Misplaced Concern For Human Rights

CBN News is reporting today that the United Nations has released a list of companies that have businesses in areas Israel captured as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War.

The article reports:

The list was designed to punish more than a hundred companies doing business in east Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. Israel froze ties with the council’s leader, accusing the office of serving the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanction) campaign.

Reaction came quickly after the report’s release and US Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) accused the council of persecuting Israel while protecting the world’s worst tyrants. He called on the body to “investigate the crimes of its own members instead of obsessing over the Jewish state.”

The UN has a history of actions against Israel. The United Nations Human Rights Council was created in 2006. Since then, it has issued 45 resolutions against Israel, about 45% of all country-specific resolutions issued. The United Nations Human Rights Council includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Venezuela, and Libya. None of these countries are stellar examples of human rights.

The article notes:

After the release of the database Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to boycott those who boycott Israel, calling the Human Rights Council a “biased body that is devoid of influence.” His political rival, Benny Gantz, also condemned the publication, calling it a “dark day” for human rights.

Jason Greenblatt, one of the architects of President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, told CBN News the public should be pro-active against the boycott movement.

“First of all, shame on them. You know, they were working on this, they held it back and now after a peace plan is launched they go ahead and do that, shame on the Human Rights Council. The UN is a terrible place for Israel. I would actually encourage all of your viewers to write letters to [UN Secretary-General António Guterres] and protest that,” said Greenblatt.

…Ironically, any resulting boycotts would likely hurt Palestinians the most. For example, CBN News has reported how international pressure forced the SodaStream company to leave Mishor Adumim and move to Israel costing many of the 500 Palestinian employees their jobs.

“The Palestinians certainly stand to suffer if these types of measures are put in place. It will harm companies that employ Palestinians; it will harm companies that provide goods and services to Palestinians,” NGO Monitor’s Yona Schiffmiller told CBN News.

He also said the majority of the list’s information came from BDS linked groups.

“I think it’s also important to note that the activities these companies are being targeted for are completely legitimate. There is no international standard that bars business activity in occupied territories or in settlements,” Schiffmiller explained.

“Many of the companies that we’re talking about are conducting activities that are outlined in the Oslo Accords. So, these are internationally recognized agreements between Israel and the Palestinians that the UN is now completely disregarding by putting out this list,” he concluded.

The article concludes with actions that anyone can take to fight this:

Just last year, 600 businessmen and women from more than 50 countries will come to Israel to connect with and invest in Israeli business leaders for the second-annual ARISE conference.

“We’re really tackling some of the greatest crises around the world. And so, we’ve invited them to connect with Israeli businesses and meet face to face and create those connections and transactions that will help bring Israeli innovation to the world,” ARISE Founder and President Adv. Calev Myers told CBN News.

Over the last few years, various states in the US have passed laws against boycotting Israel. Schiffmiller said the international community is within its rights to stop supporting a UN body that’s potentially harming these companies.

STOP THE BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL! 
Sign the Petition
Text “STOPBDS” to 41-444
VISIT: CBN.COM/STOPBDS

Please do.

Why The Bill Of Rights Is Important

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

Amendment I

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

The free exercise of religion will be under scrutiny in the Supreme Court this session.

Yesterday CBN News reported:

The US Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on an important religious liberty concern. On Wednesday, the high court announced it will take up two cases which could decide if religious institutions have the right to pick who teaches their religion. Or if the government gets to have the final say.

Both cases will be rolled into one case for a hearing this spring at the court. Both involve California Catholic schools that each dismissed fifth-grade teachers the schools felt were performing their jobs poorly.

These teachers were deeply involved in the religious education of their students. But the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned lower court rulings and decided neither teacher was so involved in religious teaching that the schools should be allowed to get rid of them.

The article concludes:

Becket ( Becket Fund for Religious Liberty) Executive Director Montserrat Alvarado stated, “Parents trust Catholic schools to assist them in one of their most important duties: forming the faith of their children.   If courts can second-guess a Catholic school’s judgment about who should teach religious beliefs to fifth graders, then neither Catholics nor any other religious group can be confident in their ability to convey the faith to the next generation.”

The two cases are Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James Catholic School v. Biel. In the Morrissey-Berru case, the Ninth Circuit agreed the teacher had “significant religious responsibilities,” but decided those duties weren’t religious enough for the school to invoke its First Amendment right to control who’s teaching the faith to its students.

The cases involve something known as the ministerial exception. It represents the idea that religious groups involved in teaching their faith can only truly be free from government interference if they have full control of choosing who teaches that faith in their institutions.

Freedom is always one generation away from extinction. We need to protect all of the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

A Sad Day In Texas

Yesterday CBN News reported that a jury  has ruled against a Texas father as his ex-wife tries to turn their 7-year-old son into a girl.

The article reports:

Jeff Younger has been locked in a dispute with his ex-wife Dr. Anne Georgulas who has accused him of child abuse for not treating their son James like a girl. He says she’s the one abusing their son by trying to change his biological gender.

Now LifeSite News reports a jury and judge have collectively ruled against Younger, which appears to give Georgulas the go-ahead to turn James into “Luna”.

The article continues:

The SaveJames site contends, “This suggests that the diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria should be reviewed by an independent psychologist. James has never had an independent second opinion. Medical and social intervention should be suspended until James’ father can get a good second opinion.”

Younger told the Luke Macias podcast, “I believe this is not just emotional abuse but is the very most fundamental form of sexual abuse, tampering with the sexual identity of a vulnerable boy.”

Macias says this is about the LGBT activist agenda reaching the next level in America.

“The most radical in our society have not found themselves content with expanding their own horizons and throwing off truth in regards to their own lives. They are actively experimenting on the children of Texas,” he says.

Hopefully in the process of making the wrong decision, nothing will be done that is irreversible. The child is too young to be making this decision. I can’t help but wonder how the child will feel as a twenty-year-old. Hopefully if he changes his mind, he will be physically be able to reverse what is done.

This Needed To Be Done

Yesterday CBN News posted an article about President Trump’s visit to the United Nations.

The article reports:

On Monday, President Donald Trump made history with a big push for the United Nations to truly focus its attention on global religious liberty

On the first day of a three-day scheduled visit during the UN’s General Assembly, the President’s big focus was a meeting about the worldwide persecution of religious minorities, especially Christians.

The event called a “Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom,” was attended by key evangelical leaders including Franklin Graham, Paula White, Jentezen Franklin, Tim Clinton, and Cissie Graham Lynch. The president was introduced by Vice President Mike Pence.

President Trump began his remarks by saying, “The United States is founded on the principle that our rights don’t come from government, they come from God.”

He said the facts are clear that 80 percent of the world doesn’t enjoy the same protection for religious freedom that US citizens enjoy.

Trump said it was an “urgent moral duty” for world leaders to stop crimes against faith.

“The United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution, to stop the crimes against prisoners of faith, to release prisoners of conscience,” Trump said.

The Trump administration has hosted annual meetings on the topic in Washington, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced during this year’s event that he would create an international alliance dedicated to the issue.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission includes the following members: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, South Africa, and Pakistan. In most of these countries, religious freedom is an impossible dream. In South Africa, white farmers are being murdered and their land taken. This is the United Nations President Trump is working with. I admire his effort, but I believe that the United Nations has become so corrupt that they are no longer an organization capable of working toward either peace or freedom. They need to be kicked out of New York City and dissolved.

 

Taking Away Religious Freedom And Parent’s Rights

On September 13th, CBN News reported that the New York Department of Education is moving to force all private schools in the state to perform as public schools. The department is reevaluating a 125-year-old law that would require private schools to offer the equivalent instruction to students as required in public schools.

The article reports:

This means all private schools’ curriculum, scheduling, lesson plans, hiring standards, and reporting requirements would have to follow all regulations as required by the state for public schools. The new regulations would also give the power to local school districts to oversee and inspect private and parochial schools. If a school was found lacking in compliance with the proposed regulations, the school could be closed. 

The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a non-profit legal defense organization, represents Parents Union for Religious Integrity of Torah Education (PURITE). The parents and rabbis who sought PJI’s assistance practice ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Judaism. They have been training their youth in small religious schools known as yeshivas for thousands of years. The schools instruct in subjects such as math and English language while focusing primarily on the Torah and Talmud. 

PURITE notes that the proposed regulations would essentially outlaw their way of life and education. Parochial school leaders and homeschool families are also concerned about the suggested rules. 

PJI attorney Kevin Snider sent a letter last week to the New York Department of Education, which had been accepting public comment. Snider’s letter explains in some detail the conflict between Torah-based education and the goals of NY public schools.

This is the precursor to a move against homeschooling. Unfortunately the American public education system is failing the students. Many students who go to college are having to take remedial courses in English and mathematics before they can actually take a college course. Our children are graduating high school with no marketable skills and no practical life skills. The have been schooled in what to think, but not schooled in how to think. As parents realize that the public schools are failing their children, they are turning to other ways to educate their children.

The following chart shows the growth of homeschooling in America since 1970. People taking their children out of public school is a threat to the education establishment. We already know that children in Charter Schools, private schools and homeschooling do better than children in public school.  That is the reason the State of New York is going after private education.

Ultimately parents are responsible for raising and educating their children. That is a responsibility and right that the government is slowly infringing on.

There Are Some Amazing People In Our Country

CBN News featured an article today about Orville Rogers. Orville Rogers runs marathons. That is not particularly unusual until you consider the fact that Orville Rogers is 101 years old.

The video below tells his story:

The article reports:

At 101 years young, Orville Rogers still has a spring in his step and shows no signs of slowing down. the former airline pilot still remembers the day he fell in love with flying. “I was a young boy about ten years old, and (Charles) Lindbergh circled my school house, in 1927, after his transatlantic solo flight,” Orville recalls. “That cemented my desire to be a pilot.”

The article explains why he became a long-distance runner:

He also became a long-distance runner after reading several studies on longevity and exercise.

“Dr. I Min Lee, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, complied a study and her conclusion was that people who exercise very vigorously for long periods of time, could expect to get back in added lifespan, nine hours of added life for every one hour of physical exercise. That is phenomenal.”

Orville not only ran a number of marathons; he holds two world records in the 90-100 age category. “I entered two races in Boston, Massachusetts March 23rd, 2008: the 800 meter and the one-mile run,” Orville says. “And three weeks before the race in March 2008, my wife died. I talked to my children about it and we agreed she’d want me to continue to compete, so I did. And I won the 800 meters, set a new world record. The mile record, I really slaughtered. I ran it in 9:57.”

Two years ago, Orville wrote his life story in his book, The Running Man. “It tells of my experiences in life, my flying, my running, my giving, and my family life and I hope it’s of a benefit and a help to people who may be questioning how they need to serve the Lord better.”

Please follow the link above to read the entire story. Orville Rogers is an amazing man who has led an amazing life.

Antisemitism In Ireland

CBN News is reporting today that the “Control of Economic Activity (in) Occupied Territories” bill is making its way through the Irish government.

The article reports:

The proposed law would make it illegal for Irish citizens to buy goods and services from Israeli citizens in what they define as the occupied territories. That would make it illegal to buy an ice cream, a postcard or a bottle of water in the old city of Jerusalem.

…The bill is called the “Control of Economic Activity (in) Occupied Territories”.  If convicted under the bill, an Irish citizen could be fined more than a quarter of a million dollars and spend up to five years in jail.   

…Prof. Kontorovich says Irish leaders may be hesitant to pass the bill.

“One of the only reasons the law has not been passed yet is because the Irish government is properly worried about the consequences it’s going to have for Irish companies doing business in America and many of the large American companies doing business in Ireland like Apple. Because America has strict laws against boycotting Israel,” he explained.

This is simply BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) on steroids. First of all, there are no ‘occupied territories.’ That is a term invented by Arabs who still want to drive the Jews into the sea. Second of all, this is antisemitism pure and simple. America has laws against boycotting Israel because these boycotts are not morally justified. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has freedom of religion–Jews, Muslims, and Christians are all free to worship in Israel. Also, a boycott of goods in these areas hurts the Arabs who work there more than it hurts the Israelis. Arabs commute from the Arab territories that have no commerce into Israel where commerce flourishes. When companies in the border areas of Israel close because of boycotts, the Arabs suffer.

This Would Be Beneficial On A Number Of Levels

CBN News posted an article today about an innovative energy source that would be beneficial for both energy production and for the environment. The article hits close to home because it involves an issue North Carolina has been discussing for a number of years.

First of all, I need to say that I know very little about hog farming and hog waste. However, it does make sense that some of the by-products of hog farming might create an environmental problem. However, there seems to be an answer that will be profitable for everyone.

The article reports:

In fact, to Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy, converting hog manure to natural gas for powering homes and businesses has a sweet smell of success.

“We think it’s a lot simpler, and we think it will change the face of how manure is handled and turned into energy going forward,” Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables, told CBN News.

…So how does it work – turning this waste into energy? Often called biomethane, renewable natural gas is pipeline-quality gas that comes from organic matter like hog waste.

CBN News went to North Carolina to tour Circle K II Farms, a Smithfield pilot project.

“Manure actually is a positive thing,” said Westerbeek. “It creates value, and it helps fertilize crops; it helps produce energy. It’s not a bad thing. We view manure as an opportunity.”

Kraig Westerbeek explains how the process moves from the hog buildings to a huge covered lagoon called a “digester.”

“The product, natural gas, is actually a product of digestion of the solids by bacteria, so for that reason, it’s called digestion,” he said.

…The manure is funneled under the large plastic cover of the lagoon, and it’s mixed over and over. Bacteria break it down, producing what’s called biogas, which causes the cover to bubble up. That gas is 65 percent natural gas.

The biogas produced at farms then moves through gathering pipes to a gas-upgrading unit. That’s when Dominion Energy steps in.

“Where we come in – you see this plant back here – we’re gonna lend our engineering expertise to create a process that’s as efficient as possible in creating clean, renewable natural gas that customers can use,” Childress said.

At the gas upgrading system, the natural gas from the farm is refined. When it leaves there, it is 99.1 percent natural gas. It then enters a pipeline and is funneled to homes and businesses.

The article concludes:

This project involves partnering with local farmers like Dean Hilton, who’s been raising hogs for nearly 15 years. He calls it the “wave of the future.”

“After meeting with Kraig on the trial site, we realized that there’s a lot of opportunity in the fact that we can actually reduce our manure in our current lagoons, as well as turning the solids, the new solids into renewable energy,” Hilton said.

Westerbeek admits turning manure into renewable natural gas is “fairly expensive”.

“You have an investment in a digester like you see in the background, and then the gathering pipelines to gather the gas from different farms and bring it to a central location,” he explained.

“And then one of the more expensive parts of this is actually cleaning the gas from its form as biogas from this digester into pipeline-quality natural gas,” Westerbeek continued.

Both he and Childress along with their bosses believe it’s a worthy investment leading to clean energy, plus economic benefits for their companies, rural America and the general public.

This seems like a win-win situation. Now if we can just do the same thing with cows…

We Need A Wall

The following was posted at CBN recently:

As President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats remain at an apparent impasse over the border wall, the commander in chief is drawing criticism for shutting down the government. Others, however, insist the wall is necessary, saying the president must stand up for national security.

CBN News‘ Charlene Aaron spoke with Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney about why he believes it’s so important for the president to win this particular battle over immigration.

I realize that a five minute video is a lot to post on a blog, but it is worth listening to. Frank Gaffney has been involved in national security for a long time and knows what he is talking about.

Why All Congressional Bills Need To Be Read Carefully

CBN News reported today on an unnoticed item in the tax cut bill passed by Congress this year.

The article reports:

Churches and non-profit organizations are calling for the repeal of a provision in the GOP’s tax cuts law that would force ministries to file federal tax returns, and in some cases pay taxes.

Last winter, as lawmakers touted the tax savings in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts, no one mentioned this new federal tax on local churches. But for non-profits like Christian ministries, that little-known provision in the legislation has become a big cause for concern.

…Under the new tax plan, churches, hospitals, colleges and other historically tax-exempt groups must pay a 21 percent tax on some benefits they provide their employees, such as parking, transportation and other related benefits.

Dan Busby is president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. He says churches weren’t expecting to get hit with – of all things – an income tax bill, and this one could be a huge burden on groups that have historically enjoyed tax-exempt status.
 
“There are nearly 15 million employees that work in the United States for nonprofits – nearly 10 percent of the workforce – so that’s 15 million parking places. And conservatively, it’s going to cost the non-profit community as a whole up to a billion dollars,” Busby said.

That’s a lot of money for ministries that rely on donations. In response to the news, the ECFA put out a petition that churches and nonprofits can sign to protest the employee parking tax. 

“Tax practitioners who have evaluated Section 512(a) (7) generally believe that the result of this new provision is that tax‐exempt organizations that provide parking to their employees will be subject to unrelated business income tax on the cost of the parking provided. A nonprofit organization that simply allows its employees to park in a parking lot or garage that is part of the organization’s facilities will be subject to a tax on the cost of the parking provided,” the ECFA explained in a position statement available for download on its website.

This is the link to sign the petition against the new tax  –  https://www.ecfa.org/DocSig.aspx

Taxing churches on their staff parking places has to be one of the dumbest ideas I have ever encountered.

The Consequences Of Letting Everyone In The Same Bathroom

The bathroom bill (should be locker room bill) passed in North Carolina has caused a lot of controversy. This article is based on two articles, one posted at CBN News today and one posted at Lady Liberty 1885.

The article at Lady Liberty 1885 includes the following video (also posted on YouTube):

As the video points out, women need a safe space to change clothes or go to the bathroom. I can’t imagine thinking parents wanting their teenage daughters to share locker rooms with teenage boys.

There has been another interesting example of the fallout of this law.

CBN News is reporting today:

A former state executive director of the ACLU has resigned because her own daughters were frightened when transgendered men entered the women’s bathroom.

The American Civil Liberties Union has been a champion of transgender bathroom rights. Former director of the Georgia ACLU chapter Maya Dillard Smith says she is resigned after her daughters’ experience in a public bathroom.

“I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women’s restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults, over six-feet tall with deep voices, entered,” Smith wrote in a statement.

“My children were visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer,” she continued.

She also said the incident highlighted the ALCU‘s “hierarchy of rights.”

She wrote in a statement that the ACLU is “a special interest organization that promotes not all, but certain progressive rights….based on who is funding the organization’s lobbying activities.”

Transgender people constitute a very small percentage of our population. They deserve to be respected and not bullied, but their desires should not be used to put the safety of other Americans in jeopardy. The transgenders themselves are not the issue–it’s the people who will use the issue for their own nefarious purposes.

 

Picking Winners And Losers When Enforcing The Law

CBN News posted a story today which illustrates what happens when the people in charge of enforcing the law do not respect the principle of equal justice under the law. The case involves the death of two ducks in a waste pool next to an oil drill site.

As you read this story, please keep in mind the following, reported by Fox News on August 16, 2011:

Case in point: In the Bay Area, when activists in the 1980s demanded a cleaner planet, the state responded with the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. The state-approved wind farm, built with federal tax credits, kills 4,700 birds annually, including 1,300 raptors, among them 70 golden eagles, according to biological reports generated on behalf of the owners.

…Pine Tree is one of the wind farms in Kern County and is operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. According to an internal DWP bird and bat mortality report for the year ending June 2010, bird fatality rates were “relatively high” at Pine Tree compared to 45 other wind facilities nationwide. The facility’s annual death rate per turbine is three times higher for golden eagles than at Altamont.

“Politics plays a huge role here,” Smallwood said. “Our leaders want this power source so they’re giving, for a time being, a pass to the wind industry. If you or I killed an eagle, we’re looking at major consequences.”

I am asking you to keep this in mind as you read this story. Bud Brigham, head of Brigham Resources, was charged with killing two ducks who died in a waste pool next to one of his drills in North Dakota.

The article at CBN News reports:

“A Justice Department appointee apparently chartered a helicopter to go search for this,” Brigham told CBN News, “and flew around to all the different well sites in western North Dakota.”

…Those in the helicopter found 28 dead birds in the waste pools of seven oil and gas companies, and the prosecutor used the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act to charge the companies with criminally killing the 28 birds.

When Congress passed the act, it was intended just to stop poachers or hunters deliberately killing migratory birds. But that didn’t stop this federal prosecutor going after Brigham and the other oil executives.

In Brigham’s case, he and his company were charged with killing two ducks.

“And for two mallards there were cash fines, but also, as CEO, I could potentially serve two consecutive six-month terms in prison,” Brigham said.

As previously mentioned, there have been no charges brought against windmill companies.

Fortunately, the judge in the case tossed it out, stating that if the government were allowed to put Mr. Brigham in jail, they could theoretically imprison a cat-owner whose cat had killed a bird.

Those people in the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency who sent out the helicopters to find the birds and those in the Justice Department who prosecuted the case need to be removed from office. This sort of activity does not represent equal justice under the law–it represents the government picking winners and losers–something the Obama Administration is known for doing.

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