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New Jersey Cardinal Welcomes Gay Activists to His Cathedral

One of the more forgettable comedies of 2011 was Cameron Diaz’s farce, Bad Teacher. It wasn’t actually funny. Its efforts at wild irreverence seemed desperate and strained. The sequence that led me to hit Stop and eject the DVD was this one: Diaz was working against her will as a teacher in a high school. Hung over and apathetic, she over and over again blew off giving a lecture. Instead, she popped in a movie of dubious relevance and left the kids to watch it as she napped.

That didn’t make me chuckle. It made me livid. I’ve had some amazing teachers, and a few really bad ones. I know how important the devoted ones can be. They can change your life. And the rotten ones do grave harm. A highly educated person who’s being paid to pass on his learning to you sends a message. If he takes the material seriously, he teaches you it’s important. If he shrugs and waves it off, young impressionable people get that message too: This topic is so bogus, not even the teacher cares about it.

I still remember with bitterness a cynical high school religion teacher. His blasé, sarcastic attitude toward core Christian doctrines made my teenage blood boil. I learned he later went off to peddle suburban homes. I hope he took them more seriously.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark: Bad Teacher

Which brings us to the Catholic Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, Joseph Tobin. Recently boosted by Pope Francis to cardinal, Tobin will be one of the tiny group voting on who the next pope will be. He leads a flock of millions, in the New York metro area, with a major Catholic university, Seton Hall right in his city. In fact, Seton Hall is one of the small group of Catholic schools which have seen a resurgence of Catholic identity. That depends in large part on Tobin’s good will. Which is really a shame for Seton Hall. Because like Cameron Diaz’s character in the movie, Tobin is a bad teacher.

The role of a bishop is first and foremost as a teacher. His authority in his diocese is similar to the pope’s over the whole church. He’s considered an heir of the apostles. He is meant to do for (let’s say) Newark what St. James did for Jerusalem: serve as the primary evangelist of the faith of Jesus.

On crucial moral issues, Tobin is snoozing through the class. In this he is like far too many bishops around the world. Worst is that that faction of bishops which Pope Francis seems to favor and promote: social justice activists, who go way beyond the church’s actual teaching on political issues in fashion with the left. But on topics that might bother Caesar, or anger elites, they shrug and go back to sleep. Or worse, with a wink and a nod they give aid and comfort to the enemies of our faith.

Gay Activists at the Cathedral

The man who called Tobin’s abuses to our attention is Joseph Sciambra. Once sunk so deep in the homosexual lifestyle that he acted in pornographic films, Sciambra was granted the grace to escape. Now he bares his soul and braves the scorn of angry activists, defending the Gospel’s teaching on chastity and repentance. If I had to name one person alive today whom I expect someday to be canonized a saint, Sciambra would be that man. On his blog, Sciambra reports that Cardinal Tobin is sponsoring the following event:

An LGBT Pilgrimage and Mass to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey. According to a flyer for the event, the Pilgrimage and Mass are taking place: “With the blessings and best wishes of His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark …”

Mass will be offered by Rev. Francis Gargani, C.Ss.R. Gargani frequently offers retreats to LGBT Catholics, one of which was advertised by the gay-affirmative Open Hearts GLBT Ministry located at St. Patrick – St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Connecticut. The Open Hearts group recently read a book which celebrated the “Queer Christ.” According to a description for the retreat:

Through ritual prayer, reflective input sessions, shared discussion, personal time for prayer and quiet, and social gatherings, this retreat offers a special opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons to celebrate their identity and deepen their experience of community in the living God.

Not a word about chastity or repentance. Sciambra dug deeper and learned about the organizers of the event. They work closely with pro-gay activists who reject Christian moral teaching outright. And Tobin is hosting them at his own cathedral.

Silencing Faithful Priests

But don’t let it be said that Tobin is always asleep at the switch. When it comes to enforcing conformity with liberal politics, his diocese swings into action. As LifeSiteNews reported:

The Archdiocese of Newark says it will crack down on an outspoken pro-life priest after a hit piece on a local news site against him.

On Wednesday, NJ.com published a scathing article about posts made by Father Peter West on his Facebook page.

The article says West “has repeatedly railed against Muslims,” voiced “strong support for the president’s travel ban” and “assailed millennials as ‘snowflakes’,” among other accusations.

The article suggested the priest has violated the Johnson Amendment by being so political on Facebook and worried that West’s “withering attacks … run counter to the statements and philosophies of his own leader, Newark Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, and his ultimate boss, Pope Francis.”

James Goodness, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Newark, told NJ.com that the archdiocese is “concerned about Father West’s comments and actions, and will be addressing them according to the protocols of the Church.”

….

West is … vocally supportive of Catholic moral teaching on his social media. He has 8,494 Facebook followers. More than 200 people have signed a recently-launched petition asking the Archdiocese to condemn the “false, inaccurate” hit piece on him.

West said his posts about radical Islam were made “on what you might say are feminist grounds.”

He said he was troubled by “the fact that they don’t treat women as equals, that one man can have up to four [wives], that a woman is treated as an article of property, that in many of these Muslim countries, they practice female genital mutilation.”

“Eat My Sheep”

Why were gay activists invited to Newark’s cathedral? Why was a faithful New Jersey priest silenced for taking sane stances on social media? Is Tobin catering to social justice leftists while kicking moral conservatives to the curb?

That’s what you call a bad teacher. (For more from the author of “New Jersey Cardinal Welcomes Gay Activists to His Cathedral” please click HERE)

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Undermining Parents, School Secretly Recruits Children for Gay-Straight Alliance Meetings

“We’re keeping it kind of on the down low because this is North Idaho,” school principal Mary Jensen said. In a recording obtained by Liberty Counsel, she admitted, “Kids who wanted to participate in the club did not necessarily want their parents to know.”

Faculty at Forrest M. Bird Charter School in Sandpoint, Idaho, secretly recruited students to join the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. They started the group with help from local LGBT activists. Some of the secret meetings weren’t even held at the school.

Legal Violations

Two parents learned about the meetings when their child forgot lunch. The mother took lunch to the school and found her child at the meeting. They objected. Their child, “Student Doe,” has high-functioning autism and gender dysphoria. The school ignored their request.

In response, Liberty Counsel sent the school a letter, listing several ways the school had violated the law. The school refused to back down, so the parents withdrew their child from the school.

“It is outrageous that this school would intentionally undermine parental rights in this manner,” said Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver. “Parents have the fundamental right to know about and direct the activities and associations of their minor children.”

The school had no right to start the club, he said. It was “inappropriate” for school employees to lead and recruit for the GSA in their official roles. He argued that the school violated the state’s Code of Ethics for teachers. The code prohibits “using institutional privileges … for the promotion of political activities.”

The school posted statement on its website claiming it did not violate the law. According to a Liberty Counsel lawyer, the school defiantly asserted in a letter responding to the legal aid group. The school said it “will not comply with [the] demand” for its teachers to be present in a supervisory, rather than activist, capacity.” The school did say it will refrain from recruiting more students. However, it refuses to divulge the names of current student members to their parents. Liberty Counsel and its clients are looking at legal action.

The school believes it is helping kids by teaching them that identifying as transgender has no harmful effects. But according to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 94 percent of students questioning their gender identify with their biological gender by 18.

Liberty Counsel urges parents to contact the school’s board of directors. Parents should demand that the school board respect parental rights. The school staff who violated the Idaho Teacher Code of Ethics should be reprimanded. Parents have a fundamental right to direct the activities of their minor children.

The school’s parent/student handbook requires a permission slip for field trips. Anyone other than a parent who picks up a child must have a note. But the school does not require a note for a child to get LGBT propaganda

Jensen admitted on the recording that the faculty started the club. “The adults … we spent months trying to do this thing.”

Jensen was recorded admitting, “We decided not to do activism at first, because that’s a big step.” She went on, “Once they get the club going, the next step is to start community events —probably next year.” (For more from the author of “Undermining Parents, School Secretly Recruits Children for Gay-Straight Alliance Meetings” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

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Beauty and the Beast’s Other Gay Moment

Now that everyone knows what Beauty and the Beast’s much-bally-hooed “exclusively gay moment” was all about, it might seem anti-climactic to some. (Spoiler alert: LeFou dances with a man in drag.) To a kid not paying attention, it could still fly under the radar as a slightly strange apparent accident: LeFou cuts in and unexpectedly finds himself with a male dance partner. The fact that this is the same man who happened to be rather fond of his “new look” might not click together with LeFou’s sexuality for younger and (hopefully) still innocent viewers.

Likewise, much of the innuendo probably flew over many little heads. But, as unpleasant as it is, we need to talk about the other gay moment in Beauty and the Beast.

The String of Gay Moments

Really, there’s a string of “gay moments” leading all the way up to the promised “Gay Moment.” Actor Josh Gad’s performance was hyped as “tasteful” and “subtle.” It is many things, but tasteful and subtle it certainly is not. Some people who were rigidly searching for something blatant like a gay kiss have come out reporting there’s no there there. I disagree. Between asexuality and “gay kiss” territory, Disney has plenty of room to work with, and they certainly work it.

LeFou’s famous set piece is the smarmy “Gaston,” in which he minces about and invents all manner of strange doggerel to describe our villain’s general fabulousness. An early clip of the scene showed Gad unmistakably playing up LeFou’s gay mannerisms and physical attraction to Gaston, via eye-rolls, tush-waggling, and other such (un)subtle fare.

But it didn’t show the worst part, which involves the choice of business around the lyric “In a wrestling match, nobody bites like Gaston.” Originally, LeFou chomps down on an unfortunate bloke’s calf for illustrative purposes. This put the line in the unambiguous category of non-sexual male horseplay — two men grappling, one needs to break a hold and sees a chance to play foul. Not anymore. Apparently, it just wouldn’t be 2017 without a gag about love bites.

That’s right: In this version, LeFou directs attention to … his own chest. He sings the line while baring his stomach, and what should he reveal but a bite mark. Get it? In a wrestling match nobody bites like Gaston! Hohoho! Good one, Disney! Now everyone knows that, like Oklahoma’s Ado Annie, LeFou “sorta has a feelin’ that he won” that particular “wrestlin’ match.”

The fact that many kids will blink and miss (or just forget) is irrelevant. The image will take its place in the furniture of their minds. Every now and then, their idle thoughts might drift back to it. And they might think that it seemed kind of weird for a guy to have a bite mark on his stomach. Because it is weird. It’s more than weird. It’s disgusting.

If you will, try to picture the same gesture, in a movie with the same rating, but in a heterosexual context. Granted, the nature of a musical allows deliberately ambiguous words to overlay a scene. Still, I know and you know that even such a fleeting allusion as this would normally be out of bounds for anything with a G or PG sticker on it. If it were a woman doing the bragging, well into PG-13 territory, at least.

With Bite, Disney Shows Its Real Hunger

I highlight this moment because so many people have missed it, whether through distraction or sheer innocent-mindedness. Stephen Greydanus is the only reviewer to have pointed it out, that I’m aware of. But we cannot miss it, because it is here that Disney’s mask starts to slip. There’s a reason why all the leaked news and interviews and promotional buzz focused on the moment where LeFou and his new friend dance together. They chose this moment, because it’s a “nice” moment. Because awwwww, they’re dancing!

Sorry, but no cigar. Disney can’t have its cake and eat it too. They can’t conjure up the image of one dude biting another dude on the stomach, only to pretend they’re teaching children that gay people are just as innocent and normal and fun as everybody else.

Dissenters will protest, “But some men and women do it too!” See above. The fact that Disney felt free to include such a gag in such a film reflects the normativity of unpleasant sex practices within the gay community. Aside from the particularly disgusting details of their substitute consummation, two gay men are intrinsically set up to be rougher, more unpleasant, more uninhibitedly kinky in their sexual behavior than a man and a woman. Yes, there are women who will play along, but even a prostitute will have her limits. Without that tempering female influence, the sky is the limit.

Disney can spray around as much rose-scented air freshener as they like to hide that stench, but the truth will out (no pun intended). If LeFou is “token Disney gay, PG version,” I don’t think I want to know what the PG-13 version will look like.

Parents Can’t Afford to Remain Innocent

It’s unpleasant but true: If parents want to be able to navigate culture alertly, they can’t afford to remain as innocent as their children. Yes, they should still strive as much as possible to dwell on what is pure and lovely and of good report, as St. Paul adjures. Yet Jesus said we should also be wise as serpents. That may require us to go to some dark, nasty places. It may require us to scrutinize things young children might well not even notice … yet. But one day, they will. When that day comes, will you be caught by surprise? Or will you be five steps ahead of them? (For more from the author of “Beauty and the Beast’s Other Gay Moment” please click HERE)

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The Beastly Beauty of Disney’s ‘Gay Moment’ — and How We Should Respond

So Disney is going to have an “exclusively gay moment” in the live-action film version of Beauty and the Beast. It’s not going to be a big thing, just a moment in the action of LeFou the manservant. Something “nice.” Something very feelings-oriented.

That news follows close upon Disney Studios’ first animated same-sex kiss.

We’ve been talking about this behind the scenes here at The Stream. Al Perrotta, our managing editor, made this prediction by email:

Let’s not kid ourselves. The reason you put in a lighthearted, perhaps even obvious, gay attraction theme in Beauty and the Beast is to soften the ground so a Disney princess or heroine can be gay. That’s the goal. They’ll get away with it here because it’s likely to be humorous, over-the-top fun, and done with much skill. (The Modern Family lesson well applied. And the film’s director Bill Condon is no slouch.) But I guarantee Disney is eyeballing a feature with a gay lead.

He’s right. Modern Family presents gayness in such a pleasant and positive light, it’s done more for gay-rights activism than any gay op-ed or slogan has ever done.

Strategically Putting Christians In a Corner

Make no mistake, this was by strategic intention. Marshall Kirk and “Erastes Pill” (a pseudonym for Hunter Madsen) laid it out decades ago in a strategy document they called “The Overhauling of Straight America.” Written in 1987, it’s a disturbing paper yet still worth the read if you can stand it, for the insight it gives into decades of gay activism.

Kirk and Pill speak of opening up “a gateway into the private world of straights, through which a Trojan horse might be passed. As far as desensitization is concerned, the medium is the message — of normalcy. So far, gay Hollywood has provided our best covert weapon in the battle to desensitize the mainstream.”

It’s a strategy centered in positive imagery: “For openers, naturally, we must continue to encourage the appearance of favorable gay characters in films and TV shows,” they write. “The visual media, film and television, are plainly the most powerful image-makers in Western civilization.”

Their approach has been astonishingly effective. Consider the strategic savvy of what they’re setting up in Beauty and the Beast. If we say, “That’s wrong!” people will hear it as “That’s ugly” instead. Everything is happening on the level of images, remember.

So there’s no easy way for conservatives to object without looking ugly ourselves. They’ve put us in a corner. If we object, we lose now. If we don’t object, we lose later, when Disney plies gay princes and princesses upon us. Disney is the Beauty, critics are the Beast.

Overhauling Under Way

But how did that happen? How did we get that way? It comes out of “Overhauling Straight America.” Opponents “must be vilified,” say Kirk and Pill:

The public should be shown images of ranting homophobes. … Bigoted southern ministers drooling with hysterical hatred to a degree that looks both comical and deranged; menacing punks, thugs, and convicts speaking coolly about the “f*gs” they have killed or would like to kill; a tour of Nazi concentration camps where homosexuals were tortured and gassed.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? If you haven’t seen those precise images, still you know how neatly Christians have been maneuvered into the place of the “intolerant haters.” You could almost admire a strategy so effective, if it weren’t so dishonestly manipulative.

And that, fellow Christians, is the difficult strategic setup we’re dealing with. What’s our best response?

Fight Beastliness With Beauty

What we’ve been doing for the most part (and I include myself here) has been trying to make gays and gay activism appear the Beast. We have ground to stand on there, to be sure. Even their strategies are beastly.

But just as there are no fairy tales where the heroine turns ugly at the end, and “they all live happily ever after” (I don’t think even Shrek is an exception, though that’s another discussion), it’s hard to make people happy by exposing gay activism’s ugliness. From both a strategic and biblical perspective we’ll get much further by revealing the true beauty of the way of Jesus Christ.

We must be His Beauty in the world. We won’t be able to do that the way Disney does, with multi-million dollar budgets, decades of film experience and a distribution system to drool over. But we are not without resources of our own.

We have the beauty of Christian marriage. Couples who pray together have more loving unions and divorce less often. We have the beauty of Christian forgiveness. We have the beauty of the love of Christ, reaching out to neighbors, friends, and even enemies. We have the beauty of truth, openness, honesty, transparency and humility.

Personal Relationships and Public Conversations

I could go on. These things are best seen up close, not onscreen. We need to love our opponents. The closer we connect in real relationships with people who consider us beastly, the harder it will be for them to ignore the reality of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Meanwhile the discussion must go on. Disney’s support for homosexuality is very public, so we have to respond in public. But we must be wise to the trap they’ve set for us. Someone commented regarding the cartoon kiss, “It’s official. Our society has gone to sh*t.” Someone else wrote, “You Liberals are disgusting creatures of perversion!!” That’s falling into the trap, and it’s no help at all. Language like that is just as ugly as what it’s objecting to.

No, in our public conversations we have to keep pointing back to the better way. We need to learn to paint the picture better, to show the truly beautiful way, the way of strong and lasting marriages that unite in godly love to build the next generation.

Because the way of Jesus Christ, which our culture has come to consider beastly, is really beautiful. The more people can see that with their own eyes, the more likely they’ll be to believe it. (For more from the author of “The Beastly Beauty of Disney’s ‘Gay Moment’ — and How We Should Respond” please click HERE)

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No, a Study Did Not Show That Same-Sex “Marriage” Laws Reduce Teen Suicide Rates

You probably saw the breathless reports suggesting, as CNN did, that “same-sex marriage may decrease teen suicide attempt rates, study says.” A yes, a study. A statistical study. That’s supposed to give it gravitas. In fact many, perhaps even most, statistical studies simply can’t be trusted. Certainly not this one.

The study in question is the peer-reviewed paper “Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts” by Julia Raifman, Ellen Moscoe, and S. Bryn Austin, in the once-prestigious journal JAMA Pediatrics.

This widely touted work purports to have discovered, using statistical methods, “that same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 7% reduction in the proportion of all high school students reporting a suicide attempt within the past year.” The authors say there is now “empirical evidence for an association between same-sex marriage policies and mental health outcomes.”

Association.

Think about what the authors are implying: that the mere presence of gmarriage — government-defined marriage, as opposed to marriage defined by reality — stops teens from reporting suicide attempts.

Implications

If what these authors are eager to imply is true, it must have been that some teenagers before gmarriage reported trying to kill themselves because there was no such thing as gmarriage. Or it must be that some teenagers after gmarriage became the “law of the land” thought to themselves, “You know, I was going to report trying to kill myself. But now that Bert and Ernie can be gmarried, I won’t report it.” (Both could be true.)

About the number of teenagers who actually killed themselves because of the absence of gmarriage — or because of the presence of gmarriage — nobody knows. The study only relates how many kids self-reported suicide attempts. Since most of the kids giving answers were 15-16, it can’t have been because of actual forbidden gmarriage or marriage ceremonies that caused reporting suicide attempts (of course, there could have been a handful of child brides or grooms in the data).

This is among all teens, mind you, and not just the minority reporting same-sex attraction or other non-biologically oriented sexual desires. The authors claim the effect was greater in the sexual minority.

Weighted Realities

Forgive the dive into the details, but it’s necessary to see what’s really happening. Via a complicated massaging of numbers, the authors say that before gmarriage

a weighted 8.6% of all high school students and 28.5% of 231 413 students who identified as sexual minorities reported suicide attempts before implementation of same-sex marriage policies. Same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 0.6-percentage point…reduction in suicide attempts, representing a 7% relative reduction in the proportion of high school students attempting suicide owing to same-sex marriage implementation.

A weighted 8.6% to a weighted 8%, they say. This is a 7% reduction, all right, but a minor tweak in the actual weighted number. Thee numbers are weighted averages across several states and the result of a statistical model called a linear regression. The 0.6 drop is not observed, but is the output from a model.

What’s odd is that the authors report the rate for teens reporting non-traditional sexual desires (a modeled 4% drop from 28.5%), and also for all teens (that modeled 0.6% drop), a group which includes the sexual minority. But they don’t report numbers for normal teens (did this number increase?). This omission leads one to suspect the authors are fooling themselves. This is suggested in two ways.

Complication

The first is that these numbers are modeled averages across states. The numbers within states is anything but straightforward (the authors provide graphs). For instance, some states show reported suicide attempts increasing after gmarriage (New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, for example). The graphs also indicate a general decline in rates before gmarriage and continuing afterwards (see their Fig. 3). What makes this even more curious is that there are only a couple of years of data after gmarriage (there are many before), making comparisons more prone to error.

But those are all quibbles. Forget them if you like. The second reason is more to the point. The year each state imposed gmarriage was put into the authors’ model: this created a before and after period. The attempted suicide rates in the before period were caused by any number of things, but, the authors imply, some of the attempts were because of the lack of gmarriage.

In the after period, there were still myriad causes of suicide attempts, but one cause was removed (lack of gmarriage). Thus some kids who would have tried to unsuccessfully kill themselves did not try because of gmarriage access (but not for themselves, because they were too young).

Correlation is not Causation!

But — and this is a big but — since no questions about why kids tried to kill themselves were asked, the demarcation of before and after is entirely arbitrary. The year most cited for gmarriage was 2014. Thus not only could access to gmarriage by others (but not for themselves) be used, so could the Ebola epidemic becoming a global health crisis, which also happened in 2014, and which was one of the biggest news stories of the year, according to ABC.

Think: putting Ebola in the model works equally well with gmarriage to explain the data. So do the disasters of those crashing Malaysian airliners, or the fighting in Ukraine and Crimea. So does the 2014 Winter Olympics! And the death of sad-funny-man Robin Williams (all mentioned by ABC).

Or any of an uncountable number of events. The truth is the data do not say, and cannot say, what caused the observed changes. It is sloppy statistics — it is bad science, period — to suggest the one thing the authors thought of had to be the one and only cause of the changes.

It is made worse when this cause has so little bearing on the lives of the people purported to be affected. Fifteen and 16-year-olds do not often marry, and nobody has (yet?) heard of any same-sex “weddings” between teenagers.

And it grows worse yet again, when it is implied, as the authors do imply, that the increases after gmarriage in specific states were actually decreases — because the (modeled) mean across states decreased.

If suicide attempts increased in a state after gmarriage, as it did in several states, could it be that the presence of gmarriage is causing more kids to try and kill themselves?

If not, why not? (For more from the author of “No, a Study Did Not Show That Same-Sex “Marriage” Laws Reduce Teen Suicide Rates” please click HERE)

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Rainbow Jihad Case of Barronelle Stutzman Proves: The Courts Own Us

There is no god but the state, and the courts are its messenger.

That was apparent when the Ninth Circuit ran roughshod more than a week ago over an entirely lawful, if not particularly elegant, execution of immigration sanity by President Trump. And on Thursday, emboldened by each and every unchecked usurpation of the legislative process they contrive, the courts stuck a dagger in the back of American sovereignty once again.

This time it was the Washington State Supreme Court that did the dirty work, telling florist Barronelle Stutzman that the true meaning of liberty is to swear undying allegiance to the Rainbow Jihad — First Amendment be (literally) damned.

How much longer can the Constitution take it up the tail pipe before somebody looks these black-robed bullies in the eye and tells them enough is enough?

Why on earth does a sweet old lady like Stutzman, whom I have met, have to do the heavy lifting on this instead of judges, lawyers, and politicians who have sworn an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States?

Your mind is a puddle of mush concerning the definition of marriage? Fine. You are overcome by a ‘nicer than God’ complex concerning immigration? Ok, whatever. While I’m used to the ease with which very smart people have bought into such frauds, I’m also confident that truth can and will win the day on those issues and many other issues if the playing field I am competing on is evenly remotely fair.

Put another way, I still like my odds even with one hand tied behind my back. But what I can’t see is cause for victory on any issue at all if the courts can and will simply veto the result of every scoreboard whose outcome isn’t deemed progressive enough. The living, breathing Constitution is this country’s Kobayashi Maru scenario. It can’t be defeated, because it makes nailing Jell-O to the wall look like a sure thing by comparison.

For if non-citizens have more rights than citizens do — as it seems based on the juxtaposition of these two rulings — the Constitution is actually dead as a door nail.

That’s not remotely how the Founding Fathers viewed its inherent purpose as a check and balance. Which means we have nothing short of a moral, ethical and intellectual coup on our hands. And the fact that the court ruled unanimously to punish Stutzman only makes such a cruel truth all the clearer. The Bill of Rights are simply a dead letter to the fake justice sweeping our land.

But what is a rock sold truth you can bet your house on, according to the Washington State Supreme Court?

That providing flowers to a fake wedding would not serve as an endorsement of that shame because “providing flowers for a wedding between Muslims would not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, nor would providing flowers for an atheist couple endorse atheism.”

That’s an actual legal opinion, folks. In a sane world, it should lead to impeachment. But we are not sane. We are the people who claim to worship science, but then deny it when we look between our legs.

For what these hackneyed theologians, not-so-cleverly disguised as judges, are telling you is that the dictates of your moral conscience are null and void if they draw distinctions that grown-ups are expected and encouraged to make all the time. You may have read about that once in a dusty old document that talked about freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly among other things. Our very identities are tied into who and what we choose to be associated with on any given day, just as progressives are screaming from every rooftop about right now concerning whether Trump’s America is a place they want to live.

You know, like fashion designers who decide that the best course of business for their brand is to not dress First Lady Melania Trump, or department stores who decide not to carry the clothing line of First Daughter Ivanka Trump.

Can’t wait until those travesties of justice hit the courts.

The fact that the above legal rendering actually relies on the phrase “does not necessarily constitute” when discussing the endorsement of belief or behavior gets it exactly wrong. What’s in question isn’t how other people might see the same or any other analogous circumstance, but how Barronelle Stutzman sees the particular application of her Christian worldview.

It’s her conscience, not the state’s, and our country was founded on the principle she has a right to it.

A proper understanding of liberty should make that painfully obvious. Yet even if we had such a proper understanding, it would be worthless, too. For we wouldn’t act on it. Oh, we’ll sit there and wax poetic all over conservative media about God-given rights and such. But when faced with a clear and present threat to our ideals, like this one, we’ll suddenly become impotent. Lamenting how terrible things really are while pretending the Founders left us no machinery by which to do something about it.

Progressives use unelected judges to declare war on reality, and as long as fill-in-the-blank fake conservative sticks it to the media in some viral video that provides today’s bread and circus we’re satisfied. We want the click-bait. We want the show.

Are you not entertained?

We don’t seem to want the hard work of self-governing, cleaning house, and standing up for what we believe in. Otherwise what’s happening to Stutzman would be a battle cry to mobilize a movement, instead of barely eliciting yawns.

So the courts own us. Enjoy the abyss. (For more from the author of “Rainbow Jihad Case of Barronelle Stutzman Proves: The Courts Own Us” please click HERE)

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Trump Decides to Keep Obama’s Radical LGBT Special Envoy, Aiding the Destruction of Traditional Cultures, Imposing American Perversity, Worldwide

President Trump is keeping in place a special international LGBT “envoy” established by the Obama administration to promote acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism abroad in the name of U.S. foreign policy.

The reinstatement of open homosexual Randy Berry as Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons was reported Monday by the homosexual newspaper Washington Blade. It is another blow to pro-family advocates who oppose the LGBT agenda and are counting on Trump to root out homosexual and abortion activists from the foreign affairs bureaucracy after eight years of Obama’s leftist policies.

“Keeping Berry only signals to the world that the extreme agenda of the Obama years is still deeply entrenched in the State Department,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

A career foreign service officer who speaks Spanish and Arabic, Berry was given the international “LGBT Envoy” position in 2015. The appointment delighted homosexual activists, who in recent years have turned their attention to less developed nations overseas after accomplishing much of their agenda in the West.

Berry is a committed pro-LGTQ activist who is dedicated to seeing other nations adopt the postmodern Western legal system that grants “rights,” including “marriage,” based on homosexuality and extreme gender deviance. In December, he joined other openly homosexual U.S. diplomats in speaking at an “LGBT Leaders” conference in D.C. sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute. (Read more from “Trump Decides to Keep Obama’s Radical LGBT Special Envoy, Aiding the Destruction of Traditional Cultures, Imposing American Perversity, Worldwide” HERE)

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Alaska Continues to Push LGBT Agenda in Schools

The State of Alaska is continuing its efforts to push educators in encouraging children to experiment with alternative genders including transitioning away from their biological sex.

Late last year the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development partnered with the Department of Health and Social Services to sponsor a conference that included instructing educators on how to assist students — elementary age and older — who wish to transition away from their biological sex and identify otherwise. The conference also urged teachers to keep this information from parents who may take issue with the school enabling their child’s gender experimentation.

In preparation for an upcoming conference this spring on preventing sexually transmitted diseases, the state is continuing its promotion of gender theory in issuing a call last month for presentations on topics such as “Sexual health promotion for LGBTQ individuals” and “LGBTQ inclusivity in the health care setting.”

A Jan. 5 email from Jenny Baker, Adolescent Health Project Coordinator for Alaska’s Division of Public Health, called for abstracts for the upcoming May 8-10 conference in Anchorage.

The conference website states that it will “Bring together public health and health care professionals and providers in the behavioral, medical, social services and education fields” to share the “newest information available on HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs and related health issues.”

Baker was a featured speaker at the most recent Alaska School Health & Wellness Institute this past October, where she guided teachers and school nurses through ways to advance what she said many might consider to be “controversial” sex education in their school districts.

She told attendees that sexually transmitted infections are on the rise among Alaska’s youth but pregnancies are dropping. She credited the increased use of “birth control, like pills, IUD shot, patch, ring” as a possible reason for the decline in teen pregnancies. Abortion also plays a role, she said, while noting that more measures need to be taken.

During the same workshop Baker acknowledged that “talking about sex education and talking about sex in general is controversial” and that some parents and school boards don’t support it. Nonetheless, she encouraged Alaska educators to push for “comprehensive” sex education that includes explicit instruction on the proper use of a condom, how to procure and utilize a wide range of contraceptives and how to understand and accept gender roles, gender identity and sexual orientation, among other topics. (For more from the author of “Alaska Continues to Push LGBT Agenda in Schools” please click HERE)

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Homophobia Causes STDs, Fat-Shaming Causes Obesity (and Other Urban Myths)

I was recently sent an article, asking for my comments. It was written in 2013 and alleged that in the states where same-sex “marriage” had been opposed in America, there was an increase in STDs among gays, demonstrating that it was homophobia more than homosexual acts that caused STDs. In sum, the author claimed, “Bigotry makes us sick” but “full acceptance … improves our health.” More recently, I was sent an article that claimed that it was fat-shaming that largely contributed to obesity.

Can we utter a collective sigh?

Regarding the first claim, the reality is that the reported increase in STDs was minuscule (especially when compared to the extraordinarily high rates of STD’s among gay men), and the data was quite limited. But even if it were true that where gay “marriage” is discouraged, there is slightly more gay promiscuity, which in turn results in slightly higher rates of STD’s, this would not for a moment negate three important realities.

First, it is sexual promiscuity that causes STDs, not homophobia.

Second, there is more promiscuity among gays than straights.

Third, men who have sex with men (MSM) have the highest rate of STDs, to the point that the CDC reported in 2010 (and beyond), “Gay Men’s HIV Rate 44 Times that of Other Men; Syphilis Rate 46 Times Higher.”

Tragically, these numbers remain extremely high, and even a 2015 CDC report that is quite sympathetic to the gay community states, “Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (collectively referred to as MSM) are at increased risk for STDs, including antimicrobial resistant gonorrhea, when compared to women and exclusively heterosexual men.”

The bottom line, then, is simple: Regardless of the presence or absence of alleged homophobia, STDs are transmitted sexually (hence their name), and they remain disproportionately high in the gay community, especially among men.

Could it be that God did not design our bodies for promiscuity or certain homosexual acts? If we want to reduce STDs — among heterosexuals as well as homosexuals — that’s the place where we need to focus.

Regarding causes of obesity, a January 5, 2017 article claims, “Fat shaming — not lack of willpower — is why so many Americans struggle with their weight.”

In short, “Fat shaming — the process of insulting, bullying or stigmatizing a person for their weight — is an American pastime,” and this in turn creates greater anxiety and stress, which in turn leads to more weight gain.

To be sure, there is a lot of pressure on Americans today to have the perfect body, and without a doubt, many of us treat thin people more nicely than fat people (or, at the least, view thin people differently than fat people). And there’s no question that millions of Americans hate being fat and keep trying to lose weight, ending in failure and frustration.

As someone who was overweight (or even obese) much of my life, I have tremendous sympathy for those who struggle, and I abhor the idea of making overweight people, who already feel bad about their condition, feel even worse.

But it is deeply misguided to blame societal fat-shaming for people’s obesity, since the only reason I will be fat, barring a specific medical condition, is if I eat too much food, especially unhealthy food.

The article I cited here claims that there is scientific support for the thesis that “fat shaming can spike stress hormones that can increase weight gain,” and while there may be some truth to this, for every ounce gained because of a spike in stress hormones due to “fat-shaming,” there is surely a pound (or many pounds) gained because of lack of self-control and/or poor eating habits.

What these two articles have in common is a refusal to take full responsibility for our struggles, pointing a finger instead at others — the homophobes and the fat-shamers — rather than saying, “What can I do to correct a serious, health-threatening problem in my life?”

Funnily enough (welcome to my world!), a gay website recently attacked an article of mine titled, “Is It a Sin for a Christian to Be Obese?” It responded with this headline: “Anti-LGBT Radio Host Fat Shames for the Lord to Sell His Diet Book.”

Apparently, I’m not only a homophobe, I’m also a fat-shamer, and even though my article starts off with all kinds of caveats as to why people may be obese, even though I urge us to judge ourselves for being overweight, not judge others, and even though I wrote the article to lift people up not beat them up, I’m still a fat-shamer.

As the gay website states, “Brown does tell readers that God is not condemning them, but goes on to say: ‘I encourage you to confess your bad eating habits as sin, asking the Father for mercy and forgiveness, believing that Jesus paid for this sin as well, and trusting God for grace to overcome. With His help and with a good plan, you can do it!’”

This is fat-shaming?

What makes this all the more ironic is that, for years, critics have said to me, “You Christians are such hypocrites. You preach against homosexuality but you don’t preach against gluttony. And many of you are so fat!”

Of course, from a biblical standpoint, committing a homosexual act is far more serious than having a big bowl of ice cream, but now that my wife and I have written a book encouraging others to healthier living, rather than commending me, these same critics condemn me. Is anyone surprised?

The take-away in all this is simple: While there are many societal factors that contribute to the choices we make, we are ultimately responsible for those choices, and if we don’t like sleeping in the bed we made, we have no business blaming others for it.

Positive change comes when we take full responsibility for our actions, and with God’s help, radical, lasting change is possible for all. (For more from the author of “Homophobia Causes STDs, Fat-Shaming Causes Obesity (and Other Urban Myths)” please click HERE)

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An Ex-Gay Christian Says It Was Easier to Leave Homosexuality Than to Change His Diet

A man named Eric posted this on my Facebook page, and it was heartbreaking to read.

I have struggled with weight problems for years and it’s catching up with me. On December 5th I spent time in the E.R. due to dangerously high blood pressure. They’re still working on getting the right combo of drugs to get it under control. I am morbidly obese and it is a matter of life and death.

Some of you reading this can relate to Eric’s situation — the fear of imminent heart failure; the knowledge that you are killing yourself with your diet; the hope that doctors can help you but the guilt that you have brought this on yourself. …

But what can you do? You’ve tried every diet you know, you’ve confessed the sin of gluttony or unhealthy eating to the Lord a thousand times over, and still, you’re overweight — grossly overweight — and now it’s threatening your health.

Eric then said this:

I left homosexuality behind 6 years ago. That was SO much easier than getting my weight under control. I do understand being isolated from life due to weight. It’s more than just what people think. It is a physical bondage that fatigues and makes just fitting in a chair difficult. Other than learning about God’s word and knowing Jesus there is nothing I want more than to be healthy.

These are strong words: It was SO much easier to leave homosexuality than to get his weight under control. That is saying a lot.

I know many people who have struggled with same-sex attraction, some experiencing instantaneous, miraculous transformation, others working for years to see those attractions gradually diminish, and still others fighting for decades to see change without any success.

Yet Eric says that leaving homosexuality, obviously by God’s grace, was so much easier than changing his relationship to food.

When God set me free from heavy drug use in 1971 at the age of 16 (including shooting heroin), I couldn’t relate to those who would say, “I’m a recovering drug addict.”

For me, that was a thing of the past, someone who I used to be, and it had no bearing on my life after that. To this day, I do not think of myself as a recovering drug addict.

But when it comes to food, I live as if I’m a recovering food addict. In fact, one of the first chapters in my new book Breaking the Stronghold of Food (written together with my wife Nancy), is entitled, “Confessions of a Recovering Food Addict.”And even though I’ve been totally free from food addictions since late August, 2014, when my lifestyle transformation began, I live as if one wrong bite could set me back. Why play with fire?

After all, illegal drugs do not play a regular role in our lives — in other words, when I quit getting high in 1971, I cut off contact with that old part of my life — but when it comes to food, we need it to live, and we are constantly surrounded by unhealthy food choices.

As someone on the road constantly — traveling 30 hours straight on overseas flights, at endless airports and hotels, being taken out to restaurants all the time — I know how easy it would be to fall back into my old lifestyle. That’s why I don’t make any exceptions to my healthy eating. I recognize that the Lord has given me grace, and I know that one misstep could open the door to another and then another. I do not take my freedom for granted!

Getting back to our friend Eric, for whom I ask you to pray, he wrote this at the end of his post, explaining that there was one more reason he was ordering our new book, and for him, it was another reason to get healthy: “the morbidly obese make poor witnesses for Christ.”

Nancy and I really do understand how difficult the battles are (we’re totally candid in the book, and you’ll laugh — or sigh — at some of our stories), and that’s why there’s not an ounce of condemnation in anything we write.

We don’t want to beat you up, we want to help you out, and we’re convinced that if the Lord could help us, with all our bad eating habits and food addictions, He can help anyone. (For the record, according to recognized weight standards, which are probably a little too generous, we were both obese in the past.)

So, if you find yourself struggling with unhealthy eating habits or food addictions, even if you’re not overweight, there is a solid, lasting way out. And if you’re obese or morbidly obese, all the more are these promises for you. Even when it comes to food, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). There is a better way! (For more from the author of “An Ex-Gay Christian Says It Was Easier to Leave Homosexuality Than to Change His Diet” please click HERE)

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