Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Hospital told nurses: assist in abortions or lose your job

From Life News.

Excerpt:

A dozen nurses have filed a lawsuit against their employer, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which told them they had to either assist in abortions or risk losing their jobs.

The Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of 12 nurses in New Jersey who work for a hospital receiving federal health funds who were told they needed to assist abortions or be terminated from their employment. The mandate violates several federal conscience laws and state law, ADF senior legal counsel Matt Bowman tells LifeNews.

“Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” Bowman told LifeNews. “No less than 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy change required them to participate in the abortions regardless of their religious objections. That is flatly illegal.”

According to a copy of the complaint ADF sent LifeNews, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey was “demanding that the Nurses must assist abortions in violation of their religious objections or they will be terminated. Defendants have illegally coerced some of the Nurses to train to assist abortions already, and Defendants are presently scheduling the others to do so.”

Keep in mind, though, that the Obama administration is opposed to these conscience protections for pro-life doctors and nurses. Democrats believe that Christians should act like non-Christians in public. They think that it is ok to force their views on Christians, using the power of the law and the courts.

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Two reasons why Christians should not support public schools

From two stories. Here’s the first from the Alliance Defense Fund.

Excerpt:

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of a student-led pro-life club against Independent School District #885 for denying the club, at St. Michael-Albertville High School, official status because it allegedly “does not support the student body as a whole.” Despite that claim, school officials have recognized more than a dozen other non-curricular clubs, including the Environmental and Animé clubs, providing them with benefits and access currently denied to the pro-life student group, known as the All Life Is Valuable (ALIV) Club.

[...]The principal of St. Michael-Albertville High School denied equal treatment to the ALIV Club and the local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes even though District Policy 801 requires the district to grant equal access to student clubs wishing to meet for “religious, political, or philosophical reasons during non-instructional time.”

The ALIV Club addresses a variety of issues that students face, including those related to faith and religion, life, abortion, abstinence, personal responsibility, leadership, community service, peer pressure, promoting respect and dignity for all others, and examining governmental and political issues. Neither the ALIV Club nor FCA, however, receive any of the benefits enjoyed by more than a dozen other recognized non-curricular student clubs. Officially recognized clubs, such as the Diversity Club, Environmental Club, Animé Club, and Book Club are able to meet during a special club period, make announcements, and engage in fundraising activities, among other benefits.

When Democrats complain about needing more money for public schools, they want to take your money and use it against your children. They want to pound conservative Christian views out of your children, using your money, and replace those views with their secular leftist views.

Here’s the second story from Life Site News.

Excerpt:

The controversial Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association is building a $3 million war chest on the backs of all its member to defeat the province’s Progressive Conservative Party in the upcoming fall election.

The 45,000-strong union, whose leadership has become infamous for advancing causes opposed to Catholic teaching, voted at its annual general meeting in Toronto last month to force every member to pay an extra $60 towards its political campaign.  The fee takes effect July 1st.

Teachers have refused to comment publicly on the powerful union’s activities out of fear of retaliation.  But one teacher told LifeSiteNews, under condition of anonymity, that he’s disappointed they’re taking $60 “for a campaign that I don’t really agree with in the first place.”

“I’ve got to vote in conscience always.  If I voted Liberal, it wouldn’t be in conscience,” he said.  “It comes down to what’s the greater good here.”

The campaign aims to “protect the gains” made in education since Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals took office eight years ago, OECTA union president James Ryan wrote in a March 23rd letter to union members.  He said delegates left the AGM “acutely aware of how the election of a Conservative government under Tim Hudak would threaten the common good, particularly education.”

The union has long used portions of the mandatory dues, which already can amount to nearly $1,000 per year, to fund a range of activities violating Catholic teaching.  In December, LifeSiteNews revealed that OECTA provided funding to Egale, a leading homosexual lobby group, to promote gay-straight alliances in Catholic schools – in opposition to the Ontario bishops.

[...]Vouchers and charter schools, in particular, are initiatives aimed at promoting parental choice in education as an alternative to current teachers’ union dominated public education monopolies. There is also a growing trend in North America to question the automatic pay scales based on seniority and degrees that public system teachers receive, rather than on regularly assessed personal skills or merit.According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, a conservative think-tank, OECTA’s partisan fee shows the need for reform of Ontario’s labour laws.  “Regardless of what political party stands to gain, forcing workers to support partisan political activity of any kind is a fundamental violation of their individual rights and profoundly undemocratic,” said president Joseph Ben-Ami.

“Giving unions the power to force workers to join, or to pay dues even if they aren’t forced to join, is a recipe for abuse and corruption,” he added. “The law needs to recognize and respond to this.”

You can’t even be a teacher in Canada without joining a union. The unions use union dues to elect Liberal (socialist) and NDP (communist) candidates. Christians should always vote for right-to-work laws to deny power and money to the public schools. Public schools don’t represent your values. They represent their values. With your money.

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How do secular leftist professors feel about Christian students?

From the Alliance Defense Fund.

Excerpt:

The late American philosopher Richard Rorty (d. 2007) in describing his assessment of the role of university professor wrote:  “When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures.  Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization.”  The re-education imperative is one that he, “like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, invoke when we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.”  Rorty explains to the “fundamentalist” parents of his students:  “we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.”  He helpfully explains that “I think those students are lucky to find themselves under the benevolent Herrschaft [domination] of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents.”

The sociologist Alvin Gouldner in his book The Future of Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class set forth a number of the historical developments that were decisive in the formation of the revolutionary intellectual class.  Among the factors is the process of secularization which de-sacralizes authority and enables challenges to theological traditions.  Another factor was the extension of non-church public schooling.  The colleges and universities in particular generate “dissent, deviance, and the cultivation of an authority-subverting culture of critical discourse.”  And the school teachers at all levels conceive and fulfill their tasks as representatives of (the abstract) society as a whole (whatever that is), thus distanced from and with no allegiance or obligation to the values of the parents of their students.  A related factor is the structure of the new educational system:  “increasingly insulated from the family system,” thereby situated to serve as “an important source of values among students divergent from those of their families.”  In both form and content (which are not so neatly divisible, by the way) the state educational enterprise has been leveraged to missionary ends, further undermining parental authority and replacing its formative function.

Law Professor Samuel Levinson has with welcome candor revealed that it is not due to his sympathy for certain religious students that he prefers that public grade schools grant limited exemptions to those students with conscientious objections to portions of the curriculum.  Rather, such measures are calculated to mollify those religious students, thereby keeping them in the secularizing environment of the government school where they are likely to have their views transformed.  With just enough solicitude for such students’ interests, they may be convinced to stay put, and thus be “lured away from the views—some of them only foolish, others, alas, quite pernicious—of their parents.”

To push these [Christian] students from the public schools . . . will assure that they will in fact be educated within institutions that are, from my perspective at least, far more limited, and indeed, “totalitarian” than anything likely to be found within a decent public school.  My desire to “lure” religious parents back to the public schools thus has at least a trace of the spider’s web about it.

And there’s more than a trace of irony in his assigning “totalitarian” levels as he plots means to manipulate the worldviews of children by coaxing them to remain in institutions designed for that very purpose.  Spider’s web, indeed.

I was just having a conversation with a couple of left-wing Christians on Facebook who were telling me how Christianity was compatible with left-wing politics. They have no idea what they are talking about – they just don’t know what they are up against. They are the ones who vote for more funding for public schools, thinking they are innocuous.

One of the reasons that kept me from marrying is that I didn’t meet anyone in university who took this threat as seriously as I do. If you believe that children should be influential for the Christ, then reading that excerpt should scare you. But if babies are just for baby pictures, then it’s not really a big deal. But it’s a big deal to me.

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Germany puts parents in jail if they pull their kids out of sex education

From Alliance Defense Fund.

Excerpt:

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys representing two German parents filed an emergency order Thursday with the European Court of Human Rights, calling for the mother’s immediate prison release. ADF attorneys filed an appeal on the parents’ behalf last year asking the ECHR to uphold national and international law against the German government’s unlawful incarceration and fines in violation of parental rights.

Heinrich and Irene Wiens chose to keep their four children from attending a mandatory play and four school days of “sexual education” that taught students an extremely permissive view of sexuality. For this they were fined and then sentenced to more than six weeks in prison for refusing to pay. The father already served his prison term. Both parents contend that the programs oppose their Christian beliefs and that forcing their children’s participation is unlawful. ADF has four similar cases before the ECHR, as Irene Wiens is the 10th Christian parent imprisoned.

“Parents, not the government, are the ones ultimately responsible for making educational choices for their children, and jailing them for standing on this universal right is simply unconscionable,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska. “Irene Wiens was well within her rights under the European Convention of Human Rights to opt to teach her children a view of sexuality that is in accord with her own religious beliefs, instead of sending them to four days of classes and an interactive play that she found to be objectionable. These types of cases are crucial battles in the effort to keep bad decisions concerning parental rights overseas from being adopted by American courts.”

In June 2006, the Wiens’ objected to their children’s attendance at both a mandatory stage play and four school days of so-called “sexual education” classes. Both parents believed the programs contradicted their sincerely held religious beliefs, as they and their four children are active in the Christian Baptist Church. The Wiens’ kept their children at home during the programs and instead instructed them in their own Christian values on sexuality.  The parents were subsequently sentenced by a lower court in June 2008 and both were fined a total of 2,340 Euros (approximately $3,250 U.S.), which they refused to pay on legal and moral grounds. As a result, Heinrich Wiens served 43 days in prison from August 26 to October 6, and Irene Wiens is still serving her 43-day sentence in jail.

School officials allege that the purpose of the compulsory play “Mein Köper Gehört Mir” (My Body Is Mine) was to introduce preventative measures for sexual abuse amongst children. Yet ADF attorneys argue that the play and “sexual education” lessons also promoted a very permissive view of sex and sexuality that strongly contradicts the Wiens’ Christian beliefs. Also, the Wiens’ contend that no scientific proof exists that the programs deter sexual abuse, but that they rather teach children to become sexually active by instructing them to observe their inner feelings of sexuality, ultimately teaching that if something feels good sexually, then it is an acceptable practice.

I really resent paying for teachers to indoctrinate children with their views of sexuality. Shouldn’t I get to keep my money and choose my school? What is the argument for me paying the government directly and taking whatever they give me? I don’t want these people or their sex education. Let me decide what’s best for my future children. I should be allowed to spend the money I earn on whatever I want. I don’t see why I should have to pay for something that doesn’t meet the needs of my future children.

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Obama administration rolls back conscience protections for health care workers

From Life Site News.

Excerpt:

The Obama Administration has rescinded a federal regulation from 2008 that protected the conscience rights of health care providers opposed to providing abortifacient contraception, such as the Plan-B “morning-after” pill.

The Health and Human Services Department under Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, issued the new “final rule,” which leaves health-care workers of federally funded entities a narrower conscience exemption that only protects them from having to participate in abortions or sterilizations.

The new regulation replaces the earlier one enacted in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration, which broadened the interpretation of existing federal conscience statutes related to abortion to include health professionals opposed to emergency contraception, such as Ella or Plan-B, drugs which pro-life advocates say also act as abortifacients.

Sebelius alleged in the promulgation of the new final rule that the Bush-era conscience regulations “instead led to greater confusion”, citing comments received by HHS. She said her department was changing the rule because it was “unclear and potentially over-broad in scope.”

The HHS Secretary said in her statement that her department did share the concern of those in favor of rescinding the rule that it had the “potential to negatively impact patient access to contraception and certain other medical services” esp. for certain sub-populations, such as “low income patients, minorities, the uninsured, patients in rural areas, Medicaid beneficiaries, or other medically under-served populations.”

The ruling is a victory for Planned Parenthood and other “family planning” groups that have insisted that drugs like Plan-B (taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse) and Ella (taken within five-days of intercourse) should be defined as “contraception.” Pro-life groups countered that pro-life health providers should be protected from discrimination under federal statutes, because these drugs could prevent a conceived human embryo from implanting in the mother’s womb, thereby aborting it.

[...]“Today’s erosion of conscience protections for medical professionals is a blow both to medicine and the right to practice one’s deeply-held convictions,” said Dr. J. Scott Ries, on behalf of the 16,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA).

Ries said the new HHS final rule disregarded the findings of the previous HHS 2008 final rule which stated that allowing health professionals to practice according to their convictions would negatively impact patient services or create “new barriers.”

“Losing conscientious healthcare professionals and faith-based institutions to discrimination and job loss especially imperils the poor and patients in medically underserved areas,” said Ries. “We are already facing critical shortages of primary care physicians, and the Obama administration’s decision now threatens to make the situation far worse for patients across the country who depend on faith-based health care.”

As the days go on, I find myself missing George W. Bush more and more. Say what you like about him, he was a Christian. And now we have a non-Christian (atheist) president and an atheistic administration. Things like conscience protections are naturally under attack. Naturally, people on the secular left think that the state has a right to impose their views and overrule the religious and moral views of individual citizens. That’s what fascism is – and fascism is exclusively a phenomenon of the political left. The right values individual liberty and free market capitalism.

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