Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Teachers abuse authority to bash Trump, but student recordings are ‘disruptive’

original article: Professors ranting about Trump in class? Court order could protect students who record them
May 26, 2017 by JEREMIAH POFF

The burden is on the school to show recording is disruptive

With increased scrutiny on students using technology to document what happens in the classroom and on school property, a federal judge has recognized broad rights for students to make recordings on school grounds.

If other judges agree with the logic of the order, which pertains to a Maine middle school, college students will have the green light to legally record their professors’ political comments in the classroom, a First Amendment expert told The College Fix.

The case, Pollack v. Regional School Unit 75, involves two parents who sued their school district because it wouldn’t let their autistic son bring an audio recording device to school. They wanted to find out why the 18-year-old, who has “very limited expressive” abilities, came back from school crying and bruised.

The parents cited a 2011 precedent from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Glik v. Cunniffe, that affirms a person’s right to record public officials who are working in public, including police making an arrest.

Like a person who records police to expose the excessive use of force, the son’s parents wanted to “expose wrongdoing” against him in class. (The 1st Circuit’s precedents are binding on the Maine district court.)

MORE: Professor tells students: Trump’s election an ‘act of terrorism’ (VIDEO)

District Judge Nancy Torresen instead chose an older, narrower and more familiar precedent that governs the First Amendment rights of students in a public school setting.

Under the Vietnam war-era Tinker standard, a school cannot stifle the speech of students unless the speech creates a “substantial disruption or material interference with school activities.”

Tinker “takes into account the unique features of the school environment and it allows schools to restrict expression—even based on viewpoint—where the schools can forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities or collision with the rights of other students,” Torreson wrote.

The school district tried to argue that the recording device did infringe on student activities and privacy, and it didn’t even bother addressing Tinker in its first motion to dismiss the case.

When the parents cited Tinker as their second choice, the school district responded that “Tinker does not apply because the privately-owned electronic device policy is content-neutral, and Tinker is limited to cases involving content and viewpoint-based restrictions on speech,” Torreson summarized.

The judge told the school district it must reconsider the parents’ request under the Tinkerstandard.

“Even if I bought the District’s argument that the policy is content-neutral, the Plaintiffs have also alleged that the District has applied its policy to [the student] in a viewpoint-based manner” because officials feared the scrutiny from being recorded, and they had earlier allowed the autistic student to wear a GPS device, Torreson wrote.

Federal judge says students have the right to record at school unless officials can show it’s disruptive by The College Fix on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/349479257/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-ZuaAbp4f83EX6JwXJvWp&show_recommendations=true

The new danger: Waive your right to record or get out?

While seemingly unrelated to the rights of student journalists, the implications of this order could extend to “newsgathering” by students, Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte wrote in a blog post.

LoMonte told The Fix in an email the judge’s order could be a “really interesting opening” for student journalists in both secondary and postsecondary institutions.

It is a “very logical application” of Tinker “to apply to gathering news as well as publishing news,” he said: “That makes perfect sense since gathering information is a necessary prerequisite to sharing it, but it’s rare that a court has been asked to rule on the right to gather information in the school setting.”

The Fix asked LoMonte how the order could affect a situation like what happened at Orange Coast College, where a student was suspended for recording his psychology professor ranting about Donald Trump’s election as an “act of terrorism.”

LoMonte said “if the Pollack case becomes accepted as the standard, you will see students successfully asserting a First Amendment right to record in the college classroom as well.”

MORE: Student who recorded prof’s anti-Trump rant suspended

But he was less sanguine about whether that First Amendment defense by students would hold up as consistently in a college classroom, as opposed to a public school where children’s presence is required by law.

“The college classroom is arguably a little different because taking any particular class is optional – nobody’s compelled to be there – so if a professor were to say that waiving the right to record is a required prerequisite to taking the class, it might hold up,” LoMonte said.

Orange Coast College’s trustees withdrew the sanction in response to a public backlash, but the professor was not disciplined for using class time inappropriately or “bullying” students who support Trump, as the student’s lawyer (below) argued she had done.

Torreson’s order could be quite useful for students trying to demonstrate wrongdoing by officials, LoMonte wrote in his blog post, citing a student who recorded another student being slammed to the ground by a police officer in a South Carolina high school.

“The student who shot that nationally publicized video was threatened with serious disciplinary charges – charges that, under the Pollack ruling, would be subject to challenge on First Amendment grounds.” LoMonte wrote.

Regional School Unit 75 did not respond to a Fix email query Wednesday, and its voice mailbox was full.

MORE: College rescinds suspension of student who recorded professor’s anti-Trump rant

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School officials threaten, bully pro-life students

original article: Pro-life students say school officials threatened them if they sought legal help
February 27, 2017 by College Fix

Adoption message is ‘offensive’ to one student

When Carmel High School officials tore down a display created by pro-life students that had taken 25 hours to complete – after a student complained it was “offensive” – Carmel Teens for Life was miffed.

The display bore approval marks from the office that regulates student signage, and other signs from Democratic and LGBTQ student groups had been posted and left alone.

But the pro-life group was frightened when officials at the Indiana school threatened to force its leaders to resign, “jeopardizing the club’s existence,” if they didn’t “immediately” sign an agreement that waived their right to seek “legal assistance” in response to the school’s actions, LifeNews.com reports:

School personnel had also demanded the Carmel Teens for Life student members sign an agreement prohibiting club members from using the word “abortion” in any club communications, verbal or written, including on Facebook, school posters and other official correspondence. … The students were not allowed to take the agreement home or to discuss it with their parents.

School officials backed down when religious liberty law firm Liberty Counsel threatened to sue for First Amendment violations, agreeing to let the students rehang their poster – which promotes adoption over abortion – for 10 days. It still claimed that student-made signs are “not allowed to advocate a club’s agenda or cause.”

MORE: Pro-life club told it can’t use ‘abortion’ on club sign

Carmel Clay Schools said school officials “did not believe [the original sign] met club signage guidelines and had not received the proper approval by administration.”

Liberty Counsel claimed the principal and assistant principal had said the sign – actually several smaller signs arranged into one large display – was not allowed to “interfere with what folks are thinking or feeling comfortable with.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, the school district says signs can only include “time, date and place of meetings” for student clubs, not “messages.”

The school district also punished the club because its own rules were ambiguous:

The dispute arose after the students in Teens for Life got a little creative. Club members can hang up to 10 signs and display them in the cafeteria.

The club taped their 10 signs together to create one large banner and hung it in the cafeteria. …

MORE: University ditches ‘diversity grant’ rather than give it to pro-life group

Some basic facts remain in dispute. [Carmel Teens for Life President Mary Carmen] Zakrajsek says administrators approved the sign, which is a school requirement, before it was put up.  Hung during National Adoption Month, the word “abortion” was altered to say “adoption.”

[District spokesperson Tammy] Sander, though, said text was added after the banner was approved, which Zakrajsek disputes.

Zakrajsek also said it was unclear to her that signs could only contain times, dates and places of meetings, not other messages. She recalled seeing a sign for Carmel High School Democrats that included an image of a donkey.

The Indiana Family Institute is using the dispute to promote a state bill to expand students’ rights to freely express their religious views “in homework, artwork and other assignments,” as well as on their clothing, and to create a “limited public forum” for such viewpoints at school events.

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A dynamic society is not perfectible – stop acting like cattle

In light of the US Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage we see the two fundamental social forces at work in the United States. These forces show us the human condition is dynamic, thus so is human society. Because society is not a static thing the idea of progress is not nearly as settled as many people would think.

The idea of progress is a very noble one, at its core. There is suffering and injustice in the world. A lot of it. ISIS is a good example of the evil that exists in the world. Indeed the desire for improvement of the human condition adds social pressure to a people to prevent its decay into a barbaric society like that of ISIS. A health society needs this desire to improve.

On the other hand, because society is dynamic and not static, we must remember that progress itself is not static. The idea that past improvements are here to stay is an assumption. There are good reasons for thinking progress is a permanent thing but there are also good reasons to doubt this assumption. It seems to me the idea of progress, while often viewed as achievement, is in practice really nothing more than trend.

In the gay marriage example, we have a group of people who are widely believed to have been oppressed. The alleged oppression prevented gay people from loving who they wanted to love and prevented them from living with who they wanted to live with. Of course neither of these forms of oppression are true in the United States, as gay people were living with and loving the people they wanted all along. Though these allegations are true in some regions of the world:

Thrown to death… for being gay

‘Kill the gays’ penalty proposed Malawi Muslim Association

UK Muslim Cleric: ’Okay to Kill Gays’

Horrific moment ISIS kill four gay men by throwing them from a roof

Iranian Gay Men To Be Hanged For Sodomy: Report

‘Gays’ and the Muslims who kill them

So Far, Media Downplaying Muslim Scholar Preaching Death for Gays in Orlando

Yes, yes, gay people have been murdered in the United States as well. In the US killing gay people is considered murder, while in many other parts of the world murdering gays is considered justice. But there are plenty of people who insist on treating the murder of gays in the US as no different from killing them elsewhere. In fact many go out of their way to argue conservatives and Christians are no different from Islamic extremists, yet would insist Muslims don’t hate gays. How are conservatives and Christians hateful homophobes no different from Muslim homophobes while Muslim homophobes are not homophobes at all? Don’t ask me. We live in a country where believing marriage is between one man and one woman is treated as equivalent to murdering gays, yet when gays are actually murdered by an Islamic extremists it is not Muslims who are to blame. Guess who is to blame:

ABC Blames Orlando Terror on Election Rhetoric and Guns in America

Anything But Islam: Media Attack Guns, Men, Christians, GOP Instead of Ideology in Terror Attack

NYT Columnist: Orlando Shows ‘How Potent’ Combination of ISIS, NRA Can Be

The View: Orlando Shooter Had No Ties to ISIS but Trump Is ‘Working With ISIS to Kill Us’

Vile Bee Prays NRA Is Plagued with Boils, Declares She Wants to Take Guns Away Post-Orlando

ThinkProgress Blames Christians For Orlando Shooting

Nets Censor Chick-fil-A’s Help in Orlando Blood Drives After Shooting

North Carolina NBC Reporter Blames Christians, Bathroom Law Advocates for Orlando

CBS Insinuates Christians ‘Promote the Kind of Violence’ in Orlando

Huffington Post Blames Orlando on Christians and Fox News Viewers

NY Times Again Blames Anti-Gay GOP, Not Radical Islam, for Orlando Massacre

The Logic Behind the Left’s Demonization of Conservatives

So we’ve got a convoluted notion of who is anti-gay and who is not but American culture tells itself redefining marriage to include same sex couples is progress, and this progress is here to stay.

That’s rather curious. In Europe in centuries past, it was one group or another of Christians who could be oppressed, abused and murdered merely for being the wrong kind of Christian. Some of those people left the old world to help forge a new world, one inherently based in a spirit of individual liberty where they could practice their beliefs freely. This idea would later be codified as the freedom of religion and made part of the law of the land. But that essential liberty is being undermined, along with a few other things.

There some fundamental problems with the way the American government dealt with the gay marriage issue. The tactics chosen to affect this type of change undermine many rights Americans currently enjoy and even some vital aspects of the government itself.

First, American society holds to a separation between church and state. This separation is widely and frequently cited as essential to the preservation of liberty. Throughout its history the United States has treated marriage as an inherently religious thing. But in 2016 the federal government usurped this religious institution, making it what a few oligarchs on the bench decided it should be. And gay activists demanded this. So much for keeping government out of the bedroom. It turns out keeping government and religion separate is only selectively important; apparently we don’t need this separation when government wants power over religion.

Second, American society holds to a separation of powers. The genius of the American experiment has several aspects, not least of which is the balance of power. In the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the land, the power to make law does not rest in the hands of the President or the Supreme Court. That power is reserved for the Congress. But the Supreme Court has decided it can make law by fiat. This is not the first time SCOTUS presumed the right to make law (Roe v Wade is another).

This episode in American history show us certain things presumed permanent can easily be undone. The separation between church and state and the separation of powers are being undermined, and are done so with celebration from the political left. In the aftermath of recent mass shootings we see an overt effort to defend Muslims against imaginary acts of meanness while undermining the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms (and even question the right to self defense, another aspect of the law of the land long thought to be permanent). Some people are willing to be honest about their true intentions in supporting gun control.

You think gay marriage is a great step forward? Will you think the same if it turns out changing marriage in this way was merely a step toward banning marriage altogether as activist Masha Gessen is candid enough to admit?

You think the right to free speech is a permanent fixture of a free society? Well, you’re right, but that doesn’t mean the United States is going to remain a free society, not with politicians clamoring to change the first amendment. In the United States it used to be taken as self evident that rights do not come from government but from a higher source. Today it seems half of Americans think rights are bestowed upon us by government. Some may call this progress; I would call it regress.

When our Progressive (by that I mean radically left leaning) society pushes for its idea of liberty I cannot help but notice this also means the restriction or even elimination of other liberties often taken for granted. Liberty is an achievement, but not a permanent one. The American experiment is an historical anomaly in a world where oppression and tyranny are the norm. Not seeing tyranny for what it is, Progressives tend to fight inequality not realizing they do so by sacrificing everyone else’s liberty and are pushing American society back towards the historical norm.

In his body of work on analyzing society Russel Kirk explains ten principles of conservatism. In principle 10 he explains it like this:

The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world. When a society is progressing in some respects, usually it is declining in other respects. The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called its Permanence and its Progression. The Permanence of a society is formed by those enduring interests and convictions that gives us stability and continuity; without that Permanence, the fountains of the great deep are broken up, society slipping into anarchy. The Progression in a society is that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement; without that Progression, a people stagnate.

Therefore the intelligent conservative endeavors to reconcile the claims of Permanence and the claims of Progression. He thinks that the liberal and the radical, blind to the just claims of Permanence, would endanger the heritage bequeathed to us, in an endeavor to hurry us into some dubious Terrestrial Paradise. The conservative, in short, favors reasoned and temperate progress; he is opposed to the cult of Progress, whose votaries believe that everything new necessarily is superior to everything old.

Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons, just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host. The conservative takes care that nothing in a society should ever be wholly old, and that nothing should ever be wholly new. This is the means of the conservation of a nation, quite as it is the means of conservation of a living organism. Just how much change a society requires, and what sort of change, depend upon the circumstances of an age and a nation.

Let us embrace healthy change (an admittedly subjective concept) when it is needed (also a subjective notion) and not rush to it just for the sake of change. All actions have consequences. Changes we impose on society by fiat have not been vetted and consequences will ensue, often painful and often accomplishing the opposite of what was promised. As Kirk alludes to a balance between permanence and progression let us carefully consider the change we desire and especially the methods we employ to achieve it. Whether the change we affect hits its target or misses completely there will inevitably be unforeseen consequences either way. We cannot possibly know how future generations will interpret or distort our efforts and accomplishments of today.

Change should be viewed more like a pendulum rather than a ladder. As we see in our own lifetime some things previously taken for granted have been inverted. We now allow a man to claim to be a woman. We now allow a white person to claim to be black (though for some reason we won’t allow a murderous thug to declare himself Muslim). We officially claim the freedom of religion and use it as an excuse to restrict the freedom of religion. We restrict the freedom of speech and excuse it as the avoidance of hurting someone’s feelings. The more volatile an issue is, and the more controversial the methods of dealing with it, the more likely a strong reaction will upend what was once considered stable. You can push, but you should expect others to push back.

We humans are not perfectible. And neither is society. What was once achieved can be torn down. Humanity is a dynamic thing. Real solutions are elusive. Realistically we should expect to deal with the problems of life by finding trade offs rather than sweeping solutions. In this election season we would do well to remember every promise a politician makes has an underlying cost, a cost often obscured or ignored but will come back to bite us eventually. Don’t blindly accept what politicians and news media are selling.

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First Amendment battle at Weslyan University

original article: College student’s op-ed criticizing Black Lives Matter movement stirs controversy
September 25, 2015 by Fox News

An Iraq War veteran has found himself in a First Amendment battle after taking on the Black Lives Matter movement in his role as a college newspaper columnist.

Bryan Stascavage, a 30-year-old Wesleyan University student who served two tours in Iraq, penned an op-ed in the school newspaper that criticized the Black Lives Matter movement for creating an environment he believes advocates violence by spreading anti-cop hatred, and questioned the movement’s legitimacy.

“Is the movement itself actually achieving anything positive?” Stascavage wrote in his op-ed, “Why Black Lives Matter Isn’t What You Think,” published Sept. 14 in the Wesleyan Argus.

“It boils down to this for me: If vilification and denigration of the police force continues to be a significant portion of Black Lives Matter’s message, then I will not support the movement, I cannot support the movement. And many Americans feel the same,” Stascavage wrote.

“Is it worth another riot that destroys a downtown district? Another death, another massacre? At what point will Black Lives Matter go back to the drawing table and rethink how they are approaching the problem?” he questioned.

He said that certain actions by the movement’s extremists — like calling for more “pig” police officers to “fry like bacon” — should be condemned by the movement’s leaders.

“As members of a university community, we always have the right to respond with our own opinions, but there is no right not to be offended.”

– Wesleyan University President Michael Roth

The opinion piece unleashed a firestorm of criticism, first directed at Stascavage and later at the school newspaper and its editors. Stascavage said he’s been called a racist by students on campus, while some activists are calling on the school’s student government to defund the newspaper.

A petition demanding the Wesleyan Argus lose funding unless it meets certain demands has signatures from at least 172 students, staff and recent alumni. Signatories threatened to boycott the paper because they said it fails to “provide a safe space for the voices of students of color and we are doubtful that it will in the future.”

The university administration, meanwhile, defended Stascavage’s right to free speech over the weekend.

“Debates can raise intense emotions, but that doesn’t mean that we should demand ideological conformity because people are made uncomfortable,” Wesleyan University President Michael Roth wrote in a blog post along with Provost Joyce Jacobsen and Vice-President for Equity and Inclusion, Antonio Farias.

“As members of a university community, we always have the right to respond with our own opinions, but there is no right not to be offended,” said the post, titled “Black Lives Matter and So Does Free Speech.”

“We certainly have no right to harass people because we don’t like their views,” the administration said. “Censorship diminishes true diversity of thinking; vigorous debate enlivens and instructs.”

Stascavage, a sophomore majoring in philosophy and political science at the Connecticut university, said he knew his column would be controversial for posing “uncomfortable questions,” but said he never believed it would “hit nerves to the extent that it has.”

“The whole point of the article was to encourage people to think of alternative ways to get the Black Lives Matter movement to communicate their message effectively, instead of destroying a downtown district and screaming, ‘We want change,'” Stascavage told FoxNews.com Thursday.

“They are painting the police with a broad stroke as being racist killers,” he said. “I don’t agree with cheering when a police officer is killed. The rhetoric is starting to slide from a political movement to this mob mentality that leads us down a bad path.”

Stascavage, who has penned about 20 pieces for the school newspaper since his freshman year, claims editors at the newspaper said nothing to him prior to the op-ed’s publication.

After the backlash, however, editors-in-chief Rebecca Brill and Tess Morganissued a lengthy statement apologizing “for the distress the piece caused the student body.”

“The op-ed cites inaccurate statistics and twists facts,” the two wrote. “As Wesleyan’s student newspaper, it is our responsibility to provide our readership with accurate information. We vow to raise our standards of journalism and to fact-check questionable information cited in articles, including those in the Opinion section, prior to publication.”

Neither Brill nor Morgan returned messages seeking comment Thursday. Stascavage said the editors-in-chief have yet to speak to him about the piece in question.

“I was very disappointed,” Stascavage said of their statement. “It looked like they just threw me under the bus.”

Brill and Morgan noted, however, that “The Opinion section is open to any writer who wants to share a view, whether or not the Opinion editors and the editors-in-chief agree with it.”

“While we strive to make articles as coherent as possible before publication, we edit opinions for style rather than content, even if they are unpopular, controversial, and widely contested,” they said.

Stascavage, who plans to continue writing for the paper, said the ordeal has proved a valuable learning experience.

“I have learned more in the past 10 days than I learned in three years of college,” he told FoxNews.com. “Freedom of speech is critical for democracy.”

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What do Democrats really think of the first amendment?

Here is the full text of the 1st 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.

DEMOCRATS TRY TO REPEAL FIRST AMENDMENT
June 3, 2014 by JOHN HINDERAKER

Today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Democrats held a hearing on Tom Udall’s proposal to gut the First Amendment by allowing Congress to prohibit or restrict participation in political campaigns. The Democrats like to say that the amendment would reverse the effect of the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases, but in fact it goes much farther than that. The amendment, which is favored by Harry Reid and most Senate Democrats, would give Congress unprecedented power to limit debate on public issues in the context of elections.

Democrats’ First Amendment Problem
September 10, 2014 by George Will

The constitutional amendment proposed in the Senate is a rare act of true extremism in American politics.

Senate Democrats’ Free Speech Problem
June 27, 2014 by Michael Barone

A proposed constitutional amendment would exclude political speech from protected status.

Govt will need to help shape U.S. media–Waxman
December 2, 2009 by IBTimes Staff Reporter

A top Democratic lawmaker predicted on Wednesday that the government will be involved in shaping the future for struggling U.S. media organizations.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, saying quality journalism was essential to U.S. democracy, said eventually government would have to help resolve the problems caused by a failing business model.

Krugman: Conservative Views About Debt Ceiling Should Be Censored From News Reports
July 27, 2011 by Noel Sheppard

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Tuesday said it was a “moral issue” for the press to censor conservative views about the debt ceiling.

Quite shockingly, the Nobel laureate took to his blog to complain that the news media are being too fair and balanced in their coverage of this highly contentious issue:

Sen. Kerry Asks Media to Stop Giving ‘Equal Time or Equal Balance’ to ‘Absurd’ Tea Party Ideas
August 5, 2011 by Noel Sheppard

Last week, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said conservative views about the debt ceiling should be censored from news reports.

On Friday’s “Morning Joe,” Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) took this a step further calling on media to stop giving “equal time or equal balance” to Tea Party ideas that people like him consider “absurd” and “not factual”

Elizabeth Warren: First Amendment Right ‘Scares Me’, Needs ‘Dialing Back’
September 23, 2010 by Mark Finkelstein

Remember the MSM brouhaha when some conservatives suggested reconsidering the automatic granting of citizenship to children born in the US to illegal immigrants? Suddenly, the sanctity of the 14th Amendment became the single most precious thing to liberals—even though no amendment of it, let alone its abolition, would have been necessary to revise the policy on birthright citizenship.

So should we expect the liberal media to take up its constitutional cudgel against Elizabeth Warren? After all, Pres. Obama’s newly appointed [not nominated] head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau went on Morning Joe today and in effect proclaimed that the right to petition government for the redress of government “scares” her. More disturbingly, Warren suggested we need to work on “dialing back” that right.

Sen. Baldwin: 1st Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Individuals
July 2, 2015 by Brian Sikma

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) says the 1st Amendment’s religious liberty protections don’t apply to individuals. On MSNBC last week, Wisconsin’s junior Senator claimed that the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion extends only to religious institutions, and that individual’s do not have a right to the free exercise of their own religion.

censorship, civil rights, congress, constitution, Democrats, elitism, extremism, first amendment, freedom, government, left wing, liberalism, philosophy, politics, progressive, public policy, regulation, relativism

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HATE WINS: OREGON STATE ISSUES GAG ORDER AGAINST OPPOSING GAY MARRIAGE

original article: HATE WINS: OREGON STATE ISSUES GAG ORDER AGAINST OPPOSING GAY MARRIAGE
July 3, 2015 by John Nolte

In a sign of the overt fascism and religious persecution to come in the wake of a Left emboldened by the Supreme Court’s recent gay marriage ruling, a judge in Oregon has issued a gag order denying two Christian bakery owners from speaking out against same sex marriage.

“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” [Administrative Law Judge Alan] Avakian wrote.

The gag order is meant to stop Aaron and Melissa Klein from publicly speaking out about their desire to not bake cakes for same sex weddings. The State’s order came after the Kleins were interviewed by the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, and after the State fined the Kleins $135,000 for “emotional damages” incurred by a lesbian couple after the Kleins refused to bake their wedding cake.

That this kind of fascist oppression was always the endgame in the Left’s push for same sex marriage, was apparent to anyone familiar with the Left’s tactics.

The push for same sex marriage was always nothing more the Left’s sheep’s clothing in a crusade to destroy Christians and the Christian Church.

By adhering to the word of God, the Left will label Christians bigots and haters, and use the power of boycotts and the State to punish and silence us.

Now that gay marriage is the law of the land, the gay-pride flag will become the fascist banner under which any Church that doesn’t perform same sex marriages will be dismantled piece-by-piece. The tools used by the Gaystapo will include coordinated hate campaigns in the media, as well as political campaigns aimed at removing the Church’s tax exempt status.

Christians and conservatives who never believed this could happen are part of the problem.

1995: We don’t want marriage, just civil unions.

2005: Our marriage won’t affect your rights.

2014: Bake me a cake, or else.

2015: Your opinion against same sex marriage is illegal.

Moreover, it is not discrimination to not want to be forced by the State to participate in and profit from what Christians correctly see as the sacramentalization of sin, which is what a same sex marriage ceremony is. Christians believe our very soul is at stake.

Besides the State, the true bigoted oppressor here is the fascist lesbian couple demanding Christians be silenced by the State, but only after demanding the State force a small business owner into celebrating their marriage.

Oh, and happy Independence Day.

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So gay marriage doesn’t affect anyone else, hmm?

For the short sighted members of society who think the Supreme Court’s creation of a new right (changing what marriage means) will have no effect on anyone else, here’s a great example of what “allowing gays to marry” really means: it means forcing everyone to accept it. I guess diversity of opinion is not included in the definition of diversity. So much or pluralism, and that old fashioned First Amendment thing.

original article: ABC/Univision Network Editor: Tax ‘Fanatical,’ ‘Bigoted’ Churches June 30, 2015 by Matthew Balan On Monday, Fusion senior editor Felix Salmon echoed New York Times writer Mark Oppenheimer’s call for the end of the tax exemption of religious institutions, but took it one step further: he called for the specific targeting of churches that “remain steadfastly bigoted on the subject” of same-sex “marriage.” Salmon contended on Fusion.net that “if your organization does not support the right of gay men and women to marry, then the government should be very clear that you’re in the wrong. And it should certainly not bend over backwards to give you the privilege of tax exemption.” The former Reuters financial blogger, who left in 2014 to work for Fusion (a joint project between ABC and Univision), began his article, “Does your church ban gay marriage? Then it should start paying taxes,” by underlining that “now that the US government formally recognizes marriage equality as a fundamental right, it really shouldn’t skew the tax code so as to give millions of dollars in tax breaks to groups which remain steadfastly bigoted on the subject. I’m talking, of course, about churches.” Salmon, a native of the United Kingdom, asserted that “for all that the US Constitution mandates the separation of church and state, the two do overlap in quite a few areas…One of those areas is taxation: the US government subsidizes churches to the tune of many billions of dollars per year by giving them tax-exempt status.” He added that “it’s important to note that the tax exemption for churches and other religious organizations is not embedded in the Constitution…Taxation is a purely secular affair, and by default it applies to everybody equally, whether they’re a religious institution or not.” The Fusion senior editor argued that “it would be unconstitutional to single out religious institutions to make them pay more tax than anybody else, but the government has every right to stop giving them special tax-free privileges.” But he soon contradicted himself, as he made it clear that he supported punishing “bigoted” churches who oppose same-sex “marriage:”

It’s abundantly clear that religious institutions have no right to tax exemption. Most famously, in 1983, Bob Jones University lost its tax-exempt status when it continued to ban interracial dating….In the Bob Jones case, the US government made a very important statement. It’s not enough, they said, to support the right of interracial couples to date and get married; it’s also important to register official disapproval of any organizations which fail to support that right. To be given exemption from paying taxes is a special privilege bestowed by the state on deserving organizations. But there’s nothing deserving about an organization which bans interracial dating. So, the state is entirely within its powers to remove that privilege. The same argument can and should be applied to gay marriage. If your organization does not support the right of gay men and women to marry, then the government should be very clear that you’re in the wrong. And it should certainly not bend over backwards to give you the privilege of tax exemption.

Salmon then brushed aside religious liberty concerns, and had the audacity to suggest to conservative that they should support his attack on dissenting religious groups:

We have religious freedom in this country, and any religious organization is entirely free to espouse whatever crazy views it likes. But when those views are fanatical and hurtful, they come into conflict with the views of any honorable legislator who believes in freedom and equality. And at that point, it makes perfect sense for our elected representatives to register their disapproval by abolishing the tax exemption for organizations who cling to narrow-minded and anachronistic views. Conservatives should not object. The libertarian position here is simple and clear: everybody has freedom of conscience, including religious organizations; the tax code should apply equally to all; and the government should not be in the business of “picking winners”, and deciding who does and who doesn’t qualify for tax exemptions. So, abolish tax exemption for all religious organizations, whether they support gay marriage or not. Religion is concerned with spiritual matters; when it comes to taxes, the general principle is “give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”. Which is to say, give to the country’s secular monetary authorities that which you owe in tax.

The writer concluded by claiming that “it is entirely right and proper for the state to say to a church that if you want to thumb your nose at a fundamental right which is held by all Americans, then we are not going to privilege you with tax-free status. We’ll let you practice your bigotry, at least within the confines of your own church. But we’re not about to reward you for doing so.”

Contrast Salmon’s attitude with this story:

Jorge Ramos to Ted Cruz: ‘Aren’t You Discriminating’ Against Gays by Opposing SCOTUS Ruling?
July 1, 2015 by Connor Williams

or with this one:

The Shocking Proportion of Americans Who Believe That ‘Religious Institutions or Clergy’ Should Be Forced to Perform Gay Weddings
July 1, 2015 by Billy Hallowell

or this one:

HATE WINS: OREGON STATE ISSUES GAG ORDER AGAINST OPPOSING GAY MARRIAGE
J
uly 3, 2015 by John Nolte

anti-religion, bigotry, bullies, civil rights, culture, discrimination, diversity, first amendment, freedom, hate speech, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, news media, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, reform, regulation, relativism, taxes

Filed under: anti-religion, bigotry, bullies, civil rights, culture, discrimination, diversity, first amendment, freedom, hate speech, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, news media, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, reform, regulation, relativism, taxes

Student Bullied by Anti-Religious Hostility at University of Wisconsin

original article: Student Bullied by Anti-Religious Hostility at University of Wisconsin
June 24, 2015 by Liberty Counsel

Baraboo, WI – Liberty Counsel demanded the University of Wisconsin reverse its professor’s viewpoint discrimination and open hostility toward religion that occurred when Professor Annette Kuhlman threatened her student, Rachel Langeberg, with a failing grade for a group project unless she removed a Bible reference from a class presentation at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County.

When reviewing Langeberg’s sociology group project, Professor Kuhlman wrote, “…the University of Wisconsin is a secular institution. Religious contemplations and the bible [sic] belong to a different realm and not academic sources. So your argumentation along Christian lines, including the slides you designed in relation to it, are [sic] inappropriate for this presentation. I will not allow you to present unless you change this. You will also fail your presentation if your discuss religion in connection with it.” After Ms. Langeberg tried to resolve the matter by meeting with the professor and Dean Tracy White, to no avail, she contacted Liberty Counsel.

“Dr. Kuhlman’s review crossed the line from scholarship to censorship,” said Liberty Counsel Attorney Richard Mast. On numerous occasions, the Supreme Court has upheld students’ First Amendment rights in the public schools. The Constitution does not “require complete separation of church and state; it affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any.” Lynch v. Donnelly. Moreover, “teachers must be sensitive to students’ personal beliefs and take care not to abuse their positions of authority.” Farnan v. Capistrano.

“Students do not lose their First Amendment rights when they sign up for classes at the University of Wisconsin,” said Mast. “It is blatantly unconstitutional to restrict student religious speech or threaten a failing grade for religious content, where the speech or content is otherwise academically appropriate for the assignment,” Mast concluded.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

We need a separation between school and state.

abuse, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, christian, discrimination, education, first amendment, free speech, freedom, government, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, oppression, political correctness, public policy, relativism, religion, scandal, separation

Filed under: abuse, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, christian, discrimination, education, first amendment, free speech, freedom, government, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, oppression, political correctness, public policy, relativism, religion, scandal, separation

How Does Gay ‘Marriage’ Hurt Us? Here’s How

original article: How Does Gay ‘Marriage’ Hurt Us? Here’s How
June 17, 2015 by Eric Metaxas

Christians are often asked by gay activists why they oppose same-sex “marriage.” “How does our marriage hurt you?” they ask.

Well, I can think of one significant way it will hurt us: It will destroy religious freedom and free speech rights.

The handwriting is on the wall in Canada, which legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2005, in effect completely changing its true meaning. Since then, as Michael Coren notes in National Review Online, “there have been between 200 and 300 proceedings … against critics and opponents of same-sex marriage.” Of course he means legal proceedings.

For instance, in Saskatchewan, a homosexual man called a state marriage commissioner, wanting to “marry” his partner. The commissioner, an evangelical Christian, declined to conduct the ceremony for religious reasons. He simply referred the man to another commissioner.

But that was not enough for the gay couple. Even though they got their ceremony, they wanted to punish the Christian who had declined to conduct it.  The case ended up in the courts. And the result? Those with religious objections to conducting such ceremonies now face the loss of their jobs.

Canadian churches are also under attack. Coren writes that when Fred Henry, the Roman Catholic bishop of Calgary, Alberta, sent a letter to churches explaining traditional Catholic teaching on marriage, he was “charged with a human-rights violation” and “threatened with litigation.”

Churches with theological objections to performing same-sex “wedding” ceremonies are being threatened with the loss of their tax-free status. In British Columbia, the Knights of Columbus agreed to rent its building for a wedding reception before finding out that the couple was lesbian. When they did find out, they apologized to the women and agreed to both find an alternative venue and pay the costs for printing new invitations. But that wasn’t good enough. The women prosecuted, and the Human Rights Commission ordered the Knights of Columbus to pay a fine.

Of course, the lesbians knew perfectly well what the Catholic Church teaches about marriage, but they sought out a Catholic-owned building, anyway.

(AP Photo)

As Michael Coren puts it, “it’s becoming obvious that Christian people, leaders, and organizations are being targeted, almost certainly to create legal precedents”—precedents intended to silence and punish anyone who dares to disagree with so-called gay “marriage.”

If you think this couldn’t happen here, think again. This year [2012] we’ve seen ObamaCare attack the autonomy of Catholic churches by attempting to force them, in violation of Catholic teaching, to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients for church employees. And just last week, a lesbian employee of a Catholic hospital in New York sued the hospital for denying her partner spousal health benefits.

This is what we need to tell our neighbors when they ask us, “How does gay ‘marriage’ hurt us?” It means that those hostile to our beliefs will attempt to bend us to their will to force us to not only accept gay “marriage,” but to condone it as well.

This is why I urge you to join the half-million Christians who have signed the Manhattan Declaration. Please sign it yourself by going to manhattandeclaration.org.

You and I must demonstrate love to our gay neighbors, of course, remembering that we are ultimately engaged in spiritual warfare. But we should boldly stand up when our rights as citizens and the demands of our conscience are threatened.

bigotry, bullies, christian, civil rights, corruption, culture, discrimination, diversity, first amendment, free speech, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, regulation, relativism, religion

Filed under: bigotry, bullies, christian, civil rights, corruption, culture, discrimination, diversity, first amendment, free speech, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, regulation, relativism, religion

Air Force general court-martialed for speaking about God?

original article: Air Force general who spoke of God in talk should be court-martialed, group says
May 17, 2015 by Fox News

An Air Force general who recently spoke about how God has guided his career should be court-martialed, a civil liberties group is saying.

In a speech at a National Day of Prayer Task Force event on May 7, Maj. Gen. Craig Olson credits God for his accomplishments in the military, and refers to himself as a “redeemed believer in Christ.”

The Air Force Times reports that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has taken issue with Olson’s remarks, is calling for the two-star general to be court-martialed and “aggressively and very visibly brought to justice for his unforgivable crimes and transgressions.”

The group authored a letter to Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Walsh, arguing that Olson’s speech violates rules within the Air Force, which prohibits airmen from endorsing a particular faith or belief.

The letter, posted on the group’s website, begins, “This demand letter is sent to you on behalf of countless members of the United States Air Force who are utterly disgusted and shocked by the brazenly illicit and wholly unconstitutional, fundamentalist Christian proselytizing recently perpetrated, on international television (“GOD TV”), and streaming all over the Internet and in full military uniform, by USAF Major General Craig S. Olson on Thursday, May 7, 2015 during a VERY public speech for a private Christian organization (The “National Day of Prayer Task Force”: NDPTF) headed up by Focus on the Family founder, Dr. James Dobson’s, wife Shirley Dobson. “

“. . . disgusted and shocked by the brazenly illicit and wholly unconstitutional, fundamentalist Christian proselytizing . . .”

– letter from Military Religious Freedom Foundation

The group, which believes that the American flag and the U.S. Constitution are the only religious symbol and scripture, respectively, for those who serve in the military, also wants other service members who helped Olson to be investigated and punished “to the full extent of military law.”

During Olson’s 23-minute talk, the Air Force Times reports, Olson spoke of “flying complex aircraft; doing complex nuclear missions — I have no ability to do that. God enabled me to do that.”

“He put me in charge of failing programs worth billions of dollars,” Olson said. “I have no ability to do that, no training to do that. God did that. He sent me to Iraq to negotiate foreign military sales deals through an Arabic interpreter. I have no ability to do that. I was not trained to do that. God did all of that.”

At the end of his speech, Olson asked those in attendance to pray for Defense Department leaders and troops preparing to be deployed.

Olson is the program executive officer at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, where he is responsible for more than 2,200 personnel, according to the U.S. Air Force website. He was commissioned in 1982 following graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy and has extensive operational, flight test and acquisition experience.

abuse, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, discrimination, extremism, first amendment, free speech, government, ideology, intolerance, military, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, relativism, religion, separation, video

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