The Beginning Of Accountability

The Washington Examiner is reporting the following today:

A House Republican introduced legislation Wednesday that would make public all legislative branch settlement payments made in the past two decades and would force lawmakers and staff to repay harassment claims settled on their behalf.

The bill, authored by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., would also prohibit future use of federal funds to pay harassment claims, which is now the practice.

This is long overdue. The practice should not have begun in the first place. There also needs to a private audit of government expenses to see what else Congress has been spending money on that the public is unaware of.

The article further reports:

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pledged a “comprehensive” examination of harassment problems, beginning with a Dec. 7 hearing in the House Administration Committee. The panel will scrutinize the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act, which instituted a prohibition of discrimination and harassment in the legislative branch.

One thing to keep in mind here is that sometimes a person will simply pay a person bringing charges because it is easier than fighting the charges. That needs to be considered in looking at these cases–how much time would a Congressman lose fighting a charge that wasn’t true? Also, not all of these cases were sexual harassment cases–some were discrimination. Again, how many were settled because it was simply easier than going to court? What we need is a way to distinguish false charges from valid charges so that appropriate actions can be taken. I am not sure Congress is capable of that. However, the bill that Representative De Santis has introduced is a good first step toward ending a pattern of horribly adolescent behavior in Congress. Let’s see if Congress is willing to pass the bill.

Attacking Religious Freedom In Massachusetts

CBN News posted an article today about the battle for religious freedom in Massachusetts.

The article explains the timeline of the events:

Four churches in Massachusetts are suing the state over a new anti-discrimination law that provides no exemption for churches.

Instead, the statute restricts speech that might conflict with government views on gender identity and forces churches to open their bathrooms and locker rooms to people based on their perceived gender identity.

…The state legislature added gender identity as a protected class to the state’s public accommodation law in July 2016. On Sept. 1, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination issued a “Gender Identity Guidance,” which determined that a church would be considered as a place of public accommodation “if it holds a secular event, such as a spaghetti supper, that is open to the general public.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is handling the case for the four churches. The four churches are Horizon Christian Fellowship in Fitchburg, Abundant Life Church in Swansea, House of Destiny Ministries in Southbridge, and Faith Christian Fellowship in Haverhill.

The article reports:

“All events held at a church on its property have a religious purpose and the government has no authority to violate the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of religion and speech,” Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Christiana Holcomb said.

The law went into effect Oct. 1.  But opponents of the law celebrated a major win late Tuesday in their efforts to repeal it.  The Massachusetts secretary of state has certified the required number of signatures needed to put a repeal measure on the 2018 ballot.

It will be interesting to see if the issue makes it on to the 2018 ballot, even though it has the necessary signatures. A number of years ago, the voters of Massachusetts collected enough signatures to put gay marriage on the ballot, but somehow that never happened. The gay marriage law that took effect in Massachusetts was the result of a court decision–not a vote of the people. Unfortunately, I think this issue may be resolved the same way.

 

Insanity At One University

The Washington Times posted a story in June 2016 outlining some of the speech guidelines at the University of North Carolina. The inmates have definitely taken over the asylum.

The article reports:

Guidelines issued on the university’s Employee Forum aim to help staff avoid microaggressions in their interactions by cautioning against offensive phrases such as “Christmas vacation,” “husband/boyfriend” and “golf outing.”

The guidebook, first reported by Campus Reform, categorizes examples of potential microaggressions by “social identity group,” including race, gender and sexual orientation.

 Under the “Religion” tab, the guidebook says organizing vacations around Christian holidays further “centers the Christian faith and minimizes non-Christian spiritual rituals and observances.”

With regard to “gender” microaggressions, the guidelines discourage comments such as “I love your shoes!” to female colleagues or otherwise complimenting the appearance of women.

It gets worse:

Microaggressions against “sexual orientation” include using the terms “husband” or “boyfriend” when addressing a female colleague, or “wife” or “girlfriend” when addressing a male colleague, instead of the asexual “partner” or “spouse.”

This, the taxpayer-funded university warns, sets “the expectation that people do not identify as LGBTQ until they say otherwise or disclose their sexual orientation.”

At faculty award ceremonies, be sure not to ask honorees to “stand and be recognized” for their achievements, which assumes “that everyone is able in this way and ignores the diversity of ability in the space.”

To further complicate matters:

An editor’s note later amended to the University of North Carolina guidebook makes clear that it “does not represent University policy.”

“The piece was compiled from research and published scholarly works in response to Forum members’ interest in the topic of microaggressions,” the note says.

If the guidebook does not reflect University policy, why does it even exist? Where in the world did we come up with the concept of microaggressions? People are different–that is because we all have different backgrounds, different talents, different abilities, different taste, etc. When did noticing these things become microaggression? It is time for the rebirth of common sense. I guess I shouldn’t expect that rebirth to occur on college campuses. Meanwhile, how much are parents paying to have their children exposed to this junk?

Losing The First Amendment

Since the 1960’s (and possibly before that) our schools have been undermining the moral fiber of America. It began with teaching young children ‘situational ethics’ and introducing the idea that there really is not right and wrong–everything simply depends on the circumstances. The sexual revolution of the 1060’s further undermined the moral fiber of our culture. Meanwhile, colleges went from signing out of the dorm to go on a date to co-ed dorms. Many of the college students of the late 60’s had their traditional moral values destroyed during their college years. They then had children of their own and raised them accordingly. Our public (and at times, private) education system is largely responsible for destroying the moral fiber of America. Now California wants to pass a law that will accelerate the process and take away one refuge for parents who still believe in traditional morality and are raising their children that way.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about a new law being proposed by the California legislature.

The article explains:

California is considering a new bill that would remove a longstanding exemption from anti-discrimination lawsuits for religious colleges and universities.

The bill could potentially expose schools to civil rights lawsuits from students and employees, according to a report in the Associated Press.

Opponents of the bill, which include some schools, say it is an attack on religious liberty as the exemption allows them to craft campus policies in line with their faith. Religious institutions can currently assign housing through sex, and not on gender identity, and institute moral codes that include sexuality provisions.

How about creating a safe space for people who hold traditional values? A student does not have the right to attend any college he chooses–the college has the final say on who is admitted. By the same logic, if a parent or student does not like the social or moral policies or a college, they have the option of attending school somewhere else. The idea that a school has to bend to the will of a small minority that does not share its values and probably would not want to attend that school is somewhat illogical.

This is an infringement on the First Amendment rights of private schools and colleges. The problem occurs when these institutions accept federal or state money–‘free’ money always comes with strings attached.

The article reports:

Heads of religious colleges told the AP that the legislation would prevent them from signing an agreement with the schools to get state funding for low-income students.

The bill comes as red states have considered or approved laws that conservatives say strengthen religious freedoms. Supporters say such laws enable people to deny services that would violate religious beliefs, while opponents say they enable discrimination against LGBT individuals.

The proposed law illustrates two problems–first, the strings attached to any ‘free’ money, and second, the assault on those Americans who hold to traditional values. It is not my desire to discriminate in any way against members of the LGBT community, but in return, I expect them not to discriminate against my beliefs as well. The First Amendment says that the government cannot limit my freedom to practice my religion. The 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act was supposed to further insure that freedom. The fact that Congress thought it was necessary to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act actually tells us all we need to know about the current direction of America.

 

When The Image And The Truth Totally Disagree

This story is based on a story from November 2015, but it is particularly relevant now. As I have said before, I am not a strong supporter of Donald Trump, but I am dismayed at the charges routinely leveled against him that have no basis in fact. One day I am going to read in the news that Donald Trump conferred with aliens on Mars before deciding to run for President (and what is worse–there will be people who believe that).

On November 13, 2015, The American Spectator posted as article about some activities of Donald Trump during the 1990’s. These activities totally negate the most recent charge that Donald Trump is a racist.

This is the story:

…The culture clash began to approach a climax last fall, when Mr. Trump’s lawyer sent members of the town council a copy of the film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a film that deals with upper-class racism. Mr. Trump then approached the town council about lifting the restrictions that had been placed on the club. He also asked some council members not to vote on the request because their membership in other clubs created a conflict of interest.

Last December, after the council refused to lift the restrictions, Mr. Trump filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Palm Beach, alleging that the town was discriminating against Mar-a-Lago, in part because it is open to Jews and African-Americans. The suit seeks $100 million in damages.

… Mr. Foxman seems pleased that Mr. Trump has elevated the issue of discriminatory policies at social clubs. “He put the light on Palm Beach,” Mr. Foxman says. “Not on the beauty and the glitter, but on its seamier side of discrimination. It has an impact.”

In recent weeks, Mr. Foxman says, the league has received calls from Jewish residents telling of how Palm Beach clubs are changing. Locals concur that in the past year, organizations such as the Bath and Tennis Club have begun to admit Jewish patrons. The Palm Beach Civic Association, which for many years was believed to engage in discriminatory behavior, this month named a Jewish resident as its chief officer.

In other words? In other words, long before he was running for president, there was Donald Trump battling racism and anti-Semitism in Palm Beach society. Using every tool at his disposal.

This was almost twenty years before Donald Trump announced his run for the Presidency. These are not the actions of a racist.

There Is No Resemblance Between The Hype And The Truth

The North Carolina legislation passed a bill on March 23 called HB2. The media has gone totally bonkers every since–yelling discrimination, bigotry, and all the other things they traditionally yell. I haven’t heard much in the media about the danger bathrooms open to whatever sex you choose to assume on a given day pose to women and children. I need to mention here that the danger does not come from transgendered people–it comes from nefarious people posing as transgenders. The media also overlooked the fact that the spokesmen for the group sponsoring the legislation that HB2 overturned was a registered sex offender. I am sure that is simply an incredible coincidence. The spokesman was removed after his criminal record was exposed.

On Wednesday, World Net Daily posted an article that clarifies the issues involved.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Widely known now as House Bill 2, or HB 2, the legislation was approved 82-26 in the North Carolina General Assembly. State senators approved it 32-0, although 11 Democrats decided not to vote and another six lawmakers were absent. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill on March 25.

Lt. Gov. Forest said the city of Charlotte left lawmakers no choice but to act.

“This isn’t something the General Assembly brought up. The city council in Charlotte brought this up, against legal counsel’s advice and against the advice of a lot of folks. They went beyond their constitutional authority and tried to create a public accommodation law in the city of Charlotte,” Forest told WND and Radio America.

He continued, “That is expressly a responsibility of the state. The city of Charlotte and municipalities don’t have the legal authority, based on our constitution, to establish public accommodation law.”

In addition to overstepping its legal authority, Forest said the Charlotte council pursued a very troubling policy.

“The Charlotte ordinance said that the business community had to to comply with this ordinance,” Forest explained. “They said it was sex discrimination to have men’s room and women’s room labels on your doors.”

When state officials started hearing from sexual assault victims, the effort to reverse the Charlotte ordinance picked up far more steam.

The article further explains:

Forest said the ordinance only required the person to identify as a member of a particular gender, and to have completed or be in the process of gender reassignment.

He said, despite the protests, HB 2 does a few very simple things, starting with determining who can use which bathrooms.

“What HB 2 did was say that men have to use men’s rooms and women have to use women’s rooms in the state of North Carolina,” Forest said.

At the same time, he said people identifying as transgender benefit, too.

“What this bill did is it created accommodation for people that are transgender, for people that view their gender differently than other folks,” Forest said. “It also provides the opportunity for single-stall unisex bathrooms. Anywhere that you want to place them.”

Forest said, unlike Charlotte, the HB 2 only applies to government buildings and schools. Business owners are free to make their own decisions.

If you own a business in North Carolina, you are free to designate bathrooms in any way you see fit. The article notes that Lt. Gov. Forrest mentioned the possible NBA boycott of North Carolina because of the law. He stated that he found the possible boycott odd because the WNBA  does not allow men to play in their league or enter the locker rooms and the NBA does not open its league or its locker rooms to women.

Common sense needs to prevail here. Note that when the original ordinance was passed in Charlotte, state officials started hearing from sexual assault victims. That statement really tells you all you need to know. Our laws need to protect women and children.

Symbolism Over Substance?

There is a conflict in America right now as to the exact meaning of the First Amendment as regards to religious freedom. One of the questions being asked is whether or not Christians who choose to enter the business world still have the right to act according to their Christian beliefs. Does a Christian businessman have the right to choose who he does business with? In January I posted a story about a couple who is required to do re-education training because they refused to host a homosexual wedding. I had never considered re-education training as an American concept.

The latest chapter in the war against Christian ideas in the marketplace has occurred in Oklahoma. Eagle Rising posted a story on February 27th about a law proposed by an Oklahoma Democrat in the state legislature.

The article reports:

Democrat state Rep. Emily Virgin believes that Christian businesses should be forced to post a public notice that they will be discriminating against homosexuals, if those businesses are to be allowed to claim the right to refuse service based on religious beliefs.

That’s right, if you’re a Christian businessman in Oklahoma and you don’t believe that you should be forced to participate in a gay wedding, Democrats want to force your business to post a public scarlet letter detailing your “bigoted” beliefs!

This is the text of the law:

“Any person not wanting to participate in any of the activities set forth in subsection A of this section based on sexual orientation, gender identity or race of either party to the marriage shall post notice of such refusal in a manner clearly visible to the public in all places of business, including websites. The notice may refer to the person’s religious beliefs, but shall state specifically which couples the business does not serve by referring to a refusal based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or race.”

The law was suggested in response to a Republican bill that would allow Christian businessmen to operate their businesses in accordance with Biblical principles.

The article further notes:

The right to practice your faith as you see fit (as long as you aren’t infringing on the rights of others) is the cornerstone of our nation’s stability and health. Along with that, the right to choose who we do business with and when we do business is the very foundation of free market capitalism. The moment we allow the government (or some fascist group of rabid socialists) to force us to act against our religious beliefs, or force us to work as indentured servants at the beck and call of others… that is the moment that we have LOST our nation.

Something to consider as we approach this election season.

Do Public Officials Have The Right To Politically Incorrect Private Opinions?

On Sunday I posted an article about Tammy Covil, a member of the New Hanover County Board of Education (rightwinggranny.com). Mrs. Covil made a statement on a private Facebook page saying that she supported a Biblical view of marriage and of homosexuality. The statement was screen captured by a person who disagreed with her point of view and posted on a Democrat party website. As a result of that posting, some members of the community have called for Mrs. Covil’s removal from office. They have accused Mrs. Covil of discrimination. There is no evidence that Mrs. Covil has discriminated against anyone. In fact, I believe that she is being discriminated against because of the Biblical view that she expressed.

Again, Mrs. Covil is an elected official who expressed an opinion that someone did not agree with. When her current term of office is up, the citizens of New Hanover County will have the opportunity to vote for her or against her. To remove someone from office because of a privately held belief simply because you hold a difference belief seems contrary to the American concept of free speech.

Why Are We Doing This To The Girl Scouts?

I was a Girl Scout. When we moved north, there was no troop, but in my younger years, I was a Girl Scout. I earned a roller skating badge, a cooking badge, and various other badges. It was a lot of fun. Well, I guess things have changed.

Life News is reporting that the In May 2013, WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scoutsparticipated in Women Deliver, a global conference with the purpose of “calling for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women.”

The article reports:

The conference featured speakers such as late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart, philosopher Peter Singer, who supports infanticide and euthanasia, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Some of the breakout sessions were entitled “Outing and Addressing Abortion Stigma” and “Why I Perform Abortions.” Exhibitors included many abortion and population control advocates such as Amnesty International, Guttmacher Institute, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, United Nations Population Fund, and WAGGGS.

Equally concerning is WAGGGS’ participation, along with International Planned Parenthood Federation and Planned Parenthood Global (PPFA global), in the Youth Advisory Group for the Women Deliver Conference. It seems to me that the Girl Scouts have some interesting, you might even say radical friends.

Abortion in America is not about women’s health–it is about the amount of money abortionists make and the lobby that protects them. I believe that abortion should be legal in cases where it is medically needed to protect the life of a woman–period. Abortion generally has as many risks (if not more) than pregnancy. Particularly when you consider that even in America, abortions are not always performed in the best of medical facilities with emergency equipment.

The Girl Scouts need to stay out of politics. There is enough for them to learn about simply being strong, successful women without having to support abortion.

A City Recognizes Freedom Of Religion

On Sunday I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.

I quoted a Daily Signal article which reported:

Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.

On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

It seemed to me that the ruling did not respect the Knapps right to practice their religious beliefs freely. Evidently the town in Idaho had second thoughts on the decision and has changed its mind.

The Washington Post is reporting today:

The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, said a for-profit wedding chapel owned by two ministers doesn’t have to perform same-sex marriages….

[City Attorney Michael] Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.

“After we’ve looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.

One has to wonder who the city attorneys talked to before they decided that the ministers were not breaking any laws.

The article concludes:

As I’ve argued before, I think more than just religious freedom is at stake here — the Free Speech Clause protects the right not to participate in verbal ceremonies, whether religious or otherwise, and whether they are pledges of allegiance (even ones without “under God”) or the conducting of wedding vows (even ones that are secular). A secular freelance writer, for instance, has a Free Speech Clause right to refuse to write news releases for religious groups that he disapproves of (even if he generally takes commissions from the public), or articles praising ceremonies that he disapproves of. Likewise, a wedding officiant has a Free Speech Clause right to refuse to lead wedding ceremonies that he disapproves of. But at least I’m glad that, in this instance, the city has agreed that the ordinance doesn’t apply.

I believe that the freedom to practice religion is under attack in America. The Bible is very clear on the subject of homosexuality, and those Christians who believe in the Bible should be free to practice their religion. If the state chooses to marry homosexuals, that is a civil matter. If the state orders Christian pastors to perform gay weddings, the state is then infringing on the rights of Christians.That is the problem with the homosexual agenda–it discriminates against people who have a Christian worldview.

What About The Right To Practice Your Religion?

The Daily Signal posted an article yesterday about Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.

The article reports:

Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.

On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

I hope the Knapps have good lawyers working on this–it is blatantly unconstitutional.

The article explains the balance that is needed in this case:

States must protect the rights of Americans and the associations they form—both nonprofit and for-profit—to speak and act in the public square in accordance with their beliefs. It is particularly egregious that the city would coerce ordained ministers to celebrate a religious ceremony in their chapel. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion arguing that this action “violates [the Knapps’s] First and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of speech, the free exercise of religion, substantive due process, and equal protection.”

Citizens must work to prevent or repeal laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We must also insist on laws that protect religious freedom and the rights of conscience.

It is not my concern whether or not homosexuals marry. It is my concern when the rights of Americans are violated in order to give special privileges to any group. We need to get back to the place where the rights of all Americans are respected–the rights of religious people and the rights of homosexuals.

 

 

 

 

Have They Really Thought This Through ?

The Boston Herald is reporting today that Massachusetts held a ceremony to mark the passage of a new state law that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in employment, housing, insurance and credit. I am the first to admit that I am not really familiar with whatever issue caused the legislature to believe that this law was necessary. This seems to be an issue that has arisen during the recent past.

The law prohibits discrimination against those who are transgender. I have no problem with the idea that someone should not be discriminated against, but what impact does this law have on people whose religions teach that there is a problem with the concept of transgender?

The article reports:

While hailing the law, supporters said they would also continue pushing for equal access in public accommodations. Critics have suggested that might lead to a breakdown in privacy in single-gender facilities such as rest rooms and locker rooms.

This sounds as if it could get very complicated. One of the comments on the article stated:

New bathrooms,(every school, government bldg in MA) housing, job quotas, separate jail wings, money to pay for all this, panels to implement, money to do sex changes in jail, etc, etc, All on your dime.

I wonder if anyone has thought this through?

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Do College Clubs Have The Right To Set Their Own Rules ?

Library of Congress Photo, Kissam Hall, Vander...

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On Wednesday, CBN News reported that Vanderbilt University has put four groups on provisional status because their bylaws include requirements like Bible study and worship. The school is conducting a review of student groups to make sure all groups are in compliance with their non-discrimination policy. The review is the result of the fact that an openly gay student was kicked out of the Christian fraternity Beta Upsilon Chi last year.

The article reports:

Justin Gunter, president of the CLS (Christian Legal Society) chapter, said he was shocked when the school brought up the issue since there seems to be so much religious diversity and acceptance on campus.

“Up until now, the campus had been very welcoming of religious individuals,” he explained.

“These rules essentially will reduce the religious diversity on campus overall,” Gunter said. “Religious groups now can’t even say that we want a Christian group to be led by a Christian, a Muslim group to be led by a Muslim.”

Vanderbilt University was founded by the Methodist Church. It has definitely wandered from its roots–last year the university made the decision to recognize Wiccan holidays.

This university has Christian roots. There is no reason why they have to limit the freedom of Christians in order to be ‘diverse.’ Simply allowing the Christian groups to follow their beliefs in setting up their organizations is not discrimination–it is respect for the beliefs of the organization.

 

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