Why this blog? Forming consciences for Faithful Citizenship

Mark 12:17 : Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's

This blog is a collection of:

> Articles from a variety of sources (CNN, Wall Street JournalWashington Times, Chicago Tribune), pointing toward an anti-Christian bias

> Quotes and videos from political candidates, including Clinton and vice president candidate, Kaine, on the needed "evolution" of religious institutions

> Thoughts from leaders including Attorney General of Oklahoma and a Princeton University professor demonstrating the acute risk to religious liberty

> Position papers from the US government's Civil Right Commission and outside political groups that will align to Clinton and try to change Christian teaching, illustrating their plans on how to do so

> Claims from groups that have already labeled parts of the Catholic Church, Catholic and Christian Universities and Christian symbols as "hate groups",  "places of shame" or "hate symbols"

> Movements to have Christian organizations loose "non-profit / tax-exempt" status, while revealing their donor names to the government

> Analysis of "Religious Liberty" in party platforms

My hope is those who care about how the Christian faith impacts society, will read as many of these articles as possible, in an effort to form consciences in advance of voting in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Upon my reading, I have drawn the conclusion that a Hillary presidency will lead to a significant weakening of Religious Liberty. 

You may draw a different conclusion. However, please take the time to review in detail what has been assembled and conclude for yourself.  

This election is the last chance we have to preserve our religious freedom. 

Religious Beliefs and Structural Biases Have to be Changed

Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”  

- Hillary Clinton, April 2015 

No Practice or Tradition Trumps the Human Rights that Belong to all of us

Equating limiting rights of LBGT to honor killings, widow burning and genital mutilation

No practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us …. Human Rights are universal and cut through all religions.

– Hillary Clinton, 2011

Religious Liberty was Never Intended to Give one Religion Dominion Over Other Religions

"The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance. 

Mr, Martin Castro, Chairman of US Commission on Civil Rights
Religious liberty was never intended to give one religion dominion over other religions, or a veto power over the civil rights and civil liberties of others. However, today, as in the past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality. 

In our nation’s past religion has been used to justify slavery and later, Jim Crow laws. We now see “religious liberty” arguments sneaking their way back into our political and constitutional discourse (just like the concept of “state rights”) in an effort to undermine the rights of some Americans. This generation of Americans must stand up and speak out to ensure that religion never again be twisted to deny others the full promise of America." 

Mr. Martin Castro, Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

“Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.” September 2016 

Page 29

Center for American Progress Report: Extreme conservatives cannot and should not define religious liberty

Center for American Progress , Advancing Progressive Religious Liberty in 2016, March 30, 2016
"Extreme conservatives cannot and should not have the monopoly on defining religious liberty. Current efforts to twist religious liberty distort the very meaning of one of the country’s founding freedoms: Religious liberty belongs to all Americans. This report demonstrates that Americans of faith and conscience across the ideological spectrum reject the use of religion to discriminate and justify harm against others."
Successfully advancing progressive health care laws, nondiscrimination policies, and religious tolerance depends on restoring a progressive interpretation of religious liberty that maintains the balance between that core American value and the government’s compelling interest in protecting others from harm or the imposition of religious beliefs. This needs to happen not only in progressive legislative and judicial action but also as a part of the broader cultural conversation. 

Finally, this report offers four recommendations to lawmakers, candidates, advocates, and stakeholders to advance progressive religious liberty in 2016 and beyond: 
  • Highlight the support of the faith community for progressive policies, such as reproductive health care access and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections, in conjunction with opposition to overly broad religious exemptions 
  • Demonstrate that abuses of religious liberty protections can have a disproportionate negative impact on vulnerable communities, such as women of color and LGBT youth 
  • Call out the hypocrisy of war on religion narratives by framing anti-Muslim bigotry as a religious liberty issue and calling it what it is—discrimination against Muslim citizens and immigrants alike 
  • Fight overly broad religious exemptions on the state and federal levels; support comprehensive nondiscrimination protections; and advance legislation that affirms a progressive vision of religious liberty that is balanced with protections against harm to others

- Carolyn Davis , Senior Policy Analyst for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, Center for American Progress

Human Rights Campaign: Church Must Change to Supreme Court Decision

Even after this nationwide marriage equality victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, our nation continues to be divided into two distinct Americas — one where legal equality for LGBTQ people is becoming more and more of a reality — and the other where LGBTQ people still lack access to some of the most basic necessities of life.

Far too many Catholics are rejected from their churches, their homes and even secular employment simply because they are LGBTQ or because they believe in equality. We seek to empower and elevate the voices of lay Catholics – LGBTQ and our allies – whose significant support of equality stands in stark contrast to the U.S. hierarchy's anti-LGBTQ actions


Anti-Catholics for Clinton

"To the progressives who dominate American culture and politics, anti-Christian views are the most socially acceptable form of bigotry."

Notre Dame-Newman Centre for Faith & Reason Director Bill Dailey 

October, 14, 2016


First on CNN: Religious leaders slam Clinton campaign over emails

Washington (CNN)Catholic and evangelical groups slammed Hillary Clinton's campaign in a statement Thursday over comments revealed in the WikiLeaks emails hack between two high-level campaign officials.
Dozens of religious leaders who signed the statement expressed their "outrage at the demeaning and troubling rhetoric used by those within Secretary Clinton's campaign."
    The statement is referring to a 2011 email between campaign chairman John Podesta, whose email was hacked, and communications director Jennifer Palmieri and John Halpin, a senior fellow at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.

    Clinton campaign mocks Catholics emails

     - The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 12, 2016
    Long before Hillary Clinton called millions of Americans a “basket of deplorables,” her top campaign advisers and liberal allies openly mocked Catholics, Southerners and a host of other groups, according to newly released emails that offer a stunning window into the vitriol inside the Clinton world less than a month before Election Day.
    The emails, published by WikiLeaks after a hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s private account, also show Clinton campaign officials and Democratic leaders disparaging supporters of Sen. Bernard Sanders as “self-righteous” whiners, calling Hispanic party leaders such as Bill Richardson “needy Latinos,” labeling CNN anchor Jake Tapper “a d—k” and even lambasting longtime Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal.
    The sheer number of insults in the email trove has left the Clinton campaign, along with outside organizations such as the Center for American Progress that were routinely involved in the brutal bad-mouthing, unable or unwilling to respond. Instead, they have blamed the hack on Russia and have refused to even confirm that the emails are genuine, though they also haven’t denied their authenticity. 

    Prediction: Penalties coming for religious people and institutions

    Edward Whelan,
    President, Ethics and Public Policy Center

    Adoption of same-sex marriage will also subject religious people and institutions to a variety of penalties imposed by the federal, state, and local governments:
    •         Disqualification from government grants and contracts.
    •         Loss of licenses or accreditation.
    •         Exclusion from government facilities and fora.
    •         Loss of state or local tax exemptions.
    •         Loss of educational and employment opportunities.

    Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center

    Page 269-282

    Hillary Clinton Campaign Chair Discusses “revolution” in the Catholic Church

    “There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church.”

    Sandy Newman, Voices for Progress

    Sandy Newman, president and founder of the progressive nonprofit Voices for Progress, writes to John Podesta, Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager, in an email titled “opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing.”

    CatholicVote.org Demands Clinton’s Anti-Catholic Spokeswoman Resign

    Does Hillary Clinton Respect the Faith of Catholic and Evangelical Americans?
    Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton Campaign
    MADISON, WI — The latest Wikileaks emails to go public reveal a series of communications involving Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chairman John Podesta and the campaign’s Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri in which Catholics are described as “severely backwards” and guilty of the “bastardization” of faith in general. The email author goes so far as to accuse Catholics of being “totally unaware of Christian democracy.”
    These disparaging remarks were made by John Halpin, an employee at the Center for American Progress — which was run by John Podesta until he went to work for the Clinton campaign.  

    Center for America Progress: "Catholic is Bastardization" and "Extreme"

    The conservative movement within the Catholic Church “an amazing bastardization of the faith.”

    John Halpin, Center for American Progress

    “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy”

    - John Halpin, Senior Fellow, the Center for American Progress


    Human Rights Campaign Foundation Lists "The Best Of The Worst Catholic Bishops Across The Country"

    Best of Worst Catholic Bishops per Human Rights Campaign Foundation

    Charles Chaput Archbishop of Philadelphia, Pa. Chaput has been a vocal opponent of marriage equality and has suggested that it harms the children of samesex unions. When Pennsylvania courts struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, Chaput described the decision as a “mistake with long-term, negative consequences,” expressing hope the decision would be successfully appealed “to defend the rights of children and contribute to the well-being of the larger community.”

    Thomas Paprocki Bishop of Springfield, Ill. When Illinois passed marriage equality, Paprocki characterized it as “contrary to the plan of God” and held an exorcism “in reparation for the sin of same sex marriage.” In reference to marriage equality, he said, “We must pray for deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church.”

    Full report here:


    Tim Kaine: Catholic Church Might Change Position on Gay Marriage

    Tim Kaine
    "I think it's going to change because my church also teaches me about a creator who, in the first chapter of Genesis, surveyed the entire world, including mankind, and said, 'It is very good,'" 

    - Tim Kaine, September 2016

    Full Story here:


    Biden, a Catholic, Officiates Wedding for Two Men


    SPLC Tags "Hate Group" Label to Radical Traditional Catholicism

    ".... although the radicals, as well, like their liturgy in Latin. They also embrace extremely conservative social ideals with respect to women."

    Unborn Person Does not Have Constitutional Rights

     “An unborn person does not have constitutional rights.

    - Hillary Clinton, April 2016

    Does your church ban gay marriage? Then it should start paying taxes.

    "It’s difficult to see how the nationwide legalization of gay marriage could have any kind of significant negative repercussions for anybody who’s not gay. Difficult – but not impossible. Because now that the US government formally recognizes marriage equality as a fundamental right, it really shouldn’t skew the tax code so as to give millions of dollars in tax breaks to groups which remain steadfastly bigoted on the subject.
    I’m talking, of course, about churches."

    Same-sex marriage: Will conservative religious colleges lose tax-exempt status?

    After last week's landmark Supreme Court ruling, the tax-exempt status of conservative religious institutions whose policies don't extend housing and other benefits to same-sex couples could be in question.


    The Next Supreme Court Justice: "five liberal justices that would ensure liberal outcomes to all controversial decisions"


    "Replacing Justice Scalia with a liberal would fundamentally alter that balance, creating a solid majority of five liberal justices that would ensure liberal outcomes to all controversial decisions."

    "Freedom of religious conscience also hangs in the balance. We have seen this in the Hobby Lobby case, where the Court protected the right of religious employers not to fund abortions. So too in the Little Sisters of the Poor case, where the Court has, for now, narrowly avoided the question of whether Catholic nuns can be required to cover contraception in their health insurance plan. Other cases regarding freedom of conscience are on the horizon. The Court recently declined to review a case that upheld a Washington law that requires pharmacists to sell abortion drugs despite religious objections. Similarly, a case may soon reach the Court to decide whether civil rights laws can be used to force, for example, a Christian photographer to use her artistic skills to celebrate a same-sex wedding."


    "Contrary to what many believe, the primary guarantee of our liberty in the Constitution is not the Bill of Rights. Rather it is found in the structure of government under the Constitution, which is designed to prevent accumulation of power and oppression of the people. The Constitution separates powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government, and divides powers between the federal government and the states. Those who wrote the Constitution expected that members of the different branches would be zealous in defending their powers from other parts of government that attempted to encroach on them. They expected state legislatures to do likewise. These constitutional structures provide the greatest and broadest guarantee of liberty by limiting governmental power. And today they are under threat."


    "The appointment of the next Supreme Court justice could be the most legally significant event for our country in a generation. If the next justice is in the mold of Justices Ginsburg or Sotomayor, the rulings of the Court will shift dramatically to the left. If the next justice shares the principles and philosophy of Justice Scalia, the ideologically balanced Court that we have grown accustomed to in the last quarter century will likely remain."

    Non-Catholics for Church ‘Reform’


    Non-Catholics for Church ‘Reform’

    Clinton allies mock the faithful and demand they embrace secular dogmas.

    • Many elites, having embraced secular progressivism as not merely a political view but a religion, loathe traditional faiths that refuse to yield to its dogmas.
    • The contempt Mr. Halpin and Ms. Palmieri exhibit for faithful Catholics is matched only by their loathing for the faith itself—and perhaps their maligning of evangelicals as uncouth bumpkins.
    • He and his allies created them [public advocacy groups] to subvert the church’s teachings and witness—produce the rebellion—not advance them. The groups are progressive and Democrat—not Catholic.
    • Where do you suppose Mr. Podesta and his friends went to get the money to fund the phony “Catholic” groups? The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights discovered, to no one’s surprised, that the effort was backed by progressive billionaire George Soros, another non-Catholic.
    • This tactic has only bred more hatred toward traditions of faith that uphold traditional moral values, such as Catholicism, evangelical Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Mormonism and Orthodox Judaism. 
    • She [Clinton] vowed in the second presidential debate “to be the president for all Americans,” regardless of politics or religion. Given her closest advisers’ animus toward faithful Catholics and evangelicals, millions of Americans ought to be skeptical—especially if they’re unwilling to put politics before faith and common decency.

    Mr. Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, was chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

    Campus Pride Lists Catholic and Christian Universities on "Shame List"

    Shame List: The Absolute Worst Campuses for LGBTQ Youth

    “Religion-based bigotry is careless and life-threatening,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride. “LGBTQ young people face high rates of harassment and violence, especially our trans youth and LGBTQ youth of color. The schools on this list openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth and many of these schools have requested or received Title IX exemptions for no other purpose than to discriminate, expel and ban LGBTQ youth from campus. It is shameful and wrong.”

    Campus Pride named the list the “Shame List” for the purpose of calling out the harmful and shameful acts of religion-based prejudice and bigotry. “Families and young people deserve to know that this list of schools are the worst for LGBTQ youth.  They are not loving, welcoming, safe spaces to live, learn and grow – and nobody wants to go to a college that openly discriminates against anyone,” Windmeyer said.

    Campus Hate Response Team: Crucifix is Hate Symbol

    According to The La Crosse Tribune, one student reported feeling unsafe when discovering a Campus Crusade for Christ poster on campus, claiming that the cross represents “oppression and hate of the LGBT+ community.”


    Forcing Non-Profits, including churches to send donor lists to government

    When voters in Missouri, South Dakota, Washington and Oregon go to the polls in November, they will vote on ballot measures that are cleverly marketed as legislation aimed at reducing “big money” and “outside influence” in local elections. If passed, what these measures would really do is limit the ability of nonprofits like ours to weigh in on policy matters we care about. This is an infringement of our First Amendment rights.

    The South Dakota Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act is a good example. Also known as Measure 22, it would force nonprofit organizations to report the names and addresses of their donors to the state government, subjecting them to possible investigation by an unelected ethics board that is given the power to subpoena private documents and overrule decisions made by the state attorney general if the board disagrees

    Nonprofit organizations—like the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, National Rifle Association, churches, Boys and Girls Clubs and art museums—are legally allowed under federal law to take positions on legislative matters that impact their missions, as long as they do not financially or otherwise support candidates for office. Because they are not engaging in candidate campaigns, they are allowed to protect the privacy of their financial supporters. The South Dakota measure and others like it would overrule these protections.

    "Do we want America to be a country where government keeps public lists of law-abiding citizens because they dare to support causes they believe in? Every American has the right to support a cause or a group without fear of harassment or intimidation. Protecting donor privacy is essential to safeguarding that right."

    Wall Street Journal: "Free Exercise" of Religion will lose to Non-Discrimination Causes

    Martin Castro has just performed an enormous public service for his country. But it’s not the one he thinks.
    Mr. Castro is chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a venerable institution dating to 1957 that has helped America kill Jim Crow and make good on our founding promises. An Obama appointee, Mr. Castro last Wednesday made public a report on nondiscrimination protections—increasingly about gender preference and sexual orientation—that in its crassness rivals Hillary Clinton’s belittling of Donald Trumpsupporters.
    Here’s Mrs. Clinton: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.”
    Here’s Mr. Castro: “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”
    Mr. Castro’s is the prevailing view among progressives. Barack Obama alluded to it when he derided small-town Americans bitterly clinging to guns or religion (i.e., the Second and First Amendments). Ditto for Mrs. Clinton, who in a remark about reproductive rights declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
    Mr. Castro’s contribution, by contrast, is so bad it’s good. For he confirms that the progressive argument is mostly about insulting Americans with differing views.
    The commission report is called “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling nondiscrimination principles with civil liberties.” Its top finding is this: “Civil rights protections ensuring nondiscrimination, as embodied in the Constitution, laws, and policies, are of pre-eminent importance in American jurisprudence.”
    Translation: Nuisances including the First Amendment’s “free exercise” of religion guarantee take a back seat to the rapidly multiplying non-discrimination causes such as the “right” to coerce any baker you want into baking the cake you want for your same-sex wedding.
    In her own submission to the report, the commission’s Gail Heriot pinpoints the flaw in the finding. A University of San Diego law professor, Ms. Heriot says she could easily imagine a case for Mr. Castro’s position. But instead of an argument, she says, the commission offers a decree.
    “By starting with an assertion that antidiscrimination laws are ‘pre-eminent,’ she writes, “the Commission’s analysis essentially begins with its conclusion. Why should anyone accept it? The Commission said so.”
    The reasonableness of Ms. Heriot’s contribution almost makes this awful report worth its price. Here is a civil rights commissioner who takes the clash between nondiscrimination and religion seriously, who appreciates that these clashes are the result of government going places it never went before—and who recognizes that the questions raised are more complicated than Mr. Castro’s good guys versus bad guys caricature.
    Ms. Heriot also recognizes the public-service aspect of publishing the chairman’s prejudice: Though she first thought of asking Chairman Castro to remove his statement, she writes, on further reflection she concluded that it “might be better for Christians, people of faith generally and advocates of limited government to know and understand where they stand with him.”
    Indeed we are better off. The solitary virtue of Mr. Castro’s presentation is that he makes not the least effort to hide the ugly bits. These lead to a nation where the mediating institutions that stand between the citizen and government (churches, schools, private associations) are stripped of influence, and the political system no longer decides divisive issues through its elected representatives.
    In Mr. Castro’s world, those who dissent from the prevailing pieties are deemed unfit for the public square . . . the judgment of federal agencies substitutes for Congress . . . and Justice Anthony Kennedy is free to take his own private mystery of the universe and impose it on the nation by unearthing constitutional rights unmentioned in the Constitution at the expense of the rights that are.
    What does it mean for the election? Plainly Mrs. Clinton stands with Mr. Castro on this ahistoric and unconstitutional reading of rights. Even poor Gary Johnson, who embarrassed himself on television when he seemed to have no idea what Aleppo was, has come out against religious liberty—suggesting he understands even less about libertarianism than he does about Syria.
    And Mr. Trump? No one would ever confuse Donald Trump with Reinhold Niebuhr. Yet even with his ambiguous stands on where gay rights begin and end, Mr. Trump seems unlikely to people his administration with Martin Castros bent on coercion.
    In the meantime, we’re left with this: The melancholy spectacle of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issuing a report trashing the first civil right enumerated in the Bill of Rights.