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Category Archives: Politics

Jeb Bush Stands Up For Right Not To Be Coerced

ThinkstockPhotos-chariastThe beginning stages of the presidential campaign are starting to bring the views of the various candidates into focus. Jeb Bush recently told CBN that he supports the right of a Christian small business owner to decline to provide services for a same-sex ‘wedding.’ He correctly understands that people ought to remain free to exercise their beliefs about marriage and that this is not discrimination. He also reiterated his position that same-sex ‘marriage’ is not a constitutional right:

"A big country, a tolerant country ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating someone because of their sexual orientation and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs," Bush said.

Shouldn’t it be obvious that as our own free arbiters of what we support, we should also be able to choose what not to support? Americans being forced to conform to other people’s opinions on social issues, is a brazen attack against individual rights:

In recent months, the question of service provision, religion and sexuality has become a hot button issue, with court cases arising over incidents of people being refused service because of their sexual orientation, or business owners being forced to provide services to same sex partners despite their religious convictions.

The issue was further fanned by the recent signing of Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, which allow business owners to cite religious rights as a reasons for refusing service. Gay rights group have condemned the acts, and cited them as a form of discrimination.

Source via Christian Today.

The Real Revelations from the Faked Same-sex Marriage Study

An op-ed in The American Spectator reviews muted media reaction to the disclosure that a widely publicized study claiming that a gay canvasser speaking to a voter at their home would produce remarkable and long-lasting change in support of same-sex ‘marriage’ was faked. They note that the media’s coverage of the scandal was tepid, especially compared to the original coverage when the false study was issued.

dv763009Some news outlets even carried comments from same-sex marriage activists stating that even though the study was completely fabricated, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t true! Some even urge the study be redone properly. The author provocatively suggests that social scientists instead conduct studies to determine the effect on public opinion of the media portraying supporters of marriage as bigots, or the impact of judges ignoring the will of voters and imposing their own views in the law, or the impact on public opinion of a small business owner losing her shop rather than her religious principles.

Daniel Flynn, author of the article, comments on the fraudulent study.

Two aspiring political scientists exposed a widely referenced study, which maintained that homosexuals discussing gay marriage with citizens proved “capable of producing a cascade of opinion change,” as a total fraud.

Berkeley grad student Joshua Kalla and Stanford professor David Broockman, eager to add to the project with their own study, discovered that the survey firm identified in “When Contact Changes Minds: An Experiment on Transmission of Support for Gay Equality” maintained “no familiarity with the project,” “never had an employee with the name of the staffer” believed as assisting the research, and “denied having the capabilities” to conduct such an endeavor.

He continues to show that voters never really wanted same-sex marriage in many of the places such laws were passed, and the result of such laws on the average person.

What happens to donations to traditional marriage initiatives when they result in job loss, let’s say from a tech company that produces a popular web browser, for one who gives to a ballot initiative protecting man-woman unions? Perhaps an experiment could focus on the effects of the mass media’s incessant, not-so-subliminal name calling—e.g., “bigot,” “homophobe,” “hater”—on public opinion. Or, maybe, researchers could study the rather straightforward cause-and-effect of how judges refusing to allow people to vote on the laws that govern them transform the laws that govern people—and ultimately the public’s views. Another alternative might be to gauge the uptick in support for gay marriage resulting from a small business owner—a baker, for instance, who refuses to cook up a wedding cake for a homosexual couple—losing her shop instead of her religious principles.

Codifying gay marriage has never been about canvassers, gay or straight, persuading Americans. Voters, after all, rejected same-sex marriage in California, Wisconsin, Oregon, and other blue states only to watch judges order them to embrace it. America’s evolution on gay marriage came as a conversion by the sword.

His commentary shows the corruption in academia, and the media, for what it is:

We imagine science as disinterested, dispassionate, impartial, objective. The reality of science, particularly so-called social science, occasionally reveals biased partisans gathering data to support a predetermined conclusion.

False Claim: Religious Groups Don’t Focus on Poverty

ThinkstockPhotos-180923860The other day, we shared President Obama’s demand that pastors spend more time talking about ending poverty and less time on “divisive” issues such as same-sex ‘marriage’ and abortion. The president was repeating a claim made by other liberal commentators who believe that pastors are “obsessed” with social issues. An op-ed in the Washington Post takes on this claim, and finds that studies show that pastors speak far more often about hunger and poverty than they do abortion or homosexuality.

Putnam’s comments were blasted by several commentators, including the New York Times’s Ross Douthat, who noted religious groups spend far more on charity, schools and hospitals than pro-life causes or to oppose same-sex marriage.

. . .

Just before the 2012 presidential election, a Pew Research Center survey asked regular worship attendees what issues they have heard their clergy talk about recently. Roughly 3 in 4 said their clergy spoke about hunger and poverty (74 percent), while fewer than 4 in 10 heard about abortion (37 percent) or homosexuality (33 percent).

A breakdown of the data by religious groups shows that poverty dominates discussion even at churches with strong stances on abortion and homosexuality. Abortion comes close to rivaling poverty among Catholics: 62 percent of Catholics reported hearing about abortion in the weeks before the presidential election, though a still larger 82 percent said they heard about poverty. Among white evangelical Protestants who largely oppose same-sex marriage, far more said clergy spoke about hunger and poverty than homosexuality.

The evidence seems insurmountable: religious groups are discussing the need to provide for the poor, as well as taking a stance on social issues. Public figures should take note of these findings, and stop discouraging religious groups from standing firm in their beliefs.

Obama Criticizes Religious Groups for Refusing to Change Their Stance on Marriage

President Obama believes that christian churches should focus less on maintaining allegiance to their position on “divisive” issues such as life and marriage, and instead focus on issues such as alleviating poverty. The irony is that President Obama’s administration has done more than any other administration in history to pursue divisive policies such as abortion on demand, as well as imposing same-sex 'marriage’ on every state in the nation. He has even adopted policies tying foreign aid to a country’s willingness to embrace gay ‘marriage’ and expansion of abortion. If the president truly wished to end the “culture wars,” then he could refrain from starting them in the first instance.

ThinkstockPhotos-451417063Basing his comments on "my own Christian faith," President Obama told the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit that churches should spend less time focusing on abortion and same-sex “marriage.”

The president said, "When it comes to what are you really going to the mat for, what’s the defining issue, when you’re talking in your congregations, what’s the thing that is really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians, or as Catholics, or what have you, [poverty] is oftentimes viewed as a 'nice to have' relative to an issue like abortion."

The president continued his address in stating that Jesus cares more about “redistribution of wealth” than ending life in the womb and same-sex ‘marriage,’ as well as suggesting that discussion of said moral issues should be discouraged, so churches can get more followers:

The president argued last week that churches would gain more followers if they embraced the “powerful” idea of helping those in poverty. “I think it would be powerful for our faith-based organizations to speak out on [poverty] in a more forceful fashion,” he said.

"I reject his premise,” blogger Stan Guthrie, an editor at large at Christianity Today, commented. “People of faith already do far more for the poor than secular leftists.”

President Obama's comments, he said, exemplified “unbelievable ignorance on display."

With our president and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, suggesting that religious organizations should change their stance on fundamental principles, we must wonder how far they would be willing to go to force these groups to change, as well as how much religious freedom they and similar public figures would “tolerate.”

Source and quotes via LifeSite News.

Justice Ginsburg’s Bias

In another display of judicial arrogance and bias, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once again officiated at a same-sex ‘wedding’ over the weekend, this time perhaps hinting that the Court will find that such ‘marriages’ are required by the Constitution.

Wedding rings

As reported by New York Times, Ginsburg did not clarify why she emphasized the word “constitution” in her remarks. Perhaps she was expressing her own view – which she has improperly telegraphed for months. It is this kind of behavior that seriously calls into question the impartiality of a judge that requires her to remove herself from voting on the marriage case. As legal expert Ed Whelan noted yesterday in a post at NRO’s Bench Memos, her refusal to do so is why “no one should be expected to regard as legitimate a Supreme Court decision inventing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

Wearing her black robe with her signature white lace collar, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presided over the marriage on Sunday afternoon of Michael Kahn, the longtime artistic director of the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, and Charles Mitchem, who works at an architecture firm in New York.

. . .

But the most glittering moment for the crowd came during the ceremony. With a sly look and special emphasis on the word “Constitution,” Justice Ginsburg said that she was pronouncing the two men married by the powers vested in her by the Constitution of the United States.

No one was sure if she was emphasizing her own beliefs or giving a hint to the outcome of the case the Supreme Court is considering whether to decide if same-sex marriage is constitutional.

The foundation of the United States judicial system is that the judge is to be unbiased in opinion, and should only consider the facts of a case. However, as “the groom and groom strolled down the aisle to the mellow strains of “Mr. Sandman,” Justice Ginsburg demonstrated that she holds a biased opinion with regards to same-sex marriage. While in the midst of a court decision that could change the fabric of America, it will be hard to trust a decision issued by a Justice who cannot refrain from publicly exemplifying their impartiality when it comes to the definition of marriage.

Corrections: Where the Same-Sex Advocates Got It Wrong

In an article recently posted on The Public Discourse, James Phillips, an assistant professor of law at Brigham Young University, highlights and responds to errors made by pro-same-sex marriage justices Kennedy and Sotomayor. Phillips points out that there were 6 major errors in logic, precedent, and history made to support the passing of a same-sex marriage bill last week.

This post will outline these 6 errors, as well as the arguments against them.

Error #1: Massachusetts Marriage Rates Have Stayed the Same

Justice Sotomayor claimed that Massachusetts’ heterosexual marriage rates have remained constant since the state allowed same-sex marriage. If she had paid attention to an opposing amicus brief filed by 100 Scholars of Marriage, she would have seen that data clearly tells us otherwise, for instance:

Marriage rates have dropped by 8.9 percent since the state [MA] redefined marriage. And Massachusetts is not alone. The marriage scholars were also able to obtain data on opposite-sex marriage rates from three other states that have legalized same-sex marriage… Vermont (-5.1 percent), Connecticut (-7.3 percent), and Iowa (-9.2 percent).

ThinkstockPhotos-131579672Error #2: Because Some Men Leave Their Wives and Children, Marriage Does Not Help Keep Fathers Around

Justice Sotomayer argued that marriage between a man and a woman doesn’t actually increase the likelihood of creating a stable family life:

‘Marriage doesn’t do that on any level. How many married couples do fathers with the benefits or the requirements of marriage walk away from their children? So it’s not that the institution alone does it and that without it that father is going to stay in marriage.’

But as Phillips points out:

This is a classic example of the exception fallacy. Of course some men and women walk away from their marriage and their children. But that is the exception, not the rule, and it is certainly counter to the social norm of marriage.

Error #3: The Purpose of States’ Recognizing and Regulating Marriage is to Bestow Dignity on Couples

When Mr. Bursch brought forth the argument that the states are not in the marriage business to bestow dignity, Justice Kennedy expressed surprise at this, stating that he believed that whole purpose of “traditional marriage” was to bestow dignity on both man and woman. Now same-sex couples want that same “ennoblement.” But as Phillips explains:

Justice Kennedy was missing the point. He was confusing the reason that a couple may desire to be married with the reason that a state would want to recognize and regulate marriage. Those are distinct.

Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that states were interested in bestowing dignity on couples by allowing them to marry, that would be a means to enticing couples to marry. The end or purpose of encouraging marriage in this way would still be the fact that society—particularly children—benefits when men and women marry. It makes no sense for the state to go through the trouble and expense to regulate and subsidize marriage if the state gets nothing out of it in return—and it’s not simply about bestowing dignity on consenting adult love of all sizes and shapes.

Error #4: The Only Harm to Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Is Making Marriage More Adult-Centered

ThinkstockPhotos-465562267When several justices struggled to comprehend how redefining marriage to genderless terms would impact and harm the institution of marriage, Mr. Bursch correctly, but incompletely, argued how it would change the focus of marriage from fulfilling the needs of children to fulfilling the desires adults. If marriage is redefined, then the norm of fulfilling a child’s need to be raised by a man and a woman in order to learn how necessary interactions from each one, would be eliminated. And this is only one effect.

Error #5: There Is a Parallel between: Brown/Loving and Lawrence/Obergefell

The time between the Supreme Court decision calling for desegregation of elementary schools, the famous Brown v. Board of Education, and the decision invalidating state laws that prohibited mixed-race marriages (Loving v. Virginia), was thirteen years.

But man-woman marriage has been the law in every state since the birth of the nation—and in every Western nation for millennia. As Justice Kennedy put it, “I don’t even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia.

Not all thirteen year periods are equivalent. They certainly are not here.

Error #6: Age Restrictions on Marriage Are Equivalent to the Definitional Element of One Man and One Woman

Several justices tried to form the analogy of recognizing exceptions to age restrictions to recognizing same-sex marriages. But as Phillips explained:

Not all exceptions are equal. Age has never been a part of the definition of marriage... There are two historical and universal components to the definition of marriage in the United States, and in the Western world: gender diversity and only two spouses, one man and one woman. All other features—age, race, religion, coverture, dowry—are not part of the fundamental definition.

The American people want our justices to base their decisions on facts, and not make such errors in their decision as outlined here. Since the citizens of the United States will have to live with this decision for the entirety of America’s future, it would be best if such a decision had a basis in not only what the public wants, but also the truth of such matters.

Source via The Public Discourse

Does the Definition of Marriage Matter? Ask the Children

As the Supreme Court decision on marriage continues this week, it is important to remember the group that will be most affected by this decision: our children.

ThinkstockPhotos-471500304Even those who are not married and/or have no children, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, have a stake in this battle, as each child is a future adult who will eventually have a hand in choosing the path of our nation and culture.

So what happens to children if we tell them that gender doesn’t matter? That they don’t need a mother and a father? That children raised by same-sex couples are no worse off than children raised by heterosexual couples? Brandi Walton, who grew up as an only child in a same-sex household, can tell us exactly what happens:

ThinkstockPhotos-57435315I knew from a young age that living with two women was not natural. I could especially see it in the homes of my friends who had a mom and a dad. I spent as much time with those friends as I possibly could. I yearned for the affection that my friends received from their dads. I wanted to know what it was like to be held and cherished by a man, what it was like to live with one from day to day.

As far as I was concerned, I already had one mother; I did not need another. My dream was that my mother would decide she wanted to be with men again, but obviously that dream did not come true. My grandfathers and uncles did the best they could when it came to spending time with me and doing all the daddy-daughter stuff, but it was not the same as having a full-time father, and I knew it. It always felt secondhand.

Growing up without the presence of a man in my home damaged me personally.

...As an adult, I have tried to talk to my mom about how difficult my life was, but she simply cannot relate because she was raised by a mom and a dad. As a child, I would not have spoken out about the way I was being raised, either. I love my mom. She was the center of my universe and the thought of saying something to outsiders that would have hurt her devastated me. Writing this letter right this very moment is devastating me.

ThinkstockPhotos-78181522

While adults are clamoring for the definition of marriage to be fundamentally altered, their children are silently crying out for a mother and father. The beautiful innocence of children allows them to see the world with clarity: children don’t care about politics; they don’t care about ethnicity; they don’t care what any judge, politician, or world leader tells them. Children just want their mom and dad.

This Supreme Court decision is not about liberals vs. conservatives, Republicans vs. Democrats, or even about gender: it is about children. Every child deserves to be raised by their mother and their father, and no adult has the right to deny a child either one.

Whatever the Supreme Court decides, one thing is certain: there will always be men and women who will fight to protect the true definition of marriage, and the family: one man and one woman, who together, bring children into this world.

Louisiana Governor Stands Strong Against Same-Sex Marriage

“Hollywood and the media elite are hostile to our values and they tip the scales to our liberal opponents at every opportunity,” wrote Jindal. “Liberals have decided that if they can’t win at the ballot box, they will win in the boardroom. It’s a deliberate strategy. And it’s time for corporate America to make a decision.” - Gov. Bobby Jindal

J000287As Americans across our nation prepare for the March for Marriage this Saturday, April 25th, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has bravely defended his stance on marriage in one of the most high-profile media publications out there: The New York Times’ Opinion Pages.

Politico covers Gov. Jindal’s piece:

The Republican 2016 hopeful penned an op-ed with the headline “I’m holding firm against gay marriage.” It accused “radical liberals” of teaming up with businesses to push same-sex marriage and other LGBT protections that he believes threaten religious liberty. As evidence, the Louisiana Republican pointed to the widespread public outcry that earlier this year pushed both Arkansas and Indiana to insert anti-discrimination protections into their religious freedom laws.

Jindal expressed support for a new bill in Louisiana called the “Marriage and Conscience Act” that would allow private businesses and institutions to refuse service based on their own definitions of marriage without the threat of government action. He called on conservatives to harness their traditional alliance with corporate interests to halt progressives’ momentum on pushing LGBT protections.

“This strategy requires populist social conservatives to ally with the business community on economic matters and corporate titans to side with social conservatives on cultural matters,” Jindal wrote, calling for a new “grand bargain.”

You can read Jindal’s original piece here. And in case there was any doubt, Jindal makes his intention transparently clear:

As the fight for religious liberty moves to Louisiana, I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath.

Well said, Gov. Jindal. We couldn't agree more.

What Opposing Religious Freedom Really Means

In The Federalist op-ed, Iowa pastor Christopher Neuendorf asserts: “Disagreements are a part of life. As we constantly hear, diversity is built into American culture, and that includes diversity of opinion. I can deal with that. I don’t need everyone to agree with me in order to be a functional member of society.”

With the recent outrage over state laws protecting religious freedom, Rev. Neuendorf identifies a grave concern: in denouncing RFRAs, the rights of any religious individual to exist in our society are being denounced.

ThinkstockPhotos-77872409I’m not exaggerating. I’m not indulging in hyperbole. This is what you’re saying when you post on social media that you are outraged with Indiana’s efforts to protect religious freedom: that I, your family member, friend, neighbor, coworker, fellow citizen, am no longer allowed to exist in your world. I must conform myself to your way of thinking, or face financial ruin and ostracism.

Consider what Indiana’s RFRA offered before Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and his fellow lawmakers neutered it: if sued by a same-sex couple for refusing to provide goods and services that constitute helping celebrate a same-sex wedding, business owners might find protection from devastating lawsuits. Or they might not. It’s up to a judge, and of course we’ve learned not to hope for too much sympathy from our courts these days. But even the potential that a business owner might get away with such stand without facing total annihilation is intolerable to our passionate defenders of non-discrimination.

It doesn’t matter how much we protest that we’re not talking about denying goods and services to our homosexual neighbors as homosexuals. It doesn’t matter that any Christian business would graciously serve food, baked goods, flowers, or any other commodity to any homosexual person who might enter that establishment. It doesn’t matter that we’re talking only about those limited circumstances in which we are expected to become actively involved in the celebration of behavior that our conscience insists is sinful. Such protestations consistently fall on deaf ears.

Rev. Neuendorf has struck on the heart of the “new intolerance”: no one who disagrees is allowed to continue living and working in our society. This is a blatant attempt to justify silencing any opposition. But the “new intolerance” will never be able to change the truth, no matter how aggressively they attack. No matter what, the voices of the American people will still ring loud and clear, for marriage, for truth, and for freedom.

Why Should You Support the 2015 March for Marriage?

The Family Research Council, one of NOM's March for Marriage coalition partners, provides excellent insight into many of the reasons why it is so important to support the upcoming March:

ThinkstockPhotos-146835966With the U.S. Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of state marriage laws on Tuesday, April 28th, supporters of natural marriage plan to gather in Washington, D.C. on April 25th to rally and pray for the Court. Saturday's "March for Marriage" will begin at noon in front of the U.S. Capitol and finish at the steps of the Supreme Court. Schedule, map, and speakers can all be viewed here.

For the past two years, state and federal courts have dealt with the aftermath of the Supreme Court's 2013 United States v. Windsor decision, mostly choosing to ignore the limits of the holding and instead imposing judicial redefinitions of marriage on states where voters have previously chosen to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman. (FRC Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg has written previously regarding Windsor's narrow outcome). This spring, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to correct the course of lower courts and reaffirm its previous declarations that marriage policy "[b]y history and tradition" has been "treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States."

Given the profound costs to the rule of law, federalism, and First Amendment freedoms that will result from a judicial redefinition of marriage imposed on all fifty states, the Supreme Court would be wise to leave to the democratic process a policy question nowhere answered in the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, when polled earlier this year by WPA Opinion Research, that's precisely the outcome 61% of Americans said they wanted to see. Saturday's March for Marriage will offer thousands of Americans the public opportunity to remind the country and the Court that marriage has profound public importance and deserves the careful definition and debate that can only occur in the democratic process.

Thank you to FRC and everyone else who is marching with us to defend marriage, freedom, and truth!

John Eastman: Just the Facts, Ma'am

More than fifty-million people have, by their votes, demonstrated that they continue to understand the profound importance of marriage. They deserve better than to have the decision to protect or redefine marriage taken out of their hands by the Supreme Court.

ThinkstockPhotos-85447250In his most recent Public Discourse article, NOM Chairman John Eastman takes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to task  for her egregious declaration: the American people will accept a Supreme Court decision to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. Justice Ginsburg believes that this decision, which would force all states to license same-sex partners as “married,” will be accepted readily by the American people because “the change in people’s attitudes on that issue has been enormous,” according to Ginsburg.

However, Justice Ginsburg’s inappropriate comments on this subject also turned out to be simply untrue:

The numbers are staggering, though you won’t see them reported in the nation’s major newspapers. The issue has been on the ballot in thirty-nine statewide elections in thirty-five different states. The cumulative total: 51,483,777 votes in favor of retaining the man-woman definition of marriage, versus 33,015,412 votes in favor of same-sex marriage. That’s a vote margin of 60.93 percent to 39.07 percent, a landslide in American politics.

In addition to disproving Justice Ginsburg’s claim, Dr. Eastman also explains why same-sex marriage is not a constitutional right:

The petitioners’ demand that the Court “find” a right to same-sex “marriage” implicit in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment threatens to drag the Supreme Court, and the country, into another such quagmire. If the Constitution clearly compelled such a result, then it would be the “painful duty” of the Court to say so, a position recognized by the Court nearly two centuries ago in the landmark case of McCulloch v. Maryland. But the Constitution’s text does not remotely compel such a result. Without such a clear command, accepting the petitioners’ arguments would more accurately be described as a “self-inflicted wound” than the exercise of a “painful duty.”

So why is it that the Constitution’s text does not mandate same-sex marriage throughout the land? It does provide that “No State shall . . . deny to any person . . . the equal protection of the law.” Hence the “marriage equality” mantra from the proponents of same-sex marriage. That mantra may be a good debating tactic, but it is not a good legal argument, for it assumes the very thing in dispute.

The real truth is that the American people value the institution of marriage, and they are willing to fight to defend it as between one man and one woman. Regardless of Justice Ginsberg's personal opinions, Americans will not passively watch their precious rights and institutions crumble. Sorry Justice Ginsburg, but those are the facts.

You can read the full article via Public Discourse.

Victory for Religious Freedom in Indiana!

ThinkstockPhotos-466956854Here's some great news out of Indiana! The Indiana House has passed a bill with a 63-31 vote to protect the religious liberty of business owners in the state.

SB 101, known as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” will be heading back to the Senate, where a similar version has already passed. If the House’s version is found in accord with the Senate's version, the bill will head to Governor Mike Pence, who has made it clear that he will sign the bill into law.

Supporters of the law attest that the law does not allow discrimination of same-sex individuals, but rather, honors the rights of business owners who for example, may not in good conscious provide wedding services to same-sex couples.

Supporters of the law say it will keep government entities from forcing business owners - such as bakeries and florists who don't want to provide services to gay couples - from acting in ways contrary to strongly held religious beliefs. Gay marriage became legal in Indiana last year following an appellate court ruling.

Supporter Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, tweeted after its passage in the House on Monday that the bill was a "good, tested, protective shield for all faiths."

ThinkstockPhotos-466073636While opponents claim that SB 101 would allow for discrimination against same-sex couples, what SB 101 actually achieves is protecting individuals from suffering discrimination based on their religious beliefs. Specifically, SB 101 prevents state and local governments from "substantially burdening" citizens from being able to exercise their freedom of religion, unless the government can prove that it has compelling interest and is doing so in the least restrictive means.

Supporters of the bill explain that the measure protects people, organizations, and business owners from government intrusion.

"It's important that we allow our citizens to hold religious beliefs, maybe even those we might be appalled by, and to be able to express those," said Rep. Tom Washburne, R-Inglefield.

What is more, opponents should be aware that SB 101 is based off of a 22-year-old federal law, dubbed the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, the same act that was influential in the Hobby Lobby decision.

While this bill awaits full adoption in Indiana, nineteen other states have already adopted similar religious freedom bills, and there are several others that are considering legislation.

While the opposition will not respectfully admit defeat, bravo to the state of Indiana for recognizing the importance of religious freedom and the true right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs, both in their private and public lives. Well done, Indiana. Our founding fathers would be proud.

Ted Cruz Takes Steps to Protect Religious Liberty in D.C.

This week, Sen. Ted Cruz introduced two joint resolutions to overturn recently enacted D.C. Council legislation that undermines religious liberty.

via Sen. Ted Cruz's website:

"The D.C. Council is attempting to force religious institutions to provide services, make employment decisions, or participate in activities that directly violate their faith," said Sen. Cruz. "No government entity should be able to coerce organizations - whether they be non-profits or religious schools - into funding abortion services or promoting gender policy that is contrary to the organization's fundamental mission.

"D.C.'s legislation would require pro-life organizations to fund abortions. It would require Catholic schools to pay for abortions, in direct contravention of their faith. That is wrong, and unconstitutional. Despite pending legislation that might provide a temporary exemption limited to insurance coverage, the D.C. Council is ultimately telling institutions within the District that a day will come when they must make the intolerable choice between complying with the law and abiding by their religious convictions. Rather than discriminating against pro-life and religious organizations, D.C. should welcome diversity of thought and protect the freedom of conscience. We must stop this assault on the Catholic Church, and we must act to protect religious liberty. Congress has a constitutional responsibility to oversee the nation's capital, and I urge my colleagues in both houses to pass this resolution and affirm the First Amendment rights of all citizens."

Congressman: "I Refuse to Stand By and Do Nothing" in the Face of Redefinition of Marriage

At Townhall.com today, Representative Tim Huelskamp has a powerful column explaining why he has reintroduced a federal Marriage Protection Amendment in Congress. The whole thing is worth reading. Here's an excerpt:

huelskampThe Supreme Court will soon consider four of these cases involving the mandate of same-sex ‘marriage.’ Those decisions, expected to be handed down from on high in June, have the potential to invalidate and criminalize future debate on this issue, just like Roe v. Wade tried to do with abortion. That is why I reintroduced the Marriage Protection Amendment this Congress. This Constitutional amendment reaffirms the plain and simple truth: marriage is a union between one man and one woman and no federal judge can say otherwise.

 

Allowing unelected federal judges —whose judicial impartiality on this matter is highly suspect—to impose a radical, offensive and flatly incorrect redefinition of marriage on the whole of American society is nothing less than an affront to our Republic and the principles upon which it was conceived. I refuse to stand by and do nothing while our country and the ideals that inspired its founding are eroded under our feet.

Bravo, Congressman!

"This Isn't How the Constitution Works"

In The Daily Signal, Ryan Anderson looks at the latest "evolution" on the issue of same-sex 'marriage' undergone by President Obama, and explains why with recent waves of political 'evolutions' and activist judicial rulings, "we’re not only redefining marriage, we’re redefining our Constitution." He writes:

Constitution“Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states,” Obama told the New Yorker.

This is a case study in how liberals “evolve” on policy. First they embrace a policy change. If they can’t convince a majority of Americans to vote for their preferred policy, they discover that the Constitution requires their preferred policy. So, according to the Obama of today, the Obama of early 2012 held an unconstitutional view of marriage. Or, perhaps, it wasn’t unconstitutional back then but it is now.

But this isn't how the Constitution works.

[...]  Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the Constitution [emphasis added].

Read the rest here.