On Friday, October 6th President, Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, released sweeping religious liberty protections.   Contained in these protections is a reversal of ObamaCare’s conception mandate.  Most of these religious liberty protections are nothing new at all.  They are contained in the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the First Amendment.  Unfortunately that clause has been ignored completely by those promoting the mythical constitutional provision called the separation of church and state.  Here are excerpts from the new guidelines:

Religious liberty is enshrined in the text of our Constitution and in numerous federal statutes. It encompasses the right of all Americans to exercise their religion freely, without being coerced to join an established church or to satisfy a religious test as a qualification for public office. It also encompasses the right of all Americans to express their religious beliefs, subject to the same narrow limits that apply to all forms of speech. In the United States, the free exercise of religion is not a mere policy preference to be traded against other policy preferences. It is a fundamental right.

Attorney General Sessions is mostly correct in this statement.  I’m not sure exactly what limits he is talking about.  The Free Exercise Clause demands that the federal government refrain from meddling in the exercise of religion in any way.  Any restrictions of religious practices were left to the individual States where the people living there can keep their government from abusing this most sensitive power.   The States, rather that the federal government, have the authority to ban such harmful practices as human sacrifice, ritual mutilation, and polygamy.

The Free Exercise Clause protects not just the right to believe or the right to worship; it protects the right to perform or abstain from performing certain physical acts in accordance with one’s beliefs. Federal statutes, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (“RFRA”), support that protection, broadly defining the exercise of religion to encompass all aspects of observance and practice, whether or not central to, or required by, a particular religious faith.

Attorney General Sessions is correct on this particular protection, which dates back to the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

Constitutional protections for religious liberty are not conditioned upon the willingness of a religious person or organization to remain separate from civil society. Although the application of the relevant protections may differ in different contexts, individuals and organizations do not give up their religious-liberty protections by providing or receiving social services, education, or healthcare; by seeking to earn or earning a living; by employing others to do the same; by receiving government grants or contracts; or by otherwise interacting with federal, state, or local governments.

The Free Exercise of Religion Clause prevents the federal government from interfering with the religious beliefs of anyone.  This includes all individual and all groups of individuals.  There are no exceptions to this clause so the Attorney General is correct with this statement,

RFRA protects the exercise of religion by individuals and by corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies. For example, the Supreme Court has held that Hobby Lobby, a closely held, for-profit corporation with more than 500 stores and 13,000 employees, is protected by RFRA.

The right of conscious has always been a key component of the Free Exercise of Religion Clause.  It is one of the God=given Natural Rights protected by that clause.  Because of the First Amendment, the Obama Administration was absolutely wrong when it tried to force individuals, companies, and religious organizations to violate their religious principles.  Sessions was right to set aside the contraception mandate however his justification was flawed when he cited the RFRA as his sole justification.

A careful examination of the drafting of the First Amendment will prove that the Attorney General’s guidelines are all contained in the Free Exercise of Religion Clause.  Here is an excerpt from the Virginia Ratifying Convention for the Constitution, when the Free Exercise of Religion Clause was proposed.  This took place on June 27, 1788.

20th. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men have an equal, natural, and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established, by law, in preference to others.

Here is an early Draft of First Amendment by James Madison.  This passage is from the House of Representatives transcripts from the drafting of the Bill of Rights, June 8 1789

Fourthly. That in article 1st, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses, to wit: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.

Here is a later Draft from August 15, 1789, which was read by Mr. Doudinot, who was sitting as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole

Article 1. Section 9. Between paragraphs two and three insert “no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed.

Here is the discussion that followed that reading:

Mr. [Daniel] Carroll.–As the rights of conscience are, in their nature, of peculiar delicacy, and will little bear the gentlest touch of governmental hand; and as many sects have concurred in opinion that they are not well secured under the present constitution, he said he was much in favor of adopting the words. He thought it would tend more towards conciliating the minds of the people to the Government than almost any other amendment he had heard proposed.

Mr. Madison said, he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience.

As you can see from this excerpt, the right of conscious is an integral component of the Free Exercise Religion Clause of the First Amendment.  This has been repeatedly ignored by the federal government for over almost 100 years.  The guidelines issued by Attorney General Sessions simply restore this clause back to the original meaning.  Unfortunately a future president can simply ignore it and return us back to where we were before its release.  We the people need to insist the federal government follow the original meaning of this extremely important clause.

The majority of things that come out of Washington DC do not require our assistance. President Trump lays down an order, Congress passes a law, or some agency puts out a regulation and the citizenry does what it can to comply. It sounds Draconian but it’s a system that works. Our participation in the republic is to vote in representatives, empowering them to keep order and hopefully assist us in prosperity.

Today’s rumors that Trump is about to take religious liberties onto his plate will, if true, require our actions. He will need our help. Defense of religious liberties has been a hot topic since before the country was even formed and will continue to be a hot topic long after we’ve left this world. That’s the nature of the most polarizing aspect of human existence.

For eight years, faith-minded Americans have witnessed a government that has positioned religious freedom as a form of discrimination. They say that a baker can’t practice her religion in her own private business and must bake whatever cakes people order. They say a wedding photographer must take pictures at an event even if her religion tells him it isn’t really a wedding. They say that religious organizations cannot express their political opinions because they’re a religious organization.

All of these things are (hopefully) about to change under Trump’s administration. If they do, it’s up to us to support it appropriately.

This is a tricky subject. The cultural promotion of religious freedoms isn’t a black and white issue even though it probably should be. We’re going to have to make tough choices in the near future. One of the toughest is acceptance of other religions. The Judeo-Christian faiths are, in my humble opinion, the most accepting of the other religions. We need to take this up a notch if and when religious freedoms are taken up by the administration. True tolerance is accepting that everyone’s religion, even those with values that run contrary to our own, has an equal right in America. There are those who will say, “but we’re a Christian nation.” I agree, but part of being a Christian nation is accepting the commission to spread the Word of God. It doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to accept others of our faith and ignore or reject other faiths. It’s our right in the Constitution to share our faith and it’s a calling in the Bible to do the same.

When Trump makes his move, it will be first positioned by the left as an attack on LGBT rights. Then, it will be positioned as an attack on atheists. Then, the narrative will shift to this being about Christians only and that other religions aren’t going to be allowed to share in the same freedoms. All of these narratives are pre-packaged and easy to fight, but the President cannot fight them alone. Those of us, regardless of personal religious beliefs, who embrace the freedoms that the 1st Amendment grant us must be vocal in our defense. We must support all righteous decisions at all levels of government. Moreover, we must denounce all perversions of the 1st Amendment that attempt to use the freedoms against us. Yes, that’s going to be a thing at some point in the near future. Watch for it.

Between travel bans, walls, and a flurry of executive orders, it will be easy for religious freedoms to get lost in the sea of issues. It’s our duty as Americans, whether we’re religious or not, to defend the rights of individuals and organizations to freely practice their beliefs. This is the battleground that requires us all to take up spiritual arms. It’s time to stand up for what’s right.

As anyone who has ever read this blog knows, I’m an implacable foe of Radical Islam.  I am a supporter of Pam Geller and Robert Spencer and think they are two of the bravest and most honorable people I know.  I think CAIR is a front group for radical Islam and I think everywhere it exists from Syria to Iraq it must be opposed and exposed and of course as a Catholic who has read the Koran It is my opinion that it is cheap rewrite of the Bible to and the religion based on it is to put it kindly full of holes.

All that being said I don’t have any problem with this:

Voters gave Abu Musa and Anam Miah another term in office. Saad Almasmari was elected for the first time. Now four of the six City Council members will be of Muslim faith.

It’s said to be the first majority Muslim City Council not only in Hamtramck but in the entire country.

Listen in America we have these things called elections, and if the majority of a city wants to elect Muslims to the city council it’s their call.  Furthermore if a population of a city is majority Muslim and wants to celebrate their faith it’s their business.

If a local business in a majority Muslim area or has a large Muslim workforce and adjusts their schedules and even their paid holidays to accommodate their workforce I have no problem with that either.

And if a local Muslim speaker or even an Imam wants to disagree with US policy, even as it applies to radical Islam & ISIS they have the freedom to do so.

If I wish to have my religious rights protected as a Catholic or a Jew or a Protestant of any denomination I certainly can’t object to others wishing the same.  If I think my religion is true I’m not going to be threatened by a Muslim else making the argument for their faith  and trying to make their best case for what they believe.

Those are the rights of Americans and US muslims who live in it

That also being said rights come with responsibilities.

If a majority Muslim city council attempts to impose the jizya on Catholics, Protestants or Jews, if they want to restrict the rights of Christians or Jews to worship or even proselytize, in short if they attempt to enforce anything resembling Sharia Law, then I  have a problem with it.

If a business decides they wish to accommodate their Muslim workforce, yet won’t make allowance for Catholic, Protestants or Jews then I have a problem with it.

If a local Muslim speaker or Imam chooses to offer material support to those we are fighting, if they choose to encourage their young men to fight against us, then I have a problem with it.

 

If Muslims wish to have their religious rights protected in America they had better not do anything to restrict the religious or non religious rights of others.

That is the bargain that (Obama administration notwithstanding) all Americans make with each other in America and if American Muslims hold up their end of it, so will I.

Update: fixed redundant sentence

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has a new fan:  Frank Luntz.  While Donald Trump is getting all the headlines from The Family Leadership Summit held in Ames, Iowa Saturday, apparently one of the top performers was actually Bobby Jindal.

Jindal got many prolonged rounds of applause and at one point, Luntz even had to quiet the crowd so he could proceed.  Jindal is getting headlines this morning with his call for a federal religious freedom order, a move similar to one he enacted in Louisiana:

“The next president should do what we did in Louisiana: Issue an executive order immediately saying the federal government will not discriminate or take action against any individual or business that has a traditional view of marriage,” Jindal said. “We’re not going to threaten their tax rights, not going to fire them.”

Luntz said that he interpreted Jindal’s answer as indicating that Jindal wouldn’t follow court rulings. Earlier in the appearance, Jindal said it was bad precedent for Republicans to ignore the constitution or laws they didn’t like.

“I just want to be clear that you’re saying that even if the Supreme Court says, ‘this is the law of the land,’ you’re prepared — you think the next president should say to the Supreme Court, ‘I’m sorry, you’re wrong,'” Luntz said. “That’s significant.”

Jindal responded by saying, “clearly, the Supreme Court is wrong.

Jindal issued Louisiana’s religious freedom order in May after the legislature shot down a bill that would enact basically the same thing.

“The state should not be able to take adverse action against people, charities and family-owned businesses with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Jindal said in the statement.

“We do not support discrimination in Louisiana and we do support religious liberty,” he said.

Now Jindal is calling for a similar move from the next president.

Perhaps Jindal’s most popular line Saturday was:

“I am critical when the mainstream media — they don’t apply the same standards to this president that they apply to the rest of us,” Jindal said, drawing applause that was so prolonged, Luntz had to quiet the crowd. “If we nominate a Republican who wants to be liked by the media, wants to be liked by the establishment, wants to go to the cool cocktail parties, we are done.”

NOLA reports that at the conclusion of the event, Luntz could be heard telling Jindal, “I never knew you were that good.”

Bobby Jindal doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance at winning this election, in my honest opinion, but he will certainly make the debates interesting.

At least, Frank Luntz seems to think so.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Like all other schools across the state and across the nation, Walnut Hill Elementary/Middle School in Shreveport is gearing up for rigorous state testing this month.  The new tests that students will now have to take are Common Core based and extremely tough and schools across the parish have been drilling, doing remediation, holding motivational pep rallies, and offering after school tutoring.  One principal is even calling on prayer, a move which now has him in trouble with the ACLU.

Mr. Albert Hardison is the principal of Walnut Hill Elementary/Middle School; he is a quiet, kind man who always has a smile and gentle nod of his head in greeting.  He has been the principal at Walnut Hill for thirty-five years; his former students are now sending their own kids to Walnut Hill because they think so highly of him and his leadership.

Mr. Hardison attracted the attention of the ACLU when he sent home his March 2015 newsletter to parents advising them about upcoming testing schedules; the school newsletter always has a Principal’s Message to parents.  I’m going to share his message to parents in its entirety here because I want you to have the context; he wrote:

Principal’s Message – ‘Truly We Are Blessed’

“Our school may be old of age, but it is cleaned, well-maintained, and free of debris and graffiti.  Our faculty may not be monetarily rich, but they care, share, and give to our students a wealth of knowledge that will help them become our country’s doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, nurses, and yes, even presidents.  Our students come from all economic levels, communities, races, and origins, but at our school they unite and become one indivisible student body under the Walnut Hill banner of excellence, fairness, and equality for all.

“The sun may not sine outside, but inside our laughter, smiles, encouragement, praise, and love for our children dazzle the day.  Although cloudy days are sometimes evident, the light of optimism, the rays of hope and the joy of teaching and helping our students brighten these cloudy days.

“Our parents may not visit our school each day, but their support, compliments, quick response to our cry for help and love for their children and school is unwavering.

Principal Albert Hardison (Shreveport Times file photo)

“Although all children may not blossom at the same time, our faculty continues to fertilize their minds, water their thoughts, nourish their spirit, pull back the blinds so that the light can stream in, and soon, they bud, grow, and prosper.

“On mornings when the sun is beaming or hidden, our student prayer group ‘Hornets for Hope’, pray and give thanks to the Son of God for carrying our school over the thorns of negativity and the thistles of discord and setting it gently on the petals of harmony and the lily of tranquility.  Our ‘Hornets for Hope’ thank God for giving us a school that believes in God, family, and education.

“We thank God for helping us to realize that if we removed Christ, family, and teachers from the lives of our children there is no way that adding more police officers, legislating more laws, building more jails, requiring more testing, mandating more parental involvement, earning more money, or purchasing more things could ever replace the blessings of God, the love of our family, and the knowledge imparted by our teachers.

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what type of house we lived in, what color our skin was, how much money we had or what brand of clothes we wore, but what will matter is that we steadfastly walked in the ways of Christ, that we honored and loved our parents, family, and fellow man and that we lived by our school motto:  ‘Work for the Best – Accept only the Best – Be the very, very Best.’

“And that in itself is truly a Blessing!

“Albert Hardison, Principal.”

Personally, I think it’s a lovely analogy and a beautiful message.  The ACLU did not agree.

On March 30, 2015, the ACLU of Louisiana sent a letter to the superintendent of Caddo Parish Schools informing him that Mr. Hardison “has engaged in a pattern of religious proselytization by sending messages to parents invoking prayer, and through a lengthy ‘Principal’s Message’ on the school’s website.”  Further:

This letter is to inform you that these messages violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and comparable provisions of the Louisiana Constitution, and they must stop immediately.

They also found offense with this blurb found within the newsletter:

Phillippians 4:13. . .I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

 

Marjorie R. Esman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana has demanded that all religious references be removed from Walnut Hill’s website and from all other Caddo Parish schools.  She also demands that all Caddo Parish staff be educated about “the Constitutional protections of students and staff from religious indoctrination; and Instruct the Principal of Walnut Hill that neither he nor his staff may include religious references of any kind in school communications.”

In response, Caddo Parish did indeed remove all offending references from the Walnut Hill website.  Via The Shreveport Times:

The school district issued a statement Tuesday saying it would investigate the matter internally and make certain there isn’t a Constitutional violation.

“In this instance, questionable materials subsequently have been removed from district web pages while the investigation continues,” the statement said. “If there is a violation, we will make certain we act swiftly to ensure we do not have any further violations.”

The Walnut Hill community responded, too.  Friday morning a prayer rally was held at Grawood Baptist Church and despite drizzling weather and cloudy skies, it was attended by hundreds of parents, students, former students, and other community members.

A Facebook page, Support Albert Hardison, now has over 8,000 Likes and the comments in support are powerful:

“I support Mr. Hardison 100%. All 3 of my kids go there & he is what a principal should be! He is an outstanding leader & role model for our young children! Walnut Hill is a great school & all that started with him, and the compassion that he has for our kids. He is a man that stands firm in his beliefs & we as Christians should stand firm in ours as well & support him!”

And another:

I don’t even practice any sort of religion and he has done nothing wrong. Ever since I was in 1st grade to 8th grade at that school Mr.Hardison was a huge inspiration to me. He kept me going and motivated me to do the best I could. I was going through times with severe bullying and people putting me down every day. He gave me the hope and strength to move on and set my goals for myself. Every morning I would go to his office and visit him and tell him about my day and how things were going. Every staff member at walnut hill is beyond amazing! They help out so much with the kids and care so much about them. If this adult’s child actually went to that school then they’d be satisfied with how much they help out. I’m more than 100% on his side!

There are streams of similar comments on the page.

Shreveport attorney Royal Alexander weighed in with an Op-Ed in The Shreveport Times, and went on to tie the local issue in with the current brouhaha in Indiana:

Here in Shreveport, Caddo Parish schools is investigating allegations that the principal of Walnut Hill Elementary supposedly violated the First Amendment by invoking God and Jesus and calling for prayer in school publications. However, Principal Albert Hardison has an excellent reputation and I applaud him for erring on the side of religious freedom. I strongly maintain that these types of issues are not nearly as clear as the ACLU has asserted.

The current state of the law regarding prayer in public schools is that, generally, a school official may not initiate and/or sponsor a prayer because, the argument goes, doing so tends to endorse one religion over another in violation of the Establishment Clause. However, a very important distinction has been drawn for student-initiated prayer practices such that public school facilities may be used as long as the use of the facility is truly neutral and equally available to religious and non-religious groups alike.

Another distinction has been drawn that makes allowable the study of the Bible in public schools as long as the study occurs in a purely academic manner. There are still other distinctions as well.

Parents at the school support Mr. Hardison;  I am told that Mr. Hardison “is a godly man” that doesn’t force his religion on anybody.  He puts God first in his own life, then family, and then education.  If a child asks him to pray for them, he does it (and they do), but he doesn’t force it on anyone.

Parents are upset because whomever made the complaint doesn’t have a child in the school; they don’t want any ‘watchdog’ group or outside interference in a system that clearly works.  Walnut Hill is a high-achieving school, earning a “B” letter-grade from the State Department of Education; the school has over 60% of its population on free/reduced lunch and draws from all demographics.  Mr. Hardison is clearly doing something right at Walnut Hill.

For now, the Caddo Parish School Board is investigating the ACLU complaint.  Mr. Hardison, by necessity, has issued no statement nor has he attended any of the prayer rallies or gatherings.  But he certainly can feel the love and support flooding his way.

Isn’t there someone else the ACLU can go pick on rather than a good man trying to keep kids on the right track?

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

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Primary Season is coming and with a 1/4 of the year gone were less that 5% toward our annual goal.

If 1000 of our readers kicked in $20 we’d be all set for a full year and I could retire DaTipJar till January of 2016.

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We’re extending our March premium to April for tip jar hitters of $50 or more is Stacy McCain’s book:  Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature

Subscribe at $50 or more in April and receive each monthly premium shipped the date of your payment.

 

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There are a lot of things we can say about the 5-4 ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby.

We can say it’s an important win for religious liberty (it is) we can say that differentiating between a “closely held” corporation and a big publicly held one is far (it is).  You can claim that it’s a horrible defeat for women (that’s nonsense) and you can fundraise off of visions of coathangers (I suspect that’s blast mail has already gone out).  You might even claim it’s in the long run a win for Obamacare because it removes one of the drivers for the full repeal movement.

But while religious groups will be happy with the ruling & businesses will be happy as well in the list of winners would be incomplete if it didn’t include the group that won biggest by this ruling. the Establishment GOP and that victory driven not by Hobby Lobby’s victory but by the fact that it was 5-4.

After Mississippi,  the tea party and the base have been rightly outraged.  There were plenty of people asking themselves if it might be worth it to lose a seat like Mississippi on the theory of:  If we don’t make the GOP pay now?  When do we?

Hobby Lobby gives the GOP exactly the right answer.

If Hobby Lobby had lost it would have pushed the full repeal of Obamacare to the forefront.  This is something that even if the establishment wanted to deliver (and it’s becoming apparent they do not) they could not as long as President Obama is in office).

If Hobby Lobby had won say 6-3 or better than the protections for religious liberty would have been pretty secure, secure enough that there would be no urgency.

But this ruling was 5-4, and that means that the left has the four votes needed to bring a new case to the court and is only a single vote away from reversing its course.

That makes control of the Senate and the ability to block a potential Supreme Court Justice during the last two years of the Obama administration where he would have absolutely no reason to restrain himself (Think Justice Bill Ayers or Elizabeth Warren).

I am a Tea Party supporter and I believe that the GOP has not earned the loyalty of its base, but elections take place every two years, Supreme Court appointment do not and when they happen they happen for life.

If the choice is between punishing the Mississippi GOP in general and Thad Cochran in particularly for their actions or having that 51 vote in the senate to stop a Barack Obama Justice I’ll put up with that graft for another 6 years.  If the difference between Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell deciding if a Supreme Court nominee goes forward is Scott Brown being that 51st GOP Senator from NH then I say Go Scott Go!

If I’m Reince Priebus I’m thanking my lucky stars.

Update: Given the latest developments in the Mississippi scandal this came none too soon for the GOP
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Olimometer 2.52

July is here and thanks to a solicitation to small tip jar hitters June was the first month since January were we made our bills.

The trick will be to see if we can make this happen without sending out a solicitation to tip jar hitters.

I think our work here speaks for itself. If you think its worthwhile I would ask you to hit DaTipJar below. If we can draw $50 a day we’ll make our goal with no problem.

Update: Now only one $25 tip jar hit away from the daily goal.

There are a lot of people who can’t wait to see a veto in Arizona of the Religious Freedom bill.

CNN & MSNBC have made it their cause celebre, GLAAD sees it as a great way to recover from their Duck Dynasty defeat and many in the establishment GOP see it as an excellent change to put those social conservatives in their place.

But if there is one person who wants a veto of Arizona’s Religious Freedom bill more than anyone else gotta be Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church.

At first glance you might think that’s counter intuitive. Other than an e-mail blast fundraising bump what can Westboro have to gain from an Jan Brewer veto?

Just this.

The left has spent a lot of time building a strawman falsely suggesting that this law is all about denying service in a Restaurants and accommodations to gay people. Regardless of the though of the matter this has become the media meme.

The end result? If this bill is rejected the media will declare that religion, conscience, a moral code, can NOT be used to deny anyone service, ANYONE.

Then watch watch Phelps and his minions dive in.

Do you own a Gay Club? A restaurant or resort that caters to a primarily gay clientele? Get ready. Once the Arizona law is safely dead then expect Westboro baptist to come on down.

They’ll be down to rent your location for a dinner or a rally or an event, the press will come, Phelps will get a ton of publicity and use your venue to do it.

Watch him and his cronies turn it into a tour of Arizona, if you have a business that can be identified as Gay or LGBT, Phelps & company and he’ll take plenty of pictures (as will the media) before you know when your business’ name is google the name Westboro baptist will come up in the results, Pictures? Watch your venue name with a smiling Fred Phelps holding one of his Trademark signs smiling next to it.

Oh and beware, if you give less that your best service and qualify or if a single employee decides to make a statement with a tiny bit of spittle Phelps’ lawyers will pounce and the judgements and settlements will be legendary.

Such a plan could already have been done of course but there would have been little national attention in it, but thanks to the MSM & Gay groups move in Arizona it’s now worth his while.

I suspect national leaders of the LGBT community might be counting on this. While Phelps extremism is rejected by most Christians national gay groups will be delighted to use him as a poster boy for every fundraising they decide to send

So don’t worry Gay business owner in Arizona, while your own business’ longterm reputation will be harmed and your search engine results corrupted you can take comfort that national fundraisers for GLAAD & others will be able to live large off of your troubles for years to come.

Count on it.

Update: As for the strawmen I mentioned Erick Erickson notes them:

If a Christian owns a bakery or a florist shop or a photography shop or a diner, a Christian should no more be allowed to deny service to a gay person than to a black person. It is against the tenets of 2000 years of orthodox Christian faith, no matter how poorly some Christians have practiced their faith over two millennia.

And honestly, I don’t know that I know anyone who disagrees with any of this.

The disagreement comes on one issue only — should a Christian provide goods and services to a gay wedding. That’s it. We’re not talking about serving a meal at a restaurant. We’re not talking about baking a cake for a birthday party. We’re talking about a wedding, which millions of Christians view as a sacrament of the faith and other, mostly Protestant Christians, view as a relationship ordained by God to reflect a holy relationship.

This slope is only slippery if you grease it with hypotheticals not in play.

And even Andrew Sullivan gets it:

I would never want to coerce any fundamentalist to provide services for my wedding – or anything else for that matter – if it made them in any way uncomfortable. The idea of suing these businesses to force them to provide services they are clearly uncomfortable providing is anathema to me. I think it should be repellent to the gay rights movement as well.

The Anchoress gets it:

Anyone can walk into a kosher or halal butcher’s shop and buy a chicken, but if asked to cater a party with bacon burgers, the butcher will refuse. Should that invite a lawsuit? People understand that you don’t bother religious butchers with requests they cannot honor. Should we be permitted to demand services of a cameraman, or a florist or baker that tread upon their religious sensibilities?

And Ed Morrissey hits it both at HotAir:

I’m going to avoid getting into a theological debate over the issue of participating in same-sex weddings, because it’s an unresolvable topic. Some Christians might see it as Christian love, while others who read Corinthians might see a parallel to Paul’s ruling on eating meat sacrificed to idols, or even Jesus’ forgiveness of the adulterer with the proviso to “sin no more.” The point is that Christians and those of other religions on that spectrum of belief hold those beliefs sincerely, and that should be enough to allow them to choose when and whether to participate in such events. The right of religious expression takes precedence over the state interest in forcing bakers to produce cakes for same-sex weddings, or photographers to attend them.

And this week:

Left unspoken is why anyone would want a baker for their wedding who didn’t want to participate — or a florist for that matter, or a photographer. Weddings are traumatic enough for all concerned without deliberately boosting the tension levels to a Spinal Tap-esque 11. Leaving the issue of religious belief aside for a moment, Phillips cannot possibly be the only baker in Denver capable of producing a wedding cake. Why not take Phillips at his word, tolerate his religious beliefs, and find a baker with more enthusiasm for the event?

I’ll speak it, the purpose is to generate fear to speak and live one’s Christian belief to make Christianity & Christian belief beyond the pale of acceptable behavior.

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Olimometer 2.52

Wednesday is here and my prospects for a fully paid mortgage this month are dim.

With only $67 in the till this week this would appear to be a horrible week on its own but sitting $650 shy of the Mortgage with only three days to come up with it frankly disaster.

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I came upon the dissent filed by Justice Scalia in McCreary County vs. ACLU where the Supreme Court found that the intent behind the 10 Commandment display in the county courthouse was relevant to determining if the display itself is unconstitutional.  The Court stated that if the government acts with the predominant purpose to advance religion, that act is unconstitutional.  In a sharp dissent by Justice Scalia, he criticized the Court’s opinion and provided a very clear explanation as why the public acknowledgement of Deity is not only deeply historical but Constitutional.

Here is an excerpt from the transcript of Justice Scalia’s reading of his dissent when the Court announced its opinion.  It is worth reading:

On September 11, 2001, I was attending in Rome, Italy an international conference of judges and lawyers principally from Europe and the United States.

That night the President of the United States gave an address to the nation concerning the murderous attacks upon the twin towers and the pentagon in which almost 3,000 Americans were killed.

The address ended as presidential addresses often do with the prayer, “God bless America.”

The next afternoon, I was approached by one of the judges from European country who after extending his profound condolences on my country’s loss sadly observed how I wish that the Head of State of my country at a similar time of national tragedy and distress could conclude his address, “God bless the name of the county.”

It is of course absolutely forbidden, he said.

That is one model of the relationship between church and state.

A model spread across Europe by the armies in Napoleon and reflected in the Constitution of France which begins France is a secular republic.

Religion is strictly excluded from the public forum.

That is not and never was the model adapted by America.

George Washington added to the form of presidential oath prescribed by Article II of the Constitution that concluding words “So help me God.”

The Supreme Court under John Marshall opened its sessions with the prayer “God save the United States and this honorable court.”

The First Congress instituted the practice of beginning its legislative sessions with a prayer.

The same week that Congress submitted the Establishment Clause as part of the bill of rights for ratification by the states; it enacted legislation providing for paid chaplains in the House of Senate.

The day after the First Amendment was proposed, the same Congress that had proposed it requested the President to proclaim “A day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of almighty God.”

President Washington authored the first thanksgiving proclamation shortly thereafter devoting November 26, 1789 on behalf of the American people “to the service of that great and glorious being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that is, that was, or that will be.”

I could add to these examples many other official and quasi-official indications of the compatibility with the Establishment Clause of expressions of belief in God.

Today’s majority opinion brings forward no official or quasi-official statement expressing what the majority says to be the contrary view, only letters and statements of individual Framers.

Some of which are contradicted by the actions that those Framers themselves took when they were in official office.

There is moreover no indication that America’s views on the official acknowledgment of God today are any different from what they were in 1789.

Presidents continue to conclude the presidential oath with the words, “So help me God” and to wish you thanksgiving proclamations calling for thanks to God.

Our legislatures state and national continue to open their sessions with prayers led by official chaplains.

The sessions of this Court continue to open with the prayer “God save the United States and this honorable Court.”

Invocation of the Almighty by our public figures at all levels of the government remains common place.

Our coinage there is the model “In God we trust” and less than three years ago an active Congress adapted unanimously by the Senate and with only five nays in the House of Representatives criticized a Federal Court opinion that had held the words under “God” in the pledge of allegiance to be unconstitutional.

With all of this reality and much more scarring it in the face how can the court possibly assert as it does in today’s opinion that “the First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and non-religion”, manifesting a purpose to favor adherence to religion generally is unconstitutional.

Who says so?

Surely not the words of the Constitution, surely not the history and traditions that reflect our society’s constant understanding of those words, surely not even the current sense of American society nothing stands behind the Court’s assertion that governmental affirmation of America’s belief in God is unconstitutional except the Court’s own say so, citing as support only the unsubstantiated say so of earlier courts going back no further than the mid 20th century.

Besides appealing to the demonstratively false principle that the government cannot favor religion over irreligion, today’s opinion suggest that the posting of the Ten Commandments violates the principle that the government cannot favor one religion over another.

That is indeed a valid principle where public aid or assistance to religion is concerned or where the free exercise of religion is at issue but it necessarily applies and has always applied in a more limited sense to public acknowledgment of the Creator.

If religion in the public forum had to be entirely non-denominational, there could be no religion in the public forum at all.

One cannot say the word God or the Almighty, one cannot offer public supplication or thanksgiving without contradicting the beliefs of some people that there are many gods or that God or the gods pay no attention to human affairs.

With respect to the public acknowledgment of religious belief, it is entirely clear from our nation’s historical practices and its practices today that there is a distance between the acknowledgment of a single Creator and the establishment of a religion.

The former is as the court itself said in the case appproving legislator prayers “a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country.

The three most popular religions in the United States, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam which combined a count for 97.9% of all believers are monotheistic.

All of them moreover, Islam included, believe that the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses and are divine prescriptions for a virtuous life.

Publicly honoring the Ten Commandments is thus indistinguishable in so far as discrimination against other religious is concerned from publicly honoring God.

Both practices are recognized across such a broad and diverse range of the population that they cannot reasonably be understood as a government endorsement of a particular religious viewpoint.

The Court today fails to recognize that in the context of public acknowledgements of one God or of the Ten Commandments, there are legitimate competing interests.

On the one hand, the interest of a minority, the religious minority and not feeling excluded, but on the other hand, the interest of the overwhelming majority of religious believers in being able to give God thanks and supplication as a people and with respect to our national endeavors.

Our national tradition has resolved that conflict in favor of the majority.

It is not for this Court to change a disposition that accounts many Americans think for the phenomenon remarked upon in a quotation attributed to various authors including Bismarck but which I prefer to associate with Charles de Gaulle, “God watches over little children, drunkards, and the United States of America.”

You can listen to the entire speech here:  http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_03_1693

Lisa @ AmericaisConservative.org