Engage Quickly: Headlines on SCOTUS and ObamaCare to Keep You Informed

by Nathan A. Cherry, 06/29/2012

SCOTUSYou don’t have time to read every article on the groundbreaking SCOTUS/ObamaCare decision that took place this week. Neither do we. But we have compiled a list of a dozen or so that we believe will be worth perusing to make sure you fully understand the issue, the decision, and the implications of the decision for us all. We hope this brings you up to speed and that you pass them on to others that need to see them. (To read the full article simply click the title of the article.)

ADF comment on U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare

U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare:
“ObamaCare treats American citizens like subjects. This administration has used health care law to become a dictator of conscience. The court’s decision is alarming and deeply wrong. ObamaCare holds your health care hostage and offers no real choice. Either comply and abandon your religious freedom and conscience, or resist and be fined for your faith. All current ADF legal challenges to the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate will proceed, and we are confident that the Supreme Court will strike it down as unconstitutional.”

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Lessons from Jerry Sandusky and the Penn St. Scandal (Video)

by Nathan A. Cherry, 06/29/2012

Jerry SanduskyLast week former Penn. State coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of sexually assaulting 10 different boys over the course of 15 years. The details of the case are hideous and the fallout cost legendary coach Joe Paterno his job, along with many others. We would like to say that “justice has been served” in this case of horrific abuse, but I’m not sure that is adequate, or true.

The fact is, there is no “winner” in this case, even with the conviction of Mr. Sandusky. There is never a winner when innocent children are abused and the gross nature of the abuse in this case certainly ensures there is not a winner.

The fact is; a wife has lost her husband. Children have lost their father. Grandchildren have lost their grandfather. There is little chance that Mr. Sandusky will ever see the outside of prison before he dies. Any sentence, even a minimal one for each count, will ultimately be a life sentence and death penalty for Mr. Sandusky given his age.

As with many tragedies, the best we can hope for is that the victims will be able to forgive and move so that they too will not endure a living death sentence by holding on to bitterness and anger. And, we can look for lessons to be learned through this account of neglect and abuse so that it will never happen again.

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

BREAKING: Obamacare Individual Mandate Upheld by Supreme Court!

by Nathan A. Cherry, 06/28/2012

Today is a shocking day in U.S. history as many that predicted the Supreme Court would rule Obamacare, or at least the individual mandate portion would be struck down. Sadly, this is not the case and, with the help of one of the most conservative justices, John Roberts, the Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision to uphold the unconstitutional healthcare law that gives the government the ability to tell citizens what to buy or face penalties. This is in clear violation of the commerce clause, as justices Alito, Scalia, Thomas and even Kennedy agreed.

Below is several articles on the breaking story, more will be posted as this story further developes.

Mandate Survives as Tax – From ADF

This post will be updated as information becomes available.

Robert Barnes at the Washington Post: Supreme Court upholds health-care law, individual mandate The court reviewed four questions: whether it was within Congress’s constitutional powers to impose an “individual mandate” to purchase health insurance; whether all or any additional parts of the law must be struck down if the mandate is rejected; whether an expansion of Medicaid was unduly coercive on the states and whether all of those questions can even be reviewed before the mandate takes effect.

Amy Howe at the SCOTUS Live Blog: In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.

AP: The court’s four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome. Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Reportedly, the court holds that the act violates the commerce clause, but it doesn’t matter since the Court is construing the mandate as a tax.

The Court holds the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply.

“Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.” (p. 55) Click here for original article.

ADF Comment on U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on Obamacare – from ADF

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare: “ObamaCare treats American citizens like subjects. This administration has used health care law to become a dictator of conscience. The court’s decision is alarming and deeply wrong. ObamaCare holds your health care hostage and offers no real choice. Either comply and abandon your religious freedom and conscience, or resist and be fined for your faith. All current ADF legal challenges to the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate will proceed, and we are confident that the Supreme Court will strike it down as unconstitutional.” Click here for original article.

ADF will issue a full news release shortly, which will be available on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. State of Floridaresource page.

 

About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

GLSEN Demands Town Teach Homosexuality to Kindergarteners – Town Fights Back! (Video)

by Nathan A. Cherry, 06/28/2012

GLSEN logoI don’t think I will ever understand how the people screaming for tolerance and anti-bullying legislation can be the worst perpetrators of bullying and intolerance. It’s so hypocritical that it’s hardly believable. And yet it’s truer than most people realize. The latest example of this truth can be seen in what GLSEN is doing to a town in Illinois.

Aaron Sweeney, writing for Citizenlink.com shares the story of Eerie, Ill, a small, 1,500 person town most people have never heard of:

“We’ve never experienced anything like this—where for the last several weeks our town has been the target of a national pressure campaign launched by gay activists and liberal media. People in our town have been called insulting names by angry bloggers. They’ve gotten phone calls to their home and hate emails from people who don’t even live here…So what was our town’s big crime…Well—we just dared to say no…No, that is, to GLSEN’s (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) materials coming into to our pre-kindergarten through fourth grade elementary school. (Read more about that here). And our local school board had the courage to listen to the concerns of the majority of parents, voting 5-2 to reject the materials.”

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Think Those Reports of Christians Being Persecuted are Isolated Incidents? Think Again!

By Tom Stark, 06/27/2012

Christian persecutionOver the past few months, I have been compiling a list of links to articles concerning individuals or groups that were singled out for unfair treatment based solely on their faith in Jesus Christ.  At first I thought the instances were pretty isolated, too.  Then I began noticing that the frequency and intensity of such attacks on Christians and groups were increasing by the week.

The following is a compilation of the worst of the worst, but by no means represent all of the incidents documented.  I would have included more if it were not for the confines of space on the blog, and the limits of your endurance for my writing.

  • Phoenix, AZ– As reported in Godfather Politics, based on complaints from his neighbors, Michael Salmon is jailed for violation of city zoning regulations because he hosted more than 12 people at his home for backyard Bible study sessions.  While it is perfectly all right for someone to hold a bar-b-que for any number of relatives and friends, the act of producing a Bible and reading from it and discussing it represents a violation because the city considers it conducting a church service for which a special permit and zoning exceptions must be applied for before it is legal.  He was fined and sentenced to jail. A federal appeals court dismissed his appeal without comment essentially upholding the city court’s verdicts.

About Tom Stark

Tom Stark began writing for the Engage Family Minute blog in February 2012. As a small business owner Tom is passionate about the intersection of faith and politics in the life of Christians and the community around him. Having been touched by both the abortion issue and the issue of homosexuality in his own family, Tom is passionate about defending the lives of the unborn and upholding Biblical Truth. Tom also writes for www.westvirginiaconservative.com

Video: Planned Parenthood Approves Sex-Selective Abortion – Again!

by Nathan A. Cherry, 06/26/2012

Planned Parenthood RearI wonder how many undercover videos of Planned Parenthood engaging in illegal activity have to be released before someone decides they should be investigated, charged as criminals, and defunded. Evidently the nearly dozen videos released thus far are not enough to get the job done. So here’s another one showing Planned Parenthood once again agreeing to do a sex-selective abortion. (Scroll down to see the video.)

Here is a brief synopsis of the newly released video by Live Action, according to LifeNews.com:

“In the new video, an abortion counselor ‘A Woman’s Choice of Raleigh, Inc,’ the NAF-affiliated clinic, refers a woman purportedly seeking a sex-selective abortion to an OB/GYN to confirm the gender of the baby with a diagnostic ultrasound. The counselor, ‘Jessica,’ assures that the abortion clinic will not have a conflict with performing a sex-selective procedure: ‘Your reasons are your reasons,’ she says, ‘You know, it’s totally fine.’…She also advises the woman to lie to her OB/GYN to cover her sex-selective abortion, counseling, ‘Just say that you had to go to the hospital and miscarried.’”

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Engaging the Issues: Gerry Chipeur


Canada has redefined marriage and expanded their laws on hate crimes.  Has it made for a more or less tolerant society?  One of Canada’s foremost religious liberty attorneys, Gerry Chipeur, explains what such cultural changes have wrought on our neighbors to the north – and what it might mean for America.

Click here to listen now.

 

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Josh Weed: Gay, Mormon, Married to a Woman, Three Kids and Loving Life!

by Nathan A. Cherry, 06/25/2012

Josh weed familyThe dialogue taking place concerning homosexuality is anything but simple or straightforward. It’s a complex dialogue that seems to twist and turn in many directions and ends up offering more questions than answers. This seems to be truer for people that identify as both homosexual and religious. They are stuck in an aisle between one group that doesn’t believe they can really be religious and homosexual at the same time; and another group that demands they disavow their religion and placate their sexual attraction.

There’s no doubt that for many confused homosexuals the tug and pull of advocates on either side must be exhausting, and lonely. They don’t quite identify with either group fearing possible reprisal for refusal to abandon one part of their life or the other. I won’t confess to know exactly what this is like, but I imagine it being emotionally and mentally draining.

Let me be clear. I believe what the Bible says about homosexuality being a sin. I don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle, same-sex “marriage,” or any other part of this sinful behavior; and I do not support or advocate for “gay rights” as many others do.

However, as a human being with compassion and love my heart breaks for people that feel the way many homosexuals must feel. Much like a drug addict or alcoholic that is shunned by “clean, sober” people and not able to trust others that he or she identifies with, many homosexuals must truly feel like they are between a rock and a hard place. And contrary to popular belief, Christians are ready and willing to love and accept homosexuals; however we cannot accept the lifestyle they have chosen as it violates the principles of our faith.

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

My Most Favorite Topic of Conversation – Christian Engagement in Politics!

by Tom Stark, 06/23/2012

religion in politicsQuite often I like to read the comments following on-line articles to get a sense of what other readers feel is important within the article, topic, or position taken by the author.  In the case of Gary DeMar’s article at Godfather Politics for some reason I was unable to access the comments to read them.  This disappointed me, but the gist of the article was music to my ears!

DeMar raises the most important question that can be asked of Christians today.  Should Christians disengage from Politics?  To that I shout a resounding, “No!”  And here is why.

Most importantly, the day the Community of Christ disengages from politics is the day that it admits defeat, turns politics over to the unbelievers, and folds its tents to head for the desert again.  How can we expect to elect leaders with a moral grounding in principled Truth if we do not get involved?  If we fail to involve ourselves in the process of selecting our leaders, how will we know how we should vote?

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About Tom Stark

Tom Stark began writing for the Engage Family Minute blog in February 2012. As a small business owner Tom is passionate about the intersection of faith and politics in the life of Christians and the community around him. Having been touched by both the abortion issue and the issue of homosexuality in his own family, Tom is passionate about defending the lives of the unborn and upholding Biblical Truth. Tom also writes for www.westvirginiaconservative.com

Dr. Piper Corrects the Press (And Me?)

Yesterday, I wrote a post that neither praised, nor condemned Dr. Piper’s take on the proposed amendment to the Minnesota constitution.  In saying that I neither praised, nor condemned him, that is not to say I did not critique him.  At least part of that critique, I will stand by.  There was some incomplete wording that, I think, should Dr. Piper read my post it’s my guess he would likely agree with me (or so I hope).

But, he has specifically written today to quell the thought that he was sitting this one out or not instructing his people to take a stand on this issue.  I’m very glad for this post and hope Dr. Piper will continue to clarify and carefully instruct his congregation in this matter.  Here’s what Dr. Piper said:

First they say, “Key Minnesota pastors opt out of marriage fight.” I didn’t opt out. I opted in. What is at stake more than anything else is the meaning of marriage and how important it is for the common good and for the glory of Christ. That was the main burden of the message. Marriage is the sexual and covenantal union of a man and a woman pledging life-long allegiance to each other as husband and wife. There is no such thing as so-called same-sex “marriage.” That is clear in God’s word.

The second mistake is to say that I “have not encouraged members to take a stand on the issue.” That is, in fact, the opposite of what I was saying in the last two points of my message (points 7 and 8).

The aim of point 7 was to help our people know how to vote on the marriage amendment. The question for all of us is, Which of our beliefs about what is good for the common good should be put into constitutional law? I gave four guidelines. The aim of those guidelines was not to discourage our people from “taking a stand” but to help them take an intelligent one.

The aim of point 8 was that over the long haul Christians will take clearer, stronger, more effective stands for justice and righteousness and the common good if pastors and preachers speak powerfully and faithfully and biblically to the moral and spiritual and ethical and theological issues surrounding political issues, rather than advocating particular candidates and laws. I gave several historical illustrations of how this has worked.

Therefore, I encourage all Christians to think this through, and to take a stand, and to be as active in the political process on this issue as their conscience dictates. [emphasis original]

I would also encourage you to listen to, watch, or read the sermon that is in question.  Very instructive.

It may be convenient if Dr. Piper actually said, “vote for this” or “vote against that,” but is that prudent?  What he has done is basically to suggest that the Christian position is that marriage is only to be defined – at home, in church, or in law – as the union between one man and one woman.  He then leaves the inference to be made that Christians ought to vote for the amendment.  So, by implication, I suppose, he has made an endorsement.

But – and this is important – Dr. Piper should be commended for taking a thoughtful approach here.  To say, “vote for” or “vote against” is easy.  It’s also authoritarian.  And, it may not serve his sheep well.  Rather than do the thinking for them, Dr. Piper has taught them.  He has taught them in the way that my law professors taught me, via the Socratic method – a teaching method that brings the student to that, “Aha!” moment when, after walking through the logic of the question, the answer is plainly before you.

This serves his congregation well by encouraging them beyond what lever to pull in the voting booth and toward how to defend their vote as a part of their worldview.  It now leaves the proponents of the marriage amendment primed with followers of Dr. Piper who have listened to this instruction and now must be motivated to exercise their gift of self-government.  It’s that latter point that I still hope Dr. Piper might clarify (you can see why I mean by reading yesterday’s post).

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.