Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Washington D.C. city council repeals protections for religious schools

From the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

The D.C. Council has stripped religious schools of legal protection against certain discrimination lawsuits, voting unanimously to repeal an exemption that had been in place for decades.

Under city rules, it is an “unlawful discriminatory practice” for a school to limit any use of facilities, services, or programs to someone based on “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”

However, an amendment inserted by Congress in a federal appropriations bill 25 years ago offered an exemption for religiously affiliated schools or schools “closely associated with the tenets of a religious organization,” allowing them to restrict funds, facilities and endorsements based on their religious convictions regarding homosexuality.

This provision, dubbed the “Armstrong Amendment,” came after Georgetown University refused to recognize a pro-gay student group, explained Michael Scott of the D.C. Catholic Conference.

Sen. William Armstrong authored the exemption, called the Nation’s Capital Religious Liberty and Academic Freedom Act, which allowed religiously affiliated schools in D.C. to withhold funds, facilities and approval from people and groups “that are organized for, or engaged in, promoting, encouraging, or condoning any homosexual act, lifestyle, orientation, or belief.”

But that exemption is now gone, thanks to a Dec. 2 vote by the council to overturn that provision. The council voted “unanimously without comment or changes” to pass the Human Rights Amendment of 2014, which included the repeal of the code, Mr. Scott explained.

Washington, D.C. is one of the most Democrat-dominated cities in the United States. So if you are wondering who pushes through an anti-Christian agenda like this one, it’s no mystery.

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Great grandmother florist is the latest victim of the gay inquisition

This is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

A florist in Washington state is being sued for adhering to her Christian beliefs in declining to make flower arrangements for one couple’s wedding.

Before the lawsuit, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., had employed workers who identify as homosexual and sold floral arrangements to gay and lesbian customers.

One such customer turned out to be one of the men who would sue her for not being willing to be hired for their same-sex wedding.

Unlike businesses that face similar lawsuits for refusing to provide specific wedding-related services to gay and lesbian couples on religious grounds—among them bakers in Oregon and farmers in New York—Stutzman is being sued in both a professional and personal capacity.

When Washington state legalized same-sex marriage in 2012, she decided that as a matter of conscience she could not participate in or further same-sex ceremonies by using her creative skills in connection with them.

So when two men, Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, asked her to design flower arrangements for their wedding, Stutzman politely declined and referred them to other vendors in the area. Ingersoll had been a valued customer, she says, so it was difficult.

The state’s attorney general said Stutzman’s decision to stand by her Christian faith was in direct conflict with a state law ensuring freedom from discrimination.

The measure prohibits places of public accommodation–which officials say include Arlene’s Flowers–from discriminating on grounds of race, creed, sexual orientation, physical disability and so forth.

[…]Stutzman is represented by Kristen Waggoner, a lawyer at Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization dedicated to defending religious liberty.

[…]Waggoner says it is unprecedented for the Washington attorney general’s office to sue a family business owner in a personal capacity unless that owner has committed acts of fraud or misrepresentation.

“They’re trying to set an example of her and punish her,” says Waggoner, noting the suit has the potential to cripple Stutzman’s livelihood. “She’s not wealthy, so common sense would tell you that it’s going to hurt pretty bad.”

So I guess my problem with this is that gay people can go to any other florist and get the flowers they want. But instead of doing that, they prefer to force their morality on this woman. This woman doesn’t think that same-sex marriage is something to be celebrated. But the gay rights activists think that she needs to be forced by the power of the state to celebrate gay marriage. How would gay marriage affect you? Well, you will be prosecuted by the state and have your wealth confiscated. This case should be talked about in every church in the land next Sunday. But then I guess people would complain that that they were being too political and not providing them with feelings of comfort and happiness.

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Republican senator Tim Scott pushes school choice in MSNBC interview

I managed to find some of the transcript here on Newsbusters.

Let Tim Scott explain it:

THOMAS ROBERTS: This is Thomas Roberts by the way. You said you are concerned about kids that growing up in the wrong zip code and — like yourself that had a tough start on the way out. But if we look at agencies that are following some of your voting records, they have concern. And the NAACP has given you an “F” on their annual scorecard. They also say that you voted against the ACA. You voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. You oppose the Congressional Black Caucus’ budget. Delayed funding on a settlement between the U.S. and black farmers who say they were prejudiced against because of their race. So how do you respond to that, if your true concern is about lower-income families and kids? 

TIM SCOTT: Let’s just ask ourselves if we look back over history when the congress was controlled by the Democrats for 40 consecutive years. If we look at the result of that control, what has happened in black America? We saw greater poverty. If we take statistics from the 1970s to the 21st-century, what we see very clearly is that poverty’s gone from 11% to 15%. These are classic examples of the policies of the left have not worked. I will tell you, that if I have an “F” on the NAACP scorecard, it’s because I believe progress has to be made and the government is not the answer for progress. I was a kid growing up in poverty. I had a mentor who was a Chick-fil-A operator named John Moniz who taught me that the brilliance of the American economy happens through business ownership and entrepreneurial spirit. So whether you own the business or not, success is possible if you, a: have a good education, b: have a strong work ethic. For the average person who can work. These two key components come together and form a foundation. That is the way that you eradicate poverty. All the social programs that we’ve had. We have the largest government we’ve ever had in the history of the country. We have more nonprofit organizations working on the same issue. And yet we have higher percentage of people living in poverty. The key it seems like is individual freedom and economic opportunity, fusing those together in an agenda that focuses on education seems to leave forward.

Elsewhere in the interview, he talks about how Indian-American Republican Governor Bobby Jindal has pushed hard for vouchers for the poor in Louisiana, and how the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship voucher program helped the poorest black students to get a quality education – even though Barack Obama opposed it as a favor to their public sector union bosses.

See, here’s the deal. If Republicans want to get serious about winning the votes of poor people and minorities, they don’t have to pass policies that discriminate against the wealthy or against whites. They just have to pass good policies. It shouldn’t matter what color anybody’s skin is. School choice is a police that disproportionately benefits the poor and minorities, but it doesn’t discriminate. You just hand money to the parents whose children are stuck in an underperforming public school, and then the parents decide where to send their child. This is better than forcing parents to have to send their kids to a failing public school. It is not right for a child to be handed a garbage education just because lazy unionized Democrats don’t want to face competition from private schools. Kids come first!

Let’s learn about school choice from the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

Cato Institute:

The Heritage Foundation:

Awesome!

This is how you build Republican  voters and do the right thing at the same time. Republicans like to help the poor. But we also like to screw the public sector unions. Private unions are fine – public sector unions are poisonous. We have to destroy them and save the children, at the same time. Everybody wins! Well, except the Democrats.

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Obama-supporter Aaron Alexis opens fire in Navy Yard gun-free zone

I want to make a few points about this latest multiple-victim public shooting, and I’ll do it with several links.

My friend Conway posted this article from National Review showing that multiple-victim public shootings are common in gun-free zones.

Excerpt:

Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.

Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999, and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools.

I spoke with Lott after the Newtown shooting, and he confirmed that nothing has changed to alter his findings. He noted that the Aurora shooter, who killed twelve people earlier this year, had a choice of seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. All were within a 20-minute drive of his home. The Cinemark Theater the killer ultimately chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that posted signs saying it banned concealed handguns carried by law-abiding individuals. All of the other theaters allowed the approximately 4 percent of Colorado adults who have a concealed-handgun permit to enter with their weapons.

“Disarming law-abiding citizens leaves them as sitting ducks,” Lott told me. “A couple hundred people were in the Cinemark Theater when the killer arrived. There is an extremely high probability that one or more of them would have had a legal concealed handgun with him if they had not been banned.”

Lott offers a final damning statistic: “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”

There is no evidence that private holders of concealed-carry permits (which are either easy to obtain or not even required in more than 40 states) are any more irresponsible with firearms than the police. According to a 2005 to 2007 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Bowling Green State University, police nationwide were convicted of firearms violations at least at a 0.002 percent annual rate. That’s about the same rate as holders of carry permits in the states with “shall issue” laws.

And another point to make is that the shooter was a liberal Democrat who opposed George W. Bush and supported Barack Obama.

Shooter was a pro-Obama, anti-Bush leftist

Here’s the news clip from CNN:

And the story from center-right Breitbart News about the clip:

Tuesday, on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” Michael Ritrovato spoke at length about his friend, suspected Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis. After expressing his condolences to the victims and their families, Ritrovato then expressed his shock over the actions of a man he described as being “like a brother to me” and a “good-natured guy.”

Ritrovato went on to explain that two of them had a close relationship based in part on their differences, specifically race and politics. Alexis was black, Ritrovato is white. Ritrovato described himself as conservative and Alexis is “more of a liberal type” who supported Barack Obama:

I would say things like, ‘You know, you are my brother from another mother.’ And he would say things like, ‘You’re my Italian mafia guy from New York.’ So we had things we joked about: Aaron wasn’t conservative like I am. He was more of a liberal type; he wasn’t happy with the former [Bush] administration. He was more happy with this [the Obama] administration — as far as presidential administrations.

So he is a leftist just like the Fort Hood shooter was a leftist. Just like Tsarnaev was a leftist. Just like the FRC shooter Corkins was a leftist. Just like the Gabby Giffords shooter was a leftist. Just like Jared Loughner was a leftist. These people are all Democrats. (See below for links). If gun control is for anyone, it should be for leftists. They are the crazy ones who prefer violence to debate. They aren’t used to debate, because they aren’t used to hearing other points of view.

The non-existent AR-15

Finally, the radically leftist Washington Post reports that the mainstream media invented an imaginary AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in their biased coverage, in a blatantly partisan attempt to push for more gun control.

Excerpt:

CNN correspondent Pamela Brown just reported on air that Aaron Alexis, the deceased suspect in the Navy Yard shootings, entered the facility yesterday armed with a shotgun. Citing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as law enforcement sources, Brown reported that the gunman had tried to purchase an AR-15 at a gun shop in Northern Virginia but was turned down. Two pistols were also recovered.

He had a shotgun and two handguns – no AR-15, because he was turned down for an AR-15.

But radically leftist CNN reported that he had an AR-15:

This morning, CNN’s John Berman said on the network’s program “Early Start”: “Alexis is the only gunman now, officials say. Yesterday, there was word that there was maybe a second, a third possible person involved in the attack. That is no longer the case. Officials say that Aaron Alexis was a lone gunman. This is what we know about him this morning. We know that he had an AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle. He also had a different rifle and a glock, that is a handgun with him. It’s believed that the AR-15 was the main murder weapon used from the atrium above. That is also the weapon you’ll remember used by Adam Lanza in the Newtown massacre and James Holmes in Aurora. That’s the Colorado movie theater massacre.”

Other leftist “news” sources kept the lie going:

[…]The Associated Press:

Alexis carried three weapons: an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun that he took from a police officer at the scene, according to two federal law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. The AR-15 is the same type of rifle used in last year’s mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that killed 20 students and six women. The weapon was also used in the shooting at a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 and wounded 70.

The Washington Post notes that about a half-dozen leftist news sources reported on the fictitious AR-15, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

You would think these left-wing media people would learn from previous retractions not to let their left-wing politics determine the narrative, but they don’t. It’s the same thing every day, over and over. This is what happens, though, when newsrooms are packed full of radical leftists. There is no diversity of opinion, no debate, no critical thinking. It’s an echo chamber.

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Republican Congresswoman refuses to abort baby diagnosed with fatal condition

Unborn baby scheming about doing the right thing

Unborn baby scheming about doing the right thing

Here’s a story from National Review:

World magazine brings some happy news today: Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) and her husband Daniel Beutler have announced the birth of their daughter. What makes this particular arrival noteworthy is that Abigail was diagnosed in utero with Potter’s Sequence, a rare condition that impairs kidney and lung formation. Doctors informed the Beutlers that their daughter would not be able to breathe and would therefore expire moments after birth; they recommended an abortion.

Instead, the couple sought out treatment and prayed for a miracle. They finally discovered an experimental procedure, involving saline injections into the uterus to assist in lung development, and physicians at Johns Hopkins who were willing to try it. On July 15, a mere 28 weeks into the pregnancy, their faith and persistence yielded the world’s first recorded survivor of Potter’s Sequence. Despite lacking functional kidneys and weighing a mere 44 ounces at birth, little Abigail is breathing independently and responding well to peritoneal dialysis.

In a statement on the congresswoman’s Facebook page, the Beutlers thank the many doctors and nurses who rendered assistance, as well as “the thousands who joined us in praying for a miracle. But most of all, we are grateful to God for answering those prayers.”

Fox News had more:

The congresswoman explained on her official website as well as on her social media pages that many doctors were pessimistic about the baby’s chances of making it to term, and were fairly certain that if she survived through birth, she would live only moments. Herrera Beutler is against abortion and said she refused to consider it as an option.

“With hearts full of hope, we put our trust in the Lord and continued to pray for a miracle,” she wrote on her congressional site.

The announcement by the congresswoman was, essentially, a testimony about holding out hope and defying the odds.

Abigail has no kidneys and had no amniotic fluid in the womb. During the pregnancy, doctors injected saline solution into the womb in the place of amniotic fluid.

At birth, Abigail had fully developed lungs and she is breathing on her own, suggesting that the relatively uncommon treatment had worked. Abigail still requires ongoing dialysis and will eventually need a kidney transplant.

Herrera Beutler and her husband said they were thankful for the doctors and nurses who were not willing to accept the fatal diagnosis.

“We are grateful to the thousands who joined us in praying for a miracle. But most of all, we are grateful to God for hearing those prayers,” Herrera Beutler and her husband said in a joint statement.  “As far as every doctor we’ve spoken with knows, Abigail is the first baby with bilateral renal agenesis to breathe sustainably on her own.”

Dr. Louis Halamek, a neonatologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California, said they are cautiously optimistic about the future of the baby, born after a 28-week pregnancy.

“Despite Abigail’s prematurity, small size and life-threatening disease, she is doing well,” Halamek said.

Herrera Beutler, 34, is in her second term in Congress, representing the 3rd district covering the southwest portion of Washington state. The National Journal included her on its list of “The Top 25 Most Influential Washington Women Under 35.”

I think that a lot of Democrats are going to be surprised with this story, because they think that protecting the unborn is something that Republicans want to impose on others, but won’t do themselves. After all, Democrats are always passing taxes and regulations from others – but they don’t think that any of that applies to them. Al Gore rants on and on about global warming, but he still spends $30,000 a year in utility bills. So imagine how surprised the Democrats are to see that Republicans aren’t frauds and hypocrites. Yes, we actually believe in protecting the unborn even if it means that we will be less “happy” and less “fulfilled”. That’s what being pro-life means – welcoming children into the world and supplying for their needs, even if it requires us to make sacrifices.

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