Supreme Court Refuses To Block Texas Heartbeat Law Which Virtually Bans Killing Babies

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas law that protects babies who have a detectable heartbeat from being aborted in the Lone Star State.

In a 5-4 decision, the highest court in the nation declined to block Texas’ newest abortion law despite protests from Planned Parenthood, other abortion activists, and even journalists.

Radical pro-abortion facilities and activists first brought an emergency petition to the Supreme Court with the hopes that the justices would at least temporarily block the law from going into effect on Sept. 1. The court passed on acting on the petition on Aug. 31, meaning the law, which gives private citizens the power to file civil suits against anyone who performs abortions after six weeks or assists a woman in obtaining an abortion, went into effect on Wednesday. Violators of the law could be forced to pay $10,000 to the plaintiff.

Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s three leftist justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, each wrote a dissent lamenting the final decision to oppose a block on the law.

“Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand,” Sotomayor wrote. “The Court’s failure to act rewards tactics designed to avoid judicial review and inflicts significant harm on the applicants and on women seeking abortions in Texas.”

In the majority opinion, the rest of the court argued that the request for a temporary stay did not meet the qualifications necessary to get judicial relief.

“The applicants … have raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue. But their application also presents complex and novel antecedent procedural questions on which they have not carried their burden,” the opinion stated. “In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit.”

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This article appeared on September 2, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.

Mississippi Abortion Law Gives Supreme Court Opening to Overturn Roe v. Wade

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

At least one case slated to be heard in the Supreme Court’s next term promises to be very controversial: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.

In Dobbs, the Supreme Court must answer a question it has never addressed; namely, whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional. And Mississippi has just submitted its first arguments to the court on why the answer should be “no.”

At issue is Mississippi’s 2018 Gestational Age Act, which prohibits abortions after 15 weeks with exceptions for a medical emergency or a severe fetal abnormality.

The state’s argument is straightforward. Contrary to the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, nothing in the Constitution’s text, structure, history, or tradition supports a constitutional right to abortion. As a result, Mississippi has just as much authority to legislate on abortion as other subjects, and the prohibition of abortion after 15 weeks ought to stand.

Here is how this case challenges Roe. In Roe, the Supreme Court established the “viability rule,” that a state may prohibit abortion only after a child can survive outside the womb. In 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey affirmed that this is Roe’s “essential holding,” adding that a state may not impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to have an abortion.

Even liberal constitutional scholars who support abortion rights have conceded that Roe has always been on shaky constitutional ground for many reasons. Its defects include choosing viability as the critical line without any analysis or justification. Until now, however, the court has never reexamined the viability rule on its merits.

According to the brief Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch filed with the Supreme Court, that rule is fundamentally unworkable. While often placed at approximately 24 weeks, viability is inherently subjective and depends on many variables. Medical advances have made stories like that of preemie Micah Pickering — born at 22 weeks and thriving today — possible in ways that the justices of 1973 could not have imagined.

By replacing Roe’s three-trimester, strict-scrutiny standard with a new “undue burden” standard, Casey may have appeared to modernize Roe, when in reality, it actually created just another subjective, unworkable standard that ignores important state interests rather than accounting for them. As Fitch points out, there “is no objective way to decide whether a burden is ‘undue’” and in case after case, the court has been deeply divided “not just over what result Casey requires … but also over what Casey even means.”

In Roe, the court emphasized the “detriment” prohibiting abortion would “impose upon the pregnant woman.” Mississippi’s brief shows how this has changed. From the rise of independent and flexible work opportunities, laws preventing pregnancy discrimination, sick and family-leave time, access to child care, accessible and affordable contraception, and “safe haven” laws, modern women can avoid the detriment more than ever. Indeed, as the state reminds the court, women have reached “the highest echelons of economic and social life independent of the right bestowed on them by seven men in Roe.”

Mississippi also reminds the court how the law protects unborn children, women, and the medical profession. By nine weeks, all of a baby’s physiological functions are present. By 10 to 12 weeks, a baby has developed neural circuitry to detect and respond to pain. By 12 weeks, a baby can sense stimuli from outside the womb. A pregnant woman’s risk of death from an abortion procedure at 16 to 20 weeks’ gestation is 35 times higher than at eight weeks. For each additional week of pregnancy, the mortality risk increases by 38%.

Abortions performed after 15 weeks’ gestation are gruesome procedures that demean the medical profession charged with doing no harm. These procedures put women at risk of pelvic infection, blood clots, hemorrhage, injuries to internal organs, depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems.

The United States is out of step with 75% of other nations prohibiting most abortions after 12 weeks. While some polls show that many Americans oppose abandoning Roe v. Wade, others show that more Americans think that abortion should be significantly restricted after the first trimester, suggesting that Americans misunderstand the breadth of the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.

Additionally, most Americans say that abortion should not be permitted in certain circumstances, such as sex selection or a Down syndrome diagnosis. In other words, most Americans don’t support the radically permissive abortion scheme that Roe and its progeny permit.

The Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence has distorted our Constitution, done nothing to settle the abortion debate in our country, and poisoned our laws, courts, and culture. The courts have articulated vague and unworkable standards that do not account for advances in science, public sentiment, and the status and independence of women.

Mississippi’s arguments are compelling. The Supreme Court should avail itself of this opportunity to make a long-overdue course correction on abortion.

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This article was published on August 10, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

Medical Professionals And School Districts Are Denying Girls Access To Mental Health Services

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Social media floods our culture with tales of celebrities’ personal struggles. “I suffer from binge-eating disorder, a disease in which I’m not only addicted to food, but I eat it in large quantities,” transgender activist Jazz Jennings shared in June. Singer Demi Lovato, who recently announced a non-binary identity, continues to battle a years-long struggle with bulimia. She wrote about her obsessive thoughts in May, “I still struggle. Daily. There are periods of time where I forget about my food struggles and other times it’s all I think about. Still.”

Unfortunately, Jazz and Demi aren’t alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that the isolation, heightened anxiety and school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in eating disorders among adolescents. Doctors acknowledge that social media, absence of activities, and loneliness exacerbated the growing number of disorders. Stephenie B. Wallace, M.D., observed, “we’re seeing a lot of young people who are facing all kinds of mental health disorders that are on the rise, as our young people have been in the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year, and eating disorders are included.”

Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are fueled by an obsessive preoccupation with body image and an overwhelming feeling of a lack of control. Similarly, the growing number of adolescents, predominantly girls, captivated by gender dysphoria experience anxiety and obsessive thoughts about their bodies. Their body image preoccupation manifests as obsessive ruminations about their gender.

A 2020 study, Gender Dysphoria, Eating Disorders and Body Image: An Overview, found on the National Institute for Health’s (NIH) National Library of Medicine, concluded that, “gender dysphoria and eating disorders are characterized by a serious discomfort to the body and the body suffers in both conditions.” The research found that, “rates of pathological eating behaviors and symptoms related to a disordered diet are high in patients with gender dysphoria.” The NIH website includes numerous additional studies documenting the link between gender dysphoria, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating.

During the eating disorder recovery process, parents are empowered by medical and mental health professionals to take control of their child’s eating routines. To help the child recover, parents are instructed to oversee how much the child eats and when. School counselors support this parental oversight by having the children, predominantly girls, eat lunch in the counseling office. The counselor emails the parent a daily food consumption report.

And yet, parents with daughters who have historically struggled with anxiety, body image, obsessive thoughts, and eating disorders are being told that any expression of gender dysphoria, commonly known as a transgender identity, must be affirmed and validated. Rather than partner with parents, doctors, mental health professionals, and public school staff ignore the child’s mental health anguish, and focus only on validating their gender confusion.

A growing number of detransitioners—people who have stopped affirming a transgender identity—are sharing how desperately they wish they had received help for their mental health issues. Helena Kerschner, who has detransitioned, explains:

“There’s a lot of comorbid mental health issues. There’s a lot of depression, anxiety, self-harm, OCD, eating disorders. I think that we should treat these young people the same way we would treat any other young person who’s struggling with mental health issues. We should be caring and loving to them. And we should get them help, and we [should] pay attention to the root causes of why they’re feeling the way that they’re feeling.”

In stark contrast to the partnership formed during an eating disorder, Virginia’s state-recommended transgender policies do not require school staff to notify a parent when a child requests affirmation of their gender identity. In situations “when their families are not affirming,” schools are encouraged to report concerns to Child Protective Services. By keeping the child’s gender dysphoria from parents and focusing on gender affirmation, rather than the mental health issues that may be fueling their feelings, schools are blocking the child’s access to vital mental health services.

An alarming number of adolescents, especially girls, are emerging from the pandemic unhappy and unhealthy, with mental health issues that could quickly metastasize into dangerous eating disorders and obsessive gender dysphoria. With activities still restricted due to COVID concerns, girls are not getting the exercise, skill acquisition, and social interaction vital for healthy development. Even before the pandemic, their rates of depression and anxiety had spiked due to social media and the isolating impact of a life spent predominantly on screens.

These vulnerable girls deserve society’s full attention, and the recognition that the mental health issues related to their eating disorders and gender dysphoria must be diagnosed and treated. Doctors, mental health providers, and schools must partner with parents to help these vulnerable girls get stronger and overcome the deceit of their obsessive thoughts—not make them a permanent fixture in their lives.

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This article was published on July 20, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from Independent Women’s Forum.

Senate Candidate Blasts ‘Childless Left’ Who Have ‘No Physical Commitment To The Future Of This Country’

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

J.D. Vance, a U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio, called out the “childless left” whom he said have “no physical commitment to the future of this country” in a fiery speech given to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s conference on the Future of American Political Economy.

Senate candidate, former Marine, and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” Vance specifically named Vice President Kamala Harris, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, and transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (three of whom are failed presidential candidates), citing them as the childless future leaders of the Democrat Party. “Why is this just a normal fact of … life, for the leaders of our country to be people who don’t have a personal and direct stake in it via their own offspring?”

“The Democrats are talking about giving the vote to 16-year-olds,” Vance noted. “Let’s do this instead. Let’s give votes to all children in this country, but let’s give control over those votes to the parents of the children.” He continued, asking, “Doesn’t this mean that nonparents don’t have as much of a voice as parents? Doesn’t this mean that parents get a bigger say in how democracy functions?” He answered with a simple “yes” after saying “the Atlantic and the Washington Post and all the usual suspects” would criticize him.

“We should worry that in America, family formation, our birth rates, a ton of indicators of family health have collapsed,” the candidate said, highlighting the severity of America’s ongoing fertility crisis and calling it a “civilizational crisis.”

Vance spoke fondly of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s pro-natal policies, explaining that “they offer loans to newly married couples that are forgiven at some point later if those couples have actually stayed together and had kids.”

“Why can’t we do that here?” Vance asked. “Why can’t we actually promote family formation?”

Vance also articulated his vision of the American Dream, saying most Americans simply want to be able to “support a middle-class family on a single wage” if they “work hard and play by the rules.” He contrasted this vision with the version of the American Dream promoted by establishment Republicans that consists of “private jets” and “fancy businesses.”

While Vance’s rhetoric and policy prescriptions are emblematic of the right following Donald Trump’s presidency, some have expressed concern that this groundswell of grassroots, populist energy will be hijacked by entrenched establishment interests.

When asked, “How do we make sure that the populist movement that is emerging right now doesn’t get co-opted by the donor class?” Vance told The Federalist we must “only elect people who have at least some ability to raise money from the non-donor class,” adding that “we actually live in an exciting moment where you can go on Fox News and raise a ton of money from middle-class people.”

“We don’t even need to elect 50 good senators,” Vance said. “If we elect 10 good senators, it will totally transform our movement.”

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This article was published on July 24, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.

The Boy Scouts: A Case Study in Compromise

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

After 100 years of teaching future presidents, explorers, and civil rights leaders to follow their moral compass, it’s been sobering to watch the Boy Scouts lose their own bearings. And yet, the unhappy ending for one of America’s proudest traditions was easy to predict once the organization started chasing the approval of critics it could never win. Now, eight years into this experiment in moral compromise, the country is watching one of the saddest “I-told-you-so” moments of a generation. Disgraced, bankrupt, unpopular, and on the edge of extinction, the Scouts’ leadership is showing the world where cowardly conformity leads — and it isn’t where the culture promised.

For those who knew the Scouts in their heyday, the demise has been quick and painful. Since 2013, when the organization waved its first white flag on sexual orientation, the group that counted Martin Luther King, Jr., Buzz Aldrin, and George W. Bush as members has become barely recognizable. Ravaged by sexual abuse lawsuits and bleeding members, the road of moral surrender has not been kind to the 1910 institution. After years of successfully fighting to live by its moral code, BSA leaders gave into the lie that compromise would be their salvation. Nearly a decade later, the sad truth is: there’s almost nothing left to save.

“It’s a shell of what it once was,” Regent University professor Rob Schwarzwalder said mournfully. “At its peak, scouting in the United States had more than seven million members. Today, it’s about a tenth of that.” It’s a dramatic decline, the former FRC senior vice president admitted on “Washington Watch,” but a predictable one. Once the scouts walked away from 100 years of values, it was only a matter of time until the capitulation caught up with them. “They no longer are even able to define what they mean by things like honor and morality,” Rob pointed out. Once headquarters opened the tent flap to LGBT members and scout leaders, their fate was sealed. Now, after affirming everything from transgenderism to girl members, they’re having trouble even defining what a man is — let alone what character and honor are. “Scouting has pretty much been reduced to, ‘Let’s have fun outdoors, and let’s all embrace everybody’s philosophies,'” Rob lamented. “It’s moral incoherence.”

Gone is the Judeo-Christian ethic that guided scouts back in Teddy Roosevelt’s day. Now, it’s moral free-for-all that’s been reduced to: believe whatever you want — just be nice to people. Back when the BSA made their first concessions, the organization’s leaders promised to stay true to their mission. But, as Rob pointed out, every scout pledges, “‘On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and to my country.’ What kind of honor is there in an organization that for decades has refused to address pedophilia and sexual abuse in its ranks? And what kind of honor is left when you have compromised your basic mission of defining what good manhood is, what leadership is, does character matter? These are things that have been abandoned.”

When the pressure started coming for the scouts to walk away from their biblical roots, the organization lost the courage it spent a century teaching. If they’d have abided by their own oath, they would have told the bullies in corporations and on the Left, “We’re going to stand for what’s right. And if we lose, we’ll go down fighting because we’re men of principle. And principles don’t change”…..

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Continue reading this article, published July 12, 2021 at FRC, Family Research Council

Modern-Day Martyr: Meet The Self-Made Billionaire Who Is Sacrificing It All For God

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

In Western universities and board rooms, souls are cheap. But Jimmy Lai’s is not.

 

In Hong Kong right now, Jimmy Lai is sacrificing all — his fortune and possibly his life — for his God, his fellow man, and for freedom.

Lai is a billionaire, although he wasn’t always one. Born two years before the Communists defeated the nationalists in China’s civil war, his father fled and his mother was sent to a labor camp when he was a young child. Carrying bags for train passengers and getting by as a street vendor, he first tasted freedom when a man from British Hong Kong gave him a bar of chocolate.

Lai is a British citizen, although he wasn’t always one. Having seen a glimpse of prosperity and freedom, he chased it to the then-free British island colony, stowing away aboard a ship when he was just 12 years old and working on the floor of a clothing factory.

Lai is a Catholic, although he wasn’t always one. He met the faith through his wife, a pious woman he accompanied to church, where he heard the homilies of Cardinal Joseph Zen and in 1997 was baptized into the church by the same great man.

Today Lai is in a prison cell in Hong Kong, and the Communist dictatorship has once again seized one of his life’s works, shutting down his newspaper. But of all that has changed since he was a young boy, persecution by the communists has remained a constant. If you stand by your faith, in China there’s no way around it. “I have a soul,” he said in early 2019, and so the truth lives in him.

“No one can say we didn’t fight… Prison life is the pinnacle of my life. I am completely at peace.”

Lai’s path to success in Hong Kong began on the floor of a garment factory. He rose quickly, eventually joining management. He saved his money, invested in the stock market, and used the profits to buy a factory and start making clothing for middle-class consumers.

After the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square massacre, where peaceful pro-democracy protesters were trapped, shrouded in darkness, and run over and gunned down by tanks, Lai sacrificed his stake in his mainland business by printing and selling pro-democracy shirts and starting a tabloid magazine that covered scandal and corruption in the party.

Undeterred by his loss, and still a very wealthy man, Lai channeled his time and fortune toward fighting their evil, enduring arrest, persecution, fire bombings, car attacks, and intimidation for it. Last week he was arrested again, and his and his company’s finances seized under the auspices of China’s new “national security law.”

Stories of his self-made riches and pro-democracy bravery dot corporate media, but unless you dig into the columns of those who’d met him, or read Christian news sources, you might miss what actually drives and fortifies him in the face of a vast and relentless enemy. You’d miss why a serial entrepreneur who has spent his life building and creating is willing to give it all, and you’d miss the truth behind why.

“The Communists,” he told Economic Strategy Institute President Clyde Berkowitz, “think they can buy and or intimidate everyone off, create their own reality, and write their own history. Effectively, they assume the role of God. They are kind of a religion or an anti-religion.”

‘They have initiation into the party as a kind of baptism. They have self-criticism as a kind of confession of sins, re-education as a kind of penance, and elevation to hero of the party as a kind of sainthood. And, of course, at least Mao [Zedong] has a kind of everlasting life as a photo smiling down on Tiananmen Square and as an embalmed corpse in a casket in the square.’

‘But the party and its members do not have souls. In fact, they are dead men walking, because the truth is not in them.’

“Life,” he told the Catholic Napa Institute in an October interview, “is more than just bread; life has a greater meaning.”

He’s right, and a lot of Christians understand this on its face, but what makes Lai different from a lot of us is while it’s easy to nod and to agree, it’s entirely another to act. We read Christ’s command to sell all of our possessions and follow him, and a lot of us give of our time and our money, some very generously, but how many give it all?

We know that the martyrs and saints suffered and for their courage on earth are saved. We might hope and pray to have their courage if ever put to the test, but until we are we never truly know if we will — so many don’t. We know that suffering has a purpose, that it sharpens and tests our characters, and that it should be offered up to God, but have you ever tried? It can be done, but it is very, very difficult to lift up your heart while your body and mind drag you back down to the temporal things torturing them.

“Here is my body, take it!” the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen preached on Good Friday, 1979. “Here is my soul, my will, my energy, my strength, my poverty, my wealth — all that I have. It is yours, take it! Consecrate it! Offer it! Offer it to the Heavenly Father with yourself, in order that he, looking down on this great sacrifice, may see only you, his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. Transmute the poor bread of my life into your life; thrill the wine of my wasted life into your divine Spirit; unite my broken heart with your Heart; change my cross into a crucifix.”

“If you believe in the Lord,” Lai told the Napa Institute, “if you believe that all suffering has a reason, and the Lord is suffering with me, it will definitely define the person I am becoming so I am at peace with it.”

“I am what I am. I am what I believe. I cannot change it. And if I can’t change it, I have to accept my fate with praise.”

But how many actually do? How many American leaders, how many corporate businessmen, do just that? How many executives at Disney and Nike, the NBA and Blizzard Entertainment, in Apple and Hollywood do just that? Maybe no other alive.

Instead, how many of them bow before a thieving, lying, murderous godless slave state in exchange for access to growing markets? How many colleges and universities bow to that state’s every wish and every spy in exchange for paying full tuition into their already bloated coffers? How much do they make? “What is and should be,” Prestowitz asks, “the price of these souls?”

In Western universities and board rooms, souls are cheap. But Lai’s is not. “What separates Jimmy Lai,” a friend in corporate consulting wrote me, “from many of this era’s modern-day princes is that he deeply cares about something beyond his own money, power and status.”

“This is just living my life,” he told the BBC this spring, sitting in his mansion in northern Hong Kong. “But if I’m in jail I’m living my life meaningfully.”

“But you must fear some things,” reporter Danny Vincent asked. “For your family, for Hong Kong, for your loved ones.”

“Yes,” he replied, shuddering, his lip quivering and tears suddenly in his eyes. “You’re right. I do have fear.”

As with courage, sacrifice, and pain, it’s easy to say we have what it will take. Going to church on Sunday or giving what amounts to a rounding error to some social justice cause is fine, but is it enough? Is it remotely enough? How many of our Western elites know in their hearts that if they died in their sleep tonight, no one could say they gave it all for God?

So a lot of media accounts weren’t wrong, they just got it half right. Jimmy Lai, a man born in poverty, who became a billionaire, who became a Christian, who became a Catholic, who became a freedom fighter, might die this time, next time, or the time after that, imprisoned and penniless. But when he is weighed and measured, he will not be found wanting. And for that, when Jimmy Lai dies he will die a very wealthy man indeed.

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This article was published on July 1, 2021 and is reprinted with permission from The Federalist.

Religious Freedom Victory

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Supreme Court Upholds First Amendment Right of Catholic Church To Participate in Children’s Foster Care Program

In a victory for religious freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the First Amendment right of a Catholic ministry to participate in a city-run children’s foster care program. In Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a unanimous Supreme Court found the City of Philadelphia’s attempts to forbid the Catholic Church from participating in foster care programs because of the church’s refusal to certify same-sex or unmarried couples as foster families, based on its religious beliefs, to be unconstitutional. In issuing the decision, the justices found that the city did not have a compelling interest in preventing the church from caring for orphaned and abused children. The Rutherford Institute filed an amicus brief in defense of the church’s right to not be penalized for its religious beliefs.

Affiliate attorneys Michael J. Lockerby, Michael A. Donadio, and Adam J. Kleinfeld of Foley & Lardner LLP assisted in advancing the arguments in Fulton.

“Religious freedom and freedom of conscience are among the most basic and fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution understood quite clearly that religious freedom is one of the most fundamental human rights,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Under the First Amendment, the government may not discriminate against religious institutions or individuals on the basis of their religious beliefs or deny them the right to freely exercise their religion.”

For over 200 years, the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been providing care for orphans as part of its religious mission. Long before the City of Philadelphia began providing services to orphans and abused children, the Catholic Church worked to care for and find foster homes for orphans and abused and neglected children as part of its Catholic Social Services (CSS). Although state law gave authority to determine the care and custody of orphans and abused children to public entities such as the City of Philadelphia during the 20th century, it also allowed state-licensed foster-care agencies, including CSS, to conduct home studies and certify foster families to receive and care for orphans and abused children. Philadelphia and CSS entered into a contract under which CSS would certify foster families and recommend them for foster child placements. However, CSS does not certify same-sex or unmarried couples as foster families because of its religious beliefs.  In 2018, the city determined that CSS was in violation of a provision of its contract not to engage in sexual orientation discrimination.  As a result, it barred CSS from further participation in the foster care program. CSS sued Philadelphia, alleging that its removal from the foster care program violated its First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. Both the trial and appeals courts ruled that the contract provision barring sexual orientation discrimination is a neutral and generally applicable rule.  On further review, however, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the city’s non-discrimination ordinance did not apply to CSS and the contract provision was not generally applicable because certain city officials were given discretion to make exceptions to it.  Therefore, the city was required to demonstrate a compelling interest in denying CSS an exception to the nondiscrimination provision, which it could not do.

The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization, provides legal assistance at no charge to individuals whose constitutional rights have been threatened or violated and educates the public on a wide spectrum of issues affecting their freedoms.

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This article was published on June 18, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from the Rutherford Institute.

Why Every American Should Own a Gun…And Know How to Use It

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The issue seems to perfectly match the discordance of our times. As the media and political elites lecture us about “gun violence” and attempt to take our rights away, average Americans are buying guns and ammunition at a record pace.

Some 40% of first-time buyers are women.

What do average Americans know that the elites do not?

Most Americans know that even before the recent Biden crime wave, police response time for a 911 call in major metropolitan areas averaged around 11 minutes. Now like all averages, some responses were quicker and some were longer. In rural areas, it can be much longer. But since the average armed encounter lasts about three to four seconds, it is a distinction without much of a difference.

The simple fact that is understood by most sensible people, is that when it comes to self-protection, you are the first responder. Police will most likely arrive in time to put you in a plastic bag and issue a report. That is if they have not been defunded or distracted by mass riots that paralyze their ability to respond.

I think people likely know, that competency with a firearm can be obtained through training and that physical size and strength don’t play a large role in the process. Martial arts are great but it takes years, upwards of a decade to be truly competent. And, no matter how good you are, you can’t cheat father time. Your speed, power, and dexterity will decline. Besides, in about 40% of attacks today, you must deal with more than one assailant. To rely on your physical skills is a low probability bet.

Many of my shooting acquaintances are very competent, well into their 70s and 80s. That includes women as well.

In as little as a week, a decent civilian shooter can emerge from training schools like the famed Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona. Good local training can also be found, including shooting clubs at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility just off the I-17 and Carefree Highway. With some 1600 acres of shooting facilities, it is the largest complex like this in the nation.

It is one of the “hidden gems” of Arizona, not likely to make it as a feature by the Arizona Republic, even though it is named for one of their famed journalists.

There is the Scottsdale Gun Club and C2 Tactical, Rio Salado, Shooter’s World, plus a variety of private trainers.

But the need for training and the facilities for training were known before things took a real turn for the worse, with the emergence of Progressive radicalism. Now, there is even greater urgency.

In many cities today, the local district attorneys are choosing not to enforce the lawBail has been all but eliminated in some places, and the idea of incarceration itself is now challenged. No one it seems has moral agency and is responsible for their bad behavior.  Crime is caused by poverty, white privilege, and white supremacy.  Social peace can only be had by taking your guns, your means of protection, away from you.

The Progressive idea, now largely adopted by the Democrat Party, of protecting you is to release criminals from prison, allow completely open borders, forcibly move drug-addled strangers into your neighborhood, defund the police, reduce or eliminate prison terms, and not prosecute criminals. And of course, allow people to taunt and humiliate the police, hogtie discipline in the school system, and argue that fathers are not necessary to raise a family.

In some jurisdictions, such as Portland, Minneapolis, and San Francisco, a constant state of rioting is permitted if not outwardly encouraged.

Progressives have also done a good job of breaking down the social control functions of religion and family, and have been responsible for a terrible coarsening of the culture.

While great at tearing down institutions, the Progressive seem unable to come up with better ones.  The result is social vacuum chaos and a high degree of instability. One wonders what the US would look like if we had to re-live a social trauma like the Great Depression.

A stable society is largely one that can control itself, by raising good people who can control themselves and take responsibility for their own actions. Building character is what church, school, and family were supposed to do, and were largely united in the effort. While not always successful, it is not a myth that some years ago, one could really leave the front door unlocked at night.

Now character is considered a “white trait”, and a means to hold people down.

Ever notice that Conservatives largely want individuals to reform themselves, while Progressive Democrats want to reform the world? Conservatives believe the human condition is improved by working moral character from the inside out, while Progressives feel it is improved by working on the outside environment inward.

Today, the media and the schools now seem more a purveyor of social nihilism that demands no personal responsibility. It is all the fault of capitalism, or patriarchy, or white supremacy. Not surprisingly, people who truly believe they are victims, held down by “the system”, tend to be unhappy and casual about violence.

In short, most people know they are being subjected to a cruel, and at times a truly silly social experiment by people who think three-quarters of a degree change in temperature in the next hundred years is the greatest threat to the social order.

Police? We don’t need no stinking police! Let’s just “reimagine” a world without authority. They love that word. They want us to be part of their Jacobin experiment.

People spend a lot of time on social media. They see the video camera footage of elderly Asian women having their heads stomped into the pavement, people being sucker-punched on the street, Amazon delivery people attacking clients, and frequent brawls in airports.

One gets the feeling that the wheels are starting to come off of our civilization. That is only partially true.  It appears more likely the wheels are being purposefully removed.

It is not clear how we will come out of this. A counter-reaction seems to be brewing as parents begin to understand their local school has been taken over by space aliens from Berkeley and that some district attorneys want to impose their Jacobin experiments on your community.

So, it is only logical it would seem, to assume personal responsibility for your own protection.  Or as Charles Barkley put it concerning defunding the police, “who you gonna call, Ghost Busters?

The government is doing too many other things to be concerned with its basic responsibilities. It is too busy attempting to change human nature and control the environment.

Get a gun.  Learn the law.  Get good trainingYou are on your own, kiddo.

Don’t Be Fooled: Gender Identity Policies Don’t Follow the Science

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

During the past presidential election, you may remember seeing black yard signs with lists of creed-like statements written in rainbow text. The creeds included claims like “science is real.” All Americans should agree with this statement.

And yet, contrary to this pithy creed, any law that classifies gender identity as a protected class under civil rights law denies science. The Equality Act and the Fairness for All Act turn the scientific reality that there are only two sexes into the legal equivalent of racism.

The Equality Act has turned civil rights law from a shield intended to protect racial minorities from discrimination into a sword that compels conformity to subjective viewpoints on sexual orientation and gender identity.

These state- and local-level policies allow male athletes to compete against females in sports, even though studies show biological males retain a competitive advantage over females even after two years of taking estrogen.

The Fairness for All Act drafters touted it as a reasonable compromise meant to mitigate the harms of the Equality Act. It includes religious exemptions and preserves the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which the Equality Act would nullify.

However, this approach did not protect religious freedom in Utah, where legislators passed a similar compromise bill.

Unsatisfied with the compromise, gender identity activists helped pass a ban on counseling that would have helped children struggling with gender dysphoria.

The rule discriminates against counselors who seek to help patients reconcile with their biological sex and allows only gender-affirming counseling that supports chemical and surgical transition.

These methods overlook the fact that 88% to 98% of those struggling with gender dysphoria will accept their biological sex after going through puberty, according to the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

Enshrining the fundamentally flawed and radical idea that a person can change sex—at any age—as a civil right threatens the safety and freedom of all Americans, religious or not.

The notion that a person can change his or her sex rejects science. This was on full display in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Equality Act. During the hearing, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asked Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, “Are there more than two sexes, in your opinion?” David replied, “It’s not limited to two.”

While David’s answer sent shockwaves through social media, it should not have come as a surprise. Gender identity advocates regularly insist that those who believe that there are only two sexes—male and female—overlook the science of intersex conditions. But David and other activists’ references to intersex people do not debunk the sexual binary.

“Intersex conditions” or disorders in sexual development are statistical rarities occurring in approximately 1 out of every 5,000 births, according to Ryan Anderson’s research.

Anderson’s Amazon-banned book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement,” states the medical community considers these atypical expressions of the sexual binary, not a third sex or the result of a third gonad.

Because gender ideology flatly rejects science, enshrining it into federal law means no amount of religious liberty exemptions will prevent the damage caused by such policies like the Equality Act.

Women and children—religious or not—will lose privacy, safety, and fairness in public and federally funded single-sex facilities and programs, which exist because of biological differences between men and women.

Medical professionals—religious or not—who treat individuals struggling with gender dysphoria will lose the freedom to treat patients according to the best medical and scientific evidence.

Normally, doctors and counselors correct a patient’s disordered perception of her body. Medical professionals also treat other body dysmorphias, like anorexia. Yet, the “gender affirmative” approach requires that they support a patient’s disordered perception of her body and even physically change its appearance to conform to the disorder.

Laws that threaten the freedom of doctors and counselors harm struggling individuals. By reducing their options for care, these laws minimize patients’ chances to flourish in mind and body.

Denying reality in the name of “gender-affirming care” causes harm, not healing. While the Fairness for All Act may protect doctors and counselors inside religious institutions, it will expose those in secular institutions to punishment.

People may be free to adopt radical new ideas about gender for themselves, but if activists have their way and the Senate passes the Equality Act, the federal government will have power to pressure Americans into denying science under threat of punishment.

Even good-faith compromises like the Fairness for All Act suppress the freedoms of all gender identity dissenters outside of religious institutions. That is hardly fair at all.

America is at its best when all citizens can seek and live according to the truth. Disagreements between gender identity advocates and Americans who know there are only two sexes will continue. Congress should allow them to, by rejecting the Equality Act and the Fairness for All Act that shut down any conversation.

Most importantly, Congress should affirm that “science is real.”

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This article was published on June 14, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from Daily Signal.

Armed Teacher Thwarts Kidnapping of 11-Year-Old Student at Utah School: Police

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

A Utah teacher is being hailed a hero after police say he pulled his concealed firearm on a man who tried to kidnap an 11-year-old student.

Ogden police said officers were called to Lincoln Elementary School on Tuesday when Ira Cox-Berry, 41, walked up to an 11-year-old girl playing on the playground and tried to grab her.

Lt. Brian Eynon said a teacher who witnessed the situation from inside ran out and confronted the suspect and the girl was able to break free, ABC4 reported. The teacher was then able to get all 20 students off the playground and into the school, police said at that point, Mr. Cox-Berry reportedly approached the school building and was trying to force his way inside when the teacher, a licensed concealed gun carrier who was not named by police, pulled his firearm and held the suspect until police arrived.

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Continue reading this article at Washington Times.