10/20/14

I Do, Becomes I Won’t — Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Gov’t Tells Ministers To Perform Gay Marriage Or Face Jail

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Never in my wildest nightmares would I have believed this could happen in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where I lived for five years until recently and where I spent part of my childhood. Idaho, is for the most part, a bastion of conservatism. Now, pastors are facing 180 days in jail if they refuse to perform a gay marriage ceremony:

(Alliance Defending Freedom) Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to stop officials in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from forcing two ordained Christian ministers to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here – and it’s happened this quickly. The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple’s freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected just as the First Amendment intended.”

We were told this could never happen, except it just did in Houston, Texas and now in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. This horrifically violates our freedom of religion as Christians. As I write this, many pastors have decided to stand their ground and go to jail over this if it is pursued. If they follow their faith, they have very little in the way of alternative choices here.

This mandate by these fascist city officials is against the law, including Idaho’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, as well as the 1st Amendment of the US Bill of Rights.

From William Teach at Right Wing News:

Oh, and just to be truly clear, here’s Section I, Article 4 of the Idaho Constitution:

Guaranty of religious liberty. The exercise and enjoyment of religious faith and worship shall forever be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege, or capacity on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, or excuse acts of licentiousness or justify polygamous or other pernicious practices, inconsistent with morality or the peace or safety of the state; nor to permit any person, organization, or association to directly or indirectly aid or abet, counsel or advise any person to commit the crime of bigamy or polygamy, or any other crime. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination, or pay tithes against his consent; nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship. Bigamy and polygamy are forever prohibited in the state, and the legislature shall provide by law for the punishment of such crimes.

Not only do the Knapps face 180 days in jail, they face fines of $1000 a day for defying these city officials. I have a sincere urge to say something very un-Christian right now, but will refrain. That’s more jail time than they give some child molesters. What happened to freedom of choice? Freedom of religion? Freedom, period? I guess separation of Church and the so-called State only applies when the powers-that-be want it to apply.

We have now started skidding down that slippery slope that the Progressives set up over gay marriage. Tolerance for thee, but not for me if I’m a Christian.

The Daily Signal had this to say about government coercion:

The Knapps have been married to each other for 47 years and are both ordained ministers of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. They are “evangelical Christians who hold to historic Christian beliefs” that “God created two distinct genders in His image” and “that God ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman.”

But as a result of the courts redefining marriage and a city ordinance that creates special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Knapps are facing government coercion.

Governmental recognition of same-sex relationships as marriages need not and should not require any third party to recognize a same-sex relationship as a marriage. Government should respect the rights of all citizens. Indeed, a form of government respectful of free association, free contracts, free speech and free exercise of religion should protect citizens’ rights to live according to their beliefs about marriage.

The Knapps have been celebrating weddings in their chapel since 1989. Government should not now force them to shut down or violate their beliefs.

After all, protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms. No one has a right to have the government force a particular minister to marry them. Some citizens may conclude that they cannot in good conscience participate in same-sex ceremonies, from priests and pastors to bakers and florists. They should not be forced to choose between strongly held religious beliefs and their livelihood.

I don’t see how the city of Coeur d’Alene can claim that forcing the Knapps to perform a same-sex wedding is a compelling government interest being pursued in the least restrictive way. There are numerous other ways where a same-sex couple could tie the knot. Indeed, there is a county clerks office directly across the street from the chapel.

CDA is taking a step many opponents of same-sex marriage feared would come – forcing those with religious objections to perform same-sex marriages or risk facing prosecution for violating non-discrimination laws. That day is now here and upon us. Christians and pastors must stand tough and together on this and not budge, for the sake of our churches, Christians and our faith.

My friend Bookworm Room perhaps put it best:

It’s important to add here that the Knapps, like my hypothetical Catholic priest, aren’t crazy people who came up with their religion yesterday, while shopping at the Piggly Wiggly, and included in their brand new faith core doctrines demanding ritual Barbie doll dismemberment, mandatory bestiality, and 100% tithing. The Knapps, like my hypothetical priest, are interpreting Christian religious doctrine as it has been interpreted for 2,000 years. They are interpreting Christian religious doctrine as it existed when the Founders enacted the First Amendment. They are interpreting Christian religious doctrine in a way that meshes with most religion’s core doctrinal points right up until the last 40 years, when a bunch of churches and synagogues ran off into the far reaches Leftist swamp lands.

Under the First Amendment, those faiths that wish to marry same-sex partners should be allowed to do so.  And those churches that hew to traditional religious interpretations about marriage and do not wish to marry same-sex partners, should be left entirely alone — and that’s true whether they perform the marriage ritual for free or on a fee-for-service basis.  The issue isn’t money; it’s faith.

When Queen Elizabeth I of England came to the throne after decades of religious strife, she famously refused to resume religious inquisitions, saying, instead, “I would not open windows into men’s souls.” What’s happening in Coeur d’Alene isn’t just opening a window into men’s souls, it’s interpretation of its own ordinance is a rock thrown directly through that window in an effort to destroy men’s faith entirely.

This is about principle and faith. Not only should the pastors tell the officials in Houston in regards to their sermons, “Come and take them!” The pastors in CDA need to tell their officials that they are making a stand and this is our Alamo.

10/20/14

The Temple Mount

Arlene from Israel

I’ve written several times about the growing problems on Har Habayit – the Temple Mount.

Temple Mount

Credit: Wiki Commons

Again now I report on the situation, which is grave and most be considered with utmost seriousness.

Over the week of the Sukkot holiday, there was a rash of Arab violence that was clearly premeditated.  It began on Wednesday, the 8th of October: that evening began Sukkot and many Jewish worshippers came to ascend to the Mount (emphasis added):

The fighting began when masked youths threw stones, iron bars, cinder blocks and Molotov cocktails at police officers as the Mughrabi Gate opened to non-Muslim visitors earlier in the day.

“Police chased the demonstrators toward the Al-Aqsa mosque, where they barricaded themselves inside and continued hurling objects in the direction of the police, said police spokeswoman Luba Samri.

“Samri said the Palestinians had prepared for the confrontation ahead of time, and had set up obstacles at the holy site to slow down police. She said the Palestinians threw firebombs and rocks at police from within the mosque.

Police responded with ‘nonlethal riot control means,’ Samri said.

“A radical Islamic cleric in Israel, Raed Salah, had called on Muslims to be present at the mosque Wednesday morning. About 30 young Palestinians slept the night before at the mosque in preparation for the confrontation, according to Palestinian eyewitnesses.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/three-police-hurt-in-holiday-eve-melee-on-temple-mount/

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Credit: TheJerusalemConnection
The violence continued intermittently over the course of the week of Sukkot.  But finally, it seems, Israeli authorities, confronting the serious of the Arab threat, are responding with greater determination.  This is to be celebrated.  For many years, Arabs knew that all they had to do was riot or even threaten to riot, and Israeli police, citing security concerns, blocked entrance to the Mount for Jews.  The wrong people were being deprived of the opportunity to be on the Mount. But now (emphasis added):

“In a policy change since the beginning of the Jewish New Year, instead of closing the Temple Mount to [Jewish] visitors after Muslim rioting, the Israel Police push the rioters back inside the Al-Aqsa mosque and leave the Temple Mount compound open. But the policy may change again if the current situation persists, Aharonovitch said.

’If the Jews cannot go up to the Mount, the Muslims will not go up to the Mount,’ he said.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/10/19/temple-mount-tensions-reach-a-boiling-point-during-sukkot/

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What we are dealing with is a battle for control of the Mount.

Jordan, which controls the Muslim Wakf (trust, or authority) on the Mount, charged Israeli police with fomenting the problem.

“The forces of the occupation … prevented religious officials entering (the compound) and cleared it of all Muslims, while at the same time enabling Jewish extremists to storm it, and pray with security forces protection,” complained Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momeni.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185983#.VEQdM5txnIU

Note: “forces of the occupation” implies Israel has no right to be there.

~~~~~~~~~~

And now it has come to this (emphasis added):

”Palestinian Authority President (sic) Mahmoud Abbas called on Palestinians on Friday to prevent Jewish ‘settlers’ from entering the Temple Mount.

”Addressing Fatah activists from east[ern] Jerusalem in Ramallah, Abbas also called on Palestinians to be present at the Temple Mount at all times to confront the ‘fierce onslaught on Al-Aksa Mosque, Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre Church.’

He said Fatah should spearhead the effort to stop ‘settlers’ from entering the Temple Mount.

“We must prevent them from entering the Noble Sanctuary in any way. This is our Al-Aksa and our church. They have no right to enter and desecrate them. We must confront them and defend our holy sites.”

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Abbas-calls-on-activists-to-prevent-Jewish-settlers-from-entering-Temple-Mount-379153

These statements by Abbas are always calculated.  Note the term “settlers,” which is pejorative, referring to Jews who are presumably where they do not belong.

And a “fierce onslaught” on the Holy Sepulchre Church?  (Which, by the way, is not on the Mount at all.) This is a ludicrous attempt to make it seem as if Muslims protect Christians from Israeli attack. The reality is that Muslims are massacring Christians, who are in fact safe no where in the Middle East except Israel.  Christians pray freely at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is in eastern Jerusalem.  But Abbas says what he pleases, with impunity and with no regard for the truth.

Abbas’s statement, which represents a new low, is incitement clear and simple.  This is the man with whom Israel should negotiate?  Let’s see how long it takes for Kerry to call him on this.

Just one day after this outrage, Abbas went even further:

In a speech yesterday to to the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah party, he referred to Jews entering the Mount as a “herd of cattle.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186265#.VEQjYptxnIU

~~~~~~~~~~

”Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman blasted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday night after Abbas said that Jews should be prevented from visiting the Temple Mount and that Palestinians should defend the site from them.

“Lieberman said Abbas’ remarks reveal his attempt to ignite the conflict by using the most sensitive place, the Temple Mount. In a statement released on Saturday night, Lieberman accused Abbas and the PA of being behind the disturbances of the residents of east Jerusalem.

”The foreign minister said that the remarks also reveal Abbas’ ‘true face’ as a ‘Holocaust denier who speaks about a Palestinian state free of Jews.’ He said Abbas was and remains an anti-Semite.

“’Behind his [Abbas'] suit and the pleasantries aimed at the international community, he ramps up incitement against Israel and the Jews and calls for a religious war,’ he said.”

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Liberman-calls-Abbas-anti-Semite-compares-him-to-ISIS-after-Temple-Mount-remarks-379154

True, all true.

 

Credit: jmpoint.hu
~~~~~~~~~~

I noted with particular interest a quote Martin Sherman provided in his most recent JPost column (and for which I thank him):

With the two-state solution… Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the chosen people? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse…. Then we will move forward.”

Abbas Zaki, senior PLO official. (ANB TV, Lebanon, May 7, 2009)

www.jpost.com/Opinion/Into-the-fray-The-two-stage-solution-379041

~~~~~~~~~~

Where Zaki refers to Jerusalem, with its spiritual status, read “Temple Mount,” which is at the very core of that spiritual status.  It must not be relinquished. Our presence on the Mount must be constant, and our security forces and authorities must be ever strong in defending our rights there.

~~~~~~~~~~

And the good news today? We had rain. A period of torrential rain that turned the streets to rivers.  I got caught in it, and I called it a blessing.  We began praying for rain on Simchat

Torah, Thursday.  The beginning of the winter season.  May it be a very wet one.

Credit: Marc Israel Sellem

10/20/14

November 4: the most important election in history

By: James Simpson
DC Independent Examiner


The GOP has surged in the polls leading up to the November elections as people come to the shocking realization that Obama is deliberately risking the American population’s health by encouraging unfettered access to America by Ebola-infected West Africans. And while we are preoccupied with this horror show, he is intent on legalizing tens of millions of aliens to obtain a permanent Democrat majority nationwide. Obama’s goal is to destroy the middle class and steal future elections with a tidal wave of amnestied illegal immigrants.

Obama’s vindictive, destructive agenda has him plummeting in the polls, even with almost universal protection from the treasonous mass media. Republicans are likely to increase their margins in the House and take the U.S. Senate. A dreampt-of long shot would be for them to obtain veto-proof majorities in both houses. That is an unlikely scenario. What is more likely is Democrat victories in close races, both because they are gearing up for massive voter fraud and pushing for major turnout by minorities. Blacks are a reliable voting bloc for Democrats despite the decades of destruction Democrats have deliberately visited upon them to keep them dependent on government. Still some are finally wising up. The rapidly growing Hispanic population is the Democrats new favored minority, and they will push to turn out the Hispanic vote, both legal and illegal.

Americans need to understand going into this election that there will probably not be one of greater import. Conservatives and independents need to turn out in record numbers. The Left is vicious, relentless, and incredibly duplicitous, and the leftist political/judicial/bureaucratic infrastructure built over decades will do everything it can to limit the damage Obama is causing, and give close elections to Democrats.

Whatever the outcome, the GOP needs to fight this with everything it has. They need to earn our support this time. In 2010 we gave the GOP historic victories. State governments did a fairly good job of capitalizing on these victories. Most notable was Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin, where the unions had literally priced themselves out of the market. Even liberals will go only so far in supporting wholesale theft of taxpayer dollars. But at the national level, the GOP House of Representatives, led by the insipid, self-serving jellyfish, John Boehner, has been inept at best in its handling of Obama. If the GOP wins big in November, we cannot afford to squander it with non-leadership like Boehner’s.

Whoever is in charge of the House and Senate, they will have to fight like tigers for the next two years to make sure that Obama’s monstrous agenda is stopped in its tracks. If they do nothing else, that alone will be a resounding victory, and give us breathing room to recover from Obama. If they fail, we are finished as a nation. Hillary will just be the cleanup crew.

10/20/14

Forum: Why Do You Think Obama’s Actions On Ebola Have Been So Ineffective?

The Watcher’s Council

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: Why Do You Think Obama’s Actions On Ebola Have Been So Ineffective?

The Independent Sentinel: Mr. Obama is ineffective in handling Ebola because he sees everything as political. He doesn’t do anything for the right reasons.

Everything is done for political reasons with the goal of manipulating the public.

Mr. Obama has trouble making decisions. He’s a political coward. He’s so afraid of what people will say or how it might affect his political agenda that he can’t seem to do anything effectively. When he finally does act, it’s too little.

He has politicized every agency. Agencies are no longer doing what they are entrusted to do. Agencies we used to respect are now failures because they are working on the leftist political agenda.

Obama’s a political animal without the usual moral strictures.

He is always a day late and a dollar short and will continue to be for the next two years.

Simply Jews: Frankly, it is hard for me to blame the current POTUS in a situation like this.

The whole heavy and creaky government juggernaut is not a creation of the last POTUS but of many decades of out of control growth, decay and increasing inefficiency.

Besides, vigilance and preparedness is not something the government institutions are known for – in any country of this world.

I am not a natural born optimist, so in my opinion, things will get much worse before everyone in the health system will get a handle on what is exactly the right thing to do and stop doing stupid things. This is, unfortunately, the human way of learning.

JoshuaPundit: Honestly? I don’t think he cares about anything but the politics. Ron Kain is simply a partisan hack operative who can be relied on to toe the party line and keep things as buried as much as possible.  Dr. Thomas Frieden was a little too obvious and kept tripping over his own stupid tongue, so the regime wants him out of the spotlight.

Two things, BTW that very few people are discussing. First, the connection between the appearance of Ebola and other infectious diseases like Enterovirus D68(AKA EV-D68) and the president’s open borders policy. EV-D68 has already killed half a dozen Americans and there are currently over 500 cases in hospitals all over America, particularly in areas where the White House shipped illegal migrants without any in depth health screening from Central America, where there has been a major outbreak of the disease.

And second, given previous actions by this president, the racial aspect. I would happily be wrong about this, but I have a feeling that if Ebola was endemic in Ireland or Poland rather than West Africa, not only would there be a strict travel ban in place already, but I doubt we’d have 3,000 U.S. troops in Dublin or Warsaw exposing themselves to infection.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: President Obama never fails to put politics ahead of everything else, especially when there is a good crisis to manage. CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden’s inability to convince us that a travel ban is not necessary to prevent others from bringing the virus here only helped to fuel the hysteria of a possible epidemic in America. Whatever happened to erring on the side of caution, at least until we know exactly how the two nurses in Texas contracted Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan?

Dr. Frieden couldn’t sell the Administration’s talking points. The media has been relentless in its coverage and furthering the hysteria. Caving to political pressure President Obama appointed political insider Ron Klain as his “Ebola response coordinator”; a man with no medical experience or credentials. Presumably they believe he will do a better job with the talking points than Dr. Frieden. It’s not about getting control of the situation; it is about getting control of the narrative.

On a positive note, the CDC policy of contact tracing seems to be working. Today (Sunday) is day 21 and we have not heard of any of Mr. Duncan’s family members or other contacts, or any other health care workers who were in contact with Mr. Duncan, developing symptoms to indicate they contracted Ebola.

Hopefully we have seen the end of this latest crisis.

The Right Planet: ONE WORD: POLITICS! The Obama Administration handling of the Ebola issue is not just ineffective … it’s criminal. Let’s just apply a little common sense here and stick to the who, what, why, where, when and how.

Shall we?

We have a deadly virus called Ebola. We know viruses can mutate, and often do over time. There are several species or genus of Ebola, from what I understand–namely Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ebola Bundibuygo (Uganda). I find the regional nature of the Ebola species rather intriguing. I would assume the deadly virus is quite virulent, and is able to adapt to a wide range of environmental factors, considering the outbreaks have steadily increased since 1976, and across numerous regions.

There had been a rather linear and steady increase in Ebola deaths since the first case appeared in South Sudan in 1976. But Ebola deaths have increased dramatically in 2014. Fatalities caused by the Ebola virus steadily began to rise during the month of May, and then a dramatic and alarming increase in Ebola deaths began in mid-July 2014. The concern now is there could be an exponential increase in deaths if the Ebola outbreak is not contained.

But I’ll leave all that to the epidemiologists and infectious disease experts … which brings me to President Obama appointing Ronald Klain as the “Ebola Czar.”

Are you kidding me?

Without even going off on a rant about the whole unconstitutional nature of the “czar” regime, one would think the president would appoint an expert in epidemiology with an extensive medical background. This is not the time for a “revolutionary change agent.” Ebola is a disease. The appointment of a extreme-left political hack is nothing more than Obama employing his former debate coach to help manage his public relations in order to protect his precious political image, when the focus should be on preventing a possible pandemic.

One thing I’ve heard from some medical experts is the Ebola virus is being spread because of the “opening up” of travel within western and central Africa. So, would it not be logical to listen to the medical experts and restrict travel in the affected and effected regions? It’s not like the travel bans would be permanent. It makes no sense to me that a patient infected with Ebola must be quarantined here in order to prevent others from becoming infected, yet the administration refuses to quarantine Ebola at its point of origin, in western Africa–which is the only real way to isolate the virus, that I’m aware of.

Up until now, the Ebola virus was isolated to Africa. But now, the virus has killed a Spanish nurse and a man in Texas. Will we have new species of Ebola now? Like Ebola Spain and Ebola Texas? The consistent minimizing of serious threats by the president screams to me that he is far more concerned about his firm hold on power than he is about doing the right thing. Banning travel in western Africa is not a “racial issue.” Ebola is no respecter of race; it will kill a white man just as fast as it will kill a black man. But, apparently the only person Barack Obama listens to is … Barack Obama.

 GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Unbelievably Jay Vee.

Selecting an organizational partisan hack (no matter how great at organizing) shows 44 and his posse are all politics all the time. Cats like General PAce (Retd) from the Marine Corps or even somedobby like former TN Senator Bill Frist (who by happy double chance is a doctor AND has been to West Africa bunches of times) would maybe might be more better.

It’s like the longest running gag on Jack Ass – and we the people are the punch line.

The Glittering Eye: They’re only ineffective if you believe there are real material risks posed by Ebola in this country. If you think that the only risks are psychological or political ones, what he’s been doing have been effective. Under pressure to “do something”, he’s committed troops to West Africa, presumably to build hospitals without staff or equipment. They certainly don’t have the training to treat patients or even handle dead bodies.

That’s how I interpret the appointment of Ron Klain as “Ebola czar”. His job is clearly to keep the story tamped down until after the November elections to minimize the damage it might do to Democratic chances of holding the Senate.

Well, there you have it!

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