Watching The Spin

President Trump has ended the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that required employers to provide birth control for their employees even if birth control conflicts with their moral or religious objections. Before ObamaCare, employers were allowed to follow their conscience. If you worked for a Catholic organization, your medical plan did not cover birth control, and if you had a baby in a Catholic hospital, the doctors were not going to instruct you in birth control. It was simply the way things were, and most Americans got along fine under that system. ObamaCare changed that system. Now President Trump is changing it back to what it was, giving people the right to follow their conscience. Based on the outcry from the political left, you would think he was slaughtering women on live television. He is not depriving anyone of birth control–he is merely saying he is not going to force employers to pay for it if it violates their conscience.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the controversy.

The article reports:

The new rule provides full protection for Americans with religious beliefs and moral convictions and acknowledges that the contraceptive mandate concerns serious issues of moral concern, including those involving human life.

Though left-wing groups claim President Donald Trump is taking away women’s birth control – which can be purchased for relatively little expense – the Obama administration itself actually exempted at least 25 million Americans, through various exemption allowances, from its own rule.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the Little Sisters of the Poor in its case against the HHS mandatenoted the Obama administration had exempted large corporations such as Chevron, Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi Bottling from the rule, as well as the U.S. military and large cities like New York City.

The headline for the story covered at NBC News reads, “Trump Just Made It So Employers Can Refuse to Pay for Birth Control.”

Just for the record, this isn’t really about birth control–it’s about abortion. Under ObamaCare, the morning-after pill, which causes an abortion was included in birth control. This was the first step toward government funding of abortions.

Here are a few facts on abortion from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ):

The fact of the matter is that 51 percent of Planned Parenthood’s yearly clinic income – their only self-sustaining revenue source – comes from abortion, 329,445 abortions.

40 percent of all reported abortions committed in the United States occur at a Planned Parenthood clinic, making it by far the largest abortion provider in America.

…Planned Parenthood’s latest report states that it performed “11 million services during nearly five million clinical visits.” So, now their abortion number jumps to 6.6 percent of clinic visits were for abortions. That’s right 6.6 percent of all visits to Planned Parenthood result in an abortion.

Digging a little deeper, Planned Parenthood claims that all those “services” it provides only go to 3 million women. So by it’s own admission, 11 percent of the women that visit a Planned Parenthood clinic in any given year obtain an abortion there.

What about some of the other “services” Planned Parenthood claims it provides? Prenatal services (those services provided to women who choose to keep their baby) account for a measly 0.28 percent off all services provided. Moreover, the 841 adoption referrals made by Planned Parenthood in their last reported year amount to a whopping 0.0076 percent of services rendered.

The outcry over the change in the HHS Mandate is born out of fear that the abortion industry will eventually be threatened by the Trump Administration. I need to explain here that I don’t want to see abortion made illegal. However, if an abortion is medically necessary, it needs to be done in a hospital. It does not need to be part of a multi-million dollar industry.

Countering The Move To Push Christians Back Behind The Doors Of Their Churches

If you listen to the debate that took place last week about same-sex marriage, you realize that those who hold a Biblical view of marriage will be protected–as long as they stay within the walls of their churches. Christian business owners who hold that belief will not be protected–the ‘free exercise of religion’ clause in the Constitution has been quietly changed (in the mind of much of the public) to the ‘freedom to believe what you want to believe inside your church.’ There was another recent example of that in our military.

Yesterday the America Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) posted an article on its website about a recent incident in the U.S. Air Force.

The article reports:

Recently, I told you about Major General Craig Olson, USAF, and how he was attacked by the anti-Christian Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and its founder “Mikey” Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein claimed that because General Olson publicly shared that he was a Christian believer who valued prayer and gave God the credit for his successes at a National Day of Prayer event, he should be court martialed. Yes, court martialed for expressing his Christian faith.

To Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF, General Olson’s publicly giving God credit for personal successes crossed the line.  Yet, they were flat wrong, and the Air Force fully agreed with us that “Maj Gen Olson did not violate Air Force policy . . . .”

In response to Mr. Weinstein’s demands that General Olson should be “aggressively and visibly brought to justice for his unforgiveable crimes and transgressions,” the ACLJ took action.

We immediately sent a letter to General Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff, pointing out the outlandish tactics employed by Mr. Weinstein (and the MRFF) when he is offended by the religious sentiments expressed by those with whom he disagrees.

As founder of the Christian Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF),  Mikey Weinstein has fought to keep the Christian faith out of the military. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and claims that the Air Force Academy and the military are hostile to Judaism. I have no idea whether or not his claims are true, but he has definitely declared war on letting Christians express their faith. The message the charges sent to General Olson is that he was not legally allowed to talk about his faith–it was okay to be a Christian in the church, but not in the public square.

The article continues with the content of the letter that the ACLJ wrote:

Mr. Weinstein’s allegations that General Olson violated the Establishment Clause is ludicrous on its face. General Olson gave a personal testimony about the importance of prayer in his life. No one was required to do or believe anything. The coercive force of the United States Government was not behind his remarks, and no one was compelled to accede to his beliefs or change theirs. . . .

General Olson’s own words indicated without a doubt that he was giving his personal story. He was not acting as a government official when he made his remarks. Hence, it would be unreasonable for anyone to draw the conclusion that he was “officially” endorsing anything.

The article reports that the Director of the Administrative Law Directorate (Office of the Judge Advocate General), Conrad M. Von Wald, responded with the following:

We have thoroughly reviewed the facts and circumstances involving Maj Gen Olson’s participation at the National Day of Prayer Observance held on May 7, 2015, at the Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC.  Maj Gen Olson did not violate Air Force policy by participating in this Congressionally-supported event.  His remarks were his own personal opinions and did not represent the views of the United States Air Force.

Our military used to allow people of all faiths to express their faith. I think we got along better when people listened instead of deciding to be offended. We were founded as a Christian country with a legal system based on a Judeo-Christian ethic. Unfortunately, we have forgotten that and as a result have wandered down a lot of paths that have damaged our legal system and our nation. We would be a better nation if all of us realized that we were accountable to something bigger than ourselves–regardless of what we believe that something is.

The Continuing Battle To Overturn The HHS Mandate In Obamacare

The American Center For Law And Justice (ACLJ) is reporting today that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that temporarily blocks the abortion-pill mandate from being imposed on business owners in Illinois.

The article reports:

With this important ruling, all of the ACLJ’s clients with pending litigation over the HHS mandate have now been granted a temporary reprieve from the mandate’s violation of religious liberty as our lawsuits continue.

The article also mentions:

It is also important to note that the court stated that the Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene in Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the mandate earlier this week, is not determinative of this case or many others across the country, as the legal standard for the Supreme Court’s intervention requested in that case “differs significantly” from the standard applicable to motions for injunction in federal trial and appellate courts.

It should be illegal to force business owners to violate their consciences. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will rule that way when the case eventually arrives.

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More Legal Action On ObamaCare

Today’s Daily Caller is reporting that on Wednesday a federal appeals court blocked the implementation of the HHS mandate requiring employers to provide health care plans that include coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

The article reports:

Missouri business owner Frank O’Brien, who employs 87 people at O’Brien Industrial Holdings, alleged in the lawsuit that led to the injunction that the mandate unconstitutionally infringes on his religious beliefs.

…The order by the three-judge panel on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals prohibits HHS from forcing O’Brien to comply with the mandate, until the court issues a substantive ruling on the matter. The injunction order is not a final determination on the merits of O’Brien’s case or the constitutionality of the mandate.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) also reported on this case yesterday:

In October, a federal district court judge granted the Obama Administration’s Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit. The ACLJ immediately filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In an order issued today, the appeals court granted the ACLJ motion requesting an injunction pending an appeal.

The lawsuit, which was filed in March 2012, marked the first legal challenge to the HHS mandate from a private business owner and his company. Until the suit was filed, only religious organizations or institutions brought lawsuits challenging the mandate.

…In addition to the O’Brien case, the ACLJ has filed two other direct challenges to the HHS mandate and filed amicus briefs backing other challenges in more than a dozen cases.

I believe that it is unconstitutional for the government to require Americans to buy health insurance, much less tell employers what health insurance has to include. I hope one of these cases makes it to the Supreme Court and this time the Supreme Court makes the correct decision–I think the Supreme Court’s last decision on Obamacare was incorrect.

A Happy Ending To An Awful Story

Fox News is reporting today that Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been released from prison in Iran and has been reunited with his family. The Pastor had been in prison for three years on charges of apostasy, which is punishable by death in Iran. The charges were lowered to evangelizing to Muslims, which carries a three-year sentence, and he was released.

The article reports:

…He was released with time served, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington-based watchdog group that had been campaigning for the pastor’s release.

“Today our sources in Iran reported that Pastor Youcef was acquitted of apostasy and released from prison. After languishing in prison for almost three years, he has been reunited with his family,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of ACLJ said in a statement to FoxNews.com.

“While we are working on confirming the exact details of his release, some sources report that the court alternatively convicted Pastor Youcef of evangelizing to Muslims, sentencing him to three years and granting him time served.  Pastor Youcef’s story is an example of how the world can join together to ensure that justice is served and freedom preserved.”

I am glad that the Pastor has been released and is home with his family, but we need to look at the overall situation here. Iran is a country governed by Sharia Law. There is no freedom of religion–sharing any faith other than Islam will result in a jail sentence or worse if you are caught. This is a part of Sharia Law. Please keep that in mind as you hear Muslims in America attempt to introduce Sharia Law into American courts.

The article further reminds us:

“While we praise the release of Pastor Youcef, we must recognize that Iran felt obligated to save face among its people and continue its pattern of suppressing religious freedom with intimidation tactics,” Tiffany Barrans, a legal director for ACLJ said to FoxNews.com.

“International attention to this matter saved this man’s life, but we must not forget the human right of freedom of religion includes the right to freedom of expression.”

As Americans, we need to treasure our freedom and work to protect the freedom of people like Pastor Youcef.

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What Is Happening In Some Of Our Colleges ?

This is a story from a month ago that I didn’t see at the time. It is important, so I am reporting on it now. On June 14, the Corner at National Review posted a story about a UCLA professor who was fired for being a whistle-blower.

Dr. James E. Enstrom challenged some of the ‘junk science’ used to justify overly strict emissions regulations in California. He also pointed out that key members of the state’s “scientific review panel” have overstayed term limits by decades. He was fired for his efforts.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed suit against UCLA for the University’s actions.

The ACLJ website reports:

Dr. Enstrom, a research professor in UCLA’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, published important peer-reviewed research demonstrating that fine particulate matter does not kill Californians.  Also, Dr. Enstrom assembled detailed evidence that contends powerful UC professors and others have systematically exaggerated the adverse health effects of diesel particulate matter in California, knowing full well that these exaggerations would be used by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to justify draconian diesel vehicle regulations in California.  In addition, the complaint argues that he exposed the fact that the lead author of the key CARB Report used to justify the diesel regulations did not have the UC Davis Ph.D. degree that he claimed.  Instead, according to the suit, this “scientist” bought a fake Ph.D. for $1,000 from a fictional “Thornhill University.”

Dr. Enstrom was fired, the ‘scientist’ with the fake degree kept his job.

The ACLJ website explains:

Finally, Dr. Enstrom discovered that several activist members of the CARB Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants have exceeded the legislatively mandated three-year term limits by decades. The suit contends that shortly after Dr. Enstrom revealed this systematic wrongdoing, UCLA not only issued a notice of termination, it denied him any compensation for his work by systematically and wrongfully looting his research fund accounts.  Dr. Enstrom worked for more than a year without pay as he in good faith appealed his wrongful termination using UCLA procedures.  Ironically enough, the fake “scientist” was only suspended for his misconduct while Dr. Enstrom was terminated for telling the truth.

If we want future leaders of America to get the education they need to lead the country effectively, we need to take a look at some of the things that are going on in our universities.

Targeting Pollitical Diversity

CBN News posted a story today about the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting on the Tea Party now that the election season is here.

The article reports:

In what some believe to be an attempt to intimidate and silence the Tea Party, the IRS is sending letters to Democratic and Republican organizations seeking non-profit status looking to see if funds are used properly under tax law.

The questionnaires want organizations to provide all communications with legislative bodies, describe membership criteria and the nature of the relationship with any candidate for public office.

The move has prompted the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) to step in and defend about 20 Tea Party groups from what it’s calling government harassment.

American Center for Law and Justice Chief Council Jay Sekulow stated that he would answer the questions that the government can legitimately ask, but will not answer those questions that are unconstitutional. The ACLJ has stated that it is prepared to take the matter to court and that it has called for Congressional oversight hearings.

For more information, please watch this video:

It

The video is an interview of Attorney Sekulow that explains exactly what has been happening.

 

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