Will Pro-Marriage Church Schools Lose Tax Exemptions?

As the nation awaits the US Supreme Court’s decision on the marriage challenge, due any day now, Justice Alito asked the Obama Administration’s Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli his opinion: Will church-owned colleges and universities lose their tax-exempt status for their religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman?

Verrilli responded: “I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is going to be an issue.”

Watch how the Southern Baptists responded:

The Southern Baptists have staked their ground, and they have chosen civil disobedience, vowing a “showdown” at the Supreme Court. They will not cave in, they say, as so many other religions have.

They call it a “Bonhoeffer moment” for religious leaders. Ronnie Floyd, new Southern Baptist Convention leader quoted the German religious hero, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Blessings to these courageous religious leaders. History does repeat itself. If you have been watching the brilliant A.D. TV series, you will notice the similarities of our times to the Meridian times, post-Christ, when the disciples also had to make a choice: would they allow Rome and the Sanhedrin to silence them, or would they stand for truth at all costs? They pledged the later, and they became martyrs.

If church and synagogue leaders aren’t willing to defend religious liberty at all costs, then who will? If the Supreme Court rules against those religious tenets and if tax exemptions are hanging in the balance, what real option is there, unless we wish to become slaves to an atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, and dare I say, a fascist state?

Ronald Reagan also reminded us, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Sunset is on its way. Where do you stand?

We have fought in two circuit courts and at the US Supreme Court with amicus briefs funded by the American Leadership Fund. It has been costly. We need to raise another $6,000 to cover legal expenses – win or lose. We have taken a stand and we will not compromise the need for every child to have both a mother and a father.

Please consider a generous donation today of $25, $35, $50, $100, $250, $500 or more.  Text “ALF” to 313131 or donate online.

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34,000 congregations split from Presbyterian Church and Russell Moore Explains Indiana’s Religious Liberty Law

There’s a lot of confusion about Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence’s signing of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act recently. LGBT activists are up in arms. Left-leaning Fortune 100 corporations are threatening to leave the state or boycott it, claiming a return to Jim Crow laws.

Then comes Russell Moore, the Alabama Supreme Court Justice that thumbed his nose at the circuit court when it told him the state had to legalize gay marriage. His response was a simple just say “No.”

Now Moore’s blog post clarifies exactly what the RFRA does and does not do. This is one judge that understands his role and Constitutional law. It’s short and worth reading and helps cut through all the hyperbole and lies of the Left.

Here’s the text of the Indiana law. Short and simple. Every state should have one.

Question: Should the religious baker or florist – or the Urologist (which my deceased father was), who is asked to be on the team of a transgender surgery, or the Pro-Life doctor be protected from providing services that violate that individual’s religious doctrines and beliefs? Or does one’s religious belief that holds to biblical definitions of homosexuality and gay marriage constitute racism and bigotry?

Utah, one of the most religious and conservative states in the union has left that an open-ended question and due to the legislature’s passage of a very weak bill that only protects religious institutions and government officials, We the People are left vulnerable to persecution in the form of lawsuits, fines and penalties. Shame on them. Utah is an embarrassment to the rest of the nation for taking a “live and let live” approach to what many of its citizens consider to be a sin, and definitely a sin against innocent children being harmed.

It is time every state awakened to the awful state they are in and act to protect vulnerable children who are and will continue to be harmed.

Blessings to this brave woman who is speaking out in this heart-wrenching post about the selfish motives of the LGBT movement and her experience growing up in a lesbian home.

34,000 Black Congregations Break from Presbyterian Church USA

While this debate for religious liberty in Indiana takes front and center nationally, very little is being said about the 34,000 African-American congregations affiliated with the Presbyterian Church which represent 15 denominations comprising 15.5 million African-Americans that have just split because they oppose the church’s decision to incorporate gay marriage into its canon of doctrine. (Folks, that’s about the size of the ENTIRE Mormon Church worldwide!) Here is the article that provides the details.

I’d like to take this opportunity to applaud both Justice Russell Moore and the African-American pastors and community for taking a bold stance for truth and righteousness’ sake.

If only more religious faiths would join them.

So while the cultural wars continue, we are working hard to bring you the red glaring truth that is being buried in mainstream media. We aired our final radio program on AM 1430 KLO last Saturday with thanks to that station and in anticipation of moving to another station, which we will be announcing soon.

We need your help today in the final hours of this reporting period, which ends March 31, 2015 at midnight. Any amount is so appreciated. $25, $50, $100 or more…

To donate, simply text “ALF” to the number 313131 or click on the donate button above or send in your contribution to:

American Leadership Fund
999 Murray Holladay Road, Suite 202
Salt Lake City, UT 84117

Protect Religious Liberty with a Balanced Solution

Support HB 322
Religious Liberty Act

The LGBT nondiscrimination bills SB 296 and SB 297 both passed and are on the way to the Utah governor’s office for signing into law. Neither of these bills has religious liberty protections for individuals. SB 297 protects government employees and their families only.

HB 322 is the only bill that addresses individual religious liberty and MUST pass if we are to have a BALANCED solution.

The Washington Post has described HB 396 as

Today is the last day of the Utah legislative session. We must act NOW!

ACTION

1. Contact by phone and email members of the Utah State Senate.
2. Type the following in the subject line of your email:
VOTE YES – HB 322 – Religious Liberty Act – L. Christensen-Jackson
3. Suggested comments: HB 322 is a balanced approach and the only bill that protects individual religious liberty and freedom of conscience for ALL.

Here are some national leaders that support this legislation and what they have to say:

Reverend Bill and Dr. Deborah Owens
President, National Coalition of African-American Pastors

It is offensive that comparisons to African-American civil rights have been made in the Utah debate. Our ancestors were slaves. They had no property rights, no voting rights, no citizenship rights. The African-American community of pastors who minister to millions are a strong, religious, God-fearing people. Not only should religious institutions and affiliates be given protections, but our individual adherents must also be protected. This bill achieves that balance.

Paul McHugh, MD
Former Chief of Psychiatry, Distinguished Service Professor, Johns Hopkins University Hospital – Baltimore, MD

…policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered …. advocates for the transgendered have persuaded several states—including California, New Jersey and Massachusetts—to pass laws barring psychiatrists, even with parental permission, from striving to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor. That government can intrude into parents’ rights to seek help in guiding their children indicates how powerful these advocates have become.

We at Johns Hopkins University—which in the 1960s was the first American medical center to venture into “sex-reassignment surgery”—launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as “satisfied” by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery. And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a “satisfied” but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.

–”Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution,” Wall Street Journal – 6/12/2014

This bill respects the integrity of medical science and individual religious liberty. – Dr. McHugh

Paul Church, MD
Urologist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard) – Boston, MA

As a specialist in male sexual dysfunction on staff at one of the nation’s most highly respected medical institutions, where I am presently under review for my religious beliefs, I support this legislation because it protects individual religious liberty and conscience to practice medical science against emotional rhetoric. SB 396 and SB 397 do not.

David Pickup
Ex-gay, therapist, plaintiff in SCOTUS case defending SOCE therapy, outlawed in CA and NJ – Los Angeles, CA and Dallas, TX

In California it is now against the law for parents to take their minor children who are confused about their sex or struggling with homosexuality to a counselor for help. We are in the Courts fighting for our First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and assembly. This bill will provide fairness to and protection of our profession and our individual religious liberty and freedom of individual conscience.

Janet Boynes
President, Janet Boynes Ministries, Minneapolis, MN

As a former lesbian, I am now a Christian minister to those who want to leave the homosexual lifestyle, I support HB 322 as a protection to individual religious beliefs for those of us who are called to minister to those who are suffering and for those who seek faith-based help.

Brian Camenker
President, Mass Resistance – Boston, MA

After listening to two Utah hearings online, I was surprised to learn that in Utah Republicans are using the same rhetoric that Democrats use in Massachusetts. If religious institutions must carve out such dramatic exemptions for themselves in SB 396, and because SB 397 is limited only to government employees, then HB 322 is absolutely necessary for individuals and members of those religious faiths left unprotected in SB 396 and SB 397.

Frank Mylar

Attorney, Alliance Defending Freedom

Hobby Lobby – Conestego Wood, Amicus Curiae, US Supreme Court

Utah has passed two bills, SB 396 and 397, which do not protect individual religious liberties and conscience. As an attorney that has successfully defended some of this nation’s landmark religious liberty cases, including Alliance Defending Freedom’s amicus brief in the Hobby Lobby case which it won, it is imperative that HB 322 provide a much-needed balance to offset the flaws and limitations of the other two bills.

 

Utah Red Alert: Update – Pro-LGBT Bill on Fast Track

White background - longHB 322 – Religious Liberty and Nondiscrimination Protection – L Christensen.

Please support this bill as opposed to SB 296 – Antidiscrimination and Religious Liberty Amendments – Urquhart

HB 322 protects individual religious liberty, SB 296 does NOT!

SB 296 is  mis-named.  It is NOT a religious liberty bill because it does not protect people of faith, only institutions and it leaves some huge gaps in protections for doctors, therapists and businesses in general such as Hobby Lobby and Chick Fila that have religiously held beliefs among its ownership, for example.  It is fast-tracked for a vote TODAY, Friday, March 6, 2015 at 3 PM TIME CERTAIN.

ACTION
Please contact ALL Senators immediately. Ask them to VOTE NO on SB 296: Antidiscrimination and Religous Liberty Amendments (Urquhart-Adams).

Click here to contact your Senator.

Talking Points
This bill has several flaws:

1. We need more time to review and inform voters and others who will be affected negatively by this legislation.

For a bill that demands “fairness,” what kind of fairness is there in a thirty-five page bill that dramatically changes the definition of sex to “gender identity” – the first time ever in Utah history – and that has been given less than 24 hours to to review?

In less than 24 hours, we have not had time to bring in expert witnesses from Johns Hopkins University, Harvard and Los Angeles – all who were willing to be there to testify.

We have barely had time to get the information to those reading this blog post in time to respond for the scheduled 8 AM hearing.

This is not what we expect from our Utah legislators. This is what happens only in Washington DC, right? Wrong. It’s happening now, right here in UTAH!

2. This bill protects institutions, associations and affiliates, but it leaves you and me – the individual religious adherent vulnerable and “under the bus.”

This is unacceptable. Another bill in the House, HB 322, sponsored by Representative LaVar Christensen and by your colleague Senator Al Jackson in the Senate, has the proper balance and DOES protect individuals. We cannot pass SB 296 without removing this flaw, but the sponsors have told us it is NOT AMENDABLE!

The easier and more logical solution is to support HB 322 – Religious Liberty and Nondiscrimination Protections when it comes to the Senate.

3.Lines 105-109, page 4: SB 296 uses the DSM-5 definition of “gender identity.” This is the very organization that is trying to shut down therapists and counselors and doctors around the country who desire to help their clients based on their religious beliefs, and we should trust that source to protect our First Amendment liberties?

Even at BYU, the APA accredits the psychology department. The chairman told me that they cannot teach the students any form of therapy that would involve religious teachings if the program is to stay accredited.

In California, it is now against the law for parents to take their minor children who are confused about their sex or struggling with homosexuality to a counselor for help. These therapists are now in the Courts fighting for their First Amendment rights. I serve on their national task force and am following this disturbing trend closely.

Where is the fairness or protection to them in this bill?

In addition, putting this DSM definition into this bill removes not only fairness from the medical field, it ignores the integrity of medical science and ignores the conflict that exists between medical doctors and the DSM.

Solid medical science has proven DNA, which defines whether a person is a male or a female. While surgery can alter physical body parts, it cannot alter DNA. A person is born either male or female.

Yet Utah legislators are about to consider a proposal that undermines the integrity of medical science without hearing from respected doctors who disagree with that definition and who have longitudinal studies they have not been given time to present.

Putting this language into Utah law will leave the therapist or doctor on staff at a hospital unprotected and at risk of discrimination should they are forced to provide services they do not believe in religiously or ethically, as is already happening in California under similar laws.

4. Lines 681-685, P. 23: This bill appears to require employers to provide bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities specifically for the transgendered. Yet the bill has no fiscal note attached. We have no idea what the cost to taxpayers or employers will be, let alone how companies may have to increase their prices to the consumer to accommodate yet another building regulation. There has been no time to get this information to businesses that may be adversely affected.

The REAL Story Behind Why Utah Would Support an LGBT Bill and What Happened in the Senate Hearing

(Hint: Stop Funding Liberal Corporations and Start Buying Products and Services from Companies that share our values!)

Read on:

Our friend, Brian Camenker of www.massresistance.com, from Massachusetts listened to the entire SB 296 Senate hearing online.  He asked me if the sponsors were Democrats.  I said, “No – they are REPUBLICANS!”  He was stunned because the sponsors were giving a completely liberal message and brought in very liberal experts to testify – just as the Democrats of Massachusetts do!

Those of us who oppose this legislation waited our turn to speak patiently.  The committee chair, Curt Bramble, allowed a 60-minute filibuster for proponents to speak.  That left us only one minute and with such short notice – NO experts available to testify.

Expert witnesses from the pro-LGBT side were lined up representing pro-gay corporations eBay and Adobe both touting how important this bill is for their companies and that in order for them to stay in Utah this was a necessary step.  The Adobe representative shared that before it came to Utah, its leadership told Utah marketers that this issue would need to be resolved.

Apparently Governor Herbert, who has spent an inordinate amount of time in Silicon Valley California to market Utah as the “next Silicon Valley” to companies who find California an unfriendly place economically for business is luring them to Utah and has assured them that Utah would become an LGBT-friendly state.

Another witness from Illinois testified for a long time and has apparently been very involved in crafting Utah’s bill and promoted it as “the national model” they are going to take state by state.

When I saw the Adobe building going up at the “Point of the Mountain” in Utah County, I predicted that it would change the face of the conservative cultural environment.  We are now seeing this happen.  Pay attention, Utahns.

This is all about money and profit.  As Christians we are told that where our treasure is, there shall our heart be also.  Do we so easily sell our values for money?  Apparently so in Utah.

That is why American Leadership Fund is joining with companies that stand strong on principle and religious values and that show great American Leadership.  We urge you to support these products and services and to help us develop a coalition of consumers that will keep our country under God.

They are:

EOS Mobile

Medical Cost Sharing

Please mention American Leadership Fund when you call.

We appreciate donations of any amount – you can text ALF to 313131 or click on the donate tab on this site.

 

Why the New “Gender Identity” Bill Must Be Stopped

As you know, the Utah Legislature is now nearing the end of the session – one week to go.

A brand new GENDER IDENTITY bill came out Wednesday, March 4, 2015 that redefines SEX and does NOT protect individual religious liberty – SB 296 (Urquhart-Adams) VOTE NO!

This bill is fast-tracked for a hearing as the first item on the agenda at 8 AM Thursday, March 5, 2015.

ACTION
Please contact ALL Senators immediately. Ask them to VOTE NO on SB 296: Antidiscrimination and Religous Liberty Amendments (Urquhart-Adams).

Talking Points
This bill has several flaws:

1. We need more time to review and inform voters and others who will be affected negatively by this legislation.

For a bill that demands “fairness,” what kind of fairness is there in a thirty-five page bill that dramatically changes the definition of sex to “gender identity” – the first time ever in Utah history – and that has been given less than 24 hours to to review?

In less than 24 hours, we have not had time to bring in expert witnesses from Johns Hopkins University, Harvard and Los Angeles – all who were willing to be there to testify.

We have barely had time to get the information to those reading this blog post in time to respond for the scheduled 8 AM hearing.

This is not what we expect from our Utah legislators. This is what happens only in Washington DC, right? Wrong. It’s happening now, right here in UTAH!

2. This bill protects institutions, associations and affiliates, but it leaves you and me – the individual religious adherent vulnerable and “under the bus.”

This is unacceptable. Another bill in the House, HB 322, sponsored by Representative LaVar Christensen and by your colleague Senator Al Jackson in the Senate, has the proper balance and DOES protect individuals. We cannot pass SB 296 without removing this flaw.

The easier and more logical solution is to support HB 322 – Religious Liberty and Nondiscrimination Protections when it comes to the Senate.

3.Lines 105-109, page 4: SB 296 uses the DSM-5 definition of “gender identity.” This is the very organization that is trying to shut down therapists and counselors and doctors around the country who desire to help their clients based on their religious beliefs, and we should trust that source to protect our First Amendment liberties?

Even at BYU, the APA accredits the psychology department. The chairman told me that they cannot teach the students any form of therapy that would involve religious teachings if the program is to stay accredited.

In California, it is now against the law for parents to take their minor children who are confused about their sex or struggling with homosexuality to a counselor for help. These therapists are now in the Courts fighting for their First Amendment rights. I serve on their national task force and am following this disturbing trend closely.

Where is the fairness or protection to them in this bill?

In addition, putting this DSM definition into this bill removes not only fairness from the medical field, it ignores the integrity of medical science and ignores the conflict that exists between medical doctors and the DSM.

Solid medical science has proven DNA, which defines whether a person is a male or a female. While surgery can alter physical body parts, it cannot alter DNA. A person is born either male or female.

Yet Utah legislators are about to consider a proposal that undermines the integrity of medical science without hearing from respected doctors who disagree with that definition and who have longitudinal studies they have not been given time to present.

Putting this language into Utah law will leave the therapist or doctor on staff at a hospital unprotected and at risk of discrimination should they are forced to provide services they do not believe in religiously or ethically, as is already happening in California under similar laws.

4. Lines 681-685, P. 23: This bill appears to require employers to provide bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities specifically for the transgendered. Yet the bill has no fiscal note attached. We have no idea what the cost to taxpayers or employers will be, let alone how companies may have to increase their prices to the consumer to accommodate yet another building regulation. There has been no time to get this information to businesses that may be adversely affected.

For this reason alone, we ask for committee members – at the very least – to send SB 296 back to the Rules Committee for analysis.