Kristen Walker Hatten

What burning Korans, birth control, and blind lawyers have in common

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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March 2, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - Here are three things that are totally happening. Don’t worry about what they have to do with each other. I’ll get to that. Just bask in the crappiness of these three things:

1. Last month on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, four Korans were accidentally included in a heap of trash that was dumped into a burn pit.

The materials had been taken from a library at Parwan Detention Facility, which adjoins the base, because they contained extremist messages or inscriptions. Writing inside a Koran is forbidden in the Islamic faith, although it was unclear whether the handwritten messages were found in the holy book or other reading materials.

Some Afghans saw the Korans burning, and some of them even burned their fingers trying to remove them. Cue pandemonium! Since then Obama has apologized to President Hamid Karzai and the nation of Afghanistan — twice. He has apologized super hard. Protesting Afghans apparently don’t care.

“We don’t care about Obama’s apology,” said Kamaluddin, a 25-year-old Kabul protester who uses only one name. “We have to protest to be responsible to our god. They are burning our Koran. An apology is not enough.” (source: Time)

This of course begs the question: what is enough?

I have a wild guess! Could it be… Death to America?

Despite Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s appeal for calm, thousands of protesters, some shouting “Long live Islam!” and “Death to America!” rallied Thursday in the capital and in seven of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. At least five protesters were killed…

The deadliest protest was held outside an American base in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province. Two protesters were killed by Afghan police there and an Afghan soldier turned his gun on U.S. troops, killing two Americans. Elsewhere, a Norwegian soldier was wounded by a hand grenade hurled into a coalition compound. (source: Time)

2. In other news, in case you hadn’t heard, Obamacare is going to require many religious employers — such as Catholic schools and hospitals — to provide insurance to employees that will allow them free contraception and sterilization services, not to mention abortion drugs. (Click right here on this link for more information on this.)

3. In other other news, that guy I’ve written about in China — the one Christian Bale tried to go visit – is sick as all get-out. Chen Guangcheng is a blind human rights lawyer who was arrested, imprisoned, and tortured for years — without trial — for representing women who had been forcibly sterilized as a result of China’s one-child policy. Most recently, he has been confined to house arrest with his wife, mother, and daughter, denied visiting his cancer-stricken brother or attending his funeral in January, and denied medical care. Recent reports suggest he and his family are ailing badly and possibly going without proper nutrition.

There is nothing anyone can do. As Bruce Wayne found out, if you try to visit Guangcheng, you get beaten up by thugs who try to take away your camera.

Here’s the deal: some soldiers accidentally burn a Koran in Afghanistan and approximately ten people are dead, according to Afghan officials (at the time of this writing).

In the United States, a major blow to religious liberty is struck — a law will literally force Catholics to pay for other people’s contraception, abortion, and sterilization — and how many violent riots have there been? Zero.

Let’s recap!

Afghanistan– Korans burned. Religious liberty legally attacked by this action? No. Death toll: About ten. Violent rioting? Why, yes! Obama apology count: Two!

United States — Obamacare denies religious conscience rights. Religious liberty legally attacked by this action? Yes! Death toll: Zero. Violent rioting? Nope! Obama apology count: Zero!

(By the way, in case you were wondering if the Afghans have apologized for killing people, that answer is no.)

Have you ever heard that saying “the squeaky wheel gets the grease?” It’s unfortunately true, and the rationale behind a lot of bad behavior. Does the Obama administration want us to riot in the streets and shoot at people? Then will he apologize to us?

But, see, that’s not gonna happen because Christianity is the most tolerant religion in the history of the world. The founder of Christianity was tolerant unto His own death. Christians of the Roman Empire were tolerant up to and including becoming lion poop. We tolerate a hostile media, a hostile government, and hostile people of other religions who want us all to die and go to Muslim Hell, where we will be forced to, I don’t know, eat bacon and watch Larry David programs. On the rare occasion we get intolerant — Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, some other stuff that happened centuries ago — the stories get blown out of proportion, factually distorted, and thrown at us for hundreds of years as “proof” that we are big mean meanies who want everybody to be Christians or die, even after Popes issue official apologies.When people burn Bibles, we pray for them. At worst, we yell and call them names. When was the last time you heard of Christians rioting and shooting people because some Bibles were burned? Go ahead and try to remember. I’ll wait.

Look, it doesn’t matter if you are a Christian. Look at Guangcheng. I don’t know if he’s a Christian or not, and I don’t care. He lives in a country where he has no rights. No one does. That is where we end up if we stay on this path.

You have probably heard this famous saying of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s before. He survived seven years in a Nazi concentration camp.

First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

The point isn’t religion. It’s freedom. Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you are pro-life or not, you need to be very concerned about this Obamacare mandate.

Not a Christian? You still need to be very concerned that we have a president who cares more about the rights of murderous thugs in another country than his own people.

Pro-choice? You still need to think about Guangcheng, and contemplate what it will be like to live in a country where opposing abortion is a crime.

Reprinted with permission from LiveAction’s blog.

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Lisa Bourne

Parents say they’re now calling four-year-old son a girl

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

OAKLAND, CA, July 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- An Oakland, California, couple is giving their four-year old son the green light to identify as a girl.

Jack Carter Christian, the son of Mary Carter and James Christian, will now be known as “Jackie” and be allowed to dress and act as a little girl.

The family acknowledged they were already letting the boy wear his older sister’s dresses on a regular basis and also that he liked to wear pink boots. James Christian said he thought for a long time that it was a phase his son would get over.

Carter detailed in an NPR interview the conversation with her son that led to the decision to allow him to live as a girl.

“Jackie just looked really, really sad; sadder than a 3-and-a-half-year-old should look,” Carter said. “This weight that looked like it weighed more than she did, something she had to say and I didn’t know what that was.”

“So I asked. I said, ‘Jackie, are you sad that you’re not going to school today?’ And Jackie was really quiet and put her head down and said ‘No, I’m sad because I’m a boy.’”

Carter continued speaking about the details of the day she encouraged her son to act upon the emotion he’d expressed.

 “You’re really not happy being a boy?” Carter queried her son.

“I thought a little bit longer and I said, ‘Well, are you happy being you?’” said Carter. “And that made Jackie smile. And I felt like for that moment that was all that really mattered. That was ‘The Day. ”

It was then that Carter proceeded to a Walgreen’s drug store and purchase elastic hair bands picked out by her son to pull his hair into little ponytails, something that offered apparent satisfaction for mother and son.

“There she was, in these cast-off Little Mermaid pajamas and five pony tails that are sticking out of her head kind, of like twigs, and this smile on her face and I’ve never seen such a happy child,” Carter stated. “To go from maybe an hour before this, this child who looks so sad, to that- pure joy, just pure joy, right there.”

Carter and Christian are one of a number of couples turning up in media stories saying that their young children will no longer live life as their biological gender. The confusion they describe is a disorder classified by the American Psychological Association as gender dysphoria.

San Diego parents Jeff and Hillary Whittington appeared in late May with their six-year old daughter Ryland, who is identifying as a boy, at the 6th annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. Milk, the first openly homosexual candidate elected to office in San Francisco as City Commissioner, was also notorious for preying sexually upon underage, drug-addicted, runaway boys, and was murdered by a political rival in 1978.

Massachusetts couple Mimi and Joe Lemay have also decided to allow their five-year-old daughter Mia, now going by Jacob, to live as a transgender child, turning to NBC News with the specifics.

They said an April DailyMail.com report that it was “his” choice to become transgender, and also that they shared their story hoping to prove there is no such thing as “being too young” to identify as transgender.

“I realized he had never really been Mia,” Mimi Whittington said. “That had been a figment of my imagination.”

Author and public speaker Walt Heyer, who underwent sex reassignment surgery to become a woman and then later returned to living as a man, told the Daily Caller children cannot be born as one gender and identify as another by accident. He now performs outreach to those experiencing gender confusion.

“There’s a lot of questions here. Kids are not born transgender,” Heyer said. “Childhood developmental disorder that comes out of some event or series of events or abuse or neglect or trauma or overbearing mother or father or someone or a lot of times its sexual abuse.”

Heyer said the experience of having parents or caretakers entertain the idea of gender confusion is at issue and this is what happened to him.

“My grandmother kept cross-dressing me and loving on me as a girl and not as the boy God made,” he said.

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Lisa Bourne

Utah man faked anti-gay ‘hate crimes’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A Utah man who faked a series of anti-gay “hate crimes” may face charges after his actions were debunked by rural authorities.

Rick Jones said someone beat him, leaving facial and head bruising, and carved a homosexual slur in his arm, part of a series of staged attacks that spanned from April to June.

Jones, 21, told a local TV news station in June he believed he was being targeted because he was homosexual.

Jones is also implicated in spray-painting a slur on his family’s home, throwing a rock and a Molotov cocktail through his home’s window, spray-painting the family pizza business, and also breaking in and stealing $1,000 from the business.

The Millard County Sheriff’s office found discrepancies with evidence in the case and Jones ultimately admitted to perpetrating the harassment himself.

Jones could face charges of filing a false report and reckless burning.

His lawyer said the incidents were a cry for help geared toward the people close to Jones, and that Jones didn’t realize how much attention they would get.

Attorney Brett Tolman said that Jones has since begun treatment for mental health.

Tolman said his client did not have any criminal intent and praised the community’s response to the fake accusations, saying that the outpouring of support after the hate crime claims became public still was a good message.

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox was one who had publicly declared his support after the false accusations surfaced. Cox said Tuesday he’s relieved the allegations weren’t true, and expressed concern for Jones and his family.

Tolman also used the faked crimes as evidence that gays face discrimination.

“I think it’s such good evidence of the difficulties members of the gay community deal with,” said Tolman, “and some make better choices than others.”

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U.S. senator: Individuals don’t have religious freedom, just churches

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment applies only to churches, not to individuals, a U.S. senator said on national television recently.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI – the nation's first openly lesbian elected to the U.S. Senate – addressed the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision on June 27 on MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki.

"Should the bakery have to bake the cake for the gay couple getting married?” the host asked. “Where do you come down on that?"

Baldwin responded that the First Amendment gave Americans no right to exercise religion outside the sanctuary of their church, synagogue, or mosque.

“Certainly the First Amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that,” she said.

Sen. Baldwin then likened the issue to the Obama administration's contentious HHS mandate, requiring employers to furnish contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs to female employees with no co-pay.

“We’ve certainly seen the set of arguments play out in issues such as access to contraception,” Baldwin said. “Should it be the individual pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled, or in this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country.”

“I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts, and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.”

That view contrasts with a broad and deep body of law saying that individuals have the right to exercise their religion freely under the First Amendment, not merely to hold or teach their beliefs.

“At the Founding, as today, 'exercise' connoted action, not just internal belief,” wrote Thomas C. Berg, the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

That body of cases shows the First Amendment is an individual, not merely a corporate, right.

Further, the extent – and the constitutionality – of the HHS mandate is far from settled.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has won 28 injunctions against the ObamaCare regulation and lost six.

The most significant statement to date has been the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision last June, when the justices ruled 5-4 that closely held corporations do, indeed, exercise conscience protections under the terms of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"We reject HHS's arguments that the owners of the companies forfeited all RFRA protection when they decided to organize their businesses as corporations rather than sole proprietorships or general partnerships," they added. "The plain terms of RFRA make it perfectly clear that Congress did not discriminate in this way against men and women who wish to run their business as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs."

However, the justices did not invoke the First Amendment's guarantee to freedom of religion – the “first freedom” that many say has been increasingly constricted under the Obama administration. The president rhetorically has spoken only of the “freedom of worship,” while conservatives say the “free exercise” clause grants Americans the right to practice their religion inside or outside church, in any relevant aspect of their lives, subject only to the most extreme provisions.

The RFRA holds that the government may not substantially burden any religious belief without having a compelling governmental interest.

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