Involuntary Servitude

My liberal friends, all three of them, are up in arms over the Indiana RFRA controversy. As usual, their views on the issue are driven by emotion, not reason. That is because liberalism is not really a political philosophy. It is a stage of arrested emotional development. Since the Indiana RFRA controversy revolves around their core religion, which is the so-called gay rights movement, their emotionally laden “political” observations are not likely to subside in the near future.

And are subject to widely hypocritical judgements, Like Apple condemning Indiana but doing business in Saudi Arabia.

Until then, it helps to understand what the current crisis in Indiana is really all about. Hint: It’s the same thing we were arguing about in the War Between the States. It’s also the very thing we were debating in the 1960s civil rights movement. It’s a thing called involuntary servitude.

If you are unsure of where you stand on the RFRA controversy, please allow me to share a story that will help clarify the issue. At the end of the story, I’m going to ask you a very simple question. If your answer to that question is “yes” then you are opposed to the Indiana RFRA law. If your answer to that question is “no,” then you support it.

A few years ago, I declined a wedding invitation from a friend. His wife is an alcoholic and he joked about how she would probably stumble her way down the aisle adding that he hoped she wouldn’t fall on the way to the front of the church. I decided I didn’t want to be a part of a ceremony that would mock the institution of marriage. Now imagine I were still playing guitar at weddings for a living – as I once did before I took a pay cut and became a professor. Would anyone seriously assert that I should be forced to play at the wedding I would not even want to attend?

Once again, if your answer to that question is “yes” then you are opposed to the Indiana RFRA law. If your answer to that question is “no,” then you support it.

Some may argue that the thought experiment isn’t relevant because homosexuals and stumbling drunks aren’t the same thing – only the former are part of a protected class. Newsflash: homosexuality is not the same thing as blackness. You can’t work your way into a legitimate protected class through self-destructive behavior. Next thing you know stumbling drunks will be arguing the same thing – and citing the genetic predisposition to alcoholism to bolster their claim!

All of this nonsense about protected classes is utterly beside the point. One would never argue that a black baker should have to serve food at a Klan rally. Learning that a few of the Klansmen were not ordinary whites – but also homosexuals – would not change the equation one iota. The issue is still involuntary servitude.

Some have expressed a concern that the new Indiana law and others like it might be used to justify blatant forms of discrimination. Perhaps a truly homophobic restaurant owner would refuse to serve gays – just like racist restaurant owners used to refuse service to blacks.

I really wish that were the case. Truly homophobic restaurant owners should be able to refuse to serve gays. Just like racist restaurant owners should be able to refuse service to blacks. Should such problems arise, the solution would not be laws to prosecute the bigots. It would be a free press to run them out of business. (Isn’t it ironic that today’s press falsely reports about RFRA and then cheers on bigots who attempt to run people out of business?)

Government imposed tolerance merely masks true bigotry. Sunlight, in the form of freedom of speech, is the only effective disinfectant. One hundred years ago, true progressives like Louis Brandeis understood that. Now, most people who call themselves “progressive” would be more aptly named regressive.

Louis Brandeis: “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.”

“Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent.”
But the Democrat Party has never really been a progressive party. In the final analysis, little has changed in the last 200 years. Republicans are simply trying to end slavery while Democrats are tying to impose it. (Mike Adams)

Ain’t that the truth. After all, what do you call, Do what I say, when I say it and because I say and you have no choice but to do it (or believe it) or else there will be severe penalties (racist, bigot) or loss of even more freedom (make it illegal) ?

The Government, especially Progressive controlled Government is God and seeks to control you from before you were born to after you die and every nanosecond in-between.

I call it Progressive Liberalism today. They used to call it slavery.

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy
Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

 A Rolling Stone gathers no Truth… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

A Message to Global Warming Alarmists

I was laughing my ass of by the end of this one. 🙂

Got this message yesterday from a very concerned climate change alarmist:

Hi Matt, I read you sometimes but I generally find you to be an assh*le. Just being honest. I also think you have a reputation (or you’d like to think you have a reputation) as someone who isn’t afraid to “tell it like it is,” but I think you haven’t earned that. Actually you are very afraid to challenge any republican talking point so you stick to the script on everything. I guess it’s more important to be invited to the parties than to tell the truth.

I’m wondering if you have the guts to address something and actually force your right wing readers to think for themselves. I’m getting really tired of seeing these idiots on Facebook who every time it gets cold or snows start gloating about how it “proves” there is no climate change. You’ve never outed yourself as a climate denier, and I know you like to consider yourself a logical person, so I’m hoping this is one area where you differ from your cohorts. These morons need to be put in their place. Colder temperatures and blizzards ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE SCIENTIFIC MODEL FOR CLIMATE CHANGE. This is why I could never be a republican. I can’t be a part of a group of anti-science climate deniers who would kill this planet if they were given free reign. Prove you’re really “controversial,” Matt, and call your people to task here.

-JM

Hi JM,

I agree with you. Honestly, I never addressed it because I never knew it was such a pervasive problem. But now that you’ve called my attention to it, allow me to be the first to say that climate deniers are lunatics. I’ll take it a step further than you even did, JM, and submit that climate deniers should be banned from teaching, voted out of office, and probably fired from any other job they might hold. Seriously, I can’t hardly believe that anyone could be so foolish and so delusional as to be a climate denier.

I mean, to deny the existence of the climate? That’s madness. The word “climate” means “the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region.” The word “deny” means “to refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disown; disavow; repudiate.” Anyone who rejects or repudiates the existence of weather conditions ought to be scolded and shunned and possibly institutionalized. We all must stand up against these menaces!

Luckily, upon closer inspection, I see that no such view actually exists anywhere in our society. This is just a label you people fabricated because left wing environmentalists are reflexively disingenuous about everything. “Climate denier” may in fact be the most ludicrous assemblage of two words ever concocted by mankind. But it’s not much better than the slightly more specific “climate change denier,” (used in a sentence: “liberal college professors think climate change deniers should be put in prison“) because, despite these marvelous straw men left wingers take so much time building, nobody in the world denies the fact of climate change. If anyone is a climate change denier — that is, someone who denies that climates change — I’d agree that he is an imbecile and probably mentally unstable.

Yet that view doesn’t exist because we all know the climate changes. Of course the climate changes. It’s a climate. That’s what climates do. They change. It gets colder, it gets hotter, it rains, it snows, it does all kinds of things. I don’t deny that, and although I’m not a Republican and I take great exception to that accusation, I feel safe in speaking for them when I say that they neither deny the fact of the climate, nor the fact that the climate changes. Progressives use labels like “climate denier” or “climate skeptic” (for the people who are willing to believe that there might be a climate, but are still a little iffy on the whole thing) because they are not interested in an honest discussion. You either buy in to their environmental dogma one hundred percent, or you will be painted as an idiot, an infidel, and a maniac.

Now, why might a person be skeptical about the theory that humans are causing dramatic shifts to the climate, and that these shifts will eventually kill us all? Have you ever thought about why someone might have these reservations, JM? Have you really taken the time to consider the reasons for this skepticism? Yeah, they’re morons, right, I get it, but have you determined that they’re morons because the media and people on Twitter told you they’re morons, or because you gave their case a fair hearing and came away with the impression that they have absolutely nothing even slightly coherent to say? I’m guessing it’s more the former, which makes you not necessarily a moron yourself, but an intellectually lazy chump who can be easily herded and exploited.

But since you broached the subject, I’m hoping today will be perhaps the first day in your life when you listen to a point of view before deciding to disqualify it.

So, why do so many people have trouble falling in line with the Climate Change Doomsday Cult (CCDC)? Let’s start with history. Just going back through the past few decades, according to left wing environmentalists we should all be dead from an Ice Age, and after that it was a nuclear winter, and after that it was overpopulation. Sprinkle in the various fits of hysteria about how we’re going to run out of oil and end up back living in caves, or run out of rain forest and suffocate to death, or run out of food, or run out of water, or run out of ozone, and you see how people might grow wary of the CCDC’s constant hand wringing about some kind of apocalypse (side note: “Some Kind of Apocalypse” would be a great name for a band). We should have perished 12 times over at this point. There were at least three different global annihilations that should have arrived before the year 2000, and another several since then. We should be starving, sick with radiation poisoning, unable to breathe, freezing from the sub zero temperatures, melting from the scorching heat, and causing entire landmasses to literally tip over due to the excess population. But we’re still here.

Some of these theories, like overpopulation and the Ice Age, have been thoroughly debunked and disproved. Others have simply been abandoned for trendier causes. But in all of these cases, the prophets of doom reaped profits from the doom, while slimy politicians used the hysteria as a means to tax, regulate, and control. Excuse us, JM, but are you really saying that after so many failed and erroneous predictions, we shouldn’t even raise an eyebrow when the very same people come back with yet another one?

Left Wing Environmentalists: Watch out everyone, this is going to kill you!

Everyone: Oh no! What do we do?

LWE: Quick pay more taxes!

Everyone: OK, here you go!

LWE: Just kidding. That probably won’t kill you, but this will!

Everyone: AHHHH!

LWE: No, OK, not that. But this!

Everyone: Dear Lord, help us!

LWE: Alright, never mind, we dodged that bullet. But this new thing will definitely wipe us out!

Everyone: We’re so afraid!

LWE: Scratch that. It’s this. This will do it!

Everyone: Uh, OK, we’re starting to get a little skeptical –

LWE: WHY DO YOU HATE SCIENCE?

How many times do they have to be wrong before our skepticism might be considered reasonable? Because that’s what this is about. Skepticism. You’re saying, just as most progressives say, that it’s “anti-science” to even be skeptical of climate alarmism, which is to say that the prevailing climate theory of the day should be believed regardless of how believable it is. This is the very definition of an unscientific attitude. It’s religious zealotry. Nothing more, nothing less.

Our history lesson isn’t over. Not long ago, nobody talked about climate change — instead it was global warming. If you can recall the year 2007, way back in the distant past, you might remember when Al Gore received a Nobel Peace prize for narrating a science fiction documentary and mentioned in his acceptance speech that the North Polar ice cap would completely melt by the year 2013. But then the year 2013 rolled around, and the Arctic had actually increased in mass by about 60 percent. Man, that’s embarrassing.

Indeed, you wouldn’t expect global warming to melt the ice caps considering the globe hasn’t warmed since about 1997. In other words, by the time Gore jumped on the global warming gravy train, global warming hadn’t been a thing for about a decade. Today, we’re about 219 months and counting since the last time the aggregate temperatures on Earth rose by any statistically significant amount.

What happened next? Well, the same thing that always happens. Progressives repackaged, rebranded, renamed, and came up with a few new marketing tricks. Suddenly, global warming became climate change, and man made climate change is as undeniable as man made global warming, even though global warming didn’t exist.

It was a smart move, though. Progressives realized that global warming — like the Ice Age, or overpopulation, or a nuclear winter — is just too specific. They needed something that could never be truly debunked because, no matter what happens, whatever happens proves them right. Hence, climate change.

“The climate is changing because of people!”

How do you know?

“Because it’s changing!”

Yeah, but–

“Look! It just changed again!”

They came up with a theory that can be validated by any turn of events, which means it can’t be validated by any turn of events. They’ve formulated not that one plus one equals two, or even that one plus one equals four, but that one plus one equals infinity.

Want to see something funny? Here’s a National Geographic headline from September of 2014:

Human-Caused Climate Change Worsened Heat Waves in 2013

Now, here’s one from yesterday:

Blizzard of Nor’Easters No Surprise, Thanks to Climate Change

One theory, two opposite results, both proof of the theory. Does that make sense, JM? Can you, at a minimum, understand why some of us look at that and think “hmmmm”?

On a related note, the subheading under that blizzard article is pretty hysterical: “More extreme storms are expected to fall on the Northeast as climate changes.”

Oh, as the climate changes sometimes snow happens, you say? Yes, it’s called winter in the north east. It’s been this way for a while now, National Geographic. Why are you so surprised that it snowed in Buffalo in January? Aren’t you people supposed to be nature experts?

Want more from Matt Walsh?

It’s all so ridiculous, JM. And we haven’t even really gotten to dissecting the actual science here.

As far as that goes, I admit I’m not a scientist, though I suspect neither are you, and neither are most of the people who participate in this debate on either side. Still, even us lowly citizens can know a few things. For instance, we can know that the climate on this planet has changed wildly over the course of its existence. It’s had tropical periods and icy periods and everything in between, and the vast majority of all of that came before the Industrial Age. In fact, human beings have only been industrialized for a tiny fraction of human history, and we’ve been driving cars for an even tinier fraction. We can know, therefore, that temperatures and weather conditions have swung dramatically from one side of the spectrum to the other and back again, and, from a historical perspective, when comparing 200 years of industrialization to the 4 billion years the Earth’s been around, almost all of the warming and cooling happened before any factory was ever built.

We can also know that our CO2 emmissions are dwarfed by the immense amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by natural (and evil, likely Republican) sources like oceans and vegetation.

We can further know that the Sun — which is big enough to eat a million Earths, and hot enough to make you burst into flames from millions of miles away — really calls the shots in our solar system. If we’re searching for “global warming” culprits, we might want to look at that 27,000,000 degree ball of gas in the sky.

And we can even more confidently know that if human CO2 emissions are a primary driver of global temperatures, it wouldn’t make sense for temperatures to drop or stay stagnate while humanity only continues to increase its CO2 output. But that’s exactly what’s happened. I can know that, and I can know that something doesn’t make sense here. And I can know all of that without being a “scientist.”

Speaking of scientists, it’s probably not worth mentioning at this point that there isn’t any real 97 percent consensus on climate change in the scientific community. That oft-cited figure is based on faulty methodology, cherry picked findings, misleading questions, and misinterpreted results. What do scientists really think? Well, a good number of them are just as skeptical as me check  here, and here, and here for example. .

Even the people who believe in man made climate change don’t really believe it. That’s why so few of you folks are actively adjusting your lifestyle in any substantive way. I mean, if you think that the Earth itself is on the verge of a destruction brought upon by human beings and our technology, wouldn’t you clothe yourself in a loin cloth stitched from foliage and run off into the wilderness, living in a hollowed-out tree and subsisting on wild edibles? If you possess the conviction that the planet itself will die if humanity does not make dramatic changes, wouldn’t you begin by making those dramatic changes yourself? But you don’t. Maybe you buy a hybrid, maybe you put a “Save the Earth” bumper sticker on it, maybe you turn your heat down at night, but when it comes down to it, leftwing environmentalists continue on living the same way we all do. They drive around, buy things, watch TV, fly on airplanes, eat at restaurants. They sermonize about the end times but that’s all it is — a sermon. At least other religious cults put their money where their mouth is. You guys use a lot of dramatic language, but do nothing.

So where does that leave us? With, you might say, a few reasons to be have some doubt. But I realize this isn’t about “reasons” for you, it’s about faith. And far be it for me to attack your religion.

Thanks for writing.

-Matt

(Matt Walsh)

AMEN! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Well, here we go again?

ON OCTOBER 7, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage. On Oct. 15, county clerks in the state for the first time issued marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Then, five days later came startling news out of the Idaho resort town of Coeur d’Alene: Two Christian ministers, owners of the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, had reportedly been told by local officials that they were now required to perform same-sex weddings, or risk fines of up to $1,000 and as much as six months in jail if they refused. Under the city’s antidiscrimination ordinance, the Hitching Post is considered “a place of public accommodation,” and refusing to marry couples on the basis of sexual orientation was no longer a legal option.

So the two ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, filed a lawsuit, seeking to block the city from forcing them to host same-sex ceremonies in violation of their sincere religious beliefs. “The Knapps are in fear that if they exercise their First Amendment rights they will be cited, prosecuted, and sent to jail,” their attorney told reporters.

At first blush, the story seemed to confirm the grimmest forebodings of those who have warned that the gay marriage juggernaut will roll right over religious liberty concerns. Was the government really threatening to jail clergy who refused to perform same-sex weddings?

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 17 in federal trial court by the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, stoked long-held fears among opponents of marriage equality.

“The day liberals promised would never come is already here,” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council warned in a press release announcing the lawsuit, which was brought on behalf of Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.

Mike Huckabee, former presidential candidate and Southern Baptist minister, weighed in on Facebook: “Remember when same-sex marriage activists used to claim that it would never infringe on other people’s religious beliefs? Well, that was a lie.”

But Coeur d’Alene isn’t ruling out the possibility, either. Only if the Hitching Post truly operates on a not-for-profit religious basis, City Attorney Michael Gridley wrote in an Oct. 20 letter, would the Knapps be legally exempted from the antidiscrimination ordinance “like any other church or religious association.” Conversely, if their wedding chapel provides services “primarily or substantially for profit and they discriminate in providing those services based on sexual orientation,” they could be cited for breaking the law.

Should they be?

Religious convictions haven’t sheltered florists, bakers, and other vendors who have declined to provide their services for same-sex ceremonies. The Supreme Court earlier this year let stand the penalty imposed on a New Mexico photographer who turned down a request to shoot a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony. The American Civil Liberties Union argues that wedding chapels, like bakeries and photo studios, are bound by nondiscrimination law, regardless of the owners’ moral beliefs. By that argument, it makes no difference that the owner of a company is an ordained minister. An operation like the Hitching Post isn’t a ministry, the ACLU would say, it’s a business — and the First Amendment can tell the difference.

Yet there is considerably more to the First Amendment than the unique protection it extends to churches. The freedom of expression it enshrines secures the right to speak no less than the right not to speak. Time and again the Supreme Court has confirmed that government may not force Americans to utter words they disbelieve or deny.

“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation,” Justice Robert Jackson wrote in a landmark 1943 decision that struck down a law compelling students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, “it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

Whatever one’s views on same-sex marriage — or on nondiscrimination statutes generally — it is unfathomable that ministers could be forced by law to pronounce the words of a marriage ceremony against their will. That they are being paid to perform the ceremony doesn’t diminish the significance of the words they are saying, or erode their constitutional liberty to choose not to say them.

Supporters of same-sex unions have nothing to gain by forcing anyone, least of all clergy members, to officiate at weddings when it would violate their principles to do so.

Yes, they do. They have the satisfaction of sticking it to the “haters” and stroking their “entitled” “civil rights” ego.

That is “just something we don’t do in a liberal society,” insists Andrew Sullivan, a stalwart advocate for gay marriage. Concerns about what “marriage equality” is doing to religious tolerance and dissent run deep; surely the best way to allay those concerns is with respect and goodwill. As same-sex wedlock comes to Idaho, it is in everyone’s interest that freedom of speech and conscience not be driven out.

But then they don’t get the thrill of the ego that they have gotten in other place around the country where THEY HAVE forced those evil, discriminatory, Christians to bow down to their Lawyers and Judges on Speed Dial.

“I think there are a lot of people in this country who have anxiety about what marriage equality is going to mean for them, and there’s a widespread misperception that changes to the marriage laws or discrimination laws are going to mean faith leaders are forced to perform weddings they don’t want to perform,” said Amanda Goad, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Tell that to the Farm in NY or the T-Shirt shop owner in Kentucky…

P.s. Liberal Compassion (from Huffington Post): “It’s such a heartbreaking challenge to be martyred these days. Just ask the Knapps They’ve done everything in their power – built crosses for themselves, climbed into position, and set-up nail guns pointed at their hands and feet. How much longer must they beg for someone passing by to please, please, just pull the trigger?

“Religious organizations in this country enjoy immense freedom from taxation, civil rights laws, public accommodation laws, etc. The claim that they are being persecuted is sillier than me claiming there are winged children flying around doing good deeds for humanity.”

“Religion and stupidity go together like bread and butter.”

“Christians” pretending to be “persecuted” if they can’t persecute others and finding out”Oh wait, we CAN still persecute…” but let’s fund raise and promote bigotry anyway…”

Ah, Tolerance…

 

Take Offense

A Northern California case against wearing American flag T-shirts could be headed to the Supreme Court. AP
A Northern California case against wearing American flag T-shirts could be headed to the Supreme Court. AP

Rights: A Ninth Circuit Court ruling that students can’t wear American flag T-shirts because they may offend Mexican students celebrating Cinco de Mayo is a ridiculous yet dangerous assault on the First Amendment.

On Sept. 17, more than four years after Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., sent students home for wearing American flag t-shirts, an 11-judge Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that it was the right choice, “tailored to avert violence and focused on student safety.”

The decision upheld the court’s three-judge ruling in February that justified the school’s actions based on tensions between Mexican and American students. Past events, Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote, “made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.”

We are not making up this surreal situation. Oh, yeah, the incident occurred on Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates the defeat of the French army of Napoleon III by Mexican forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

It’s often mistaken as Mexico’s independence day and is actually celebrated more in the U.S. than in Mexico.

The shirts offended Mexican students who, the Ninth Circuit ruling states, responded by shouting, “They are being racist. F*** them white boys. Let’s f*** them up.”

According to the court, the wearing of an American flag t-shirt on Cinco de Mayo was the functional equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

“The controversy and tension remained,” a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in their opinion, “but the school’s actions presciently avoided an altercation.”

William Becker, a lawyer for the students, has said that he’ll take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The 9th Circuit upheld the rights of Mexican students celebrating the holiday of another country over U.S. students proudly supporting this country,” he said.

The ruling sets a chilling precedent that “by threatening violence against those with whom you disagree, you can enlist the power of the state to silence them,” wrote Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain in a dissent.

What about the students, O’Scannlain asked, wearing Che Guevara, Martin Luther King or a President Obama “Hope” t-shirt? Ban them, too?

The irony here is that Sept. 17 was the 200th anniversary of the first printing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The song celebrated the Battle of Baltimore, in which American forces beat the British In that battle, the rights and freedoms that we hopefully still enjoy were defended.

Come to think of it, that would make a great t-shirt.

Maybe we just need more Burkhas!

Or Halal Food Mandates…

Muslims in Minnesota facing poverty and tapping local food banks say they need a program that recognizes their pork-free needs.

Somali-Americans in one Minneapolis community have called for local government officials to create a no-pork zone via a special food shelf just for foods that conform to their faith, a local CBS News affiliate reported.

“It’s about human rights also — basic human rights to get the proper food and also healthy food,” Imam Hassan Mohamud told the affiliate.

“Some food shelves are trying to meet the need, but some of them already got canned beans that have already been mixed with pork — and there is a literacy issue here,” Mr. Weli said, CBS reported.

So Americans need to cater to illiterate unemployed Muslims on welfare. Human rights doesn’t mean having the government give you pork-free products. It means not being forced to eat pork products.

How dare you give people a choice to buy Pork & Beans with the Pork in it! How Racist are you!

Maybe Pork should be banned from Grocery Stores out of consideration for our Muslim brothers and sisters! 🙂

After all, you don’t want to “offend” anyone now do you… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

I’ll Deal With You

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

President Barack Obama says House Republicans are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable version of an immigration bill even though they know the bill isn’t going anywhere.

Republicans pushed legislation through Friday evening in the House that could clear the way for eventual deportation of more than 500,000 immigrants brought here illegally as kids and address the surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Obama says Republicans know that legislation won’t succeed in the Senate. He says Republicans aren’t even trying to solve the problem. He says they’re just trying check a box leaving town for their annual August recess.

(The Senate left town in a hurry because they really wanted to “deal” with situation themselves! and that has to be The Republican’s fault!)

So stop trying to do things your way and just do it our way OR ELSE!

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Just like on Religion, where you evil christian bastards just want to muck everything up for the rest of us…

Government’s assault on religious liberty has hit a new low as the IRS settles with atheists by promising to monitor sermons for mentions of the right to life and traditional marriage.

A lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) asserted that the Internal Revenue Service ignored complaints about churches’ violating their tax-exempt status by routinely promoting political issues, legislation and candidates from the pulpit.

The FFRF has temporarily withdrawn its suit in return for the IRS’s agreement to monitor sermons and homilies for proscribed speech that the foundation believes includes things like condemnation of gay marriage and criticism of ObamaCare for its contraceptive mandate.

The irony of this agreement is that it’s being enforced by the same Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the IRS that was once headed by Lois “Fifth Amendment” Lerner and that openly targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups.

Among the questions that the IRS asked of those targeted groups was the content of their prayers.

Those who objected to the monitoring of what is said and done in mosques for signs of terrorist activity have no problem with this one, though monitoring what’s said in houses of worship is a clear violation of the First Amendment. Can you say “chilling effect”?

Congress can make no laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion. So it’s not clear where the IRS gets off doing just that by spying on religious leaders lest they comment on issues and activities by government that are contrary to or impose on their religious consciences. Our country was founded by people fleeing this kind of government-monitored and mandated theology last practiced in the Soviet Union.

The FFRF cites as its authority the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which states that tax-exempt groups cannot endorse candidates. A 2009 court ruling determined that the IRS must staff someone to monitor church politicking.

The FFRF claims that the IRS has not adhered to the ruling and that the settlement amounts to enforcing both the Johnson Amendment and the court ruling.

But is the Catholic Church “politicking” when it proclaims its “Fortnight for Freedom” dedicated to opposing ObamaCare’s contraceptive mandate and the government’s forcing schools and charities it considers an extension of its faith to include it in insurance coverage or face crippling fines?

Are Protestant and evangelical churches “politicking” when they participate in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” this year on Oct. 5 to encourage congregations to “vote their faith,” which they consider to be an exercise of free speech and freedom of religion?

The FFRF says that such events at “rogue churches” have “become an annual occasion for churches to violate the law with impunity.” But doesn’t the Constitution say that Congress can make no such laws?

Rather than “rogue churches,” it’s the rogue IRS that needs to be stopped. (IBD)

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Freedom At Stake

Derek Hunter:

The world is on the verge of coming to an end. No, not because of Russia’s aggression or Jihadists getting a nuclear weapon, but because the Supreme Court could rule that owners of companies cannot be ordered to violate their deeply held religious beliefs. Yes, society has sunk this low.

The Supreme Court is not expected to rule until June in the case of Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby, so you’ve got some time to stock up on canned goods and toilet paper before the reckoning. But, if the Constitution means anything, that reckoning will come to pass.

At stake is whether individuals lose their religious liberty simply because they start a business. The owners of the craft store chain Hobby Lobby have a deeply held religious belief that certain forms of contraception cause an abortion, something they, as Christians, vehemently oppose. As such, they object to paying for health insurance that provides those forms of contraception on the grounds of their religious freedom. You know, that “Congress shall make no law” part of the First Amendment.

The Obama administration has a different idea on this. It acts as if the First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law…unless the president acquires a magic pen and a phone that allows him to bypass Congress…”

The central question of the Hobby Lobby case is whether people lose their religious liberty once they open a business. Hobby Lobby is a privately owned company, not a publicly traded one. As such, it is an extension of its owners – not millions of stockholders with diverse views. It is owned by one family, and that family is unified in its beliefs.

But deeply held religious beliefs are an impediment to the progressive agenda; therefore they must be trampled. There is no God but government.

Sandra Fluke, the patron saint of mooching in the progressive church of victimization, took to the pages of the Washington Post to expose how little value and learning there is in a Georgetown law degree.

First, she’s listed as a “social justice attorney who testified before Congress in 2012.” But Fluke never testified before Congress. There was a hearing in the House to talk about the religious liberty aspect of the contraception mandate, and Democrats were afforded one witness on the topic. They submitted the name of an expert on religious liberty but attempted on the day of the hearing to swap out that expert, who was on topic, for Fluke. Republicans rejected the change, as is their right, because she was a student, not an expert.

The Democrats then boycotted the hearing, went to an empty meeting room in the basement, threw a blanket over a folding table and held a staged photo-op disguised as a hearing. The media played along and reported it as if it were a hearing, but it was not.

Did you see any Republicans ask Fluke any questions? There’s a reason for that. It wasn’t a hearing. That the media considers it one shows just how far in the tank most reporters are for Democrats.

Undeterred by fact, Fluke writes that if a religious exemption were granted for the contraception mandate and – GASP – people were expected to pay for their own birth control, “We are at risk of giving any person or group with a religious qualm the legal ability to refuse to comply with numerous critical employment laws, not just those related to health insurance. Depending on the exact ruling, any for-profit corporation could cut off its employees’ insurance coverage for blood transfusions, vaccinations or HIV treatment…”

Recognize that argument? It’s the “slippery slope” argument progressives routinely attack conservatives for making on gay marriage. If a man can marry another man, what’s the logic for denying three men from being able to marry? Or one man and three women?

Those questions are dismissed by progressives as unrealistic, mostly because they can’t answer them. But when they do it usually comes down to “No one is calling for that to happen.” Well, no one is saying companies should be able to deny coverage for medically necessary and proven procedures such as transfusions or HIV treatment – chosen specifically to try to scare the hell out of gay people. But progressives aren’t know for letting facts get in the way of pushing their agenda. Maybe Hobby Lobby should’ve just said, “If you like your contraception, you can keep your contraception. Period.”

The fact is some religions oppose some or all forms of birth control, not because they hate women but because they believe that is what God commands. That may not be what you believe. It’s not what I believe. But I’d no sooner let you order me to violate what I believe than try to force you to violate what you believe. Progressives don’t have that “leave people alone” gene.

In the progressive world you aren’t an “employee,” you’re a “worker.” Moreover you’re a slave owned by a company, unable to leave and find a new job if that company does things that go against what you want or believe yourself. Or worse, you’re a serf who doesn’t have the wherewithal to obtain your own contraception if your employer or government doesn’t provide it for you.

For much of their base, they’re probably right. But for self-respecting adults with at least two brain cells, this push by the left is another step in the attempted infantilization of America. Putting aside the fact that if you can’t afford the nominal cost of contraception you probably should find a better use for your time than sex … if your sex life is dependent on your employer, or, worse, government providing you with contraception … well, we’re all screwed.

Progressives’ claims of authority to impose their will hinges upon their desire to make religion something people do on Sundays, like shopping for shoes, not an all-encompassing way in which people live their lives. It’s a crutch, a prop, not real faith. After all, these are people who cheered and pretended to believe in Bill Clinton’s “faith resurgence” and church attendance after he was caught lying about Monica Lewinsky, so it’s been a prop for them for a long time.

For millions of others, on the other hand, religion is not a photo-op in times of low poll numbers, it’s a deeply help conviction that informs their every move. For progressives, that space should be filled only by government. Lack of belief in the individual and total trust in government is, if you will, their religion. And on this mandate, as with pretty much all of their intrusive, power-grabbing agenda, progressives are every bit as devout as any member of al Qaeda.

Head Start

First off, my condolences to the families of the 19 firefighters who were killed in the blaze yesterday. Firefighting is very tough job. Especially, in very high temperatures.

Also, for the people of Yarnell who lost half the town in the blaze and could lose even more.

This is made worse by Liberal tree huggers who won’t let you thin the forest of undergrowth that burns because loggers and forest cutting is evil.

Responsible forest management, rather than true hugging psychotics, would help keep these fires under more control.

You can’t prevent them, but you can control them better.

Sad. Very Sad.

Ann Coulter: After the bad news on gay marriage out of the Supreme Court this week, here’s some good news for conservatives: Demographics are on our side!

As M. Stanton Evans has recently pointed out, “Believers in religious doctrine, the traditional family and pro-life attitudes on abortion are systematically outperforming their secular-liberal opponents in the demographic sweepstakes — having appreciably more children per couple — resulting in a fertility gap that works against the liberals.”

Republican states, such as Utah and Kentucky, have been steadily gaining population, while liberal states, such as New York and Vermont, are consistent demographic losers. It should not come as a surprise, though it always does, that people opposed to abortion are out-populating those who consider abortion a right.

Jewish publications have repeatedly observed that the declining fertility rate among all American Jews except the Orthodox — the group that votes 86 percent Republican — means that, in another generation or two, Jews could be majority Republican. (What a wonderful world it would be if Marco Rubio had half of Chuck Schumer’s IQ!)

But liberals always have a workaround. For decades, their solution to the left’s demographic collapse has been immigration. Idiot Republicans being buffaloed into supporting Rubio’s amnesty bill are not merely throwing Democrats a lifeline — they’re allowing Democrats to flip an imminent conservative victory into a permanent liberal majority.

With native-born liberals unwilling to reproduce themselves, liberals need a constant influx of new Democratic voters from other countries — and there happen to be 11 million of them living here right now! Contrary to Rubio-Republicans who think “they all look alike,” the vast majority of Hispanics are not “social conservatives.” (That’s blacks, Marco.)

In addition to being the one ethnic group most opposed to capitalism — even more than Occupy Wall Street protesters! — polls show that Hispanics are more pro-abortion than other Americans (66 percent of Hispanics versus 50 percent of other voters) and favor gay marriage more than other Americans (59 percent compared to 48 percent of all voters). They also support big government by an astronomical 75 percent and Obamacare, in particular, by 62 percent. (Polls: Pew, ABC, ABC, Pew, Fox)

Of course the Democrats want these illegals voting!

It is of no concern to the Democratic Party that illegal aliens are lawbreakers and overwhelmingly minimum-wage workers. Liberals don’t care about the working class having millions more low-skilled workers competing with them, and they certainly don’t care about the country. They just want to win elections. (If only it would occur to Republicans that they need to win elections, too.)

Next, Democrats will be demanding that we set up polling booths in the prisons and sending Marco Rubio out to argue that we already have “de facto” prison-voting.

As with so much mischievous legislation, Republicans are being told, “We have got to do this yesterday!” If we don’t produce a global warming bill, the American people will have our heads! If we don’t pass campaign finance reform tomorrow, the voters will punish us! You’re not seriously thinking of blocking a new gun control bill, are you?

Then, it always turns out: No, there’s not going to be a backlash. The only politicians ever punished for a gun vote were the entire House Democratic caucus in the Republican sweep of 1994. The only politician who was ever punished for his position on global warming is Al Gore.

But Democrats love to act like everything’s a crisis, so Republicans don’t have time to think and can be stampeded into doing something stupid. When it comes to government, doing nothing is often the best course.

Republicans have to understand: You are not going to be punished by Hispanics for voting against this Obamacare-like monstrosity of an amnesty bill. If you have Hispanics in your district, they’re already voting against you.

The Lindsey Graham argument is: Now when they vote against you, they’ll really hate you.

Hispanics are 8.4 percent of the electorate, so we’re talking about the 80 percent of 8.4 percent of voters who will never vote Republican, anyway. They will allegedly hold this one anti-amnesty vote against Republicans — despite polls showing Hispanics don’t care about amnesty. Those are the voters Republicans are determined to make hate them less, while enraging every American who doesn’t benefit from cheap labor or Democratic votes.

Meanwhile, don’t imagine, Republicans, that you can buy off your anti-amnesty constituents with another meaningless vote to repeal Obamacare.

Does it occur to these brainless wonders in the GOP that the Democrats wouldn’t be agitating for amnesty if it didn’t get them votes? That’s all it’s about. Liberals want the rest of the world’s poor to come here not only to raise their children, clean their houses, manicure their lawns and cook their meals, but to give birth to the Democratic children that liberals aren’t having.

No, I don”t think they do. They are a political deer caught in Liberal Media headlights and they don’t know which way to run…