Archive for the ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ Category
VANCOUVER – Conservative delegates voted overwhelmingly Saturday at their national convention to effectively accept same-sex marriage, a move Tory MPs and leadership candidates said modernizes their party and sends an important message to Canadians.
In a vote of 1,036-462, Conservative members – following a passionate debate – voted to take a neutral position on marriage and no longer define it as “the union of one man and one woman.”
The change also removes a longstanding policy statement that said Parliament, through a free vote, and not the courts should determine the definition of marriage.
The policy change effectively means the party accepts same-sex unions and that it shouldn’t be in the business of defining marriage for Canadians. Click here to continue reading.
By Bob Unruh
An Oregon state official and his agency violated the U.S. Constitution in multiple ways when they assessed a $135,000 penalty against Sweetcakes by Melissa bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein for refusing to violate their Christian faith by creating a wedding cake for a lesbian duo, according to a new appeal filed in the long-running case.
“In America, you’re protected by the Constitution, and you’re also innocent until proven guilty,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty Institute, which is working on the Kleins’ case.
“Commissioner Brad Avakian decided the Kleins were guilty before he even heard their case. This is an egregious violation of the Kleins’ rights to due process. We hope the Oregon Court of Appeals will remedy this by reversing or dismissing the government’s case against the Kleins.” Click here to read more.
I was the first Christian in my family. Around 1982, Mom and Dad (who were in their mid-sixties) began reading the Bible. They became so excited they eagerly devoured it. Dad would come running into the room saying, “Look at this!” and share a Scripture passage that really hit him.
As my parents shared their new-found enthusiasm for the Bible, their love bloomed. They enjoyed Prairie Home Companion, and when old timey music came on the radio, Dad would grab Mom and dance with her. He was always bringing her flowers from their garden.
They found a good church where the preaching was biblical. Dad’s enthusiasm for Scripture kept growing, and he got a master’s degree in Biblical Studies. For the rest of their lives, Mom and Dad read a lot of Scripture every day and often talked about it during meal time.
Sadly, times have changed. If Mom and Dad had discovered the Bible in 2014, they would probably have had difficulty finding a church with biblical preaching. And the last time I listened to Prairie Home Companion, the humor had become raunchy.
People on TV now boast about doing things you could have blackmailed them for thirty years ago. Previously “unthinkable” things are becoming commonplace.
This didn’t just happen by chance. I’m going to give you some disturbing information, accompanied by this biblical reminder. Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for them (Matthew 5:44). We should also do reasonable things to protect ourselves and to try to thwart their anti-Christian agenda, because Jesus told us to flee persecution when we can (Matthew 10:23). But that only applies if we can do it without denying our Lord (Matthew 10:32-33).
Humanism is the mortal enemy of Christianity. It denies the existence of God and opposes biblical morality.
Humanism says that man is basically good, but the Bible says we are all sinners who need a Savior. We need to have God change our hearts. We need to become children of God.
Dr. Brock Chisholm is a psychiatrist. He was the first Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Health Organization. He demonstrated humanism’s antipathy to the idea that men need a Savior when he said:
For many generations we have bowed our necks to the yoke of the conviction of sin. We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents.1
If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil, it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.2
Evidently, for Dr. Chisholm, “mental health” means being unable to become convicted of sin, and it also means being unable to recognize the difference between good and evil. According to American law, the inability to tell the difference between good and evil is the definition of “criminal insanity.”
Dr. Chisholm made these statements in 1946. Therefore, the United Nations has had many years to try to change every country in ways that make it more difficult for its citizens to recognize the difference between good and evil. That could explain a lot of the crazy things we see going on in the world today.
In America, humanism has been declared by the courts to be a tax-exempt religion.3 This religion is openly hostile to Christianity. Its antagonism can be seen in the following quotations from humanists:
The classroom must and will become the arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity . . . and the new faith of humanism.4
Some opponents of Humanism have accused us of wishing to overthrow the traditional Christian family. They are right. That is exactly what we intend to do.5
In 1933, The Humanist Manifesto was written, stating the beliefs and goals of humanism.6 One of the signers was John Dewey, who is called the “father of progressive education.” He revolutionized education in America. Dewey was determined to use the school system to promote humanism.7 Unfortunately, he succeeded.
For generations, American children have been taught humanist beliefs and values in public schools. Their Christian morals have been undermined by “values clarification” and other techniques.8 Thomas Sowell said:
The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children.9
This results in radically changing the beliefs and moral values of the children. The brainwashing techniques result in “acceptance of alternative values by psychological rather than rational means.”10
In addition, there are people who call themselves atheists, but they hate God. (How can they hate somebody who doesn’t exist? At some level, they must know God is real.)
Look at the following quotation from 1977. The militant atheists have been working on this agenda for a long time now:
We must ask how we can kill the God of Christianity. We need only to insure that our schools teach only secular knowledge.11
With such overt hostility to Christianity from humanists and atheists, who use the public schools to promote their agenda, it is not surprising that America has gone downhill spiritually and morally. For example, when I was in high school (1958-1961), there were only a few girls who were not virgins, and everybody knew who they were. They had “a reputation.” Fast-forward forty years to the year 2000 when my nephew got married. He and his wife were both virgins, and that was so unusual that people made a big deal out of it.
To see the extent of the change that has taken place in the United States, look at Yale University. It was founded by ministers in 1701 in order to spread Christianity. All students were required to “live religious, godly, and blameless lives according to the rules of God’s Word.” They were told to spend time in prayer and reading Scripture, both publicly and in private. The stated goal of their studies was “to know God in Jesus Christ” and “to lead a godly, sober life.”12
And what is Yale like today in modern America? In March 2013, students at Yale University attended a four-day workshop called “Sex Weekend.” This event was led by a “sexologist,” who gave the students “sensitivity training” in “sexual diversity.” The students were taught to accept homosexuality, sadomasochism, bestiality (sex with animals), incest, and prostitution. Over half of Yale’s students said they had engaged in “consensual pain” (sadomasochism), and three percent said they had sex with an animal.13
With humanists using the schools to try to undermine Christianity, it is not surprising that many people who were raised in Christian families do not share the faith of their parents and grandparents. According to one study, the majority of today’s young adults were involved in church and other Christian activities as teenagers. However, when they grew older, most of them became “spiritually disengaged.” Among young adults who had a Christian background, only one out of five “maintained a level of spiritual activity consistent with their high school experiences.”
This study also showed that three out of four American teenagers have engaged in “psychic or witchcraft-related activity.” (This does not include reading horoscopes and exposure to occult media.) One out of ten participated in a seance, and one out of twelve tried to cast a spell or mix a magic potion. More than a third used a Ouija board, and more than a third read a book about Wicca (a religion based on witchcraft and goddess worship).14 Occultism is becoming mainstream.
Things have now gotten to the point that there is a movement to normalize pedophilia. Instead of wanting to protect children from sexual predators, some psychologists and academics want to protect the sexual rights of pedophiles, which they have rebranded as being “minor-attracted persons” who have a sexual orientation that should be respected.15
As a result of America’s moral and spiritual free fall, we now see blatant hostility towards Christianity. For example, in 2001, a man in my church was sent to prison. Some of us visited him and asked if we could give him a magazine. The prison officials told us we could do that, as long as it came directly from the publisher and the magazine was “appropriate.” I asked them what “appropriate” meant and was told that pornography and violent material were not allowed.
We subscribed to a Christian magazine to be sent to him directly by the publisher. The prison refused that magazine and sent it back. Evidently, somebody at that prison considered Christian writings to be “inappropriate.” They treated it the same way they treat pornography, by refusing to let him have it.
I talked about this with a friend from church whose son was in prison. She told me her son was not allowed to have a Bible. His prison was full of Muslim literature and Wiccan writings, but Bibles were not allowed.
Some persecution takes the form of pressuring people to do things contrary to their religious convictions. For example, a Catholic nurse was forced to assist in performing an abortion. If she refused, she would be fired. She complied, but regrets it and is now suing the hospital. This is part of a larger problem. The ACLU is trying to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.16
Sixty-three businesses have lawsuits about provisions in ObamaCare that would force them to go against their religious convictions. One attorney said:
The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living.17
Jack Phillips is a Christian baker from Denver, Colorado. He politely refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, saying he would be happy to bake things for them “for any other occasion.” There were demonstrations outside his shop, and he received so many death threats he called the police. Then the couple charged him with discrimination. The judge ruled that if he refuses to make wedding cakes for homosexual marriages, he will be fined, and he might be sent to prison. The baker said he would rather go to jail than violate his religious beliefs.18
Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin are Christians and the owners of Elane Photography. In 2006, they turned down a request to do wedding photos for a same-sex marriage. This case went all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court, which ruled against them. One of the judges said the Huegenins are “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.” Their attorney said:
If Elane Photographer does not have her rights of conscience protected, then basically nobody does. Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom.19
If such things can be done to bakers and photographers and florists, then what will happen to pastors and other religious clergy who refuse to marry homosexual couples? What will happen to freedom of religion?
Using the courts to try to force people to endorse homosexuality is done by militant homosexual activists. These radical activists want to force everybody else to actively support what they are doing.
In contrast, that baker had turned down requests for wedding cakes from a number of other homosexual couples who respected his right to see things differently than they do. They just quietly looked for another baker who would be happy to get their business.
When I was a freshman in college (1961-1962), I had a friend there named Jessica. She was bisexual. Back then, I had never heard that term before. I didn’t even know that such a thing existed before I became friends with her.
She was desperately looking for love and had become promiscuous. Men would use her and treat her like trash. When that became too painful, then Jessica would turn to women. But then she would get hurt by them and go back to men again. It was a cycle of pain, going back and forth between men and women and getting hurt by them all.
Jessica was a sweet, vulnerable girl, and her heart was broken by so many people. I wish I could have helped her back then, but I didn’t know how. If Jessica married a lesbian, she would never try to force a baker to make a wedding cake for her. She cared about other people, and respected them.
I’ve often thought about Jessica over the years and prayed for her. I hope she found the Lord.
During the 2014 U.S. government shutdown, the military chaplains were banned from performing any kind of services or ministry on military bases. They were not even allowed to minister as volunteers (which would not have cost the Pentagon a penny), and they were threatened with arrest if they did any ministry on base. Congressman Tim Huelskamp said:
Time and time again this Administration demonstrates it is waging a war against the very religious freedoms upon which America was founded.20
Obviously, this had nothing to do with saving money, because the chaplains offered to serve for free as volunteers. In addition, it costs money to arrest people and hold them in jail, and it is expensive to have lawyers prosecute them. So this was overt persecution of Christians. And it was done by our government to the men and women who risk life and limb in order to protect our nation and who also risk having post-traumatic stress, which is very difficult to live with.
The Pentagon has threatened to court martial soldiers who share their faith. This includes military chaplains.21
On March 21, 2014, the Family Research Council published a report titled A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military. It is 21 pages long and very thoroughly documented. You can get a free PDF file of it online.22
There have been some cases where American Christians have been murdered for their faith. On September 15, 1999, there was a rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. A gunman entered the church and methodically shot Christians who were attending the service and then shot himself. Seven people died and others were critically wounded. The gunman was shouting, cursing Christianity, and cursing the Christians for believing it. The FBI found anti-Christian writings in his home.23
However, in spite of this evidence, when CBS and CNN reported the shooting, they were “unable to assign any motive to the shooter.”24 Why? Because it is not politically correct to portray Christians as being persecuted. The mainstream media avoids such stories or else covers them in ways that omit or deny the element of persecution.
I found out about that twenty years ago when I learned that Christians in Sudan were being slaughtered by Muslims. I contacted every newspaper I knew to tell them about it. None of them responded, with one exception. One reporter told me, “I wish I could write about it.” So evidently he wanted to cover the story but was not allowed to.
On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado shot and killed twelve of their classmates and a teacher, and wounded 23 other people. They also killed themselves. They asked three Christian girls if they believed in God and killed them when they said “Yes.” The girls were Cassie Bernall, Rachel Scott, and Valeen Schnurr. Rachel had shared her Christian faith with the boys several weeks earlier. (Some classmates overheard the conversation.) The boys made a video in which they cursed Jesus Christ and cursed Christians. They singled Rachel Scott out for an insulting tirade, mocking her by name.25
I read about the shootings in the newspaper, but those reports didn’t mention the element of persecuting Christian students. It took me years to find out about that, and I got the information from a story on a Christian website about Rachel Scott’s father. I never heard anything about it from the mainstream media. Did you?
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light . . . But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest. (John 3:19-21)
(This is an excerpt from Maria Kneas’ book How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution)
1. G. Brock Chisholm, “The Re-Establishment of Peacetime Society” (Psychiatry, February 1946).
3. a. Arthur M. Jackson, “The Courts Define Humanism as a Religion.” This article was published in The Humanist Institute Quarterly, Winter 1987; also see: www.arthurmjackson.com/rootsf.html
4. “Secular Humanists Give Dunphy Another Platform” (Eagle Forum, www.eagleforum.org/educate/1995/nov95/dunphy.html, citing John Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist, January/February 1983).
5. Marriage and the Family, The British Humanist Association, 1969. Cited by Dr. Dennis L. Cuddy, The Globalists (Oklahoma City: Hearthstone Publishing, 2001), p. 124.
6. “Humanist Manifesto I” (This is the original Humanist Manifesto, written in 1933. Other versions have been written since then; http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I).
7. Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men (Toronto, ON: TFE Publishing, 1991, 3rd edition), p. 425.
8. Berit Kjos, Brave New Schools (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995, from chapter 3: “A New Way of Thinking; www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/3-NewThinking.htm).
9. Thomas Sowell, “Indoctrinating the Children” (Forbes, February 1, 1993), p. 65.
11. G. Richard Bozarth, “On Keeping God Alive” (American Atheist, November 1977).
12. Dan Graves, “Yale Founded to Fight Liberalism” (www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/yale-founded-to-fight-liberalism-11630185.html; also see: www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/yale-founded-to-fight-liberalism-11630185.html).
13. Heather Clark, “Yale Students Receive Bestiality, Incest Sensitivity Training During ‘Sex Weekend” (Christian News Network, March 10, 2013, http://christiannews.net/2013/03/10/yale-students-receive-bestiality-incest-sensitivity-training-during-sex-weekend; also see: Lee Moran, “What the Yale? Ivy League Students Admit to Bestiality, Desires about Incest, During ‘Sex Weekend’ Workshop” (New York Daily News, March 6, 2013, www.nydailynews.com/news/national/yale-students-admit-beatiality-sex-workshop-article-1.1280746).
14. “Most Twentysomethings Put Christianity on the Shelf Following Spiritually Active Teen Years” (September 11, 2006. www.barna.org/barna-update/article/16-teensnext-gen/147-most-twentysomethings-put-christianity-on-the-shelf-following-spiritually-active-teen-years); also see: “New Research Explores Teenage Views and Behavior Regarding the Supernatural” (January 23, 2006. www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/164-new-research-explores-teenage-views-and-behavior-regarding-the-supernatural).
15. “Pedophilia the Next ‘Sexual-Rights’ Revolution? Academica, psychologists expanding LGBT argument to ‘minor-attracted persons’” (January 2, 2014. www.wnd.com/2014/01/pedophilia-the-next-sexual-rights-revolution).
16. Jose Martinez, “Nurse Sues Hospital Over Forced Abortion Assist” (New York Daily News, April 20, 2010, www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nurse-sues-hospital-forced-abortion-assist-article-1.448478); also see: Robert Knight, “Can the ACLU Force Catholic Hospitals to Perform Abortions?” December 5, 2013, www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/5/knight-treating-the-mother-by-killing-the-baby);
17. Heather Clark, “Supreme Court Sets Date for Hobby Lobby’s Challenge to Obama’s HHS Mandate” (January 12, 2014, http://christiannews.net/2014/01/12/supreme-court-sets-date-to-hear-hobby-lobbys-challenge-to-obamacare-abortion-pill-mandate).
18. Bob Unruh, “State ‘Imposing’ Its ‘Gay’ Beliefs on Cake Artist,” January 7, 2014, www.wnd.com/2014/01/state-imposing-its-gay-beliefs-on-cake-artist); also see: Tony Perkins, “Judge to Colorado Baker: Bake Cakes For Gay ‘Weddings’ . . . Or Else” (December 10, 2013. www.lifesitenews.com/news/judge-to-colorado-baker-bake-a-cake-for-gay-weddings . . . or-else); also: “‘Tolerance’ Now Means Government-Coerced Celebration” (December 16, 2013, www.wnd.com/2013/12/tolerance-now-means-govt-coerced-celebration).
19. Todd Starnes, “NM Court Says Christian Photographers Must Compromise Beliefs’ (Fox News, August 22, 2013, http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/nm-court-says-christian-photographers-must-compromise-beliefs.html).
20. “Government Shutdown Results in Ban on Military Chaplains” (October 11, 2013, www.militarydefensefirm.com/Military-Criminal-Defense-Blog/2013/October/Government-Shutdown-Results-in-Ban-on-Military-C.aspx).
21. Ken Klukowski, “Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith” (Breitbart, May 1, 2013, www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/01/Breaking-Pentagon-Confirms-Will-Court-Martial-Soldiers-Who-Share-Christian-Faith).
22. “A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military” (Family Research Council, March 21, 2014, http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF14C52.pdf ).
23. Brent Baker, “Shooter’s Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted” (Media Research Center, www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1999/cyb19990917.asp).
24. “Fort Worth Shootings: Tragedy at an Unarmed Church” (http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue10/hate_crime.htm).
25. Brent Baker, “Shooter’s Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted, op. cit.; also see: “Do You Believe in God?” (WorldNetDaily, April 26, 1999, www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=14726; Christian teenagers were shot at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado after being asked if they believed in God, and answering “Yes”).
By Donna Bryson
DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up the case of a suburban Denver baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, letting stand a previous ruling that the Masterpiece Cakeshop owner must provide service despite his Christian beliefs.
Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who were refused service by baker Jack Phillips in 2012, applauded the development.
Craig said they persisted with the case throughout a complicated legal process because they felt it was important to set the precedent that discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation was not only wrong but illegal.
“We didn’t want anyone to have to go through what we did,” Craig said.
Attorney Nicolle Martin, who represents Phillips, said they had not yet decided whether to ask Colorado’s highest court to reconsider, or approach the U.S. Supreme Court. Martin says she is surprised the Colorado court would not consider the case. Click here to continue reading.
If our action in keeping men out of women’s bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it.— North Carolina Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest
By the Editors at Christian News Network
(Reuters) — PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) on Tuesday canceled plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina and invest $3.6 million in the area after the state passed a controversial law targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens.
The law, which overturned a Charlotte city ordinance, was widely interpreted as an attack on LGBT rights. State lawmakers also voted to prohibit local governments from enacting anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Click here to continue reading.
“[The homosexual agenda] uses anti-discrimination laws as a bully club when dissenting Americans disagree with men trying to marry men, women marrying women, men changing to women, and women changing to men,” the site reads. “It basically says that God is confused by marriage, family and sexuality and that we need to correct His mistakes.”—TimberCreek website
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The owners of a bed and breakfast in Illinois have been ordered to pay $80,000 after they declined to host a civil union ceremony for two homosexual men on the premises, and have been mandated to facilitate a celebration for the men at their facility within one year.
TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast in Paxton, Illinois is “an upscale Christian country bed and breakfast,” according to its website, and is situated in the midst of a small farming community. Owners Jim and Beth Walder also host church retreats, baby and bridal showers, business meetings and other events at the facility.
In 2011, Todd Wathen contacted TimberCreek via email to inquire if the bed and breakfast would be hosting civil union ceremonies after Illinois approved the unions that year via the “Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.” Jim Walder replied that the facility had no such plans, and advised Wathen that “homosexuality is immoral and unnatural,” and that “it’s not too late to change your behavior.”
Three days later, Wathen filed a discrimination complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLU) also soon became involved and sought emotional damages for Wathen and his partner, Mark. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails is a research and news ministry, and therefore we post clips of news stories from various Christian and secular news sources. Unlike articles we post by our 30+ authors who are all committed discerning believers, the news stories come from a wide scope of sources, and we post these stories for research and informational purposes.
By Bob Unruh