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VP Pence Praises America’s Hispanic Christian Community

The Vice President was the keynote speaker at the 12th annual Hispanic Prayer breakfast where he had the opportunity to meet, fellowship, and hear from some of the pillars of America’s hispanic community.

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Late last week Vice President Mike Pence stopped by the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. to spend some time with the leaders of America’s Hispanic Christian community.

The Vice President was the keynote speaker at the 12th annual Hispanic Prayer breakfast where he had the opportunity to meet, fellowship, and hear from some of the pillars of America’s hispanic community.

Pence was comfortable, gregarious, and seemed right at home with fellow believers – even if they didn’t share the same first language.

The Vice President thanked the gathered leaders for the hard work they were doing in their communities and for their continued efforts to be the hands and feet of the Church in America.

He spoke of the love and reverence the Trump administration has for the Latin world and how our nation is doing everything we can to support the free peoples of the Americas. He spoke of the hard work to be done in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and beyond. And he promised that the American people would be with our Latin brothers and sisters throughout the coming years.

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Here’s my favorite part:

You know, over the past year and a half in this new role of mine, my wife and I have been fortunate to see that heritage of faith across this country that is so well represented in the faith leaders here today.

We’ve seen it in vibrant churches that serve our Hispanic communities in the state of Florida — like the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Doral, and the Iglesia de Dios in Kissimmee.

I saw the way churches, in the wake of hurricanes and struggles, opened their doors.  They welcomed families.  They sent aid.  They were literally the hands and feet of our Heavenly Father for people in the most difficult times.

I’ve seen it in a parish of Santa Bernadita, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Applause.)  We were there just over a week after that island had been devastated by Hurricane Maria.  We were there, and we marveled, that in a church where the lights were not yet on, the light of faith shone and illuminated the room.  We saw the resilience of the people of that faith community.

We met Father Peña, who told us that day his parishioners may have been “without electricity, but we are not without light.”  (Applause.)

We’ve seen that faith; we’ve seen it lived out.  But not just among Americans.  We’ve seen it across this hemisphere.  In the grand cathedral in Buenos Aires we met with leaders of faith and saw the petitions of the faithful.

We’ve seen it in a small neighborhood church that I talked about, in Cartagena, which had become a home for people fleeing tyranny and repression.

I mean, literally everywhere we go in this country, and everywhere we’ve gone across this hemisphere, we’ve seen that heritage of faith, which is not surprising, because the Bible tells us, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  (Applause.)  So in this hemisphere of faith, we shall have a hemisphere of freedom.

So as I close, let me close with faith — faith in all of you and the work and the witness that you have in your churches and in communities every day.  It’s deeply inspiring.

Transcript from the White House:

Well, buenos dias. Thank you, Reverend Cortés.  Thank you for that kind introduction.  I’ll always remember the conversations that we had, when I was a member of Congress, on the promise of America.  And I’m grateful — I’m grateful that you had the vision to establish this remarkable organization.  Would you all just show our appreciation for the Founder, and the President, and the CEO of Esperanza, Reverend Luis Cortés.  (Applause.)

It’s an honor to be here today — honor to be here today with so many faith leaders from all across America to have an opportunity to address the largest gathering of Hispanic clergy in this country at the 12th National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast.  Thank you for giving me the honor of being with you today.  (Applause.)

First and foremost, let me just thank you for your ministries.  Thank you for the work that each and every one of you do each and every day, being the hands and feet of faith in communities large and small all across America.  I can assure you that you have the gratitude of this administration, and the gratitude of this President and his Vice President, for the work and the ministries that you do every day.

And before I begin, let me bring greetings from that friend of mine who is a great champion of faith and freedom all across this country and all across our hemisphere.  I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

The President arrived home yesterday, as we all know, from a historic summit with the leader of North Korea.  As the President said, it was a direct, and honest, and productive meeting.  And I’m pleased to report it resulted in a bold first step where North Korea committed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  (Applause.)

And while it hasn’t gotten as much note, it’s deeply meaningful to me, as the son of a combat veteran of the Korean War, that President Trump also secured a commitment from North Korea to recover and repatriate the remains of more than 5,000 American POWs and MIAs that fell in the Korean War.  We are finally going to bring our boys home.  (Applause.)

Now comes “vigorous negotiations to implement the agreement,” as the President said, “as soon as possible.”  And Secretary of State Pompeo is already engaged in high-level meetings with our allies across the region.  Make no mistake about it: The success of this summit and this new beginning — the progress we’ve made — is a direct result of President Trump’s steadfast leadership on the world stage.  But we also know that it is also a result of the prayers of faithful people all across this country.

The Bible tells us that the “effective and fervent prayers of a righteous people availeth much.”  But we know in our hearts that it was also your prayers that carried us to this point, brought us to this day, and will continue to bring us forward.  So thank you for your prayers, and let’s keep praying for peace on the Korean Peninsula and for the world.  (Applause.)

But it’s really gratitude is the reason I’m here today.  You know, the Bible says, if you owe debts, pay debts; if honor, then honor; if respect, then respect.  And I’m really here today to pay a debt of honor and gratitude to all of you for your tireless, tireless work on behalf of the Gospel; for your unwavering commitment to plant and water seeds of faith all across our country each and every day.

Just over three decades ago, Reverend Cortés joined with his fellow faith leaders in Philadelphia, I’m told, to found this organization dedicated to the principles of “faith, integrity, and excellence,” and determined to fulfill the Biblical mandate to serve the “least of these.”  And so Esperanza has, since the days of its founding.

Today, this group represents more than 13,000 Hispanic clergy congregations and more than 500 community groups ministering in all 50 states to people all across this nation, and is reaching people in some 30 other countries around the world.  Across America, you strive to give people the training and skills they need to thrive.  You open doors of opportunity and prosperity.  So let me just invite each and every one of you, give yourselves a round of applause for the work that you do and the work of Esperanza since its founding.  (Applause.)

So I’m here today to thank you for the role you play in the life of our nation, and for your prayers.  But I’m also here to tell you that our administration is here for you, we’re listening to you, and we’re anxious for your continued example and counsel in the days ahead.

There are so many areas of agreement between Esperanza and our administration, and I want to talk about a number of those in just a few moments.  But on those areas where we don’t agree, I want to assure you that in this White House you will always have a willing ear and respect.

Now, one place I know we all agree is the importance of expanding prosperity and jobs for people all across this country.  As President Trump has said, in this White House, in his words, we want an America where all can “thrive and flourish together,” no matter of our race, or creed, or color.  And that’s exactly why President Trump has taken decisive action to revive the American economy from the very beginning of this administration.

Since day one of this administration, we’ve been rolling back red tape in record numbers.  We’ve been unleashing affordable American energy that fuels families, and farms, and factories.  We’ve been fighting for trade that’s free, and fair, and reciprocal.  And right before Christmas, in case you didn’t notice, this President signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history — (applause) — rolling back red tape, cutting taxes, unleashing American energy, focusing on American jobs.  And the results have been remarkable.  And I know you all see it in your communities each and every day.

Since the President and I were elected, I’m proud to report that businesses large and small have created more than 3.4 million new jobs.  For the first time in our nation’s history, there are more job openings than there are jobs seekers in America.  (Applause.)

Small business optimism is at a record high, and nearly 9 out of 10 Hispanic business owners see greater opportunity in the years ahead.  And unemployment hasn’t been lower in nearly 50 years.  And under this President, we’ve actually seen the lowest Hispanic unemployment rate in American history.  (Applause.)

But as we all know, the strength of this country doesn’t just come from our economy.  It can’t only be measured by our material wellbeing.  America’s strength ultimately comes from that foundation of values that animate and strengthen our communities every day.  And it springs from our faith, enabled by our freedoms.

Speaking of the values that we cherish, I have to tell you, I couldn’t be more proud to serve with a President who stands without apology for the sanctity of human life.  (Applause.)

I mean, the truth is, after the first year and a half of this administration, one thing is clear: President Donald Trump is the most pro-life President in American history.  If you think about it, one of his first acts in office was we reinstated the Mexico City Policy, denying any foreign aid dollars to organizations that promote or perform abortions.

We withdrew the United States from the U.N. Population Fund, preventing our taxpayer dollars from paying for forced sterilization and abortion around the world.

And we empowered states to defund abortion providers and, just a few days ago, made sure that no Title X funding would go to programs that support or provide abortion.  (Applause.)

I understand that, yesterday, many of you visited Capitol Hill to talk about these policies.  And we respect and appreciate your voice and your engagement.  I also know you were on Capitol Hill talking about the first freedom in the Bill of Rights — the freedom of religion.  And let me assure you, in this White House we know that people of faith enrich the fabric of our national life in extraordinary ways and that those contributions should be celebrated and protected, and not restricted through the heavy hand of government.

Last year, I’m happy to report that President Trump chose the National Day of Prayer to announce new policies to protect the right of every American to live out their beliefs in the public square.

And because President Trump and I believe that freedom of speech should never end at the front door of our churches or places of worship, President Trump has taken action to prevent enforcement of the Johnson Amendment.  (Applause.)  And we will not stop until we repeal the Johnson Amendment from the Internal Revenue Code.

The truth is you’ve been demonstrating the importance and the impact of your freedom of speech and your values all across this country.  Today I want to thank you.  I want to thank you in particular for speaking out about the urgent need to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.  I know so many of you have spoken out — have spoken out from your pulpits, spoken out in your communities on this issue.  And you’ve spoken out with courage and with compassion.

And I want to assure you: For months, our administration has been working with both Republicans and Democrats to craft a bipartisan solution.  Earlier this year, in his State of the Union address, President Trump unveiled what he referred to as “a fair compromise” that reflected input from all sides and that, we were happy to see Esperanza said, “addresses important issues.”  And we’re grateful for that expression of support.

The plan that our President put on the table would secure our borders, address immigration loopholes, and provide a responsible solution for those who were brought to this country through no fault of their own.

The truth is, illegal immigration hurts communities on both sides of our border, too often financing dangerous cartels and drug dealers that profit from human suffering.

And as the President has also said, a nation without borders is no nation at all.  And just as Esperanza pointed out that, in your words, “every sovereign nation has the right and responsibility to secure its border,” our President is committed to keep his word to the American people to build a wall on our southern border.  And we are grateful that Congress has already approved $1.6 billion to begin the construction of a border wall.

But beyond border security, President Trump has put forward an immigration plan that will finally move America toward a merit-based system that grows salaries and puts more Americans to work.

Our plan is the very definition of compromise.  As the President described it, it’s one “where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.”  That’s why he’s called on the Congress to “come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.”

Now, we appreciate the continued efforts of House Republicans to find a way forward that reflects the President’s priorities of securing our borders, closing loopholes, and providing a permanent solution for DACA.  But to be honest, we remain profoundly disappointed that Democrats are unwilling to partner with us on a solution that accomplishes these common-sense reforms for the benefit of the American people.

The truth is, as the President has said many times — and is obvious to anyone observing from afar — despite what you may have heard, the Democrats just “don’t want to make a deal.”  They don’t want to secure our border, they don’t want to close loopholes.  They don’t want to close the loopholes that serve as a magnet drawing vulnerable families to our southern border.  And they don’t want to solve DACA.

In fact, the Democrats have abandoned DACA.  And by their obstruction, they’ve abandoned the opportunity to enact compassionate and common-sense reforms to our immigration system.  Well, I say to all of those gathered here, men and women of faith: America deserves better.  (Applause.)

And I can assure you, President Trump and I will continue to work for reforms that reflect the President’s priorities.  And we’ll remain ready — we’ll remain ready to move forward whenever the Democrats decide to end the obstruction and stop using the DACA issue as a part of a political process.

So we’re standing up for American workers, for America’s interests, and Americans’ values.  In this administration, I’m pleased to report to the faith leaders gathered here: We’re also standing for America’s values across the wider region.

President Donald Trump has made the Western Hemisphere a key priority of this administration.  (Applause.)  When it comes to our hemisphere, as the President has said, we, in his words, seek a future where the people of each country can “live out their dreams.”  We want people to have a chance to put down roots in the land of their birth and not have to flee danger or deprivation in search of a brighter future in other nations.  We believe everyone deserves a chance to climb the ladder of opportunity, rather than living a life of poverty, hopelessness.

Now, you all are — you all are familiar with the vast variety of rich cultures and traditions and identities that define our hemisphere.  In many cases, you see it in your churches and on the streets of your communities celebrated every day.  And you know maybe better than most that what happens to one of our neighbors across the region swiftly affects us all.

You also know the potential of this hemisphere is limitless.  And if we have the courage to unleash it, we’ll transform this hemisphere to a hemisphere of freedom — which is exactly what we’ve been about.

Across the wider region, under this administration, we’ve strengthened our trade relationships and increased our security collaboration.  We’ve worked to cut out the corruption that destroys opportunity and undermines democracy.  And in all that we’ve done, we’ve strived to bring our nation and our people closer to our neighbors across the Western Hemisphere, because in this White House we know that there’s more that unites the peoples of this new world than could ever divide us.  And what unites us is a love of freedom.  (Applause.)

For my part, I’ve had the great privilege to meet with leaders and travel to countries from across North, Central, and South America.  And two weeks from now, I’m pleased to report I will take my third trip to the region in less than a year, when I will visit Brazil, and Ecuador, and Guatemala.  (Applause.)

We’ll be visiting Guatemala in the wake of the terrible volcanic eruption from just two weeks ago.  I know that the people of that country affected by that terrible, terrible natural disaster have been in your prayers.  And I will deliver to them the assurance of your prayers, and I will tell them the American people are with them.

But already the United States has stepped up to help.  I’m pleased to report, at the Guatemalan government’s request, we’re sending emergency aid to address the food, water, and sanitation needs for those affected.  We’re also helping transport burn victims for treatment.  And today, I’ll promise you, we will continue to support the people of Guatemala as they recover and rebuild — (applause) — because that’s what good neighbors do.

But throughout my trip, I’ll also make clear that America will continue to stand without apology for freedom in this hemisphere, for we believe, here in the New World, freedom is the birthright of us all.

I truly believe, and have said in my travels, that ours is a “hemisphere of freedom.”  Yet as all of you well know, the dark cloud of tyranny still hangs over too many of our neighbors.  It casts a shadow across the wider region, fueling the spread of crime, drugs, forced migration, and want.

In Cuba, the communist regime may not have a Castro as its leader, but it is still a communist regime under Castro’s control.  The brutal police and military state they established is ever-present.  And even under their handpicked successor, to this very day, it saps the wealth of that great nation and steals — steals the lives of the freedom-loving people in Cuba.

But America today once again stands with the Cuban people in their fight for freedom.  No longer will our dollars fund Cuba’s military, security, or intelligence services.  In this administration, we will always say Que Viva Cuba Libre.  (Applause.)

And in Nicaragua, the government of Daniel Ortega has plunged his proud country into a spiral of violence and despair.  As we gather here, the situation in Nicaragua has reached new lows.

Just under two months ago, hundreds of thousands of brave protestors took to Nicaragua’s streets, demanding democratic reforms.  Yet the Ortega government has responded with brutal repression.  Nearly 150 people have died so far, including an American citizen.  And over a thousand more have been injured at the hands of government forces and their ruthless paramilitary allies.

And as I’m sure this group knows, many of Nicaragua’s most prominent faith leaders and clergy have now been targeted for trying to stem the violence.  And some have even received death threats for courageously raising their voices.  This must end — and it must end now.  (Applause.)

Today, on behalf of President Trump, we call on Daniel Ortega to end his government’s crimes and answer for his nation’s cry for democracy and human rights.  The time has come to end the attacks on peaceful protestors.  The time has come to give the Nicaraguan people the future of freedom they deserve.  (Applause.)

And finally, today, let me reaffirm that under this administration, America stands with the good people of Venezuela for freedom and the restoration of their democracy.  (Applause.)

We’ve been standing.  And I can assure you, in my upcoming travels we will make it clear that America will continue to stand up to the tyrannical regime of Nicolas Maduro.

Like all of you, my heart breaks for the suffering of the Venezuelan people.  I’ve seen it firsthand.  Think about it.  That nation was once one of the richest in the Southern Hemisphere, and now it is among the poorest, despite vast natural resources.

At this very moment, nearly 9 out of 10 Venezuelans live in crushing poverty.  Opportunity has evaporated, with an economy that’s already shrunk by half, and still grows smaller with every passing day.  Venezuela’s grocery stores are all but empty, with food and daily necessities nearly impossible to find.  Hospitals lack the most basic medical supplies.  And in recent years, the mortality rate of precious infants in Venezuela has jumped by 30 percent.  Maternal mortality rates have skyrocketed by 66 percent.

And every day — every day — some 5,000 Venezuelans flee their homeland.  It is the largest cross-border mass exodus in the history of our hemisphere.

Last summer, at a church in Cartagena, Colombia, Karen and I met with Venezuelans who fled their homeland; it just broke our hearts.  I met a grandmother who had just arrived at that shelter.  She told Karen and I about the life she and her grandchildren had faced in the community.

She told me that her grandchildren — it had gotten so bad that the grandchildren had to rise at five in the morning to be given a ticket that they could exchange at five in the afternoon for a single piece of bread.  She told us she’d had enough.  She gathered together her grandchildren only a week before we met her, and she fled the country, and she found support in a community of faith.  Sadly, too many in Venezuela have not been so fortunate as to be able to flee.

And let’s be clear, Venezuela’s collapse can be laid squarely at the feet of one man: Nicolas Maduro.  He’s raided the wealth of his people and destroyed their once-vibrant democracy.  Even now, he is refusing to allow humanitarian aid into his country, even though the people of Venezuela are facing deprivation and starvation.

President Trump has made clear — and I say to you today — the United States will not stand idly by as Venezuela crumbles.  (Applause.)

Our administration has already taken decisive action to help the Venezuelan people and hold the Maduro regime accountable.  We’ve provided nearly $20 million in aid to support Venezuelans who’ve fled their homeland, and more help is on the way.  And we’ve issued unprecedented sanctions against the dictator and those that support him.

When I travel to South America in just a few weeks, I will thank our allies and partners for the action that they have taken to further isolate Venezuela economically and diplomatically, but I will also call on them to do more.  The free nations of the Western Hemisphere must be united in our resolve, and we must, all of us, work without ceasing to stand for freedom for our brothers and sisters in Venezuela.  (Applause.)

And I can promise you, the United States of America will not relent until Venezuela is free once more.  The Venezuelan people deserve nothing less than libertad.  (Applause.)

We do this because it’s right.  It reflects the deep compassion of the American people and our commitment to our most cherished ideals.  We do it because it’s our duty as neighbors.  We also do it because, as President Trump and I believe, it is our destiny to be a hemisphere of freedom.

But as I close, let me say, I know that we will reach that destiny because this is also a hemisphere of faith.  You know, my family’s story — like so many of yours, and so many members of your congregation — didn’t begin here in America.  It began when my grandfather, as a young man in his twenties, bought a one-way ticket and came to America, passed through Ellis Island.

I’ll never forget the day, as a member of Congress, that I sat in the Oval Office.  The President of the United States asked me how I got there, and I told him that Michael Richard Pence got to the office because Richard Michael Cawley knew that this was a land of opportunity and freedom.

My grandfather came here because he believed in the promise of America, and he lived it.  He drove a bus for 40 years in Chicago, Illinois.  He raised my precocious mother, who is still 85 years young.  She married a fast-talking salesman who took her down to a small town in Indiana, where I showed up.  But we lived the American Dream.

Like so many of you and your families, like so many of the families that you minister to, the American Dream is not a cliché in our family; it’s a reality because we’ve lived it.

My grandfather came here because he believed in freedom, but he also brought a heritage of faith to this country.  I was raised in that large Irish Catholic family, and have faith embedded in my heart I still cherish today.

You know, over the past year and a half in this new role of mine, my wife and I have been fortunate to see that heritage of faith across this country that is so well represented in the faith leaders here today.

We’ve seen it in vibrant churches that serve our Hispanic communities in the state of Florida — like the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Doral, and the Iglesia de Dios in Kissimmee.

I saw the way churches, in the wake of hurricanes and struggles, opened their doors.  They welcomed families.  They sent aid.  They were literally the hands and feet of our Heavenly Father for people in the most difficult times.

I’ve seen it in a parish of Santa Bernadita, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Applause.)  We were there just over a week after that island had been devastated by Hurricane Maria.  We were there, and we marveled, that in a church where the lights were not yet on, the light of faith shone and illuminated the room.  We saw the resilience of the people of that faith community.

We met Father Peña, who told us that day his parishioners may have been “without electricity, but we are not without light.”  (Applause.)

We’ve seen that faith; we’ve seen it lived out.  But not just among Americans.  We’ve seen it across this hemisphere.  In the grand cathedral in Buenos Aires we met with leaders of faith and saw the petitions of the faithful.

We’ve seen it in a small neighborhood church that I talked about, in Cartagena, which had become a home for people fleeing tyranny and repression.

I mean, literally everywhere we go in this country, and everywhere we’ve gone across this hemisphere, we’ve seen that heritage of faith, which is not surprising, because the Bible tells us, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  (Applause.)  So in this hemisphere of faith, we shall have a hemisphere of freedom.

So as I close, let me close with faith — faith in all of you and the work and the witness that you have in your churches and in communities every day.  It’s deeply inspiring.

I can promise you that President Trump and I both know that no podium we ever stand behind will be as important as the pulpits that you stand behind every Sunday.  (Applause.)  No policy we ever advance will be as important as the message that you faithfully carry — a message of hope that’s changing lives.

So I close with faith in all of you — a faith in the boundless capacity of the American people — to meet the challenges that we face at home and abroad with American solutions and American heart.  Faith in our President and the leaders who serve America at every level of public life.

And I also close with that other kind of faith, remembering those words that Americans have clung to throughout our nation’s history, words first inscribed millennia ago, that in these challenging times of seemingly too much division, that we still have hope and we still have confidence, because we believe Him who said, “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

And with these words, from my heart, on behalf of our President and myself and our entire administration and the American people, I say thank you.  Thank you for being a source of hope and a source of promise and encouragement to millions of Americans.

May God bless you.  May God bless the people and the ministries that you serve.  And may God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

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Court Rules the Bible is ‘Incompatible with Human Dignity’ Over Transgender Opposition

A recent court case that ended in a ruling that Christianity is “incompatible with human dignity.”

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They are coming for your freedoms and your religion, Christians. No better example of that can be found than the recent court case that ended in a ruling that Christianity is “incompatible with human dignity.”

A British court ruled that the Christian Bible is a distinct evil because of its supposed opposition to the mental health problem that is transgenderism.

Yes, it is a British court, but do not make the mistake to imagine that radical transgender activists are not looking at this outcome and looking for a way to replicate it here in the U.S.A.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Dr. David Mackereth, a doctor in the UK National Health Service for 26 years, who was fired for the crime of refusing to call a biological man a woman.

But the court decided to go much farther than merely ruling if the Dr. has grounds and instead launched a full force attack on the Bible and the doctor’s Christian religion.

Mackereth told the court that when his administrators called him on the carpet for refusing to use the transgender person’s “correct pronoun,” he was also attacked for his Christian beliefs.

In short order, the experienced doctor was fired for standing on his religious principles.

According to Daily Wire, the doctor’s attorney, Michael Phillips, told the court, “His belief in the truth of the Bible, and in particular, the truth of Genesis 1:27: ‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’ It follows that every person is created by God as either male or female. A person cannot change their sex/gender at will. Any attempt at, or pretense of, doing so, is pointless, self-destructive, and sinful.”

Mackereth openly admitted that he felt transgenderism is “rebellion against God.” But he also said he has no doubt that some people sincerely feel they are trapped in the wrong body and he feels sympathy for them. Still, he added that the current trend toward pushing people into transgenderism is political, not scientific.

But the court went on the attack, Daily Wire continued:

The court’s ruling stated: “Belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.” The court added. “… in so far as those beliefs form part of his wider faith, his wider faith also does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.”

The doctor says that he intends to appeal the decision.

“I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians – and any other NHS member of staff – to speak the truth. If they cannot, then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practice of medicine in the UK,” he said.

This is what the left wants to replicate here, folks. Do not doubt it.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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Religion

Court Orders Univ. of Iowa Admins to Pay Costs for Anti-Christian Discrimination Suit

Several officers of the University of Iowa have been ordered to pay out of their own pockets for discriminating against a Christain student group.

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A vice president and several other officers of the University of Iowa have been ordered to personally pay out of their own pockets for costs associated with a religious discrimination lawsuit after they tossed a Christian student group off the campus for supposedly discriminating against gays.

A federal court ruled that the officials violated the student group’s rights to religious freedom. The ruling also left open the possibility that the University’s president, Bruce Harreld, could also be held liable, according to Becket Law.

Indeed, the university didn’t just kick the Christian student group off the campus, they also eliminated student groups headed by Sikhs, Muslims, and Latter-day Saints.

The university took the actions at the behest of the transgender and LGBTQ student groups who complained that that the religious-based groups barred gays from being officers in their clubs.

The Christian club, called InterVarsity, has been on the Iowa campus for more than 25 years.

InterVarsity also operates on 77 college campuses across the country.

InterVarsity welcomes anyone as a member but requires its club officers to follow certain religious strictures. But last year, the university suddenly began taking actions against the club over its religious requirements despite 25 years of allowing the club to operate along the same rules.

The university began limiting the club’s movements on campus, then even froze the club’s bank account., and finally told students that the club was being canceled for “lack of interest,” all because it would not allow gays to take offices in the club.

But the group argued that it could not operate legitimately if it was forced to break its own beliefs.

“We must have leaders who share our faith,” said Greg Jao, Director of External Relations at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. “No group—religious or secular—could survive with leaders who reject its values. We’re grateful the court has stopped the University’s religious discrimination, and we look forward to continuing our ministry on campus for years to come.”

The student group’s lawyer celebrated the decision:

In upholding the group’s right to be on campus, the court noted that, just last January—in the related case of BLinC v. University of Iowa—it already warned the University against enforcing its policy unevenly. The court stated it “would never have expected the University to respond to that order by homing in on religious groups” like InterVarsity, while “carving out explicit exemptions for other groups. But here we are.” The court did “not know how a reasonable person could have concluded this was acceptable,” since it “plainly” doubled down on the exact same conduct the court had already held unlawful. In a hearing last week, the court described the University’s conduct as “ludicrous” and “incredibly baffling.”

“It’s too bad it took twice for the University to learn its lesson,” said Daniel Blomberg, senior counsel at Becket. “There was no excuse the first time for squashing students’ First Amendment rights. University officials nationwide should now take note that religious discrimination will hit them in the pocketbook.”

This ruling is definitely a strike in favor of religious freedom against the cancel-culture leftists who want everyone to bow to the radical gay agenda.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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Religion

A New Battle in Fredericksburg, Virginia

My Irish-American blood recoils whenever I hear the word “Fredericksburg.” So many young Irishmen were sent to an early death because of the slaughter there.

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By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min.

My Irish-American blood recoils whenever I hear the word “Fredericksburg.” So many young Irishmen were sent to a needless early death because of the slaughter that occurred in that Virginia city 53 miles south of Washington, D. C., during the American Civil War in December 1862.

The forces of Robert E. Lee grabbed the high ground at Fredericksburg and waited. By the time the Union forces got there, the best they could do was just recklessly send wave after wave of young soldiers (including many Irishmen) to their deaths. Lee reportedly said then, “It is well that war is so terrible—otherwise we would grow too fond of it.”

Now there’s a new battle brewing in Fredericksburg. Of far less consequence, of course. This one doesn’t involve bullets and artillery, but Bibles and arguments.

There’s a retirement community in Fredericksburg that wants to evict a retired Lutheran minister (in his 80s) and his wife if he continues to hold Bible studies there, which many of the residents have asked him to do.

For my radio show, I interviewed attorney Lea Patterson of First Liberty Institute, which bills itself as the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious liberty.

Patterson said that Ken Hauge and his wife moved into a retirement community in early 2017. Because he’s a retired minister, some of the residents asked if he could start a Bible study there. He agreed.

Patterson told me that they started out meeting in an apartment. Then they wanted to meet in the community room, which is used for baby showers, bingo games, knitting clubs, and so on. The management was reluctant to grant that request, and it took the rest of 2017 before they were able to get permission to meet in the community room.

Management initially wanted the Bible study to be called a “Book Review.” They used the room for a few months, but Patterson told me, “in July [2018], the management issued a new policy declaring that residents could not use the community room for religious purposes. Now on the same day of that policy, the management sent Ken and his wife a notice threatening to evict them if Ken continued to lead Bible study.”

First Liberty sent a letter to the retirement home and received no response. Two months later, they sent a letter  to HUD, wherein they accused the retirement home of a “pattern of religious discrimination.” This not only included trying to shut down Rev. Hauge’s Bible study, but also “penalizing and prohibiting residents from audibly saying grace at resident social dinners, and adopting a policy prohibiting residents from engaging in religious activity in Evergreens’ Community Room.”

The letter adds that “several Evergreens residents attempted to interfere with the Bible study on several occasions. At least one of these residents harassed and verbally abused Hauge and other Bible study attendees on the basis of their religious beliefs and practice. For example, this individual has confronted Hauge in the hallway and subjected him to profane rants concerning the Bible study.”

Patterson told me in the interview, “The rub seems to be that there are a few other residents who are offended by the religious content of the Bible study, and that’s where the problem seems to be coming from. I know that an apartment complex has a responsibility to balance the interests of its residents, but it has to do so in a way that conforms to the requirements of the law.”

The First Liberty letter cites chapter and verse from the law, which prohibits discrimination “against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of . . . religion”

Ironically, liberals are always saying things like, “If you don’t like the porn on TV, change the channel or turn it off.” But these Christophobes were horrified at the idea of a peaceful Bible study going on down the hall. You would think that these people who are soon going to meet their Maker and give an account for their lives might want to make peace with Him beforehand. But apparently not.

Patterson told me, “No one is forcing anybody to go [to the Bible study]. It’s open to anyone who wants to come; and if someone doesn’t want to, they don’t have to…..It just seems like the strangest sort of case…The idea of someone being threatened with losing their home [in their twilight years] because they just want to hold a Bible study with friends.”

Patterson noted that the founding fathers certainly never set out to create a “religion-free world,” but rather a free one. I certainly pray and hope that First Liberty wins the new battle in Fredericksburg.

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Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is an on-air host/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 30 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, American Amnesia: Is American Paying the Price for Forgetting God?, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy) & the bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback)   djkm.org  @newcombejerry      www.jerrynewcombe.com

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Farrakhan: I’m Not an Anti-Semite. I’m ‘Anti-Termite’

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“So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know they do, call me an antisemite — stop it! I’m anti-termite! I don’t know nothing about hating somebody because of their religious preference.”

No violation, so says Twitter… This guy is still on tweeting away but conservatives like me get a permanently banned without a warning or a real reason and without any recourse whatsoever!

 

Breitbart:

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan addressed a gathering in Detroit on Sunday to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Million Man March, and used it as a platform to launch yet another attack on Jews, calling them “termites.”

Farrakhan posted clips of his speech to his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“To the members of the Jewish community that don’t like me, thank you very much for putting my name all over the planet … I’m not mad at you, ’cause you’re so stupid,” Farrakhan said.

“So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know they do, call me an antisemite — stop it! I’m anti-termite! I don’t know nothing about hating somebody because of their religious preference.”

Farrahkan also spoke out against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. More

Hot Air:

Some conservatives on Twitter are wondering why the clip below, posted by Farrakhan’s own account, isn’t grounds for being banned from the platform. Fair question. Fair enough, in fact, that Twitter HQ might end up agreeing, if only to blunt the recurring accusations of a double standard in this case. If it stays up, though, the reason is that because Farrakhan has many admirers among black Americans he qualifies as “progressive” no matter how much Goebbels-style bilge about vermin might escape his lips. There’s no other explanation for why Bill Clinton would have felt comfortable appearing onstage with him six weeks ago. If Democrats, particularly black Democrats, say Farrakhan’s okay then he’s okay. Next subject. More

 

Farrakhan and his followers have routinely referred to Jews as termites. Termites are destructive insects that bore from within and are exterminated when found. So what do you think he means? Please comment below and let us know your thoughts.

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Religion

College Offering New Class on Fitting ‘Queer Theory’ Into Christian Bible

A new course is now being offered by Pomona College in which the Bible is strained through a gay perspective so that Christianity can be turned “queer.”

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A new course is now being offered by Pomona College in which the Bible is strained through a gay perspective so that Christianity can be turned into a “queer” religion.

Pomona is offering “Queer Theory and the Bible” for the coming 2019 semester and the class reportedly falls under “Religious Studies” at the school.

The Claremont, California, college calls its class a way to “queer” the Bible saying, “This process of queering will allow and require us to approach the biblical text in new ways.”

According to Campus Reform:

“Queer Theory and the Bible” will teach students how to read the Bible “through queer theory,” by examining excerpts that are “central to prohibitions on homosexuality,” as well as “discourses of heteronormativity” through which “homophobic readings of the Bible” are born.

“We will also look at the ways in which these discourses and the identities they shore up can be ‘queered,’ as well as at biblical texts that can be read as queer friendly,” the course description reads. “This process of queering will allow and require us to approach the biblical text in new ways.”

The course is classified as a “Religious Studies” course and as such satisfies Pomona’s “Analyzing Difference” category of general education requirements. Students who take “Queer Theory and the Bible” will earn one credit.

Pomona student Daniel Silverman told Campus Reform that the requirement “meets a certain demand on campus.”

“The overall socio-political environment among both students and faculty at Pomona lies deep into the left of the political spectrum,” he explained. “As I see it, ‘Queer Theory and the Bible’ and other similar classes related to gender theory exist because there is a high demand among students to enroll in those courses.”

In other words, the class aims to re-write the Christian religion to push the radical gay agenda.

Interestingly, Silverman admits that our system of (mis)education has a bias against a conservative viewpoint because he noted that the class would probably be better served if it was taught with the balance of a more traditional, conservative Christian class in order to “enrich the dialogue and discussion within the course.”

However, he doubted that it would be a viable model because no one would sign up for the new course.

“I will note that if the course was co-taught with a conservative professor, I imagine that fewer Pomona students would enroll in it than otherwise, as students on campus, in general, don’t seem interested in learning from conservative professors,” Silverman wrote

But Silverman went on to celebrate that the “queering” of the Bible was a serious educational study of the Bible instead of the left-wing propaganda that it really is.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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Religion

City of Atlanta Loses: Must Pay $1.2 Million to Fire Chief Fired Over His Christian Views

Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired by the city in 2015 because of a book he published where he expressed his Christian views.

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Former fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired by the city of Atlanta, Georgia, in 2015 because of a book he published where he expressed his Christian views. Now the city will have to pay Cochran a $1.2 million settlement.

After two years of fighting the city, a Federal District Court ruled in December 2017 that the city’s policies leading to Cochran’s firing were unconstitutional. Now, after many more months of stalling, the city has reached a settlement.

As Fox News reported:

The city of Atlanta has settled a lawsuit with a former fire chief over his firing for a book containing passages which some saw as anti-gay.

The Atlanta City Council approved a settlement agreeing to pay fired Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran $1.2 million.

In 2013, Cochran wrote a book about his Christian faith titled “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” for a men’s Bible study and gave it to around a dozen subordinates he said had either requested copies or shared his beliefs

The city said that the court ruling left them no choice:

A spokesperson for the City of Atlanta said that “based upon findings of the Court that could have resulted in tax payers paying millions of dollars in damages and litigation fees negotiated settlement was recommended by legal counsel.”

“Our Administration remains committed to achieving One Atlanta—a city that is fair, just and inclusive,” the spokesperson told FOX 5. “The City is developing the first LGBTQ employee resource group to support our City employees. The hiring of the City’s first-ever, full-time LGBTQ affairs coordinator, the establishment of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board and the funding of the City’s first Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are also examples of our commitment to ensuring that Atlanta remains a welcoming city for all.

As CBN News reported:

Cochran’s career had been about protecting others. For 30 years, he did that as a firefighter. He served as the US Fire Administrator under President Barack Obama and led the City of Atlanta to attain the highest level of fire and rescue preparedness for the first time in its history.

But that came to an end in 2015, when the City of Atlanta fired him because he wrote a men’s devotional book in his spare time – a book that briefly mentions his views on a biblical understanding of marriage and sexuality.

As CBN News reported, the city did not approve of Chief Cochran’s book. After a 30-day suspension without pay, in order to complete “sensitivity training,” and an investigation into his conduct (which showed he had never discriminated against anyone in the fire department), his career came to an end in Atlanta.

This led Cochran to embark on a three-year legal battle that he says was never just about him.

“The government can’t force its employees to get its permission before they engage in free speech. It also can’t fire them for exercising that First Amendment freedom, causing them to lose both their freedom and their livelihoods,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot in a press release. “We are very pleased that the city is compensating Chief Cochran as it should, and we hope this will serve as a deterrent to any government that would trample upon the constitutionally protected freedoms of its public servants.”

Well, looks like Mr. Cochran is right, after all.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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German Catholic Church Accused of Covering Up Child Abuse by 1,670 Clergymen

A leaked report notes that the German Catholic Church establishment tried to cover up the child abuse allegedly committed by 1,670 clergymen.

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A leaked report notes that the German Catholic Church establishment tried to cover up the child abuse allegedly committed by 1,670 clergymen.

The report, leaked by the German media outlets Der Spiegel and Die Zeit on Sept. 12, alleges that the church covered up 3,677 cases of sexual abuse from 2014 and stretching back all the way to 1946.

According to CNSNews:

Most of the victims were younger than 14 years old. Most were boys.

In many cases, according to Der Spiegel reporter Walter Mayr, “the accused clergymen were moved to another location, without the new parish being given ‘the pertinent information’ about the abuser.”

Out of the 1,670 alleged abusers, the Church only laicized 41 priests and excommunicated 81, and only placed drastic sanctions on 7.8% of the abusers, according to LifeSiteNews.

As LifeSiteNews wrote, “The report shows that many abusing priests were simply transferred to other parishes and that only one-third of them were ever investigated by the Church.”

According to Die Zeit reporter Evelyn Finger, the Church’s chosen punishments were “less than fitting.”

Finger said that the Church “chose rather soft punishments such as early retirement, interdiction to celebrate Mass, therapy, leave of absence, reprimand, low fees, or just simply retreats.”

The German media also noted that the majority of abusive Church officials showed “no signs of repentance.”

In fact, the report claimed that up to eight percent of the clergy was found to be abusers.

The research team claimed to have investigated 38,000 members of church hierarchy.

Worse, according to LifeSite News, the German bishops sought to gain the right to forbid the release of the report and asked the German government to prevent the publication of the report.

Still, the German Church released an apology on September 25:

“Those who are guilty must be punished,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, said at a news conference to launch the report in the city of Fulda.

“For too long in the church we have looked away, denied, covered up and didn’t want it to be true,” he added.

“All this must not remain without consequences. Those affected are entitled to justice,” Marx said, without specifying what consequences perpetrators might face.

“For all the failure, pain and suffering, I must apologize as the chairman of the Bishops’ Conference as well as personally,” he said.

“The study .. makes it clear to us that the Catholic Church has by no means overcome the issue of dealing with the sexual abuse of minors.”

The report, though is sure to continue to create questions.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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