Wednesday, September 18, 2019


‘Strikingly secular message’ made just 1 reference to God
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
The pope is beginning to quote Hillary Clinton regarding his agendas, and has taken a hard turn to the secular, mentioning God just once in a new educational plan.
The Daily Wire reports on a plan in which the pope is inviting representatives of multiple religions, international groups and others to sign a “Global Pact of Education.”
He wants to “Hand on to younger generations a united and fraternal common home.”
There, he quotes Clinton in saying “It takes a village” to raise children.
The Vatican said just days ago the pope confirmed, in a video message, “A global educational pact is needed to educate us in universal solidarity and a new humanism.”
Lifesite News reported, “Vatican-backed website launched to promote the pact added: ‘Educating young people in fraternity, in learning to overcome divisions and conflicts, promote hospitality, justice and peace: Pope Francis has invited everyone who cares about the education of the young generation to sign a Global Pact, to create a global change of mentality through education.'”
The announcement mentioned “one throw-away reference to the Lord,” the report said.
He said the world’s inhabitants have to be proactive in education goals.
Without regard to the status quo.
“This will result in men and women who are open, responsible, prepared to listen, dialogue and reflect with others, and capable of weaving relationships with families, between generations, and with civil society, and thus to create a new humanism,” he said.
Lifesite noted some of the concerns with the announcement: “At a time when the right to homeschool and the right to a free choice of school are threatened, and when countries throughout the world level taxes to provide public schooling to which no Catholic parents could safely send their child, Pope Francis omitted any reference to the prerogatives of parents as the primary educators of their children.”
He invited everyone “to work for this alliance and to be committed, individually and within our communities, to nurturing the dream of a humanism rooted in solidarity and responsive both to humanity’s aspirations and to God’s plan.”
He assigned the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education to run forward with the plan. That church division is charged with overseeing “216 thousand Catholic schools, attended by over 60 million pupils and 1,750 Catholic universities, with over 11 million students.”
Plans are for a convention of sorts to happen May 24, 2020.
He said an alliance is required “between the earth’s inhabitants and our ‘common home,’ which we are bound to care for and respect. An alliance that generates peace, justice and hospitality among all peoples of the human family, as well as dialogue between religions.”
He said, just weeks ago, that perhaps the world needs to change a lot.
“In the current situation of globalization not only of the economy but also of technological and cultural exchanges, the nation-state is no longer able to procure the common good of its population alone,” he told the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in May. “While, according to the principle of subsidiarity, individual nations must be given the power to operate as far as they can, on the other hand, groups of neighboring nations — as is already the case — can strengthen their cooperation by attributing the exercise of certain functions and services to intergovernmental institutions that manage their common interests.”
The Beast out of the Earth
Dr. Greg J. Dixon
(Publisher’s comment:  In my opinion, it is highly possible that this pope, or another similar to him, fits the description of the beast that comes up out of the earth that is described by John: Rev 13:11-18: “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.  12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.  13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,  14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.  15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.  16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”  Just as the Lord Jesus had a forerunner in John the Baptist, the Anti-Christ will also have a forerunner, so to speak.  He will influence the people to take the mark and to worship the ‘image of the Beast’.”  Surely the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.  

Eco-SOCIALISM: Francis & the Amazon Schism

This week from the Editor’s Desk, Michael Matt takes a much closer look at the eco-theology of the Pan-Amazonian Bishops Synod, to kick off in two weeks. Do you think this is really about women deacons and married priests? Or is there something much more sinister going on? Plus, in addition to calling for the establishment of a ‘new humanism,’ Francis borrows a page from Hillary Clinton’s playbook and tells the world that ‘it takes a village’ to establish peace and justice for all. And Jesus Christ? Well, Francis evidently forgot to mention Him again. Finally, in his latest video message, Francis scolds President Trump for being a heretic from the new Eco-Religion when it comes to opting America out of the Parish Treaty on Climate Change. Imagine that! And for that matter, imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try; no hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine there's no countries. . . Francis does!


ACR 99: CA Lawmakers Forcing Pastors to Embrace LGBTQ Ideology. 

Attack on 1st Amendment. No Freedom

Azusa Pacific University Chaplain and the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, Dr. Kevin Mannoia, shocked Christian leaders last week when he testified in favor of a California resolution directing pastors and counselors to affirm LGBT identities and behavior.
Christian University Caves to the State and the LGBTQ ...
California Assemblyman Evan Low and three dozen other lawmakers are pushing a resolution in the state Assembly Judiciary Committee that's aimed at telling religious leaders in California what they should preach from their pulpits. The California Family Council reports that Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 (ACR 99) calls on "counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators" and institutions with "great moral influence" to stop perpetuating the idea that something is wrong with LGBT identities or sexual behavior. ACR 99 also condemns attempts to change unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion as "unethical," "harmful," and leading to high rates of suicide. Two formerly gay individuals, Pastors Ken Williams and Elizabeth Woning, argue against the resolution, calling it "discriminatory" against people like themselves, who overcame suicidal thoughts by following their faith away from their LGBT identities. They now lead a ministry called Equipped to Love that helps others like them to find health and wholeness. "For us, walking out our faith with biblical conviction means life and hope. Our faith has saved us from suicide and given us freedom to live with clear consciences," Woning said. "We too would like to be acknowledged and affirmed...Instead, activists attack our efforts to care for like-minded friends by promoting dangerous counseling restrictions and stifling our free speech," she added. Williams feels the same way. "For years, I believed that even God hated me because of my behavior," he said. "But in my early 20s, I encountered a God who loved me despite my sins and temptations. Today, I love my life. I have been married to my beautiful wife for 13 years, and we have created four incredible children together. To someone like me, California Assemblyman Evan Low's proposed resolution, ACR-99, feels like an unfair and direct attack." Despite Low's claim that this resolution has the support of some California religious leaders, other pastors and religious leaders with a traditional view on gender and sexuality are publicly opposing ACR 99. Azusa Pacific University Chaplain and the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, Dr. Kevin Mannoia, shocked Christian leaders last week when he testified in favor of a California resolution directing pastors and counselors to affirm LGBT identities and behavior. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99, authored by Assemblyman Evan Low, calls on “counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators” and institutions with “great moral influence” to stop perpetuating the idea that something is wrong with being LGBT. ACR 99 also condemns attempts to change unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion as “unethical,” “harmful,” and leading to high LGBT suicide rates.
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
The California legislature continues to take more steps to counter Christianity, and religion in general, with is recent passage of ACR 99. The resolution — which is a direct affront on the Biblical teachings pertaining to sexuality and the need for men to repent, believe the gospel and follow Christ — blames “religious groups” for the “disproportionately high rates” of suicide among homosexuals and so-called transgenders.
The resolution enrolled on September 12, which is entitled, “ACR 99, Low. Civil rights: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer people,” formally declares that homosexuality and transgenderism are “part of natural variations that occur in sexual orientation and gender identity.”
ACR 99 formalizes the official position of the state legislature in condemning the counseling of individuals to change from living homosexual or transgender lifestyles, citing that such actions have resulted in suicides apart from declaring that such lifestyles are “natural variations.”
“The stigma associated with being LGBTQ often created by groups in society, including therapists and religious groups, has caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation amongst LGBTQ and questioning individuals,” the resolution states.
The formal declaration calls upon pastors, religious workers and others to denounce what it considers anti-LGBTQ “stigma” and work toward acceptance and affirmation of those living outside of the Biblical parameters of sexuality.
“That in addressing the stigma often associated with persons who identify as LGBTQ, we call on the people of California–especially its counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators, and legislators–and the institutions of California with great moral influence–especially its churches, universities, colleges, and other schools, counseling centers, activist groups, and religious centers–to model equitable treatment of all people of the state,” the resolution reads.
Read full resolution here.
The Bible teaches in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 the Scripture states that homosexuals, among others, “will not inherit the kingdom of God,” but in verse 11 offers hope that through repentance and faith in Christ they can be saved.
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God,” 1 Corinthians 6:11declares.
The principal assembly members who co-authored the resolution include: Sabrina Cervantes, Susan Talamantes Eggman and Todd Gloria, along with the principal senator co-authors: Toni G. Atkins, James Thomas Beall Jr., Cathleen Galgiani, Lena Gonzalez, Mike McGuire, Richard Pan, Anthony Portantino, Henry Stern, Tom Umberg, Bob Wieckowski and Scott Wiener. All are elected Democrats.
The resolution passed California’s Senate with a 29-7 vote on September 4, and the state Assembly with a 61-11 vote on September 9.

California's LGBTQ ACR 99 vs. the Bible

The legislature of the State of California has put forward Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 which essentially endorses the LGBTQ agenda. Basically it claims that certain secular experts believe that their ideas on these matters is best for all and that no one should make efforts to disagree. Beyond that, it instructs pastors, churches, religious workers, and others with "great moral authority" to endorse their objectives. But what does the Bible teach about sexual and other practices that the LGBTQ crowd endorses. Should Christians and others condemn or condone the LGBTQ agenda? Does the Bible teach Christians should accept or condemn aspects of the LGBTQ agenda? Why were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? Dr. Thiel addresses these matters and more through citing numerous scriptures on aspects of biblical morality. A written article of related interest is available titled "The State of California claims it knows things that the Bible says it cannot with ACR-99 " URL:



Will you allow the silencing of the American people before 2020?

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
A shocking new video report exposes how the widespread Big Tech censorship of conservatives was a scheme hatched by Silicon Valley and Democratic lawmakers from the very start.
The mass banning and censorship of Infowars and other conservative personalities and news outlets was preceded by Democrats in Congress demanding blanket silencing in the name of stopping “hate” and “harassment”.
Of course it all had nothing to do with that and everything to do with the fallout from Trump’s 2016 success and preventing him from winning re-election in 2020.
The long term goal is to prevent anyone other than Democrats winning ever again by defaming, financially sabotaging and digitally disappearing their ideological adversaries.
Virtually everyone who helped elect Trump in 2020 is now imprisoned in a digital gulag to one degree or another, with the next wave focused on blocking you even having the right to a bank account or to engage in basic commerce.
The end game is a Communist Chinese-style social credit score where any American who expresses views outside ringfenced “norms” is punished.
Imagine a future where you go to buy groceries and your credit card gets declined because some pencil neck in Silicon Valley didn’t like your politically incorrect Facebook post.
That’s our collective destiny unless we stop it now – our entire lives and our very thought processes dictated to us by the very worst people in society.
The Trump administration must act NOW to address Big Tech censorship and deplatforming otherwise control freaks hell bent on socially re-engineering the population will cement their power for decades to come.


Cheerleaders Punished For Displaying "Trump 2020 MAGA" Banner
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
A group of cheerleaders at a North Carolina high school found themselves in hot water after a photo of them posing in front of a giant Trump “Make America Great Again” banner was posted to social media.
The cheerleaders at North Stanly High School were place on probation by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA),” reported the Charlotte Observer, adding that the governing body had not defined the terms of the probation “and the team is expected to continue cheering, the school district said in a release.”
The best the NCHSAA could muster by way of an explanation for its action against the cheerleaders was that “the focus of Friday night football games should be on our students — the players, cheerleaders, band members —  the focus should not be on politics.”
In a prepared statement NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker insisted that the probation, which can last as long as a year, is not punishment. “It serves as a notice of behavior or action that is against NCHSAA Handbook Policy or contrary to expectations of sportsmanship and proper behavior,” Tucker explained, adding, however, that further infractions could lead to fines or suspensions for the school or individuals.
The Observer reported that in a photo posted to Facebook August 30, “at least seven North Stanly cheerleaders in uniform are seen posing around a banner reading ‘Trump 2020: Make America Great Again.’ The students appear to be on a high school football field with referees in the background.”
According to the Stanly News & Press, “Friday night’s game ... was promoted as having a theme of ‘American Night.’ Students were encouraged on social media to ‘wear your patriotic red, white and blue to support the Comets!"
While the paper claimed the photo made some individuals “uncomfortable,” Todd Starnes, a conservative Fox News commentator, said that parents of the cheerleaders had told him that “the photo was completely innocent and the picture was snapped in just a matter of seconds.”
The mother of one of the cheerleaders said: “These kids really had no ill intention. They really just wanted to snap a picture. They’re labeling these cheerleaders these terrible, derogatory names. They’re calling them racists, they’re calling them bigots, they’re calling them these things that they are not.”
Nonetheless, the Stanly News & Press reported that “due to the fact the incident caused concern for many and helped create a negative athletic environment, according to [NCHSAA Commissioner] Tucker, the NCHSAA decided to reprimand the cheerleaders by putting them on probation.”
In an effort to distance itself from the actions of the cheerleaders, the Stanly County Board of Education said in a statement that district policy prohibits political advertisements on campus or at school events. “This policy does not prohibit students from speaking their minds or engaging in protected First Amendment activities,” insisted district officials in a statement. However, “because the cheerleaders were in uniform and were acting as representatives of the school, the display of the sign could be perceived as the school or school system endorsing a political campaign.”
At least one local individual expressed his anger at the school district for allowing the students to pose with the banner. “Why in the world would the school board allow this to happen,” the individual wrote on social media. “I am sad and very disappointed with NS. This is a High School football game, not a political rally. Shame on them.”
By contrast, another local citizen wrote that she was “shocked” by the disciplinary action against the students. “I never post my opinion about politics on Facebook because everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to your opinion,” wrote the local resident. “However, this is totally absurd! … I don’t care if you are a Republican or a Democrat, you should have the right to openly support the president of the USA!”
And the group NC Conservatives posted: “Cheerleaders at North Stanly high school Stanly County NC were put on probation for the rest of the football season for for holding a TRUMP 2020 banner! People said it made them feel ‘uncomfortable’ but this High School Athletics Association is the same nonprofit that just voted to allow boys access to girls athletic teams. They have an agenda and it’s bad for our students.”
President Trump himself also weighed in, tweeting to the cheerleaders: “Thank you for your support in the great state of NC! Let’s keep AMERICA GREAT at #NorthStanlyComets / #MAGA2020.”



State athletic association accused of suppressing students’ 

First Amendment rights

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
Cheerleaders at a high school in North Carolina were put on probation after they posed for pictures with a banner reading “Trump 2020.”
Administrators at North Stanly High School in New London chastised the squad’s decision to pose with the banner, which was displayed during a home football game last month, saying audiences could perceive it as a school-approved political endorsement.
“Because the cheerleaders were in uniform and were acting as representatives of the school, the display of the sign could be perceived as the school or school system endorsing a political campaign,” the Stanly County Board of Education wrote in a statement, adding that district policy prohibits the display of political ads.
The school, however, did not move to punish the girls; that was reportedly left up to the NCHSAA (North Carolina High School Athletic Association), which put the squad on probation for the rest of the season.
NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said the sign did not show “good sportsmanship,” and that it may have made some people feel unsafe.
“Every contest should be conducted in a wholesome athletic environment,” a statement from Tucker said. “We take that to mean that it’s in an environment where good sportsmanship is shown, where people feel safe… that respect for all people participating is being shown.”
While the school and state athletic association are reprimanding the girls, members of the public are backing their First Amendment rights, with a rally organized for this upcoming weekend.
U.S. Rep Richard Hudson also wrote a letter to the NCHSAA asking why the cheerleaders were being punished for exercising free speech.
“At the end of the day, these students have a First Amendment right to free speech, and the NCHSAA should immediately reconsider this unfair punishment,” Hudson’s letter states.


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
A shocking, in-depth Special Report that exposes reckless spending by a Minnesota 
School Board that has pushed a radical, political agenda on parents, students, & staff. 
Unsurprisingly, the scandal involves Muslim Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison. Check out 
the disturbing video below:


We're stuck in fossilized paradigms while our enemies grow stronger
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Hard upon President Trump’s misguided outreach to the Taliban, rumors are circulating of a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting. Trump has also publicly stated he doesn’t want regime-change in Tehran. This “let’s make a deal” mentality, even with foes who have repeatedly declared and carried out their malign intentions against us, bespeaks more than just the president’s volatile personality and experience in Manhattan real estate.
Indeed, after the probably Iranian-engineered missile attacks on Saudi oil refineries that knocked out half its productive capacity, Trump’s gestures of outreach to the mullahs have now become even more dangerous, and made the need for long-overdue significant military action to punish and deter the mullahs more urgent,
Equally urgent is the revision of a foreign-policy paradigm many years in years in the making and mired in received wisdom. It took root after World War II ended the malign ideologies of fascism, Nazism, and Japanese racist militarism. Even though those murderous movements put the lie to the long dream of a global “harmony of interests” institutionalized in transnational treaties and supranational organizations, the West created the UN, NATO, the World Bank, and other global institutions that would help contain the Soviet Union while the global economy increased wealth and distributed it more widely. The collapse of the Soviet Union fed the illusion that the triumph of liberal democracy was assured, and that its last ideological rival was dispatched without another world war.
But multinational institutions didn’t bring about the end of the Soviet Union, or the communist ideology still riling some parts of the world, and also gaining popularity in this country in its “kinder, gentler” manifestation as “democratic socialism.” Likewise, despite the orthodox paradigm of our foreign policy and national security agencies, NATO did not “keep the peace” in Europe. Peace was achieved by U.S. nuclear weapons, forward-deployed military forces, and “proxy duels” fought to contain Soviet-sponsored aggression. And Soviet communism as an ideology was discredited by visionary leaders like Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II. They saw beyond the shibboleths of “détente” and “outreach” and “summits,” and realized that given an “evil empire”–– as Reagan called it to the scorn of foreign policy savants–– that was ideologically committed to our destruction, the only strategy should be, “We win, they lose,” as Reagan famously said. Diplomacy works only when the enemy believes in your commitment to use lethal force.
Before that recovery of nerve, Jimmy Carter bungled our response to the Iranian Revolution and its jihadist mission to “fight all men until they say there is god but Allah,” as Mohammed instructed. Thus the Islamic Republic of Iran, came into being, a consequence of Carter’s foreign policy idealism, which empowered the mullahs rise to power. Carter ran an “international rules-based order” foreign policy, and he believed that American restraint and “principled” example on human rights would promote the spread of democracy and peace. His speeches and writings were redolent of the post-Vietnam “crisis of confidence” and “recent mistakes,” and counseled that America had “recognized limits.” Rather than the wars of containment, Carter highlighted “our commitment to human rights,” and promised that “we will not behave in foreign places so as to violate our rules and standards here as home.” “Moral principles,” he intoned, “were the best foundation for the exertion of American power and influence.” This statement is good example of what historian Corelli Barnett called the “moralizing internationalism” that had been developing since the late 19th century and reached its gruesome repudiation at Munich and the 60 million dead that followed.
The problem with such idealism is, as the cliché goes, the enemy has a vote about what comprises “moral principles,” and it’s unlikely that good examples, foreign aid, or restraint in the face of aggression will change their minds. A readiness to punish swiftly and brutally attacks on our security and interests, the willingness to employ the “mailed fist,” as Duff Cooper said of dealing with Hitler, rather than “sweet persuasion,” creates the prestige that deters aggressors. After 9/11 we did recover some of that lost respect with the swift victories in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those successes were the monitory “examples” that got Syria’s Bashar Assad out of Lebanon and convinced Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi to dismantle his nuclear weapon facilities–– and to let us watch him do it.
But then this muscular realism was enervated by George W. Bush’s moralizing internationalism, based on yet another failure of imagination––ignoring the fundamental differences over “moral principles” that exist in other cultures, especially Islam. Ignoring that diversity, in 2002, before the Iraq War, Bush identified our foreign policy strategy as the promotion of the “single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise,” for “these values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society.” Thus the U.S. will strive “to extend the benefits of freedom across the globe. We will actively work to bring the hope of democracy, development, free markets, and free trade to every corner of the world.”
Based on these delusions, the punitive wars of deterrence morphed into democracy promotion in cultures with a religion that for 14 centuries both in word and deed has demonstrated its scorn for our Western ideals and its “benefits” like political freedom, human rights, and prosperity. Just as the similar idealism that hyped the stillborn  “Arab Spring,” this stale paradigm of democracy promotion did nothing to restrain Iran and Syria, and contributed to more disorder in the Middle East, Iran and Russia filling the power vacuum our fecklessness created in Syria, more and better missiles for Hezbollah and Hamas, and more lethal threats to our ally Israel.
Finally, Barack Obama went even farther than Carter or Bush in his myopic idealism. He dismissed American exceptionalism as parochial boasting and went on an international “apology tour” for America’s geopolitical sins. Like Carter, he spoke of our country’s “imperfections” and its need to lead by example: “To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people.” Once again, our enemies have their own notions of what constitutes “decency” and which “aspirations” are acceptable.
And Obama endorsed the long tradition of Wilsonian global democracy promotion: “I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.” Armed with this received wisdom, Obama brought about the Iran nuclear deal, rewarding an inveterate enemy with American blood on its hands with a glide-path to possessing nuclear weapons, and an upfront bribe of $150 billion.  One of the bright stars of Trump’s foreign policy is withdrawing the US from this act of appeasement. But his willingness to negotiate with the mullahs and make concessions, if realized will, in the end, tarnish that achievement.
The core mistake of moralizing internationalism is the failure to recognize that every human does not have the destiny, but only the potential for endorsing and accepting Western ideals like human rights, free enterprise, separation of church and state, sex equality, and peaceful coexistence. Just removing a tyrant and flooding a country with NGOs, infrastructure, foreign aid, and democracy seminars are not enough to overcome deep-seated religious and cultural beliefs and practices. First, those who resist these improvements have to be beaten into submission, as the Romans and British showed. Idealists who support their faith in democracy promotion by citing Germany and Japan after WWII forget that those nations had been bombed into near extinction first, then given the help to develop into liberal democracies.
More important, we have to accept the tragic “awful arithmetic,” as Lincoln put it, the calculation that some people die today so more people can live tomorrow. But to do that, we must have the moral nerve based on our certainty that our way of life is not just different, but better because it produces for the most people civilized peace, freedom, and the opportunity to improve their lives.
In the end, our foreign policy is muddled not just because we continue to chant the mantras of the “rules-based, democratic international order,” even as we are befuddled when the enemy doesn’t go along and continues to challenge our interests and security. It is also muddled because a significant number of Americans, as the current crop of Democrat presidential primary candidates shows, no longer have that belief in America, and do not believe that America is not just worth dying for, but killing for.
Donald Trump was elected in part because he stood against that old, flabby consensus of moralizing internationalism. He promised to put America’s interests and security first, not the multilateral, multinational sacred cows of the UN or the EU, both of which have been camouflages for powerful member-states’ national interests. Yet his faith in his diplomatic “deal-making” prowess, his correct reading of the electorate’s dislike of “foreign entanglements,” and democracy’s traditional preference for butter over guns–– all have led him to seek deals with aggressors who also know that we are loath to wreak the sort of destruction necessary to stop their aggression, and then to leave behind indefinitely the fortified outposts necessary to monitor and punish those who violate our interests.
As long as our fossilized idealist paradigms guide our foreign policy, we will have to live with this muddle, even as our enemies grow stronger in their power to do us harm. Continuing to appease aggression like the Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia will dangerously hasten that growth.


Arizona Supreme Court says Phoenix artists do not have to make LGBTQ wedding 


AZ Artists Challenge Phoenix Discrimination Ordinance | Fox News Interview

The Arizona Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to take up a pivotal artistic and religious freedom case. The case, Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix, involves two artists who risk jail time and fines if they violate a sweeping Phoenix criminal law that forces them to design and create custom artwork expressing messages that violate their core beliefs. Learn more about Brush & Nib and their case at

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
The Arizona Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision has ruled in favor of Phoenix-based Brush & Nib Studio, a small business that refused to produce homosexual wedding invitations.
“The rights of free speech and free exercise, so precious to this nation since its founding, are not limited to soft murmurings behind the doors of a person’s home or church, or private conversations with like-minded friends and family,” wrote Justice Andrew Gould for the majority.
“These guarantees protect the right of every American to express their beliefs in public. This includes the right to create and sell words, paintings, and art that express a person’s sincere religious beliefs. With these fundamental principles in mind, today we hold that the City of Phoenix … cannot apply its Human Relations Ordinance … to force Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, LC (“Brush & Nib”), to create custom wedding invitations celebrating same-sex wedding ceremonies in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs. Duka, Koski, and Brush & Nib (“Plaintiffs”) have the right to refuse to express such messages under article 2, section 6 of the Arizona Constitution, as well as Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act (“FERA”), A.R.S. § 41-1493.01.,” the ruling states.
The case pitted the business owners against the city of Phoenix, with key elements including the concepts of artistic freedom, religious rights, and anti-discrimination laws.
The full decision can be read here.
Artist Brianna Koski (at podium) and calligrapher Joanna Duka (right) talk about the ruling at Alliance Defending Freedom's Scottsdale office.
Artist Brianna Koski (at podium) and calligrapher Joanna Duka (right) talk about the ruling at Alliance Defending Freedom's Scottsdale office.
Lynn Trimble

Court: Phoenix Business Can Refuse to Make Invitations for Same-Sex Couples

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
The case pitted the business owners against the city of Phoenix, with key elements including the concepts of artistic freedom, religious rights, and anti-discrimination laws.
The case began in May 2016, after Brush & Nib and its owners claimed that a Phoenix anti-discrimination law violated their artistic and religious freedom. They filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court.
Artist Breanna Koski and calligrapher Joanna Duka founded Brush & Nib Studio in 2015. The company specializes in hand-painting and hand-lettering for weddings, special events, and home decor. They also sell ready-made products such as signs and thank-you cards.
The business owners said that Phoenix City Code 18-4(B)(1)-(3) prevented them from exercising artistic and religious freedom by requiring that they create wedding invitations for same-sex couples.
Adopted in 2013, the ordinance prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability. It applies to businesses offering services to the general public.
Brush & Nib Studio is represented by Scottsdale-based Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal advocacy and training group founded in 1994 to promote what it calls religious freedom, marriage and family, and the sanctity of life.
The Alliance Defending Freedom has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which condemns the alliance for its "anti-LGBT ideology."
The alliance’s clients include Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in 2012. That case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, went all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. In June 2018, the court ruled in Phillips’ favor in a 7-2 decision.
The Alliance Defending Freedom announced that it intends to hold a press conference with the Brush & Nib owners this afternoon.
Today’s decision follows a previous court decision that went against Brush & Nib.
In October 2017, Maricopa Country Superior Judge Karen A. Mullins ruled that the city code in question does not violate the studio's right to free speech, or the free exercise of religion.
Under that ruling, the studio couldn’t legally refuse to sell their custom-made products to same-sex couples, or post a statement on their website saying that same-sex couples aren't welcome as customers. That decision was affirmed by the Arizona Court of Appeals in June of 2018.
Brush & Nib Studio responded by asking the Arizona Supreme Court to hear the case, resulting in today's opinion.
"The city of Phoenix’s anti-discrimination ordinance is still a legal, valid law and remains in effect," the city said in a statement after the ruling. "It currently affirms that everyone should be treated fairly and equally regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion, sex, gender or disability...
"The Arizona Supreme Court made a very narrow ruling that one local business has the right to refuse to make custom wedding invitations for same-sex couples’ weddings that are similar to the designer’s previous products. This ruling does not apply to any other business in Phoenix. The city of Phoenix has had an anti-discrimination ordinance since 1964 to protect all residents and believes that everyone should be treated equally."
Koski and Duka spoke at Alliance Defending Freedom's Scottsdale office in a press conference with lawyer Jonathan Scruggs.
"This is a win not just for Breanna Koski and me; it is a win for everyone," calligrapher Joanna Duka said at a press conference in the Scottsdale office of Alliance Defending Freedom. "Everyone should be free to live and work according to their beliefs."
For artist Breanna Koski, the case was all about "who should decide what artists say through their work, the artist or the government."
"We cannot separate our art from our faith; they are deeply interwoven," she said.
Although the court clearly states that its ruling applies only to this particular business and this particular set of circumstances, the attorney for Brush & Nib said it has broader implications.
"Today freedom won," Scruggs said. "A government that can crush Joanna and Breanna can crush us all." Scruggs noted that they're watching similar cases in other parts of the country, and hoping the issue will eventually make it's way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
(This story was updated to include quotes after the ruling from the city of Phoenix and the plaintiffs.)