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-Ohio: Custody Taken Away From Christian Parents Who Blocked Transgender Treatments

by Dr. D ~ February 19th, 2018

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS VS. PARENTAL RIGHTS

An Ohio judge has taken the legal custody of a 17 year old daughter away from her Christian parents because they blocked her from taking transgender treatments to become a boy. Here’s the story from the Blaze:

An Ohio couple lost legal custody of their daughter Friday after refusing to allow her to undergo hormone replacement therapy in order to transition to a male.

Hamilton County Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon awarded legal custody to the 17-year-old teen’s maternal grandparents, who support the hormone treatment. The judge also called on legislators to enact laws giving transgender minors more legal rights in these situations.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Just another indication that transgender rights have now reached a different legal level where the rights of parents who would stand in the way are now legally being trumped by a judge.

In this case the ‘child’ is 17 years old and nearly an adult but cases like this establish a precedence that will probably be referred to in subsequent rulings. The case was originated as a hospital treatment case to over-ride parental rights in order to save the child from depression and potential suicide. In fact the judge in this case actually has asked the state legislature to enact new laws giving transgender children stronger rights over their parents.

Note also that religion played into the ruling since the parents were Christians who ‘forced’ their daughter to attend ‘Christian therapy’ and Bible studies. Look for more Christian parents to lose their children over this issue.

Children in schools all across America are now being taught that they have a right to choose their own gender regardless of the biological identity they were born with regardless of what their parents may think. In fact, in California laws are already in force which allow students to pick their own gender without parental permission. Similar legislation is being drafted by LGBT activists in nearly every state.                 *Top

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-Should Freedom of Religion Cases Turn Toward Free Speech as a Defense?

by Dr. D ~ February 15th, 2018

FREEDOM of RELIGION   FREE SPEECH

Is freedom of religion a lessor right than free speech? Not according to the Constitution but in the last 9 years or so religious freedom has been assailed and attacked on so many different fronts that it may seem like it is a civil right that is far more limited in its scope than freedom of expression.

The Obama administration promoted their HHS Contraceptive Mandate as a value which superseded religious freedom. The Supreme Court did not agree in several cases but lower courts have and cases are still in the system on that issue. Then there was Obama’s push for a four walls ‘freedom of worship’ substitute for the traditional interpretation of religious freedom.

Then case after case, LGBT folks have assailed religious freedom on issues of same-sex marriage, gay rights, and on transgender bathroom issues contending that those rights trump any freedom of religion concerns. It many cases they have boldly claimed that religious liberty is nothing more than an excuse for discrimination and far too many judges and government administrators have agreed with them along with the media.

Plus atheist groups have tried to limit religious freedom in the public square and have had one success after another in the courts and in intimidating government and school administrators.

So free speech has gained in the process as a go to right which is beginning to substitute for religious liberty in some case where expression and religious conscience are both at issue. I recently posted about the baker in California who won her case on the basis of free expression. Even though her lawyers presented their case as a violation of freedom of religion the judge ruled on the basis of freedom of expression.

Here’s another case on this same issue. Some LGBT activists are saying that they actually support the Christian printer who refused to produce gay pride T-shirts citing free speech as the basis since they would not want to be forced to print anti-gay shirts. The Christian printer-Hands On Originals won their original case on the basis of religious liberty but the government is appealing it. Nevertheless, the printer’s lawyers are now contending that it is unconstitutional to force someone to print a message that goes against their conscience. Therefore adding free speech along with religious freedom to their defense.

The problem with relying on free speech in religious freedom cases is the fact that both need to be protected and freedom of religion should never be allowed to be perceived as a ‘lessor’ right.

Another problem with the free speech tactic is that freedom of expression is also under attack on many different fronts. Colleges in America are limiting speech and containing free expression to official designated spots on campus while outlawing it in other ‘safe zones.’ Also there is a huge push to eliminate ‘hate speech’ which is in the eye of the beholder. Many progressives view conservative and Christian views as needing to be limited and contained. From the perspective of some Muslims, any writing or speech against Islam should be designated as blasphemy and Islamophobia. Then there is the push by LGBT activists to designate all folks that do not agree with same-sex marriage and transgender bathroom rights as ‘haters’ whose speech need to be limited and eventually eliminated.

Point is, free speech is not a substitute for religious liberty and conscience. Both are under attack in America, Both are equally represented by the First Amendment, and both need to be defended.             *Top

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-Federal Court: Magistrate Wrongly Forced to Resign for Refusing to Marry Gay Couples

by Dr. D ~ February 13th, 2018

Religious-Freedom-Web-146x180

In a monumental ‘freedom of religion’ case, a Federal Court ruled in favor of a former North Carolina magistrate who was forced to resign over refusing to marry gay couples. From the Faithwire:

Law firm Becket released a statement last week claiming victory in the Myrick v. EEOC case after a federal court found that North Carolina officials violated a magistrate’s rights when they forced her to resign over her beliefs on traditional marriage.

The case surrounded Gayle Myrick, a magistrate in Union County who found herself deeply conflicted after gay marriage was legalized in the state. According to Becket, she was forced to resign in 2014 despite trying to find a work-around that would honor both her sincerely held views on marriage and the rights of gays and lesbians looking to wed in her state.

Now, North Carolina is paying her a $300,000 settlement, which includes $210,000 in lost pay and retirement and legal fees, the AP and the Fayetteville Observer reported.

<Read the whole article>

Response: It is great to see some of these cases finally being resolved in favor of religious liberty. Cases like this give me hope that freedom of religion still has a chance to be fully realized even after the Supreme Court’s same sex marriage decision. Gay activists are pushing for LGBT rights to supersede all others including the First Amendment.

The record shows that Myrick tried to work with her supervisors but state officials stepped in and demanded her resignation instead. Cases like this should cause government officials to take religious freedom more seriously. North Carolina ironically now has a law in place that would have protected Myrick’s religious rights.               *Top

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-CA Judge: Forcing Bakers to Make Gay Wedding Cakes Violates Free Speech

by Dr. D ~ February 13th, 2018

170px-Tiered_cake_with_fondant_frosting

A California judge has ruled in favor of a baker who was sued by the state for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Here’s the story from the Blaze:

Kern County Judge David Lampe ruled that the state could not force Cathy Miller, owner of Tastries Bakery, to bake a cake that would go against her beliefs, according to Kern Golden Empire.

     “For this court to force such compliance would do violence to the essentials of Free Speech guaranteed under the First Amendment,” the judge said in the ruling.  …

Here’s more from the ruling:

     “A wedding cake is not just a wedding cake in Free Speech analysis. It is an artistic expression by the person making it that is to be used traditionally as centerpiece in the celebration of marriage. There could not be greater form of expressive conduct.” …

     “Furthermore, here the State minimizes the fact that Miller has provided for an alternative means for potential customers to receive the product they desire through the services of another talent. The fact that Rodriguez-Del Rios (the couple) feel they will suffer indignity from Miller’s choice is not sufficient to deny constitutional protection,” the judge wrote.

<Read the whole article>

Response: A surprising common sense decision that actually takes the First Amendment serious and doesn’t over-ride it in favor of the popular LGBT cause. As the judge indicates, the couple was not really harmed since alternative bakers were available. Also making special wedding cakes is a form of expression which should be covered by the First Amendment.

Nevertheless, cases like this are never really about actual harm or discrimination, they are all about establishing the supremacy of LGBT civil rights over religious liberty and the ‘politicizing’ of our judicial system.  The lawyer for the gay couple indicates that this is just the beginning. So look for this case to continue to the next judicial level.                *Top

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-Barna: Atheism Doubled in Generation Z?

by Dr. D ~ February 9th, 2018

Barna on Gen Z

A recent survey by Barna Research shows that atheism among Gen Z is double that of the U.S. adult population:

Americans’ beliefs are becoming more post-Christian and, concurrently, religious identity is changing.

Enter Generation Z: Born between 1999 and 2015, they are the first truly “post-Christian” generation. More than any other generation before them, Gen Z does not assert a religious identity. They might be drawn to things spiritual, but with a vastly different starting point from previous generations, many of whom received a basic education on the Bible and Christianity. And it shows: The percentage of Gen Z that identifies as atheist is double that of the U.S. adult population. To examine the culture, beliefs and motivations shaping this next generation, Barna conducted a major study in partnership with Impact 360 Institute, now available in the brand new Gen Z report. In this release, we take a look at their views on faith, truth and the church in a time of growing religious apathy.

<Read the whole article>

Response: The warning shofars should be blowing in the American church and among all people of faith in America. Our religious freedom and liberty relies upon vast numbers of believers continuing to support an original understanding of the 1st Amendment. 

As the numbers of nones and atheists grow, challenges to our religious rights will also naturally expand. The numbers indicated in this research are frightening and if the trend continues, America will be a far different place in just one generation.

It is past time for religious leaders in America to devise programs that reach out to our youth before it is too late. It really is time to pray for a new awakening and revival in America if our freedoms are to be preserved.             *Top

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-President Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast

by Dr. D ~ February 9th, 2018

President Trump addressed those gathered for the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning. His thoughts actually took us back to the very founding of our nation reflecting similar observations of divine providence made by our first president George Washington with echoes from Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence:

"Our rights are not given to us by man," Trump said. "Our rights come to us from our Creator. No matter what, no earthly force can take those rights away. That is why the words ‘praise be to God’ are etched atop the Washington Monument, and those same words are etched into the hearts of our people. So today, we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American. Across our land, we see the splendor of God’s creation. Throughout our history, we see the story of God’s providence. In every city and town, we see the Lord’s grace all around us through a million acts of kindness, courage and generosity. We love God."  …

<Read the whole article or view the video above>

Response: The president’s thoughts supported the idea that religious liberty, the love of God, and divine providence was the foundation that our nation’s greatness was and is built upon.               *Top

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