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-Texas Supreme Court: Houston Must Put Controversial ‘Transgender Bathroom’ Bill Up for Vote.

by Dr. D ~ July 28th, 2015

Seal_of_Houston,_Texas

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the City of Houston must put the controversial LGBT rights ‘transgender bathroom’ bill up for a vote by the people or repeal the ordinance. Meanwhile the court suspended the law. Here’s the report from the Christian Post:

… Houston’s controversial equal rights ordinance, known as HERO, will appear on the November ballot, as Texas Supreme Court has suspended it, ruling that City Council must repeal it by August 24 or put it to popular vote.  …

The gay rights ordinance, which, among other things, allows members of the opposite sex to use each other’s restrooms, hit the headlines after a group of conservative pastors, known as the Houston Five, were subpoenaed by the city in a lawsuit.  …

The city’s lawyers at the time demanded that the pastors turn over all communications addressing homosexuality, gender identity or the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, Annise Parker. Although the mayor later withdrew the subpoenas, it was not before she received national scrutiny for doing so.

Opponents of the ordinance launched a petition that generated more than 50,000 signatures which was well above the 17,269 signatures needed to put the ordinance on the ballot. City Secretary Anna Russell also determined there were enough valid signatures.

"Mayor Parker decided to ignore the will of the people and the city charter, and unlawfully rejected the almost 55,000 signatures," Worrdfill said.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that "the legislative power reserved to the people of Houston is not being honored."

The state’s highest civil court’s ruling stated, "The City Council is directed to comply with its duties, as specified in the City Charter, that arise when the City Secretary certifies that a referendum petition has a sufficient number of valid signatures.

<Read the whole article >

Response: Finally the people will be able to vote on this matter. The City’s activist mayor and city council were completely out of control. First in trying to silence Houston pastors from even talking and preaching about homosexuality and later by denying a lawful petition to put the matter before the people.

We have been following this issue from the beginning. It will be interesting to see how this turns out and how the mayor and her supporters respond to the will of the voters.

Here are links to our past articles on this:

-UPDATE: Houston Passes Transgender ‘Special Rights’ Ordinance

-City of Houston Subpoenas Pastor’s Sermons on Homosexuality

-Response to Houston’s Demand of Pastor’s Sermon’s from ‘Bonhoeffer’ Author

-Houston Backs Down On Subpoenas for Pastors’ Sermons? Sort of But Not Quite

-Houston: A Referendum Against the Transgender/Anti-Religious Freedom Ordinance

-Houston: Activists Publish Names On Petition Against Transgender Bathroom Ordinance

-UPDATE: Houston Mayor Disregards Call for Referendum on Transgender Bathroom Ordinance

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-Kentucky: Pro-Homosexual Religious Test for Volunteer Ministers for Juvenile Offenders

by Dr. D ~ July 25th, 2015

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Pastors who volunteer to minister and counsel in juvenile detention centers in Kentucky must now sign a state-mandated letter of agreement that homosexuality is not ‘sinful.’ At least one pastor who refused to sign the agreement has been dismissed. Here’s the story from WND:

The state of Kentucky has begun imposing a religious test on volunteer pastor counselors in its youth division, insisting that they refrain from calling homosexuality “sinful” and dismissing those who cannot bend their religious faith to accommodate the state requirements.

The policy was uncovered by Liberty Counsel, which has sent a letter to Bob Hayter, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, demanding that the state religious test be dropped and that a dismissed counselor be reinstated.

“Liberty Counsel writes regarding the blatantly unconstitutional revocation of volunteer prison minister status of ordained Christian minister David Wells, who has provided voluntary spiritual counseling and mentorship to juvenile inmates under the control of the Department of Juvenile Justice. … This revocation was issued by Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center on the basis of the April 4, 2014, DJJ Policy 912, which mandates full DJJ support of homosexuality and transvestism.

“With no evidence of any violation of DJJ policy on Mr. Wells’ part, his volunteer status was revoked by the Warren RJDC superintendent because he could not sign a state-mandated statement that homosexuality was not ‘sinful,’ among other things,” the letter said.

<Read the whole article >

Response: This cannot be allowed to stand. This is tantamount to the establishment of an official government ‘religious teaching’ when it comes to homosexuality. In this case Pastor Wells was dismissed because he could not sign the policy letter and not because he was ever actually accused of violating the policy.

This policy would eliminate most Christian pastors and ministers from volunteer ministry in Kentucky juvenile facilities. A real loss for the state and the kids in particular.

I wonder if Muslim imams are also forced to sign on to this same policy. I doubt it. I would bet almost anything that none of the Muslim volunteers have ever even been asked about their teaching on homosexuality.               *Top

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-9th Circuit Ruling: Pharmacists Must Serve Abortifacients

by Dr. D ~ July 25th, 2015

Pro-life symbol

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that pharmacists must serve the public with ‘emergency contraceptives’ (abortifacients) even if it is against their religious convictions and beliefs.  Here’s the story from Reuters:

The state of Washington can require a pharmacy to deliver medicine even if the pharmacy’s owner has a religious objection, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday, the latest in a series of judgements on whether religious believers can opt out of providing services.

The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, came in a case filed by pharmacists who objected to delivering emergency contraceptives. The 9th Circuit overturned a lower court that had said the rules were unconstitutional.  …

In Washington, the state permits a religiously objecting individual pharmacist to deny medicine, so long as another pharmacist working there provides timely delivery. The rules require a pharmacy to deliver all medicine, even if the owner objects.

<Read the whole article>

Response: This ruling will undoubtedly be appealed. There is no guarantee that SCOTUS will pick it up but the chances are good since a lower court ruled differently.

Pharmacists may join bakers and wedding service providers as occupations and businesses that may bar Christians who do not wish to compromise on their closely held religious beliefs. There is also the real possibility that some pharmacists in the future may opt for civil disobedience.            *Top

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-Mt. Soledad Cross Controversy Settled After 25 Years

by Dr. D ~ July 23rd, 2015

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   (Mount Soledad Memorial Cross: Wikipedia)

The 25 year Mt. Soledad controversy over the prominent cross displayed at a war memorial in San Diego CA has finally been settled. There have been millions spent on lawsuits and court cases over that time and voters in San Diego even voted to sell the property but the action was blocked by a judge. Now once and for all it appears that it has finally been settled. Here’s the story from Christianity Today:

The quarter-century controversy over the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial has finally ended, after the US Department of Defense sold the government land on which the 29-foot cross stood.  …

Supporters of the memorial celebrated the sale.

"Today’s actions will ensure that the memorial will continue to stand in honor of our veterans for decades to come,” said Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser in a statement. “This is a great victory for the veterans who originally placed this memorial and the Korean War veterans the memorial honors.”

The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association (MSMA), which has long provided upkeep for the cross, paid $1.4 million for the memorial’s half-acre of land.  …

Constructed in 1954, the iconic war memorial honors nearly 4,000 veterans and stands between the Pacific Ocean and the San Diego freeway. Surrounding walls display granite plaques that commemorate veterans of varying religious convictions.

<Read the whole article>

Response: We have followed this story from the beginning. For years the opponents of the cross complained that it was ‘unconstitutional’ since it was on public land. However every time the government tried to resolve the issue by selling the land it was block by these same folks. The fact is, the opponents of the cross keep the controversy going because they really did not want it legally resolved unless the cross was actually taken down.

It is a war memorial after all and other religious symbols are also displayed at the site. But it was the fact that the cross could be seen for miles that seemed to bother the opponents. The cross will still be there but now it is on ‘private’ land. This is a well deserved victory.

Here’s some of my posts from the past on this issue:

-Mt. Soledad Cross: DOJ Holding Secret Meetings with ACLU?

-Supreme Court Sends Mt. Soledad Cross Case Back to District Court

-Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Mt. Soledad Memorial Cross Case for Now

-9th Circuit Rules Mt. Soledad Cross Unconstitutional

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-Scholars Now Believe the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” is a Modern Fake

by Dr. D ~ July 18th, 2015

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Most scholars now believe that the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” is a modern fake. This is not a new story but you probably haven’t heard about this on the 10 o’clock news which originally hailed the story of its magnificent discovery. In fact, most folks on the street probably haven’t heard about the scholarly updates and conclusions on this document. Many out there may still believe that a ‘new gospel’ has been discovered that ‘proves’ Jesus was married.

Last year most of the newspapers of record did carry the updated story of its exposure as a probable fake somewhere in their back pages. Nothing like the announcement in 2012 when the main stream media gleefully spread the news far and wide that a new ‘gospel’ had been discovered that proved that Jesus was married.  …

<Read the rest of the article on our Apologetica page>               *Top

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-Tennessee Shooter a Crazy ‘Lone Gunman’ or Motivated by Radical Islam?

by Dr. D ~ July 17th, 2015

In the aftermath of the recent shooting in Tennessee that resulted in the deaths of 4 members of the US military, questions are being asked about the motivation of such an act. Was the shooter, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez merely a crazy ‘lone gunman’ with a Muslim sounding name or were his actions motivated by radical Islam? Since Muhammad was killed in the process we may never clearly know his motivations for the attacks.

One thing for sure, President Obama always downplays any possible connection with radical Islam even when there is clear evidence that a perpetrator was influenced by radical teaching within Islam. Major Hasan’s attack on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood is one glaring example. In the video above, Charles Krauthammer calls the president on his continuing tendency to dismiss any domestic example of the threat of radical Islam. From the Blaze:

“The general issue is radical Islam,” he stated. “And unless we have a president who immediately says ‘this is a lone gunman,’ how does he know?”

“I think it’s sort of the whole six and a half years of Obama always wanting to err on the side of downplaying the threat. The threat is radical Islam, which he won’t say,” Krauthammer added. “The war is going to be generational.”

Response: What do you think? Was Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez just one crazy guy or were his actions somehow motivated by radical Islam?

We may not have a clear answer to that question unless he actually talked to someone about what he was thinking lately. We will probably get all of the media stories of how shocked his neighbors are that such a ‘nice young man’ would do such a thing. Also look for stories from American Muslim leaders that there could be no theological basis for these kind of actions for ‘true followers’ of the ‘religion of peace.’

One thing we do know, he attacked US military personnel. Another thing we know is that it happened during the month of Ramadan- the most holy month in the Muslim calendar (It ends tonight July 17).  Another fact, at the beginning of Ramadan, ISIS called upon their supporters around the world to commit acts of terror during the month. Add to that the call by ISIS for all ‘faithful Muslims’ in America to attack US military members.          

We may never know for sure what his motivations were. But the facts above should at least give us a pause to consider that Muhammad may not have been just a ‘lone’ crazy guy who killed some folks for no reason but may have been the latest example of domestic terror motivated by radical Islam.                 *Top

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-Iran Deal: Are We Now Closer to an Ezekiel 38 Scenario?

by Dr. D ~ July 15th, 2015

‘GOG AND MAGOG’: IRAN, RUSSIA, TURKEY…

A lot could be said about the recent deal between the Obama administration and Iran allowing Iran to continue their nuclear program. One thing for sure there is a major split between the United States and Israel over the deal. Just how this would play out in the event of Iran actually gaining a nuclear weapon and proceeding to threaten an attack on Israel in the process in anyone’s guess.

Israeli leaders have made it very clear that they would proactively respond militarily in such a situation. But given the new deal, how would the USA now respond? On a number of occasions the US has kept Russia (Soviet Union at the time) out of Arab- Israeli wars in the past but in the current climate would this President actually support Israel in the event of an all out war which would include the countries listed in Ezekiel 38?

I have written on the Ezekiel 38-39 scenario before and concluded that the conditions at that time (2011) were beginning to line up:  -Is ‘Gog and Magog’ Beginning to Line Up?

Since then ‘the lining up’ has continued. Iranian leaders proclaimed just last week that Israel needed to be destroyed. Meanwhile, Russia under Putin has increasingly become an aggressive military threat once more and has completed their own treaty with Iran which includes helping the Ayatollahs with their nuclear program. Also, the other major player in the Ezekiel scenario- Turkey has continued to separate from the US and NATO and their leaders also recently called for the taking back of Jerusalem and the establishment of a new Muslim caliphate.

The one thing that has stood in the way of a possible Ezekiel scenario since 1948 has been the strong American support of Israel. However that support under this president has been waning. Now comes this new deal with Iran.

Here’s a very possible scenario that could lead to a ‘Gog and Magog’ conflict (Ezekiel 38-39) in the form of a number of questions:

-What would happen if Iran did build nuclear weapons in spite of this new deal?

-What if Israel then responded with a preemptive strike upon the Iranian nuclear facilities?

-What if Russian nuclear scientists were killed in the process and Russia joined Iran in an attack on Israel in the aftermath?

-What if Turkey joined along with all the rest listed in Ezekiel including Libya.

-What would the USA do if anything under those conditions?

Conclusion: I do not believe that President Obama would support Israel if a conflict arose following a preemptive strike on Iran by the Israelis. Therefore, I believe that this new deal has brought us far closer to a possible ‘Gog and Magog’ war since it would give the President an excuse to op-out. Without American support, Russia and Turkey would feel free to assert themselves militarily against Israel. In an Ezekiel scenario, it is God who saves Israel and not the United States. In fact most Bible teachers believe that America is not even mentioned, unless it is among the ‘merchants’ or ‘young lions’ of Tarshish who are by-standers who merely object.           *Top

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