Christian

Obama, Liberals View Americans As "Enemies," GOP Told To Sit In The Back

How many times can a president decry his own nation? We know Barack Obama doesn't think much of certain "bitter clingers." He also hammers away at people and institutions that create jobs as "selfish." His administration is more concerned with white Christian veterans from Western states than documented law breakers. We could launch a blog only on the insults he heaps upon his fellow Americans. But yesterday he went a step further and called for the "punishment" (at the polls) of conservatives whom he called "enemies." So much for the "post-partisan" presidency, the uniting "annointed one." In the Age of Obama, if you have a different idea you are branded.

I'm not your ruler, daggonit, so go out and punish our enemies!

You have to feel sorry for him, though. He clearly laments the fact that he is not our king, although he governs as a ruler and not a democrat. But let's give the president some charity. After all, he said his opponents could join him in a car ride . . . only, they must "sit in the back seat" (see Stop The ACLU).

The great conciliator: "Enemies" need to take a seat "in the back." So much for uniting the country.

Who Could Follow Mike Huckabee?

How about Mike Pence! In case you missed yesterday's big announcement, we ended months of speculation as to who the mystery keynote speaker is for The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that it will be Congressman Mike Pence!

Congressman Pence describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order!" An outspoken advocate for the values we share, he has been named one of the 20 most influential conservatives in America and has repeatedly received the "True Blue Award" from the Family Research Council for his commitment to the family and sanctity of human life. An April 2006 profile in U.S. News and World Report said Pence "has emerged as a powerful force" in Congress. If you have not heard Congressman Pence speak you are in for a real treat!

We plan to make the 25th Anniversary Celebration a night to remember. For a quarter decade, The Family Foundation has been on the front lines of policy decisions in Richmond and we have much to celebrate! From parental consent to abortion to the Marriage Amendment to defunding elective abortion, our victories list is long. I hope you will join us to celebrate the legacy of Walt Barbee, Anne Kincaid and others.

The gala is Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. with a private sponsors' reception and photo line beginning at 5:15. Details for the evening are being finalized, but if you would like to be sure you receive an invitation, please e-mail your name, address and phone number to us at gala@familyfoundation.org. We also expect to announce other special activities surrounding this once-in-a-lifetime event that will make the gala a can't miss event. For more information, visit our Gala Web page or call 804-343-0010.

The invitation will include details of the sponsorship benefits including the private reception, and photo line. A discounted hotel group rate is being negotiated for people desiring to spend the night in Richmond. So please mark your calendar today and plan to be in Richmond the evening of Saturday, October 9, to hear Congressman Mike Pence at The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala!

The ACLU's Not Gonna Like This One

Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes has been one of the most passionate defenders of our nation's Christian hertiage, no more so than in a speech he recently gave on the floor of the House of Representatives. According to Forbes' press office, with more than 2,400,000 views, it is one of the most widely watched floor speeches in YouTube history:

A widely viewed speech with great reason.

Loudoun Liberal Tries To Run Off Christian Prison Ministry

One of the country's most successful prison ministries, Prison Fellowship Ministries, founded by Watergate figure Chuck Colson, who became a Christian while serving his prison term for his role in that scandal, and now run by former Virginia Attorney General Mark Early, is headquartered in Lansdowne, in Loudoun County. It's success in transforming the lives of convicts is praised by people across the political, religious and professional spectrum. So why would anyone want to single it out from a Virginia law that exempts non-profit groups from paying property taxes? One would have to ask liberal Loudoun Supervisor Stevens Miller, but suddenly trying to squeeze taxes out of a non-profit pretty much tells an organization it's not wanted.

His stated purpose, as reported in Leesburg Today:

Supervisor Stevens Miller (D-Dulles) said he was interested in looking at whether the Prison Fellowship Ministries Foundation was still eligible for tax exemption, claiming the Lansdowne-based organization discriminated based on religion by only serving Christians, a point which other members of the committee disputed. 

It all started when the Board looked at how it could suck more revenue out of the private sector and into its own coffers. But after examining what these non-profits do for the county — including a medical institute that contributes more than $1 million annually to the county's fire-rescue and public school systems, and a retired Air Force officers community that contributes tens of thousands of dollars to fire-rescue and in student scholarships — it had a tri-partisan epiphany as Board members Republican, Democrat and independent backed off. Except for Mr. Miller (see Crystal Clear Conservative.) Again, from Leesburg Today:

"I am requesting an investigation," Miller said. "Otherwise these exemptions will continue in perpetuity and who knows if the organizations have evolved into something we don't want to [support]. That's a lot of assessed value."

So, there you have it. It's either too Christian or too rich in Mr. Miller's typically liberal view. Either way, it is a prime target for that mindset, regardless of the evidence his colleagues presented. Maybe Mr. Miller has watched too many horror movies of late — it might evolve into something verrry scaaary.

A successful Christian ministry in Loudoun County that helps inmates evolve into better, productive people? God forbid, right, Mr. Miller? 

Virginia News Stand: May 27, 2009

Lots of campaign news today, as one might expect, as Brian Moran racks up more endorsements, and Virginia Republicans gear up for their nominating convention this weekend. But most of the big stuff concerns yesterday's California Supreme Court decision upholding that state's recently ratified constitutional amendment defining marriage as a between one man and one woman, and President Barack Obama's selection of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.  There are several good articles and commentaries on these subjects in the National News and Commentary sections below. Also, please read Bobby Eberle's rejoinder to retired General Colin Powell regarding his campaign to minimize conservatism in the Republican Party. Finally, be sure to read about a bill one congressman has introduced that would make 2010 "The Year of the Bible" — and his co-sponsors include members of both parties, as well as Christian and Jewish members. 

News:

Virginians critique nominee (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Moran picking up local support (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

Democrats' Inside Man Steps Into Spotlight (Washington Post)

GOP hopefuls for Fralin's House seat hold forum (Roanoke Times

McDonnell backs Mullins for chairman of state GOP (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

GOP will choose slate of state candidates this weekend (Winchester Star)

LU Democrats club to meet with Falwell today (Lynchburg News & Advance

National News:

Calif. Ruling Shows Hurdles Remain for Gay Marriage (Washington Post)

Don't expect smooth sailing for Sotomayor (OneNewsNow.com)

For Sotomayor, discrimination case likely issue (AP/GOPUSA.com)

2010: The year of the Bible? (OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

'Empathy' in Action (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Sotomayor: Racial Politics and Making Policy (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

To Gen. Powell . . . Just Where Have We Gone Too Far To The Right? (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Real Threats

Each Monday morning I join a small group of friends at a local coffee shop for a Bible study. This week I was chatting with the shop manager, thanking him for allowing us to meet and take up space for an hour each week. He said he was just happy to have the business and enjoyed the "atmosphere" we create.  Apparently, not everyone feels that way. He went on to share with me that another group began meeting at his shop for Bible study after they were thrown out of another local eating establishment. I wondered what they could possibly have done to earn such action and he told me that the someone had complained to that coffee shop's manager about the group. What for, you ask? Were they loudly prostelytizing customers? Were they beating their Bibles on the tables?  Singing hymns off key?

Nope — the person complained that "people like that should not be allowed to read their Bibles in public."

To which, apparently, the establishment's manager agreed and promptly asked the group to leave. 

As we ponder the culture we live in where simply reading a Bible in public is now an act that deserves punishment, and where we see our government officials censoring prayers (see State Police Chaplains), and where story after story of anti-Christian bigotry find their way into the news, we have to take heart that there are groups ready to fight for us and for our rights.

A few weeks ago, one such group, Alliance Defense Fund, held a regional litigation academy here in Richmond. The Family Foundation was thrilled to be able to co-host the event, where nearly three dozen attorneys met for a full day of training from ADF experts on how to defend religious liberty rights in court. No group is better equipped to protect our religious liberty rights than ADF, and we are thrilled to be their partner. Knowing that their allied attorneys are ready and abundantly able to take on these cases gives us some comfort that we won't go down without a fight.

Reminder: Ask HHS To Keep Medical Professional Conscience Protections In Place!

A crucial reminder: Thursday, April 9 is the last day the federal Department of Health and Human Services will accept public comment on whether it should maintain, discard or otherwise change the conscience protections for medical professionals put in place only last December! We had a great response from many of you the last time we posted something about this, so for those who haven't e-mailed HHS, please do! Every comment matters, and you know Planned Parenthood and NARAL aren't staying silent. Not only is it unconscionable to make anyone, much less medical professionals, perform actions against their religious beliefs (such as abortion), it would have a disastrous affect as well: It would no doubt force religiously affiliated hospitals, such as Catholic-run hospitals, to close down rather than perform procedures contrary to their faith. Unfortunately, some would rather kow-tow to the extremist abortion-at-all-costs mentality than see this very real decimation to this segment of our health care system, one that provides millions of dollars of charitable health care each year. Pretty ironic — sad, really — coming from an administration so concerned with health care for those who can't afford it.

The amazing thing is that it's even come to this in America, where you supposedly are guaranteed freedom to practice your religion. Instead, a Christian nurse, for example, could be fired for not participating in an abortion if these safeguards are repealed.  

Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the current regulations "one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers — for doctors, nurses and others — who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith in God."

Incredibly, the other side claims that repealing these regulations is necessary to increase medical care opportunities for those seeking certain services.

Writing HHS is simple: Click here for the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment and/or here for the U.S. Catholic Bishops, both of which have information to use in your comments as well as the HHS e-mail link; or, simply e-mail HHS from here at proposedrescission@hhs.gov.

Official Statement Of The Family Foundation On State Police Chaplain Prayer Policy

Statement of Victoria Cobb

President, The Family Foundation of Virginia

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia states:

"That all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." [Emphasis added]

Today, thanks to the action of the Virginia State Police Superintendent and its endorsement by Governor Tim Kaine, Thomas Jefferson's words are little more than ink on paper. The words of the Statute for Religious Freedom that is the foundation for the tradition of religious liberty in our nation and the precursor to the First Amendment rings hollow in the ears of those state police chaplains who have had their opinions in matters of religion diminished and their civil capacities affected simply because they refuse to silence their faith.

As is usual with the issue of religious liberty, the debate surrounding the policy and legislation before the General Assembly to correct it, including several editorials in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, is replete with misinformation, misunderstanding and confusion. Some, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, falsely claim that prayers offered before legislative or government bodies must be nonsectarian or non-denominational. Fortunately, the First Amendment and case law regarding this issue is absolutely clear and on the side of the chaplains.

Simply put, in no case involving public prayer at government-sponsored events (with the exception being public schools) does either the U.S. Supreme Court or any circuit court require that prayers offered be so-called "nonsectarian" or "nondenominational." In fact, the opposite is true. In the clear words of the Supreme Court's Marsh v. Chambers decision:

"In light of the history, there can be no doubt that the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayer has become part of the fabric of our society. To invoke divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making the laws is not, in these circumstances, a violation of the Establishment Clause; it is simply a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country."

Recently, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Pelphrey v. Cobb dismissed the argument that Marsh permits only "nonsectarian" prayers:

"The taxpayers argue that Marsh permits only "nonsectarian" prayers for commission meetings, but their reading is contrary to the command of Marsh that the courts are not to evaluate the content of the prayers absent evidence of exploitation. ... The court never held that the prayers in Marsh were constitutional because they were "nonsectarian."

Supporters of censorship, like the ACLU, are claiming that the Fourth Circuit Court's Turner v. Fredericksburg decision requires the state police's policy of censorship. Again, this is blatantly false.

While that case upheld a policy in Fredericksburg that censors prayers, it does not require that policy. In fact, in the words of Sandra Day O'Connor, who wrote the Turner decision:

"We need not decide whether the Establishment Clause compelled the Council to adopt their legislative prayer policy because the Establishment Clause does not absolutely dictate the form of legislative prayer."

Again, in Pelphrey, the Eleventh Circuit says:

"Although it upheld the policy of the [Fredericksburg City] Council, the Fourth Circuit expressly declined to hold that Marsh required a policy of nondenominational prayers." Adding, "[The courts] . . . have applied the precedents of the Supreme Court irrespective of the level of government involved."

Interestingly, in arguing against legislation reversing the state police policy in a recent Washington Post article, Kent Willis of the Virginia ACLU makes our case saying, "Maybe the worst part of all this is now you have the government deciding what's a proper prayer and what's not a proper prayer."

I couldn't agree more! The government should not be telling people how to pray or not to pray, and that is exactly what the state police policy does. Whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other faith, chaplains should be able to pray at public events according to their beliefs, and those prayers should not be censored by the government. The legislation that has been presented to the General Assembly this year would simply protect chaplains of every religion.

Virginians are growing tired of these attacks on public faith. Our Commonwealth and nation are founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and no amount of revisionist history or politically motivated anti-religious bigotry will erase the truth. The First Amendment and the Statute for Religious Freedom protect the right of individuals to profess their faith in public. They do not protect a crowd from hearing about an individual's faith.

Once again our sacred rights are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Unfortunately, expunging our religious heritage from the public square seems all too in vogue in 21st century America, with elected officials and their political appointees leading the way. In the name of tolerance, public faith is not tolerated. While we would hope that Virginia's rich heritage of freedom would insulate us from such discrimination, recent history proves this not to be the case.

The "Liberal Street" Is Really Angry Now . . . But At Obama!

It hasn't been such a happy post-election season for the Angry Left and militant homosexual activists, despite the election of their "messiah." Perhaps he's human after all. First, militant homosexual activists took to the streets immediately (see here) — as in the next day — after Californians voted to pass Proposition 8, to constitutionally guarantee traditional marriage. They never stopped, trying to disrupt Morman church services (see here); ignorant celebrities leading protests (see here, foul language warning, but hilarious); chasing, posse style, Prop 8 supporters in the streets (see here/foul language warning); and even ranting in Virginia (read here).

It's all been the height of intolerance, viciously so in many cases, in sharp contrast both to what the Angry Left claims to be and in what it claims conservatives are.

Now it is livid at President-Elect Barack Obama's cabinet choices (see Emily Friedman of ABC News) and national security team, which includes a retired Marine general who supported President Bush, current Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Hillary Clinton (who voted for the Iraq war) and U.S. Representative Ray Lahood (R-Ill.) as Transportation Secretary.

Didn't he run to pull out of Iraq? If that isn't enough, apparently the president-elect is turning his innaugaration into a right-wing Christian convention because he's invited Rev. Rick Warren to offer a prayer. Rev. Warren, a Californian, supported Prop 8. The Human Rights Campaign president rips the POTUS-elect in a Washington Post op-ed (see here).

Here's what the militant homosexuals did outside his Saddlesback Church after the election (could this be a scene at the Obama innaugaration?):

You think they were angry then? It must be a dust-up of epic proportions in the nut-root community now. Obama must be nothing less than a sell-out. But when you act like sheep in a crowd, that's what you get. Remember this telling essay from by Fouad Ajami in October?

"Obama and the Politics of Crowds"

They're not getting what they want, what they were promised, what was expected, so they take to the streets, just as Ajami points out Arabs do (i.e., "The Arab Street"). Do we in America now have "The Liberal Street"? Politics by protest? Can't get what you want at the ballot box, so demonstrate in the streets until you do?

It's a liberal crack-up, for sure, but how long will it last? More importantly, will it spill over into, and degrade, the culture at large?

Did Fowler Really Apologize? Did The Devil Make Him Do It?

As we mentioned Saturday, former Democrat National Committee Chairman Don Fowler, who headed the DNC from 1995-96, was caught on video laughing at the prospect of Hurricane Gustav slamming into New Orleans because it would, in his opinion, distract from the Republican National Convention. He said it meant God was with the Democrats.  Not to be outdone, leftist propagandist Michael Moore said much the same thing, saying that Gustav's arrival at the time of the RNC was "proof there is a God."

Fowler and Moore have reluctantly apologized. Moore basically sloughed it off, saying, "I mean I certainly hope nobody gets hurt. I hope everybody's taking cover." Real heartfelt, you can tell.

Fowler was combative. He said he was sending up controversial remarks after 9/11 by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. However, in the video, he did not mention Rev. Falwell. Then, Fowler blames what he said on the fact that there was a conservative blogger sitting behind him (the person who taped Fowler's insensitive comments), calling him a "right-wing nutcase."

Say what you want about omnipresent videographers, but they don't cause people to say stupid things. Furthermore, we don't recall Fowler complaining about videos liberals have stealthily taken of conservatives. In fact, Fowler's "apology" is nothing more than typical liberal victimization politics. He didn't do it, you see, he was forced into it. Someone made him claim God was punishing Republicans. That evil "right-wing nutcase" who probably only wanted to get into his plane seat and relax until he heard vile from Fowler's mouth. Should he not have gotten this baloney on the record? So Fowler wants to trivialize God, ridicule New Orleans and the GOP, and blame others for his words, including a dead man. Classy.

It all reminds us of the late comic Flip Wilson, one of whose classic lines was, "The devil made me do it!" It's a perfect fit since Fowler, who claims he's religious, demonizes someone simply for making known what he said. Real Christian of you, Don. Although we said the libs were getting religion, it certainly isn't one we recognize.  

Sex Doesn't Just Sell . . .

Once again the California Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could have frightening implications across the nation. The court's recent decision allows the government to force doctors to perform medical treatments that violate their religious beliefs. In this case, two Christian fertility doctors refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian who wanted to have a baby. Never mind that there are hundreds of other doctors who would have gladly taken the money and done the procedure, and this is hardly withholding treatment in a life threatening situation, but the lesbian in question sued. The doctors in this case even referred the woman to another clinic — but she refused (and they paid for the referral). Obviously, this was not about a medical treatment. This was about forcing one's morality on someone else and using the courts to do so. 

This is just another example in the ongoing battle between sexual liberty and religious liberty that has more often been played out in the abortion debate. Most recently, abortion activists have fought attempts to protect pharmacists who do not want to distribute abortifacient drugs because it violates their conscience. Again, its not like there isn't a Rite-Aid on every corner, giving people plenty of options. Medical providers are not allowed to have a choice in the matter of conscience.

No, this is about forcing people to act against their religious beliefs. And in America today, religious liberty is the least protected right in existence. In nearly every case thus far, sexual liberty wins out over conscience.

Does no one feel a chill when they read about the government forcing doctors to act against their conscience? Does history not teach us the danger of such oppression?

Or Prohibiting The Free Exercise Thereof

Last week, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruledthat the Rev. Hashmel Turner, a member of the Fredericksburg City Council, could not open council meetings with a prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Former United State Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor sat on the panel as a guest judge, and wrote the opinion (click here to read the opinion). At issue was whether government could regulate prayer. Fredericksburg councilmen traditionally take turns offering a prayer to open city council meetings. When it was Turner's turn, he offered prayers "in the name of Jesus Christ." Predictably, the ACLU threatened a lawsuit, so city council changed its policy prohibiting such specificity, allowing a so-called non-sectarian praise of God, instead.

Turner and his lawyers, from the Charlottesville-based Rutherford Institute, plan an appeal to the United State Supreme Court. As Rev. Turner told The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, "I don't believe the last say-so in the matter should be left up to Justice O'Connor, so I intend on going ahead to the Supreme Court."

Here is the First Amendment in its entirety:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

According to The Free Lance-Star, Justice O'Connor wrote "that the city's policy makes the prayers more inclusive and does not violate Turner's First Amendment rights to free speech."

What too many people, including, unfortunately, justices and judges, don't seem to understand is the "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" part of the establishment clause (see a good post here from American Sentinel). While they pontificate about a "separation of church and state" which is nowhere mentioned in the amendment, they are dead silent on the non-prohibiting part, which is expressly stated. If the government, which is charged to protect free speech and exercise of faith can't protect such practices on its own grounds, who's to say they will protect it elsewhere?

As far as the establishment clause, so often misapplied, there's nothing in Rev. Tuner's prayer, nor in allowing him to pray, that establishes a state-run church. The Fredericksburg City Council is not Congress, for starters. Second, many faiths worship Jesus Christ, so that doesn't establish a specific church, such as Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc. (Sorry, ACLU, "Christian" isn't a church, just like Islam doesn't define all of the denominations within that faith.) Third, it would have to be one powerful prayer to create a national church in such a swoop.

In fact, the council prayer isn't directed to the citizens of Fredericksburg or even public school students — not even Midshipmen at the Naval Academy. It's directed to the councilmen, so that they may have the wisdom to make good decisions. They should be able to pray as they wish. It is a freedom of speech issue as much as a freedom from government mandated or written prayer as anything else. It's funny how liberals scream government should not sanction formal prayers, such as a daily school prayer. But here's government — the city council — going so far as to mandate the deity and phraseology Rev. Turner can reference or use (they allowed "Almighty God" and "Heavenly Father"). What forms of government do state-regulated prayer bring to mind?

It certainly is confounding how such simple and plain language is so wrongly interpreted, especially when the framers of the constitution wrote extensively and clearly about the content of the constitution. We'll keep praying for Rev. Turner and like-minded public officials, as well as for judges to finally learn to get it right. At least as long as the government lets us.