Coming To Your Neighborhood

Frankly, I don’t care who moves into my neighborhood as long as they take care of their house, pay their bills, don’t have vicious dogs that run free, and don’t have wild parties without inviting the neighbors. Evidently, the government cares who lives in my neighborhood more than I do.

On Wednesday, Newsbusters posted an article about the new regulations from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The only major news source that covered the story in their nightly newscast was Fox News.

Here is the discussion on Fox (taken from the Newsbusters article):

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
July 8, 2015
6:33 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Community Organizing?]

BRET BAIER: Well, critics tonight are saying the Obama administration is taking another big step toward telling you and your neighbors who can and cannot live on your street and in your neighborhood. Supporters call it fair housing. Opponents call it social engineering. Correspondent Kevin Corke has the story. 

HUD SECRETARY JULIAN CASTRO: We’re eager to support local leaders in giving every person an equal chance to access quality good housing near schools, transportation and jobs, no matter who they are, what they look like, how they worship. 

KEVIN CORKE: That’s the thought behind the White House effort to use the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help root out systematic discrimination and segregation all across America. The plan unveiled today is called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and will require cities and towns to scrutinize housing patterns for racial bias with the goal of “reducing disparities in housing choice and access…thereby expanding economic opportunities and enhancing the quality of life.” Communities are required to report their findings and/or improvement plans every three-to-five years or face losing the federal funding HUD hands out here each year. 


CORKE: Critics say the President’s plan is a social engineering redux of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which was meant to fight housing discrimination, but actually created worse segregation in some cities thanks to so-called white flight when many families chose to move to the suburbs. 

THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION’S HANS VON SPAKOVSKY: This is the Obama administration’s way of putting in their utopian, progressive vision of how they think Americans should live. 

CORKE: This time around, HUD will use data collected from zoning laws, home financing, infrastructure planning, and transportation to determine if all families have access to fair housing and services, but some lawmakers on Capitol Hill say this is just a heavy-handed way for the government to try to shape local zoning laws, and in doing so, support yet another overreach by the President. 


CORKE: The final rule is 377 pages long, much longer, frankly, than the version we saw back in 2013. By the way, parts of the AFFH are set to take effect 30 days from tomorrow with other policies being phased in over time.

Everyone should have the right to live wherever they choose (assuming that they can afford the house they choose). However, any time the government gets involved in anything, it gets complicated and eventually very expensive to the taxpayer. I don’t think there is anything in the Constitution that allows the government to tell people where they can live or who can live in what neighborhood. Again, the only way we are going to stop this sort of ridiculousness is to elect people who respect and will uphold (as their oath of office says) the Constitution.



The Need To Balance Rights

CBN News posted a story today about a new law passed in San Antonio, Texas, to prevent discrimination against LGBT Texans. Now before I go into exactly what the law does, I want to go on the record as saying that I do not support discrimination against anyone for any reason. However, there are certain situations where common sense needs to dictate decisions regarding people with different views on various issues. For instance, I have no problem with civil unions, but I do not support gay marriage. Why? Because as soon as the state endorses gay marriage, is it obligated to force pastors of churches who believe homosexuality is a sin to perform those marriages? I watched the Catholic adoption agencies leave Massachusetts because the state would not grant them a religious exemption to allow them to deny adoptions to gay couples. Their right to practice their religious beliefs in the adoption process were denied. If you pass a law against discrimination against LGBT people, is a pastor who holds the Biblical view on homosexuality free to state that view from the pulpit?

The article points out:

For San Antonio’s faith community there are several red flags. The ordinance criminalizes those with a biblical view of sexuality as it forbids bias against homosexuality or bi-sexuality.

Those charged and declared guilty by the city will face a Class C misdemeanor on their record and fines of up to $500 a day.

Also, the ordinance forbids appointed officials on city boards from showing any bias. 

Allan Parker, president of The Justice Foundation, a San-Antonio-based Christian legal non-profit, has worked to analyze and explain the ordinance for San Antonio’s churches.

He said the ordinance is vague and unclear but he believes it can and will be used against Christians, especially those in the business world who disagree with unbiblical sexuality.

“The leverage of the city to pressure any business to caving in is enormous under this,” he explained.

Would this law punish a bakery if it chose not to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding because of their religious beliefs? What about the rights of the bakers? Are their religious beliefs as important as the wedding participants? Where does the First Amendment (the government shall not interfere with the free exercise of religion) play into this?

As I said, I don’t support discrimination against anyone, but I do support the right of everyone to practice their religion and state their religious beliefs. This law is not in agreement with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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