff Flake, says opponents of Obama’s Cuba normalization “are just plain wrong.”

But here’s the truth: Senator Flake, you’re just wrong about a lot of things.

You’re wrong about Cuba, and you’ve used this topic to deflect your constituents’ attention away from your support for amnesty.

You’re just plain wrong on the need for amnesty.

You’re also wrong on your support for ENDA — the crown piece of legislation coveted by the radical, left, homosexual lobby. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act will force churches and others to employ people who disagree with their belief systems, under excessive punishment. It is intended to directly attack and undermine religious freedom in America.

Gee, Senator Flake, you sure agree with our hard-Left president a lot. In fact, the difference between your positions and those of Barack Obama are getting less and less distinguishable as time goes by.

Til the Last Shot’s Fired

President Ronald Reagan’s Speech at Point-du-Hoc, Normandy