Saturday, October 13, 2018


Real News: Crazy Fed Looking To Burst Bubble And Crash American Economy
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
President Trump slammed the Federal Reserve’s rising interest rates after stocks plunged Wednesday, saying, “the Fed has gone crazy.”

Is the Fed Trying to Kill the Trump Economy?

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
William McChesney Martin, the ninth and longest running Chairman of the Federal Reserve, said “The Federal Reserve … is in the position of the chaperone who has ordered the punch bowl removed just when the party was really warming up.” Rudi Dornbusch, the German economist who worked for most of his career in the United States, was more blunt: “None of the U.S. [economic] expansions of the past 40 years died in bed of old age; every one was murdered by the Federal Reserve.”
Is the sharp selloff in stocks following the sharp rise in interest rates last week signaling the death throes of the longest-running bull market in history, to be followed by similar expiration of the 112-month long economic expansion? On Tuesday, October 2, the key financial instrument followed by most observers — the U.S. 10 Year Treasury Note — was yielding 3.06 percent, just slightly above its yield over the previous couple of weeks. Three days later, the yield had jumped to 3.26 percent, triggering the selloff in stocks. The day after the Treasury note bottomed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was closing in on 27,000. By Friday, it had lost 500 points. The decline picked up where it left off on Monday, and by Thursday this week, it was down 1,700 points.
Is this the beginning of the end? Is this the death knell for stocks and bonds, administered by the Fed in the name of taming “inflation?” As Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) editorialized, investors in stocks and bonds “knew that the growth-averse Fed will now almost certainly raise rates in December. Before [the sudden avalanche of good news about the economy] it was only considered a possibility.”
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is being less than forthright about raising interest rates. The Fed has been slowly pressuring the bond market in its program of selling off its vast horde of maturing U.S. securities, forcing the bond market to absorb more than $170 billion of them in just the last year. The market, in adjusting to this new supply, raises interest rates to compensate (i.e., when the supply of something increases, demand decreases). While investors have been focusing on Powell’s remarks, many failed to look behind the curtain at how his bank was already setting the stage for the rise in interest rates that only became obvious last week.
Whether he intends to kill the economy or just throttle it down remains uncertain. What isn’t uncertain is his timing: Just a month before the midterms, the economy which should redound to Republicans’ benefit is now being questioned. The headlines are delivering the message that Powell wants delivered: “Is the Stock Market Going to Crash?” asked Mark Skousen. “Here’s Why the Stock Market is Dropping — and What You Should Do About It Now” shouts Money Magazine. “Stocks are Sliding: Here’s How to Protect Your Portfolio From a Crash, According to Experts” provided by MoneyForbes screamed: “Why Stock Markets Crash” while Fortune magazine explored the rubble from the bursting bubble: “The Stock Market Cleaned Out Billionaires in the Past Week: Here’s Who Lost the Most.”
Commentators rolled out the usual culprits for the selloff: trade “tensions” with China, rising oil and gas prices, slowing global growth, and so on. But in order to stop the economy there have to be fundamental reasons, not just frothy headlines. Is growth slowing? Is unemployment climbing? Are earnings declining? Patrick Kaser, managing director and portfolio manager at Brandywine Global, got it right: “All the leading indicators that would point to a recession in the next year just aren’t there.”
So, why are interest rates rising? Give credit to economics professor Dr. Stephen Kirchner at the University of Sydney to explain how the free market works, if it is allowed to: “Rising real [inflation-adjusted] interest rates are not a surprise given the current strength of the US economy. What is surprising [to Keynesians] is the lack of inflationary pressure flowing from that strength.” Translation: Interest rates are the price of money, and when the demand for money — for investment purposes, for bonuses, for salary increases, or for increased contributions to pension plans for employees — increases, so do interest rates. As the demand for money grows, the price of money increases. Said Kirchner: “All the [upward] movement has been in real interest rates, with the US 10-year yield adjusted for inflation rising above 1.00% for the first time since 2011.”
To confirm the Fed’s fraudulent claim that it’s working to “tame inflation” came the August PCE (personal consumption expenditure) rate that the Fed claims drives its decisions. The PCE for August was  — wait for it — 1.3 percent annualized. And when the volatile food and energy prices were excluded, PCE inflation for August was 0.4 percent!
The Fed has the power to murder. It also has the power to deceive. As The New American has reported, there are some clouds forming on the economic horizon, but none of them are sufficient to rain on Trump’s economic parade. Only the Fed can do that. 
Related articles:

Trump and the Fed: The Real Issue Is 

the Power of the Federal Reserve

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
With the stock market’s huge losses in the past week — the largest decline since February — some economists blamed President Trump’s trade conflict with China. Trump, however, pointed to the Federal Reserve System’s recent decisions to raise interest rates as the more likely culprit.
“That wasn’t it,” Trump said this week in response to the China theory for the market drop. “The problem I have is with the Fed. The Fed is going wild. They’re raising interest rates and it’s ridiculous.” Trump added, “The Fed is going loco.”
Trump said again in another interview, “I think the Fed is uh ... making a mistake. They're so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy.”
What precipitated Trump’s remarks was that the Federal Reserve — America’s central bank — has increased interest rates three times just this year. Of course, when interest rates go up, the cost of borrowing money goes up for both businesses and consumers, making more expensive purchases less likely, thus slowing down the economy, which has otherwise been booming during Trump’s presidency.
It would not be surprising if Trump’s suspicions that the Fed is deliberately trying to hurt him politically by putting the brakes to the economy turn out to be valid. But the larger question than how the Fed actions are affecting Trump politically is should this private monopoly have this kind of power over interest rates in the first place? And where is the Federal Reserve mentioned in the Constitution? (It is’nt).
It is indisputable that the Federal Reserve could, if it so chose, bring the American economy to its knees by drastically increasing interest rates. When asked if he is considering firing the chairman of the Fed, Jerome Powell, whom Trump appointed, Trump bluntly answered, “I’m not going to fire him.”
The truth is that President Trump is not allowed, under the law, to fire Powell — except for cause. In other words, the only time Trump or any other president can realistically remove a Fed chairman is at the end of the chairman’s term of office. Even White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow was quick to weigh in on Thursday: “We know the Fed is independent. The president is not dictating policy to the Fed. He didn’t say anything remotely like that.”
In fact, Kudlow seemed to support the Fed’s actions, arguing that it was managing “the transition from ultra, ultra easy money … to something more normal.”
Powell was even more blunt, saying the Fed pays no attention to politics, adding, “This is just who we are and I think who we will always be, which is, we’re a group who — we’re quite removed from the political process. And we just try to do the right thing for the medium and longer term for the country.”
There are multiple ways that the Federal Reserve can manipulate the economy through interest rates. One way is the “discount rate” that the Fed charges member banks. The discount rate is the rate of interest charged to a lending institution that borrows money from the Fed. The higher the discount rate, the more expensive it is for the bank to borrow, and therefore, the higher the rate will be when the bank loans money to a business or to an individual to make a larger purchase such as a car or a house. The lower the discount rate, the less expensive it is for the bank to borrow, and therefore, the lower the rate will be when the bank loans out money for major purchases.
After the financial meltdown of 2008, the policy of the Federal Reserve was to keep interest rates low to spur economic activity and revive the general economy. While such low interest rates do increase the purchase of homes and the like, it also causes the prices for these products to go up. Low interest rates are quite popular with home-buyers, for example, but they discourage saving — creating a hardship on those on fixed incomes who were counting on living on these savings in retirement.
The reality is that under the free market, interest rates would provide a natural “cooling off” of the economy. As there is a bigger demand for money at lower interest rates, the rates, under the law of supply and demand, would begin to rise. As the rates rose, there would be a drop-off in demand for loans. This would then cause more saving to take place, which would put more money in the bank. This increased supply of money would then lead to a drop in interest rates. And so on.
In other words, if there were no central bank dictating interest rates, the free enterprise system would regulate interest rates and determine the amount of money in the economy.
While some argue that a central bank — in America it is called the Federal Reserve System — is needed to avoid the twin evils of inflation and depression, the hard reality is that the greatest economic collapse in U.S. history took place in August of 1929, nearly 16 years after the Fed was created by an act of Congress on December 23, 1913. There is nothing in the Constitution authorizing Congress to create a money monopoly, yet since its inception we have seen severe economic downturns in 1920, 1929, and 2008, along with several other recessions. The value of America’s money has been greatly diminished since the creation of the Fed. Since 1914, when the Fed began operations, the value of the dollar has declined to the point that it is worth less today than what nickel was worth back then.
Yet, no one can overturn the policy of the Federal Reserve — not the president and not the Congress. One can argue that interest rates need to be raised, but that could be done through the free market.
As mentioned above, the reality is that if the Fed’s leadership so desired, they could bring down the American economy via the manipulation of interest rates. Or they could touch off spiraling prices through inflationary policies.
Americans need to ask a serious question: Why should a private monopoly, uncontrolled by our elected representatives at each end of Pennsylvania Avenue, have that kind of power?


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Editor’s Note: Regardless of how God providentially might be holding back wickedness through the Trump administration, the fact that sodomites are celebrated and promoted at the highest levels of government clearly demonstrates just how abominable this administration is.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Another homosexual judge with ties to a LGBT legal group is among President Donald Trump’s latest batch of judicial nominees, this time to the influential Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The White House announced a handful of federal appointees Wednesday, including assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Bumatay. A member of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Tax Forces Section in the Southern District of California, Bumatay currently advises Attorney General Jeff Sessions on issues including opioids and organized crime.
National Review adds that he worked on the confirmations for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Neil Gorsuch, as well as Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
Bumatay would also be the nation’s second openly homosexual federal appeals court judge and the first on the Ninth Circuit, the San Francisco Chronicle notes. The White House’s press release also notes that he’s a member of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, an organization dedicated to the “advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues throughout California and the nation.”
The Homann Association has staked out a number of left-wing positions, including disappointment that the Supreme Court upheld Christian baker Jack Phillips’ right to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex “wedding,” and “unequivocally denounc[ing]” the Trump administration’s ban on transgender military service.
Pro-family advocates agree that Trump’s judicial nominees are one of the highlights of his presidency, potentially shifting the federal judiciary to the right for generations to come. But Bumatay follows Judge Mary Rowland, an open homosexual who has ties to the left-wing Lesbian & Gay Bar Association of Chicago and Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, as the second appointee whose background raises doubts as to whether he would separate his homosexuality from his jurisprudence.
Conservatives see trustworthy nominees as particularly critical on the Ninth Circuit, a notoriously liberal court whose record includes blocking the administration’s transgender troop ban, a string of decisions favorable to Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against David Daleiden and other pro-life undercover investigators, and banning prayer at local school board meetings.
“At this point, it’s virtually impossible in the 9th Circuit to draw a panel with two Republican-appointed judges. It’s possible, but it’s tough,” South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman explained in March. “This might make it more possible to draw a panel [of two Republican appointed judges] every now and then.”
Trump’s pro-life record has largely pleased conservatives, but his record on LGBT issues is more mixed. In addition to the transgender troop ban, he has supported religious liberty, rejected “pride month,” and staffed his administration with pro-family leaders such as Mike Pompeo and Howard Nielson, Jr.
On the other hand, Trump has nominated a variety of pro-homosexual officials to various government posts and continued a number of Obama-era pro-LGBT policies, such as an executive order on “gender identity nondiscrimination” and U.S. support for international recognition of homosexual relations at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
He publicly praised the pro-LGBT group Log Cabin Republicans in January, and declared after the election that the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling forcing all fifty states to recognize same-sex “marriage” was “settled law.”
The conservative Federalist Society plays a significant advisory role in the administration’s selection of judicial nominees, a relationship started during Trump’s campaign to reassure skeptical Republicans about the formerly liberal businessman’s reliability.


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CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements about how Islamic law should be imposed in the U.S. (Ahmad denies this, but the original reporter stands by her story.) CAIR chapters frequently distribute pamphlets telling Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement. CAIR has opposed virtually every anti-terror measure that has been proposed or implemented and has been declared a terror organization by the United Arab Emirates. Ayloush himself in 2017 called for the overthrow of the U.S. government.
But donating to Hamas-linked CAIR is not career suicide for Ammar Campa-Najjar, although if a conservative candidate appeared with an analogous group as unsavory as CAIR, it would be. Campa-Najjar is a hard-Left candidate and never suffered any political fallout among Leftists for his connections to the organization. This is an indication of how topsy-turvy our political discourse is today: this unsavory gang of thugs has been normalized.
“Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar Defends Donation to Radical ‘Islamist’ Group CAIR,” by Joel B. Pollak, Breitbart, October 11, 2018:
Democratic congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar spent the early hours of Thursday morning defending his campaign’s 2017 donation to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the contributions he has received from CAIR officials.
Campa-Najjar is running in California’s 50th congressional district to unseat incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. (R-CA).
Breitbart News reported earlier this week that Campa-Najjar’s campaign made a “civic donation” of $650.00 to CAIR in 2017, and that he had received nearly $9,000 from CAIR officials.
As the article noted:
 In 2007-8, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That case, in turn, led the FBI to discontinue its work with the organization. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that the government “produced ample evidence to establish” the ties of CAIR with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization . The United Arab Emirates labeled CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014 (a decision that the Obama administration opposed).

CAIR also helped the family of the San Bernardino terrorists after the 2015 attack in which they killed 14 people and wounded 22 — an attack CAIR partially blamed on U.S. foreign policy….

Breitbart News had reached out to Campa-Najjar’s campaign Tuesday to ask about his appearance on the “top ten” list of political candidates who had received contributions from “Islamist” sources, as compiled by the Middle East Forum’s “Islamist Money in Politics” (IMIP) project. (Campa-Najjar himself is a Christian, of mixed Palestinian and Mexican-American origin.)…


SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
Robert Spencer noted in June:
At a recent dinner of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which he formerly headed, Farage said: “If dealing with Islamic fundamentalism becomes a battle between us and the entire religion, I’ll tell you the result: we’ll lose. We will simply lose….We absolutely have to get that Muslim majority living in many of our towns and cities on our side, more attuned to Western values than some pretty hardline interpretations of the Qur’an.”
Sure. Now how does Farage propose to do that? His warning against making the resistance to jihad a “battle between us and the entire religion” is odd. No sane person is saying that the West should go to war with the entire Islamic world. The likeliest interpretation of his statement is that he is saying that we must not speak about how jihadis find justification for their actions in the Qur’an and Sunnah, as that will alienate the “moderates.”
But if we don’t speak about such facts, how will we ever convince Muslims not to follow “hardline interpretations of the Qur’an”?
Another problem with Farage’s statement is that it manifests a remarkable ignorance of history. While he is deeply concerned that British people not begin to think that resisting jihad terror means that they are in a “battle” with the “entire religion” of Islam, he appears unaware of the fact that many Muslims throughout history have considered their entire religion to be at war with the entire non-Muslim world.
Back to Sky News:
The ex-UKIP head said the party should be focusing on Brexit, adding “this is not the moment for people to pursue personal hobby horses.”
When did alarm about mass Muslim migration, and its effect on every aspect of British society — on the government’s ability to pay for the housing, health, education, and family allowances of Muslim migrants whose rates of unemployment and of crime are both far higher than those of non-Muslims, on such horrors as the grooming gangs, on the failure of Muslims to integrate, or even to want to integrate, into British society — all become dismissable as “personal hobby horses”? Understanding, and warning about, the menace of Islam is not anyone’s “personal hobby horse.”
“The Football Lads Alliance was formed by a football hooligan to unite supporters from different clubs against Islam.
Not a football fan, mind you, but a “football hooligan.” Who is he, and where is the evidence that he was a “hooligan’? Did he smash shop windows, attack fans from opposing clubs, beat up the police? Or does he earn the epithet “hooligan” here only because he is anti-Islam? We would like to know more.
“Its Facebook page has been criticised for racist content and the group has since renamed itself the Democratic Football Lads Alliance.
There has been no “racist content” on the Facebook page of the Democratic Football Lads Alliance; comments have been anti-Islam, which is a different thing. But Sky News keeps using this word “racist” for the DemocratIc Football Lads Alliance, and “anti-racist” for those who came out to oppose them. For the word “racist,” read “anti-Islam.” For the word “anti-racist,” read “apologist for Islam.” Those anti-Islam comments on Facebook were prompted in every case not by some baseless prejudice, but by the observable behavior of Muslims, especially that of the grooming gangs.
Demonstrators on the march told Sky News they were hoping to highlight problems with Muslim grooming gangs in northern towns and cities but one anti-racism protester said: “They need a moral cover to hide behind.”
After more than a thousand English girls have been mass-raped by these grooming gangs, bringing the problem to the attention of the public is hardly a “moral cover to hide behind” (as they presumably spew their “racist” message), as someone described incorrectly as an “anti-racism protester” claims. Grooming gangs are a real, not an imaginary problem. They are not being used as an excuse for anything.
“We stand with the victims of rape, they are only interested in having a go at Muslims.”
That is nonsense. No, the protesters are not interested in “having a go at Muslims,” but in making sure that those who took part in these grooming gangs, all of whom appear to be Muslims, are in fact brought to justice, and that the police engage in earlier intervention to rescue the victims. For years, the British police turned a blind eye to these gangs, for fear of being called — most inaccurately — “racists.” The police cared more about how they were viewed than about rescuing these girls. Now, belatedly, the grooming gangs are beginning to be prosecuted. When these protesters demand that more be done to prevent these gangs, and to punish their savage members, that does not constitute “having a go at Muslims.”
The Democratic Football Lads Alliance shares many similarities with the EDL founded by Tommy Robinson almost a decade ago.
Gerard Batten defended his attendance at the DFLA rally, saying: “They are democratic and against extremism of any kind. I don’t have a problem with it.”
This protest against the behavior of some Muslims is, like so many others, presented as a morality play. Evil is represented by the “racist” protesters, who call themselves “‘Football Lads” — their group having been founded by an unnamed “hooligan,” they are themselves presented as hooligans and lager louts, always looking for a fight, clearly lower class and with crude views that are not to be taken seriously. Good is represented by those who come out to oppose those “Lads,” the “anti-racism” protesters who are made up of the decent, tolerant people of Great Britain, with whom we are supposed to identify, and who know that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with Islam.
As for Gerald Batten, he said nothing at the protest rally that is not completely true. He told the truth about the grooming gangs, about who is responsible for them, and why it too so long for the police to take the problem seriously. He told the truth about Muhammad and little Aisha. That makes him, in Theresa May’s Great Britain, a danger both to the state and to society, neither of which can bear very much reality. He is being marginalized; the Homeric epithet “racist,” which has absolutely nothing to do with his well-informed view of Islam’s texts and teachings, will be affixed to his name at every opportunity. But if he holds on, and ignores a trimmer like Nigel Farage, eventually the observable behavior of Muslims in Great Britain, and in the rest of Europe, will become too menacing, for too many people, and there will be a turn toward those who, like Gerald Batten and Anne Marie Waters, recognize the problem and, unlike Nigel Farage, did not flinch.


SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
This is the kind of lie that has captured many on the left who are too self-absorbed to pay attention to history:
Terrorism results from international unjust policies that lost all compassion toward the weak and the poor, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayyeb said during his speech in the Sixth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstani capital, Astana.
Jihad terror has existed as a means to an end (Islamic conquest and the imposition of Sharia) for 1,400 years, and it is not about to change, no matter what Westerners or anyone does. It is not the first time that the revered Grand Imam of Al-Azhar justified jihad terror as a response to what he and other Islamic supremacists claim are “unjust policies.” After the American Embassy move to Jerusalem, el-Tayyeb said that because of the decision, the East and West will drown in a sea of blood.
Tayyeb is a respected authority in Islam, and in his sermon that justified jihad violence, he “urged preachers to abide by the moderate teachings of Islam in line with what they learned at Azhar” — the world’s most renowned Sunni Islamic learning institution, which functions to “disseminate the upright teachings of Islam.” (Al Azhar also has taught that cannibalism of disbelievers is permissible.)
“Terrorism results from unjust policies: Azhar Grand Imam,” Egypt Today, October 10, 2018:
CAIRO – 10 October 2018: Terrorism results from international unjust policies that lost all compassion toward the weak and the poor, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayyeb said during his speech in the Sixth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstani capital,Astana.
Tayyeb added that terrorism cannot be a result of Islam or any other religion. He explained that the strategies, techniques and plans of the well-trained extremist and armed groups indicate that “this kind of transcontinental hatred cannot be just a result of religion.”
Tayyeb arrived in Astana on Monday, Oct. 8, as per an invitation from President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Upon his arrival, Tayyeb met with several Kazakhstani officials, including President Nazarbayev.
According to Astana Times, the first Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions took place on Sept. 23-24, 2003. The objectives of the congress are to establish universal guidelines and a permanent platform for international interfaith dialogue.
Eighty-two delegations from 46 countries representing the world’s religions are participating in the conference which kicked off on Wednesday, Oct. 10 and is expected to continue until Thursday, October 11.
Tayyeb led the evening prayer at Hazrat Sultan Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Asia, on Tuesday, Oct. 9. After the prayer, Tayyeb delivered a sermon in which he urged preachers to abide by the moderate teachings of Islam in line with what they learnt at Azhar…..


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Erdogan clearly believes that he can operate against his foes in Germany with impunity, without fear of interference from the German government. Merkel’s regime, of course, wouldn’t dream of doing anything to anger Erdogan. It needs the votes of Turkish Muslim migrants too much for that.
“Turkish ‘police cars’ spotted in Berlin,” translated from “Türkische ‘Polizeiwagen’ in Berlin gesichtet,” Kronen Zeitung, October 11, 2018 (thanks to Searchlight Germany):
The government-critical Turkish journalist Can Dündar lives in Germany under police protection since the state visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In Berlin, other critics no longer feel safe. To intimidate them, in the German capital several cars drive around which resemble those of the anti-terror unit “Özel Harekat,” as images in social networks show. The police confirmed, meanwhile, corresponding media reports. At least three of the questionably designed cars have been seen so far.
The vehicles, which resemble those of the Turkish special unit, drive openly since the visit of Erdogan to Berlin, as stated in German media reports. In any case, in the case of Turkish opposition members living in Berlin, the cars would cause concern and anxiety. The sightings are now making headlines not only in Germany, but also in Turkey.
The left-wing domestic politician, Hakan Tas, filed a complaint with the Berlin police. “The idea that such vehicles of the Erdogan regime are now on the streets and are being seen by pursued critics, leaves me no peace,” said Tas….


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas-based U.S. Pastor Council has filed suit against the City of Austin to challenge the lack of an exemption in its non-discrimination ordinance to accommodate the hiring practices of area churches.
Austin City Code states that “[a]n employer may not fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, based on the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability.”
The U.S. Pastor Council says that the ordinance is problematic for churches, which need to hire—in accordance with Scripture—those who are not living in unrepentant sin, particularly as it pertains to the statute’s mention of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
“[T]he ordinance provides no exemptions or accommodations for employers who hold religious objections to homosexuality or transgender behavior,” the lawsuit states. “Every church in Austin that refuses to hire practicing homosexuals as clergy or church employees is violating city law and subject to civil penalties and liability.”
It notes that the Bible has specific moral requirements for church leadership.
“Because these member churches rely on the Bible rather than modern-day cultural fads for religious and moral guidance, they will not hire practicing homosexuals or transgendered people as clergy,” the legal challenge explains, pointing to Romans 1:26–28, 1 Timothy 1:8–11, 1 Corinthians 6:9–11, Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13.
“These member churches … require church employees to live according to the Bible’s teachings on matters of sexuality and gender,” it outlines.
The council also explains that many churches believe that the Bible forbids women from serving as pastors, pointing to 1 Timothy 2:12, which states that women are not to “teach or usurp authority over a man” in the church.
While the Austin City Code provides two exemptions in its nondiscrimination ordinance, it only states that it is lawful for educational institutions and corporations to “hire and employ individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the [entity’s] activities,” and does not mention churches and their hiring practices as it pertains to homosexuality and transgenderism.
Therefore, the council argues, the ordinance allows churches to require its leaders to be Christians, but prohibits the same churches from passing up women for pastoral roles, or those engaged in homosexual behavior and transgenderism.
It is requesting that the court declare that Austin churches have a right under the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act to hire in accordance with biblical teaching and that it place an injunction against the enforcement of the ordinance until the code is amended to specifically protect churches.
Austin officials have vowed to fight the suit, and attorney Holt Lackey told local television station KXAN that if the legal challenge prevails, it would “undermine the ability of Austin or any other similar city to pass an ordinance saying in this city we don’t accept sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination.”
“The City is proud of our anti-discrimination ordinance and the protections it provides,” a City spokesperson said in a statement. “The ordinance reflects our values and culture respecting the dignity and rights of every individual. We are prepared to vigorously defend the City against this challenge to the City’s civil rights protections.”
Ephesians 5:25-27 says that “Christ … loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
The late influential preacher Charles Spurgeon also once exhorted, “It will certainly be disastrous for the Church of God if her members should become impure. In these days, we must be doubly strict, lest any looseness of conduct should come in among us. Actual sin must be repressed with a strong hand, but even the appearance of evil must be avoided.”


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
ALIAGA, Turkey — Andrew Brunson, the American pastor arrested in 2016 after being accused of espionage and having connections to those involved in a failed coup attempt against the Turkish government, is now free to leave the country after a judge sentenced him to time served.
“This is the day our family has been praying for,” Brunson said in a statement released by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which had been working toward the pastor’s release. “I am delighted to be on my way home to the United States. It’s been an extremely difficult time for our family and we want to express our appreciation to the millions of people around the world who have faithfully prayed for this day.”
As previously reported, Brunson and his wife, Norine, who are from Black Mountain, North Carolina, were detained in October 2016 after being accused of having “membership in an armed terrorist organization,” specifically, the military coup that attempted to overthrow the Turkish government that year. Brunson has pastored Resurrection Church in Izmir for over 20 years.
According to World Watch Monitor, Turkish authorities detained and/or jailed thousands in their efforts to find those behind the operation. While Brunson’s wife was released 12 days after being taken into custody, in December, Brunson was escorted into court, being told that a “secret informant” had accused him of involvement in terrorism.
In September 2017, Brunson was informed via a video conference with a Turkish judge that additional charges had been filed, including espionage, acquiring secret political and military information, seeking to overthrow the Turkish parliament and attempting to change the constitutional order.
Brunson said that he was innocent and asked that proof be provided. He stated that he has been in Turkey for more than two decades to simply tell the people about Jesus and has nothing to hide.
In April, the ACLJ reported that an official indictment handed down against Brunson claimed that the pastor used “Christianization” as a “mask” to engage in “unconventional warfare” against the government.
“The indictment goes on to give accounts from ‘secret witnesses,’ one of whom is code named ‘Dua,’ or ‘Prayer,’ who gives his interpretation of Christianity,” outlined attorney Cece Heil. “Within the roughly 25 pages containing his preposterous allegations, he opines that, ‘In the Christian faith, the beginning of the battle known as Armageddon is mentioned.’ He goes on to say that Protestants believe that President Erdoğan is the antichrist and that American Protestants are ‘counting on being forerunners in the war to come…’”
Heil said that the “secret witness” cited in the indictment stated that the battle will be started by Israel, and that it is a Protestant belief that “all humans are slaves of the sons of Israel and Protestants.”
“Dua’s account makes up almost half of the entire indictment and lacks any substance or evidence to support any of his ridiculous claims,” she explained. “Furthermore, such claims are not only a gross mischaracterization of Christianity, but offensive. Pastor Andrew has spent over 23 years of his life peacefully serving the people of Turkey as a Christian pastor, and should not be imprisoned for simply living out his faith.”
In July, Brunson was placed under house arrest until his trial, scheduled for Oct. 12. Prosecutors initially sought a sentence of 35 years in prison.
“I am an innocent man. I love Jesus. I love Turkey,” Brunson told the court in Aliaga on Friday, expressing bewilderment at the charges that were being brought against him. He particularly noted that one witness who was questioned was speaking of events that were unrelated to the pastor.
According to reports, some witnesses also told the court that their testimony had been misconstrued, and one witness said that she did not even know Brunson.
While Bruson was ultimately convicted of aiding terrorism, the judge, whose name has not been released, sentenced Bruson to three years in prison, but reduced the sentence to time served due to good behavior. He is now free to leave the country.
“Pastor Brunson just released! Will be home soon!” President Trump tweeted Friday morning.
Both Trump and Vice President Pence had called for Bruson’s release, as did U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In February 2017, nearly 80 members of U.S. Congress signed a letter to Turkish President Recep Erdoğan expressing doubt over the charges filed against the pastor. Brunson’s daughter also spoke before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva earlier this year to plead for help for her father.

Turkey releases US Pastor Andrew Brunson 

after holding him for two years on false charges

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
Another triumph of Trump administration diplomacy. The Erdogan regime had hoped to trade Brunson for Fetuhullah Gulen, whom Erdogan has scapegoated as the supposed leader of a coup against him (Gulen and Erdogan are both adherents of political Islam; their rift is personal). Instead, Brunson is coming home.
“Pastor Andrew Brunson released to U.S. diplomatic personnel after being detained by Turkish authorities for two years,” by Erin Cunningham, Washington Post, October 12, 2018:
BREAKING: Brunson will be departing his apartment in Turkey to go to the airport to leave the country. His lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said Brunson will be flown to a U.S. air base in Germany where he will be evaluated and eventually flown back to the United States.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
ALIAGA, Turkey — A Turkish court on Friday convicted American pastor Andrew Brunson of aiding terrorism but sentenced him to time served and ordered his immediate release.
The case of the evangelical preacher caught up in Turkey’s post-coup security sweep had garnered attention at the highest levels of the U.S. government and become a sore point in the two countries’ relations.
Within minutes of the verdict, President Trump tweeted, “working very hard on Pastor Brunson.”
Turkish soldiers stand guard outside the entrance to Aliaga Prison Court after American pastor Andrew Brunson arrived ahead of his court hearing on Friday in Izmir, Turkey. (Chris Mcgrath/Getty Images)
While Brunson, 50, was convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to three years in prison, the judge reduced his sentence to two years time served for good behavior. The pastor has been held under house arrest since July, for health reasons, but that arrangement was also ended so he could leave the country.
“The verdict was the best of a bad situation,” Brunson’s defense attorney, Ismail Cem Halavurt, said outside the courthouse in western Turkey.
Of Brunson’s plans to travel to the United States, Halavurt said: “He is going to go.”
“But I hope he is able to come back,” he added. “He is someone who absolutely loves Turkey.”
The cleric, who is from North Carolina, wept and embraced his wife, Norine, as they waited for the judge to issue the ruling Friday.
His trial had resumed Friday in Aliaga, a district roughly 40 miles from his longtime home in the city of Izmir, just hours after U.S. officials said a deal had been reached with Turkish authorities to secure his release.
He headed a small evangelical congregation in Izmir until his detention two years ago.
The pastor has been held since then on what he and the Trump administration said were false terrorism- and espionage-related charges. Prosecutors accused him of being linked both to Kurdish separatists and to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Turkish authorities say orchestrated a failed coup attempt in 2016….
Brunson, who sat alone in front of a panel of judges and the state prosecutor, was also allowed to speak following each witness’s testimony.
“I never met any PKK fighters,” he said to the judges in Turkish.
In his final statement to the court just before the verdict was issued, Brunson said: “I’m an innocent man. I love Jesus. I love this country,” and broke down in tears.