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Category Archives: law

Polish bishops favour total ban on Sunday shopping

Good for them; I hope they and Solidarity are successful in getting such enacted in law.

Poland’s leading Catholic bishop has spoken out in favour of an almost complete ban on shops opening on Sunday, amid growing public controversy over the proposal.

“Free Sundays are what all Catholics, non-Catholics and non-believers need,” Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki told Polish Radio ahead of a meeting of the Bishops Conference on Friday, which is expected to support the ban.

The idea was put forward last year by the powerful Solidarity trade union, backed by a million-strong petition, and has been batted back and forth in a parliamentary subcommittee ever since.

The clerics are careful to base their argument on quality of life rather than religious grounds. “Families don’t just need financial support, they need time for themselves,” said the Archbishop of Katowice, Wiktor Skworc.

He appealed to the government to “show some compassion for women in the form of those who have to work in supermarkets on Sundays”, and accused it of showing “contempt” for Solidarity and the bishops by delaying consideration of the ban. He also warned local MPs and senators that he expected them to vote “in line with the views of their voters,” the Wirtualna Polska website reports.

[…]

The government and retail groups have suggested compromises like shutting shop every other Sunday, or only after lunch, and the rival OPZZ union confederation proposes higher wages for Sunday working, but Solidarity chief Piotr Duda is holding out for “Four free Sundays a month, full stop, end of story”, Dziennik daily reports.

I remember when Ontario ended its ban on Sunday shopping in 1990 or so, in the time leading up to it, the opposition to the overturning of the Lord’s Day Act which banned most stores from being open on Sunday came from both the Tories and the New Democrats, both Right and Left, against the Liberals.

The Right reflected the traditionalist sentiment that Sunday is the Lord’s Day, and ought to be a day of rest as commanded in God’s Word.

The Left, which still in those days actually cared about the workers, argued that workers needed a set day off.

They were both correct, and it was nice to see common cause from both left and right against the Liberals.

Alas, they lost.

But it was inspiring.

As are the bishops aligning themselves with Solidarity, the labour union that opposed communism. They represented workers against a regime that ostensibly ruled in the name of the workers.

Nice to see left and right together on this, over there. I wish them all the best, and will pray for them.

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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in business, government, law, religion, The Kulturkampf

 

A town hall meeting about building a mosque, but residents can’t talk about Islam or Muslims

You can’t make this shit up.

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A lawsuit has been filed challenging a settlement agreement that bans residents in a New Jersey town from making remarks about Islam or Muslims during an upcoming public hearing centering on the forthcoming construction of a mosque.

The Thomas More Law Center has filed suit on behalf of a family that lives within 200 feet from where the mosque is expected to be built in Bernards Township.

Christopher and Loretta Quick would like to speak during the Aug. 8 hearing about the various aspects of Islamic life and worship that might affect them as neighbors, but are prohibited from doing so due to city’s acceptance of a settlement agreement that states, “No commentary regarding Islam or Muslims will be permitted” during the event.

“Despite their desire to speak at the special meeting regarding the construction of the Islamic mosque and relevant Muslim worship practices (among other factors related to the impact on their home), plaintiffs are foreclosed from doing so by the settlement agreement based solely upon the content of their speech,” the lawsuit states.

It contends that by banning speech on Islam alone, the township is showing favoritism toward the Islamic religion since the prohibition doesn’t apply to other religions.

“No religion other than Islam is protected … under the settlement agreement. For example, speakers at the hearing are free, under the settlement agreement, to disparage, criticize, and otherwise comment on Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other religion—except Islam,” the complaint notes.

The Quicks are asking the court to declare the settlement agreement unconstitutional and to issue an injunction preventing its enforcement.

 

On the recent proliferation of gambling in Canada

In the late 90s and early 2000s, I began to observe an increase in various forms of gambling in Canada; particularly in western Canada, there were more casinos and video lottery terminals in bars.

In recent years, I have observed the same kind of video lottery terminals in several bars in Atlantic Canada; thus far, Ontario has resisted them.

But casinos have spread greatly in Ontario in recent years, outside of some of the more obvious locations (some big cities, many native reserves), into small communities, as well. In the last couple of years or so, one even opened up in my small hometown, which surprised the heck out of me, as I didn’t see my area as the kind of place that would go in for them.

I am not altogether opposed to gambling, per se; I don’t believe it is outright condemned in and of itself in Scripture (yes, the casting of lots for Christ’s garments is depicted as the wicked thing that it certainly was, but not because of the gaming so much as the humiliation of an innocent man who is also God; after all, casting lots is shown in Scripture in general as a tool for decision-making, much like flipping a coin).

But as with other activities that are not wrong necessarily in moderation, but in excess are problematic (e.g. people enjoying some drinks at the pub or at home after work is one thing; people getting shit-faced, blackout-drunk, and puking on the streets like we see today in the U.K. in contrast to the healthier drinking culture of yesteryear is quite another), so too with gambling. A bit here and there, a few national and regional lotteries, a few casinos, a few horsetracks with betting, etc., no big deal for society; only for a handful of people with self-control issues. But video lottery terminals and casinos increasingly everywhere, that’s worrisome. We can expect to see more and more gambling addictions arising, the numbers increasing exponentially, the more gambling proliferates.

What is bringing this about?

Well, frankly, at the end of the day, I think it’s just greedy governments, greedy for increased tax revenues, and/or finding an easy way to boost tourism (and no doubt some corrupt officials on the take, in the pockets of would-be casino owners) – and business owners, esp. bars which play host to video lottery terminals, all too happy to go along with it, because they sell more drinks the longer people sit in the bar and play. I don’t blame business owners for wanting to maximize their profits nor not wanting to lose out to the competition down the street if they host such terminals, but I do blame governments for allowing / promoting such.

As for why the public enthusiastically embraces them, hey, it’s a thrill, and the lure of easy money for nothing is too much for many to resist. (Not me; I think I lack the gambling gene or whatever; I don’t even play lottery tickets, though I will enter occasionally contests to win a trip, or some charity 50:50 draws occasionally, but I don’t bet or go to casinos or the like, just because I have different interests, same as I’m not especially interested in sports, particularly. This of course doesn’t mean I’m better than others; just that my temptations / vices / weaknesses / preferred recreational activities happen to lie elsewhere.) And no doubt in hard times, it becomes even more of an escape, and something into which people place their hopes, rather than in God.

Anyway, just something I’ve noticed, of late; or rather, I’ve been noticing it over the last generation, but with recent increased rates of proliferation of gambling forms, I couldn’t help but be struck by it, and find myself contemplating it more.

 

Catholic farmer ousted from Michigan market over same-sex marriage views

Thought-criminal dissent from the prog zeitgeist will not be tolerated.

A Catholic farmer in Michigan is suing the city of East Lansing after he was barred from a municipal farmers market over his views on same-sex marriage.

Stephen Tennes filed a lawsuit at a federal court on Wednesday (May 31), seeking his reinstatement.

In it, Tennes says he was prohibited from selling his products after his business, Country Mill Farms, refused to host a lesbian couple’s wedding at its orchard in Charlotte, 22 miles outside the city and he stated on Facebook “his Catholic belief that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman.”

Country Mill Farms had sold fruit and produce at the market for six years, but after city officials learned about the Facebook post, they “strongly and immediately pressured us not to return to the farmers market,” Tennes told a news conference at the state Capitol.

According to the lawsuit, Country Mill is the only business to have been prohibited under the market’s anti-discrimination policy.

In a statement, the city of East Lansing said the farmer’s refusal to host a same-sex wedding violated a “long-standing ordinance that protects sexual orientation as well as the Supreme Court’s ruling that grants the right for same-sex couples to be married.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian-based nonprofit legal organization representing Tennes, said his religious views have no bearing on his involvement at the market and said the city’s actions amounted to a First Amendment violation.

“Steve and his farm have been singled out and excluded from full participation in the life of the community for only one reason,” said ADF counsel Kate Anderson. “Steve expressed a viewpoint the city did not like.”

Flanked by supportive state lawmakers at the news conference, Tennes insisted his views on marriage had not prevented him from serving all farmers market customers equally.

“It’s our faith that informs us how to treat all who come to our farm and the farmers market with dignity and decency … serving customers of many races, religions, cultures and those who identify with the LBGT community,” he said.

His farm is outside of the city, and it’s his own property, but the city government considers his actions there to nevertheless be their business, when of course it’s none of their damned business.

But, that’s progs; no-one is safe, anywhere, from dissent, if they decide on a whim to bring the weight of the state to bear upon you.

Nevertheless, let’s pray that he wins his lawsuit.

 

Heineken promotes a world without borders


(Heineken’s previous foray into prog politics…)

 

Romania Close to Ban on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

Romania Close to Ban on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

The Romanian Chamber of Deputies has voted in favor of a proposal to amend the Constitution to ensure that marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman.

The proposal, led by a group called Coalition for Family, passed with 232 votes in favor, 22 against and 13 abstentions. The group had collected three million signatures in support of this initiative last year.

The Romanian Constitution defines the family as the “freely consented marriage between spouses.” It was written during an earlier period in its history when “spouses” always implied marital relationships as between one man and one woman.

Good on Romania!

 
 

Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants

Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants

In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities recently confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center. The units, which are owned by a private landlord, are in need of repair and have been vacant since 2012. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.

The expropriation is authorized by the Hamburg Housing Protection Act (Hamburger Wohnraumschutzgesetz), a 1982 law that was updated by the city’s Socialist government in May 2013 to enable the city to seize any residential property unit that has been vacant for more than four months.

The forced lease, the first of its kind in Germany, is said to be aimed at pressuring the owners of other vacant residences in the city to make them available for rent. Of the 700,000 rental units in Hamburg, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 (less than one percent) are believed to be vacant, according an estimate by the Hamburg Senate.

Socialists and Greens in Hamburg recently established a “hotline” where local residents can report vacant properties. Activists have also created a website — Leerstandsmelder (Vacancy Reporter) — to identify unoccupied real estate in Hamburg and other German cities.

It remains unclear why the landlord in Hamm left his apartments vacant for more than five years. Some have posited that, given the location of the properties, the renovation costs may have been too high and probably would not have been offset by the rental income.