Category Archives: Christianity

Pastor Parent to Public School: Obama's Decree Denies the Reality of Human Nature

Rod Dreher at The American Conservative posts a letter from a Christian Pastor to the Principal and Superintendent of his daughter's public school, which charitably objects to the Obama administration's recent decree on the 'right' of men to use girls' and women's bathrooms and locker room facilities.

Here is a snippet:

The real issue here is that the Obama administration’s decree is at the surface a pragmatic directive regarding the use of bathroom facilities etc., but implicitly and by logical necessity, it is a claim about what is in fact the case (i.e., true) regarding human nature as an essentially fluid and endlessly malleable reality. That is to say, it is a denial of the reality of any such thing as “human nature” beyond the self-determining dictates of the sovereign, autonomous will. It is, in short, philosophy decked out in bureaucratic dress and backed with a closed fist aimed at deviant philosophers such as myself. You need to know this; you need to know that by implementing the decree, you are not just acting to protect the feelings or safety of a minority. [...] Rather, if you implement this decree, you will be enforcing a highly contested philosophical anthropology that is basically 30 years old, a philosophical anthropology that (without exaggeration) every civilization in the history of the human race would regard as sheer folly. You see, the President is making philosophers of you all! Make no mistake: this “policy” decree is fundamentally an issue of truth; it is philosophical.

Read the rest, with Dreher's commentary, over at The American Conservative.

University Student Expelled For Opposing Gay 'Marriage'

In a shocking story out of the UK, a university postgraduate student on a path to become a social worker was expelled for posting on his personal Facebook page his opposition to gay 'marriage.' The "fitness to practise" panel at Sheffield University told student Felix Ngole, a committed Christian, that his post, "may have caused offense to some individuals" and that his publicly stated views would jeopardize his ability to operate as a social worker. They promptly demanded he turn in his student ID card.

Triggered by a single complaint, Sheffield University's action effectively closes Christian students out of the social work profession and is the latest in an ongoing effort to marginalize supporters of traditional marriage. Apparently realizing the totalitarian nature of their action and the fact that it is illegal, the university went to length to explain that it's position was not based on Ngole's views per se, but the fact that he expressed them! This is little comfort to the hundreds of millions of Christians across the globe who fervently believe that marriage is what God said it was - the union of one man and one woman.

If stating views that cause "offense to some individuals" is the standard for fitness to enter the social worker profession, then presumably those who support same-sex 'marriage' are not eligible to be social worker either since there are so many people, likely a majority, who believe in traditional marriage. Of course no action has ever been taken by Sheffield University or anyone else against anyone for expressing support for redefining marriage, showing the university's position to be nothing but a smokescreen to punish a view of marriage that is not politically correct.

Ngole promises that litigation will follow. Please keep him in your prayers.

The Great Heart of Antonin Scalia

Many thanks to NOM friend Ed Whelan for passing along this beautiful piece by Jeffrey Tucker that gives us a glimpse of the heart of Antonin Scalia -- not as a jurist but as a human being. Tucker writes:

It was a spring afternoon some years ago, and he was attending church services, sitting in a back pew, holding his prayer book in his hands. The Mass had ended and most people had gone. He was still saying prayers, alone in the back pew.

He finally got up and began to walk out. There were no reporters, nobody watching. There was only a woman who had been attending the same services. She had no idea who he was. I was a bystander, and I’m certain he didn’t know I was there.

What was a bit unusual about this woman: she had lashing sores on her face and hands. They were open sores. There was some disease, and not just physically. She behaved strangely, a troubled person that you meet in large cities and quickly walk away from. A person to avoid and certainly never touch.

For whatever reason, she walked up to Justice Scalia, who was alone. He took her hands, though they were full of sores. She leaned in to say something, and she began to cry.

He held her face next to his, and she talked beneath her tears that were now streaming down his suit. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t try to get away. He just held her while she spoke. This lasted for perhaps more than 5 minutes. He closed his eyes while she spoke, gripping her back with his hand.

He didn’t recoil. He stood there with conviction. And love.

There were no cameras and no other onlookers besides myself, and he had no idea I was there.

Finally she was finished. What he said comforted her, and she gained composure. She pulled away, ready to go. He held her rough, sore-filled hands and had a few final words that I could not hear. He gave her some money.

And then she walked away.

And then he walked away, across the green grass, toward the Supreme Court building, alone. He was probably preparing for an afternoon of work.

You can read Jeffrey Tucker's entire article here.

Is the Trump Campaign Anti-Christian?

While presidential candidate Donald Trump has made a major push to attract the support of Christians, including speaking at Liberty University where he picked up the endorsement of its president, Jerry Falwell, Jr, Trump’s press spokesperson has been engaging in virulent anti-Christian, anti-Catholic rhetoric.

Trump spokesperson Katrina Piersen recently tweeted an insult to Catholics, mocking the Catholic Church’s theology that the church was founded by Jesus Christ. “I bet they believe that too. #sad.”

Her anti-Catholic rant drew a rebuke from The Catholic League, the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, which demanded an apology from Piersen and a clarification from candidate Trump that he will not tolerate anti-Catholic rhetoric in his campaign.

This is not the first time that Piersen has gone after Christians. Even as her boss worked to curry favor with Christian leaders and groups as part of his efforts to win in Iowa and nationally, Trump’s spokesperson has made her disdain for Christians plain. The Daily Caller news organization has uncovered a string of anti-Christian tweets from Piersen. In one, she said “There are no such things as Christians. Just people who call themselves Christians.” She also claimed that Christians are, “First to name call and First to judge.” Later, she criticized all people of faith, not just Christians, as “religious types” who are “unable to handle the truth.” She also criticized “most religious people” as hypocrites who follow a practice of “Do as I say not what I do” and condemned Christians saying that it’s, “always the Christians that are married or too old to party that tell how [you]should be living your life. As if they were [saints].”

As of this writing, Donald Trump has not commented on whether he agrees with Katrina Piersen’s characterizations of Christians and Catholics, nor has he apologized to people of faith for her comments. Piersen remains his official campaign spokesperson.

Episcopal Church of the US Suspended from Anglican Communion

After several years of openly embracing same-sex 'marriage,' including a vote last year to allow clergy to perform gay 'weddings,' the Episcopal Church of the United States has been suspended from the world-wide Anglican Communion. The Church has been stripped of any role in leadership or decision-making for at least three years.

The full-on embrace of homosexual conduct by the Episcopal Church has been a source of deep controversy for many years. A flash point occurred when the church installed Gene Robinson, an open homosexual involved in a sexual relationship with a younger man. Robinson's "marriage" to his partner eventually ended in divorce.

Because of its abandonment of biblical values, membership in the Episcopal Church in the US has been in free fall for many years.

Christianity Today has the story about the church's suspension.

State Seizes Christian Couple's Bank Accounts To Pay Lesbians Over 'Wedding' Cake Dispute

In a shocking development, the state of Oregon has raided three bank accounts owned by Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon bakers who politely refused to bake a "wedding" cake for a lesbian couple because of their sincerely held religious beliefs. At the time of the refusal, same-sex "marriage" was illegal in Oregon, but that mattered not to the lesbian activists who claimed "emotional distress" that a devoutly Christian couple would not want to participate in celebrating their "wedding." After they filed a legal complaint, an administrative commissioner ordered the couple to pay $135,000 in damages to the offended lesbians -- a ruling that has been widely condemned by legal experts both for its outrageous amount and for its abject failure to comply with religious liberty protections guaranteed under state and federal law.

The Klein's are appealing the decision -- which was issued by a bureaucrat at the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries -- and asked for a delay in collections while the appeal was pending. The same bureaucrat who issued the order denied the delay and moved aggressively to seize $7,000 in funds in the Klein's personal bank accounts -- one of which contained money set aside for their tithe to the Lord!

The Klein's have decided to pay the $135,000 judgment (fortunately, faithful Americans across the country donated enough to cover the fine) while they continue their appeal.

The experience of this young Christian couple is one of the reasons why NOM continues to fight the lie of same-sex 'marriage' and its corresponding falsehood that redefining marriage won't have consequences for average Americans.

Fox has the story here.

Oregon Agency Takes Legal Action to Force Payment of Fine By Christian Bakers

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is taking legal action to attempt to force Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon bakers who declined to bake a ‘wedding’ cake for a same-sex couple based on their religious views, to pay a $135,000 fine. The Kleins have refused to pay the money because it was levied by a bureaucratic agency and the matter is now on appeal to the courts. In the meantime, they’ve made it clear that they have no animosity toward those who filed the complaint, even going as far as sending them handmade cakes. Their objection is to using their talents to help celebrate something that is contrary to their Christian beliefs.

It’s a tragedy that the bureaucrats who acted as judge and jury in ruling against the Kleins (after engaging in substantial private discussions with the state’s top gay rights group) now think they can bully the young Christian couple into paying before the courts have even examined the case. What this family is experiencing is representative of what will happen to the religious liberty rights of Christians and other people of faith whose personal participation in celebrating a gay ‘wedding’ is being routinely demanded by lesbian and gay activists.

The Daily Signal has the story:

Image via The Daily Signal

Image via The Daily Signal

The agency that ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple began the legal process last week to seize the money the Oregon bakers are refusing to pay.

“Our agency has docketed the judgment and is exploring collection options,” Charlie Burr, communications director for the agency, told The Daily Signal. “They are entitled to a full and fair review of the case, but do not have the right to disregard a legally binding order.”

Docketing the judgment is a preliminary step the agency must take in order to seize the Kleins’ house, property, or other assets in lieu of payment.

On July 2, Brad Avakian, commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 for the emotional, physical, and psychological damages they caused Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer for refusing to make a wedding cake.

Since then, the Kleins have been vocal about their plans to resist the order, and they told The Daily Signal they have no intention of backing down.

“There’s legal reasons and there’s also kind of personal reasons,” Aaron Klein told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “If a civil court or a circuit court judge had made this order, I would consider it legally binding. But when a bureaucracy does it and I didn’t get due process, I don’t call it legally binding.”

Talking about the personal reasons, Aaron cited a July interview in Willamette Week, where the complainants suggested that the case wasn’t about money.

“We didn’t have a choice in how this was prosecuted,” Rachel Bowman-Cryer said. “We didn’t have a choice in the fine. If we had been given the option, we probably would have said: ‘Just apologize. Just say you’re sorry and go away.’”

Her wife, Laurel, added, “[W]e’re not asking for anything. We’ve never asked for a penny from anybody.”

“When you have these girls come out and say we never wanted the money,” Aaron said, “it wasn’t about the money and we don’t need the money … and I say this isn’t right, I shouldn’t have to pay this money, and the only person saying the money should exchange hands seems to be Brad Avakian.”

Image via Focus On The Family

Image via Focus On The Family

In order to pay the $135,000, the Kleins were given two options: obtain a bond or an irrevocable line of credit, which would guarantee their obligations to the Bowman-Cryers unless the Kleins won their case.

“A bond is going to cost roughly $7,000. That’s $7,000 I’m never going to get back, even if I won on appeal,” Aaron said. “Should I have to pay $7,000? I don’t think that’s fair.”

Taking out a line of credit, he said, would be the same as handing over money to the state.

“I couldn’t find a bank that would do it without just depositing the full amount of money, so it’s not a letter of credit at that point. It’s just the same as giving the state money, and having them hold it, which I don’t trust the state to hold my money any more than I trust them to give me the evidence.”

Instead, the Kleins’ attorneys asked the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries to issue a stay, which is a legal process that would have put the damages payment on hold until their appeals ruling comes out.

(The Kleins filed a petition for review with the Washington Court of Appeals in July, after the final order came out.)

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries denied their request for a stay.

. . .

After the order came out, multiple fundraisers were set up to help the Kleins pay the damages.

Although those fundraisers raised thousands of dollars, Aaron claimed the “half million” figure is “bloated” but did not disclose the final tally.

“The number they’ve given out is bloated,” Klein said. “It is not what we have available, it is not what we have on hand, and there are so many variables to where that money has to go, what has to happen with that money, that we’re not touching that money for any purpose because I don’t know what the future holds.”

If the Kleins eventually win their case in the appellate court, Aaron said they’d like to use that money to first pay their own bills, then “bless” others.

“I’d like to say that we’d definitely help some people out. We’ve had a huge financial hardship through this, so it would be nice to catch up on some bills, but we’d definitely love to bless others.”

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Says Pope Francis Told Her to 'Stay Strong'

As reported by AP, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis says that she had a private meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to the United States. Davis, who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex "marriage" licenses because of her religious beliefs, says that Pope Francis thanked her for her courage and urged her to “stay strong.” A New York Times article, reported that the exchange was done via an arranged, private meeting, which a Vatican spokesperson has now confirmed.

The AP story via US News is as follows:


Image via ABC News/Getty Images

A Kentucky clerk who went to jail for defying a federal court's orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses says she met briefly with the pope during his historic visit to the United States.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn't deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome that he had no comment on the topic.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her husband met privately with Pope Francis on Thursday afternoon at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for less than 15 minutes, said her lawyer, Mat Staver.

"It was really very humbling to even think that he would want to meet me or know me," Davis said in an interview with ABC.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail earlier this month for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In a telephone interview late Tuesday, Staver would not say who initiated the meeting with the pope or how it came to be, though he did say that Vatican officials had inquired about Davis' situation while she was in jail. He declined to name them.

"He told me before he left, he said 'stay strong.' That was a great encouragement," Davis said of the pope during the ABC interview. "Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we're doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything."

She didn't say in the interview whether she had a private audience with the pope or she was part of larger crowd.

Davis was in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, where the Family Research Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, presented her with an award for defying the federal judge. While in Washington, the longtime Democrat said she was switching to the Republican party because she felt abandoned by Democrats in her fight against same-sex marriage.

Pope Francis did not focus on the divisive debate over same-sex marriage during his visit last week. As he left the country, he told reporters who inquired that he did not know Davis' case in detail, but he defended conscientious objection as a human right.

"It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right," Francis said.

Pope Francis Supports ‘Conscientious Objection' to Issuing Marriage Licenses for Same-sex Couples

As reported by Religious News Service, Pope Francis supported allowing government officials to excuse themselves from issuing same-sex ‘marriage’ licenses, if it violates their religious beliefs. The Holy Father even said such officials have a “human right” to refuse to discharge a duty that contradicts their religious conscience. Religious News Service has the story:

(Image via The Catholic Sun/CNS photo/Stefano Spaziani)

(Image via The Catholic Sun/CNS photo/Stefano Spaziani)

Pope Francis said on Monday government officials have a “human right” to refuse to discharge a duty, such as issuing marriage licenses to homosexuals, if they feel it violates their conscience.

. . .

On the flight back to Rome, he was asked if he supported individuals, including government officials, who refuse to abide by some laws, such as issuing marriage licences to gays.

“Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right,” Francis said.

Earlier this month a city official in the U.S. state of Kentucky, Kim Davis, went to jail because she refused to issue a marriage licence to a gay couple following a Supreme Court decision to make homosexual marriage legal.

Davis’s case has taken on national significance in the 2016 presidential campaign, with one Republican contender, Mike Huckabee, holding rallies in favour of Davis, a Apostolic Christian, who has since joined the Republican party.

“I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection but, yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right,” he said, speaking in Italian.

“And if someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” he added.

Francis said conscientious objection had to be respected in legal structures. “Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying: ‘This right has merit, this one does not.'”

The Pope Is At Odds With Liberals, Too – Just Don’t Expect The Media To Report It

Pope Francis makes a historic visit to the United States this week, with stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia on the schedule. His whirlwind schedule has him giving a reported 16 public speeches while he’s here. The liberal mainstream media is abuzz at the prospects of him advancing positions embraced by the left – including climate change and how he sees global capitalism negatively impacting the poor.

But Pope Francis also has many positions that will make the left squirm, including his staunch opposition to abortion and same-sex ‘marriage.’ As this article from The Daily Signal makes clear, the difference is the media will heavily report the Pope’s comments on climate change and other leftist perspectives, but are likely not to report his comments about abortion and marriage. NOM will work to make sure the Pope’s pro-family message is heard.

From The Daily Signal:

Image via CTVNews/AP/Andrew Medichini

Image via CTVNews/AP/Andrew Medichini

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., made headlines for his decision to avoid Francis’ address to Congress because, “if the Pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate change policies, then I will not attend,” as he wrote for Townhall.

But Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid might also find Francis’ speech uncomfortable.

That’s because even if the focus of Francis’ speech is on climate change, he doesn’t talk about climate change the same way President Barack Obama or other liberal politicians might. In his encyclical on the environment released earlier this year, “Laudato Si,” Francis connected concerns about creation to concerns about the value of human life.

. . .

Francis has also consistently upheld traditional marriage. In a radio address in 2014, Francis said, “[T]he complementarity of man and woman … is at the root of marriage and family.”

“One day after the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges—the outcome of which may dictate the future of same-sex marriage in the United States—Pope Francis on Wednesday publicly affirmed his stance on so-called traditional marriage between men and women,” reported Newsweek in April.

Image via STLToday/Mark Jelavich

Image via STLToday/Mark Jelavich

“Jesus teaches us that the masterpiece of society is the family: a man and a woman who love each other! This is the masterpiece!” Francis said in St. Peter’s Square at the time.

He has since spoken numerous times on the family, regularly preaching on marriage and children, and he has often referred to marriage as being between a man and a woman.

In fact, in a speech last week, Francis, while warning about the temptation to place profits ahead of morality, stressed the fact that marriage was between a man and a woman (emphasis the Vatican’s):

The current transition in civilization seems to be marked by the long-lasting effects of a society governed by economic technocracy. This subordination of ethics to the logic of profit commands substantial resources and the widespread support of the media. In this context, a new covenant between man and woman has become not only necessary, but crucial for emancipating humanity from the colonization of money. This covenant should once again guide politics, the economy and civil coexistence! It decides the habitability of the earth, the transmission of love for life, the bonds of memory and hope.

In this covenant, the familial-conjugal union of man and woman is the generative grammar, the “golden knot,” we might say. The faith draws it from the wisdom of the creation of God, who has entrusted to the family, not the care of intimacy as an end in itself, but rather the exciting project of making the world “domestic.” At the beginning there was the family, at the root of this world culture that saves us … saves us from many, many attacks, from so much destruction, from so many “colonizations,” like that of money or of the ideologies that threaten so much of the world. The family is the basis of our defense!

Despite what the media may report, Pope Francis defends the unborn's right to life, and the true definition of marriage: the exclusive union between one man and one woman.

Obama's Guest List is an Insult to Pope Francis

While the world watches the events of Pope Francis’s visit to the US unfold, many are expressing outrage and disgust at President Obama’s brazen attempts to surround Pope Francis with controversial—frankly anti-catholic—leaders, to include “a pro-abortion nun, an openly homosexual Episcopal bishop, and gay activist Catholics.” The Vatican is among those who have voiced objections to President Obama’s choice of guests, contending that the guest list selection surrounds the Pope with figures who are openly hostile to Catholic Doctrine.

As we might expect, President Obama seems to be manipulating Pope Francis’s visit in an attempt to further erode the judo-christian values upon which America was founded. By placing Pope Francis in the midst of such controversial figures, President Obama is creating opportunities for the media to misrepresent the Pope and his opinions to the mainstream. LifeSiteNews has the story:

Image via Christian Post/Reuters

Image via Christian Post/Reuters

The Wall Street Journal reports that an unnamed senior Vatican official said the Holy See fears that any photos of Pope Francis at next Wednesday’s White House welcoming ceremony with Obama’s guests that openly flout Church teaching could be taken as support for their actions.

Among the Obama administration invites are dissenting, activist Catholic nun Sister Simone Campbell, openly homosexual retired Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, a transgender woman and a homosexual Catholic blogger.

Sister Campbell is executive director of the social justice group NETWORK and pro-abortion leader of the "Nuns on the Bus" campaign. She is seen as having undermined the U.S. Bishops’ concern over Obamacare’s abortion component when the controversial health care takeover was being debated five-and-a-half years ago.

Her Network organization, widely regarded as having radical feminist leanings, was investigated by the Vatican over the group’s refusal to observe Catholic teaching on abortion, human sexuality and women’s ordination. The investigation concluded earlier this year, resulting in minimal repercussions for the group.

Robinson, who “divorced” his homosexual partner last year, and is a senior fellow for the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, has been invited to religious events in the past by Obama, leading a prayer at the president’s 2009 inauguration and taking part in the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast.

Also invited are Mateo Williamson, a biological woman who identifies as a man and a former co-chair of the Transgender Caucus for the pro-homosexual activist group Dignity USA; and Aaron Ledesma, author of the blog “The Gay Catholic.”

The invitation organizer for the White House papal event is Vivian Taylor, executive director of the national LGBT advocacy arm of the Episcopal Church, and a biological male.

The unease caused by the guest list demonstrates Catholic concerns, including that of many bishops, the WSJ report said, that the Obama administration is using Pope Francis’s visit to underplay its differences with the Church on controversial issues such as homosexual “marriage,” abortion and the Obamacare contraception Mandate.

U.S. Vatican Ambassador Ken Hackett, named by Obama to his post in June 2014, said last month that Pope Francis and Obama are not going to waste time discussing any differences they may have. Rather, they will choose to focus on issues where they see eye-to-eye.

According to Hackett these areas are poverty, religious freedom, concern for persecuted Christians and minorities, and peace.

“Then climate, of course,” Hackett said.

“We agree to differ on things like gay marriage,” he said, “but really there are not a lot of other such issues.”

Orthodox Anglican Media Outlet Says ‘Obama out to shame and humiliate Christians, the Pope and the Church'

As part of his historic visit to the United States, during which he will canonize Fr. Junipero Serra and address the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis will also attend a White House dinner organized by President Obama. As head of state of the Vatican, diplomatic protocol would hold that friends and allies of the Catholic Church and prominent American Catholics be on the guest list. And while some of those types of individuals have been invited, President Obama has gone out of his way to shove the LGBT agenda in Pope Francis’ face. He’s invited the openly gay-Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson who “married” his same-sex partner several years ago.

According to the website Virtue Online, which bills itself as the voice for global orthodox Anglicanism, Robinson, “has almost single-handedly brought the Anglican Communion down to its knees as it teeters on the edge of implosion.” In addition to Robinson, Obama has invited numerous gay, lesbian and transgender activists. One of the activists was reportedly told by the While House to ‘invite several friends.’ From the story:

Image via ABC News/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

Image via ABC News/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

Obama's form of in-your-face diplomatic protocol includes trotting out every form of sexual deviant and parading them before Pope Francis. It's enough to embarrass the gentle humble Pontiff.

The Pope was being compassionate with his comment concerning his priests, who are struggling with a homosexual orientation, when he commented, "Who am I to judge?" However, he stands pat on the Catholic Church's firm doctrine and teaching on homosexual practice, pro-life, and traditional marriage issues, as well as an all-male priesthood.

CNS News describes some of the known invitees on the guest list as "several gay and transgender persons, a controversial nun, a radical preacher, and a gay Episcopal bishop."

The gay Episcopal bishop is none other than Bishop Vicky Gene Robinson (IX New Hampshire-retired). As the first openly gay and partnered man to be consecrated a bishop in Christendom, he has almost single-handedly brought the Anglican Communion down to its knees as it teeters on the edge of implosion.

The referenced "several gay and transgender persons" include: Vivian Taylor, a transgendered "woman" who was executive director of Integrity-USA and involved with TransEpiscopal. Obama her/him to Pope Francis' formal Sept. 23 televised White House Arrival Ceremony. S/he was told to bring five friends.

"I was told I could bring several friends with me," Taylor said, noting that s/he was "glad we can bring some LGBT representation to the event."

Taylor is looking forward to meeting the Pope, "I'm very happy to meet my brother in Christ, Pope Francis."

The five representative LGBT friends Taylor invited are Nicole Santamaria, the Secretary of Asociacion Colectivo Alejandria an Hispanic LGBT advocacy group; Marcia Garber a member of Dignity-USA and the mother of a transgendered child; Mateo Williamson, a cross-dressing transgender Catholic and the former co-chairman of Transgender Caucus for Dignity-USA; the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, an LGBT advocate, liberal Episcopal theologian, the director of Mission & Reconciliation at General Theological Seminary and chaplain to the Episcopal House of Bishops (reports are that Canon Spellers will be unable to attend the Pope's soiree because she didn't RSVP in time); and the Rev. Cameron Partridge, a transgendered Episcopal priest who preached at the Washington National Cathedral.

. . .

Obama is very gay-friendly and a champion of gay rights. There is also much speculation as to whether Obama is actually a Bible-believing Evangelical, a progressive Christian, or a closet Muslim. When the recent Supreme Court marriage equality ruling came down, making same-sex marriage the law of the land, he bathed the White House in Gay Pride rainbow colors in celebration of the earth-shattering event. Many God-fearing Christians were horrified at the spectacle. Chances are the President will not light up the White House in papal yellow and white to honor his diplomatic guest from the Vatican City-State.

Latest research shows that fewer than four percent of Americans identify themselves as being LGBT, while more than 70 percent of Americans consider themselves Christians. Of that number, more than 25 percent are Roman Catholics with Episcopalians and Anglicans making up about 1.5 percent of American Christians. The remaining almost 75 percent of the American Christian population is spread between the Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, Pentecostals, and other Christian believers -- Amish ... Quakers ... Holiness ... Reformed...

Fr. Dwight Longenecker, a former Anglican priest who swam the Tiber and is now a Pastoral Provision Roman Catholic priest in South Carolina, pinioned on his blog Standing on my Head: "There will be thousands at this 'audience' with Pope Francis and it's doubtful that Gene Robinson will be in the line up to meet Pope Francis personally, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him maneuvered into place for a photo with the Pope which will the mainstream media will then publish with the caption, 'Pope Francis and Gay Bishop: Who Am I to Judge?'"

Pope Francis Reasserts that Traditional Marriage is Under Attack

On the eve of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, he has issued a strong and unequivocal statement in support of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and notes that traditional marriage is under attack “by powerful contrary projects supported by ideological colonization.” The Pope said that married couples are “in the best position” to introduce Jesus Christ to others. He said the unique joy that the Lord enables families and couples to experience in the intimacy of domestic life, both in moments of joy and suffering, "must be witnessed to, announced and communicated externally, so that others, in turn, take the same path."

Catholic Online expounds on this:

ThinkstockPhotos-101054028Pope Francis told couples to defend God's design for the family as the union of a man and woman for the procreation of children, and urged them to be merciful to those whose marriages have failed.

Today "the family - as God wants it, composed of a man and a woman for the good of the spouses and also the generation and education of children - is deformed by powerful contrary projects supported by ideological colonization," the Pope said Sept. 10.

A family which is filled with the presence of God, he said, "speaks for itself of God's love for all men."

. . .

The unique joy that the Lord enables families and couples to experience in the intimacy of domestic life, both in moments of joy and suffering, "must be witnessed to, announced and communicated externally, so that others, in turn, take the same path," he said.

The Pope encouraged couples to live the movement's spirituality and commitments in a deep way, saying these allow couples to live their married life confidently, following the path of the Gospel.

. . .

ThinkstockPhotos-75677464He also encouraged the couples to draw close to the increasing number of wounded families who suffer due to either a lack of work, concern for a child, the distance, or an absence of a family member or a violent environment.

"We must have the courage to enter into contact with these families," he said, adding that it must be done "in a discreet but generous way, materially, humanly or spiritually, in those circumstances where they are vulnerable."

Pope Francis closed by encouraging couples to instruments of Christ's mercy toward those whose marriages have failed, and stressed that married fidelity is a gift from God.

Mercy has been shown to "every one of us," Francis said. He added that couples who are united and happy could better understand the pain and the suffering caused by betrayal, abandonment and a lack of love.

"It is necessary, therefore, that you bring your witness and your experience to help Christian communities to discern the real situations in which these people find themselves, to welcome them with their wounds, and to help them to journey in faith and in truth," he said.

"Nor must you forget the unspeakable suffering of the children who experience these painful family situations: you can give a lot to them."

Pope Francis asked those present to pray for the upcoming Synod on the Family, and for all their reflections on the "vital cell of our societies" within the difficult current cultural context.

"When the Supreme Court Oversteps Its Bounds, Citizens Are Right to Resist"

NOM’s chairman, John Eastman, expounds on the arguments surrounding the Kim Davis debacle, and how, “when the Supreme Court oversteps its bounds, citizens are right to resist”:



The double standard on display is palpable. I don’t recall Keegen or any of the other self-righteous, newfound devotees of the rule of law calling for the resignation of Kentucky’s attorney general when he refused to defend his state’s marriage law — or any of the other state attorneys general who did the same, from California’s Jerry Brown to Pennsylvania’s Kathleen Kane, and several others, including perhaps most notoriously Oregon’s Ellen Rosenblum, who was caught actively colluding with plaintiffs to ensure judicial invalidation of the Oregon marriage law she disliked.

“But Davis was refusing to comply with a decision of the Supreme Court,” it will be argued. So, too, did all those illustrious attorneys general. All of them refused to do their duty and defend their state’s man-woman marriage laws, even though the binding precedent of the Supreme Court at that time, a 1972 case called Baker v. Nelson, was that such laws were constitutionally valid.

Ms. Davis’s position has also been mischaracterized as asserting that because the Supreme Court’s decision is contrary to God’s authority, she cannot be compelled to comply with it and therefore can prevent same-sex couples from getting married in her county. Her position — so described — has been belittled by simpletons across the political spectrum as nothing more than the misguided stance of a crazy evangelical clinging to her Bible. But that is not her legal argument at all (however much merit it might have as a reaction to an illegitimate decision by the Supreme Court). Her actual argument is much more restrained.

Kentucky has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which expressly prevents the government from imposing a substantial burden on someone’s religious beliefs unless the government’s mandate is narrowly tailored to further a compelling governmental interest. Because this lawsuit is pending in federal court, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which contains the same protection, is also applicable. Ms. Davis’s lawyers have simply argued that these federal and state laws require that her religious objection to issuing same-sex “marriage” licenses over her own name be accommodated.

. . .

Abraham Lincoln famously said, in his first inaugural address, that although judicial decisions are binding on the specific parties to a case, “the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”

In short, Ms. Davis was much more faithful to her oath of office, and to the Constitution she vowed to support, than the federal judge who jailed her for contempt, the attorney general of the state who refused to defend Kentucky’s laws, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, who usurped the authority of the states and the more than 50 million voters who had recently reaffirmed the natural definition of marriage, in order to impose his own more “enlightened” views on the nation. One can only hope that Ms. Davis’s simple but determined act of civil disobedience will yet ignite the kind of reaction in the American people that is necessary to oppose such lawlessness, or at the very least bring forth a national leader who will take up the argument against judicial supremacy in truly Lincolnian fashion.

Visit National Review for the full article.

Why Kim Davis Is Such A Threat To Liberals

Rachel Lu at The Federalist brilliantly takes to task the cartoonish and misleading nature of the press coverage of the Kim Davis situation by the liberal media:

Image via USA Today/Ty Wright/Getty Images

Image via USA TODAY/Ty Wright/Getty Images

The incarceration and subsequent release of Kim Davis has been a sensation in the liberal press. Virtually every liberal outlet participated in the feeding frenzy.

This is easy to understand. If we don’t slam the lid on this religious-freedom business, Christians might find some loophole they can exploit to go on practicing their religion outside of church. Once you open the door to “conscience objections,” religious people start coming out of the woodwork.

Without some strenuous efforts at media spin, these figures might easily win public approval. Most Americans, after all, say they support religious freedom. Most likely they won’t warm to the idea that Christians should be bludgeoned into submission when a minor legal accommodation could enable them to adhere to their religious beliefs with minimal inconvenience to anyone.

For a left-wing pundit, however, accommodation isn’t the name of this game. What fun is their Supreme Court victory if they don’t get to stick it to the anti-marriage-equality bigots? For the sake of the liberal morality narrative, Davis has to go down. To sell that to the public, she must be dismissed as a right-wing crank.

. . .

Conservatives know that the government is not God. Left-wing pundits have made much of Davis’ declaration that she is following God’s will. In their minds, this is crazy-talk, akin to listening to Little Green Men. Quite a few have tried to make this into the Right’s Kermit Gosnell moment, with Mark Joseph Stern going so far as to declare that Davis is “the monster conservatives created” who will undermine voters’ enthusiasm for religious freedom.

. . .

When Davis was elected, she had no problem doing her job. Post-Obergefell, she is now expected to do something she considers to be morally wrong. No court or politician actually has the authority to contravene the natural order, making wrong actions right. That is her point, and it is perfectly fair, although we all understand how liberal pundits occasionally get confused about the difference between “government” and “God.”

The law of the land is not just a rule book. It’s more accurate to understand it as an organic tradition, which already has many precedents for exactly the kind of problem that arises here: dealing with good-faith conflicts between legal norms and sincere moral or religious beliefs. So, in a sense, it is the law itself that gives us good reasons to look for ways to accommodate people like Davis, whose free exercise of religion is burdened by revisions to current laws.

Liberals, we get that you aren’t big fans of tradition. But maybe you could try to remind yourselves now and then that we aren’t reinventing the wheel every time interests conflict? Many people think they are being principled when they suggest that Davis should quit her job if she feels unable to discharge her duties. But that’s not how these sorts of cases have been handled in the past. Both the Federal Civil Rights Act and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (which Kentucky has passed) provide a legal framework for seeking accommodations for employees who are unable to execute specific duties for reasons of conscience.

It turns out, then, that our legal tradition gives us good reason to seek an accommodation for Davis, and, happily, such a fix could easily be provided along the lines of North Carolina’s already-existing model.