Lawyers for Oregon Christian bakers call today’s move by the U.S. Supreme Court is a “victory for Aaron and Melissa Klein and for religious liberty for all Americans.”
Aaron and Melissa Klein declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2013. Even though same-sex marriage was not legal in the state at that point, the couple complained. State-sponsored moves followed – including a gag order and $135,000 fine – forcing the Kleins out-of-business.
Public targeting of the couple in notoriously ‘liberal’ Oregon was fueled by the outrageous comments by then-head of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, Brad Avakian.
As the couple pointed out, Avakian publicly declared that Christians needed to be ‘rehabilitated’ for their beliefs:
[T]he Kleins argue that Avakian “said that ‘folks’ in Oregon do not have a ‘right to discriminate’ and stated that those who use their ‘beliefs’ to justify discrimination need to be ‘rehabilitate[d].’ ” (Alterations by the Kleins.) Later, the Kleins characterize Avakian as stating that “the Kleins *** needed to be ‘rehabilitate[d].’ “
As I explain in this post, the Supreme Court didn’t choose to decide the case (grant cert) but instead reversed the Oregon Appeals Court decision uploading BOLI’s actions. The Court vacated the Oregon’s Appeals Court decision and told them to do it over in light of the nation’s highest court Masterpiece Cakeshop decision.
First Liberty attorney, Kelly Shackelford, says that Oregon, as in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, was openly hostile to the Kleins:
The Constitution protects speech, popular or not, from condemnation by the government. The message from the Court is clear, government hostility toward religious Americans will not be tolerated.
First Liberty Institute
First Liberty says Oregon’s contempt for the First Amendment was clear throughout its treatment of the Kleins:
The State of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) found that the Kleins had had violated Oregon’s public accommodations statute after Aaron and Melissa declined to design and create wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage. In addition to the $135,000 penalty for “emotional damages,” BOLI issued a gag order, preventing them from even talking about their actual beliefs. As a result, the Kleins were forced to shut down their bakery. Aaron and Melissa appealed the BOLI ruling to the Oregon Court of Appeals in April 2016. The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed the gag order but otherwise upheld the decision of BOLI in December 2017.
First Liberty Institute
First Liberty keeps a website about the Klein’s case. Here’s a video of the couple talking about the Supreme Court victory in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case:
Though the Supreme Court didn’t grant the certiorari in the case, the Klein’s case could end up back there. If the Kleins lose again in the Oregon Appeal’s Court they’re likely to appeal to the highest court again.
Christian bakers, Melissa and Aaron Klein, have won a round in the U.S. Supreme Court. While the nation’s highest court didn’t take the case, it vacated the Oregon Appeals Court’s decision upholding the $135,000 fine and decision against the Kleins for refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding. The case has been sent back to the Oregon Appeals Court for a rehearing. The Oregon court previously said the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) was correct in fining the couple for failing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. The fine and subsequent public bashing by the former BOLI chief, Brad Avakian, forced the couple to close their doors to the public.
The Kleins petitioned the Supreme Court in 2018 to take up their case after the Masterpiece Cake decision upheld a Colorado baker’s choice not to make a same sex wedding cake. In vacating the Oregon court decision and sending it back, the Supreme Court made it clear that the Masterpiece Cake decision changed the game and that the Oregon court should consider the new precedent in its decision on remand.
In their petition, the Kleins asked the Supreme Court to consider three things:
The questions presented are: 1. Whether Oregon violated the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment by compelling the Kleins to design and create a custom wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding ritual, in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs. 2. Whether the Court should overrule Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990). ii 3. Whether the Court should reaffirm Smith’s hybrid rights doctrine, applying strict scrutiny to free exercise claims that implicate other fundamental rights, and resolving the circuit split over the doctrine’s precedential status.
The New York Times reports that the Klein’s were also asking a broader question than that posed in the Masterpiece Cakeshop lawsuit:
The Oregon case was in one way broader than the one from Colorado, as it asked the justices to overrule an important precedent from 1990, Employment Division v. Smith. In a majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court ruled that neutral laws of general applicability could not be challenged on the ground that they violated the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion. That decision, arising from a case involving the use of peyote in Native American religious ceremonies, is unpopular among conservative Christians, who say it does not offer adequate protection to religion, and with some justices. In January, the court’s four most conservative members — Justices Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch — signaled that they were open to reconsidering the decision.
Based on the fact that the Supreme Court didn’t take the case, it’s clear they don’t want to answer that question just yet – unless the Oregon Appeals Court gives them a reason to.
During the well-publicized ordeal, former BOLI chief Brad Avakian publicly bashed the couple and instituted a gag order on the Kleins to stop defending themselves:
Respondents Aaron Klein and Melissa Klein to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation
Avakian’s obvious vendetta against the Christian couple caused even liberal Oregonians to turn against him. Avakian attempted to run for Secretary of State and lost to Republican Dennis Richardson, the first time a Republican had won state-wide office in decades.
The Klein’s were represented by the First Liberty Institute of Plano, Texas, Boyden Gray & Associates, of Washington, DC, and Herb Grey of Beaverton, Oregon. Emails seeking comment by the Kleins and their attorneys haven’t been returned yet, but this post will be updated as soon as they’re received.
No doubt this is a small measure of vindication for the couple whose business and reputations were destroyed by Avakian and the anti-Christian zealots working for the State of Oregon.
Federer, whose book “America’s God And Country; Encyclopedia of Quotations” is the best single volume evidencing what the Founding Fathers believed about religion and Constitutional governance, demonstrates in his AmericanMinute.com column what Thomas Jefferson “really meant” by his famous “Wall of Separation” metaphor regarding separation of church and state: It and Jefferson didn’t mean that government had to be protected from religion. On the contrary, it meant that religion had to be protected from government.
The information Federer provides is generally not available to non-lawyers. It can empower ordinary non-lawyer Americans to fightback against elitist liberal lawyers epitomized by those of the secular extremist ACLU, which has become the Taliban of American liberal secularism. Those lawyers, in league with other liberal lawyers sitting as judges, dictate to Americans that Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers intended the Establishment of Religion Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution to be used as a club to drive all religious thought, expression, and symbols out of the public square as a violation of the concept of “separation of church and state.”
There is no more exploited misinterpretation of the Constitution than that based on Thomas Jefferson’s reference to a “Wall of Separation” between church and state in Jefferson’s private reply letter in 1802 to Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, who had congratulated Jefferson on his election as the third President of the United States.
Baptists had been violently persecuted in Connecticut, in which the established religion of the State was Congregationalism. Jefferson used the “Wall of Separation” metaphor to assure the Danbury Baptists that as president Jefferson would protect their exercise of freedom of religion from oppression by government.However, Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” metaphor has been used by modern liberal secularist lawyers sitting as judges to interpret the Establishment of Religion Clause of the First Amendment to mean that the government must be protected from religion rather than that religion must be protected from government.
This misinterpretation has been used by liberal secularist elitist lawyers to convince Americans, wrongly, that the doctrine of “separation of church and state” is in the Constitution. It isn’t; never was. Neither was Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” metaphor in the Constitution; nor in the Declaration of Independence that Jefferson authored; nor in any “public” or “official” writing of Thomas Jefferson, including all his writings as the Third President of the United States.
Indeed, as President, Thomas Jefferson regularly attended Christian Church on Sundays. Not only that, but Jefferson, as president, actually authorized use of the Federal Government buildings in Washington, D.C., for the holding of religious services, and attended services in those government buildings. How does that conduct of President Jefferson, one of America’s Founding Fathers, square with an interpretation of his metaphor of a “Wall of Separation” to mean religion had to be separated from all things related to government under the First Amendment Establishment of Religion Clause?
Notwithstanding, the ACLU and other liberal secularist attorney organizations of its ilk, liberal judges, academics, and media, have read Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” into interpretation of the First Amendment’s Establishment of Religion Clause to mean that religion has to be separated from government to protect government from religion; rather than that government has to be separated from religion to protect religion from the government.
Here’s a common example of the wrongheaded interpretation:
In short, what has happened is that the Founding Fathers manifestly desired to protect freedom of religion — freedom of conscience — from government interference through the Establishment of Religion Clause. But modern liberal lawyers, as advocates and as judges, have instead effectively reversed the intent of the Founding Fathers by using Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” metaphor to interpret the Establishment of Religion Clause to mean the government must be protected from from religious thought, and religion must be driven from the public square and political discourse.
Why is it important for Americans of this era to know what Jefferson really meant in his use of the “Wall of Separation” metaphor? It is important because liberal secularists have used Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” metaphor to justify an interpretation of the Establishment of Religion Clause as requiring banning prayer from public (government) schools; banning the Ten Commandments from libraries, schools, and other government-related public areas; and attempting to ban religious symbols and expressions, almost always targeting the Cross, from veterans memorials and other public (government) places and spaces.
Here’s what the First Amendment of the Constitution really says:
By decisions of five the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court, religiously followed by lawyers sitting as federal judges, elitist liberal secularist lawyers have effectively driven religion out of the public square and political discourse on how “We, the People,” should be governed, creating what the late Richard John Neuhaus called the “Naked Public Square” in his landmark book of that name– a public square “naked” of religious thought.
These decisions driving religion into the closet and out of the public square have not been made by reaching a political consensus of “We, the People.” Instead, they have been made exclusively by lawyers — liberal lawyers of intolerant secular extremist organizations like the ACLU, and like-minded liberal lawyers sitting as judges, including in particular five of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court in 5-to-4 decisions.
The interpretations of the Establishment of Religion Clause driving religious thought out of the public square have been reached by elitist liberal lawyers appearing before the courts convincing other liberal lawyers sitting as judges to interpret the Establishment of Religion Clause in their own modern liberal secularist image, effectively amending the Constitution by judicial/lawyer decisions, no matter the original intent of the Founding Fathers, including Jefferson, to protect religion from government, not to protect government from religion.
Notwithstanding Supreme Court decisions, the banishment of religious expression in the public square is persistently pushed by ignorant lawyers and government officials and must be fought for again and again in the courts.
Where, in this process, are “We, the People” and not just lawyers, who have usurped the judicial branch onto themselves, since only one class of Americans can serve in the judicial branch — the lawyer class?
Why do we Americans continue to allow the lawyer class to be the only Americans capable of being judges, since there is nothing in the Constitution requiring even Supreme Court Justices to be lawyers?
But from the first Chief Justice John Marshall to today, the nation’s lawyers have conned Americans into believing that only lawyers are smart enough and fair enough and ever-so honorable enough to serve as judges in the Judicial Branch, a kind of new High Priesthood of the Law; a Secular Sanhedrin; or new new Feudal Lords in robes controlling the thought and beliefs and acts of ignorant peasants clinging to their religion (but not their “guns” because the Feudal Lords wouldn’t allow them to have guns–just as modern lawyer-judges are trying to do by interpretation the Second Amendment to mean something other than what the Founding Fathers intended.)
Think of it: The fact that most of the Establishment of Religion Clause Supreme Court decisions are 5-to-4 means, effectively, that one (1) lawyer on the Supreme Court is determining what the Founding Fathers’ Constitution means and determining the nature of the social, religious, and political culture of America. One (1) lawyer’s vote ultimately determines the meaning of the fundamental source of American law, the Constitution, which trumps all other federal, state, and local laws in all fifty states.
Think of that in a country of over 300-million citizens who are compelled to abide by these Supreme Court decisions in which four lawyers agree, and four lawyers disagree, and one (1) lawyer then casts a vote for one side or the other and 300-million Americans must kowtow to that decision. “We, the People” cannot participate at all in the making of such culture changing decisions since only lawyers can serve in the judiciary, including on the Supreme Court, by custom and not by Constitutional command. It is “The Great Con” of the lawyer-class to usurp one-third of our federal government “for lawyers only,” and amend the Founding Fathers’ Constitution by the 5-4 decisions of these lawyers-only judges.
When allowed to vote, or express themselves in polls, “We, the People” overwhelmingly vote against such secular extremist lawyer-judge interpretations of the Establishment of Religion Clause of the Constitution that result in banning prayer from schools, banning the Ten Commandments from all government related spaces, banning even crosses honoring the service and sacrifice of veterans at war memorials.
But what “We, the People” believe doesn’t matter. Lawyers decide otherwise, and impose those decisions on “We, the People” as if we are sheep, dictating what they say the Establishment of Religion Clause of the First Amendment means no matter how contrary their interpretation is to what the Founding Fathers intended or what “We, the People” have expressed contrary to the views of the elitist, liberal lawyers and lawyer-judges.
Does any non-lawyer American really think that Gen. George Washington, President of the Constitutional Convention, the First President of the United States, the “Father Of Our Country,” and the other Founding Fathers, including Jefferson, really believed that the Establishment of Religion Clause they wrote into the First Amendment of the Constitution was intended to create a “wall of separation” of church and state that would ban prayer from schools, ban the Ten Commandments from government spaces, or ban Crosses honoring veterans at veterans war memorials? Only modern lawyers like those of the ACLU and other liberal law centers, and like-minded lawyers sitting as judges, could do that in their elitist arrogance.
This is judicial tyranny by lawyers. Period.
Americans need to know what Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers meant and intended in establishing the Constitution, in order for “We, the People” to preserve the Constitution the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us. We need to fight back against these elitist, arrogant, lawyers epitomized by the secular extremist ACLU. They can and should be beaten. Consider that veterans fought for ten years to save the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross in 2012, and for 27-years to save the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial Cross in 2016, refusing to surrender to the fanatical cross-destroying litigation of the secular extremists of the ACLU.
That struggle of the veterans against the ACLU to save the Crosses honoring veterans at the Mojave Desert and Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorials is discussed in what I consider the best single book on the Establishment of Religion Clause — a book intended to be read and understood by “We, the People” and not just lawyers: It is author Steven Mansfield’s “Ten Tortured Words: How the Founding Fathers Tried to Protect Religion in America and What’s Happened Since.”It should be in every veteran’s, every American’s, home in order to make the fight to conserve and preserve the Constitution of the Founding Fathers, not the modern liberal Constitution by which elitist lawyers have amended the Founding Fathers’ Constitution by judicial decisions, not vote of the people as provided for by the Constitution itself.
The idea that lawyers have conned Americans into accepting the premise that “Only Lawyers Must Decide What The Constitution Means; And All Others Must Obey,” must end. There is no reason other Americans should be barred from serving in the judicial branch, just as all Americans who meet age and citizenship requirements can serve in Congress or in the Presidency.
Indeed, there is no reason to believe that lawyers are more honorable, more fair, more just, more intelligent than other Americans. Indeed, there are many reasons to believe to the contrary based on experience of lawyer abuses of power, a class of Americans to which the word “shyster” has attached. How many non-lawyers do not shudder at the prospect of having to deal with “lawyers”? There is a reason that Shakespeare’s King Lear opined more than 500 years ago that in forming good government: “First, we kill the lawyers.”
It is only “We, the People,” who can stop them, the lawyers of the contemporary judicial tyranny. To do that, we have to know what Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers really meant by the “Wall of Separation” metaphor, “separation of church and state,” and the Establishment of Religion Clause.
“We, the People” should not continue to allow the lawyers who have usurped the judicial branch, one third of our Tri-partite federal government, to dictate to us what the Founding Fathers meant. A good place to start is author William J. Federer’s www.AmericanMinute.com (1/1/17).
FOR GOD AND COUNTRY FOREVER; SURRENDER TO TYRANNY– INCLUDING JUDICIAL TYRANNY BY LAWYERS — NEVER!
(Rees Lloyd, longtime California civil rights attorney and veterans activist, is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.)
This Wall of Remembrance shows you how radical Islam has waged its modern war on the U.S. for decades.
This Wall of Remembrance is touring across the country to remember 9/11. On one side are the names of every single person who’s died fighting radical Islamists since the Beirut bombing that killed 241 of our finest U.S. Marines.
1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing
1991 Operation Desert Storm to push Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.
1993 Blackhawk Down, Somalia
1996 bombing of 19 servicemen in Dahrain, Saudi Arabia
1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa
2000 U.S.S. Cole bombing
2001 Attacks on World Trade Center, U.S. Pentagon and Flight 93’s target was either U.S. Capitol or the White House.
I haven’t included all of the subsequent — hundreds — of attacks on the country since but you can in the comments section.
The Wall of Remembrance includes the anthrax attacks; Major Hassan’s attack on Fort Hood; the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya; the invasion of Iraq to get Saddam Hussein, a state sponsor of terrorism and many others. It’s worth a look.
This video was taken at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California.
Justice Kennedy says:
“Finally, this Court’s cases and the Nation’s traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order. ” Duh. Then he ‘found’ it in the 14 Amendment.
Kennedy reaffirmed religious liberty rights, but his words don’t have the force of law as long, as we found out in the ObamaCare decision yesterday, the court can just erase, replace and divine what it wishes in law.
Justice Roberts, who rewrote ObamaCare twice, dissented.
Scalia dissented,writing,“But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law.”
“So it is not of special importance to me what the law says about mar- riage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact— and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Consti- tution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected commit- tee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extrav- agant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most im- portant liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”
On the issue of 14th Amendment coverage, Scalia continued:
“When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every State limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so. That resolves these cases. When it comes to determining the meaning of a vague constitutional provision—such as “due process of law” or “equal protection of the laws”—it is unquestionable that the People who ratified that provision did not under- stand it to prohibit a practice that remained both univer- sal and uncontroversial in the years after ratification.12 We have no basis for striking down a practice that is not expressly prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment’s text, and that bears the endorsement of a long tradition of open, widespread, and unchallenged use dating back to the Amendment’s ratification. Since there is no doubt what- ever that the People never decided to prohibit the limita- tion of marriage to opposite-sex couples, the public debate over same-sex marriage must be allowed to continue.
But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law. Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its “reasoned judgment,” thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect.13”
As in every case, including Sweet Cakes by Melissa, administrative judges work for the departments over which they adjudicate.
Welcome DrudgeReport readers!
Almost as soon as the administrative law judge working for the government of Oregon handed down a $135,000.00 fine against Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the Go Fund Me page set up to help pay their legal bills was taken down.
Friday, the bureaucrat working for the state of Oregon ruled the bakery owners personally owed the money to a lesbian couple because in January of 2013, the devout Christian bakers told the couple they wouldn’t make a cake for their wedding.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, whose business has since closed, now face personal bankruptcy.
The Daily Signal reports Aaron says the state chose to go after the couple to destroy them:
Aaron, in an exclusive interview with The Daily Signal on Sunday, said the state of Oregon is attempting to “obliterate” his family.
“The state is now saying that we can award damages above and beyond what you have already suffered … and they have no qualms about doing this,” he said. “It is really showing the state is taking a stance on absolutely obliterating somebody that takes a different stance than the state has.”
As The Daily Signal reports, Klein attorney, Anna Harmon, seems to indicate the state was on a seek and destroy mission:
“An important thing to understand about the damages the state is claiming in this case is that the [fine] isn’t going to come from liquidating business assets,” she said.
Their business is gone. They don’t have business assets so when we talk about [the fine], it’s personal. It means that’s money they would have used to feed their children that they can’t use anymore.
In order to spin up the fine, the lesbian couple had to submit a list of horribles they suffered at the hands of the bakers.
Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer have since managed to plan a wedding and mother a child but were apparently barely able to cope as the case went on.
The (poorly) alphabetized list reads like a 15 year old’s attempt to make a glossary for a last-minute research paper. See both full lists below, but here are just a few of the harms from one of the women: (note the conflicting or same maladies):
A: Anger, Anxiety,Apprehension
C: Concern for privacy, crying
D. Degradation, “demeanment“, depression, devastation, disbelief, discomfort, doubt
E. (listed after the F’s) Excessive sleep, embarrassment, exhaustion
F. Forced to borrow money, fear of not being able to get another job, felt stupid
H. Horror, humiliation, hurt, hysteria.
I. Insomnia, indignity, irritability with family and friends
L. Loss of appetite, loss of sleep, pride, etc
M. Mental anguish, mental distress
N. Nervous appetite,
P. Pale and sick after work, public humiliation
R. Resentment, ridicule
S. Sadness, self doubt, shock, stunned, surprise
U. Uncertainty, upset, upset stomach
W. Worry, wounded
The other member of the couple listed ‘Mental Rape’ as a by product of the case.
It sounds as if the couple has a bigger case against the State of Oregon for the legal process than from the initial harm from Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Look at those lists: most of the harms came after they complained and the state took over the legal action against the Christian bakery.
The Daily Signal reports Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries chief, Brad Avakian, could reduce the fine if he wanted to. Considering the progressive ideologue has championed the case in his politicization of BOLI, that is doubtful.
This is the yearly reminder from Blogforce member Rees Lloyd
February 3 every year is ““Four Chaplains Day” in America by the unanimous resolution of the U.S. Congress in 1988, although millions of Americans are unaware of that fact, or unaware entirely of the “Four Immortal Chaplains,” whose extraordinary courage, self-sacrifice, and heroism, and should resonate, and be honored, through generations of Americans. Will they be remembered on Four Chaplains Day 2009? Will the media report their inspiring story? Will teachers charged with educating our young allow them to learn of these great, humble, American heroes, men of faith who gave their lives so others might live?
On February 3, 1943, during World War II, the U.S.S. Dorchester, a converted luxury cruise ship, was transporting Army troops to Greenland On board were some 900 troops, and four chaplains, of different faiths, but common dedication.
The four Chaplains are:Rev. George Fox (Methodist); Father John Washington (Roman Catholic); Jewish Rabbi Alexander Goode; and Rev. Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed). At approximately 12:55 a.m., in the dead of a freezing night, the Dorchester was hit by a torpedo fired by German U-boat 233 in an area so infested with German submarines it was known as “Torpedo Junction.”
The blast ripped a hole in the ship from below the waterline to the top deck.
Many troops were scalded to death below decks; others leaped into the freezing waters to save themselves. More than two-thirds of the troops died; many who survived, had lifelong disabilities from their time in the freezing waters.
In the chaos, the Four Chaplains worked together to aid the troops, and then made the ultimate sacrifice. As one survivor testified: “I saw all four chaplains take off their life belts and give them to soldiers who had none.”
Another soldier testified: “The ship started sinking…I looked back and saw the chaplains with their hands clasped, praying for the boys. They never made any attempt to save themselves, but they did try to save the others. I think their names should be on the list of ‘The Greatest Heroes’ of this war.”
The Four Chaplains went to their deaths together, their arms linked, praying together, singing hymns together, giving their lives for God, country, and the troops they served, setting an example of heroism and self-sacrifices for the ages.
On February 7, 1954, as author William J. Federer records in his book, “America’s God And Country; Encyclopedia of Quotations” (and see his www.AmericanMinute.com), President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had been Supreme Allied Commander in World War II, remarked:
“And we remember that, only a decade ago, aboard the transport Dorchester, four chaplains of four faiths together willingly sacrificed their lives so that four others might live. In the three centuries that separate the Pilgrims of the Mayflower from the chaplains of the Dorchester, America’s freedom, her courage, her strength, and her progress have had their foundation in faith. Today as then, there is need for positive acts of renewed recognition that faith is our surest strength, our greatest resource.”
May we Americans remember and honor these American heroes, and their exemplary sacrifice, on this and every February 3, “Four Chaplains Day.”
Rees Lloyd is a civil rights attorney, Veterans activist, American Legionnaire and a member of the VictoriaTaft.com Blogforce.
The Westboro Baptist Church Family Cult Comes to Portland and Their ‘God Hates Fags’ Act Wears Thin With Portlanders
The crazies of the Westboro family cult came to Portland to flash their anti homosexual signs in front of the Moda Center before the Portland-Miami basketball game Saturday night. Their usual loud, obnoxious protest ensued one year after the Blazers announced support of same sex marriage. Perhaps Westboro’s year-long delay of the protest is due to inbreeding. Be that as it may, the WBC crowd was counter protested, heckled and eventually turned tail and left. See the video below.
Now, there’s intolerance-light and there’s real intolerance. Though many have tried to shut them up, the Westboro nutters hurt only feelings, they don’t hurt people. Contrast that with the Taliban, ISIS and Al Qaeda’s crackpots who murder, maim and behead anyone who dare reveal a gam from under their their Islamic death cult burqa.
Take Paris as an example of what real intolerance looks like. The Westboro crowd are pikers. Yet there are those who treat them as if they’re as dangerous as the Haqqani network.
That is not to say opponents can’t have a little fun at their expense. Judging by this video, Citizen Journalist Laughing at Liberals was having a big old time with the Phelps family:
As fellow Citizen Journalist Leo Stratton discovered, the Westboro bunch could take only so much before they fled from the Moda Center:
We are repulsed by the hateful approach the WBC crowd takes and they were rightly mocked Saturday night, but we should support their right to say it. That elevates this country far above those who would shut up their rivals, whether it be in court, via the IRS, or by the sword.
The case goes back to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. LiMandri: Cross stays put till then.
The Supreme Court on Monday, June 30, 2014, issued an order denying a petition for expedited review of the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial Cross Case (Mt. Soledad Memorial Assn. v. Steve Trunk, et al, USSC NO. 13-061.)
The petition filed by the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association requested the Court to grant review, by-passing the appeal pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. The Court declined without an opinion. Justice Alito published a separate statement explaining that denial of the petition does not represent a final decision on whether the Supreme Court will ultimately grant review.
Rather, Justice Alito noted that because the Ninth Circuit has not ruled on the appeal from the U.S. District Court decision ordering the Cross destroyed, there is “no final judgment” on which the Supreme Court to Rule. Further, he pointed out that because the U.S. District Court ordered a stay pending appeal, the Cross will not be destroyed as the appeal process continues in the Ninth Circuit.
Justice Alito, in issuing his statement clarifying that the denial of expedited review is not a final decision on whether to grant Supreme Court review, noted again that the “ ‘Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence is undoubtedly in need of clarity.” Few constitutional law practitioners would disagree.
Justice Alito’s statement is published at 53 U.S. ____(2014), and is below in its entirety for convenience.
San Diego Attorney Charles S. LiMandri, founder and chief legal counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), who is credited with doing more to save the Mt. Soledad Cross than any other single person, said in response to the Supreme Court’s denial of expedited review:
“It is an unfortunate delay. It means going through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal processes. This is what the Supreme Court wants, and what the government wanted. So, instead of a delay of perhaps one year, we may be waiting two or three years. “But it is not ‘bad news.” They are not saying they won’t take the case ultimately; just not now,” LiMandri said. “The good news is that the stay is in effect pending appeal. So the Cross isn’t going anywhere, and we believe we will ultimately prevail based on statements made by the Justices and rulings in other cases,” LiMandri concluded.
There is also a possibility of legislative action to preserve the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial “where it is, as it is,” with the Cross intact.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a combat veteran and former Marine, has a bill pending to preserve all veterans memorials.
Further, the legislative solution reached which saved the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial may be a precedent for saving the Mt. Soledad National Memorial.
That is, the ACLU sued for ten years to destroy the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross, established in the remote desert in 1934 by WWI Veterans of Foreign Wars members to honor their fallen WWI comrades. When the ACLU obtained an order from the U.S. District Court in Riverside, CA, to destroy the Cross in 2002, then-Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) sponsored legislation in which Congress authorized a land swap in which the one-acre Mojave memorial site was exchanged for five acres of land donated by private citizens, Henry and Wanda Sanchez.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that that land exchange did not violate the Constitution. Although the ACLU continued to sue for two more years, claiming that the Act of Congress was itself unconstitutional, the ACLU ultimately surrendered in 2012.
The Mt. Soledad Cross was established in 1954 to honor Korean War Veterans. Later, it became a memorial honoring all veterans. There are now more than 3,000 plaques, many bearing crosses or Stars of David, on the walls of the memorial beneath the 29-foot Cross honoring all veterans.
The extremists of the ACLU, which has become the Taliban of American liberal secularism, have been suing to destroy the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross for 25 years now.
In 2006, a U.S. District Judge in San Diego ordered the City of San Diego to tear down the Cross in 90 days or he would impose a fine of $5,000 per day. Congress responded by passing the Mt. Soledad National War Memorial Act, which transferred the memorial from the City of San Diego to the federal Department of Defense. Because the ACLU had sued to destroy the Cross in federal Court but under the California Constitution, that transfer nullified the cross destruction order.
ACLU sued to destroy the Cross again, this time under the U.S. Constitution. A different U.S. District Judge in San Diego ruled that the Mt. Soledad Cross was constitutional as a reasonable person would understand that the Cross was part of a war memorial intended to honor veterans, not to advance religion or any particular religion. The Ninth Circuit overruled the District Court and remanded the case for a remedy to be ordered. The District Court stated it continued to believe the Mt. Soledad Cross is constitutional, but had no choice but to order it destroyed due to the Ninth Circuit ruling. The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and petitioned the Supreme Court to expedite resolution by granting immediate review. That was declined. Many believe the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial Cross Case is the most important pending Establishment of Religion Clause case. Final decision by the Supreme Court will set a precedent affecting this and future generations of Americans.
What is at stake is whether 300-million Americans will continue to be able to honor their war dead and other veterans as they choose, using symbols of our American history and heritage, including the cross and other symbols with a religious aspect; or whether atheists, agnostics, and intolerant secular extremists epitomized by the ACLU will have a veto power over those decisions because they are “offended” by the sight of the cross. For now, the Mt. Soledad Cross will remain protected due to the stay order until the appeals process is complete. A legislative solution could be enacted in the meantime.
However, experience has shown that in order for effective action to be taken by Congress, or the White House, veterans and other American patriots have to rise up and fight for it, or little or nothing will be done.
FOR GOD AND COUNTRY FOREVER; SURRENDER TO THE ACLU—NEVER. (Rees Lloyd, a longtime California civil rights lawyer and veterans activist, is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.) ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Cite as: 573 U. S. ____ (2014) Statement of ALITO, J.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES MOUNT SOLEDAD MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION v. STEVE TRUNK, ET AL. ON PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI BEFORE JUDGMENT TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT No. 13–1061. Decided June 30, 2014 The petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment isdenied. Statement of JUSTICE ALITO respecting the denial of the petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment. This case came before us two years ago, see 567 U. S.___ (2012), and at that time I issued a statement respecting the denial of certiorari. I noted that although the“Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence is undoubtedly in need of clarity,” certiorari was not yet warranted inthis case “[b]ecause no final judgment has been rendered and it remains unclear precisely what action the FederalGovernment will be required to take.” Id., at ___ (slip op., at 2, 3). Since that time, the District Court has issued an order requiring the memorial to be removed, but it has stayed that order pending appeal. The Court of Appeals has not yet reviewed that order on appeal. Seeking to bypass that step, petitioner seeks certiorari before judgment. In my view, it has not met the very demanding standard werequire in order to grant certiorari at that stage. In lightof the stay, any review by this Court can await the decision of the Court of Appeals. I therefore agree with the Court’s decision to deny the petition.
The Christian owners/operators of craft store chain retain right NOT to provide abortion drugs under ObamaCare
Hobby Lobby has won in the US Supreme Court. In a closely hewed decision by Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that an organization run by devoutly religious people can extend their beliefs into their organization or corporation.
Alito also said the decision is limited to contraceptives under the health care law. “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs,” Alito said.
The owners of Hobby Lobby sued after the passage of ObamaCare because the government health care diktats required corporations to cover drugs that cause abortions. Hobby Lobby was already covering contraceptives in their health insurance and objected to the drugs which abort babies in contravention of their religious beliefs. The Obama Administration lawyers argued otherwise, of course. Alito tried to allay their fears that poor women would not get free contraceptives and abortion pills.
Alito also said the decision is limited to contraceptives under the health care law. “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs,” Alito said.
He suggested two ways the administration could ensure women get the contraception they want. It could simply pay for pregnancy prevention, he said.
But this case is shaping up to be another leftist lightening rod in the manner of Citizens United which recognized business owners had the right to give to political campaigns–just as non business owners and, more importantly, labor unions–could. Sadly, four of the five justices ruled religious beliefs end the moment religious individuals open a business and run it in, in this case, a Biblical way.
In a dissent she read aloud from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the decision “potentially sweeping” because it minimizes the government’s interest in uniform compliance with laws affecting the workplace. “And it discounts the disadvantages religion-based opt outs impose on others, in particular, employees who do not share their employer’s religious beliefs,” Ginsburg said.
The case was joined by 50 other companies, including Conestoga Woods, a Mennonite cabinet maker.
KAROL WOJTYLA, POPE JOHN PAUL II, BORN MAY 18, 1920–THE GREATEST MAN OF OUR ERA
Born in humble circumstances in Poland on May 18, 1920, Karol Wojtyla survived the occupations of his native land first by the National Socialists of Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist Workers Party (NAZI), immediately followed by the International Socialists of Joseph Stalin’s Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
He secretly became an ordained Catholic priest in clandestine seminary training forbidden under the iron totalitarianism imposed on Poland by its socialist occupiers. He went on to become Pope John II in 1978, His first words to the people of the world as Pope were: “Be Not Afraid.”
He helped bring down soviet socialism in Poland and Europe working in unpublicized combination with America’s President Ronald Reagan and England’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to support the Christians of the Polish Solidarity Movement who opposed the tyranny of Marxist secular socialism.
When he returned home to Poland for the first time as Pope, more than 1-million Poles gathered to hear him openly celebrate Mass. In America, hundreds of thousands came to hear him and be in his presence. He had the ability to make every one of the millions feel he was speaking to, touching, and blessing, them.
His serene smile touched the hearts of literally billions across the world, communicating a love, hope, and charity beyond the power of words to express, and transcending all barriers of language, cultural, racial, ethnic, or creedal differences.
As George Weigel summarized in this magisterial two-volume biography, Witness To Hope and John Paul II–the Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy: “He taught us how to live; and he taught us how to die.” Read also the tribute to him on the anniversary of his birth by Christian author William J. Federer at www.AmericanMinute.com.
Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, John Paul The Great, St. John Paul II, was the greatest man of our era — the greatest inspirer of real hope, change, and courage by standing for life and faith, and against tyranny,
May the God he served so faithfully always keep him; may the people he served so well never forget him.
And may we “be not afraid” to stand with and like him for life, and against tyranny, as did he, and as did our Founding Fathers of America.
Rees Lloyd is a civil rights attorney, Veterans activist, and is a member of the VictoriaTaft.com Blogforce.
It’s not a penalty, it’s a tax. It’s not a tax, it’s a penalty. John Roberts’ ObamaCare decision draws laughs in the US Supreme Court on Monday. Hint: it’s not funny.
We all remember the 2012 ObamaCare decision in which Chief Justice John Roberts pulled a dipsy doodle and saved ObamaCare by rewriting the law to say the individual mandate was a tax. “Such legislation is within Congress’ power to tax.”
Roberts made sure the issue of the ObamaCare individual mandate penalties was argued as a tax even though the Obama Administration argued it was not. After initially believing the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional as it was written, Roberts contrived to turn it into a tax and –voila!–part of the president’s cornerstone program was upheld.
On the upside, the Chief Justice limited the Congress’ ability to abuse the Commerce Clause in the future, but Constitutional originalists may never forgive him for allowing ObamaCare’s forced insurance purchase to be viewed as a tax instead of penalty.
The subject came up in the oral arguments of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialities on Monday. ObamaCare covers abortion drugs. These companies did not want to have anything to do with them. The issue is should companies owned by sincerely religious people be forced to denounce their religious beliefs to accommodate a government program? Hobby Lobby’s insurance pays for all kinds of birth control but wanted nothing to do with abortion drugs.
On pages 23-24 of the oral arguments Hobby Lobby’s attorney, Paul Clement, was asked by the liberal (and female) faction of the court about why the company doesn’t just drop insurance altogether and pay the penalty! Isn’t that nice of them? They’re just looking out for the financial well being of Hobby Lobby and by simply paying the extortion, they get to retain their religious rights!
Some choice. Heads: the government wins, tails: the companies lose.
11 JUSTICE KAGAN: No, I don’t think that
12 that’s the same thing, Mr. Clement. There’s one penalty
13 that is if the employer continues to provide health
14 insurance without this part of the coverage, but Hobby
15 Lobby could choose not to provide health insurance at
16 all. And in that case Hobby Lobby would pay $2,000 per
17 employee, which is less than Hobby Lobby probably pays
18 to provide insurance to its employees.
19 So there is a choice here. It’s not even a
20 penalty by in the language of the statute. It’s a
21 payment or a tax. There’s a choice. And so the
22 question is, why is there a substantial burden at all?
23 MR. CLEMENT: Well, just to be clear, we
24 were talking about the same thing. So the option, the
25 choice, is between paying a $475 million a year penalty
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Official Subject to Final Review
1 and a $26 million a year penalty. That’s what Hobby
2 Lobby faces. So $2,000 per person
3 JUSTICE KAGAN: No, between paying $2,000
4 per employee per year if Hobby Lobby does not provide
5 MR. CLEMENT: That’s $26 million.
6 JUSTICE KAGAN: You know, Hobby Lobby is
7 paying something right now for the for the coverage.
8 It’s less than what Hobby Lobby is paying for the
9 coverage. There are employers all over the United
10 States that are doing this voluntarily because they
11 think that it’s less.
12 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I thought I
13 thought that part of the religious commitment of the
14 owners was to provide health care for its employees.
15 MR. CLEMENT: That is true, Mr. Chief
16 Justice. It is also true that this
17 JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Well, if they want to do
18 that, they can just pay a greater salary and let the
19 employees go in on the exchange.
20 MR. CLEMENT: Exactly, which is, by the way,
21 why comparing the $2,000 penalty to the cost of the
22 health care is a false it’s a false comparison.
23 JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: It’s not called a
24 penalty. It’s called a tax. And it’s calibrated and
25 it’s calibrated
Alderson Reporting Company 24
Official Subject to Final Review
1 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: She’s right about
4 MR. CLEMENT: And it has been treated for
5 some purposes as a penalty. And I think for this
6 purposes, it certainly feels punitive.
It certainly does feel punitive. And that’s not funny.