Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
WorldNetDaily: Arts & Entertainment Network, a little more than a week after announcing it was putting Duck Commander Phil Robertson of the immensely popular “Duck Dynasty” television show on hiatus over some comments he made, is backing down.
Mona Charen at National Review: Most women don’t want what the worst men have always wanted — sex with no strings attached. Women are all about strings. They want intimacy, tenderness, and commitment — all of which have been placed further out of reach by feminism’s conquest of the culture.
Daily Caller: The suspension of Phil Robertson from A&E’s Duck Dynasty is outrageous in a nation that values freedom, according to social critic and openly gay, dissident feminist Camille Paglia. “I speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the ‘Stonewall rebellion,’ when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech,” Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Thursday.
Choose between your faith and your livelihood: Elane Photography | Jeremy Tedesco on the Schilling Show
Suspension of ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson a Threat to Free Marketplace of Ideas? | Christian Post
Christian Post: The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) condemned the suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson by A&E Network as a threat to the free marketplace of ideas. “This move is more evidence of the one-sided censorship of the cultural and political elites outraged by such a basic teaching,” Doug Napier, ADF’s senior vice president of Legal, said in an official statement. He attacked the suspension as a violation of America’s culture of free speech . . . “Alliance Defending Freedom exists to preserve and protect free speech and to stand against these types of meritless attacks upon freedom,” Napier proclaimed.
Baptist Standard: Southern Baptist leaders Russell Moore and Al Mohler, as well as advocacy groups such as Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council, also came to Robertson’s defense, saying he should not be suspended for voicing his views.
TheNewsStar.com (Gannett): And the Alliance Defending Freedom, which describes itself as a non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith, weighed in on Robertson’s side. “America’s long tradition of free and open discussion about important cultural issues is the cornerstone of a healthy society,” said Doug Napier, senior vice president of legal. “This move is more evidence of the one-sided censorship of the cultural and political elites outraged by such a basic teaching.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is pulling its financial support for the Boy Scouts of America over the youth organization’s continued ban on gay adults serving as troop leaders, the Associated Press reports.
Austin R. Nimocks at Alliance Defending Freedom: One would think that First Amendment beneficiaries, like A&E, would jealously guard free speech rights, especially those belonging to its own stars. But as with advocates of homosexual behavior, their idea of “tolerance” is apparently best characterized as a one-way street.
Christian Science Monitor: A new report says sectarianism remains a problem in Scotland, where hostility between Catholics and Protestants often plays out at soccer matches and in public services.
One News Now: Americans who knew him are mourning the loss of the pastor they called “Hutch.” Ken Hutcherson was born in Anniston, Alabama in the 1950′s, where he had to fight for equality because of the condition of the nation at the time.
True Revolt: In an interview in April 2013, Phil Robertson told Sports Spectrum TV that A&E Network had attempted to cut mention of “Jesus” from the “Duck Dynasty” family prayer at the end of the show, but that he had fought them and won. “So they would just have me saying, ‘Thank you Lord for the food, thank you for loving us. Amen,” Robertson related. “So I said, ‘Why would you cut out ‘In Jesus’ name?’ They said, ‘Well those editors are probably doing that. They just think that they don’t want to offend some of the Muslims or something.”
America’s long tradition of free and open discussion about important cultural issues is the cornerstone of a healthy society. This move is more evidence of the one-sided censorship of the cultural and political elites outraged by such a basic teaching.
“85% Americans Support Christian Photographer Who Refused Gay Wedding Assignment As Case Moves On” | Global Dispatch
The Global Dispatch: After the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling against the photographer Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a petition detailing their First Amendment stance . . . A July Rasmussen poll found that 85 percent of Americans believe a Christian photographer has the right to say no if asked to take pictures at a same-sex ceremony that conflicts with the photographer’s religious beliefs. The editorial boards of both The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Times have recently agreed.
Charisma News: “The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak or not speak on any issue without fear of government retaliation,” says ADF senior counsel Jordan Lorence. “All Americans should oppose unjust laws that force citizens—under threat of punishment—to express ideas against their will. As those who filed supportive briefs in this case understand, a government that forces any American to create a message contrary to her own convictions is a government every American should fear.”
The Guardian: The definition of family has changed in recent years, now co-parenting is rewriting it completely. These mothers and fathers have relationships based on legal agreements and counselling rather than dates, romance and sex. But they all have one thing in common: the desire to have a child
Ultimately There Will Be No Option for Silence or the Sidelines. You Will Be Made To Care. | Red State
Erick Erickson at Red State: I have told you people again and again. You will be made to care. Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then it seeks to silence good. Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan, honestly answered questions during an GQ interview.
Rod Dreher at the American Conservative: Such is tolerance today among our media and entertainment elite. What is wrong with saying, “Phil, that was an idiotic thing to say. Shame on you” — and moving on? I hope the Robertsons tell A&E to go to hell. I expect that they will.
The Hill: The Gallup survey released on Wednesday showed that 72 percent of people say that “big government” is a bigger threat to the country than “big labor” or “big business.”
Hollywood Reporter: The news comes after the reality star compared being gay to bestiality, drawing ire from LGBT groups including GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign.
Baptist Press: Maryland/Delaware Baptists approved new content to their constitution and bylaws regarding the convention’s stance on biblical marriage and the use of convention property for marriage ceremonies during their 178th annual meeting.
National Review: I do not think that every woman who feels she has done the right thing is in denial, but I do think that a woman is not designed to take her child to die, and, in time, in silence, as circumstances change, there will be a remembrance and regret. This I believe is good thing. It’s redeeming grief.
CBS: “It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” Robertson stated. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” Robertson described in the interview how sin is becoming acceptable in America and that the country needs to turn back to its Christian values.
State Attorneys General File Brief in Support of Christians Ordered to Shoot Same-Sex Ceremonies | ChristianNews.Net
Christian News Net (video embedded): ADF notes that a recent Rasmussen poll shows that 85 percent of Americans believe that a Christian photographer should be able to decline projects that violate their faith. “All Americans should oppose unjust laws that force citizens–under threat of punishment–to express ideas against their will,” said Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence. “As those who filed supportive briefs in this case understand, a government that forces any American to create a message contrary to her own convictions is a government every American should fear.” [more]
AP: For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
Christian Concern: A threat to expel a Girl Guides unit which refuses to ditch its 103-year-old oath to God has been strongly criticised by Christian Concern. “The threat to force the Newcastle Girl Guides to drop God from their traditional pledge is a deliberate attempt to exclude Christianity which has underpinned the ethos of this worldwide movement for over a century,” says Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern.
Brandon Ambrosino at The Atlantic: alling someone “anti-gay” when his behavior is undeserving of that label doesn’t only end civil discussion – it degrades the foundation that undergirds a democratic, pluralistic society.
Pat Buchanan at CNSNews: Is Vladimir Putin a paleoconservative? In the culture war for mankind’s future, is he one of us? While such a question may be blasphemous in Western circles, consider the content of the Russian president’s state of the nation address. With America clearly in mind, Putin declared, “In many countries today, moral and ethical norms are being reconsidered.”
CNSNews: A new Harris Poll finds that a strong majority (74 percent) of U.S. adults say they believe in God, but that’s down from the 82 percent who expressed such a belief in earlier years.
One News Now: “The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak or not speak without fear of government retaliation,” says Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jordan Lorence. Lorence, Jordan (ADF)”All Americans should oppose unjust laws that force citizens under threat of punishment to express ideas against their will,” says the ADF attorney. A government that forces any American to create a message contrary to his or her own convictions “is a government every American should fear,” Lorence warns.
National Review: I came to see that the real question is not “who can marry whom,” but rather “what is marriage?” It became clear to us that the former question was impossible to address without answering the latter. Indeed, any position on the former presupposes a particular answer to the latter.
Milena Faustova at Voice of Russia: The Christian civilization is in great danger. Today about 100 million followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ are being persecuted. People are suffering or sometimes even dying for their faith not only in the countries of the Middle East, Northern and Southern Africa but also in South East Asia – regions that are essentially non-Christian. The believers in Europe and America, i.e. residents of the states where the adoption of Christianity in the past determined their development and formation, increasingly often face anti-religious prosecution.
The Economist: Yet strategists and pollsters report that—even after controlling for such variables as race, age, religiosity and income—marital status is a powerful predictor of Democratic voting (whereas married women and older widows lean slightly Republican).
AP: A United Methodist minister in Pennsylvania plans to defy a church order to surrender his credentials for performing a same-sex wedding.
W. Bradford Wilcox at National Review: . . . . one common and largely unremarked thread tying together most of the school shooters that have struck the nation in the last year is that they came from homes marked by divorce or an absent father.
Nicole Bailey at Townhall: Euthanasia in the case of the elderly and terminally ill is controversial in America, especially as the population ages and medical technology improves. However, euthanasia-friendly Europe puts the US in perspective: an overwhelming majority of Belgians support a proposed euthanasia law with no age restrictions.
Broad support for NM photographer reflected in new briefs filed with US Supreme Court | Alliance Defending Freedom
Libertarian same-sex marriage supporters among those backing freedom
Christian Post: Kids need dads, according to a neurobiological study published this month in the journal Cerebral Cortex. The absence of fathers during childhood may lead to impaired behavioral and social abilities, and brain defects, researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada, found.
Washington Examiner: It’s settled, then: Christian conservatives use religion as a justification for their discriminatory behavior, and Americans will only enjoy true religious freedom when their so-called “religious liberty” claims are defeated.
LA Times Editorial: A majority of businesses shouldn’t be able to refuse to serve gay couples, but ‘expressive professions’ may deserve an exception.
Rasmussen Reports: Sixty-seven percent (67%) of American Adults still think Christmas should be more about Jesus Christ than about Santa Claus.
Mona Charen at National Review: Pesident Obama addressed income inequality in a recent address but failed to mention one of the most significant contributors to rising inequality in America — the marriage gap.
Examiner.com: Attorney Nicolle Martin said, “Forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free. If the government can take away our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can’t take away. Martin is an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom.
“Anti-Christian Persecution: Christians Forced out of Business in Colorado and New Mexico” | Catholic Online
Deacon Keith Fournier at Catholic Online (includes video): Jack Phillips was represented by an Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer named Nicolle Martin. She told a local Denver radio host: “If the service or the product is expressive, if it sends a message, and the government says you have to make it, create it and carry it for someone else -that is forced speech.”
Colorado ruling takes the cake: Activist court cooks up a new rule to undermine religion | Washington Times Editorial
Washington Times Editorial: Unlike, say, cookies and brownies, a wedding cake is a creative endeavor that communicates a message from the artist, Mr. Phillips‘ Alliance Defending Freedom attorney explains. “If the service or the product is expressive, if it sends a message, and the government says you have to make it, create it and carry it for someone else,” ADF lawyer Nicolle Martin said on a Denver talk-radio show, “that is forced speech.” . . . The Huguenins, also represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, last month petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their appeal and to reverse the New Mexico court.
Richard Stith at Mercatornet.com: Indiana’s Libertarian Party chair, Dan Drexler, announced in early November his opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent Indiana from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. But the libertarian reason he gave for his opposition does not support that opposition.
In a class by themselves: Home-schooled girls easily dispatch both chauvinism and feminism | Robert Knight
Robert Knight at the Washington Times: Years ago, when I was writing a book called “The Age of Consent,” about moral relativism, I was warned by a book agent that it wouldn’t fly with New York publishers. I had committed unpardonable sins in an early draft: defending marriage as the union of a man and a woman and critiquing the idea of putting women into combat. I also defended stay-at-home moms.
Russell D. Moore at First Things: A transformed American culture calls for a new and different Evangelical engagement of politics.
Christian Institute: Michael McClure and Kamala Devi are starring in Polyamory: Married and Dating, and are currently living with McClure’s girlfriend Rachel. “They’re spreading the gospel of polyamory, hoping to speed up societal acceptance of this kind of set-up,” ABC’s Nick Watt explained.
Christian Post: In a recent interview with CNN’s host Piers Morgan on his show “Piers Morgan Live,” well-known evangelical pastor Rick Warren was questioned about sensitive topic of homosexuality. Despite being familiar with Warren’s stance against same-sex marriage, Morgan was seeking to revisit the issue on the heels of a new papal institution.
Christian Science Monitor: Nearly half of Americans believe there’s a ‘war on Christmas,’ while 9 out of 10 celebrate the holiday, polls show. Navigating the culture wars in the holiday season is as perilous as ever.
AP: Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding outsize influence on America’s economy and politics. This little-known group may pose the biggest barrier to reducing the nation’s income inequality.
Laurie DeRose at Family Studies: And yet in “Determinants of Long-Term Unions: Who Survives the ‘Seven Year Itch’?” Audrey Light and Yoshiaki Omori make the case that unions entered via cohabitation contribute to women’s chances of experiencing a union that lasts 12 years or more precisely because “the high probability of entering a cohabiting union more than offsets the relatively low probability of maintaining it for the long-term.” In other words, the high volume of cohabitation means that even with a short average duration, there will still be enough outliers that a significant fraction of long-term unions are cohabitations or began with cohabitation.
AP: U.S. births rose after the late 1990s and hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007. But then they started dropping each year, and in 2011 the number was as low as it had been in the 1990s.
AP: A Colorado school board member who said she has no regrets about saying transgender students should use locker rooms that conform with their biological sex has vowed to keep pushing for schools to ignore court rulings on the transgender issue.
Kelly Bartlett at Mercator Net: Have gay rights activists overplayed their hand? Will Czekala-Chatham’s wedding buyer’s remorse be followed by American voter remorse as more citizens learn of the disruption caused by same sex marriage laws passed in some states, but not recognized in others?
AP: State officials reported Wednesday more than 7,000 same-sex couples got married between December 6, 2012, and the most recent complete month of data, September 2013. So far, most of the state’s same sex marriages, 62 percent, were between two women.
Scott Clement and Sean Sullivan at Washington Post: Fewer than one in five liberals (18 percent) preferred hearing secular greetings such as “Happy Holidays” from shops and businesses in a 2012 Pew Research Center poll; at least as many preferred “Merry Christmas” (22 percent), while a whopping 60 percent said it “doesn’t matter.” But holiday greetings matter much more for conservatives, among whom 60 percent said they prefer “Merry Christmas” vs. just 7 percent for more secular holidays.
“Gay couple’s complaint against Colo. baker gets hearing: Becomes a cause celebre for activists” | Washington Times
Washington Times: Jordan Lorence, attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, said some business products, such as cakes, photographs and even tattoos, also communicate a message. By compelling such business owners to convey that message or shut down, he said, the government is infringing on their First Amendment rights. “The reason for the cake is not simply to feed people. A wedding cake is an iconic symbol of a marriage,” said Mr. Lorence. “What they’re telling him is, ‘You’ve got to produce this image or you’ll be punished by the state.’” . . . People who think these businesses should lose in court are assuming, ‘I’m never going to be asked to do anything in my business that I disagree with,’” said Mr. Lorence. “‘I don’t need this right at all.’ But the government tends to make people believe whatever the prevailing orthodoxy is, as we saw with anti-communism” during the 1950s McCarthy era.
Lisa Leff at Yahoo News (AP): The weekly meetings of Mouthing Off!, a group for students at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, always start the same way. Members take turns going around the room saying their names and the personal pronouns they want others to use when referring to them — she, he or something else.
USA Today: Perhaps more troubling for Obama, the poll showed 40% of young Americans believe Obamacare will bring worse care, 51% believe it will bring higher costs and 57% said they disapprove of the president’s signature law.
ABC Wear TV: 42-year-old Rachel Hope is ready to be a mother again. “I’m planning to get pregnant, the beginning of 2014,” she said. But she has no idea who the father will be. She’s not looking for love. She wants a co-parent.
Daily Caller: Two private, religiously affiliated schools are in the news this week for their prayer rooms: Texas Wesleyan University and the University of St. Thomas.
CNSNews: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the Catholic Church is losing the argument on gay marriage, because it has been “outmarketed,” but he asserted that the debate is not over.
Richard Socarides at The New Yorker: When do you think the Supreme Court might rule that there is a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage? Nobody can answer that precisely. There are now some forty-four cases in nineteen or twenty states moving forward. And one of them may be the case, or it may be some other case down the road. We can encourage the Court to take the right case at the right time and do the right thing—within a matter of years, not decades.
The Catholic Thing: It’s a Catholic priest speaking at a Catholic school. It’s touchy,” said Tym Moss of the Bronx LGBTQ Center. Linger over that. A Catholic priest speaking at a Catholic school is touchy? You’d think that priests speak at Catholic schools every day and it would be completely unremarkable. But you don’t live in gay world.
Wall Street Journal (via Google): Sen. Mark Pryor, speaking to a group of college officials, recently offered a biblical solution to Washington’s gridlock. Politicians should follow the teachings of Jesus, the two-term Democrat said, quoting from the Sermon on the Mount. Dale Leatherman, an administrator at a Baptist college, warmed up to the Arkansas senator after those remarks but said he still couldn’t imagine voting for Mr. Pryor next year.
What Makes a Marriage? Love, Sex, or Comprehensive Union | Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George
Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George at Public Discourse: Prof. Charles Reid thinks love makes a marriage. He claims we think sex makes a marriage. In truth, comprehensive union makes a marriage. And getting marriage right matters for everyone . . . Redefining marriage collapses the distinction between marriage and companionship in principle and in practice. It therefore undermines all the marital norms . . .