Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Threat to Religious Expression

I’m running for president to make sure our country continues to live up to our founding principles. Those timeless ideas teach us that we’re stronger together when we work in unison to solve our problems, no matter what we look like, where we come from or how we pray. 
That last one is important. As Americans, we hold fast to the belief that everyone has the right to worship however he or she sees fit.
Jane Robbins, writing at Town Hall in an article entitled "Make No Mistake: Religious Freedom Dies on Hillary’s Watch," provides some insight into Hillary Clinton's precise use of the phrase "right to worship." Robbins explains:
In the first place, notice that Clinton doesn’t promise to defend Americans’ First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. That would mean she believes people of faith have the right to live out that faith in both their personal and professional lives, which she manifestly doesn’t believe. Instead, she invokes the careful phrasing always used by the President and his apparatchiks: “everyone has the right to worship however he or she sees fit.” 
“Right to worship” is much narrower than “right to free exercise.” It means the right to attend church on Sunday and observe whatever quaint rituals take place inside the sanctuary, but outside in the cold light of day, all actions must conform to the government’s secular orthodoxy.
As I've noted before, Clinton's position follows that set out in the opinion on the case of Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 (1890), which reasoned that the government could prohibit from voting persons who engaged in certain religious based practices (in that case, it had to do with polygamy). The court there reasoned that: 
With man's relations to his Maker and the obligations he may think they impose, and the manner in which an expression shall be made by him of his belief on those subjects, no interference can be permitted, provided always the laws of society, designed to secure its peace and prosperity, and the morals of its people, are not interfered with. However free the exercise of religion may be, it must be subordinate to the criminal laws of the country, passed with reference to actions regarded by general consent as properly the subjects of punitive legislantion [sic].
I also noted that while the Supreme Court retreated somewhat from the specific holding in Davis, the basic principles discussed still hold true: you can, in your mind, and, perhaps, within a church building, believe as you wish, but the government can prohibit you from exercising your religion in the public sphere.

And it is not just me that is concerned about what a Clinton presidency will mean for religious freedom. Take a look at these recent articles:
In a speech not long before she launched her 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans. Speaking to the 2015 Women in the World Summit, Clinton declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Religious beliefs have to be changed? This is perhaps the most radical statement against religious liberty ever uttered by someone seeking the presidency. It is also deeply revealing. Clinton believes that, as president, it is her job not to respect the views of religious conservatives but to force them to change their beliefs and bend to her radical agenda favoring taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.
      * * *
      Trump’s behavior toward women is appalling, but the republic has survived with sexual miscreants in the Oval Office (see Clinton, William Jefferson and Kennedy, John Fitzgerald). If Clinton is elected, she could be the most consequential president in history in terms of reshaping the nation’s highest court. She will immediately get to pick a Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia. And if other justices retire — such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg (83), Anthony Kennedy (80) and Stephen Breyer (78) — she could select as many as four new justices. Does anyone imagine that Clinton and her team will pick justices who respect religious liberty? Not a chance.
        [Quoting Hillary:]“We hold fast to the belief that everyone has the right to worship however he or she sees fit,” she writes. “Americans know that democracy ceases to exist when a leader or ruling faction can impose a particular faith on everyone else.” 
          These are important parts of robust religious freedom, to be sure. But they are not the only parts. Liberals such as Clinton are famous for claiming that religious liberty is flourishing because all Americans are free to go to church and worship however they’d like while attending their services. But actual religious freedom includes the ability to exercise one’s beliefs in the public square, not just inside a church building. Among other things, it means being free from government coercion into actions that violate one’s religious conscience. 
            This is the reason that Clinton’s second statement is so flawed: No one claims that the U.S. government is forcing Americans to practice a particular, state-sponsored religion. The problem arises when the government disallows Americans from freely living out their faith in daily life because their doing so would purportedly infringe upon the “rights” of other citizens.
            • "The Book-Burners"--Kevin D. Williamson at The National Review. From the article:
              During the final presidential debate, Hillary Rodham Clinton declared herself a totalitarian. She did not use that word, of course, but that was the substance of her remarks. 
                She began by arguing that the Supreme Court, and lesser federal courts, should be political partisans who take sides in disputes rather than adjudicate them according to the law. Many politicians — perhaps even most — believe that, or act in a way that suggests they do, but most of them feel at least the need to shamefacedly insist that judges are there to impartially apply the law. Not Mrs. Clinton. The Supreme Court that exists in her mind is the worst version of the highest judicial body, which is to say the American answer to Iran’s Guardian Council. The justices already wander into American-ayatollah territory too often, and it is only shame that constrains them. It is impossible to overstate the damage this is doing to our constitutional order, and to the legitimacy of the federal government itself.
                  Perusing Wikileaks emails from the Democratic Party, one glimpses the truth. It is not Trump who has actively subverted the Catholic Church, “buckling up and doubling down” in relation to “wet works” (i.e., assassinations) three days before the death of a Supreme Court justice. It is the Democrats themselves and Hillary’s fellows who have worked to change the American system into a socialist dictatorship; “conspiring” to make the American people “ignorant and compliant’; bemoaning Donald Trump’s campaign as the breakdown of that very compliance.
                    If we study Hillary Clinton’s life and background we will find that she was, in her younger days, a radical, a Marxist, a disciple of Saul Alinsky. There is no evidence that she changed her ideology. It is important, in our analysis, not to confuse publicly stated positions with privately held convictions. Hillary Clinton is not going to tell us her real thoughts. Such a confession would get her hanged instead of elected. Keeping this in mind as we examine her history, there is no evidence of a conversion to anti-communism or patriotism. All indications suggest that she remains what she was. According to former Clinton insider Larry Nichols, “We are at [watching] a velvet or silent coup. It’s been going on for years. There’s been a slow subtle takeover of our form of government, starting years and years ago, but it is coming to an end.”
                      Hillary Clinton seems to have a problem with religious liberty when it conflicts with her progressive goals.

                          During an April 2015 speech to the Women in the World Conference she said, “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.”

                              Translated, that means that Clinton, who believes that reproductive rights are a “fundamental human right”, would, through repeal of the Hyde Amendment, force all taxpayers to fund all abortions, even partial birth, that is, “day of birth” abortions regardless of our religious convictions.

                                  Clinton is also willing to impose federal penalties, including denying tax-exempt status, in order to, as Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “stamp out every vestige of dissent” to a far-left agenda.

                                      There is a deliberate and comprehensive anti-Christian plan being promoted by Hillary Clinton and funded by George Soros because they believe that Christian principles are an impediment to the implementation of their progressive policies.

                                          In her now infamous “basket of deplorables” speech at a September 9th New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) fundraiser, Clinton said, “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic - you name it.”

                                              The phrasing was no accident. Those “grossly generalistic” accusations are the basis of every leftist diatribe meant to demonize any individual or group that stands in opposition to their extremist policies.

                                                  As reported by Ken Klukowski, senior counsel with First Liberty Institute, the largest law firm in the United States exclusively dedicated to protecting religious liberty, Hillary’s words originate from a report issued by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights two days before Clinton’s anti-Christian screed. Chairman Martin Castro, an ally and supporter of Clinton and Obama, said in a statement accompanying the report, “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ … remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”
                                                    Do you want to facilitate this by helping to elect her to the highest office in the land? Do you want to be one of the people who helped empower her to be president?

                                                        This brings me to a major bill in California, SB 1146 which “would officially label private Christian colleges with Christian values, morality, and even dorm policies which conflict with the LGBT agenda as ‘discriminatory,’ and make the colleges liable to state (and federal) lawsuits as well as vicious attacks by activists. . . . The goal is to make Christian colleges surrender their belief systems and force the LGBT agenda onto every facet of education. California is the first state in the US to attempt this outrageous action. If it passes there, it will surely spread to other states.”

                                                            This is the exact kind of legislation that Hillary Clinton would promote and celebrate, fully backed by her handpicked Supreme Court justices.

                                                                This would also be harmony with her oft-quoted phrase that “gay rights are human rights,” and therefore any group or denomination or nation that opposes the goals of LGBT activism is guilty of opposing human rights. And let’s not forget the pressure Hillary Clinton put on African nations in her 2011 speech in which she made clear that nations across the continent would need to change their policies regarding homosexuality.
                                                                  I don't know if Trump will prove any better at preserving religious freedom; I suspect that, at best, he will only delay the slide into religious persecution that is already upon us and will only become worse in the coming decades.

                                                                  The question is how to respond to the persecution. As Christians, we are bound by the Golden Rule: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matt. 7:12). Or, as it has otherwise been expressed
                                                                  The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. It is a maxim of altruism seen in many human religions and human cultures. The maxim may appear as either a positive or negative injunction governing conduct: 
                                                                  One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (positive or directive form). 
                                                                  One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (negative or prohibitive form). 
                                                                  What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself (empathic or responsive form).
                                                                  There is a corollary to the rule, however, which is that if you treat someone a certain way, you should expect (and, in fact, should allow) them to treat you in the same manner; or, vice versa, if they treat you in a certain manner, they have acceded to being treated in the same manner.


                                                                  1. Hillary is only a threat to Christian and Jewish religious expression. I have not heard her utter a single word of condemnation toward Islam. Hillary is silent when it comes to the human rights of gays in Muslim countries, is silent when it comes to the forced child marriage of young girls, is silent when it comes to the the treatment of women as chattel in Muslim countries, is silent and when it comes to the practice of Muslim female genital mutilation.

                                                                    Hillary is a champion of bringing Muslim "refugees" into the US in large numbers. She has promised to increase the numbers of these "refugees" over what Obama has done. And, when it comes to the mayhem these refugees have and will cause, she will blame "bigots" who have the temerity to mention this mayhem and its connection to Muslims.

                                                                    It is also worth noting that Hillary's long-time personal assistant, Huma Abedin, is Muslim.

                                                                    You should also note the national media coverage that accompanies "hate crimes" against Muslims, and how the media never bothers to report how many of those "hate crimes" turn out to be a hoax. At the same time, you never hear about vandalism to Jewish synagogues, or hear that the overwhelming number of real hate crimes are directed at Jews.

                                                                    LGBT rights only matter as a bludgeon to be used to oppress Christians. Muslim businesses will be able to discriminate against the LGBT community with impunity.

                                                                    While Christians are being forced to hide the public expression of their religion, Muslims are becoming even more public in the expression of theirs.

                                                                    1. Islam has become just another tool used by the Cultural Marxists to attack the Christian West. The left's hubris, though, is in thinking they can control the forces they are in the process of releasing.