Mike Pence Shouldn’t Lecture Conservatives on Religious Liberty

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Earlier this year, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal drew criticism from conservatives for vetoing religious liberty legislation that would protect dissenters’ right to freely exercise their religion. Now, Indiana governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is trying to give frustrated Georgians advice on how to address religious liberty questions.

“The lessons that we learned in the state of Indiana is that the American people abhor discrimination – we don’t support discrimination against anyone,” Pence said. “But at the end of the day it’s important that whenever our rights come into conflict, that the courts are the proper place to resolve those rights.”

Later in the statement, Pence said, “And Donald Trump and I really believe that these are issues that are best resolved in Georgia, in Indiana and at the state level.”

There are a few problems with Pence’s lecture to the people of Georgia.

First, Pence’s record on religious liberty is not exemplary. Last year, the Indiana General Assembly passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and Pence signed it into law. But once Big Business, the entertainment industry, and special interest groups put pressure on Pence to backtrack, he immediately crumpled and removed some of the law’s most serious protections.

Additionally, Pence’s statement contradicts the national Republican Party’s platform. House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, have rallied in support of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which “prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

Even Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, a Republican with a relatively moderate track record, has said the federal government ought to be highly involved in the defense of religious liberty. Continue Reading

Left-Wing Candidate Will Stand Up for Harambe But Not the Unborn

Dr. Jill Stein (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Jill Stein, the far-left Green Party’s presidential nominee, recently issued a public statement decrying the shooting of Harambe the Gorilla.

“Other countries, especially in Europe, have begun to provide legal rights and protected status to primates as living beings,” the statement said. “Non human primates should have the legal right to live freely or, when necessary, in sanctuaries only for medical rehabilitation or ecological assistance for endangered species.”

Stein also tweeted that the death of Harambe should remind everyone to be a “voice for the voiceless.”

In response to a support, Stein also tweeted that she “opposes killing people”:

However, Stein is no opponent of a culture of death. In reality, her hypocrisy is absolutely stunning. Jill Stein thinks it is important enough to tweet about the death of a gorilla, but she has not once sent out a tweet mourning the deaths of nearly 60 million babies since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

In fact, Stein has consistently said that she wants to expand the ability of women to get abortions — even going so far as to assert that abortion is a fundamental right and that government ought to provide access to it:

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Federal Judge Blocks University of North Carolina from Enforcing “Bathroom Law”

Photo credit: Intel Free Press via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Friday, a federal judge blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing the state’s HB 2 bill, which restricts bathroom access based on biological sex.

“The University of North Carolina, its officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and all other persons acting in concert or participation with them are hereby enjoined from enforcing (the law) against the individual transgender plaintiffs until further order of the court,” Judge Thomas D. Schroeder wrote in his decision to block the law’s application.

This decision only applies to the three plaintiffs of the lawsuit — two students and a faculty member. However, LGBT activists are celebrating this decision, and they hope that this is a sign the law may ultimately be struck down.

The state’s law and federal guidance from the Departments of Education and Justice have come into conflict. According to Obama appointees in the federal government, nondiscrimination standards in Title IX require government-run schools, like UNC, to create “safe spaces” for transgender students. In part, that means allowing students to choose which bathroom they would prefer to use.

“The guidance explains that when students or their parents, as appropriate, notify a school that a student is transgender, the school must treat the student consistent with the student’s gender identity,” the federal government said in a press release explaining this guidance. “A school may not require transgender students to have a medical diagnosis, undergo any medical treatment, or produce a birth certificate or other identification document before treating them consistent with their gender identity.”

According to reports, the University of North Carolina is reviewing the order but will “fully comply with its directive.”

Far from abandon the law because of the political pressure, North Carolina’s governor, Pat McCrory, is standing up in defense of this law — even making a key issue in his reelection campaign. Continue Reading

WATCH: Justice Dept. Training Video Pushes Transgender Ideology on Nation’s Police

The Justice Department’s Community Relations Service recently released an instructional video purporting to teach police officers across the country how to handle interactions with transgendered citizens in a politically correct way.

“If someone feels disrespected, they are less likely to trust us or cooperate,” said Sgt. Brett Parson, the video’s narrator. “If officers understand who transgender people are as part of their community, interactions will be a whole lot better.”

The instructional video then goes on to explain to police officers the nuances of contemporary gender theory, including terms like “gender identity,” “sexual orientation,” and “assigned sex.” An emphasis is put on asking people for their “preferred pronoun” as to avoid “triggering” them.

The narrator of the video details multiple situations in which a police officer may have to interact with a transgender person, and encourages them to prioritize the wishes and comfort of transgender people in order to provide them a “safe space” during police interactions.

Under the leadership of Obama-appointed attorneys general, the Justice Department has been on the cutting edge of LGBT activism. For instance, the Justice Department is currently suing the state of North Carolina over its controversial “transgender bathroom law.”

As The Washington Times points out, this video does not address these ongoing legal and political battles surrounding public policy and transgenderism. Instead, it encourages police officers to act as though these have been decided in favor of leftist gender ideologues already.

Really, the Justice Department has no business telling local law enforcement officers how to act professionally. Continue Reading

New Mexico Education Official Admits High Schoolers Dissected Aborted Babies’ Brains

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The New Mexico Alliance for Life released a shocking video of a University of New Mexico official confessing that UNM professors illegally obtained aborted babies’ brains and had high school students at a summer camp dissect them.

Dr. Paul Roth, chancellor of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and dean of the School of Medicine, was questioned about the incident and confirmed that fetal brain tissue was used in these dissections.

“Yes, we had a faculty member who obtained some tissue, and during one of these summer workshops, uh, dissected I think one or two fetal brains,” Roth said.

Using fetal tissue from aborted children clearly violates New Mexico’s Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which prohibits using such tissue in medical research.

Investigations into UNM’s usage of aborted babies’ body parts have uncovered an illicit relationship between the university and regional abortion clinics.

Pro-life activists have, in the past, secured consent forms from Southwestern Women’s Options — a regional abortion clinic — that included a box to check to consent to the use of aborted fetuses’ tissue in medical experiments.

Earlier this summer, a Select Investigative Panel from the House of Representatives sent a letter to the Attorney General of New Mexico, referring UNM and SWWO for criminal charges.

“Through its investigation,” the letter stated, “the Panel has discovered that personnel within UNM’s hospital and medical school have aggressively engaged in expanding abortion in New Mexico through the offices, personnel, and resources of UNM.”

Further into the 291-page-long letter, the Select Panel reveals evidence that SWWO has a special contract to be the “sole provider of aborted infant tissue to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.” In addition, the Select Panel uncovered that UNM provided substantial benefits and faculty status to abortionists at SWWO clinics, and provided doctors for SWWO-affiliated abortion clinics. Continue Reading

Michigan Catholic Diocese Ditches Common Core

The Catholic Diocese of Marquette, Mich., announced that their schools are experiencing success implementing a classical curriculum in place of the Common Core standards that have become prevalent at school districts across the country.

“While we respectfully understand that other private and Catholic schools may discern to adapt or adopt the standards for these and other reasons,” Marquette Bishop John Doerfler said in a statement, “we do not believe that such actions would benefit the mission, Catholic identity or academic excellence of our schools.”

The diocese began implementing the new curriculum in the last school year, and reports are that the schools are very pleased about the positive changes they have seen and enthusiastic about what the future of classical, liberal education holds.

Michigan’s legislature is currently considering two bills that would repeal and replace Common Core in government-run school districts.

“It is time to end the disastrous national experiment that is Common Core and let Michigan manage its own destiny to achieve excellence in our education system,” State Senator Phil Pavlov, a Republican opponent of Common Core, said in a statement. “This bill sets quality, Michigan-controlled standards that give our schools consistency for the future and give local communities a voice in their children’s education.”

Anecdotal evidence suggests Michiganders wholly agree with Pavlov’s assessment of the national standards.

Zach Good, provost at the Sacred Heart Academy in Grand Rapids, worked with the Marquette Diocese to transition to a classical curriculum, and received strong support from the community.

“Sacred Heart had around 60 students, and the number was declining significantly every year,” Good told the Heartland Institute. Continue Reading

Five Most Shocking Details About the Clinton Foundation’s Corruption

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with former President Bill Clinton (photo credit: Karen Murphy via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Over the last few months, media scrutiny of Hillary Clinton has focused on the scandals related to her private email servers and alleged mishandling of classified information. Now, however, several news agencies have uncovered documents that appear to implicate the Clinton Foundation in a pay-to-play scheme, where funds were leveraged for access to the State Department.

The media’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation is still ongoing. Reporters have only scratched the surface of the Foundation’s shady connections, and the influence of those connections on Clinton’s time as Secretary of State. However, the information that is publicly available at this time paints an ugly picture of corruption and malfeasance.

Some of the evidence of the most ridiculous deceit and corruption comes from a recent Judicial Watch FOIA request. Their press release said, “It’s no wonder Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin hid emails from the American people, the courts and Congress. They show that the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors, and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law.

Other stories of the improper relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department are older, but the Clintons’ avarice is just as shocking in these episodes.

Without further ado, here are some of the most egregious stories that have come out of investigating the Clinton’s shady financial dealings:

1.) Clinton Foundation Aide Left Nearly 150 Phone Messages for Hillary’s Top Aide at State Department

Fox News is reporting that the connections between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department go deeper than was once thought:

A review of State Department call logs for Cheryl Mills, the longtime Clinton confidant who served as chief of staff for the entirety of Clinton’s four-year tenure as America’s top diplomat reflects at least 148 messages from Laura Graham – then the Clinton Foundation’s chief operating officer – between 2010 and 2012.

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Here’s Why the GOP Shouldn’t Confirm Garland … Even If Hillary Wins

Judge Merrick Garland (photo credit: Senate Democrats via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

Increasingly, Republican politicos in Washington, D.C. are considering confirming President Obama’s proposed replacement for Antonin Scalia, Merrick Garland.

In an interview with Business Insider, Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz said that Republicans should confirm Garland if they lose the presidential election this upcoming November.

“Obviously if we lose the election and lose the White House, then we ought to move quickly to confirm [Garland],” Flake said. “And I think if it becomes apparent that we aren’t going to win the White House — if we know in October that it’s not good — then we’ve got to move forward at that point.”

Other Republicans have quietly embraced this strategy, too, including senators Mark Kirk, R-Ill and Susan Collins, R-Maine.

“It’s hard to imagine getting a nominee out of Clinton who’s less liberal than Garland,” a senior GOP aide told Philip Wegmann at The Daily Signal. “If you’re concerned about the balance of the court, you’re concerned about that possibility and it provides an incentive to take a serious second look at his nomination.”

Flake, Collins, Kirk, and any other Republican senator considering pushing for approving Garland have clearly forgotten the true purpose of their office. To vote to appoint Garland is to vote to betray the American Founding and the conservative principles for which they claim to stand.

[…]

Read the full article at Conservative Review.

Michael Lucchese works for the American Principles Project.

Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Transgender School Mandate

This month has been full of reasons to celebrate for social conservatives. First, religious liberty activists won a major victory in California, putting pressure on far-left legislators to back down from an aggressively anti-religious freedom bill. Then, new polling came out, confirming that the American people think the Democratic Party’s position on abortion is unconscionably radical. More recently, Target had to change their “transgender bathroom” policy because a boycott orchestrated by social conservatives cost them over $10 billion in revenue.

The latest good news is that a federal judge has blocked President Obama’s most recent unconstitutional executive order, mandating dramatic changes in bathroom and locker room policy in local schools to accommodate transgender minorities.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor found that forcing schools across the country to change longstanding policy on such short notice — the changes are meant to be implemented for the new school year in September — presented “severe disruption” to schools’ functioning, as well as threats to local control of education and privacy matters.

“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” O’Connor said. “The resolution of this difficult policy issue is not, however, the subject of this order.”

As the legal battle lines are being drawn around this policy, the science surrounding gender dysphoria (the medical term for transgenderism) is turning increasingly against LGBT activists’ ideology. Continue Reading

#NeverTrump’er: Trump’s Speech Last Night Was “Almost Presidential”

I have something to confess.

Last night — wow, this is really tough to say — I think Donald Trump gave the best speech he’s given this entire campaign.

Other #NeverTrump’ers may accuse me of heresy, but for perhaps the first time in the general election, his speech in Charlotte made me think he could be President some day.

As a committed #NeverTrump’er, one of my biggest issues with The Donald is his ill-tempered, vulgar persona — and he even apologized for that, in his own way! In an uncharacteristically magnanimous moment, Trump said:

“Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it. And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues.”

Although that is the line the media has been primarily reporting today, there were other good moments, too. His speech was focused on his policy proposals, and he remained on-message by savaging Hillary Clinton. It was dark, but no darker than his RNC acceptance speech, which definitely resonated with a large group of voters

One of the best paragraphs from the speech:

“Please remember this: I will never put personal profit before national security. I will never leave our border open to appease donors and special interests. I will never support a trade deal that kills American jobs.

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