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.

DEMOCRATS VS. AMERICA

Democrats

  • Want to control as much of your life as they possibly can
  • Want to take away your freedom
  • Want to regulate your speech
  • Accept blood money from Planned Parenthood to get elected
  • Take your money and give it to Planned Parenthood
  • Say your child belong to the state
  • Want to keep your children in failing schools
  • Want to indoctrinate your children in secular humanism and encourage them to abandon your faith
  • Punish you for your beliefs and thoughts
  • Allow religious liberty for everyone but Christians
  • Raise your taxes
  • View all money as theirs to keep or to allow you to have some
  • Punish successful businesses
  • Tax your church
  • Remove accreditation from Christian colleges
  • Take away your right to defend yourself — leaving you defenseless against criminals
  • Release more prisoners from jail
  • Want Planned Parenthood to avoid punishment for allowing child rapists to go unreported
  • Want to re-write the Constitution so they can make up new “rights”
  • Want to weaken our national defense
  • Want to open the borders for drug smugglers and new Democratic voters
  • Ignore the rule of law
  • Are creating chaos so you will give up your liberty to have order
  • Are destroying America’s culture
  • Are practicing situational ethics to justify unethical behavior
  • Confiscate your money and give it to the poor, then taking credit for “helping the poor”
  • Are making you pay for the abortion slaughter of 1.2 million Americans each year
  • Are making you pay for other people’s health insurance
  • Made you pay for free golf carts for others
  • Want you to pay for other people’s college education
  • Are giving your tax dollars to America’s enemies
  • Control the media
  • Steal elections and disenfranchise you
  • Encourage activist judges to over-rule your vote
  • Are dictating your vocabulary
  • Are demonizing and marginalizing anyone who does not agree with them
  • Despise the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution
  • Are fiscally reckless and irresponsible, weakening the economy
  • Jeopardizing your social security
  • Are controlling the law schools and training godless generations of lawyers to carry out their policies
  • Are championing moral depravity
  • Are poisoning people against law enforcement
  • Are socialists

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

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, Fountain Hills Defeat Radical Bathroom Bill Efforts

By Tony Perkins, Family Research Council

The Left calls them “fairness ordinances” — but for whom? Certainly not Christians, many of whom are being hauled before city commissions as casualties of them — or worse, losing their jobs and businesses altogether. No, these aren’t fairness ordinances. They’re a license to discriminate against anyone who holds the mainstream view of marriage or sexuality.

Thanks to a very public clash in Houston that pulled back the curtain on the LGBT’s agenda, Americans are starting to wake up to the nightmare of these ordinances, which slipped through too many cities when voters weren’t paying attention. Now they are — and their pushback is throwing a major wrench in the Left’s plans. In states where these measures might have snuck by, more churches and families are on guard, ready to go to the mat against a movement disguised as “equality” but delivering anything but.

This week in Starkville, Mississippi, members of the city council voted 5-2 to rescind a special rights ordinance. People on the ground knew there was storm brewing when Human Rights Campaign came to Starkville and convinced the Mayor to back it. “I just think he hoodwinked the Board,” said Buddy Smith of American Family Association, whose headquarters are in Mississippi. “They didn’t know what they were passing. You know it’s all dressed up in ‘discrimination language’…” “We all know that the mission of the Human Rights Campaign is to create special rights for those who are choosing the homosexual lifestyle — to kind of force this as something that’s good and natural among those who don’t believe that’s good behavior.”

In Fayetteville, it took a groundswell of voters to undo what the liberal council had done. But ultimately, those voters prevailed, voiding a measure by a 52-48 margin that, among other things, would have allowed men to use the girls’ public showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms. The ordinance even made it possible for business owners to face criminal prosecution for failing to follow the government mandates.

For now, Arkansas’s courage seems to have spread all the way to Arizona, where local officials are rethinking a measure that would unfairly punish businesses and conservatives for their faith. Desperately trying to avoid the clash that stole headlines in other areas, the City of Glendale is putting the brakes on their proposal until they can weigh the fallout. Hopefully, they’ll come to the same conclusion as Starkville and avoid Houston’s mistakes, which led to an intrusive, unprecedented attack on area churches.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The mayor and concerned citizens of Fountain Hills also recently beat back an effort by radical leftists to force an unwanted bathroom bill on that community.

Over in Plano, Texas, community leaders are digging in their heels. While the consequences play out in other towns, Mayor Harry LaRosiliere insists, “The Equal Rights Ordinance states that Plano is against discrimination, bullying, and hatemongering.” Maybe, depending on who the targets are. If they’re Christians — like Atlanta fireman Kelvin Cochran — the bullying isn’t just ignored, but encouraged.

That’s why Texas pastors, who are starting to realize the power they have to galvanize their local communities, are leading the charge. Pastor Rafael Cruz, Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) dad, is seizing the opportunity to call for more people of faith to become involved in the political arena — whether that’s on the local school board, PTA, city council, or legislature.

“We believe the Plano City Council is attempting to silence people of faith in the workplace,” Pastor Mike Buster told reporters at a rally this week. And they aim to stop it. With just 3,822 signatures, the voters of Plano can either force the City Council to repeal the ordinance or put it on the May ballot. Either way, voters will have the final say. Which is exactly how it should be.

Roots of Florist Suit Now Personal

If you’re wondering what the effect of these special rights ordinances actually is, ask Barronnelle Stutzman. The owner of Washington’s Arlene’s Flowers, a fixture in the community for years, is staring down a lawsuit that could take away — not just her business, but her home and all of her personal assets. This week, a Benton County Court ruled that Stutzman could be personally sued because she politely declined to participate in a same-sex “wedding” order from two longtime customers.

In an almost unprecedented move, AG Bob Ferguson made the attack personal, launching a second legal challenge to hold Barronnelle personally and financially responsible. The move, a bold and aggressive one, wasn’t considered all that viable by some experts, who thought Stutzman would be shielded by the Consumer Protection Act.

Not so, ruled Judge Alex Ekstrom. In a 35-page decision, he said the state could move forward with its campaign to financially destroy the Washington grandmother. “The Court concludes that the legislature intended to allow the attorney general independent unfettered authority to bring this action.” In other words, this judge is suggesting that the state should be able to rob you of your home, livelihood, and anything else of value simply because you hold a different political view than the people in power!

That’s a horrifying precedent, one that flies in the face of our basic liberties. But unfortunately, these liberals are echoing what the Houston mayor said: this is personal. And the Left is willing to take down sportscasters, educators, athletes, small businesses, wedding vendors, firefighters, and anyone else to send the message that they will not tolerate disagreement.

As our friends at ADF said, does that sound like freedom to you? Does it sound like fairness? Americans need to wake up and realize that the Left is playing for keeps — and in the case of these special ordinances, those keeps include everything Christians own.

Updating Election Results 2014

As of Wednesday morning, here’s where things stand in key and closely contested races:

STATEWIDE OFFICES (1,517 of 1,566 precincts reporting in)

Republican Doug Ducey has a lead of 144,000 votes over *CONTROL’s Comrade Fred DuVal. Ducey has nearly 54 percent of the vote, to DuVal’s 41 percent.

In his acceptance speech, Ducey focused on the economy and fiscal issues: “If anyone needs to cut back, it will be government and not the hardworking taxpayers of this state.” He wants to create opportunities for citizens.

Ducey raised $10 million, and DuVal said he raised $4 million.

DuVal said he campaigned on women’s rights. But Planned Parenthood, one of his key supporters, places quotas on clinics to generate revenue off women’s crisis pregnancies, placing profit before women’s well-being. Post-abortive women suffer heightened risks of breast cancer, though Planned Parenthood and other leftists deny this scientific fact.

Attorney General: Republican Mark Brnovich is leading CONTROL’s Felicia Rotellini by 6+ percentage points.

Secretary of State: Michele Reagan, a liberal Republican, leads CONTROL’s Terry Goddard by 4+ percentage points.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Diane Douglas (GOP) increased her lead to 2.3 percentage points over David Garcia (CONTROL). That’s the tightest of the statewide races.

CONGRESSIONAL RACES (With one exception, all precincts have reported in)

In a Southern Arizona district, conservative Martha McSally is 26 votes ahead of incumbent Ron Barber (CONTROL). The same thing happened two years ago, when McSally led on election night, but in the days of vote counting then she eventually lost to Barber.145 of the 194 precincts are in for this District 2 race.

Former legislator Andy Tobin did lose to CONTROL incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick, a notoriously poor lawmaker, 53-46 percent.

STATE LEGISLATURE (89 of 89 precincts in)

Conservative champion Sylvia Allen has forged ahead of Independent Thomas O’Halleran, by more than 1,600 votes. Allen has 51.48 percent of the votes, to her opponent’s 48.32. If her lead holds up, Republicans will have a 17-13 majority in the Arizona State Senate. Republicans will command a 37-23 majority in the state House of Representatives.

JUDGE NORRIS FIRED

We recommended that Superior Court (Maricopa County) Judge Benjamin Norris be defeated by voters. He became the first judge in Arizona to be voted out in 36 years.

PROPOSITIONS (1,517 OF 1,566)

The only prop still to be decided is 122, which has a slim lead of 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent. This is the proposition that will allow Arizona lawmakers to over-ride radical, unconstitutional federal laws. Though these laws are not as likely to succeed with the congressional Democrats’ complete collapse in the mid-term elections.

Prop 487 lost in the City of Phoenix — allowing unfunded pensions and pension spiking to continue unabated. This places Phoenix on the same trajectory as bankrupt cities like Detroit. Socialist control of Phoenix will eventually come home to its natural, failing roost.

NOT SO MYSTERIOUS “DARK MONEY”

Page 1 of the Democrats’ playbook is: accuse your opponents of what you, yourself, are doing. Then: act shocked that this activity is going on!

In election night TV interviews in Phoenxi, Goddard, Rotellini and Congressman-elect Ruben Gallego focused on mysterious “dark money” and complained about negative ads. But the party of CONTROL sets the standard for negative, truth-defying advertising and campaigning, the politics of personal destruction and identity. No one is shocked at CONTROL hypocrisy. The darling of Planned Parenthood, Michele Reagan, agrees with the CONTROL candidates on “dark money.” Goddard accused all the candidates “who are leading” of receiving “dark money.” Yet Barack Obama is the all-time champion of receiving illegal campaign contributions, especially bundled money from illegal international sources and stimulus money for unions funneled back into his and other Democrats’ campaign coffers.  Goddard also called corporate contributions to candidates “unprecedented,” leading to the questions: where has he been? And does he really think he is believable? Gallego complained about the Koch brothers supporting candidates seeking freedom for their constituents. CONTROL candidates have the low moral ground on the issue of campaign contributions; they just aren’t willing to admit it.

And incidentally, MSNBC — television’s home for socialism — reports that Democrats are the champions of dark money. The Washington Post, a leader of the left stream media, reported on Democrats’ love affair with dark money groups like the Democracy Alliance.

*CONTROL is our moniker for socialists and other candidates whose political party seeks ultimate — and unnecessary — control of your life.