As sequester woes shut down White House tours, $4 million in taxpayer money goes to study alcoholism, obesity in lesbians
(posted by Bryana Johnson on March 22, 2013)
Last week, some disturbance was caused by news that the National Health Institute has awarded $1.5 million for a study to determine why 75% of lesbians are obese, compared to only 50% of heterosexual women. The issue is being called a matter of “public health importance,” and the grant reads,
“Obesity is one of the most critical public health issues affecting the U.S. today. Racial and socioeconomic disparities in the determinants, distribution, and consequences of obesity are receiving increasing attention. However, one area that is only beginning to be recognized is the striking interplay of gender and sexual orientation in obesity disparities. It is now well-established that women of minority sexual orientation are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic.”
This study is one of those really crucial programs that is reportedly being threatened by the infamous and hyper-inflated sequester catastrophe. Yesterday, we learned about another one. Apparently, there’s not just an obesity epidemic among lesbian women, but also a plague of alcoholism.
Since 2009, the University of Illinois has been receiving federal grants for a study called, “Cumulative Stress and Hazardous Drinking in a Community of Adult Lesbians.” A description of the grant states,
“Studies using both probability and nonprobability samples provide ample evidence of lesbians' vulnerability to hazardous drinking. However, very little is known about the factors that increase lesbians' risk for hazardous drinking. We propose to build on and extend our study of sexual identity and drinking…to model effects of cumulative stress on hazardous drinking among lesbians.”
Doesn’t this make it a little more difficult to take our elected officials seriously when they babble on about how the teeniest funding cuts constitute the end of life as we know it?
Last month I contacted my congressman’s office to apply for a White House tour later this year. After providing detailed information for all of the members of my party, I was informed that I would hear back from the office regarding the status of my submission in about a month. However, I received a follow up e-mail well before the month was out, and it wasn’t the news I was waiting for.
“I wanted to update you regarding your Washington, DC tour request,” wrote my congressman’s tour coordinator. “Our office has received word today from the White House that:
‘Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that White House Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours.’ ”
Not surprisingly, a number of our US senators and congressmen were incensed by the news that White House tours have been discontinued, reportedly due to funding cuts occasioned by sequestration. Especially since sequestration isn’t really a spending “cut,” after all, but only a reduction in the rate of spending increase.
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran stated, “Cancelling White House tours is an unnecessary and unfair way for the Department of Homeland Security to meet its budget-cutting obligations.”
Is it really, though? What is it that makes one program special and another frivolous? Isn’t everyone just pursuing their own interests and working overtime to milk the federal cash cow?
Huffington Post’s Sam Stein seemed to insinuate as much in his column Thursday, entitled, “White House Tours Obsess GOP Lawmakers Despite Sequestration Hits Back Home.” Examining the complaints of Republican lawmakers following the announcement that the tours had been suspended, he points to the supposedly more serious cuts occurring in the legislators’ home states, as though to chide them for not showing enough concern for their own constituents.
The question is, at a time when our nation is over $16 trillion in debt, should we really be avoiding spending decreases like a plague, and expecting every government official to be fighting to keep as much of the available funding in his own state?
Or should we hope for a common sense response that finds lawmakers stepping up to the plate and laying their lucrative but useless and meddlesome projects on the chopping block? Would it be too much to hope that frivolous programs and studies and foreign aid might give way to a concern like allowing the American people to visit their own national monuments and federal buildings?
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul may have said it best when he wrote on his facebook page, “We supposedly can't find $17,000 a week for school kids to tour the White House, but somehow still have $250 million for Egypt.
And for studies to determine why lesbians get drunk and fat. I’m sure they’ll all be very appreciative.
(For those who are under the impression that this misappropriation of our money is a pair of isolated incidents, a quick look at Senator Coburn’s 2012 Wastebook might be enough to peel the scales from their eyes.)
Will legalization of same-sex marriage result in religious persecution?
(Posted by Bryana Johnson on January 28, 2013)
Earlier this month, 1,067 UK priests, bishops and abbots prompted a significant stir by collectively signing what is being called one of the largest open letters ever produced in British political history. The letter was issued as a warning against the legalization of same-sex marriage. Such a development may spark religious persecution against Catholics, who oppose same-sex marriage based on the tenets of their faith, cautioned the multitude of priests.
The letter comes as British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his intentions to push through a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the UK by the end of the month.
“The natural complementarity between a man and a woman leads to marriage, seen as a lifelong partnership,” the clergymen declared in their statement. “This loving union – because of their physical complementarity – is open to bringing forth and nurturing children. This is what marriage is. That is why marriage is only possible between a man and a woman.”
“Legislation for same-sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship,” they went on to warn. Those who signed the letter make up about one-fourth of all the Catholic clergy in Britain.
Regardless of where we stand on the issue of same-sex marriage, it’s important for us to determine whether or not this statement is backed by evidence and by the collective experience of states and nations that have already enshrined homosexual marriage in law. Surely the rights and religious liberties of the proponents of traditional marriage must be protected even as same-sex partnerships become more widespread and more widely accepted.
Is truth on the side of the UK clergy and should Christian people be taking a warning from their words? Is legalization of same-sex marriage a doorway into an era of universal goodwill and harmony? Or is it merely a sign that a new form of bigotry is at hand – a bigotry of hatred and violence unleashed against the traditional family and its supporters?
The obvious question is, have opponents of same-sex marriage suffered persecution and loss of religious liberty in other countries that have embraced this radical redefinition of marriage? The answer is in no way elusive. Let’s take a look at a little very recent history.
“Tolerance” in Brazil
Last week, members of the Catholic Plinio Correa de Olivera Institute gathered in the Brazilian city of Curitiba to protest abortion and the homosexual ideology and stand in support of the traditional family. Homosexuality has been legal in Brazil since 1830 and enjoys widespread acceptance in that country.
However, the Catholic demonstrators, who marched peacefully and carried signs, were not greeted with tolerance and acceptance. In fact, an angry mob soon gathered around them and began yelling threats and making obscene gestures. The Catholics were spat upon and one of them had an object thrown at his head which drew blood. As he held up his bloodied hand to show the camera, the crowd cheered. These incidents were caught on camera by the Institute and by an onlooker sympathetic to the unruly mob.
In 2007, the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgender People (ABGLT) filed several lawsuits against opponents of the homosexual movement in Brazil. One of these suits targeted the websites that had just exposed homosexual activist Luiz Mott for his promotion of pedophilia and pederasty.
Another motion was filed against psychologist and therapist Rozangela Alves Justino, who provided counseling and therapy for homosexuals who wished to change their sexual orientation. Because Brazil’s Federal Council of Psychologists prohibited psychologists from performing reparative therapy for homosexuality, the ABGLT asked that Alves Justino’s license be revoked.
Several years ago, Christian pro-life writer Julio Severo fled Brazil after charges were reportedly filed against him for his “homophobic” coverage of Brazil’s 2006 Gay Pride parade. Severo left the country abruptly with his pregnant wife and two small children. At the time, there was still no official law in Brazil criminalizing “homophobic” behavior.
In February of 2009, LifeSiteNews reported that, “the Brazilian government has determined that 99% of its citizens are ‘homophobic,’ and therefore must be reeducated.” According to Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the federal government of Brazil intended to use the data from the study to “plan new policies.” Those new policies were implemented in May 2012, when the senate in Brazil passed a law criminalizing ‘homophobia.’
In the summer of 2012, Julio Severo interviewed Brazilian Christian psychologist Marisa Lobo, who said that the Brazilian Federal Council of Psychology pressured and terrorized homosexuals who were looking for help in overcoming their unwanted same-sex attractions. Marisa was also attacked by the Council when she questioned the “gay kit” that the Brazilian government attempted to distribute to students in public schools for the purpose of fighting “homophobia.” Due to explicit content in the kit and its favorable portrayal of homosexual behavior, the program was eventually suspended by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
“When they learned that [I was] a Christian, they began to persecute me,” Marisa explained, “as a psychologist who categorizes herself as a Christian, and later in the process as a homophobe, because I said on Twitter that I love gays, but I prefer for my child to be heterosexual. And I still don’t understand why having an opinion instigates violence.”
It seems that the range of tolerated activity in Brazil is fairly narrow, despite decades of campaigns by same-sex marriage advocates against “hate” and “bullying” and “harassment.” And it is becoming increasingly evident that Christian family virtues are not included in the group of “tolerable” ideas.
“Diversity” and “Freedom of Speech” in Canada
Canada Day in Ontario last year was marked by a disturbing incident when Rev. David Lynn and a small group of friends attended the Toronto Gay Pride Parade. Setting up a small stand on a street corner with a microphone and a video camera, Lynn preached, held conversations with passers-by, and handed out Bibles and tracts – that is, until Toronto police wearing LGBT rainbow stickers shut him down and forced him to vacate the area. Ignoring the profanity and violent behavior of angry parade attendees and demonstrators who verbally assaulted the group and even doused Lynn and his cameraman with water, police told Lynn he was ‘promoting hate’ and must leave. Videos of the incident are available here and here and here.
It seems only certain forms of free speech are protected in Canada nowadays. Criticism of homosexuality, even peaceful and motivated by loving concern, isn’t one of these.
When the Toronto District School Board revealed their new “anti-homophobia curriculum” in 2011 (Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism: A K-12 Curriculum), many people were understandably disturbed. Naturally, things only got worse when the news came out that parents would not be able to opt their kids out of the program – not even their kindergarteners. Teachers would also not be permitted to decline to teach the course based on religious convictions.
It seems only certain brands of diverse thought are encouraged in Canada nowadays. Christian family virtues aren’t among them.
The curriculum taught students that “you can’t choose to be gay or straight, but you can choose to come out.” In 3rd grade, it is recommended that students read the book Gloria Goes to Gay Pride. Students are encouraged to have their own “Pride Parade” in their school.
Unfortunately, most real-life Pride Parades are scarcely suitable for elementary school children.
The disturbing and seemingly totalitarian approach embraced by the Toronto District is but a foretaste of what lies ahead, suggests an education minister in the United Kingdom. Elizabeth Truss, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State of the Department for Education, warned in November that school teachers could be punished for not teaching pro-gay topics, should the British government follow through with plans to redefine marriage.
More Instances of Love and Acceptance
The adoption agency Catholic Charities has been systemically shutting down its branches in various states throughout the US, following a series of bitter legal disputes over the agency’s right to refuse to place children with homosexual couples. Similar laws have also forced church-affiliated agencies in Britain, such as Catholic Care, to separate from their churches or shut down entirely.
In January 2012, a New Jersey judge ruled against a Christian retreat house that refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises, ruling that the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.” Last September, a gay couple filed suit against two Illinois institutions that refused to host their civil union. Christian “Bed and Breakfast” establishments, which are often family-owned businesses, have been especially targeted by homosexual rights activists for this type of harassment.
In Ladele and McFarlane v. United Kingdom, plaintiffs Lillian Ladele and Gary McFarlane were fired from their places of work for declining to perform services involving same-sex partnerships and counseling. Ladele, a marriage registrar for Islington Council in London, “was disciplined after she asked to be exempt from registering same-sex civil partnerships.” McFarlane was a counselor who was fired after he “declined to unequivocally commit to provide same-sex couples with psycho-sexual therapy.” They appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, but the court refused to hear their case.
"It seems that a religious bar to office has been created, whereby a Christian who wishes to act on their Christian beliefs on marriage will no longer be able to work in a great number of environments,” commented Andrea Williams, the Director of the Christian Legal Centre.
Certainly this is a tragic remark and one that signals a gloomy answer to the question of whether or not the legalization of same-sex marriage will result in a loss of religious liberty. It is, of course, unfair of homosexual activists to expect people of faith to cast away their creeds and their dear, cherished ideals. But these activists make themselves odious indeed to civilized people when they force dissenters to violate their codes of morality and their very consciences by endorsing and promoting a lifestyle they consider abhorrent.
If the aim of legalizing same-sex marriage is, as we are so often told, to eradicate intolerance and bigotry, surely its activists should be alarmed to find that their efforts have been entirely unsuccessful. However, as shocking as it may seem, the advocates of same-sex marriage are proving repeatedly that they only endorse the toleration of one view and only believe in the protection of one speech – their own.
Why the GOP must do a fast about-face or face disaster in November...
(Posted by Bryana Johnson on July 31, 2012)
Despite their spirited outward demeanor and cheerful speculation, is the Grand Old Party beginning to realize that they made a mistake in anointing Mitt Romney to lead the assault on socialism and Barack Obama? For their sake, let’s hope so. Because the only way for the Republicans to avoid the trap they’ve set for themselves is to understand the magnitude of their error and start back-pedaling as fast as they can.
The case against the GOP’s selection of Romney to carry the banner of conservatism on to the White House is easy to make. Our first premise is obviously that Romney is not a conservative. He is, in fact, a self-proclaimed “moderate” who “holds progressive views.” Needless to say, this makes his suitability for the afore-mentioned position rather dubious from the get-go.
Those few folks who are willing to look ridiculous by asserting that Romney is no longer left-leaning and that his opportunely-timed conversion to limited government and family values is genuine will be quickly hushed by a little research. Take, for example, these excerpts from an open letter signed by notable conservative leaders such as the Homeschool Legal Defense Association’s Michael Farris and Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Institute.
“Romney changed his position on over thirty key issues as he prepared to run for President four years ago. We all expect a politician to change their mind on one or two issues over the course of their career, but when someone changes their mind on EVERY foundational issue of importance to conservatives, we must be skeptical. Indeed, it is hard to accept Romney’s conversion on so many issues as authentic….
…As Governor, Romney implemented an Executive Order that created a vast ‘diversity’ agency to make sure those of all races and ‘sexual orientations’ be hired throughout state government. Romney [also] issued a state proclamation honoring ‘Gay/Straight Youth Pride March’…
…Romney’s administration gave funds to Planned Parenthood. In November 2006, Romney’s economic development agency approved a $5 billion tax-exempt bond to be used by Planned Parenthood to build an abortion clinic in Worchester…
…For thirty years Mitt Romney was a strong advocate of abortion. His wife, Ann, contributed money to Planned Parenthood in 1994 at a PP event both her and her husband attended, but she was filmed during the 2008 campaign claiming, ‘I’ve always been pro-life…’ ”
Another video shows Ann Romney insisting that pro-abortion women have no need to worry about her husband due to his commitment to the abortion issue. (Once you’ve watched the 22-second clip, ask yourself if this is the voice of a pro-life woman!) To make matters worse for Romney’s record, even in the wake of his pro-life “conversion” experience in 2004, he continued to fund embryonic stem cell research and was recorded in 2005 stating “I am absolutely committed to my promise to maintaining the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion and choice and so far I’ve been able to successfully do that.” In 2006, Romney introduced RomneyCare, which covers abortion and makes it easy for people to obtain a state-funded abortion for as low as $50.
The Cato Institute reported that in his first year as Governor, Romney “proposed $140 [million] in business tax hikes through the closing of ‘loopholes’ in the tax code,” and according to job creation experts Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin of Northeastern University, manufacturing employment during the Romney years “declined by 14%, the third worse record in the country. Sum and McLaughlin also wrote that ‘from 2001 to 2006, Massachusetts ranked 49th in the nation in job creation…’
Having put to rest the myth that Romney is or ever has been “severely conservative,” as he now claims to be, it’s time to take a look at what that means for the GOP. The short answer is trouble.
Last December, former senator Bob Dole endorsed Mitt Romney. Let’s run that tape:
“The time has now come for us to decide who among [the Republican candidates] can defeat Barack Obama in 2012. I’ve made my decision, and I believe our best hope lies in Governor Mitt Romney. I’ve run for president myself and –”
Alright, stop. Stop it right there.
Let’s see what we remember about Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. One thing really stands out in my mind. He lost, and he lost big.
It was a rough year for Republicans. They were trying to take down President Bill Clinton, who was running for re-election, and they thought they had a clear lead over him. In 1994, a poll asked Americans to choose between Bill Clinton and " the Republican Party's candidate for President." Result? Clinton got 43% of the vote. The ghost Republican beat him with 50%. “Anyone can beat Clinton,” was the popular refrain, which has become so infamous today.
The Republicans nominated Bob Dole, an uninspiring moderate who did nothing to fan the flames of conviction. Dole didn’t understand that a huge portion of the Republican base was staunchly conservative and willing to take a stand for it at the polling place – even if it was going to hurt them. He failed to excite his base, and a third party candidate, Ross Perot, came in and snagged all of the votes his moderate stances didn’t bring in. Dole was a massive failure, and he gave us four more years of Clinton. His endorsement of Romney is anything but reassuring.
Fast-forward to 2008: the Republican Party’s next big loss. Faced with the alarming prospect of Obama as POTUS, the Republicans nominated another moderate, John McCain. McCain, just like Dole before him, did not succeed in capturing the enthusiasm of his base. Indeed, many Republicans were disgusted with him, and it wasn’t until his selection of conservative Sarah Palin for his running mate that his poll numbers began to climb. Palin ensured that the race would at least be competitive. McCain still lost.
This myth that moderates have the best chance to beat popular Democrats is just that: a myth. History clearly shows that Republicans do poorly when they nominate candidates who don’t pull in impassioned voters. Voters with strong opinions who care about real issues and will fight for them. Moderate voters by their very nature are a bad group to rely on in an election. Because their stances are less radical, they are less likely to be a virulent crowd and less likely to give sacrificially or inspire enthusiasm. While conservatives and liberals are people who feel strongly about ideas, moderates are people who delight in the muddy waters of the “middle ground”, and who, in large part, make decisions pragmatically rather than relying on principles.
The Republican Party ignores at their peril the fact that their candidate is a poor one. Their best hope for a comeback in November is to breathe life into their party by welcoming a staunch conservative darling into their ranks in the position of Vice President. If they fail to do this, I doubt if even Obama’s own alarming radicalism will keep him out of the White House for another four years. The question is, does the GOP want to hoist the banner of conservatism (and win) or slide back into moderate positions (and lose)?
Rev. David Lynn and Toronto Police Officers
Incident at Toronto Gay Pride Parade demonstrates the potential for injustice that is imminent when government takes sides and acts apart from the law
(Posted by Shannon Lise on July 13, 2012)
Canada Day in Ontario this year was marked by a disturbing incident when Rev. David Lynn and a small group of friends attended the Toronto Gay Pride Parade. Setting up a small stand on a street corner with a microphone and a video camera, Lynn preached, held conversations with passers-by, and handed out Bibles and tracts – that is, until Toronto police wearing LGBT rainbow stickers shut him down and forced him to vacate the area. Ignoring the profanity and violent behavior of angry parade attendees and demonstrators who verbally assaulted the group and even doused Lynn and his cameraman with water, police told Lynn he was ‘promoting hate’ and must leave.
Despite Lynn repeatedly requesting to know what law he was violating and why he was being shut down, the police never quoted any relevant regulation or by-law and refused to explain their actions beyond insisting that Lynn was ‘causing a disturbance.’ Instead, some twelve officers surrounded the stand, assaulted the 17-year old cameraman, and yelled at the crowd to go away and stop listening to Lynn, refusing to let anyone near. Video footage of the event shows one officer shouting, “Guys, everybody, by staying and listening to him you’re helping him get his message across. You ignore him and it all goes away.”
However, these same zealous would-be enforcers of laws that don't exist proved less than enthusiastic about dealing with the multiple displays of nudity going on at the same time in the surrounding area. Although public display of nudity is illegal according to the Canada Criminal Code, police apparently did not write a single ticket for nudity during the parade.
Whether or not preaching about the love of God at a Pride Parade is ‘promoting hate’ or being disrespectful may be up for debate, but it is not something for the Toronto police to decide. By choosing to ignore the illegal and disruptive conduct of parade participants and arbitrarily shutting the preacher down instead, the police have taken sides in a complicated national dispute that is beyond their jurisdiction. The police are supposed to enforce the law, not support the interests of a particular group at the expense of someone else' rights. Police officers are well within their rights to have whatever private sympathies they like, but if those sympathies are allowed to influence their decisions when they are acting in an official capacity, then they are just part of the angry crowd, with the difference that they are able to exploit their position in order to intimidate and coerce other people, especially the people they disagree with.
Let’s not forget that the police represent the government. The authority abused by the people who enforce the law can be just as easily abused by the people who make the law. The role of the government as a neutral arbiter of justice is undermined when the government refuses to protect everyone’s freedom equally. In Lynn’s words, ‘You’re here to defend my rights, too.’ But when the government takes sides, freedom is redefined to mean the freedom of whichever side the government is on, to the exclusion of the rest of society.[You can watch the shocking footage of the incident in the three clips below. Please note that these clips feature a generous amount of uncensored profanity on the part of incensed Pride Parade attendees. Viewer discretion is advised.]
The first video clip shows the first ten minutes of the confrontation, ending when an angry officer snatches the camera from Rev. Lynn's cameraman.
This second clip shows what happened after the camera was restored to Lynn's camerman.
This clip, recorded by a third party, documents the officer's confiscation of the camera and the subsequent confrontation.
Angered and disturbed by what you've seen? Don't leave it at that! Utilize the contact information below and let the authorities in Toronto know that they overstepped their rightful authority.
Names and badge numbers of Toronto police officers identified by footage captured by Lynn’s cameraman:
T. Adams, 9114
Staff Sergeant R. Pasini, 4528
D. Sinclair, 9678
D. Rubbini, 6346
M. Duffy, 1095
Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD)
Ph: (877) 411-4773
Complaint against police form
Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto
Office of the Mayor
Toronto City Hall, 2nd Floor,
100 Queen St. West,
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Ph: (416) 397-3673
Russian police officer detains man in bridal gown during gay rights protest in Moscow.
New St. Petersburg law bans homosexual propaganda in public places, US State Department bullies Russia
(Posted by Bryana Joy on March 22, 2012)
Controversy erupted last week when a Russian city adopted a new policy designed to protect young people from exposure to propaganda by homosexual rights groups. On March 7th, St. Petersburg Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko signed into a law a bill that will fine individuals up to $170 and companies up to $17,000 for violating a ban on "public actions aimed at propagandizing sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgenderism among minors.” The new St Petersburg law also includes amendments introducing stricter punishments for pedophilia, which is commonly associated with homosexuality.
The Russian Orthodox Church has applauded the recent legislation and is calling for a similar nationwide ban to be enacted. Dmitry Pershin, head of the Church’s youth council, praised the St Petersburg law for “ helping to protect children from information manipulation by minorities that promote sodomy,” and said that, “the persistence of sexual minorities and their intention to rally near children’s establishments indicate that this regional law is highly needed and should be urgently given federal status,” referring to homosexualist activist Nikolay Alexeyev’s stated intention to organize rallies near children’s establishments to protest the new law.
Naturally, gay rights groups are unhappy and clamoring for redress against the government in St. Petersburg. The activist organization All Out, which succeeded last year in getting Paypal to shut down blogger Julio Severo’s account and suspend his funds, is crying foul and calling the law a “gag rule” that “muzzles artists, writers, musicians, citizens and visitors.” They have launched a campaign, We Won’t Go There, and are threatening to boycott travel to the Russian city.
Oddly enough, another institution has joined them in expressing disapproval, the State Department. “ Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights,” states the official website for the State Department, quoting Secretary Hillary Clinton. “We have called on Russian officials to safeguard these freedoms, and to foster an environment which promotes respect for the rights of all citizens. We have also consulted with our EU partners on this issue. They share our concerns and are also engaging Russian officials on this. The United States places great importance on combating discrimination against the LGBT community and all minority groups.”
Russia did not take kindly to the US government’s interference. " We view with bewilderment the American side's attempts to interfere, what's more, publicly, in the lawmaking process," foreign ministry representative for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, told the Interfax news agency, adding that there is “absolutely no discrimination by Russian law in the application of civil, political, social, economic and cultural human rights, including on grounds of sexual orientation.”
Dolgov went on to explain that, “ the legislative initiatives of the regional bodies of authority…are intended to protect minors from the respective propaganda …Of course, the decision took into account the traditional cultural and moral values prevalent in Russian society, considerations of the protection of health and public morality, and the inadmissibility of discrimination through the encouragement of the rights and interests of one social group without proper regard for the rights and interests of others.”
It turns out that Dolgov has been well-informed. As shocking as it may seem to Secretary Clinton, Russians, by and large, don’t like public displays of homosexuality and many believe homosexual acts to be immoral and unhealthy. A 2010 poll by the independent Levada Center in Moscow found that 74 percent of Russians regard homosexuality as a result of bad moral choices. Is it right for our State Department to pressure the Russian government to go against the will of its people?
If the Russian government were, in fact, violating human rights, the answer would certainly be yes. However, the bottom line is that while freedom of speech, property rights, the right to a fair trial, freedom from unwarranted violence, freedom from involuntary servitude, etc. are human rights, freedom of sexual expression in public thoroughfares and in the presence of children is not, and categorizing it as such is a trivialization of the real human rights abuses and injustices enacted every day across the globe.
“Keep the government out of the bedroom!” has become a favorite slogan of pro-choice and gay rights activists, who are irritated by what they see as excessive legislation of sexual activity. The Russian government has obliged and has withdrawn from the afore-mentioned bedroom. Now, however, these activists are no longer content with confining their controversies to the bedroom, but continue to insist on dragging them out for public display. The issue is that much of what they wish to flaunt is not at all suitable for public display in the first place.
Are gay rights human rights? Only insofar as they are the same rights afforded to everyone else.
Thus, while the rights of gay people to be given equal protection under law are human rights, their “rights” to put on sexually explicit parades in public places or to indoctrinate children against the wishes of their parents, are not rights at all.
(First posted in Bryana's column over at The Washington Times Communities)
New Hampshire HB 1264 would protect religious business owners from being forced to provide services for same-sex weddings; Governor Lynch promises to veto...(Posted by Bryana Joy on February 04, 2012)(First posted at The College Conservative) “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.
Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel…”
A bill currently pending in the New Hampshire State legislature would allow business owners to turn away customers on the basis of “conscience or religious faith.” Introduced by Rep. Frank Sapareto, HB1264 aims to protect Christian wedding vendors from being forced to provide services for homosexual couples.
The fear that conscience rights may be violated in the Granite State is hardly far-fetched: many US small-business owners have already faced lawsuits for refusing to host or perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. In January, a New Jersey judge ruled against a Christian retreat house that refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises, ruling that the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.” Last November, Christian cake-baker Victoria Childress of Des Moines was threatened with legal action by a lesbian couple that had hoped to commission her to design their wedding cake. In September a gay couple filed suit against two Illinois institutions that refused to host their civil union. Christian “Bed and Breakfast” establishments, which are often family-owned businesses, are especially targeted by homosexual rights activists for this type of harassment.
The new bill, which was scheduled to come up for a vote last month but has been pushed back to February, would prevent such suits from coming before New Hampshire courts by ensuring that individuals will be legally permitted to “choose not to provide accommodations, goods, or services for a marriage if doing so would violate his or her conscience or religious faith.” Needless to say, the bill has been roundly attacked by homosexual rights activists and mainstream media networks. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has promised to veto it.
So, just what is it that’s so repugnant about the idea of allowing business owners to make their own decisions about who they want to work with? Probably this aversion to freedom in the marketplace is due in large part to a common misconception about the nature of the business world. There is a popular myth that permitting private vendors to express opposition to aspects of their society by refusing service to customers will somehow foster attitudes of intolerance and cultivate so-called “haters.”
Proponents of this view, however, have put forward a proposition based on laughably fallacious reasoning. Passing laws that force businesses to perform actions which are prohibited by their convictions doesn’t alter the mindsets of business owners and certainly doesn’t make for a content citizenry. On the contrary, it is counterproductive and wrong to attempt to change the thought patterns of a culture by forcing its people to engage in and endorse activities which they believe to be immoral. Additionally, such legislation promotes division and stifles individuality in a population. Unless businesses are engaging in activities that directly harm others, these heavy-handed methods to coerce them are totalitarian and must not be endured by a free and thoughtful people.
Let us illustrate this premise with a simple example: suppose a white business owner in a southern state in the 1920’s decides to refuse service to Ku Klux Klan members. The business owner finds the KKK’s racist beliefs and creed despicable and doesn’t want to associate with its members. Surely most modern people would agree that the business owner has every right to make this decision. After all, his business is his property and a transaction made with a customer is a form of contract that the owner must enter into. Can there be a truly free society that forces people to enter into contracts against their will?
What many homosexual rights activists do not seem to understand is that opposition to their lifestyle is, in many cases, at least as strong as any southern business owner’s opposition to the KKK might have been a century ago. While they try to paint their opposition as an insignificant minority, 2011 polls showed that 46% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, while only 45% favored it. The Bible teaches that homosexual acts are not only a sin but an abomination. In a nation that identifies itself as predominantly Christian, is it any wonder that a significant portion of the population is horrified by the idea of being involved in a same-sex wedding? Is it really fair for government to take sides on an issue that has the nation split into a cultural divide? Does an individual’s right to be served by a private business overrule the property rights of the business owner?
When government doesn’t interfere in the workplace, the free market tends to right itself. If a business begins to annoy potential customers as a result of its discriminatory practices, the boycott system comes into play and the owner begins to lose money. If the convictions held by the business owner are strong enough, he or she will be willing to take the loss. If not, monetary distress will force the owner to alter his or her policies. If no consensus can be established between two opposing camps of ideas, the nation can at least agree to disagree. It’s called free trade, and it’s how civilized adults handle their differences. When government gets involved in such a conflict, it only short-circuits the efficiency and precision of a perfectly functional natural process. It also serves to warn a people that they are not free; that they are, in fact, considered unfit to rule themselves and to do business in the way that seems best to them. Rather, they must do their business in the way that seems best to their leaders.
You lovers of freedom in the great state of New Hampshire, might you take just a few minutes out of your day to give your senators and representatives a call. You are the only ones who can defend liberty in the Granite State. . .
Live free or die. Find your New Hampshire state representative
Find your New Hampshire state senator
Debunking the myth about selfish conservatism and raising questions about the effectiveness of government humanitarian aid
(Posted by Bryana Joy on December 15th, 2011)
(Cross-posted at The College Conservative
)In practically every lengthy abortion debate thread online, some naïve pro-abortion commenter is bound to ask a pro-lifer, “Well, are YOU willing to adopt all of the unwanted children?” This particular jab is one of just a few insults that seriously offends me, and I am likely to get a little irritated whenever I find it necessary to respond to a contentious person who flings this canned remark around in a discussion. Aside from the fact that the “question” has no bearing whatsoever on the debate about the ethics of abortion, I find it personally offensive because I am personally passionate about adoption. In a similar way, and for the very reason that I care about people so enthusiastically, it annoys me to listen to proponents of the worn and ridiculous myth that conservatives tend to be selfish and don’t care about people. You’ve heard it all before: conservatives are war-mongers, greedy and tightfisted, guilty of the blood of oppressed peoples all over the world. Back in October, Leslie Marshall wrote a scathing article about “Christian Hypocrisy on the Religious Right,” saying,Those on the religious right want to defund programs such as Social Security, Medicare, welfare, food stamps, healthcare, etc. What I want to know is: why aren't these so called people of God offering their homes to the homeless, food to the hungry, a coat to someone who is poor and cold?
Contrary to what we keep hearing from our friends on the left, conservatives do care about people, and we act on our concern with hefty donations of financial aid to the needy and destitute. In fact, according to a study done by Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks, those who identify themselves as ideologically conservative give 30% more to charitable institutions than those who identify themselves as ideologically liberal. Religious Americans also give four times more money to charity yearly than secular citizens, and are 23 times more likely to volunteer to help people than those who never attend church. But the key word here is volunteer. We want to give our own money in our own way, and we object to being forced to fund the organizations and programs the government considers the most beneficial.
Why do we object? It’s not because we don’t want to make a few sacrifices and share the love with the less fortunate. Rather, we don’t feel that these government programs really help the less fortunate, and we think we can do better by the under-privileged, the at-risk and the poverty-stricken if we give our money to private charities that work more efficiently and produce better results.
As an example, take the so-called “welfare” system. Over the past year, my opposition to government welfare programs has increased dramatically. However, it has not increased because I am frustrated by the injustice that is being done to me when I am required to fork over a substantial percentage of my income to a government which I feel is wasteful and encroaches on my liberties. Actually, my opposition has become more earnest due to the fact that I have become acquainted with so many people who have profited temporarily from the welfare system but who have become losers in the long run, because a government handout robbed them of their initiative and their ambitions. I have experienced firsthand how government aid programs destroy society by artificially preventing the natural consequences of bad investments, injudicious spending, and idleness. People who are protected from their own mistakes must be expected to make the same mistakes over and over again. This is why we have generational cases of single-motherhood, poverty and educational failure. An aid program that only provides money and cannot personally know its beneficiaries, cannot truly provide long-term solutions to social problems. It is only a band-aid, pitifully taped onto a gaping wound. It can never become more than that.
Let’s take a look at another, much more inflammatory situation. I learned last week that the Obama administration has established a $3 million “Global Equality Fund” to promote homosexuality and pay for homosexual political advocacy worldwide at taxpayer expense. Life Site News explains that State Department guidelines suggest this could include everything from funding foreign political activists to campaigning against legislation that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, to hosting gay pride parades and concerts by Lady Gaga in far-flung countries. In other words, if you’re a U.S. taxpayer, you might be paying to campaign against traditional marriage amendments all over the world! Is that the type of “humanitarian cause” you want to give to?
Would you not rather donate to causes that seek to end human trafficking and child sex slavery, or to provide education for children in poverty or to help raise funds for potential adoptive parents? Whatever it is that you’re passionate about, would you not rather give to that cause yourself? Would you not rather present your money and your time to a group or a foundation that you trust and admire?
Government has no money that it has not taken from you. Therefore, government cannot buy anything, for everything that government buys is in fact purchased by you. You are providing the funds. Government is only deciding how they should be spent. Sadly, when government takes your money away to give it to causes you oppose, they are also limiting your capacity to fund the causes you do support. Are you happy with the way that government is spending your money? Contact the State Department here to complain about your tax dollars going to promote homosexuality through the “Global Equality Fund.”
Oh, and on the subject of bleeding hearts, here's a bit of trivia to share with your liberal relatives during the upcoming holiday week – if liberals donated blood at the rate conservatives do, the nation’s blood supply would rise 45%!
Cake-Baker Victoria Childress
The flipside of the Paypal problem: lesbian couple may sue Christian baker who refused to make their wedding cake
(Posted by Bryana Joy on November 17th, 2011)
A few months ago, Paypal caved to pressure from the homosexual activist group, All Out, and shut down the accounts of several prominent bloggers who speak out against the homosexual lifestyle. I was offended and seriously upset by their decision, but I wrote a piece explaining why I believe that the internet giant was well within its rights to take this action, even though I didn’t think that the termination of the account was handled in an ethical or an honest manner. I wrote the piece because I believe that the right of businesses to refuse service to absolutely anyone is a fundamental of free trade.
There is a popular myth circulating about this concept of allowing businesses to choose whether or not to serve customers based on personal convictions. The myth is that such an allowance will foster attitudes of intolerance and promote so-called “haters.” But this is a laughable fallacy, because, as a general rule, legislation is not what shapes a culture. It is popular opinion that shapes both culture and legislation, and popular opinion in the United States is shaped by our education system and the media.
Think about it. The bills that are passed – even the bills that are considered and rejected – by the U.S. Congress are bills that some elected official feels are necessary. The official is influenced by his own culture, and by his knowledge of his constituents’ culture. He will probably hesitate to propose a bill that he knows will be unpopular with the overwhelming majority of his electorate.
Thus, the most effective way to combat a society’s mode of thinking with regards to discrimination is not to make laws that prohibit them from doing what they want, but to convince them to want something else. Passing laws that force businesses to perform actions that are against their convictions doesn’t serve to change the minds of business owners. It only serves to promote division and to stifle individuals’ freedom of expression. Unless businesses are engaging in activities that harm others, such methods to control them are totalitarian and should not be endured by a free and thinking public.
So yes, I stood up for Paypal’s rights. But that doesn’t mean that I support their actions. Quite the contrary. And just as the business has the right to refuse service, so I, as an individual and a potential customer, have the right to refuse to patronize the company; to boycott, protest, and vehemently complain about their decision. It’s called free trade, and it’s how civilized adults handle their differences.
Sadly, some homosexual activist groups don’t seem to understand how to play fair. In a recent case that is just one of several others like it, a Christian business owner is being threatened with legal action for refusing service to a homosexual couple. In an interview Tuesday with KCCI 8 Des Moines, Victoria Childress, who runs a cake-baking business out of her home, described what happened when a lesbian couple came to make arrangements for a wedding cake,
"They came in and she introduced herself, and I said, 'Is this your sister?' She said, 'No, this is my partner.' I said, 'OK,' and I asked them to sit down and I said, 'We need to talk.’ I said, 'I'll tell you I'm a Christian, and I do have convictions.' And I said, 'I'm sorry to tell you, but I'm not going to be able to do your cake.’ "
Childress explained further,
"I didn't do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right as a business owner. It is my right, and it's not to discriminate against them. It's not so much to do with them, it's to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer (to) him for. They thanked me for being honest with them, and they were very pleasant. I did not belittle them, speak rudely to them. There were no condescending remarks made, nothing. "
The lesbian couple, Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers, also implied by their remarks during the interview that the conversation was cordial. Now, however, they say they are contemplating filing a civil rights complaint.
“It was degrading, you know, it was like she chastised us for wanting to do business with her,” said Vodraska.
Do Vodraska and Sievers support Paypal’s recent decision to cut off the accounts of bloggers who verbally oppose the homosexual lifestyle? Of course, we have no way of knowing the answer to this question; but if they were watching from the sidelines and enthusiastically cheering Paypal in September, they should pause right now and ask themselves if their system of values is really consistent. Or are they insisting on having their cake and eating it too (no pun intended)?
Frankly, I find this attack on conscience rights highly alarming. Surely, if Paypal has the right to refuse service to individuals who fundamentally disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, Christian business owners should have the right to refuse service to homosexual couples – especially in situations as ceremonial and spiritually significant as weddings.
Canadian National Post apologized for running this ad
A detailed look at the Toronto District School Board's K-12 curriculum, Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism,
including a link to the full program -- parents not allowed to opt kids out of these classes!
(Posted by Bryana Joy on October 06, 2011)
When the Toronto District School Board revealed their new “anti-homophobia curriculum” (Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism: A K-12 Curriculum), many people were understandably disturbed. Naturally, things only got worse when the news came out in June that parents would not be able to opt their kids out of the program – not even their kindergarteners.
According to the The Toronto District School Board's website: The Toronto District School Board has approved an Equity Policy Statement which requires that ideals related to anti-homophobia and sexual orientation equity be reflected in all aspects of organizational structures, policies, guidelines, procedures, classroom practices, day-to-day operations, and communication practices.
I highly recommend that you check out the curriculum resource guide, which is available online here.
In fact, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I hope you won’t leave this page until you have at least skimmed through this guide and read as much as you can stomach without becoming nauseated. It includes statements and explanations like the following:
Can Schools/Teachers Choose Not To Address Controversial Issues For Fear Of Negative Parent Response?
No. Teachers are obligated to address all equity issues (issues regarding historically disadvantaged groups). Any omissions that maintain a non-inclusive curriculum and pedagogy are considered to foster a poisoned environment under Section 4.2 of the TDSB Human Rights Policy.
Should Schools Send Notes Or Permission Slips Home Before Starting Any Classroom Work About Curricular Issues That May Involve Discussions About Discrimination and Harassment?
No. The TDSB Equity Foundation Statement and Commitments to Equity Policy Implementation states that each school has a responsibly [sic] to education that reflects the diversity of its students and their life experiences. Singling out one group or topic area as too controversial, and depending upon parent/guardian/caregiver discretion, shifts this responsibility from the school to the parents/ guardians/caregivers and fosters a poisoned environment contrary to the TDSB Human Rights Policy.
Should Schools Send Notes Or Permission Slips Home Before Starting any Classroom Work On LGBTQ Issues?
No. If a school treats the topic of sexual orientation or anti-homophobia work differently from the range of other curriculum topics, this could be construed as discriminatory practice. Anti-homophobia education is mandated in all our schools through the Equity Foundation Statement and Commitments to Equity Policy Implementation, the Human Rights Policy, and the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Policy.
Can A Parent Have Their Child Accommodated Out Of Human Rights Education Based On Religious Grounds?
No. "Religious accommodation" in the TDSB is carried out in the larger context of the secular education system. While the TDSB works to create a school system free from religious discrimination, this freedom is not absolute. The TDSB will limit practices or conduct in its schools that may put public safety, health, or the human rights and freedoms of others at risk.
As well, the TDSB will limit practices or conducts in its schools that are in violation of its other policies. For example, if a parent asks for his or her child to be exempted for any discussions of LGBTQ family issues as a religious accommodation, this request cannot be made because it violates the Human Rights Policy. Furthermore, this is consistent with the ideal that human rights education is an essential strategy for preventing human rights abuses.
Can Teachers Seek Accommodation From Teaching Materials That May Contradict Their Religious Beliefs?
No. The TDSB is part of the secular public education system. Teachers are equally responsible for delivering curriculum created by the provincial Ministry of Education and to supporting the TDSB policies, which more accurately reflect the educational needs of our student population.
The delivery of curriculum related to human rights issues must be consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code, the TDSB Human Rights Policy, and the Equity Foundation Statement and Commitments to Equity Policy Implementation.
Failure to do so is contrary to the obligations outlined for teachers on page 4 of the TDSB Human Rights Policy. Teachers refusing to create an inclusive classroom that is safe and supportive for all students would create a poisoned learning environment.
Needless to say, the curriculum is loaded with propaganda and indoctrination. In 3rd grade, it is recommended that students read the book Gloria Goes To Gay Pride. Students are encouraged to have their own “Pride Parade” in their school.
In one place teachers are told to:
Encourage girls and boys to role-play opposite roles, or to role-play animals or objects, or even parts of nature. Also, caution students to avoid portraying stereotypical images or behaviours in their tableaux. At times boys may play girls and rely on sexist stereotypical behaviour with which they are familiar.The program tells students:
You can’t choose to be gay or straight but you can choose to ‘come out’.
Here's one story that the curriculum uses to introduce kids to “unfairness”:
It’s December and Edith’s teacher has the students singing Christmas songs that are not religious, like O Christmas Tree, Deck the Halls, Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Almost everyone in the class likes the songs and knows the words. Edith is Jewish and does not celebrate Christmas. In fact, she celebrates Hanukkah but no one in the class even knows what that is.
• Why was Edith left out?
• How do you think it made Edith feel?
• How was Edith treated unfairly?
If you’re a parent, or hope to be a parent one day, how does it make you feel that this resource guide encourages teachers to trample on your rights to oversee your child’s education? Do you feel left out when your child's curriculum warns teachers that your parental discretion fosters a "poisoned learning environment"? Do you feel like you’re being treated unfairly when teachers are told not to inform you that your child is about to go through a controversial program? Do you think your child is being treated fairly?
If you’re a teacher, how does it make you feel that Toronto teachers aren’t allowed to choose not to teach this curriculum? If you are a Christian and opposed to the homosexual lifestyle, do you feel left out? Do you feel like you’re being treated unfairly?
The Institute for Canadian Values doesn’t feel that this is fair at all. They paid for an advertisement to be run by the Canadian National Post. The ad features a little girl’s face with the words:
I’m a girl. Please! Don’t confuse me. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transsexual, transgendered, intersexed, or two-spirited. At the bottom of the ad, there is information about the new curriculum.
This week the National Post pulled the ad and wrote an apology for running it. They announced that they were donating the proceeds from the ad to a homosexual rights group.
How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel like crying. TAKE ACTION: If you’d like to contact The National Post and express your concerns over their stance, you can find names, phones, mailing addresses, and e-mails here.
If you’d like to contact political officials, the Toronto District School Board, the Minister of Education, or other parties involved in this issue, here is relevant information:
Political campaign offices:
Phone: (800) 268-7250
Fax: (416) 323-9425
Toll free: 1-866-390-6637 (ONDP)
Hon. Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education
Mowat Block, 22nd Flr, 900 Bay St
Toronto, ON M7A 1L2
Tel: 1-800-387-5514 (TTY 1-800-263-2892)
Elizabeth Witmer, Education Critic
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Rm 422, Main Legislative Building
Toronto ON M7A 1A8
E-mail: Use this form (http://elizabethwitmermpp.ca/contact/)
Chris Spence, Director of Education
Toronto District School Board
5050 Yonge Street - 5th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M2N5N8
Chair of the TDSB Board
Click here to sign a petition asking officials to commit to permanently removing this curriculum.
President Obama talks to the LGBT community at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, clearly doesn't realize that his statement is riddled with errors
(Posted by Bryana Joy on October 03, 2011)
Well, well, well. New fun fact about the President: he doesn't read Ann Coulter. If he did, Mr. Obama would know that the argument he's presenting here to the LGBT community at the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner has already been thoroughly debunked.