Faith in Statism

church and state

Faith in Statism
The Left has turned against religious liberty
By Barbara Joanna Lucas, Organization Trends, August 2015, (PDF here)

On June 26, the Supreme Court by 5 to 4 struck down all state-level bans on same-sex marriage. Since then, a poll found that 19 percent of Americans believe “religious institutions or clergy should be required to perform same-sex marriages.” The survey was conducted by the Barna Group, which studies attitudes toward religion in America. That percentage may seem small, but it means one in five Americans have no problem with the government violating the first freedom of the First Amendment. That number increases to more than a quarter—26 percent—among Americans under the age of 40, who believe churches and pastors should be forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies. (TheBlaze, July 1, 2015)

Reasonable people can disagree on the issue of gay marriage as a public policy, but what should not be questioned are the basic First Amendment principles of the country, rights that were reinforced by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed in 1993 by a Democratic administration and Congress.

The majority and dissenting opinions in the same-sex marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, addressed the matter of religious freedom. Even President Barack Obama made passing reference to this fundamental liberty when he praised the ruling in the Rose Garden: “All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact; recognize different viewpoints; revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.”

For the court’s majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote:

It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.

It’s good to know Kennedy still thinks Americans have the right to hold private religious views. Yet Chief Justice John Roberts responded that many difficult issues remain:

“Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every state that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for religious practice. The majority’s decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. … Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage—when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples.”

Now congressional Republicans are considering taking action to protect the First Amendment right to practice religion, not only for clergy and their congregations, but for private businesses as well.   Continue reading →

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Sharpton Annual Conference Again Heavily Corporate-Funded

Carl Horowitz of the National Legal and Policy Center has an interesting article about all the  myopic major corporations that sponsored the recent convention of National Action Network.  The group is headed by the truly awful charlatan and race huckster Al Sharpton. It begins this way:

Whatever else might be said of Reverend Al Sharpton, when he throws a party, he does it in style. The 14th annual conference of his New York-based nonprofit National Action Network (NAN) last month in Washington, D.C. during April 11-14 was no exception. Once more, corporations and to a lesser extent unions paid most of the tab for a well-choreographed event that featured dozens of speakers and panelists eager to affirm the aggressive black identity politics of their host. The plenary address by Attorney General Eric Holder, followed by a panel on legal issues, amounted to a group manifesto for the arrest of George Zimmerman for the highly-publicized killing – evidence points toward self-defense – of a black Florida teen, Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, to the delight of virtually all attendees, was arrested that day on a state second-degree murder charge.

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Voter Fraud and the 2012 Election: The Advancement Project


Voter Fraud and the 2012 Election: The Advancement Project

By Kevin Mooney, Organization Trends, May 2012 (view PDF version: OT0512)

Summary:  The George Soros-funded Advancement Project, a radical left-wing group, is colluding with several other progressive groups to block investigations of voter fraud.  The mantra of the group, which is becoming a thorn in the side of the Republican Party, is that voter fraud is a myth made up by conservatives in order to disenfranchise the poor and minorities.  But voter fraud is a serious problem that needs to be taken seriously.

How serious a problem is voter fraud in America? Ask the left-leaning attorneys associated with the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law and they will tell you that the problem is overstated, even non-existent. A March 29 Washington Post op-ed by Brennan Center executive director Michael Waldman and attorney Justin Levitt goes so far as to equate voter fraud in U.S. elections with imaginary sightings of Bigfoot, a.k.a. Sasquatch, the mythical man-like hairy monster said to inhabit the forests of North America.

“Allegations of voter fraud—someone sneaking into the polls to cast an illicit vote—have been pushed in recent years by partisans seeking to justify proof-of-citizenship and other restrictive ID requirements as a condition of voting,” they wrote. “Scare stories abound on the Internet and on editorial pages, and they quickly become accepted wisdom. But the notion of widespread voter fraud … is itself a fraud. Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch.”

Throughout the United States left-wing activist groups are making a concerted effort to block the investigation of voter fraud. But at the same time these same groups aggressively promote voter registration programs designed to increase the vote count for Democratic Party candidates. Voter registration activists and their lawyers pose as defenders of democracy. But they would have the states allow voting with almost no standards or procedures for guaranteeing the identity and residency of those who vote and register to vote.

Protect Your Vote U.S.
Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III (a board member of Capital Research Center) and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell recently initiated a new campaign to support measures like photo identification requirements to protect the integrity of voting. Their campaign, a project of the American Civil Rights Union, is named Protect Your Vote U.S. []. The practical argument for the campaign is clear:
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No joke: Fox News sponsored Al Sharpton’s convention!

Strange but true:

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. was an official sponsor of the National Action Network’s annual convention here in Washington, D.C., from April 11 through 14. NAN is the radical Alinskyite pressure group headed by race hustler Al Sharpton.

A full-page ad from News Corp. appears in the glossy, expensive-looking program NAN handed out at the confab, as noted by Dana Milbank. News Corp. owns Fox News, Harper Collins, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

Sharpton appreciates the irony. “They bash me on Fox News,” he said. “But they sponsor my conference.”



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