Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bow to the "god" of homosexuality?

If this doesn't convince you of the dangers of "ENDA" and "hate crimes laws," nothing will!!

Gay-Activist Suit Prompts Loss of Church Group's Tax Exemption
by Stephen Adams, associate editor

Illustrates how "non-discrimination" language can be used to hammer churches, religious groups.

Two lesbian couples who were denied permission to use a church group's seaside pavilion for civil-union ceremonies have persuaded New Jersey officials to punish the group through revocation of its tax-exempt status. Proposed federal legislation could accelerate that trend.

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association owns the boardwalk pavilion that is a popular spot for weddings.

A spokesman for the gay-activist group Garden State Equality said the state didn't go far enough, and may ask a court to revoke the tax exemption for all of the boardwalk and land, which the Methodist group has owned since 1870, according to The Associated Press.

As it stands, the change may cost the Methodists an estimated $175 a year for just the pavilion. But both sides say it’s about the principle.
“We’re happy, but there’s a lot more happiness to be had,” said Steve Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality.

The Methodists say they are following deeply held religious beliefs laid out in their Church Book of Discipline.

Scott Hoffman, Ocean Grove chief administrative officer, told the entire property is dedicated to the “perpetual worship of Jesus Christ.” But he said the state thinks “because it’s on a boardwalk that it’s not really a church, so they’re defining what a church is, and I think everybody needs to pay attention to that.” Brian Raum, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, said it’s the same problem posed by the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) now being considered in Congress. It would grant special protections to homosexuals in the workplace.

“What’s happening in Ocean Grove is a perfect example of the dangers which will be at issue if ENDA passes,” Raum said.

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, explained that tax exemptions are not protected under the First Amendment.

“The state, local and federal governments all grant various tax exemptions to those organizations, because historically they serve a vital public function in the community that benefits all in the community, not just the members of a particular church,” he said. “Since the government giveth, the government can taketh away those exemptions.”

Hausknecht said there are many efforts in play to remove tax-exempt status from all religious groups.

“By enacting ENDAs and hate-crime laws, civil-union and domestic-partnership laws, various states — and our federal government as well — are again creating ‘public policy,’ this time favoring homosexual behavior,” he said. “When the liberals are in control, it will not take long for tax exemptions for churches and religious entities to be revoked if they will not bow down to the god of homosexuality. Churches especially should heed the clear warning of this Ocean Grove situation. If you're going to stand for righteousness in the area of biblical sexuality, you may have to pay the price.”

© 2007 Focus on the Family Action, Inc. CitizenLink is a registered trademark of Focus on the Family Action, Inc.
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On a related issue, the Liberal left lunatics of Congress are still trying to force the "hate crimes" bill through. Thank God for President Bush's pledge to veto it!!

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Update: September 20, 2007

Presenting: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good!!

Marriage Matters-Here and Abroad

We were thankful this week to learn that marriage was protected in Maryland by that state's highest court. On Tuesday the Maryland Supreme Court upheld state law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The court ruled that the state's marriage laws are not discriminatory and also ruled that procreation is a rational basis for the legislature to protect marriage. This is a great victory for marriage and family!

Here in California we are still waiting on our Supreme Court to decide the validity of Proposition 22, the ballot initiative defining marriage as between one man and one woman only.

On Wednesday the San Diego City Council voted to officially support homosexual marriage. The 5-3 decision will result in the city submitting an official statement to the California Supreme Court for its consideration.

Although Mayor Jerry Sanders has pledged to veto the city council's action, only a simple majority is required to override the mayor's veto. Councilwoman Toni Atkins, the author of the measure to lend San Diego's official support for homosexual marriage, expects "the votes to hold."

The mayor's office has noted that 62 percent of San Diego city voters backed Proposition 22 when it was decided in 2000. In other words, the city council went directly against the wishes of its constituents in stating its support of homosexual marriage. The city of San Diego will likely join other cities-Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Jose, and Santa Cruz-in submitting a friend-of-the-court brief to the California Supreme Court, urging the court to rule against Proposition 22.

Capitol Resource Institute strongly supports marriage between one man and one woman because that is what is in the best interests of families and children. Strong marriages mean strong families. Strong families mean strong communities. The family unit must be strengthened by our laws and policies, not undermined. To read a recent article on why marriage matters to kids, go here.

The Bad and The Ugly:

HR 2015-ENDA Law to Enact Special Rights for Homosexual Employees

A proposed federal law could force church daycare centers, conservative radio shows, and others to hire homosexual and bisexual applicants.

It could also allow cross-dressing men to use women's restrooms. HR 2015 aims for "comprehensive Federal prohibition" of discrimination that is based on sexual orientation and gender identity. While it provides a narrow religious exemption, this fails to help many religious organizations. In practice, HR 2015 restricts the freedom to make hiring decisions that are consistent with private beliefs.

Called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), HR 2015 gives sexual orientation and gender identity a protected status. Sexual orientation means "homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality." Gender identity indicates transexuality. It includes a person's "gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics," which may be different from the person's "designated sex at birth." These sexual lifestyles -- homo, bi, and transexuality -- are historically unaccepted in the United States. If passed, ENDA would add them to race, sex, age, and other traits that enjoy special protection in the employment process. On the basis of "equal rights," ENDA impacts hiring decisions, shared facilities, and dress and grooming in the workplace. Many people may not realize it but EDNA would allow transgender and cross-dressing men to use women's restrooms. The only access denied them would be "shared shower or dressing facilities in which being seen fully unclothed is unavoidable." Employers could not discriminate against men or women who dress as the opposite sex, provided that notice of a gender change is given.

This bill only extends religious exemptions to two categories. First, it exempts groups whose "primary purpose" is religious ritual, religious teaching, or the spreading of religious belief. Churches fall under this category. Second, it exempts employee positions whose "primary duties" are explicitly religious. School chaplains would qualify, but not math teachers or basketball coaches. These "religious exemptions" neglect to exempt many organizations.

ENDA restricts many groups whose missions spring from religious belief. Beyond doctrinal teaching, faith is expressed through feeding the homeless, tutoring kids after school, and thousands of activities that benefit communities. Whether religious or not, all private employers should have the freedom to hire applicants who share their beliefs, including in fundamental issues like gender identity and homosexual conduct. If Congress is truly concerned about "comprehensive" ending of discrimination, it will broaden its religious exemptions.

In a sample letter to Congress, the ACLU urges passage of ENDA, because "we all have a right to earn a living and take care of our family, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity." This is not the issue. There is no evidence that homosexuals suffer systematic job discrimination, as the Family Research Council observes. The real issue is whether private entities can make their own hiring decisions. HR 2015 could impact any group with 15 or more employees, from religious charities to the Boy Scouts. HR 2015 must be stopped.

Please contact your Congressman today and urge him/her to vote "NO" on HR 2015.

To contact your Congressman online, go here.

Christian School's Conscience vs. Lesbian Expression

The right of Christian businesses and organizations to make their own association decisions is being increasingly threatened. Recently two girls were suspended from California Lutheran High School, located in Wildomar, California, for engaging in homosexual behavior, including but not limited to posing for pictures in sexually suggestive positions. The students' behavior was in express violation of the school's code of conduct.

Despite the school's biblically-based and clearly stated standards on extramarital sexual conduct, the girls' parents are suing the school, arguing that the school has violated "California's sexual orientation and anti-discrimination laws." The girls' parents were undoubtedly aware of the school's policies, but chose to send their daughters there anyway.

"Nationwide, we have more than 200 cases, most of which deal with Christians being shut down in the public square or religious organizations being forced to violate their own beliefs and standards," said Greg Scott, spokesman at the Alliance Defense Fund. "

It is essential in a free society that faith-based schools have the right to make disciplinary and admission decisions based on their sincerely held religious beliefs," said Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute. "If that right is taken away, what good is the First Amendment?"

Church Banned from Using Own Property in San Leandro

Faith Fellowship church in San Leandro was all set to move into its new building when things came to a screeching halt. In July the San Leandro City Council denied the church a zoning change necessary to move into an industrial building the church had already purchased. The building had been vacant for many months before being purchased by the church.

When the church sought an injunction to be able to proceed, a federal court judge denied it, stating that the church had not yet presented enough evidence of "immediate harm" suffered at its current location. The ruling came despite the fact that the church is bursting at the seams with three services and inadequate parking for church attendees.

Rather than seeing the value of a vibrant church in its community-Faith Fellowship has numerous outreach programs to citizens, including teenagers who might otherwise be on the streets-San Leandro has made the church the enemy by making it impossible for the church to use its own property.

To read more about Faith Fellowship's attempts to use its own property, and the opposition it has faced from the city, go to the church's website. http://www.faith-fellowship.us

HT: Capitol Resource Institute

11 comments:

Jody said...

Actually, the god of Homosexuality prefers that we all cuddle. (He's a touchy-feely god.)

Christinewjc said...

Yep...Jody,

Spoken like the "blue pill" kind of guy that you obviously are; rejecting Truth and willing to settle for lesser gods elsewhere.

Jody said...

I'm a child of the Nancy Reagan years, Christine, so I just say "No" to drugs.

Oh, and superstition.

Christinewjc said...

Just noticed that you capitalized "homosexuality" in your first response.

Hmmmm...just goes to show that despite your claim of atheism, everybody (even you, Jody) is worshipping something...

Of course it's a pagan, physical, temporal kind of "god," but obviously an object of worship to you anyway.

designsource said...

Bow to the god of homosexuality?

What utter crap...

The land receives state tax-breaks...New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination specifies that land receiving tax breaks must have open, nondiscriminatory access to the public.

It is abundantley clear that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has not opened the Pavilion to all persons on an equal basis."

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has only itself to blame for this situation. They signed on for tax-exempt status and are aware of the rules requiring nondiscriminatory access to the public.

Should they be provided special rights?

Mark said...

I think churches should be perpared to do away with tax exempt status. I would rather preach the truth than be silenced by the a govt gimmie.

Christinewjc said...

What came first, designsource? The First Amendment's "freedom of religion," and "freedom of association" rights or the N.J. "law against discrimination?"

Mark,

What you have suggested might have to become the "wave of the future" in order for churches to continue practicing their freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

How ironic that blogger "designsource" asks the question, "should they be provided special rights" when that is exactly what the dangerous bills of ENDA and "hate crimes" laws would do for self-labeled homosexual persons! It's a perceived identity of individuals who practice a particular sexual behavior and the activists are trying to elevate such perceptions as worthy of being above everyone else as far as rights are concerned.

Ultimately, their goal is to silence biblical truth on this issue, restrict the message that Christ can release homosexuals from such bondage, and, what is particularly egregious, attempt to pass laws intended to inflict much more severe punishment upon those who believe, share and teach that homosexual behavior is sin and an abomination to God.

That is what these laws are really all about. They wish to get rid of God's laws, the Bible, and Christians who want proper morality rather than paganistic depravity taught to their children in school and elsewhere in the public arena.

How ridiculous can it possibly get before people wake up and open their eyes to this terrible deception?

designsource said...

What came first, designsource? The First Amendment's "freedom of religion," and "freedom of association" rights or the N.J. "law against discrimination?"

What difference could that possibly make. It is now the law in NJ and if this church wants to retain it's tax-exempt status they need to follow the law like everyone else....and not ask for special considerations.

"the activists are trying to elevate such perceptions as worthy of being above everyone else as far as rights are concerned."

Actually the activists are trying to elevate such perceptions as worthy of being EQUAL TO everyone else as far as rights are concerned."


You are quite the alarmist Christine...the sky is falling...the sky is falling. Gays are taking over the world. Please spare us your hysteria!

Christinewjc said...

There are many man-made "laws" that are evil. Roe vs. Wade, for example.

There are many man-made laws that were truly a mistake. Laws that take away the freedom of association rights of individuals while catering to a select few with a self-perceived behavior is one example.

There are many man-made laws that are stupid and redundant. The N.J. "law against discrimination" is a perfect example.

designsource wrote: "Actually the activists are trying to elevate such perceptions as worthy of being EQUAL TO everyone else as far as rights are concerned."

Not so!

Laws against "discrimination" are similar to the "hate crimes" laws that loonie liberals are trying to pass. In essence, they are an assault on our already established equal protection laws, and unfairly punish certain perpetrators because they require an evaluation of a criminal’s thoughts and treats victims differently based on their identity.

My latest blogpost, which is an article from CWA explains much further. Here is an excerpt:

H.R. 1592: An Assault on Equal Protection
Shari Rendall
April 26, 2007


The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution affords equal protection to every citizen under the law. This legislation would treat victims differently based on their class. Such laws do not equally protect all citizens.


The proposed categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in H.R. 1592 create special classes of victims based solely upon behavioral identification with a group of people. This means that a perpetrator could receive a harsher punishment for assaulting a homosexual man than for the same violent crime committed against a child.


“Hate crimes” laws politicize criminal law, leading to pressure on police and prosecutors to devote more of their limited resources to some cases at the expense of other crime victims’ cases. They also vastly expand the power and jurisdiction of the federal government to intervene in local law enforcement matters.


While the intent-based evaluation for murder examines intent and treats all criminals equally, “hate crimes” laws require an evaluation of a criminal’s thoughts and treats victims differently based on their identity. According to the FBI’s annual report on “hate crimes,” identifying feelings is beyond law enforcement’s ability and jurisdiction. The determination of thoughts and feelings involves enormous possibility of error. To maintain order and justice, government must judge actions — not feelings.

Jody said...

Hmmmm...just goes to show that despite your claim of atheism, everybody (even you, Jody) is worshipping something...

Like I said, Christine. We worship with cuddles. And setting out to destroy the world. It's a very touchy-feely-happy path of destruction we weave.

Christinewjc said...

At least you admit that you are on the path to destruction, Jody.