Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

California Democrats introduce bill to force pregnancy centers to refer abortions

The bill was introduced by two Democrats:

Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles) introduced AB 775, a bill that helps ensure women receive prompt access to affordable, comprehensive reproductive-health care and are empowered to make fully informed decisions. AB 775 will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Health tomorrow, on April 14th.

AB 775, the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act, requires licensed facilities that provide family planning and pregnancy-related services to inform patients about available assistance for affordable contraception, abortion, and prenatal care, including how to obtain that assistance.  Facilities that offer similar services but do not have a medical license must disclose that they are not licensed facilities and do not have a licensed provider on staff. The bill is sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California and Black Women for Wellness.

Life News explains what the bill actually does to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers:

A California committee has approved a bill that would force pregnancy centers providing women with abortion alternatives to refer women for abortions.

Thousands of pregnancy centers across the nation are the counterbalance to the abortion industry by providing women with tangible help and real alternatives to abortion. But pregnancy centers in California may soon find themselves forced to promote abortions under legislation pending in the California legislature.

AB 775, the Pregnancy Counseling Discrimination Rule, would require all pregnancy centers to promote abortions to their clients. There is no conscience clause or opt out for centers that provide pregnant women assistance without abortions or abortion referrals. Failure to comply carries a $500 fine for first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The bill authorizes the Attorney General, city attorney, or county counsel to impose the civil fines.

I’ve been posting a lot of stories lately about how the secular left forces people who support natural marriage to be in favor of redefining marriage. But secular leftists are willing to use the power of big government to bully people of morality elsewhere – this time on the abortion issue. Yes, when they’re not busy denying children their mothers or fathers, they’re trying to kill them with abortion. And if you disagree with being forced to do evil things to born and unborn children, well, that’s what courts and prisons are for. I guess they think that if everyone is forced to be complicit, either by funding it or participating in it, then no one is innocent. Then what they are doing is not really wrong at all. That’s what they tell themselves.

Filed under: News, ,

Psychological Society of Ireland: disagreement with same-sex marriage is harmful

This is from Spiked Online.

It says:

To see how straitjacketed the debate about gay marriage has become, look no further than Ireland.

There, on 22 May, there will be a referendum, with voters asked to say Yes or No to amending the Irish Constitution so that marriage will be redefined as a union between ‘two persons without distinction as to their sex’. Sounds good, right? An opportunity for an actual electorate to have a debate and have its say on the future of marriage? Not so fast.

The run-up to the referendum has been about as far from a fair or open debate as it’s possible to get. One side in the debate – the side that is critical of gay marriage – is demonised daily, treated virtually as heretics, almost as criminals. It’s accused of causing psychological harm, branded as ‘hate speakers’, and frequently forced to make public apologies simply for expressing its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. And as a writer for the Irish Independent says, ‘It’s not a debate if one side can’t speak’. The public discussion before the Irish referendum has not been a debate, she says – it’s been ‘a Two Minutes Hate’ against anyone who doesn’t think gay marriage is the greatest idea ever.

Pretty much the entire establishment in Ireland, aside from the increasingly uninfluential bishops and priests, backs gay marriage (giving the lie to the gay-marriage movement’s depiction of itself as a beleaguered minority bravely battling The Man for its civil rights). From the prime minister, Enda Kenny, to the vast majority of Dail Eireann, to pretty much the whole media – most notably the Irish Times, voice of the minuscule cultural elite in Dublin that sets the moral and political agenda in Ireland – every person with power is rallying for gay marriage. And barely a week passes when they don’t demonise the other side, the smaller, less powerful side, the side which, in opposing gay marriage, is apparently harming citizens, causing violence and, worst of all, jeopardising Ireland’s political future.

As with all heretics in history, Ireland’s opponents of gay marriage stand accused of directly harming the public. So last month, the Psychological Society of Ireland issued a dire warning that the propaganda of the anti-gay marriage camp could ‘impact detrimentally on people’. PSI said it is ‘seriously concerned’ that this lobby’s claim that traditional marriage is better than gay marriage, on the grounds that a mother and father make better parents than two people of the same sex, could have ‘far-reaching implications’. It chastised opponents of gay marriage for promoting ideas that ‘run contrary to the positions of professional bodies’ – that is, for daring to defy the new priests: the expert class – and said their words could wreak mental and moral havoc.

As one news report summed it up, PSI thinks that ‘the debate itself [my italics] carrie[s] the potential to have detrimental effects, both psychological and emotional, on adults and children’. So discussion is dangerous; positing a view that runs counter to the elite’s outlook could cause emotional damage. It’s remarkable how much the authoritarian boot has shifted: once it was those who denied Biblical truths who were accused of doing moral harm to citizens; now it is those who cleave to Christian views and doubt gay marriage whose words, whose desire to have a debate, are depicted as dangerous, warping things.

Rod Dreher is following the religious liberty issue pretty closely, and he wrote this recently:

I had a 30-minute phone conversation today with a prominent Christian physician who works at one of the great medical institutions in the world, here in the US. He reached out to me through a mutual friend to say to me how important it is to raise the alarm about what’s happening on this front, and to start networking and building institutions to help us get through what is to come.

“This is what I think you mean with the Benedict Option,” he said, correctly. “You need to write that book so somebody can give the public a clear understanding of where we are, how we got here, and what we’re going to have to do to get through what’s coming.”

We were talking on background, so I don’t feel comfortable relating specific details of our discussion here. He gave me a lot of deeply concerning information about what’s happening in the medical world around this and related culture-war issues. He said he’s been watching it unfold for some time now, and he’s been trying to make people understand that Christians in this country are facing something unprecedented in US history.

One of the things he sees coming, and coming fast: the inability of many professionals, and not only in the medical field, to work unless they sign off on things they cannot in good conscience accept. “We’re going to see jobs lost and retirements lost,” he said.

In his institution, said the doctor, every single one of his colleagues believes that on LGBT issues, Christians who hold to the orthodox view are no better than segregationists. This cultural attitude is sooner or later going to be absorbed into the law.

To just to let you know how this has affected me personally – on Thursday afternoon, my entire Facebook account with 1103 friends and 933 people who liked this blog’s page were shut down for “abusive” speech. We will never know who exactly was responsible for the charges, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more of what’s going on in Ireland right now. What does the secular left know about free speech? Nothing. I would sooner hope for mercy from a lion than hope for tolerance from the secular left. They are fascists.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Colorado Civil Rights Commission: anti-conscience laws can only target Christians

This is from Todd Starnes, writing at The Stream.

He writes:

Bill Jack wants to make one thing perfectly clear: Bakers should not be forced to make a cake that would violate their conscience or freedom of expression.

Jack, of Castle Rock, Colo., is making national headlines over an experiment he conducted in the wake of attacks on Christian business owners who refuse to provide services for same-sex marriages.

Last year, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple who wanted a wedding cake. Jack Phillips, the owner of the cake shop, is a devout Christian, and his attorneys argued that to force him to participate in the gay wedding would violate his religious beliefs.

The Civil Rights Commission saw it differently.

So if Christian bakers who oppose gay marriage are compelled under law to violate their beliefs — what about bakers who support gay marriage? Would they be compelled to make an anti-gay marriage cake?

[…]As you probably guessed, the bakeries rejected Jack’s request for what some would call “anti-gay” cakes.

“If he wants to hate people, he can hate them not here in my bakery,” Azucar Bakery owner Marjorie Silva told 7NEWS. She called the writing and imagery “hateful and offensive.”

But hating Christians enough to force your morality on them with fines and emprisonment – that’s not hatred at all.

More:

So Jack filed a discrimination complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission — just as the gay couple did in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

Using the commission’s logic — if a Christian baker is forced to violate his beliefs, shouldn’t all bakers be forced to violate theirs, too?

Absolutely not, says the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

It ruled that Azucar did not discriminate against Jack based on his creed. It argued that the bakery refused to make the cakes because of the “derogatory language and imagery,” The Denver Channel reported.

Jack told me it’s a double standard — pure and simple.

“I think it is hypocritical,” he said. “It’s unequal treatment before the law. The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act is being used to coerce businesses to participate in events that violate their consciences.”

Jack said he decided to conduct his experiment to prove the Colorado law was “only being applied to Christian business people.”

“Christians need to understand that this is the state of Christianity in the United States,” he said. “We are now second-class citizens. Our free speech is being censored.”

To be clear, Jack believes the bakeries had the right to deny him service. His point was to draw attention to the hypocrisy.

“I stand for liberty for all, not liberty for some,” he said. “If we don’t have liberty for all, then we have liberty for none.”

So. Although Christians may have voted for these laws thinking that they were “nice”, the truth is that every scrap of Christianity that anyone finds of offensive is going to become illegal. At some point, we are all going to have to choose between the Bible and being punished by the state.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Indiana RFRA “fix” is a full repeal, religious liberty will be no defense

CNS News analyzes the “fix” proposed by Indiana Republicans.

Excerpt:

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long announced Thursday that they would submit a new versionof the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to Gov. Mike Pence to counter criticism that it discriminates against gays and lesbians.

“It was never intended to discriminate against anyone,” Long told reporters. “That perception led to the national protests we’ve seen.”

But a lawyer for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty says the proposed legislative “fix” is not only unnecessary, it would undermine the religious rights of Hoosiers and leave them vulnerable to criminal prosecution for following their religious beliefs, the opposite of what RFRA was intended to do.

“We think the Indiana law is a very good law which is modeled on what has worked at the federal and state level for 20 years, and which is similar to constitutional provisions that are backed up by 50 years of jurisprudence,” Becket legal counsel Daniel Blomberg told CNSNews.com. “These laws work very well to protect the religious rights of minorities.

“All the Indiana law does is the same thing that’s been working very well for a long time,” he pointed out. “Today the Indiana legislature proposed a ‘fix’ that we think is 1) unnecessary; and 2) itself is broken and would create a very dangerous change in Indiana law.

“Individuals asked to be part of a same-sex wedding who decline because they feel it violates their religious beliefs would not be able to raise the RFRA under the ‘fix’,” Blomberg told CNSNews.com. “It would leave them defenseless. It also makes specific allowances for criminal prosecution. So not only is the ‘fix’ not helpful, it should not be accepted.

“We have a choice on how to handle these situations. We can allow government to drive religious people out of business, fine them and possibly imprison them, or we can allow religious people to have their day in court, and let the courts balance their religious claims against other competing values.”

Gary Bauer explains what’s at stake:

“Gov. [Mike] Pence is going through a rhetorical lynching,” Gary Bauer, former Republican presidential candidate and president of American Values, told CNSNews.com. “This is what we were warning about in the [Manhattan] Declaration, and why the Declaration was written.”

Besides upholding the “sanctity of life” and the “dignity of marriage,” the Manhattan Declaration, which was signed by Bauer and a number of other religious and political leaders in 2009, championed “religious freedom”. “No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions,” the Declaration stated.

It warned that “freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.”

Such restrictions “undermine the viability of the intermediate structures of society, the essential buffer against the overweening authority of the state, resulting in the soft despotism [Alexis de] Tocqueville so prophetically warned of,” the Declaration continued. “Disintegration of civil society is a prelude to tyranny.”

“It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the tolerance movement used by the cultural Left in recent decades was just a poll-driven strategy and not an actual commitment to tolerance,” Bauer continued, adding that the Indiana law is being used to cut off debate and redefine anyone with traditional moral values as a bigot. “Every pastor and every parent should be deeply worried about what is happening in Indianapolis,” he said.

I guess I blame the church for this. I go to church. I know what goes on in there. It’s a sermon on the gospel every week. There is about 20 minutes of singing. Current events are never mentioned. The existence of God and the resurrection are never explained or defended. The Bible is just assumed to be true, and no issues outside it are ever discussed. Objections to Christian theism are never named, much less defended against. Reasons and evidence are never provided for the Biblical view on topics like abortion or same-sex marriage, much less economics, the environment, etc. The emphasis is on comforting people. The emphasis is on not judging. The emphasis is on making people feel good and leaving them free to do whatever makes them feel good.

I just don’t see young people having any interest in defending Christianity any more against the culture. I mean, I am seeing “pro-life”, “pro-marriage” evangelicals voting for Democrats because they want a bigger secular government.  They want more money to be transferred from Christian families to Solyndra so we can fight the global warming monster. They believed Obama about keeping your doctor, keeping your health plan, and not funding abortions – but Obama lied on all three of these. They want to vote for Obama’s promise that health insurance premiums will drop $3000 in 2008, and then vote for the same guy again in 2012 when the premiums have actually gone up $2500. They voted for Obama saying that he supported traditional marriage, but then his Justice Department declined to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

Young Christians just don’t care about marriage as Jesus defined it – one man, one woman, for life.  They say they do, but then they vote for the party that opposes religious liberty when they get the chance. Global warming and raising the minimum wage are more important. Why? Because the secular culture told them so. And that’s their authority when it comes to voting.

Young Christians just seem to be completely disloyal to God as he really is. I don’t think that Christians really want to have to think about what would work to defend God’s reputation and character from these attacks. They just want to do their own thing, and get the praise from men, rather than the praise from God. In my own case, I am now in my upper 30s and still very much respecting the Biblical standards around sex: no pre-marital sex, no adultery, no frivolous divorce. Why is it such a difficult standard for younger evangelicals to accept and to defend? They seem to believe that chastity, natural marriage, and natural child-bearing are all unimportant things. The only rule now is to have fun with sex, and to never judge anyone for breaking the rules. That’s not what the Bible teaches, but that’s what young Christians believe. Who is going to talk to them about it? Not the pastors. Not their parents. And not their friends.

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Christian-owned pizza business shuts down after death threats from gay activists

Crystal O'Connor, victim of bullying by gay activists

Crystal O’Connor, victim of bullying by gay activists

I read a lot of articles on this, and Todd Starnes’ on Fox News was the most detailed.

He writes:

A small town, family-owned pizzeria has become the latest target of an angry mob of modern-day fascists — hell-bent on silencing anyone who opposes gay marriage.

Kevin O’Connor and his daughter Crystal own Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind. — just a hop, skip and a jump southwest of South Bend.

Mr. O’Connor and his family have been forced into hiding and had to temporarily shut down their store after they told a local television reporter that they would not cater a gay wedding.

“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal told ABC 57 on Tuesday.

Neither Crystal nor her father realized they were about to become the LGBT community’s Public Enemy No. 1.

“I’m a born-again Christian,” Kevin O’Connor told me in an exclusive telephone interview Thursday. “My faith is the base of my business.”

And the O’Connor family’s faith teaches them that marriage is reserved for a man and a woman.

“I would not participate in a gay marriage,” Kevin O’Connor said. “To condone a gay wedding to me is just wrong. I could not put my stamp of approval on a gay wedding.”

The television station labeled Memories Pizza as the “first business to publicly deny same-sex service,” in the aftermath of the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Washington Post reported.

But the O’Connors said they have never denied a same-sex couple a pepperoni pie.

“I have never turned anybody away from my store,” Kevin O’Connor said. “If they come in there with clothes barely hanging on their back – I don’t turn anybody away. I don’t care what their beliefs are.”

The hell storm this 61-year-old grandfather faced as a result of his Christian faith is simply beyond belief.

The family business came under fierce assault by LGBT activists and their cronies — accusing them of being anti-gay bigots. Their Facebook pages were smeared with gay pornography. Their phones were overwhelmed by vulgar and profane threats.

A high school softball coach in Concord, Ind., was suspended after posting an arson threat on Twitter.

“Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?” Coach Jess Dooley tweeted.

[…]The events of the past few days have been incredibly troubling for the O’Connor family. During my interview with Kevin — he became quite emotional.

“It’s been pretty tough, yeah,” he said. “It’s been hard.”

It was his lifelong dream to own a business. That dream came true when he opened the pizzeria in 2006, when he started the business from scratch.

And his Christian faith is evident in the restaurant.

“We get together and pray every day when the store opens,” he said. “We have a box for customers to put prayer requests in. We don’t push it. We don’t try to preach.”

He doesn’t force his religion on anyone.

“We treat them like we want to be treated,” he said.

Kevin told me he was especially thankful for the support he’s received from fellow Christians around the nation — including a group that launched a fundraising drive.

He also wants other Christian business owners to be encouraged.

“Trust the Lord,” he said. “Pray. Even though we don’t see where He’s taking us, He’s got control. And He will make it work for His good and our good.”

Kevin said he hopes to reopen the pizzeria sooner rather than later – but an exact date is unclear.

Right now, he’s trying to console his 21-year-old daughter – who has shouldered a mountain of hateful threats.

“Crystal needs some time,” Kevin said. “This scared her pretty good.”

There is some good news, from the Washington Times:

Supporters of the Indiana family under attack for refusing to cater a hypothetical gay wedding stepped up Thursday, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars and dropping by Memories Pizza even though it remained closed after a rash of threats.

A crowdfunding campaign launched by conservative talk-show host Dana Loesch and her staff had collected more than $410,000 in 24 hours for the O’Connor family to help with “the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith,” said a statement on the GoFundMe.com page.

The O’Connors shut down the restaurant after being bombarded Wednesday with angry phone calls and social media posts, a reaction to co-owner Crystal O’Connor telling ABC57 that the family would not cater a same-sex wedding ceremony for religious reasons — not that they had been asked to do so.

At one point, the family had even considered leaving town over the uproar, but Ms. O’Connor, 21, said on Ms. Loesch’s Twitter on Thursday, “It’s totally different today than it was yesterday. We’re not leaving.”

Try to remember which side the gay activists are on in the next election, by the way:

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

The thing about this is that we are on defense here. We are using up our funding to play defense.  We should be filing lawsuits and taking the fascists to court. Not waiting for them to bully us in the courts. See the related posts for some of the gay activism that Democrats never speak out against.

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