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Indiana Trooper Sued for Sharing Gospel During Traffic Stop

And rightly so, in my opinion.

UNION COUNTY, Indiana – A police officer in Indiana has been leveled with a lawsuit for sharing the gospel with a driver during a traffic stop.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is representing complainant Ellen Bogan, 60, who claims that Indiana State Police trooper Brian Hamilton violated her constitutional rights by asking her about her religious beliefs after he pulled her over for an alleged traffic violation.

According to reports, the incident occurred in August in Union County, Indiana. Hamilton gave her a warning about making an illegal pass—and then asked her if she went to church anywhere. He also reportedly asked her if she had accepted Jesus as her Lord and savior.

“I’m not affiliated with any church. I don’t go to church,” Bogan told the Indianapolis Star. “I felt compelled to say I did, just because I had a state trooper standing at the passenger-side window. It was just weird.”

The trooper then asked Bogan if he could give her a tract, and he went to his vehicle to retrieve it for her.

“The whole time, his lights were on,” she said. “I had no reason to believe I could just pull away at that point, even though I had my warning.”

Bogan later contacted the Indiana State Police to lodge a complaint and request an investigation. She also enlisted the assistance of the ACLU to file a lawsuit claiming that Hamilton violated her First and Fourth Amendment rights by speaking to her about matters of faith and handing her a tract that asks the recipient to “realize you’re a sinner” and “realize the Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins.”

It’s one thing for ordinary Christians to have the freedom to be able to share the Gospel with colleagues in day-to-day conversation.

It’s another for police to take advantage of their ability to stop people from their regular movements, and accost them with proselytization while they have a captive audience.

A balance needs to be struck in society, in terms of finding the right place within the public square for sharing the faith.

There is a time and place for everything, as Scripture acknowledges.

Agents of a state committed to religious neutrality in a country with freedom of religion should not be taking advantage of their powers to proselytize ordinary citizens who aren’t their colleagues, while on the job, especially under such circumstances as this.

I wouldn’t want a cop to pull me over, and proselytize Islam, or Judaism, or atheism; I can therefore sympathize with this atheist woman.

The corollary of the Golden Rule is that you don’t do unto others what you wouldn’t have them do unto you.

Therefore this cop was wrong, and should accordingly be punished.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2014 in America, law, religion, spirituality, Theology

 

German Committee Claims Incest Is a ‘Fundamental Right’

German Committee Claims Incest Is a ‘Fundamental Right’.

Laws banning incest between brothers and sisters in Germany could be scrapped after a government ethics committee said that they were an unacceptable intrusion into the right to sexual self-determination.

“Criminal law is not the appropriate means to preserve a social taboo,” the German Ethics Council said in a statement. “The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination is to be weighed more heavily than the abstract idea of protection of the family.”

Their intervention follows a notorious case in which a brother and sister living as partners in Saxony had four children together. The couple had been raised separately and only met when the brother, identified only as Patrick S, was an adult, and his sister Susan K was 16.

 
 

Court Grants ‘Pregnant Man’ Divorce Amid Argument Whether Woman was Man When ‘Married’

A tangled case of ‘gay marriage’, a ‘he’-‘female’, and divorce…

PHOENIX – An appeals court in Arizona has ruled that a woman who began converting her appearance into a man over a decade ago may be granted a divorce, overturning a lower court ruling that denied the proceedings over confusion whether the woman was a man when she married.

As previously reported, in 1997, Tracy Lehuanani Lagondino began undergoing testosterone treatments and changed her name to Thomas Beatie. In 2002, she underwent a double mastectomy and chest reconstruction, but decided to keep her female reproductive organs and womb.

In 2003, Lagondino tied the knot with her partner Nancy in Hawaii, and as Nancy was unable to conceive, Lagondino underwent in vitro fertilization. The two now have three children, ages 4, 3 and 2, and live in Arizona.

During the time that Lagondino was pregnant, she became known across America as “the pregnant man,” appearing on national broadcasts such as The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live. She also released a book entitled Labor Of Love: The Story of One Man’s Extraordinary Pregnancy, which displayed the pregnant woman with a beard.

However, in 2012, Lagondino began seeking a divorce from her partner, but found that difficulty finding a judge that would recognize the relationship as valid. Arizona law prohibits homosexual unions, and as Langondino “married” while still having female reproductive parts, her relationship is considered homosexual and not heterosexual. She disagrees.

In March of last year, Maricopa County Family Judge Douglas Gerlach ruled that the divorce cannot be granted because the nuptials were not valid in the first place. He explained that in the eyes of the law, Langondino is perceived as still being a woman at the time of the “wedding,” unless she can prove otherwise.

“The decision here is not based on the conclusion that this case involves a same-sex marriage merely because one of the parties is a transsexual male, but instead, the decision is compelled by the fact that the parties failed to prove that [Lagondino] was a transsexual male when they were issued their marriage license,” Gerlach wrote.

He also took issue with considering Lagondino as being a man as childbirth is only possible for females.

But on Wednesday, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that Lagondino may proceed with the divorce, stating the case was not about same-sex nuptials in Arizona, but rather “whether the laws of the state of Arizona allow a marriage, lawfully entered into in another state, between two persons the foreign state formally recognized at the time of the marriage as male and female, to be dissolved.”

“As the Beaties’ Hawaii marriage was lawfully entered in Hawaii and is not deemed void by Arizona law, the marriage is valid within this state,” wrote Judge Kenton D. Jones, appointed to the bench by Gov. Jan Brewer.

The court also found that although Lagondino completed paperwork to change her gender in Hawaii, whether or not her subsequent pregnancies posed an issue as to the legality of being considered male was irrelevant to the case.

“Therefore, the possibility of Thomas giving birth to children did not preclude him from legally amending his birth certificate under the plain language of the Hawaii statute,” Jones stated. “Further, there is no apparent basis in law or fact for the proposition that in the event Thomas gave birth after having modified his gender designation, it would have abrogated his ‘maleness,’ as reflected upon the amended birth certificate.”

Lagondino appeared on Anderson Cooper Live with her new girlfriend Amber last November to discuss the situation after a previous judge had also denied the divorce.

“It’s very frustrating,” she said, “I mean, how would you feel if the judge told you that you’re not a man? I live my life. I know who I am … [and] someone’s opinion is not going to change that.”

But others have found the situation to be disturbing.

“These people are turning America into Sodom and Gomorrah. What will these poor children be like? Our world is getting sicker every day,” one commenter lamented. “The last chapter of the Bible is unfolding before our very eyes.”

Indeed…

 

NY Farm Fined $13,000 for Declining Lesbian ‘Wedding,’ Ordered to Prove Staff Training

NY Farm Fined $13,000 for Declining Lesbian ‘Wedding,’ Ordered to Prove Staff Training.

ALBANY, NY – A New York farm has been fined $13,000 by the state Division of Human Rights for declining to host a same-sex ‘wedding’ on their property two years ago, and has been ordered to train their employees to accommodate homosexual ceremonies despite their Christian beliefs.

Administrative Law Judge Migdalia Peres fined Liberty Ridge Farms in Schaghticoke $10,000 and ordered that $1,500 each be paid to two lesbians who were turned down by the facility, which also serves as the owners’ home. Liberty Ridge Farms was also ordered to provide proof that they have trained their employees not to refuse requests from homosexuals. A poster noting that the business is subject to human rights law must additionally be displayed prominently at the business.

As previously reported, Jennie McCarthy and Melisa Erwin of Albany contacted the 50-acre Liberty Ridge Farms in 2012 to schedule their “wedding” ceremony, as the venue regularly hosts weddings and other outings. However, when the owners, Robert and Cynthia Gifford, realized that the two were lesbians, they informed the women that they could not be of assistance.

“That’s when [Cynthia] said, ‘Now we have a problem,’” Erwin explained. “This is a decision that my husband and I have made. …. [Y]ou can’t do it here.”

McCarthy and Erwin then filed a complaint with the New York Division of Human Rights, alleging discrimination. Others began to write angry messages on the farm’s Facebook page, such as “Gay dollars are just as green as straight dollars.”

However, owner Robert Gifford told reporters that he believes he has a right to decide how he will operate his business, and that it’s not about the money—it’s about morality.

“I think it’s our right to choose who we market to, like any business,” Robert Gifford told WYNT-TV. “We are a family business and we feel we ought to stay down the family path.”

But Administrative Law Judge Migdalia Peres disagreed, despite the Gifford’s notation that hosting the ceremony would violate their religious beliefs.

“The policy to not allow same-sex marriage ceremonies on Liberty Ridge Farm is a denial of access to a place of public accommodation,” she wrote in her decision.

Peres then fined Liberty Ridge Farms $13,000, citing “the goal of deterrence” for other businesses who might adhere to their convictions and decline to personally accommodate same-sex celebrations.

Jason McGuire, the executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, decried the ruling on Thursday, noting that Liberty Ridge Farms took no issue with serving homosexuals. He outlined that the Giffords only drew the line when the request equated to personal involvement, thus violating the Scripture’s command not to be a partaker in other’s sins.

“Anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, can pick blueberries, ride the trolley, or participate in any of the other opportunities Liberty Ridge Farm provides, but the Giffords drew the line at what they felt was participating in a ‘wedding’ that violated their conscience. For that, they’re paying a price,” he said. “People should not have to violate their religious and moral convictions—especially in their own homes—as the price of doing business. People of faith should not be forced to participate in a same-sex ‘wedding’ when it violates their beliefs.”

McGuire noted that when same-sex “marriage” was legalized in New York in 2011, Christians and others were assured that they were protected under a religious freedom amendment, but now he finds that amendment useless.

“When the bill was passed, we were promised that the religious freedom amendment to New York’s same-sex ‘marriage’ legislation would do the job. We were told it would be the strongest in the nation. Our legislators bought the lie and today every New Yorker is living the lie. Town clerks, justices and businesses are impacted by the Empire State’s religious freedom farce,” he stated. “There is no protection in New York law that did not already exist prior to the bill’s passage. But after gay ‘marriage’ was enacted, clerks are out of work and business owners are facing human rights complaints. That’s the reality we are living today.”

Once again, Christians are asked to violate their consciences or pay the price…

 

Judge Strikes Law that Would Have Closed Three of Alabama’s Five Abortion Facilities

Judge Strikes Law that Would Have Closed Three of Alabama’s Five Abortion Facilities.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A federal judge nominated by then-President Jimmy Carter has struck down a Alabama law that would have closed three of the state’s five abortion facilities.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued his ruling on Monday in a 172-page decision, declaring that a regulation that mandates abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital is unconstitutional. The bill had been signed into law in 2013 as a safeguard for women who may need additional care should they become injured during an abortion.

So the progs don’t care whether an abortion done in a haphazard manner could potentially injure the life of the mother; they only care that access to them be maximized, regardless of the consequences…

Planned Parenthood of the Southeast, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the abortion facility Reproductive Health Services soon filed a lawsuit thereafter, claiming that he requirement is unnecessary and would close most abortion facilities in the state. Thompson issued a temporary injunction on the regulation while the case moved forward in court, and on Monday, sided with the abortion providers, stating that it is impermissible to make it difficult for mothers to obtain an abortion.

“The resulting unavailability of abortion in these three cities would impose significant obstacles, burdens, and costs for women across Alabama,” he wrote. “The evidence compellingly demonstrates that the requirement would have the striking result of closing three of Alabama’s five abortion clinics, clinics which perform only early abortions, long before viability.”

Thompson also compared a the availability of abortion facilities to the availability of local gun shops.

“Suppose, for the public weal, the federal or state government were to implement a new restriction on who may sell firearms and ammunition and on the procedure they must employ in selling such goods and that, further, only two vendors in the State of Alabama were capable of complying with the restriction: one in Huntsville and one in Tuscaloosa,” he wrote. “Similarly, in this case, so long as the Supreme Court continues to recognize a constitutional right to choose to terminate a pregnancy, any regulation that would, in effect, restrict the exercise of that right to only Huntsville and Tuscaloosa should be subject to the same skepticism.”

Ah yes; heaven forbid someone has to drive further / arrange transportation for the procedure; that’s an undue hardship, doncha know…

Opponents of the law rejoiced after receiving word of Thompson’s ruling.

“As the judge noted today, the justifications offered for this law are weak at best,” stated Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU. “Politicians, not doctors, crafted this law for the sole purpose of shutting down women’s health care centers and preventing women from getting safe, legal abortions.”

Shouldn’t it be elected officials who craft laws? Heaven forbid politicians do their jobs!

But Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, a doctor, said that the bill he signed into law last year was important from a health standpoint.

Hey – didn’t Ms. Melling say politicians, not doctors, crafted this law? Yet the politician who signed it into law is himself a doctor!

So she’s lying…

“Abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life, and I believe that it should only be done as a last possible effort to save the life of the mother,” Bentley said in a statement. “As a doctor, I firmly believe that medical procedures, including abortions, performed in Alabama should be done in the safest manner possible. This law ensures that if a complication arises there is continuity of treatment between doctor and patient. This ruling significantly diminishes those important protections. I will always fight for the rights of the unborn, and support an appeal of today’s decision.”

I’m sure he’s right; that a procedure that is entirely unnatural, unlike a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage, can’t be the best thing for the woman’s health, and that there are certain risks entailed in undergoing such, and that a law ensuring the possibility of quicker medical treatment for the woman in the event of something going wrong during the procedure would indeed be a good thing. Of course, the fact that he opposes abortion himself personally is all the ammunition progs need to claim he’s biased, unfortunately… But what else can he do? He has the right to stand up for what he believes. It’s too bad the judiciary has so much power, to strike down laws clearly expressing the will of the people through their elected representatives, as we’ve seen as state after state has its courts strike down laws forbidding / preventing gay marriage. Judges are running amok…

Justice Thompson was also in the headlines in 2003 when he ordered Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse rotunda. Moore refused, but the monument was later moved to a room that was not open for public viewing. He was later removed from office by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary after he declared that he would not stop acknowledging God, but was reelected as chief justice in November 2013 with 52 percent of the vote.

A-ha! That bastard! Well, then, this comes as no surprise…

Thanks President Cahtuh, leftangelical… I hope you can sleep at night, and when you die, may the Lord have mercy on your soul. (Or not; as He sees fit…)

 

Uganda Court Declares Anti-‘Gay-Rights’ Law ‘Null and Void’

Will S.:

How interesting, that prominent evangelical pastor Rick Warren feels a need to take a stand on some foreign country’s laws, rather than ignoring them – and that his stance ends up aligning with President Obama’s…

Originally posted on Will S.' Culture War Blog:

No doubt under foreign pressure…

A court in Uganda on Friday declared an anti-gay bill “null and void.” Pastor Rick Warren of California’s Saddleback Church and several human rights groups had condemned the bill as draconian. Supporters of the law blamed the ruling on pressure from U.S. President Barack Obama.

A panel of five judges at Uganda’s Constitutional Court invalidated the bill on Friday, saying the parliamentary at the time of its passing lacked a quorum, according to The Associated Press.

The measure passed the parliament in December after a death penalty clause was dropped, but it criminalized the promotion of homosexuality and required citizens to denounce to the police anyone suspected of being gay. It was signed into law earlier this year.

The speaker of parliament could not have allowed a vote on the measure as there were at least three objections, one of which came from the country’s…

View original 327 more words

 

Stephen Baskerville: five myths about no-fault divorce

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

From the Catholic News Agency.

Introduction:

Almost four decades after the “no-fault” divorce revolution began in California, misconceptions abound. Even the many books about divorce, including myriad self-help manuals, are full of inaccurate and misleading information. No public debate preceded the introduction of no-fault divorce laws in the 1970s, and no debate has taken place since.

Yet divorce-on-demand is exacting a devastating toll on our children, our social order, our economy, and even our constitutional rights. A recent study estimates the financial cost of divorce to taxpayers at $112 billion annually. Recent demands to legitimize same-sex marriage almost certainly follow from the divorce revolution, since gay activists readily acknowledge that they only desire to marry under the loosened terms that have resulted from the new divorce laws. Divorce also contributes to a dangerous increase in the power of the state over private life.

Here are the five myths about no-fault…

View original 689 more words

 
 
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