Supreme Hubris

The case of the Trinity Lutheran Church wound its way through the Supreme Court this week. A real religious discrimination case, as opposed to a made up one.

Anyone reading here is probably familiar with it, but here is a short summary.

(Syllabus) The Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center is a Missouri pre-school and daycare center. Originally established as a nonprofit organization, the Center later merged with Trinity Lutheran Church and now operates under its auspices on church property. Among thefacilities at the Center is a playground, which has a coarse pea gravel surface beneath much of the play equipment. In 2012, the Center sought to replace a large portion of the pea gravel with a pour-in-place rubber surface by participating in Missouri’s scrap Tire Program. The program, run by the State’s Department of Natural Resources, offers reimbursement grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations that install playground surfaces made from recycled tires.

The Department had a strict and express policy of denying grants to any applicant owned or controlled by a church, sect, or other religious entity. Pursuant to that policy, the Department denied the Center’s application. In a letter rejecting that application, the Department explained that under Article I, Section 7 of the Missouri Constitution, the Department could not provide financial assistance directly to a church

What happened was a 7-2 decision in favor of the church. Then the thing that gets me is the 2 dissenters. Sotomayor is a stinging dissent, with Ginsburg and her ACLU ties.

Does that mean, in her view, that she’s okay with the government discriminating against a church? Should we ask? She seems to be the one most aligned with Obama’s zealous worldview than even Kagan. His bigotry against Christians knew no boundaries.

Nevertheless, here are some particulars from the decision:

“(b) The Department’s policy expressly discriminates against otherwise eligible recipients by disqualifying them from a public benefit solely because of their religious character. Like the disqualification statute in McDaniel, the Department’s policy puts Trinity Lutheran to a choice: It may participate in an otherwise available benefit program or remain a religious institution. When the State conditions a benefit in this way, McDaniel says plainly that the State has imposed a penalty on the free exercise of religion that must withstand the most exacting scrutiny. 435 U. S., at 626, 628.”


A difference with the government’s precedent arguments.

“[In Locke vs. Davey] Davey was not denied a scholarship because of who he was; he was denied a scholarship because of what he proposed to do. Here there is no question that Trinity Lutheran was denied a grant simply because of what it is—a church.”

“The Court in Locke also stated that Washington’s restriction on the use of its funds was in keeping with the State’s anti-establishment interest in not using taxpayer funds to pay for the training of clergy, an “essentially religious endeavor,” id., at 721.

Here, nothing of the sort can be said about a program to use recycled tires to resurface playgrounds. At any rate, [in Locke] the Court took account of Washington’s anti-establishment interest only after determining that the scholarship program did not “require students to choose between their religious beliefs and receiving a government benefit.” Id., at 720–721″

There is no dispute that Trinity Lutheran is put to the choice between being a church and receiving a government benefit. Pp. 11–14.

Yet the Department offers nothing more than Missouri’s preference for skating as far as possible from religious establishment concerns.”

But there is no doubt, in my mind, that the left (anti-Christian zealots) will have their own spin why this is a terrible thing — a bad decision which needs to be overturned. Again, why the dissent in this case is what baffles me?

Justice Sotomayor in her dissent opening said:

“The Court today profoundly changes that relationship by holding, for the first time, that the Constitution requires the government to provide public funds directly to a church. Its decision slights both our precedents and our history, and its reasoning weakens this country’s longstanding commitment to a separation of church and state beneficial to both.”

Then she proceeded to dig into the mission statement of the Luthran church to use as disqualifiers against Trinity, based on their expressed purpose as a church. Done in a way that only Obama and likely Ginsburg would approve of.

Sotomayor went on down her path by finally summarizing:

“The Church uses “preaching, teaching, worship, witness, service, and fellowship according to the Word of God” to carry out its mission “to ‘make disciples.’”

So she went straight to the church’s doctrine to use against them. Why not put the mission purpose of the church under the spotlight in order to discriminate against it? Basically, Sotomayor’s litmus is based on ‘what it is‘ not what it is doing, or proposing to do. Thus, Sotomayor wants to discrimiate against them solely because of their religious character.

See decision: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-577_khlp.pdf

The long and windy Never Trump road

I have a few thoughts for Never Trumpers. Let’s just try a little logic. It’s pretty basic and simple. It is not exhaustive but take some highlights.

There are two scenarios. One is Trump wins, which leaves Never Trumpers gasping for air. The other is that Trump loses, which makes them complicit in the loss.

On its face you may think they are betting on Trump’s loss. Well, if he loses, then NTs will be a big factor in the cause of defeat. Sure they blame Trump but the reality is Dems have been using all the statements from these people for campaign ads. Often the worst critics of Trump have been these and establishment type people. So there is that blame.

Then if he wins, Never Trumpers are his greatest foe, they have a lot invested already.

Sooner or later there will be an end to this Never Trumperism. Even the Tea Parties had a shelf life. And what when the novelty wears off? They are reallly left out in the cold either way — either for being de facto Democrat operatives or being the stuck in the mud that do not or cannot get along with anyone.

If Hillary wins and Trump loses, the NTs bought the agenda. whether they actively voted for her or not. They did not stand up to stop her. They sat there as pundits in media and on shows as if the cat had their tongues, unwilling or afraid to form the simplest defense for Trump. They were useful Hillary pawns — dupes. And stopping her after a win will be almost impossible. Then there is the big question. Will they even actively work to stop her, being they did little to stop her from getting into office? Better to just do nothing.

Where does it all lead? I can’t tell you that .. but it is going to leave a mark.

RightRing | Bullright

Democrats racist judicial trail

Seven times Democrats were overtly racist on judges before Donald Trump

June 7, 2016 Biz Pac

By Casey Harper | Daily Caller News Foundation

Donald Trump has taken heavy fire for saying the judge presiding over his Trump University lawsuit is biased because of his Mexican heritage, but Democrats have a long history of invoking race on judicial issues.

Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in the case because of his Mexican heritage, calling him “a hater of Donald Trump.” In the case, former students of Trump University are suing Trump alleging the school, which was supposed to teach real estate, was a ripoff. Trump has firmly denied their allegations.

In an interview, CNN’s Jake Tapper repeatedly questioned Trump about invoking the judge’s race saying “is that not the definition of racism?”

“But I don’t care if you criticize him,” Tapper told Trump in the interview. “That’s fine. You can criticize every decision. What I’m saying is if you invoke his race as a reason why he can’t do his job …” The problem is, a judge’s race is often a major factor and is acknowledged as such by the media, especially in Supreme Court appointments.

The Daily Caller News Foundation has compiled a list of seven times liberals invoked a judge’s race.

1-Justice Sonia Sotomayor famously invoked her identity as a “wise Latina” who could outdo a white man. “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” she said in an October, 2001 speech that became a point of criticism for Republicans.

2-When Donald Trump released his list of potential Supreme Court nominees, the left was quick to point out they were all white. Think Progress published an article titled “Your Ultimate Guide To The 11 White People Donald Trump Will Consider For The Supreme Court,” which pointed out that “Only three are women. All are white.”

3-George Takei, Star Trek actor and gay rights activist, called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a “clown in black face” after his vote against the recognition of same-sex marriage. “I mean, doesn’t he know that slaves were in chains?” Takei said. “That they were whipped on the back. If he saw the movie 12 Years a Slave, you know, they were raped.”

4-Liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson blasted Thomas for his stance against affirmative action. “I believe in affirmative action, but I have to acknowledge there are arguments against it,” Robinson wrote. “One of the more cogent is the presence of Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

5-Anna Quindlen, a liberal writer for Newsweek, clearly invoked Thomas’ race in her criticism of him, saying “His judicial resume was mediocre; he was chosen because he was conservative and black, an affirmative-action hire by an administration that eschewed affirmative action.”

6-Liberal writers and activists Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon wrote an article in the Seattle Times saying Thomas was unseemly as a “beneficiary of affirmative-action programs who climbs the ladder of success by attacking affirmative action.”

7-To defend itself from criticism over nominating a white Supreme Court  Justice, the White House was quick to invoke race. In a post titled, “White House Defends Diversity Record In Judicial Appointments,” the New York Times points out that Josh Earnest was eager to tell reporters that Obama had appointed a Hispanic justice to the Supreme Court and therefore, had previously embraced diversity. The defense came after attacks from the leftover nominee Merrick Garland, who is white.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Read more: http://www.bizpacreview.com/2016/06/07/seven-times-democrats-were-overtly-racist-on-judges-before-donald-trump-349340#ixzz4AxRcueLK

On the Oath of Litmus Tests

April 16, 2016

Something happened on the way to 2016. It became a lesson in contradictions.

For years the Democrats have turned Roe into a litmus test for nominees, particularly for the Supreme Court. By now that is just a sigh to Americans. So they force people to swear on the ‘altar of abortion,’ or Roe v Wade. There are no exceptions for Leftists.

Then the Republicans have allowed and went along with the absurd Roe litmus test, and accepted it as the way it is. The new inhumane “normal.” Over the years, it has been the central tenant in Liberals’ nomination orthodoxy. Roe is “settled law” – litmus that.

Now there is a new litmus test. In Democrats’ NY debate, Hillary announced that she would only consider a SCOTUS nominee if he/she supported abortion as settled law, and that he/she believes in overturning Citizens United. Note the contradiction in those. At any rate, they have yet another litmus test — debate is over, opposition is irrelevant.

So now, reading between the lines, they have set up another mythical litmus test.(the authority on litmus) But now one must swear that Citizens United is not “settled law.” Another sacred altar has been errected. Ignore the contradiction. On one hand, the settled law is what SCOTUS said. On the other, how wrong the High Court’s decision is. We now have a litmus test against the Court’s decision, rendering it anything but “settled law.”

I have to hand it to Hillary for making this all crystal clear. She once declared, even on the anniversary of Roe, which liberals celebrate as sacred tradition, that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Gasp, it was the last part that caused tremors through liberaldom. How could she dare say something so offensively outrageous as “rare”?

Now we find out how unsettled law really is in Liberaldom. It must depend on the meaning of is. Even worse is how unsettled liberals seem to be on a SCOTUS decision, when it doesn’t suit their agenda. Many have become squeamish about Citizens United, but the alternative is limiting free speech. Some are more comfortable with the latter.

Hypersensitivities are reserved for Citizens United, not Roe. Liberals have the same visceral reaction to the Heller decision. Roe remains sacred orthodoxy — the golden calf, worshiped in perpetuity and sacrificed to nothing – while others are expendable.

RightRing | Bullright

Loretta Lynch helped America

Loretta Lynch has done the country a big service today, by withdrawing her name from the short list as a SCOTUS nominee.

[CNN]”The Attorney General determined that the limitations inherent in the nomination process would curtail her effectiveness in her current role,” DOJ spokeswoman Melanie Newman said.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/08/politics/loretta-lynch-supreme-court-nomination/index.html

So that’s one relief. Though it was a knife in America’s back to have her on a list as a Scalia replacement, in the first place. One down. I can’t imagine who else is on it. Holder?

Resident Arrogance protests gimmickry marketing

Sadly, it never ends with our serpentine President. Obama takes aim at SCOTUS and the election. Did we think he could restrain himself?

In an attempt to criticize politicizing the Supreme Court nomination process, he politicizes the process. The Republicans are at it again, as he demands their cooperation.

Then he ticks off a list of job requirements of the President to attack Trump’s suitability for office. He worked down the list of candidates injecting his Climate Change gimmickry. Too bad Obama never had real competition in his races. Obama said he still believes in hope and change. We can only hope it changes.

“I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president. And the reason is that I have a lot of faith in the American people. Being president is a serious job. It’s not hosting a talk show, or a reality show” — live from somewhere near a California golf course… it’s Obama.

Resident Obnoxious is working on getting into the 2016 race any way he can. Imagine that, playing politics from the office. Who’d have thunk it? More lectures coming from Captain Chaos on the finer points of American’s desires — which he knows nothing about.

“It’s not promotion, it’s not marketing. It’s hard. And a lot of people count on us getting it right,” Obama said.

That’s four fingers pointing back at him…. and maybe a forefinger, too!

Red day for Trump and eminent abuse

Today is a red-letter day for me with the 2016 race. I saw the interview of Trump on Fox that set me off. In it, Trump showed his exuberance for ’eminent domain’ — which includes all the modern uses and abuses of it. This might be a surprise to some people.

I know people have mentioned this before but when he was asked point blank on his position on it, he called it “wonderful.” And he implied that conservatives don’t understand the issue. Here is a video link to the entire Bret Baier interview.

Trump Eminent DomainTrump cited the example of “wonderful if you are building a highway.” Right, that’s always been there but we are talking the evolution of eminent domain. No, they don’t always get a lot of money as Trump claimed and he referred to people as “hold outs” for not going along. What they get is little choice on their own property, for other interests.

Of course he tries to cite the benign use of it but then branched into developments and factories, etc. In which he said “it is fine.” I also detect he is very vulnerable on this issue. Let’s admit there is a difference between “public use,” such as a bridge or highway, and private or corporate use. Been there done that. (For example, see Castle Coalition)

The Donald then went on to say he agreed with Kelo decision, in 2005, 100%. So, now he isn’t talking the eminent domain, historically, but the hybrid. (and hyper use of it) The decision which coincidentally caused states to scramble, and public outrage, to legislate various fixes to try to plug the dam that was already breached.

I won’t go on at length now on it, I’ve been writing about this issue since it popped out of the SCOTUS rectum. I regard it as one of the worst decisions in the Court. I haven’t been negative on Trump before although not a Trump supporter. I appreciated the vigor, and anti-establishment voice he brought. I regarded his candidacy as a good thing. Thanks!

There is so much wrong with E/D, in its current inception, but there is a whole lot wrong with Trump standing on this hill. He’s unapologetic about it and so am I. He fully understands the conservatives’ approach? Then he complains it was not explained to most conservatives. Trust me on this, we got the message alright — and they understand.

While Trumpmania may have some mileage left, I can’t look the other way. I’m swearing off the juice in favor of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. It’s a hell of a hill he is standing on and littered with victims. I’ll stand with Hamiilton, Locke, the Declaration and the Constitution, and original interpretation. I’ll stand on that real estate.

To others, you may or not support him, that’s your bag. I don’t care, and don’t hold it against anyone that does. I’m just saying he lost me on that hilltop.

Same old song and dance

It’s been a little while since I did an essay, and pontificating is really not in vogue at the moment. I’ll bust the boundaries and meet in the middle with personal commentary on this process that looks more like helter-skelter than an election year roll out. Plus a rant.

First off though I’d compare the situation to 2012, and most of the same issues are in the mix. Coincidence. How many years now have we been running on ObamaCare, political dysfunction or corrupt beltway politics. Frankly, I am sick of hearing the same things about upcoming elections: it’s this issue or that. It may always be about it but in the aftermath “it” never gets addressed. Next election.

When you do think you got a mandate on something at the polls, you are disappointed to learn later on that the election did not mean what you thought — or should have meant. We send people to congress with a message but that “tin can & and string” magically turns into a fundraiser speed-dial campaign once they hit Washington. So we get letter after letter of what they are concerned about, with reasons for raising money for their campaign coffers. Who doesn’t have a pet issue to pander for dollars about? Pick one, any one.

If I could sum up the political climate across the board it’s a lyin’ and cryin’ campaign. Lying about what they’ll do and crying for mo’ money.

So with that as the backdrop, its pretty hard to be optimistic about the people’s business. The subliminal message is expect what you have always gotten. We heard “if we change Congress things will change.” Have they, you decide? We heard “we will repeal Obamacare.” We heard that will not stand with a change in leadership. We heard Obama will finally be challenged or stopped. Executive tyranny will be opposed. (Benghazi, IRS, Iran, ISIS, Israel, amnesty, same sex marriage, 1st amendment, drilling, Keystone, VA hospitals, nominees, cronyism, scandals.) Well, all meant to keep our hopes up. We even had our hopes in the process and courts. How many Independence Days have we celebrated while wondering if that sacred covenant must be renewed? If election IOUs we’re given were frequent flier miles, then we would have been home-free long ago.

Is it our fault?

For years we could have only looked back at ourselves saying we get the government we deserve, and we’d be right. We’ve allowed it and brought it on. But now I think we are a little past that. We may stand accused for a lot and haven’t been vigilant, however, can we really be blamed for the entire current condition? I think not. We told them and did our best to hold them responsible. We sent them a message that we aren’t going to take it anymore. But afterward we endure a relapse of the same systemic failures we’ve seen for over a decade.

The standard answer is always, “if you don’t like it vote them out next election. That’s the process.” No kidding? After the fact, right. But the damage can’t be undone easily.

Many of us have been waiting, hoping, praying for something different. We always hear “next election” and that’s where we put our emphasis. So maybe now, this time, it finally is “next election.” If so, I hope it’s like Groundhog Day and keeps happening over and over.

Why do I think that is against the odds? I’m not really sure. But this year one candidate came in different from the cookie cutter politicians, and from an unlikely place. You know which one I mean, and it isn’t Bernie Sanders, with the initials DT.

But let’s back up a moment. Trump has made noises about running for years. He was an almost in 2012. Last election it stirred curiosity. Naysayers said he wouldn’t run and they were right. I was dismissive about his prospects then. I didn’t think he would make much difference anyway. He was not my favorite.

Remember Newt at South Carolina?

When Newt Gingrich ran he was not an odds on favorite either but something happened in South Carolina that made us take another, closer look. It was that question from the media which Newt turned into his moment. Against all odds he shot up and made everyone take notice. Sure, it didn’t last or turn out well. Maybe lightning in a bottle cannot be repeated at will. But it did happen for a moment in South Carolina, where the sky opened and people took a deep breath, just for a moment. They were on notice. When media blushed and the blame turned on them it caught them off guard. It didn’t last but it was a spotlight on the whole process while it lasted.

Alluding in his South Carolina victory speech to elites and media influence Newt said, “But we do have ideas, and we do have people and we proved here in South Carolina that people power with the right ideas beats big money.” Or so we’d like to think. We’d like to believe the right ideas do win, too. Incidentally, Romney’s answer to SC was to turn up the heat against Newt, who probably wasn’t prepared for the barrage. (cue attack ads)

Years ago, I used to hear the line: you dance all night someone has to pay the fiddler. They’ve been doing a lot of dancing in DC.

One of the worst things IMO has been that we were led to believe they were going to do things, namely resist Obama’s agenda, pursue accountability, hold spending, oppose amnesty, restore the separation of powers. What difference at this point has it made? And they wonder why people are angry with Washington? It’s been almost a year and we still hear talk. So then comes Trump but they take issue with Donald for pointing it out.

It’s already been said if this much effort they use to oppose Trump were focused on holding Obama to account, like they said they were going to do, then we would see fruits from their labor. But no, instead Obama is going on now another victory tour for his Iran deal disaster. He’s taking an international bow while they cast Israel to the curb. And Republicans gave him fast track authority. It’s a one lane highway, or a freeway.

Obama now says from Ethiopia that: “In 18 months, I’m turning over the keys, I want to make sure I’m turning over the keys to somebody who is serious about the serious problems that the country faces and the world faces.” Say what? Now he’s the guard for our safety or security, after making a miserable deal with Iran, saturating government in radicalism, scandal upon scandal, and watching ISIS explode across the Middle East. Who in the hell does he think he is? This must be some kind of a joke like… “Live from Africa, its Obamerika!”

So is there anything new here? Have our efforts been fruitful? Rather than oppose Obama’s radical agenda Republicans give him Fast Track. Amnesty without a whimper. Republicans poured gas on the flames instead. They’ve given but haven’t gotten a damn thing back. Oh, we have gotten these public attacks and vengeance from Obama, and threats. Now its a nuclear deal with Iran on the table. Do we really have an irrelevant Congress like Obama promised to do — at State of the Union no less. He’s rolling out the EPA jihad. He’s declared a war on energy, and war on the economy.

Yep, we had elections on issues. Now we’re going to campaign on most of the same things. How many years has Obamacare been an election issue. In Live from Obamerika debut, Barry claimed the outrage and disagreement with his Iran nuke deal was just to divert attention from Trump. Say what? He must think people cannot do more than one thing at a time? That’s what he hoped: that people would be too preoccupied with election politics to pay lip service to his Iran giveaway. The UN rubber stamp was a nice touch.

RightRing | Bullright

Spinfest of 2015

If this year be known for anything remarkable, so far anyway, it should really be for spin. And everyone is in on the party, it’s fashionable — news, politicians, law, science, history.

We have riots they spin them into civil disobedience. Prosecutors spin their oath. Politicians spin their promises. We have Supreme Court decisions(spin in themselves) spinning the outcome in whichever direction they want. Supremes spin their decisions based on telepathy rather than words.

We got lectured from SCOTUS that words don’t matter in legislation anymore. It’s up to their divine interpretations to rewrite legislation according to some ESP intent. With words and meaning out of the way, things will be so much easier. What should any law mean if you cast off the meaning of words? Should it mean the same thing in the future it meant at a given time when they decided it? Why should it? Move on. Of course that fits that philosophy of evolving interpretations of everything. Thinking evolves too.

So we also evolved to same sex marriage. We’ve evolved even since the nineties. Remember the Defense of Marriage Act? But perhaps Bill Clinton was being prophetic when he said “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” So whatever it means at the moment.

The evolution works well with the spin trend. They go together. Then why not just go out and spin your own reality? Gee thanks, Supremes, for the new “law of the land”.

Time for a change, or not

We’re well overdue for change. If we were in need of it before Obama, well, he doubled that need. This is a different kind of change proposed and for a different type of people it applies to. The type who normally frown on civil disobedience, not praise it in all situations.

Columnist to America’s Christians: It’s Time for Civil Disobedience

03 Jul 2015 By : WND
By Matt Barber

“Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

– John 15:20

The push back has begun. Christian business owners, lawyers, parents, judges, county clerks, organizations, universities, hospitals, adoption agencies and other individuals and groups have been given an ultimatum by five unelected, unaccountable liberals in Washington, D.C.: “You must now obey us and disobey God. You must pretend, with us, that sin-based same-sex ‘marriage’ is an actual thing.”

To which we say, “Not on your life.”

“Or our own.”

Many of us have long warned that this day would come, and it has arrived. In the Spirit of Daniel the prophet and MLK the reverend, we Christians must now engage, as relates our peaceful response to the imposition of counterfeit same-sex “marriage,” in widespread civil disobedience. It’s the right thing to do. In fact, it’s a sin if we don’t.

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/time-for-civil-disobedience-christians/

We’ll see about that push back or how far it goes? Time will tell. My guess is if Pope Francis spoke against same-sex marriage he would be promptly ignored, where he’s celebrated presently for his global warming stand. But what the media really wants to know is if the Pope chews on cocoa leaves in South America — not his view on same-sex marriage.

As to faithful Christians, the call is out. How do they or churches respond?