School Sides With LGBT Group, Axes Chick-Fil-A

The P.C. police at a university in New York have successfully deprived their fellow students of access to a popular fried chicken chain, for all the reasons you’ve already heard before — this time at a college that is at least nominally Catholic.

According to the Fordham University student paper, The Fordham Observer, and further reported by The College Fix’s Rebecca Downs, the decision to decline a proposal to open a Chick-fil-A on campus came late last month after backlash from students at the Jesuit institution who smeared the corporation as anti-gay.

The student groups that were consulted in responding to the proposal were the United Student Government (USG), the Commuter Students Association (CSA), the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the Rainbow Alliance [a student LGBT group].

The Rainbow Alliance was consulted in the decision-making process because of a controversy regarding Chick-Fil-A’s stance on LGBTQ issues that has been stirred up to varying degrees since 2012. That year, the family that owns the fast food chain made public statements against marriage equality, a stance backed up by several million dollars in donations they have made over the years to organizations working actively against same-sex marriage. When the chain opened their first location in New York in 2015, they faced protests on the issue.

Representatives from Chi[c]k-Fil-A offered to collaboratively run unspecified programming with the Rainbow Alliance in conjunction with the rollout of a venue on campus. Due to continued concerns regarding this issue, however, the Rainbow Alliance unanimously voted against the proposal. Several students independently reached out to USG to voice their concerns, according to then-USG president Leighton Magoon, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’17.

“If they want to bring in Chick-Fil-A, they can bring in Chick-Fil-A,” Rainbow Alliance Co-President Renata Francesco told the paper. “But we’re not going to partner with an institution, a corporation that has so strongly supported other institutions that work to destabilize and demolish movements for queer equity.”

Yet this clear kowtow was not enough. Other students quoted in the story want the school to buy even further into their sexual and biological beliefs. The quote from Francesco’s counterpart, who doesn’t see this move as anything to celebrate, is also quite telling.

“This is something that I don’t want to congratulate Fordham for, like ‘Oh my [G]od, I’m so glad that you can see this. You’re such a good person,’” Rainbow Alliance co-president Roberta Munoz said. “I don’t want to pat them on the back. You can’t say ‘Oh you’re such a great ally’ when there’s still so many issues with our queer students. Like great, love it, but keep going.”

Indeed, the school’s administration, once having capitulated to the demands of the world, will received no applause for doing so, only more demands. There’s a lesson in that for all of us.

The message this sends to the public is pretty stark. A Jesuit school with one of the worst-ranked dining systems in the country and a dearth of outside vendors to supplement that system has decided to turn down a proposal from one of the most successful food chains in America, which has made a concerted effort to offer a slate of healthy options.

Certainly, the placement of a chicken joint on campus is far from a doctrinal issue and a school’s Catholicity is not measured by its food court, but the context of the decision sends a fairly clear message to students, applicants, and donors about whose message carries weight on campus, what will not be permitted on the grounds, and why.

But the bigger question here lies with the students who simply will not materially cooperate with people who have publicly disagreed with their politics.

What did these students demanding a chicken-sandwich-free campus and “trans-inclusive spaces” (think biological males in the ladies’ room) expect when they filled out an application and signed a tuition check to a Catholic school? Do they know what the Catholic Church actually believes about marriage?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church certainly isn’t a secret, and – despite the great deal of confusion sown by some Pope Francis’ public statements – the Church’s doctrines on marriage, the family, and the nature of man and woman (which align for the most with those espoused by Chick-fil-A’s oft-pilloried owning family) are as intrinsic and immutable today as they were two millennia ago.

Certainly, if these kids subscribe to the standard political wish list prescribed by the cadre class of this movement and refuse to partner with institutions who disagree with them, why in the world would they continue to prop up a Catholic institution by voluntarily attending it? When exactly do they stop?

It’s hard to tell if this inconsistency is humorous or just sad. It’s probably a mix of both.

However, given the school’s willingness to cave to a student group whose positions stand diametrically opposed to Church teaching, it’s not hard to see where these students’ clear confusion comes from. (For more from the author of “School Sides With LGBT Group, Axes Chick-Fil-A” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Undercover Call Shows How Easy It Is to Get a Late-Term Abortion in This US State

A shocking undercover phone call has revealed just how easy it is to get a late-term abortion in New Mexico paid for by taxpayers.

Priests for Life and Abortion Free New Mexico released a recording the call. The groups wanted to determine what it would take to get a third-trimester abortion. They also wanted to know if Medicaid would pay for reasons other than the health of the mother, rape or incest.

The Call

Pro-life activist Tara Shaver called Southwestern Women’s Options, New Mexico posing as a mother who already had children and whose husband recently lost a job. Shaver made clear she was in her third trimester but didn’t want another child. The baby would be too expensive and be a strain on her marriage.

The clinic worker ran through a series of questions determining that neither the woman nor the child had health issues and the woman had prenatal care. Staver was then put on hold so the worker could consult with the abortionist.

After a few minutes, the clinic worker came back on the line and said the abortion could be performed. She then began describing the procedure. The abortion would take several days. The clinic worker explained that the fetus would be euthanized on the first day. The mother would then be dilated and induced. She was told that she’d still be going through labor and deliver a stillborn child.

The mother was also advised that she would need to be observed for a couple more days to recover.

Listen to the harrowing undercover phone call here:

What It Shows

Shaver said that the undercover call proves that late-term abortions are being performed even if the mother isn’t at risk. Late-term abortions are those after 20 weeks gestation. In New Mexico, late-term abortions are legal until 28 weeks. Babies can survive outside the womb as early as 23 weeks. “Our latest call dispels this myth with proof that in New Mexico late-term abortions are easy to come by.” She added that New Mexicans need to know the truth about what is happening in their state.

If that wasn’t bad enough, taxpayers can be made to foot the bill. In a separate call, Shaver told a clinic worker at Southwestern Women’s Options that she was 33 weeks along with a Down’s Syndrome baby. She was told that an abortion could be performed and that Medicaid would cover the charges.

Father Frank Pavone, a member of Priests for Life, said that most Americans do not support abortion on demand. He noted that every baby needed protection. But, “to educate our fellow citizens, let’s start with the most obvious and outrageous part of the story: Taxpayer-funded third-trimester abortions of healthy babies carried by healthy mothers.” (For more from the author of “Undercover Call Shows How Easy It Is to Get a Late-Term Abortion in This US State” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

What Donald Trump Could Teach Ellen DeGeneres About Diversity and Tolerance

OK. I admit it. The title of this article is meant to be catchy. But there’s an important truth I want to convey, which is simply this: tolerance and diversity are two-way streets.

While appearing on The Ellen Show, the Today Show’s Matt Lauer turned the tables and began to interview his host, asking her about her coming out as a lesbian, since this is the 20th anniversary.

He then asked her if she would have President Trump on her show, to which she replied, “No.”

Ellen explained, “Because I’m not going to change his mind. He’s against everything I stand for. We need to look at someone else who looks different than us, and believes in something that we don’t believe in and still accept them and still let them have their rights.”

And for that reason Ellen won’t have him on her show? Look at her reasoning again. She won’t have him on her program because “we need to look at someone else who looks different than us, and believes in something that we don’t believe in and still accept them and still let them have their rights.”

So, Ellen is refusing to sit across from someone who looks different than her and believes in something that she doesn’t believe because we need to be able to sit with those very people? Am I the only one who sees a glaring contradiction here?

Acceptance Through Nonacceptance?

Let’s parse Ellen’s words carefully, not to attack her but rather to probe how tolerant and inclusive our friends on the left really are.

First, she says, “I’m not going to change his mind.”

But is that the criterion for being a guest on her show? That you either agree with her or else must be willing to have your mind changed? How about healthy interaction with those with whom you differ? Isn’t that an important part of tolerance and diversity?

I recently took exception to an article written on the Huffington Post by a humanist journalist. So I wrote an article in response, after which I invited him to join me on my radio show. He joined me earlier this week, and we had a delightful one-hour discussion in the midst of our disagreements. How can discussions like this hurt? What if Ellen, who is obviously a master host, had a civil discussion with the president? Couldn’t we all benefit from that?

Second, Ellen said, “He’s against everything I stand for.”

Perhaps that’s true on several issues. But the president has hardly been an aggressive opponent of LGBT activism. He’s been strong on pro-life issues and has appointed men to his administration like Dr. Ben Carson and Jeff Sessions, both of whom oppose LGBT activism. But Trump has sought to present himself as a friend of the LGBT community, and it appears that Ivanka and Jared Kushner certainly push him in that direction.

I hoped that Trump would take a more conservative stand when it comes to LGBT activism. But it’s hard to understand how Trump is “against everything” Ellen stands for. If they spoke face to face before Ellen’s massive audience, maybe a few areas of agreement would emerge?

Third, how I can tell you that we should be able to sit and talk with those we differ with, only to turn around and say, “I won’t sit and talk with you because we differ”? (I once had a company refuse to work with me because they were “inclusive.” Come again?)

Fourth, Ellen says that when it comes to people who are different than us, we must “still accept them and still let them have their rights.”

Is this, then, Ellen’s way of accepting Trump, by saying she would not have him on her show? (I’m sure this is of no concern to the president, who hardly needs to find a way to get more TV exposure. I’m simply addressing the issue.)

Whose Rights Does Ellen Affirm?

When it comes to people having “rights,” we could obviously debate many aspects of LGBT rights. For example, does a biological male who identifies as a female have the “right” to use the ladies’ bathroom? But right now, President Trump is not campaigning to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex “marriage” (again, I would be glad if he did), so I’m still not sure whose “rights” he is opposing.

It would be odd if Ellen wasn’t thinking about LGBT issues at all in her statement, given the immediate context of the interview. The context was her coming out as a lesbian, then asking if she’d have Trump on her show. Perhaps she has caricatured the president even beyond his own caricatured personality?

And when it comes to rights, is Ellen willing to affirm the right of a photographer not to be forced to shoot a same-sex wedding ceremony because of deeply held, sacred beliefs? Do Christian conservatives and other people of faith have rights too?

A Good Host — But a Bad Move

This is the kind of discussion that I think Ellen really should have on her show. Why further demonize each other? And as bombastic and combative as Trump can be, he also seems to like sitting face to face with those who differ with him. After all, isn’t that a part of negotiating and deal-making?

There are many reasons why Ellen DeGeneres is so loved by so many Americans. She must have many fine qualities as a human being created in the image of God. The fact that she is so dismissive of the president of the United States that should we not welcome him on her show is a point against her, not for her. (For more from the author of “What Donald Trump Could Teach Ellen DeGeneres About Diversity and Tolerance” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Study: Why Do People Attend Church

Why do people attend church?

It’s a pretty straightforward question. But even among Christians — especially Christian leaders, writers and pundits who make a living commenting on such things — the answers are many and varied. People attend church because of culture and tradition, because of the music, because of a sense of community, because it’s the right thing to do, because of the children’s program, because of the hospitality and feeling of warmth and well-being.

The Gallup Organization decided to ask people who actually attend church why they attended, and the answers they got are helpful … sort of.

The Results are In

Gallup asked people if various aspects of worship were a “major factor,” a “minor factor,” or “not a factor” in their church attendance. About 76 percent of respondents said “sermons or talks that teach you more about scripture” was a major factor. If that’s all you knew about the survey, you might say that Bible-based expository preaching was the way to fill pews. Such a finding warms the hearts of the theologically conservative. And they would not be wrong. Lots of the largest churches in the country follow that strategy.

But, as they say in infomercials: “Wait, there’s more!”

Almost as many people — 75 percent — said “sermons or talks that help you connect religion to your own life” were a major factor. What does this mean? Are we talking about topical Bible studies? “How to have a better marriage”? “What the Bible says about money”? Or could we be straying even further away from expository preaching into Joel Osteen territory, into what Christian Smith has called “therapeutic moralistic deism”?

To complicate matters even further, children’s and teens’ programs were a major factor for 64 percent of respondents, and “community outreach and volunteer activities” mattered to 54 percent. Indeed, given the size of these numbers, it is likely that a significant number of people checked every box. All of these things were major factors.

Don’t Sweat the Music

So what is a pastor or other church leader to make of these numbers? First, repeat after me: “It’s not about the music.” Evangelicals have been engaged in “worship wars” for 40 years. The “traditional vs. contemporary” divide has consumed a lot of energy, but this survey suggests that it’s mostly an “inside baseball” squabble.

I’m not saying it’s not important. It’s really important. Music is didactic. That’s a fancy way of saying it teaches. Damon of Athens wrote more than 2000 years ago, “Give me the songs of a people, and I care not who writes its laws.” I would modify Damon: “Give me the songs of a church, and I care not who writes its doctrinal statement.”

So I’m not saying music is not important. I’m just saying the music is not generally a reason people come or do not come to your church. Use music that is biblical and authentic to your tradition of worship. Don’t worry about whether it will “attract a crowd” or not.

Walk the Walk

Secondly, faith without works is dead. Have you heard that before? Good. It’s biblical. But it is also what this survey is saying. People want sound preaching and opportunities for service. It’s not an “either/or.” It’s “both/and.” This is not a bad thing; it is a very good thing. Great churches provide opportunities for both growth and service, knowing that one feeds the other.

Finally, and like unto the second: It’s not one thing, it’s everything. In my private life, I don’t get to say, “I’m an unfaithful husband, but that’s okay because I’m a good provider for my family.” No, being a responsible husband, or wife, or parent, means mastering a number of skills, not all of them a natural part of one’s gifting.

So it is with church leaders, and churches. This reality can be overwhelming for pastors, but that’s because they try to do it all themselves rather than rely on another reality of the church: It is one body, but many members.

So this Gallup survey, while more suggestive than definitive, has much to teach us. Perhaps the most important lesson is this: There are no formulas. Some water. Some sow. But God brings the increase. (For more from the author of “Study: Why People Attend Church” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

A Secular Rapper Calls American Pastors to Account

You know we’re in trouble when a secular rapper urges pastors to get back to preaching that the Lord is a jealous God of “discipline and obedience.” As a recent article declared, “Chart-Topping Rapper Kendrick Lamar Is Preaching More Spiritual Truth Than Most of the Dead Churches In America.” So sad, but so true.

Lamar is a 29-year-old, Grammy Award-winning rapper, and his lyrics are typical, hardcore rap: filled with content, packed with protest, laced with profanity. Suffice it to say that he is not a pristine pure, born-again, Christian rapper. Yet he sees a gaping hole in many churches today, and it mirrors his experience as a boy.

A Perceived Imbalance

In an email to Hip Hop website DJ Booth he wrote,

I went to a local church some time ago, and it appalled me that the same program was in practice. A program that I seen as a kid the few times I was in service. Praise, dance. Worship. (Which is beautiful.) Pastor spewing the idea of someone’s season is approaching. The idea of hope.

He continued,

After being heavily in my studies these past few years, I’ve finally figured out why I left those services feeling spiritually unsatisfied as a child. I discovered more truth. But simple truth. Our God is a loving God. Yes. He’s a merciful God. Yes. But he’s even more so a God of DISCIPLE. OBEDIENCE. A JEALOUS God. …

And in words that mirror the words of Paul in Romans 11:22, which urge us to consider both the goodness and severity of God, he wrote, “So in conclusion, I feel it’s my calling to share the joy of God, but with exclamation, more so, the FEAR OF GOD. The balance. Knowing the power in what he can build, and also what he can destroy. At any given moment.”

Telling the Whole Truth

How ironic that a worldly rapper is more concerned to balance out his message than many a preacher in America. How ironic that someone whom the churches would damn in a moment (in fact, “Damn” is the name of his latest project) sees the imbalance in so many of our contemporary churches.

Today, in many of our churches, it’s all about making people feel good about themselves, all about the coming breakthrough (probably financial!), all about fulfilling our personal dreams.

But what about the biblical gospel? What about the fact that one day we’ll have to give account to God for our lives? What about the judgment that will come on the whole world? What about the reality that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)? What about the fact that Jesus saves us from our sins so that we will live the rest of our lives for Him?

I’m all for preaching hope and encouragement and love, but that is not the whole message. What happened to the rest of God’s holy Word?

A Quick-Fix Gospel

In my forthcoming book Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Reformation, I devoted one chapter to the subject of “Restoring Thunder to Our Pulpits.”

In that chapter, I wrote,

Let the truth be told. There is very little thunder from our pulpits, very little preaching that creates an atmosphere of holy reverence (what the Bible calls ‘the fear of the Lord’), very little that challenges us and confronts us and stirs us and awakens us, very little that equips us to endure hardship or to be courageous or to confront the culture or to live a sacrificial life out of love for our neighbor.

Many of our leaders preach a toothless, pep-talk gospel that fits in perfectly with our convenience store, quick-fix Christianity, promising all kinds of benefits without any requirements. What a deal! Who could refuse it? No wonder we are producing consumers rather than disciples. What else can we expect when we so studiously bypass the cross in so much of our preaching? What else can we expect when we preach God the Genie rather than God the Judge?

Do you affirm these words?

‘The Pulpit is Responsible’

At the beginning of the chapter, I quoted from an 1873 sermon from Charles Finney. He said,

Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.

Although the pulpit was more influential in his day than in ours, I believe that what he said remains largely true. If America is in serious moral and spiritual decline, many of our preachers are partly to blame.

I say it’s time that we restore thunder to our pulpits. A chart-topping, secular rapper says, “Please do!” (For more from the author of “A Secular Rapper Calls American Pastors to Account” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Fraternity, 18 Members Charged in Penn State Hazing Death

Eighteen Penn State fraternity brothers have been charged with crimes ranging up to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a pledge who authorities say repeatedly fell down a flight of stairs after he and others were made to run a gantlet of drinking stations guzzling vodka, beer and wine.

Beta Theta Pi members resisted getting help for 19-year-old Timothy Piazza, causing him to suffer for hours and possibly making his injuries worse, a prosecutor said Friday in announcing the results of a grand jury investigation . . .

Eight of the fraternity brothers and the chapter were charged with involuntary manslaughter. Other charges include aggravated and simple assault, evidence tampering, alcohol-related violations and hazing. (Read more from “Fraternity, 18 Members Charged in Penn State Hazing Death” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Turning ‘Extra’ Embryos Into Jewelry: We Must Stop Manufacturing Children

I could not swallow the horror I felt as I read this story. Thanks to a jewelry company called Baby Bee Hummingbirds, a couple in Australia has turned their seven “extra” embryos conceived through IVF into a necklace. Yes, you heard me. The mother is wearing her babies around her neck.

Most people do not understand why the Catholic Church refuses to approve the practice of in-vitro fertilization, or any form of artificial insemination, or any method of conception at all apart from sexual intercourse. The Church teaches that all such means of conception are morally wrong. The reasons are profound, thoughtful and humble. If you’d like to hear it from the horse’s mouth, read this, especially CCC 2375 – 2378.

But allow me to say it succinctly this way: What you manufacture, you own. It belongs to you, and you call the shots with authority. What you manufacture, you can control.

THAT is precisely why it is morally wrong to manufacture children. Many people will object to the word “manufacture” here, but it’s the only accurate term. Babies are ordered up and created in a lab, purchased and paid for by adults who have commissioned their creation. That’s manufacturing.

Babies are not ours to control. Human life is not ours to manipulate in that way. We have no right to create life, keep it in some suspended animation, and then decide to destroy it whenever it suits us. We are not God.

We do not own our children. We have no claim on their lives. It is not for us to decide whether they live or die and when. The Lord God is the giver and creator of life. We can only receive our children as gifts. No one can demand a gift, or claim any right to receive a gift.

Assuming the Prerogative of God

It is proper and good for a husband and wife to desire children, since that is precisely the purpose of marriage. Children are the gift and fruit of marriage; the visible result of married love as God intended. I don’t minimize the heartache and pain of couples who are unable to naturally conceive a child. Such infertility is a heavy cross to bear.

Even so, we are not justified in using any means necessary to create a child. Our longing is not a free pass to assume for ourselves the prerogative of God.

But, you may say, God has blessed our modern medicine with such amazing capabilities! How could it be wrong to avail ourselves of what modern medicine can do?

Because God has ordained marital intercourse as the method and means of procreation. It should be evident by now that bad things result when we separate sex from babies. When we believe we have the right and authority to decide when a child is conceived, how a child is conceived, and even whether or not that conceived child gets to keep living, we have grievously sinned.

We are no longer seeing the child as a human person; a gift from God. Rather, we have turned the child into a thing we can manipulate according to our own desires. We take the child as our right to have or not have as we wish. We demand new life, and destroy new life, when it pleases us.

Where’s the Humanity?

This couple in Australia said that donating those embryos “was not an option.” Why not? Why was life not an option? Seven human beings were denied the chance to live, after having been manufactured at their parents’ request, and are now mummified and encapsulated in a crystal heart on a chain. They’ve been turned into an ornament. An adornment. A thing.

See what I mean? What you manufacture, you own. You control. By that thinking, those babies had no inherent, inviolable right to live if their parents did not wish to have them.

The article also says the couple felt “the annual storage fee was an added financial strain, and disposing of them unimaginable.” We’ve made them, but now it’s just too expensive to keep them. So the babies must go away.

I am glad that “disposing of them” was unimaginable. Just typing the phrase “disposing of them” makes me want to vomit. But really, are those seven babies any less dead and disposed of now, hanging around their mother’s neck as an accessory? No, they weren’t rinsed down the drain. But their humanity was not respected.

Babies are Not a Commodity

We cannot afford to be lulled by sentimentalism. This is not honoring of human life. But this sort of thing will become more and more popular, and more people will celebrate this as a beautiful memorial, a truly special way to “keep” those precious babies you just couldn’t let live but didn’t want to “dispose of.”

I’m sorry, but it isn’t beautiful at all. It’s macabre. And I’ll say it — it’s depraved.

We simply must find the courage to recognize how wrong we are to treat human life this way. We may believe our intentions are good and right, but our actions are not justified. We keep pushing the envelope farther and farther, awarding to ourselves more and more power, more and more “rights,” yet we fail to recognize how we dehumanize our children. Pride is urging us to make ourselves like gods, and modern medicine cheers us on.

Just because we can do something, it does not follow that we ought to do it, or that we have any right to do it. Nowhere is this truth more immovable than as it applies to human life. Babies are not a commodity, and we have no right to manufacture them at will. No one — absolutely no one — has any right to a child.

The very same reasoning that approves of IVF condones abortion. They are two sides of the same coin. That will be a bitter pill for many to swallow, and I don’t say that viciously. But we must honestly confront the mess we’ve made.

There should never be any such thing as an “extra” embryo. (For more from the author of “Turning ‘Extra’ Embryos Into Jewelry: We Must Stop Manufacturing Children” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Catholic School Hit for Canceling LGBT Play for 5-Year-Olds

LGBT Canadians are furious after a Catholic school district canceled performances of a play about gender identity — meant for children as young as 5 years old.

“I fear these cancellations may be based on misinformation, grown out of fear, intolerance, transphobia, homophobia and misogyny,” wrote Jessica Carmichael, the artistic director of the Carousel Playhouse.

The playhouse had been scheduled to perform a play called, Boys, Girls and Other Mythological Creatures. The show had already been booked in five elementary schools in the Niagara Catholic School District.

The play features an 8-year-old boy who dresses as a girl and questions his gender, The Globe and Mail reports . . .

It turns out the Canadian government believes it’s appropriate to discuss transgenderism with small children — without their parents being present. I’m surprised the actors didn’t try to give the kids condoms. (Read more from “Catholic School Hit for Canceling LGBT Play for 5-Year-Olds” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Andra Merritt Answers Felony Charges for Secretly Recording Planned Parenthood Execs

A pro-life hero for exposing Planned Parenthood’s collusion in the baby-parts industry, Sandra Merritt appeared in criminal court Wednesday. Last month California brought a 15-count felony charge against her.

Merritt works with David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress. Posing as employees of a fake company and sing fake names and IDs, they went to a conference with abortion providers in 2014 and met with Planned Parenthood executives. They secretly recorded 14 people.

Some videos show Planned Parenthood employees describing late-term abortion methods. Others show executives haggling over compensation for fetal tissue. The conversations appear in multiple videos released since 2015.

The Charges

California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra charged them in March. He brought one charge for each of the 14 people filmed. The 15th is for conspiring to invade privacy.

Becerra is a former Democratic congressman. He took the position when former Attorney General Kamala Harris left for the U.S. Senate this year. Harris began investigating Merritt and Daleiden in 2015. She had taken donations from Planned Parenthood.

California law makes it illegal to record someone without their knowledge when they reasonably expect privacy. However, other journalists have not been charged for similar investigative work in California.

An animal rights group filmed at California poultry farms in 2014 and 2015, National Review notes. It exposed mistreatment of ducks and chickens. State authorities didn’t charge the group. They did investigate the farms.

This isn’t the first time that Merritt and Daleiden have been charged for their undercover work. A Texas grand jury charged them with felonies for using fake identification. The charges were dismissed last year.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood claims it does nothing wrong. In March, it called the undercover videos “fraudulent.”

The organization has also claimed that the videos were “deceptively edited.” However, as LifeSiteNews noted, they released their full recordings. An independent analysis showed that the “Planned Parenthood executives caught on video clearly say what they said.”

Merritt and Daleiden’s undercover work sparked investigations of Planned Parenthood in several states. They’ve had effect.

Even though no states brought charges against Planned Parenthood, The Federalist noted, Planned Parenthood stopped receiving money for aborted fetal tissue. Two medical companies were recently charged with illegally profiting from fetal tissue. The companies are “top partners” of Planned Parenthood, The Free Beacon reported.

Committees in both the U.S. House and Senate have investigated Planned Parenthood for over a year. Rep. Diane Black of the House panel said the investigation “laid bare the grisly reality” that abortionists are “driven by profit.”

WTVB reports that Merritt and Daleiden will appear before a California court again on June 8. Liberty Counsel is seeking dismissal of the charges. (For more from the author of “Andra Merritt Answers Felony Charges for Secretly Recording Planned Parenthood Execs” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Bill Allowing Adopting Agencies to Refuse Gay Couples Becomes Law

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill on Wednesday that would allow adoption agencies in the state to turn away gay couples who want to adopt a child. The law purports to support religious freedom by not forcing faith-based organizations to potentially close down or face penalties as a result of acting in accordance with religious beliefs. Like many religious freedom bills that have been passed in various states, House Bill 24‘s language frames the issue as preventing discrimination against religious people or institutions.

“This bill would prohibit the state from discriminating against child placing agencies on the basis that the provider declines to provide a child placement that conflicts with the religious beliefs of the provider,” the text of the bill says.

“The bill is not to discriminate against anyone,” Rep. Rich Wingo, who sponsored the bill, said to “Nowhere in the bill does it say anything like that or lead you to believe that.” (Read more from “Bill Allowing Adopting Agencies to Refuse Gay Couples Becomes Law” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.