There may be adverse aspects to each of our rights

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Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) was one of the Congressman at the baseball field attacked by the “progressive” gunman.  He was asked the inevitable question about whether the incident changed his mind about “the gun situation” in America.

That is to say, you Republicans support the Second Amendment right to keep and to bear arms.  Now here you are getting fired upon by a man with a gun.  If he wasn’t able to get a firearm, no one would have been hurt because the attack would never have taken place.  So now, since you and your colleagues were victims of gun violence, are you ready to embrace some sort of gun control?

The congressman’s answer was masterful and definitive.  See what he said after the jump. [Read more…]

Court upholds right of church to fire gay employee

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The music director of Holy Family Catholic Church in Chicago announced his engagement to another man, so the church fired him.  He sued the church for discrimination, demanding reinstatement and damages.

But the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the church, citing the First Amendment and the Supreme Court precedent in the church-hiring case Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC.

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Is saying Jesus is the only way to salvation hate speech and discrimination?

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Russell Vought is a Wheaton College alumnus who weighed in on the controversy over the faculty member who insisted that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.  He disagreed.  He wrote on a website, “They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

Now, at his confirmation hearing for his nomination as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, that statement came back to haunt him.

Senator Bernie Saunders called that statement of Christian orthodoxy “indefensible,” “Islamophobic,” and “hateful.”

Vought tried to explain, but the Senator kept trying to shame him for his belief and voted against his confirmation.

The Atlantic, no less, has a great story on the exchange.  Its author, Emma Green, defends Vought and argues that what Sanders was doing was imposing a “religious test” as forbidden by Article VI of the U. S. Constitution.  She goes on to explain why this is an important principle.

The episode also reminds us Christians that our convictions are out of synch in this time of intolerant tolerance and that we can expect to be vilified and possibly, at some point, punished for what we believe.

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Trump undercuts his travel ban defenders

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President Trump’s restrictions on travelers from terrorist-supporting countries was thrown out by the courts.  So new restrictions were drawn up that avoided the court’s objections.  It too was thrown out, so now the ban is being taken up by the Supreme Court.
Once again, though, President Trump is his own worst enemy.  He fired off tweets criticizing his own people for “watering down” the first executive order, which his staff revised in an effort to get his ban approved.  Furthermore, the president tweeted reasoning that undercuts the arguments being made by his own Justice Department, which is trying to defend Trump’s ban before the courts.

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The ACLU is targeting Catholic hospitals

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One in six patients in America today is treated in a Catholic hospital.  The numbers are even bigger in poverty-stricken areas, especially in large urban areas.  And the number of Catholic hospitals is increasing.  In some areas, a Catholic hospital is the only option for treatment.

This has the American Civil Liberties Union worried.  Catholic hospitals do not perform abortions or sterilizations.  In the words of an ACLU report, “With the rise of Catholic hospitals has come the increasing danger that women’s reproductive health care will be compromised by religious restrictions.”

So because of this “danger,” the ACLU has been filing lawsuits in an effort to force them to violate their religious beliefs.  Rather than doing so, of course, they would shut down.  And this would be fine with the ACLU, which apparently no longer sees religious exercise as a “civil liberty.” [Read more…]

Something conservative states and liberal states agree on

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Deep blue liberal states and deep red conservative states agree on at least one thing:  They don’t want the federal government messing with the driver’s licenses they issue.

A federal law requires that driver’s licenses may not be used for identification purposes unless they have certain security features and were issued after applicants proved their legal residency.  Unless states implement these “Real ID” features, residents will not be able to use their driver’s licenses to board aircraft or visit military installations.  The deadline is January.

Only 25 states have complied with the new law.  The other 25 have resisted.  Conservatives have always been leery of government IDs, thinking that they might be used to violate civil liberties.  Others resent the violation of federalism, with the federal government presuming to dictate to states about a matter traditionally under state jurisdiction.  Liberals don’t like the law either.  I suspect a main issue is that the requirement to prove legal residency would prevent illegal immigrants from getting licenses.

At any rate, if those states are still out of compliance, voters who are not allowed to get on a plane will not be happy.

Most states, such as my Oklahoma, are coming around, but they plan to have a two-tiered license system.  Drivers will be able to get either the regular state license or one that is Real ID compliant.  Which will add confusion, unintended consequences, and a de facto government ID along with scrutiny as to why a person has the other kind.

Does the fight against terrorism give the federal government a compelling reason to legislate in this matter?  Or is it another federal over-reach? [Read more…]