Biblical Worldview News: Holocaust Remembrance; Religious Freedom

Biblical Worldview News:

Holocaust Remembrance; Religious Freedom

Issues@Hand

Trump sends first U.S. delegates to Holocaust remembrance

July 2019 – On May 2, for the first time since Poland’s annual March of the Living began in 1988, U.S. delegates attended. President Donald Trump sent the U.S. delegation to Poland to participate in the Holocaust Remembrance event. Led by U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, the group toured the World War II Nazi concentration camp complex.

Then, they walked alongside students and Holocaust survivors in the 1.5-mile trek from the infamous gates of Auschwitz to the nearby death camp of Birkenau. For thousands of Holocaust victims, this path follows the last walk they ever took. The march educates attendees on the suffering and loss of the Holocaust while celebrating the continuity of Jewish life.

jta.org, 5/2/19; breitbart.com, 5/1/19

 

Trump sends first U.S. delegates to Holocaust remembrance

 

Issues@Hand

Trump protects health workers’ religious beliefs

July 2019 – On May 2, President Donald Trump announced a conscience rule protecting health care workers and hospitals which have personal or religious objections to some health procedures. This conscience rule is designed to protect those who want no ties to abortion, assisted suicide, and sterilizations.

It will be enforced by the Office for Civil Rights. Institutions receiving funds from federal programs will have to certify they comply with these laws.

Over two dozen laws already affected medical workers and institutions by protecting religious or conscience beliefs. However, the Obama administration ignored these laws and received on average one complaint per year. The Trump administration is enforcing laws on the books and received over 300 complaints in 2018.

The president’s latest announcement sparked immediate liberal backlash, e.g., the City of San Francisco has already filed a lawsuit claiming health services might be at risk due to caregivers’ religious beliefs.

onenewsnow.com, 5/6/19; lc.org, 5/2/19

 

Trump protects health workers’ religious beliefs

 

Issues@Hand

Religious freedom disrespected in many countries

July 2019 – Nearly 40% of 75 countries listed in a new report threaten the religious liberty of their residents. Details are included in an April release by Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty. Through legal and cultural support for apostasy, blasphemy, and/or anti-conversion laws, these nations threaten their citizens’ freedom to choose or change one’s faith.

The report adds to the evidence documented in recent years in a variety of studies that show governmental and social hostility toward religious believers is increasing worldwide.

Apostasy laws, according to the report, punish people who convert away from Islam, thus preventing Muslims from freely choosing their faith.

Although largely unenforced worldwide, blasphemy laws in Muslim majority countries frequently are used against minorities – “often with no evidence – to settle unrelated disputes and vendettas.”

Anti-conversion laws prohibit people from converting to another religion. The CRL report said these laws are often used by governments in the Hindu and Buddhist world “to maintain a majority of the population with their preferred religion.”

The study findings show “a significant portion of the world’s population living under regimes that do not respect religious freedom,” said Travis Weber, director of the CRL.

onenewsnow.com, 5/2/19; frc.org, 4/30/19

 

Religious freedom disrespected in many countries

 

Issues@Hand

Research reveals global shifts on diversity, religion, family

July 2019 – In 2018, Pew Research Center surveyed 30,133 people in 27 countries about their perception of national shifts from 1998 to 2018 relative to the family structure and ethnic, religious, and racial diversity and impact.

The research revealed a prevailing global view that diversity and gender equality have increased, but ties to family and religion have decreased. While considerable variation exists concerning whether the changes were perceived as positive or negative, large majorities in most countries say the weakening of family relationships is a “bad thing.”

pewglobal.org, 4/22/19

 

Research reveals global shifts on diversity, religion, family

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Equality Act Explained: Equality Act Meaning for Religious Freedom, Churches, Victim Groups

Equality Act Explained:

Equality Act Meaning for Religious Freedom, Churches, Victim Groups

Critical Thinking Dinner Topics. As you read this article, watch for:

  • How religious freedom, particularly for Christians, is threatened
  • What groups of people will be hurt by this law

James Dobson: Dems’ ‘equality’ bill targets Christians

‘A thinly veiled attempt to finish off religious liberty in America once and for all’

The proposal, H.R. 5 and S. 788, would provide special protections for the LGBT community throughout American society. It would state that religious beliefs are not a defense in a dispute between gay rights and constitutionally protected religious rights.

“Simply put, by creating a protected class of citizens out of the LGBT community, this bill places Christians who believe in traditional marriage at grave legal and civil jeopardy,” said Dobson.

“While no evangelical Christian would ever support hate or violence of any kind against an LGBT individual – or any other person for that matter – to modify the 1964 Civil Rights Act with this wrong-headed bill would not only be legally fraught, it would also put moral equivalence to the unprecedented, centuries-long struggle of countless millions of African Americans to gain freedom from slavery and the persistent, systematic oppression that followed.”

Dobson said that whereas “the Civil Rights movement of the 60s was born out of deep faith and in congruence with God’s Word, this bill tramples both underfoot.”

But the House bill, Liberty Counsel said, “specifically forbids raising religious free exercise as a claim or defense to the LGBT agenda.”

“This bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by striking the word ‘sex,’ and inserting ‘sex, sexual orientation, gender identity’ as protected classes throughout the federal code. This amendment applies to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and more.

“This bill literally sets the stage for setting up the Bible as prohibited material where it addresses homosexuality,” Liberty Counsel said.

https://www.wnd.com/2019/03/dobson-dems-equality-bill-targets-christians/

 

Nancy Pelosi’s ‘Equality Act’ Would Be Disastrous. Here Are 5 Likely Victim Groups.

Monica Burke

Heritage Foundation report

  1. Employers and Workers

The Equality Act would force employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms or else lose their businesses and jobs.

  1. Medical Professionals

The Equality Act would force hospitals and insurers to provide—and pay for—these therapies against any moral or medical objections.

  1. Parents and Children

This politicization of medicine would ultimately harm families by normalizing hormonal and surgical interventions for gender-dysphoric children, as well as ideological “education” in schools and other public venues.

  1. Women

The Equality Act would ultimately lead to the erasure of women by dismantling sex-specific facilities, sports, and other female-only spaces.

  1. Nonprofits and Volunteers

The Equality Act would also hurt charities, volunteers, and the populations they serve.

It’s Not the Equality Act, It’s the Homosexual Supremacy Act

But there is no equality in this bill for anyone who believes that homosexuality is non-normative sexual behavior and something that should not be promoted, subsidized, and celebrated, especially in our schools.

That’s why I call this bill “The Homosexual Supremacy Act,” since it elevates homosexuality and gender confusion above anything and everything else in the moral universe. Everyone will be required to bow the knee before the Baal of Sodom or face punishment. ~Bryan Fischer

 

Don’t be fooled by the word “Equality” in the “Equality Act.” It is anything but equality.

First, Chairman Jerry Nadler—a hyper-partisan Democrat—confirmed that your First Amendment religious liberties must bow low before the LGBT rights enshrined in the so-called “Equality” bill.

 

“Religion is no excuse for discrimination,” Nadler pronounced, “. . . when it comes to sexual orientation or gender identity.”

That’s exactly what I and others have been warning about. The fact is this bill literally sets the stage for banning the Bible, which offers the power to free those wanting to turn away from homosexual conduct. As Nadler made plain, there is NO RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION to this bill!

But that’s not all. Julia Beck, a self-described radical lesbian feminist and the former law and policy co-chair of Baltimore’s LGBTQ Commission, gave a hair-raising recital of what’s ahead if HR 5 becomes law. If that happens, Beck said…

  • Male rapists will go to female prisons and will likely assault female inmates, as has already happened in the UK.
  • Female survivors of rape will be unable to contest male presence in women’s shelters.
  • Men will dominate women’s sports; girls who would have taken first place will be denied scholastic opportunity.
  • Women who use male pronouns to talk about men may be arrested, fined, and banned from social media platforms.
  • Girls will stay home from schools when they have their periods to avoid harassment by boys in mixed-sex toilets.
  • Girls and women will no longer have a right to ask for female medical staff or intimate care providers, including elderly or disabled women who are at serious risk of sexual abuse.
  • Female security officers will no longer have the right to refuse to perform pat-down or intimate searches of males who say they’re female.
  • And women undergoing security checks will no longer have the right to refuse having those searches performed by men claiming a feminine identity.

But that’s not just what’s ahead. It’s “already happening,” Beck told the Committee. “And it’s only going to get worse,” she added, if HR 5 is passed.

This radical bill is so shocking, so outrageous and, frankly, so dangerous that I am asking you and every other friend of Liberty Counsel to immediately sign our “Stop the Attack on Religious Liberty” petition to the U.S. Senate.

This bill—a wrecking ball to your First Amendment freedoms and mine—is a done deal in the House where a supermajority of 240 members have already signed on to the bill. That leaves the Senate, which is why I’m asking you to join me right now in petitioning the upper chamber to kill this bill!

 

Nancy Pelosi’s ‘Equality Act’ Would Be Disastrous. Here Are 5 Likely Victim Groups.

BreakPoint: The Equality Act vs. Religious Freedom

Equality for Me, but not for Thee

by: John Stonestreet &  David Carlson

The caveat that the Equality Act seemed virtually unpassable when it was first conceived all the way back in 1974. In fact, it seemed unpassable in 1984, 1994, 2004 and even 2014.

But today, what seemed unthinkable seems quite possible.

Right now, the Equality Act has no chance of passing in this Congress. But elections matter: If just a few seats flip in the next election, we may very well get the Equality Act, unless we begin to act now. Christians were caught napping in 2011. The HRC and supporters of the Equality Act are counting on us to be asleep at our posts again. We can’t let that happen.

 

The Equality Act vs. Religious Freedom

 

 

 

Biblical Worldview News: Pro-Life Views upward shift; Victory for Religious Freedom

Biblical Worldview News:

Pro-Life Views upward shift; Victory for Religious Freedom

Abortion Poll: 17-Point Shift Toward Pro-Life Views in Single Month

Dr. Susan Berry

A Marist poll released Monday reveals recent legislation to make abortion a fundamental right and allow the procedure even moments before birth has led to a “sudden and dramatic shift” toward the pro-life position.

 

Abortion Poll: 17-Point Shift Toward Pro-Life Stance in Single Month

 

Ohio pro-life legislation – pass and fail

March 2019 – Two important pieces of pro-life legislation passed both houses of Ohio’s legislature in December. But one was vetoed by then Governor John Kasich (R).

By a landslide vote, state legislators passed SB 145, a bill banning dilation and evacuation procedures – dismemberment abortions. Kasich signed that bill into law on December 21.

In 2017 alone, approximately 3,500 babies were killed through dismemberment abortions in Ohio.

“Essentially, the abortionist dilates the woman’s cervix and then rips the baby limb from limb using sterile instruments,” explained Jamieson Gordon of Ohio Right to Life.

Conversely, after both houses of the legislature passed HB 258, known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” Gov. Kasich vetoed it before his term ended in January. While the House successfully voted to override his veto, the Senate failed by one vote.

Janet Porter of Faith2Action said pro-lifers will work with Gov. Mike DeWine (R) who has stated that if HB 258 passes again, he will sign the bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected – usually after six weeks of pregnancy (four weeks gestation).

“[W]e believe that is a very strong line to draw for the first evidences of life,” said Barry Sheets, spokesperson for Right to Life Coalition of Ohio.

Victory for Religious Freedom: Obama recess appointee ousted

March 2019 – Chai Feldblum (photo above) was a 2010 Barack Obama recess appointment to serve on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency charged with protecting freedom of religious expression. Feldblum, however, was an outspoken opponent of religious freedom.

“Sexual liberty should win [over religious liberty] in most cases,” Feldblum has said.

Surprisingly, President Donald Trump renominated her to serve another term, but an uprising of conservative opposition moved him to reconsider.

AFA Action was among groups leading a campaign that moved the president to rescind the nomination.

“It’s a real victory for the U.S. Constitution and religious liberty in America!” exclaimed AFA Action director Rob Chambers.

Judeo-Christian Culture: Free Will and Religious Freedom

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Free Will and Religious Freedom

Is religious liberty for everyone?

The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.

Ed Vitagliano

November 2018 – It has been observed that, in the Bill of Rights, religious liberty is literally the “first freedom.” Of the five rights listed in the First Amendment, religious liberty is listed first. The wording is simple, yet sublime: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. …”

With growing controversies over immigrants and refugees entering the U.S., both legally and illegally, Christians have struggled to answer this question: Does this first constitutional freedom apply to religions other than Christianity? There are good reasons to answer yes.

A right to disobey?


Most Christians are probably happy to include religious freedom among the collection of “natural” rights in the Declaration of Independence, rights that are according to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” In one of the most well known sentences in the English language, author Thomas Jefferson famously stated:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Ironically, this creates something of a paradox for the Christian who is loyal to God. On the one hand, the believer sees religious liberty as something that allows the mission of the church to proceed unhindered by government opposition.

On the other hand, it would appear that the Christian is also saying the God of the Bible has granted to every person the “natural right” to worship a false god, a million gods, or even the devil himself.

Religious liberty for all?


However, the answer to the paradox explains why the founders instituted religious liberty in the first place. They understood religious liberty as something congruent to the biblical teaching of “free will.”*

That is to say:

(1) because God has granted people free will, they can decide for themselves what God, god, or gods they will serve;

(2) because they are free before God to worship whomever they choose, our Bill of Rights guarantees freedom safe from government coercion;

(3) because true Christian conversion requires a commitment of faith in Jesus Christ, allowing Christians to proselytize and allowing unbelievers to reject the gospel is actually the most biblical approach to take.

James Madison, one of the most influential Founding Fathers, said in his tract Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785):

The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.

The trigger for Madison’s tract was a bill he opposed in the General Assembly of Virginia that would have created from the state treasury a subsidy for Christian preachers. At the time, many were warning that piety and religious observance in Virginia were waning. The solution: government should promote the gospel so the detrimental trends could be arrested.

Not only should government not prefer one religion over another, Madison argued. Religious freedom must be available to everyone. He said:

Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?

It is reasonable to argue that a freedom which one Christian treasures for himself might also be a freedom that another Christian – or even a pagan – might equally treasure.

Coerced to become Christian?
It seems axiomatic for evangelicals today to assert that one can be forced to become a Christian. True, a person can be coerced to confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord – or to demonstrate any number of outward signs of “conversion.” But Paul makes clear in Romans 10:10 that authentic outward expression must accompany faith in the heart for there to be true salvation.

Madison asserts that this is precisely why religious liberty must be granted to all:

James Madison

Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man. …

Thus, the rebel who rejects the gospel is answerable to God; he is not and should not be answerable to the state for that rejection.

Moreover, the state cannot do what only the church, through Christ, can do – produce true converts. If the state attempts to empower government “magistrates” to coerce Christian conversion, Madison said, it becomes “an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.”

Against the darkness
It’s important to recognize that Madison is not arguing against Christians “voting their values.” Instead, he is declaring that government must not officially – and thus with coercive power – promote one religious view over another.

The Judeo-Christian worldview is part of the foundation of America. We should seek to convince our fellow citizens that the only way for our society to thrive is for Christian principles to be the bedrock of civic and cultural life.

In fact, it is quite biblical for Christians to warn non-believing Americans that God blesses nations for doing right in His sight and judges nations for committing evil (Jeremiah 18:7-10).

Followers of Christ are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), and it is no exaggeration to state that, without that cultural influence, decay and darkness will ultimately triumph.

Nevertheless, while it is important for Christians to protect and promote religious liberty, both for themselves and for those with whom they disagree, it is equally important to remember that followers of Christ should not help false religions with their work. For example, they should not aid in the construction of Muslim mosques or otherwise contribute to the spread of Islam.

We believe that God has spoken through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2), and those who deny this are of “the spirit of error” and “the spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:1-6). New Testament writers were severe when warning against cooperating with false religions. In 2 John 10-11, the apostle emphasizes that false teachers should be neither welcomed nor aided:

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this [gospel] teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

Whether all earthly freedoms are granted to us or are denied, the Christian’s first allegiance is to Christ the King and His kingdom.

*For those who point to Scriptures such as John 3:1-8 and conclude that sinners are free to choose Christ only as the Holy Spirit changes their heart, this substitute might be preferable: For those who are granted the grace to become born again, religious liberty is a blessing that allows men and women to follow that conversion impulse with minimal hindrance from the government.

____________________
For more studies on freedom of religion in the U.S., consider The Bible: America’s Source of Law and Liberty, America’s Providential History, and other books and video resources by Stephen McDowell. Founder of Providence Foundation, McDowell is a highly esteemed historian who chronicles the nation’s Christian roots. Visit providencefoundation.com or call 434-978-4535 for more information.

Christian News: Religious Freedom Victory; CNN Bias; Trump Administration proposes Abstinence Education Programs

Christian News:

Religious Freedom Victory; CNN Bias; Trump Administration proposes Abstinence Education Programs

Religious Freedom Victory

Dr. Susan Berry

National pro-life groups and religious freedom advocates are celebrating the Senate’s confirmation of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state.

Pompeo’s confirmation Thursday is a “pro-life victory,” states the leader of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List).

“Mike Pompeo will make an outstanding Secretary of State,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a press statement. “He is strongly pro-life and committed to upholding the dignity of every human being as America’s top diplomat.”

Dannenfelser added:

The State Department is the first line of enforcement for President Trump’s pro-life agenda in foreign policy, from preventing American tax dollars from being used to promote abortion overseas, to defunding the UNFPA which has long been complicit in China’s brutal population control regime, to standing up to the international abortion lobby’s demand to declare abortion a “human right.” We congratulate Pompeo on his confirmation and thank President Trump for nominating pro-life leaders to serve in his Cabinet.

Left-wing pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood condemned Pompeo’s confirmation on Twitter.

Pompeo Confirmation a ‘Pro-Life’ and ‘Religious Freedom’ Victory

 

CNN Bias

CNN losing audience; bias may be reason

May 2018 – CNN’s viewership dropped in the past year – down by 30% of its primetime viewers and 23% of its daytime viewers, as of February 5, according to Adweek.com’s Basic Cable Ranker report.

CNN did not make the top 10 for cable primetime viewership. Fox News ranked number one, and MSNBC second. CNN’s decline may be attributed to concern over fake news as well as the network’s subversive left-wing bias.

A Barna study in April 2017 found that viewers’ distrust of fake news traced back as early as September 2016, when 38% believed media was inconsistent in coverage. Three in ten say the problem of fake news lies with viewers in misinterpreting or media exaggerating actual news. Twenty-five percent say the problem arises from mainstream media, and 13% blame conservative media.

onenewsnow.com, 2/16/18; barna.com, 4/27/17

 

Trump Administration proposes Abstinence Education Programs

Administration’s new family planning strategy to encourage abstinence ed

May 2018 – The Trump administration has proposed a new strategy for how it issues funds in federal family-planning grants, favoring groups that encourage abstinence.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced its guidelines and priorities for the next round of Title X grant applications. The guidelines repeatedly mentioned “natural family planning,” which includes all strategies for avoiding pregnancy that do not include contraceptives or birth-control pills.

The president signed a bill last year giving states the option of blocking Title X funding to Planned Parenthood, and pro-abortion organizations are concerned that the new Title X guidelines edge them out of the program.

Valerie Huber, overseer of the Title X office at HHS, said “it is encouraged” for organizations receiving a grant to stress counseling adolescents to practice abstinence to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

onenewsnow.com, 2/7/18

 

Federal Judge Rules Trump Admin Broke Law by Ending Planned Parenthood Sex Ed Grants

First Amendment Issues: Islamic Prayer Allowed in Schools, but War against Christianity

First Amendment Issues:

Islamic Prayer Allowed in Schools, but War against Christianity

SOME STATES (Maryland, Michigan & Arizona) ARE ALLOWING MUSLIM STUDENTS TO PRAY DURING SCHOOL HOURS.

 

IF THEY ALLOW THAT, THEN WE SHOULD BRING BACK OUR FLAGS INTO THE CLASSROOMS AND ALLOW OTHERS TO PRAY TOO! TIME FOR THE CHRISTIANS TO SPEAK UP & DEMAND THEIR RIGHTS.

In 1952

President Truman established one day a year as a “National Day of Prayer.

In 1988

President Reagan designated the first Thursday in May of each year as The National Day of Prayer.

In June 2007,

then Presidential Candidate Barack Obama declared that the USA “Was no longer a Christian nation.

In May 2009

President Obama dismissed our 21st annual National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House under the ruse of “not wanting to offend anyone”

Sept 25, 2009,

a Muslim Prayer Day was held on the West front of the U.S. Capitol Building, the site where U.S. Presidents have been inaugurated since 1981.  There were over 50,000 Muslims in that day President Obama dismissed our National Day of Prayer and now it is okay for an event at our capitol for Islamists?

I for one was offended.  But wait, it did not stop!!!

February 17-19, 2015,

a Muslim prayer was recited at the start of the second day of the White House summit on “Countering Violent Extremism,” but no other religious text was presented during the portion of the event that was open to the press.  Imam Sheikh Sa’ad Musse Roble, president of the World Peace Organization in Minneapolis, Minn., recited a “verse from the Quran” following remarks by Obama administration officials and Democrat members of Congress.

Former President Obama encouraged schools to teach the Quran for extra credit, while at the same time, we cannot even talk about the Bible, God, pray, or salute the American Flag.

The direction this country was headed should strike fear in the heart of every Christian.

How refreshing and beautiful our First Lady Melania Trump was in Melbourne, Florida on February 18, 2017.  Instead of the normal “pumping up” of the crowd, Melania chose to start the rally off with the Lord’s Prayer.  It sounded more like the start of a football game after the National Anthem rather than what we would expect to hear after a prayer.

Make a “joyful noise unto the LORD thy GOD!”  The “sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” of Madeline Murray O’Hair and ACLU efforts in 1962, “School Prayer was removed from the U.S. public education system by slowly changing the meaning of the First Amendment through a number of court cases over several court cases should be confronted and reversed.

Protect Religious Freedom—Impart Biblical Values in Your Home

Google Caught Censoring Jesus

SHARE THIS:

When we get 100,000,000, that’s one hundred million, willing Christians to BOND together, voice their concerns and vote, we can take back America with God’s help.

Become one of the One hundred million.  Then let’s get 200 million.

Do the math.  It only takes a single willing heart and a fed-up SOUL.  God Bless America and Shine your light on Her!

Culture Wars: 10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

Culture Wars:

10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

Lift Where You Stand: 10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

“I sometimes fear that we have relied too much on the Constitution to do the hard work of citizenship for us. The Constitution—including the First Amendment—was never intended to make us lazy citizens, to absolve us from the duty and imperative to be vigilant in defense of our religious rights and interests.” ~ Lance B. Wickman

D. Todd Christofferson

Knowing how to protect religious freedom can seem daunting. It might seem like you need a legal or political background to make a difference. But there are simple things you can do in your neighborhood or community that can have big effects over time. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of building trust with others so that you have relationships already established when you need to come together on complex issues. Here are some simple ways to protect religious freedom in everyday life:

1. Study up on the issues. Study the words of the living Apostles on religious freedom and moral issues. Read responsible websites, newspapers, magazines, and blogs that explore current events from a variety of perspectives, asking God to let the Spirit help you discern truth. Let your beliefs and the facts inform your views. Be ready to act. Know your rights established by the First Amendment: “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” (italics added).

2. Speak up with courage and civility. Don’t be intimidated into silence by intolerant voices. Speak up! State your views with true civility and kindness (for ideas, see “7 Keys to Successful Conversations”). Speak or write calmly. Seek true understanding. Acknowledge legitimate points. And explain why the freedoms you defend are so important to you, your loved ones, and the Church—make it personal. Keep in mind that one-on-one conversations are usually more meaningful and respectful than group discussions, especially if they’re online. Stand firmly for principle while understanding that in some areas we will have to seek compromise to protect our most vital freedoms.

voter placing ballot3. Get involved in the political process. Vote in your local, state, and national elections. Support candidates who understand the proper role of religion in society and the need to protect it for everyone. Learn about how laws are made. You could also attend city council meetings, join a political party, write your representatives, and combine your efforts with others who support religious freedom.

4.Get to know people of other faiths. Talk with them about matters of shared concern. Participate in an interfaith service project. Support their religious freedom.

5.Volunteer for a charity. Help solve problems in your community by giving of your time to a local charitable or service organization. When people of faith do good, they increase their ability to convince others that religious freedom should be respected and protected.

6. Get involved in education. Participate in your local PTA. Run for the school board. Lend your voice and resources to solving problems in your school. Help preserve reasonable space for religious values in educational settings. Support the right of parents to guide their children’s education. Support values-based extracurricular activities like religious clubs or Bible-study classes.

Parenting Resources for Teaching Families to Defend Religious Freedom

7. Be part of a club, business group, or professional association. Build relationships and gain perspectives by joining with community members in a book club, a debate team, a college alumni group, a conservation effort, a Scout troop, a speech forum, or a sports team. Be where the conversations are happening. That will give you opportunities to educate others about the importance of religious freedom and challenges to it. Likewise, business groups and professional associations exert great influence on policy makers and on other business people and professionals. They need your voice in support of faith, family, and religious freedom.

8. Extend the reach of your faith. Connect ward service activities with the needs of the community where possible. Cooperation between church groups and community organizations helps build mutual trust and focuses resources on helping those in need.  Again, when people of faith do good works, others will be more likely to respect their need for religious freedom.

9. Make it a family matter and a matter of prayer. Take your children to a speech or conference on religious freedom. Watch a movie or documentary on the role and history of religious freedom in society. Conduct a lesson or activity about the United States Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other foundational documents. Invite a family of another faith into your home.

Cyrus, non-Jewish ruler who helped the Jews get their country back

Pray that our freedoms will be preserved. Pray and exercise faith that governments at home and abroad will be opened—or remain open—to the Church. As the Lord long ago “stirred” Cyrus, the King of Persia, to issue a decree allowing the Jews to rebuild a temple in Jerusalem (see Ezra 1:1), so can He stir other leaders with influence to help preserve religious freedom. Pray as you study about religious freedom that you can understand what you need to know and do. Pray for the Spirit to help direct you in conversations.

Teach your children why Religious Freedom Matters

10. Enlarge your voice through social media. Be persuasive by being civil in online conversations; the person who gets angry loses. Share appropriate links, stories, photos, articles, and personal experiences on social media. Start a blog, write an op-ed, or submit a letter to the editor. Learn from those who might disagree with you as you defend gospel standards and religious freedom. Sometimes even just sharing goodness you see in the world can help people recognize that your beliefs are about bringing peace, not contention, to the world.

Follow Western Culture Dinner Topics, Defender of Religious Freedom

 

Moral Support: Religious Freedom supported, Defund Planned Parenthood, Trump Immigration Policy, Economic policy vindicated

Moral Support:

Religious Freedom supported, Defund Planned Parenthood, Trump Immigration Policy, Economic policy vindicated

Dogs bark, but the wagons roll on. ~Louis L’Amour

 

Religious Freedom and Traditional Family; Defund Planned Parenthood

VP Pence Breaks Senate Tie over Planned Parenthood State Funding Mandate

by Dr. Susan Berry

Justice Dept. Drops Pro-Transgender Lawsuit

by Neil Munro

Good Friday: Trump Appoints Religious Liberty Defender to Head HHS Office for Civil Rights

by Dr. Susan Berry

Feds Promise to Protect Half a Million American Girls from Genital Mutilation

The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country, and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse,” the acting Assistant Attorney General of the justice department’s criminal division, Kenneth Blanco, said April 13.

POTUS Signs Repeal of Obama Planned Parenthood State Funding Mandate

Ancestry.com helps family of dead boy find man posing as him

 

Trump Immigration Policy Vindicated

Lansing, Michigan, Will No Longer Declare Itself a ‘Sanctuary City’

by Katherine Rodriguez

Most Americans, especially minorities, say no to sanctuary cities

Poll: Only 1 in 3 wants own community to protect illegals

http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/most-americans-especially-minorities-say-no-to-sanctuary-cities/

Ann Corcoran: Trump Effect: More Central American migrants want asylum in Mexico, not moving on to US

And, that is how asylum is supposed to work.

Anyone who meets the legal definition of a refugee*** is supposed to seek asylum in the first safe country they reach—

National Security

 

Donald Trump and Israel PM Netanyahu

Bibi Welcomes New U.S. Amb. — ‘to Jerusalem’

 

Foreign Policy: Trump Has a Strategy for Destroying Islamic State – and It’s Working

 

Trump Economic Policy, Drain the Swamp

Trump Admin Releases ‘Drain the Swamp’ Guidance

Ben Garrison

Trump Halts U.S. Funding of UN Population Fund

Trade Deficit Falls by 10% as U.S. Factories Benefit from Economic Stability

Shock Berkeley Poll: California Voters Want DemS to Work with Trump

EPA Chief Pruitt Calls for ‘Exit’ from Paris Climate Agreement

 

Culture Wars Warning! Why Religious Freedom Matters; What’s at Stake

Culture Wars Warning!

Why Religious Freedom Matters; What’s at Stake

Freedom to choose. That’s what the War in Heaven was all about. We couldn’t afford to lose agency then, and we can’t afford to lose it now. And that includes the freedom to “worship how, where, or what [we] may” (Articles of Faith 1:11). That’s why the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination [as for a Mormon]; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 345).

In addition to maintaining religious freedom as an eternal principle (even God will not remove the agency of any of His children), there are some potentially severe consequences if we lose the freedom to worship, speak, and live according to our beliefs.

  • You could lose your job or leadership positions for expressing religious beliefs—even outside of work. For instance, CEOs, newscasters, judges, teachers, doctors, professors, firefighters, Olympians, graduate students, and many others have been fired, pressured to resign, or intimidated for donating money or simply saying that they support the traditional view of marriage.
  • You might be required to hide your religion or perform tasks at work that go against your beliefs. Does it seem fair, for example, that a doctor who opposes abortion on a religious or moral basis be required to perform one even though numerous other doctors nearby are willing? Should you be forced to wear an immodest uniform when it’s not necessary for your job function?
  • You may be required to work on the Sabbath or religious holidays even when others are willing to take your shift and your employer accommodates other nonreligious interests.
  • Your children in public schools may be required to learn about sexual and gender theories that contradict basic Church teachings. Many public schools already teach sex education in a way that’s fundamentally contrary to Church teachings, and some have required reading lists with explicit content.
  • You may not be able to adopt children or become a foster parent because of your religious beliefs or views on the family.
  • As a business owner or professional, you might lose your license or be fined if you refuse to perform services that are contrary to your religious beliefs. You might even lose professional credentials if you don’t participate in certain activities, even if other coworkers are willing to perform them in your place.
  • You might not be able to create faith-based clubs on college campuses without being required to let people become club members—or even officers—who oppose the club’s religious beliefs.
  • Churches may be forced to employ people who disagree with or refuse to live core values of their faith, threatening their ability to carry out their religious missions.
  • Churches could lose their tax-exempt status by maintaining doctrines, policies, and standards that conflict with secular beliefs regarding marriage, family, gender, and sexuality, resulting in a huge increase in costs to build houses of worship or to purchase and provide goods for humanitarian aid.
  • You might lose tax exemptions for charitable donations like tithes and offerings if the Church loses its status as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization.
  • Churches may not be able to access government lands for camps on equal terms with other groups, limiting youth conferences and camps.
  • Housing units, such as dorms, at religious colleges could be forced to abandon moral standards that protect privacy, modesty, and morality, denying people the right to room with those who uphold the same standards.
  • Religious schools that maintain honor codes may lose their accreditation and be denied research funds and even federal student loans and grants, diminishing the value of their degrees, undermining the quality of their education, and making it financially impossible for many students to attend.
  • There’s a lot at stake, and this is just a sampling. As society continues to move away from eternal truths and God-given commandments, we can’t predict all the consequences that may result if religious freedom and the right to act on our beliefs are taken away.
  • So we need to raise our voices to defend religious freedom. If we don’t raise them for the protection of religion now, vital religious freedoms will be lost. 
  • When we join the cause together, we can make a difference that will protect religious freedom for followers of all religions.

Teach your family why Religious Freedom Matters

 

https://www.lds.org/religious-freedom/understand/why-it-matters-whats-at-stake

American Family Association News: Political Correctness on Masculinity; Religious Freedom; Planned Parenthood

American Family Association News/ Christian News:

Political Correctness on Masculinity; Religious Freedom; Planned Parenthood

keyEvery month American Family Association provides Issues at Hand in a useful summary of the Christian Worldview, so you can be up-to-date with many issues important to you, all in one post. ~C.D.

Political Correctness: Masculinity dangerous … really?

afa-masculinity2December 2016 – A student advertisement for an event at Claremont College in California read, “Masculinity can be extremely toxic to our mental health, both to the people who are pressured to perform it and the people who are inevitably influenced by it.”

As writer LaShawn Barber for World Magazine pointed out, such language used in relation to women would be described as misogyny.

Students stated that the event was comprised of mostly women, and that the consensus was that masculinity “is harmful to those who express it and those affected by it.”

world.wng.org, 10/5/16

Churches take stand for Religious Freedom

afa-transgender-restroomDecember 2016 – Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit on behalf of four Massachusetts churches over a new law that allows individuals legal access to bathrooms or locker rooms based on perceived gender identification versus biological sex. The state has identified churches as places of public accommodation and therefore bound by the law.

Plaintiffs are Horizon Christian Fellowship, Abundant Life Church, House of Destiny Ministries, and Faith Christian Fellowship in Haverville. Defendants are members of the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination and state Attorney General Maura Healey.

The law also prohibits covered entities from making statements intended to discriminate or to incite others to do so. ADF argues the state intends to “force churches and pastors to refrain from religious expression regarding sexuality that conflicts with the government’s views.”

onenewsnow, 10/11/16, 10/12/16

Planned Parenthood celebrates 100 years, 7 million dead babies

If these are aborted or genetically altered?

If these are aborted or genetically altered?

Margaret Louise Sanger (1879-1966) (above) was an activist for birth control, population control, and eugenics. Her legacy is being carried on by Planned Parenthood, which pretends to help the poor while hiding the reality that it targets the vulnerable.

December 2016 – In October, Planned Parenthood Federation of America celebrated its 100th year since Margaret Sanger opened the first clinic in Brooklyn, New York. She believed in “improving” the human race by discouraging reproduction among persons she presumed to have undesirable traits.

What began with birth control in 1916 has become the largest abortion provider in the country. Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report (2014) shows that 43% of the abortion provider’s revenues came from taxpayers via state and federal government health services grants and reimbursements in the amount of $553.7 million.

While Planned Parenthood celebrated 100 years of death, pro-lifers and Christians observed the century milestone in a different way, by gathering to pray for an end to the destruction Planned Parenthood has perpetuated over the years.

“They have an underlying and faithful ally in the media and Hollywood,” said Eric Scheidler, spokesman for Pro-Life Action League.

“We cannot match Planned Parenthood dollar for dollar, yet we can confront them with something they have none of. They don’t have the power of our Lord and prayer.”

Prayer vigils were held at more than 100 Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the country on October 15.

cnsnews.com, 10/17/16; onenewsnow.com, 10/14/16

Suit claims companies illegally profited from sale of fetal tissue

afa-abortion-baby-partsThe Daily Signal, the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation, created the graphic above by distilling invoices and price lists subpoenaed by the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives in April 2016.

December 2016 – Two California medical companies have been accused of illegally profiting from the sale of fetal tissue in a lawsuit filed by the Orange County district attorney’s office on October 11. Prosecutors are seeking a $1.6 million fine as well as an injunction to prevent future profits.

Undercover videos circulated last year by the Center for Medical Progress vividly informed the public about the harvesting of aborted baby organs. The lawsuit does not name abortion providers but claims DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics collected tens of thousands of dollars in profit from fetal tissue and stem cells they received from abortion providers.

While it is legal for organizations to charge a fee to recover expenses incurred in the process of collecting and donating fetal tissue, the lawsuit alleges the companies sold to research groups at least 500 times between 2012 and 2015 for more than what it cost to process, handle, and ship the body parts.

onenewsnow.com, 10/12/16; dailysignal.com, 4/20/16

Religion contributes $1.2 trillion to society

afa-piechart2December 2016 – A study published in September in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion details the $1.2 trillion contribution that religion makes to the U.S. annual economy. In areas from health care to education to philanthropy, the benefit of religion for the American economy is greater than the top ten tech companies combined, including Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Interestingly, the impact of church congregations is the second greatest player in the economics of religion, constituting 36.1% of the total $1.2 trillion. Businesses with religious backgrounds are number one, making 37.8% of the contribution. Charitable institutions generate 26.1%.

The impact is not only monetary. Highly religious individuals are more likely to donate money and goods and time to volunteer, according to Pew Research polling that asked adults about their activities in the prior week. Congregations coordinate 7.5 million volunteers in 1.5 million social programs, and religious organizations have tripled the amount of money they spend on social programs in the last 15 years.

cruxnow.com, 9/14/16; faithcounts.com

Anti-Freedom of Speech: Attorneys can’t discuss ‘harmful’ subjects

afa-free-speech-censoredDecember 2016 – New ethics rules established by the American Bar Association in August prohibit attorneys from “harmful” verbal conduct that could include discussing or debating same sex marriage, religion, or immigration. Under the speech code, attorneys could be disciplined or removed from the bar if they are seen as manifesting bias or prejudice.

“What it really does is shut down everyone from saying anything that might be controversial for advocating for your clients vigorously or even selecting clients,” said UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh.

onenewsnow.com, 8/12/16

Anti-police rhetoric has consequences

afa-anti-police-rhetoricDecember 2016 – With all the recent media attention on police officers, those who wear a badge are feeling extra pressure. For example, a female officer in Chicago, Illinois, recently felt the stress while being attacked by a 28-year-old male high on PCP.

The man attacked her viciously, slamming her head into the pavement. She was taken to the hospital where she was treated for multiple injuries, and bits of concrete had to be removed from her face.

Eddie Johnson, police superintendent, said, “This attack went on for several minutes. As I was at the hospital last night visiting with her, she looked at me and said she thought she was going to die, and she knew that she should shoot this guy. But she chose not to because she didn’t want her family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on the national news.”

wgntv.com, 10/14/16

Marketing human trafficking

December 2016 – New Mexico Advocacy Coalition, an anti-human trafficking group, is launching a campaign against major booksellers that sell how-to manuals for pimps. The group found at least 15 such titles on Amazon.com, along with reviews such as “required reading for the pimp in training. Written as an instructional manual.”

While Amazon has a vague restriction against offensive sexual content in books, the New Mexico Advocacy Coalition is petitioning the online seller to step up enforcement of guidelines and stop selling such books. Jet.com, Barnes and Noble, and Wal-Mart were also found to be selling some of the same titles.

world.wng.org, 8/9/16

U.N. voting on worldwide LGBT advocate

afa-un-rainbowDecember 2016 – In June, the U.N.’s Human Rights Council in Geneva voted to establish an LGBT ombudsman, an official designated to monitor complaints of infringement of LGBT rights and launch investigations in different countries. The ombudsman would determine how U.N. affiliated organizations interact with countries based on how they treat special rights for homosexuals.

Stefano Gennarini, spokesperson for Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, suggested that such a position would pressure countries to enact homosexual rights and give the LGBT agenda a foothold of power with the U.N. A November vote was planned to determine the outcome of the decision.