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.

Celebrating 20 Years: One of America’s Truly Premier Family Policy Councils

You just know the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) is a great organization when you see how exercised the Left gets in demonizing this awesome organization. When someone or some organization is doing God’s bidding, they’re a threat to Satan, and he’ll engage in spiritual warfare against them.

CAP’s entire team has been waging that spiritual battle on our behalf for 20 years. The Center for Arizona Policy is a nonprofit research and education organization committed to promoting and defending the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom.

They’ve had a hand in well over a hundred state laws enacted to protect men, women and children. And it’s not just Christians or conservatives who benefit from these laws. ALL Arizonans benefitted. The Left just doesn’t want to admit that.

Over the last 20 years, CAP and its allies have assured many a good policy for Arizona families. And they have helped to prevent bad policy from taking root here. We can thank them that we are not hamstrung by damaging policies fabricated by undiscerning lawmakers beholden to the far Left in other states. We are blessed and fortunate that the Center for Arizona Policy advocates for life, marriage and family, and religious freedom — each of them under withering attack by radical agents of change.

Thankfully, God has blessed CAP’s outstanding efforts with the support of many wise and virtuous state leaders and thousands of citizens whose financial support enabled CAP to emerge as one of the finest family policy councils in America. In fact, it’s one of the very best destinations for your charitable dollars. If you’re one of those persons who wishes someone would “just do something” about the attacks on our values … CAP is your team.

Cathi Herrod has been most capably leading the CAP Team for several years. And Len Munsil led the way before her. They have been vulgarly savaged by the ill-tempered, ill-mannered Left, attacked by the left-stream media people who take their marching orders from Arizona’s leftist organizations. But Cathi, Len and the entire team have considered it an honor to be attacked for their devotion to Christ. They … will … not … back down in their work to promote the policies that benefit Arizona families.

Established in 1995 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening Arizona families through policy and education, CAP has worked with elected officials and members of communities to make Arizona the most welcoming state to raise a family.

To celebrate, Center for Arizona Policy invites you to join its 20-year anniversary celebration, where it will remember the past and look forward to our future. Please be there and show your support for CAP. Help honor this incredible team by attending. You are NOT going to want to miss this night of reflection, celebration, and fellowship.

Here are the details:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Mesa Arts Center in the Ikeda Theater 1 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201 

Semiformal Attire

Not only will you hear from speakers who span the history of CAP, you will also be treated to a concert from Shane & Shane.

Tickets are only $25 per person, and are selling fast.

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?

CORPORATE CULTURAL SMOG, INDIANA AND THE MARKETING OF EVIL

I’m watching the Final Four on Saturday. March Madness is nearing an end.

Time out. Michigan State’s basketball coach needs to slow Duke’s momentum and talk it over with his ball club. Reload on the chips and salsa and sit back for a couple minutes. Relax.

Here’s the commercial message: it’s a photo of two men … with two small  children between them. Then the video rolls, showing … one man seated feeding a baby bottled milk and … the other man leans over and kisses the child on the forehead. The screen goes blue … with a small print message: “we serve everyone … Honey Maid.” It’s a perfect, idyllic family.

And that’s not all. Later …

Now there’s a commercial showing an effeminate man in a convertible. He’s wearing a white shirt, tie, and polka-dot underwear — in a public place. In the next moment he is out of the car … walking … with a purse over his arm, just as women do.

And the message is:

Corporate America is solidly lined up on the side of hedonism … against people of faith … against biblical values. Corporations are so afraid of the homosexual pressure groups that they’re tripping over one another trying to show they are on the board with the homosexual agenda. Corporations like Nike, Honey Maid, Walmart, and countless others are exploiting the media-manufactured “crisis” of Indiana and the Left’s attack on religious freedom.

If it’s big, if it’s corporate … it’s on the wrong side of America’s Christian heritage. Corporations are also afraid of protests, boycotts and militant homosexual activism. Homosexual pressure groups created a climate of fear among corporations and small business, and now their homophobia is prompting them to march along like good soldiers with the agenda.

It’s a form of corporate cultural smog. Author David Kupelian characterizes it as “The Marketing of Evil” in his 2005 book:

“Likewise, most of us mistakenly believe the ‘abortion rights’ and ‘gay rights’ movements were spontaneous, grassroots uprisings of neglected or persecuted minorities wanting to breathe free. Few people realize America was actually ‘sold’ on abortion thanks to an audacious public relations campaign that relied on fantastic lies and fabrications. Or that the ‘gay rights’ movement – which transformed America’s former view of homosexuals as self-destructive human beings into their current status as victims and cultural heroes – faithfully followed an in-depth, phased plan laid out by professional Harvard-trained marketers.

Anyone who doesn’t go along with the corporate homophobia, i.e. Brenda Eich (fired by Firefox for supporting California’s Prop 8 marriage amendment) and other victims are viciously maligned and thrown overboard as if they were “Jim Crow” himself.

We saw this in full bloom last year when the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and local media sheep went along lockstep with homosexual pressure groups to defeat a reasonable amendment to Arizona’s religious protection law.

Kupelian describes this phenomenon as “a program of unabashed propaganda, firmly grounded in long-established principles of marketing and advertising.” Homosexual activists and their fearful accomplices in the corporate and media realms worked to force …

Acceptance of homosexual culture into the mainstream, to silence opposition, and ultimately to convert American society.

This is happening before our very eyes. It’s getting to the point where you can’t watch a basketball game with your family and think you can escape the saturation of marketing. As far as the Honey Maid commercial, here’s what is happening:

The activists and media are changing what people actually think and feel by breaking their current negative associations with our cause and replacing them with positive associations.

By using the term “gay rights,” Kupelian writes, and persuading politicians and the media to adopt this terminology, activists seeking to transform America have framed the terms of the debate in their favor almost before the contest begins. (And in public relations warfare, he who frames the terms of the debate almost always wins. The abortion rights movement has prevailed in that war precisely because it succeeded, early on, in framing the debate as a question, not of abortion, but of choice. The abortion vanguard correctly anticipated that it would be far easier to defend an abstract, positive-sounding idea like choice than the unrestricted slaughter of unborn babies.)

But what about rampant anonymous, disease-plagued homosexual behavior?

How do you sell middle America on those five hundred sex partners and weird sexual practices? Just don’t talk about it. Rather, look and act as normal as possible for the camera.

So what can you do?

Resist. Stand strong in your faith. Speak up with courage, not just when the flash fires break out in Arizona and Indiana. Hold firm to your beliefs. The marketing of evil is evil, and it cannot stand the test of time. Pass this message to your family and friends and help them understand the lies and the deception being force-fed into the culture, creating cultural smog and marketing evil.

The True Facts About Religious Freedom Laws

By Sarah Torre, Heritage Foundation

The mainstream media has launched an all-out blitz over a new law that protects the fundamental freedom of Indiana citizens from unnecessary and unreasonable government coercion.

The media’s gross mischaracterizations of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act ignore the truth: Religious Freedom Restoration Acts prevent government discrimination against religious free exercise and simply provide a way to balance religious liberty with compelling government interests.

Religious liberty isn’t an absolute right. Religious liberty doesn’t always trump. Religious liberty is balanced with concerns for a compelling state interest that’s being pursued in the least-restrictive means possible.

The First Amendment Partnership, an organization whose mission is “to promote and protect religious freedom for people of all faiths,” created the below infographic separating myth from fact on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts:

As Ryan T. Anderson and I explained Thursday, the Indiana law is good policy. Like the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana’s new law prohibits substantial government burdens on religious exercise unless the government can show a compelling interest in burdening religious liberty and does so through the least restrictive means.

These protections for religious freedom provide a commonsense way to balance the fundamental right to religious liberty with compelling government interests.

By passing its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana joins the 19 other states that have implemented such laws. Eleven additional states have religious liberty protections that state courts have interpreted to provide a similar level of protection. These commonsense laws place the onus on the government to justify its actions in burdening the free exercise of religion.

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.

Tucson Schools Deny Religious Freedom, Fire Coach

From Mad World News:

Gary Weiss, formerly a volunteer coach at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson, said he was cut from his position after school officials gave him an ultimatum: tell players to stop praying or lose his position. Choosing prayer, Weiss lost his job, according to local NBC news affiliate KVOA-TV.

“My concern is the rights of the kids to do what is their right to do,” Weiss told the outlet.

Although voluntary invocation is permitted at the school, staff members are prohibited from promoting or facilitating student’s prayer, a district administrator told the affiliate.

Weiss denies administrator’s allegations that he organized and supported prayer among the team members with his claim that no adults led the student’s invocations. Weiss added to his claim that prayers were inclusive, KVOA reported.

“The prayers of the freshmen team have been recited by Muslim kids, Jewish kids, and Christian kids,” Weiss said in an interview with the affiliate.

This is a disgusting attack on the First Amendment… remember that amendment? Freedom of speech and freedom of religion? It is unlawful for a person to be fired protecting individuals Bill of Rights. Here are some of the students tweets below.

Twitter Christian coach fired

Twitter Christian coach fired school shamed