City officials to Christian Pastors: Perform Same-Sex “Wedding” Ceremonies, or Go to Jail

In Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: a married couple of 47 years, both Christian ministers who since 1989 have operated the 95-year-old “Hitching Post Wedding Chapel”, are told by city officials “that their refusal to perform a same-sex ceremony at their chapel violates the city’s anti-discrimination policy. For each day they refuse to perform the ceremony, they face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

Because pro-SSM isn’t about tolerance or promoting equality; it’s about crushing dissent.

Advertisements

Equal Time

As I wrote this rant yesterday, which (at least according to today’s news) brought about fairly sharp rebukes from those who actually cherish religious freedom and their First Amendment rights, it occurred to me that it’s fairly surprising that this story could come from Texas.

I imagine that these days most urban centers lean to the left, but I guess I naively believed that even cities in Texas bleed red, with the exception of Austin. One would have thought that rather than Houston, issuing subpoenas to pastors would have come from (oh, I don’t know) San Francisco, or Washington, D.C. 

The Heartland is fading, I suppose.

Anyway, in the spirit of “equal time”, and to help some Texans and Houstonians who may be feeling a little bit embarrassed right now, I give you this disturbing little nugget:

Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a law requiring that California health care providers be trained to better understand the specific health needs of the LGBT community.

The law is meant to target inequities in medical treatment for LGBT patients who, according to the San Francisco Examiner, suffer from a lack of provider understanding of gay and transgendered health issues.

Laws like this have nothing whatever to do with delivering quality health care. These laws are ideological. In places like California, it is getting more and more difficult for Pro-Life and Traditional Marriage supporters to enter professions.

Houston’s Mayor and Her So-Called “Bathroom Bill”…..

…..Must be marinating in the stench of bovine feces, for trying to flush out and publicly shame Christian pastors. Suggest anyone who wishes to address the Mayor and City Council stand at the back wall of the chamber to avoid the noxious odors. Or better yet, wear a gas mask.

14801535173_f06e3cb5e0_oHouston’s new “non-discrimination” law provides, inter alia, that it’s discriminatory for men to be required to use the men’s restroom and for women to be required to use the women’s restroom at public places.

Opponents of the law filed a lawsuit against the city. The city, ostensibly at the direction of its mayor, issued subpoenas to a few of the pastors of the 400 area churches involved in a coalition opposed to the law (but who are not parties to the litigation), demanding copies of “any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor.”

Because only Christian haters are guilty of bullying and intolerance.

Just Euthanize the Poor who can’t afford “Palliative Care”…..

…..says a newly installed Lithuanian health minister.

Just who do these people think they are, trying to live until they die and all that? Not people!?! Don’t they know that they are poor? Isn’t it almost pathetically cute how they don’t even seem to realize? Lithuania isn’t a welfare state and it’s really selfish of poor old sick people to expect any kindness or care from their already-burdened relatives.

According to this health minister, it would actually be “torment” for onlooking relatives. And you’re not the kind of person who enjoys tormenting loved ones, are you? Good then, we’ll schedule it for Tuesday next.

And Lithuania’s new health minister wouldn’t mind talking about killing already-born children too, a la Belgium.

Subsidized Child Abuse

No one — no one! — is entitled to a child. Children are a gift from God, the “supreme gift of marriage.” Only the child is entitled to certain things from his parents: “to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents,” and “the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception.” (CCC 2378).

When an individual intentionally deprives potential offspring of the right to be born of a loving marriage and to know (and be known by) the child’s mother and father, the individual has committed a grave offense against human dignity. (CCC 2376).

When a government, such as the United Kingdom, through its National Health Service, begins to subsidize the artificial creation of children it effectively aids and abets — through subsidy and legitimization — child abuse.

As the Family Breaks Down, Government (and Its Machine) Rises Up

One of the great social engineering experiments of the 20th Century is our U.S. Government’s approach to welfare. Beginning with the New Deal and reaching its zenith in LBJ’s Great Society, the government has encouraged a dole for the poor, but its programs were designed to deliver not greater independence and family support, but dependence and apathy, fostered by personal selfishness.

Statistics indicate that over the past century, an ever-increasing number of children are born to single or unmarried households. Now, the numbers show that more than half of all children born today are born outside a stable marriage.

Statistics also indicate that while we were promised a reduction in abortion through the widespread adoption of artificial contraception, this too has not happened. Instead, the number of abortions performed annually is a number that continues to climb.

I think we are now on the tail end of this laboratory of failure, and so we can see the bad effects perhaps not precisely, but with better clarity than before. Robust families — consisting of a father and mother, a plurality of children, and a network of extended families and friends — simply do not hold the same position in our society as they once did.

In place of traditional vanguards, we have been offered an insidious message and illusory promise by “progressive” forces:

“You can and should be an entirely autonomous individual.” 

Think about it. Nearly every social ill is premised upon this same message:

  • Spend more money on yourself, because it’s yours.
  • Use birth control if the idea of a child is too much of a burden.
  • It’s okay to divorce, because if your spouse does not make you happy, you should be free to do what makes you happy.
  • Get an abortion because there is no dad and keeping a child would ruin your life.
  • Enter into any deviant sexual relationship that you want, call it whatever you want, even call it marriage if it feels good, and let anyone else (and the truth) be damned.
  • Use contraception to control the number of children that you have, limiting children to a manageable number for youYou decide.
  • After all, there’s more to your life than who is dependent on you; anything else would be unfair, to you.

I am convinced that this message, and the powers promulgating it, are not accidental. This is not mere shrapnel in the Culture War; rather, this is the primary weapon — a quiet killer of lives, and the thing hardens the soul. 

It is an effective weapon, because destabilizing the family is to remove it as cornerstone of society, leaving an opening for placement of a new cornerstone: Big Government.

Why Big Government? For those who drive the ship as it expands, Big Government means power, money, control — all things that can be grown exponentially by limiting the numbers of those on top.

Meanwhile, open hands and mouths facing the District of Columbia still need to be fed. But the real mothers of the world have been told to spend their time on themselves, engaged in their own pursuits. Fathers have been told something different but just as destructive: they are irrelevant and might as well do whatever they want, too.

Big Government fancies itself the New Jerusalem so that the New Psalmist might cry out “Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts.” (Isaiah 66:10-14).

And yet we know that Big Government is not a true mother. It has no love for the people it feeds. It makes no act of the will directed toward the good of another.

Rather, Big Government is the anti-mother: it dispenses pap, it is a harpy; its breasts are withered, sagging and dry. To suck fully of the milk of her comfort is to receive a mouthful of dust and rusty nails.

Dust and rusty nails, presented in near-perfect packaging, is all that Big Government has. And it shows. After generations of undermining the family to the point that moms and dads don’t know how to raise children, and children don’t know how to be children (much less grow into functional adults), the government would turn to itself once again to replace natural human relationships with…… wait for it…… specially programmed robots.

That’s right. In an age where individual autonomy, “choice and freedom” have supplanted virtue and sacrifice, and literally obliterated the sanctity of the family, the answer is that we will rely upon automatons to raise our children, because we just don’t feel like doing it anymore.

Since the nuclear family only consists of 1.2, or 1.6, or 1.7 kids in the first place, there are no brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles either, so that socialization will occur between a person and the equivalent of an ambulatory idiot box.

Robots can also change the diapers of our parents and visit them in their nursing homes, delivering messages assuring our love and affection. They can nurse us when we are in the hospital. They can euthanize us when we are no longer useful, citing to “quality of life.”

Hell, if machines can sound, look, and even feel human, who are we to get in the way of someone so addled as to think actual relationships with them is possible? All that matters is that we can pass the burdens of every human obligation upon our own creations, so that we (so we are told) can finally be free.

[N.B., a great contrast: we pass our burdens to our creations while God takes our burdens back upon Himself. Listen to the Teacher! He knows what love is!]

As Catholics, it is time to reclaim our identity and spit out the dust and nails before it’s too late. Give your children yourself rather than the television and computer. Teach them how to behave. Give your children some brothers and sisters rather than a government-issued robot. Give your extended family and friends a welcome in your homes rather than sending them gift certificates to Outback Steakhouse.

Our Mother is the Church, and She — not Big Government — is the New Jerusalem. 

HHS Contraceptive Mandate: Amazed and Thankful!

Huzzah for separation of powers! It could have been 4-5, but today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, in favor of Hobby Lobby and the companion parties, establishing a precedent for religious liberty and deconstructing key elements of the HHS Contraceptive Mandate. A win:

Because RFRA applies in these cases, we must next ask whether the HHS contraceptive mandate “substantially burden[s]” the exercise of religion. 42 U. S. C. §2000bb–1(a). We have little trouble concluding that it does.

                           ***************

Arrogating the authority to provide a binding national answer to this religious and philosophical question, HHS and the principal dissent in effect tell the plaintiffs that their beliefs are flawed.

The Republic is not completely dead. It still raises its head and issues a roar from time to time. The entire decision is available here.

Big Government says the Cheese stands alone, but not on a Wood Shelf

No whey. This story really takes the cheese. It makes me — uh, err — curdle.

It seems that in another bid to implant itself as chief nanny and big bossy-britches, our Food and Drug Administration is further regulating tampering with artisanal methods of cheese production — which, I might add, have been tried and tested over the centuries and present no credible basis for risk to public health — to require that cheese makers discontinue the use of wooden boards for aging cheese.

The making of fine artisanal cheese is a delicate process that involves cooperation with living organisms. FDA regulations, on the other hand, are written like lab manuals for the manufacture of polymers. It seems that the FDA dislikes natural or traditional processes. Soon, only “cheese” (“natural cheese product”) that is aerosolized and canned (or rendered into block form, a la Velveeta) will be permitted to carry the label “artisanal”.

On the Question of Use of Deadly Force against Citizens

From the Washington Times:

Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” was issued Dec. 29, 2010, and states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.”

“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” the directive states.

“In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances” under two conditions.

The conditions include military support needed “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order.” A second use is when federal, state and local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”

“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,” the directive states.

Read the rest here.

On May 28, our Holy Father addressed the 103rd Session of the International Labour Conference. In the message, Francis generally discusses the issue of the matter of human dignity. He says that “human labour” is both a gift and duty, as well as a “continuation of God’s creative work”.

He says that expanding solidarity for the laborer requires a renewal of commitment to the “dignity of every person”, which in setting out improved labour standards globally requires “focused development on the human person as its central actor and primary beneficiary.” The Holy Father is very clearly saying that while work is both a good and a gift, it must be recognized that work exists for — and because of — peopleand not vice versaUnder our American system of government, the same can be said; we are a government of, by, and for the People.

However, this Directive arguably implies that the lives of American citizens are expendable in order “to prevent… wanton destruction of property” and also “…when federal, state and local authorities ‘are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.’”

Due to the inequality of our economic system, there is a widening of the gap between rich and poor. An economic system that permits an exceedingly tiny fraction of the global population to possess almost all of the world’s wealth and resources while billions of people lack essentials like food, clean water, clothing, shelter, and basic health care is not a defensible system in its current form, especially when the system is supported by governments that create self-perpetuating policies in preference for things and power versus………….. PEOPLE.

It isn’t the fact that the government gives itself the power to “quell civil disturbances” that is so troubling; rather, it’s the fact that pursuant to this Directive the government may use deadly force against people in order to protect its own stuff and control, even in situations where human life is not in danger.

In our Preamble, it is We the People who form a more perfect union to promote the general Welfare to ourselves and our Posterity. That capital “P” in Posterity refers to our offspring — the People who come after us.