Sturbuck Community Church

Obama Administration Refuses to Enforce ‘Right of Conscience,’ Legal Group Says

The Obama administration refuses to enforce federal law that protects Americans’ freedom of conscience, a Christian legal aid group says.

In 2014, California began mandating that employee health plans cover elective abortions. A state agency is refusing to exempt churches from the mandate, said Casey Mattox, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.

“Churches should never be forced to cover elective abortion in their insurance plans, and for 10 years the Weldon Amendment has protected the right to have plans that do not include coverage for abortion on demand,” Mattox said in a statement.

The federal Weldon Amendment prohibits states receiving taxpayer funds under federal law from discriminating against health insurance plans that don’t cover abortion, Mattox has argued.

“The administration’s refusal to enforce [the Weldon Amendment] continues its pattern of enforcing laws it wants to enforce, refusing to enforce others, and inventing new interpretations of others out of whole cloth,” Mattox said in a formal statement.

“California has outlawed the licensing of any health care plan in the state that does not cover elective abortion. It is perfectly clear that California is violating the law and the Obama administration has frequently been refusing to enforce the law,” Mattox told The Daily Signal.

Alliance Defending Freedom filed two lawsuits in California challenging the rule.

Since the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires employers to provide health insurance coverage, California churches have been left without a way to opt out of paying for abortions, Alliance Defending Freedom says.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mattox said, “is obligated to go enforce this law itself, and it has decided that it is not going to enforce the law.”

“The administration’s refusal to enforce [the Weldon Amendment] continues its pattern of enforcing laws it wants to enforce, refusing to enforce others, and inventing new interpretations of others out of whole cloth,” Mattox said in a statement.

The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services sent a response letter to several formal complaints filed by Life Legal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom over the California Department of Managed Health Care’s decision to force all employers to cover elective abortions.

In the letter, the Obama administration dismissed the “right of conscience” complaints after concluding that California’s law does not violate federal law, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

Jocelyn Samuels, director of the federal agency’s Office for Civil Rights, wrote in the response letter: “A finding that [California Department of Managed Health Care] has violated the Weldon Amendment might require the government to rescind all funds appropriated under the Appropriations Act to the state of California.”

Rescinding the taxpayer money, Samuels added, “would raise substantial questions about the constitutionality of the Weldon Amendment.”

Addressing that position, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Mattox said:

The Obama administration says enforcing the Weldon Amendment against California would violate the Constitution because you would be withholding all of these funds from the state. Which is very interesting because at the exact same time, you have the administration telling North Carolina that it’s going to withhold funds under the exact same appropriations bill.

The Justice Department sent North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, a letter in May saying the state’s “bathroom bill” violated federal law. The measure, which McCrory signed in March, made bathrooms in government buildings accessible based on a person’s biological sex, not his or her gender identity.

This is a “blatant contradiction,” Mattox said.

“Basically, the administration is speaking out of both sides of its mouth,” he said. (For more from the author of “Obama Administration Refuses to Enforce ‘Right of Conscience,’ Legal Group Says” please click HERE)

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Operation Iraqi Freedom

Report: Obama Administration Arming Those Killing Us in Middle East

What happens when Obama sends weapons, money, and American troops into a theater of war with no coherent mission and no clear enunciation of American strategic interests? Our own weapons and training are used against our soldiers and intelligence workers.

Last November, two American contractors were killed at a Jordanian police training center in Amman, Jordan, when a former trainee turned his guns on the Americans and several other foreign workers. This training facility is funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars to train Palestinian security forces, an endeavor we should not be supporting at all. To make matters worse, the New York Times is now reporting that the weapons used in the attack were purchased on the black market in Jordan through a stream of weapons from a CIA program intended to train and equip Syrian rebels!

Weapons shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for Syrian rebels have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, according to American and Jordanian officials.

Some of the stolen weapons were used in a shooting in November that killed two Americans and three others at a police training facility in Amman, F.B.I. officials believe after months of investigating the attack, according to people familiar with the investigation.[…]

This program, which operated under code name Timber Sycamore, according to the Times, began in April 2013 in conjunction with Saudi Arabia and other gulf states. Remember, these are some of the same actors who are also directly funding Al Qaeda in Syria. Many of the Syrian rebels are either Islamists themselves or have allowed weapons to fail into the hands of Al Nusra and Ahar al-Sham, two Al Qaeda-linked groups operating in Syria . Now it has been revealed that some of those weapons, including Kalashnikovs, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, were purloined by corrupt Jordanian officials and are now out on the “streets” of the Middle East’s black market.

This is just the latest example of how Obama is helping arm our enemies and sending our brave CIA and special operations troops into war to risk their own lives in helping our enemies or doing the bidding of Saudi Arabia. The House and Senate recently passed the annual defense authorization bill, which authorizes several hundred million dollars for the Syrian rebel train and equip program. As I noted at the time, it was a colossal lost opportunity for Republicans not to defund the program. Fortunately, they still have the opportunity to do so between the Senate-House conference committee or in the upcoming defense appropriations bill.

If Democrats want to distract from the problem of Islamic jihad and discuss gun control, they might want to start by preventing our own government from repeating the Fast and Furious gun running scandal on a global level. (For more from the author of “Report: Obama Administration Arming Those Killing Us in Middle East” please click HERE)

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Why the Obama Administration’s Most Notable Photograph Was Almost Nixed

Embedded photographers, in the eyes of some, are the unsung heroes when historic events occur. Reflecting on the achievements of war photographers, one may not soon forget the photo taken as the U.S. flag was being raised over Iwo Jima by soldiers after the tiny South Pacific island was taken from the hands of the Japanese. And during the Obama presidency, no single photograph taken by a photographer may be as important as the one taken by Pete Souza when the president’s staff was in the situation room as Osama bin Laden’s compound was being infiltrated by U.S. personnel.

After all, it had been nearly 10 years since bin Laden claimed responsibility for attacking the World Trade Center and the Pentagon using hijacked commercial airliners as flying missiles. Bin Laden’s whereabouts had been the question on the minds of many, including the military, which was engaged in a manhunt of the FBI’s most wanted man.

But the famous photo almost didn’t get released, according to a new book written by Josh King titled Off Script. According to the Washington Examiner, King wrote that Souza knew he had a winner when he shot the photo that showed Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other military and administration officials apparently watching attentively as live video feeds of the assault were broadcast directly to the situation room on May 2, 2011, the day bin Laden was killed in the raid, which involved a stealth helicopter insertion of two dozen Navy Seals. . .The problem with the photo arose when it was realized a classified document was on the desk in front of Clinton, the details of which were also captured by the photo. (Read more from “Why the Obama Administration’s Most Notable Photograph Was Almost Nixed” HERE)

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Obama Admin. Fails to Designate Pakistan as Hostile to Religious Freedom Despite Recent Massacres of Christians

maxresdefault (97)The United States Department of State has released its official blacklist of countries guilty of egregious violations of religious freedom, and for the 14th consecutive year has left Pakistan off the roster.

Secretary of State John Kerry has re-designated Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs, under the International Religious Freedom Act, and has added the ex-Soviet republic of Tajikistan for the first time.

State Department spokesperson John Kirby announced this year’s list of countries of particular concern at a press briefing last week, underscoring that these designations “help us shine a spotlight on countries and conditions that require the international community’s attention.”

Nonetheless, despite persistent urging from the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the list omits mention of Pakistan, despite recent incidents that have drawn world attention to the country.

The Easter-Day massacre targeting Christians in Lahore saw the death of 72 victims, mostly women and children, along with at least 320 injured. (Read more from “Obama Admin. Fails to Designate Pakistan as Hostile to Religious Freedom Despite Recent Massacres of Christians” HERE)

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The Obama Administration Wants to Make Sure Non-Citizens Vote in the Upcoming Election

Several well-funded organizations — including the League of Women Voters and the NAACP — are fighting efforts to prevent non-citizens from voting illegally in the upcoming presidential election. And the United States Department of Justice, under the direction of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, is helping them.

On February 12, these groups filed a lawsuit in D.C. federal court seeking to reverse a recent decision by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The Commission’s decision allows Kansas and other states, including Arizona and Georgia, to enforce state laws ensuring that only citizens register to vote when they use a federally designed registration form. An initial hearing in the case is set for Monday afternoon, February 22.

Under federal law, the EAC is responsible for designing the federal voter-registration form required by the National Voter Registration Act, or Motor Voter, as it is commonly called. While states must register voters who use the federal form, states can ask the EAC to include instructions with the federal form about additional state registration requirements. Some states are now requiring satisfactory proof of citizenship to ensure that only citizens register to vote.

Under Article I, Secion 2 and the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, states have the power to set the “Qualification requisite for electors.” As with many issues, the Left disdains the balance the Framers adopted in the Constitution and objects to this delegation of power to the states. They prefer to see power over elector eligibility centralized in Washington, D.C. (Read more from “The Obama Administration Wants to Make Sure Non-Citizens Vote in the Upcoming Election” HERE)

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New Obama Executive Order Gives Colossal Number of Work Permits to Foreign College-Graduates

As the nation prepares to ring in the New Year, President Barack Obama is preparing a colossal new executive action that could print-up work permits for a huge number of foreign white-collar graduates every year, above and beyond the levels set by Congress.

This executive action, which directly bypasses Congressional lawmakers, is likely to reverberate across the presidential race, as GOP voters look to choose a nominee they believe will most effectively roll back the President’s still-expanding agenda. And it will certainly raise new security concerns as it covers categories of immigration utilized by migrants from the Middle East and nearby regions.

President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security plans to publish the proposed rule tomorrow, the last day of 2015.

The 181-page rule focuses primarily on giving work-permits to foreign college-grads who will compete against Americans for white collar jobs, despite the large number of American graduates now stuck in lower-wage positions and struggling to pay off college debts. The rule will also make each foreign graduate much cheaper for U.S. employers to hire than many U.S.-born college grads.

“Obama has gone the Full Monty to bust the immigration system,” says immigration lawyer John Miano. “What is going on is he is effectively giving Green Cards to people on H-1B visas who are unable to get Green Cards due to the [annual] quotas… it could be over 100,000.” (Read more from “New Obama Executive Order Is Giving Work Permits to Foreign College-Graduates” HERE)

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Circumventing Senate and Constitution, Obama Admin. Subjects US to Global Police Force

Following a recent United Nations (U.N.) Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch just announced that the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) would be collaborating with several U.S. cities to form “a global law enforcement initiative,” known as “The Strong Cities Network” (SCN).

The objective is to “strengthen community resilience against violent extremism.” Lynch and others argue that American cities “are vital partners in international efforts to build social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.”

In order to build “global social cohesion” SCN states it will identify city-level practitioners and members of their respective communities to participate in a series of workshops. Chosen individuals will contribute to and utilize an online repository of municipal-level good practices and web-based training modules.

Yet, underlying all of SCN’s “collaboration” is a serious unconstitutional reality: sub-national authorities from “different regions” will attempt to enforce U.N. rules and laws on American soil to achieve SCN objectives.

Furthermore, while SCN’s stated goal appears to combat “violent extremism,” how it identifies and defines “extremism” and– what acts it seeks to criminalize– is critical to recognizing SCN as a genuine national security threat. A cursory look at those involved with SCN at its highest levels provides insight.

It is noteworthy that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, gave opening remarks prior to Lynch’s keynote address at the U.N. Zeid is known for having long opposed the most basic of all human rights: free speech.

Foreign Policy writer Jacob McHangama points out that Zeid has consistently voted to force U.N. states to criminalize acts of “defamation of religion.” McHangama writes:

“From 1999-2010, member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) successfully tabled resolutions on “combating defamation of religion” as part of their campaign to implement a global blasphemy ban under human rights law, in the Human Rights Council (known as the U.N. Commission on Human Rights until 2006) and the General Assembly. During both of Ambassador Zeid’s periods as Jordan’s ambassador to the U.N., Jordan voted in favor of these resolutions when they were introduced at the General Assembly.”

Yet, “defamation of religion” relates specifically and solely to Islam. And, Zeid not only defines but also enforces criminality for violating such defamation– according to Sharia Blasphemy and Apostasy Laws.

Also noteworthy is SCN’s International Advisory Board, which is directed by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD). ISD’s links to George Soros’s Open Societies Institute are easily identifiable. Soros has made no secret about his efforts to create a worldwide government, worldwide police force, worldwide currency, and worldwide socio-economic policies.

One cannot discount the mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre, who said of SCN: “This global network is designed to build on community-based approaches to address violent extremism, promote openness and vigilance and expand upon local initiatives like Montréal’s Mayors’ International Observatory on Living Together.” (The only American city to join Montréal’s network, is Atlanta, which is listed as part of the “World Association of the Major Metropolises.”)

Montréal’s stated focus is “inclusion and security in an era of radicalization and terror attacks.” Yet, closed door meetings allegedly included discussions focused on “creating diversity” and “taking a public stance against intolerance.” Again, “tolerance” is specifically and solely related to “minority” communities, which are allegedly being targeted for “so-called terrorist radicalization.”

Finally, and simultaneous to these U.N. events and announcements, on October 1, 2015 the National Assembly of the Quebec Legislature unanimously passed a motion condemning “Islamaphobia.” This also specifically and solely limits what can/cannot be said about Islam and Quebec’s Muslim minorities.

The common denominator among all of this “collaboration,” from the U.N. to Jordan to Canada, is the incremental implementation of Shari’a Blasphemy and Apostasy Laws. Initially, these laws impose limits on free speech and expression. Eventually, they make illegal freedom of speech and free exercise of religion– both of which are protected in America by the U.S. Constitution.

Further still, and even more troubling, is the head of the Department of Justice announcing that the United States will participate in a global plan subject to United Nations jurisdictional authority. The head of an agency allegedly committed first and foremost to enforcing the U.S. Constitution, is deliberately rejecting the very law she swore to uphold.

Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution specifies that any international agreements, including treaties, can only be agreed to after first being subjected to the authority of the U.S. Constitution. No federal government official, cabinet member, agency bureaucrat, not even the President, can enter into international agreements like the SCN Lynch just announced.

The Constitution is quite clear. Only a two-thirds majority of the U.S. Senate can approve of entering into such an agreement. Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2 specifies that 67 members of the U.S. Senate must first agree. It states: The President, “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.”

It is doubtful if the U.S. Senate has even heard of SCN. It most certainly has not voted on it.

Yet the Attorney General of the United States decides to bypass them and the Constitution to implement a global initiative subjecting Americans to U.N. rules– and eventually Shari’a Blasphemy and Apostasy Laws. (For more from the author of “Circumventing Senate and Constitution, Obama Admin. Subjects US to Global Police Force” please click HERE)

Watch a recent interview with the author below:

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Obama Officials Heading to Mexico to Discuss International Gun Control via UN Treaty

GettyImages-455648766-640x427 (1)On August 24 officials from the Obama administration will be attending the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) conference in Mexico City.

The ATT was signed by Secretary of State John Kerry on September 25, 2013 but never ratified by the US Senate. Nevertheless, Gun Owners of America reports that Obama officials will be in Mexico City for the conference.

Breitbart News previously reported that the ATT is an international gun control treaty designed to be implemented apart from, or in spite of, the general framework of governance for countries that are signatories to it.

Thus, while it will not do away with the Second Amendment on paper, it will subjugate the Second Amendment to the ATT’s gun controls if Obama administration officials return and implement the plans they will discuss in Mexico City.

ATT was pushed under the guise of stopping “small arms [and] light weapons” from crossing borders. And when it was being discussed in 2013, Breitbart News warned that firearm registration must proceed from the ATT if it is to be enforceable. After all, how can agents tasked with enforcing this treaty ascertain the origin of smuggled weapons without a comprehensive registration on file? (Read more from “Obama Officials Heading to Mexico to Discuss International Gun Control via UN Treaty” HERE)

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Obama Administration Objects as Russia Moves Ahead With Iran Missile Sale

Antey-2500_SAM_02-Russia-IranDespite a ban on arms shipments to Iran under international sanctions, Russia appears willing to proceed with the sale of advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles to the country — in a development triggering objections from the Obama administration.

“We have long expressed our concerns over reports of the possible sale of this missile system to the Iranians,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told Fox News.

Russia, along with the U.S. and others, was a party to the recently struck Iran nuclear agreement, which keeps the arms embargo in place for five more years. A State Department official told Fox News this specific S-300 missile system is not technically prohibited under United Nations sanctions or the nuclear deal. But the department does not want the sale to proceed . . .

When asked to characterize the capability of Russia’s S-300 air defense system, a U.S. defense official with knowledge of Russia’s weapons systems told Fox News, “This is a very capable weapons system that can bring down U.S. or Israeli jet aircraft.”

The Obama administration has made its objections known before. When Russia first announced its plans to proceed with the sale in April, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “The United States has previously made known our objections to that sale, and I understand that Secretary Kerry had an opportunity to raise these concerns once again in a recent conversation with his Russian counterpart.” (Read more from “Obama Administration Objects as Russia Moves Ahead With Iran Missile Sale” HERE)

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Obama Administration Warns Beijing About Covert Agents Operating in U.S.

17AGENTS-master675The Obama administration has delivered a warning to Beijing about the presence of Chinese government agents operating secretly in the United States to pressure prominent expatriates — some wanted in China on charges of corruption — to return home immediately, according to American officials.

The American officials said that Chinese law enforcement agents covertly in this country are part of Beijing’s global campaign to hunt down and repatriate Chinese fugitives and, in some cases, recover allegedly ill-gotten gains . . .

The American warning, which was delivered to Chinese officials in recent weeks and demanded a halt to the activities, reflects escalating anger in Washington about intimidation tactics used by the agents. And it comes at a time of growing tension between Washington and Beijing on a number of issues: from the computer theft of millions of government personnel files that American officials suspect was directed by China, to China’s crackdown on civil liberties, to the devaluation of its currency.

Those tensions are expected to complicate the state visit to Washington next month by Xi Jinping, the Chinese president.

The work of the agents is a departure from the routine practice of secret government intelligence gathering that the United States and China have carried out on each other’s soil for decades. The Central Intelligence Agency has a cadre of spies in China, just as China has long deployed its own intelligence operatives into the United States to steal political, economic, military and industrial secrets. (Read more from “Obama Administration Warns Beijing About Covert Agents Operating in U.S.” HERE)

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