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Beck: My Network Is 'Fundamentally About Religion' And My Right To Practice It

Glenn Beck began his television program last night with an opening monologue about yesterday's oral argument at the Supreme Court over the contraception mandate, declaring that the government has no right to tell someone like him how he must run his company because his entire network is an exercise of his religion.

After explaining that there is a difference between "freedom of worship" and "freedom of religion," Beck proclaimed that his The Blaze network is "fundamentally about religion" because he is exercising his religious freedom through operating his network.

"I started a business called The Blaze," Beck explained. "Why is it called The Blaze? Because of the fire of God. That's why. It's The Blaze, the fire of God will purify everything. It is fundamentally about religion, for me ... I am exercising my right to practice my religion in here!"

Latest Judge's Ruling In The Justina Pelletier Case Met With Outrage

After several delays, the Massachusetts judge handling the Justina Pelletier case issued a ruling yesterday that was devastating to Justina's parents and the Religious Right activists who have made her case their crusade.

In his ruling, Judge Joseph Johnston found that there is "credible psychiatric and medical evidence" to suggest that Justina suffers from a "persistent and severe Somatic Symptom Disorder" rather than the mitochondrial disease with which she was initially diagnosed and heavily criticized her parents, saying she needs to remain in state custody "due to the conduct and inability of her parents, Linda Pelletier and Lou Pelletier, to provide for Justina’s necessary and proper physical, mental, and emotional development."

Johnston asserted that the Pelletiers had repeatedly abused medical staff as well as those working for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and twice undermined efforts to transfer Justina to different facilities by threatening to sue one and generating protests by Religious Right activists outside of another, which resulted in both facilities ultimately declining to take her. 

In addition, Johnston denied Mat Staver's efforts to sign on as the parents' legal counsel.

Based on the recommendations of both the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, as well as the Guardian ad litem assigned to act in Justina's best interest, Johnston ruled that Justina would remain in state custody:

The judge’s four-page decision, which was provided to the Globe, was remarkable for its detail and forcefulness. Johnston faulted Connecticut’s child protection agency for its failure to get involved in a case involving a child from its state, and faulted Pelletier’s parents for their verbally abusive manner and haphazard decision-making that he says has sabotaged plans to move their daughter closer to home.

Johnston wrote that the parents called Boston Children’s Hospital personnel Nazis “and claimed the hospital was punishing and killing Justina. Efforts by hospital clinicians to work with the parents were futile and never went anywhere.”

More recently, he wrote, “there has not been any progress by the parents. Rather, the parents . . . continue to engage in very concerning conduct that does not give this court any confidence they will comply with conditions of custody.” He noted that because of allegations that Justina’s father, Lou Pelletier, threatened a state social worker assigned to the case, the worker had to be reassigned.

In his ruling, Johnston, for the first time publicly, stated his belief that Pelletier suffers from “a persistent and severe Somatic Symptom Disorder,” a psychiatric diagnosis that doctors at Children’s reached in early 2013 when the girl was brought there because she had difficulty walking and eating. The parents objected to that diagnosis, leading to accusations of medical child abuse and setting off a monthslong battle over her care.

...

Johnston also denied a request by lawyer Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel in Florida to help represent the parents. Staver said he plans to take part in a plan to appeal Tuesday’s ruling on legal grounds, a process that he hopes might reverse the custody decision earlier than the summer.

In tone, Johnston’s ruling made it appear he had lost patience after trying for months to carefully orchestrate a resolution to a case that has drawn nationwide media attention.

Lou Pelletier has taken part in numerous national media interviews to condemn the Department of Children and Families and the judge and call for the return of his daughter. Since the start of the year, several conservative Christian organizations have gotten involved in defending the parents, seeing the case as an example of government interference in the sanctity of parental rights, and have instigated massive phone and letter-writing campaigns to the judge and other state officials.

Johnston wrote that the parents had repeatedly “impeded progress” in resolving the case. “Instead of engaging in quality visits with Justina, the parents use profanity directed at MA DCF personnel in Justina’s presence,” he said. “There is absolutely no meaningful dialogue by the parents to work towards reunification.”

Staver, for his part, has vowed to "pursue every legal means," including filing a habeas corpus petition if necessary:

Today, Judge Joseph Johnston ruled that the custody of Justina will remain with Massachusetts DCF until a future hearing, which could not be set any earlier than June 20.  “Once again, the court is kicking the can down the road. This is unacceptable,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“DCF has no right to hold Justina like a prisoner. We will pursue every legal means to end this tragedy,” said Staver.

...

“In all my years in practice, I have never seen a more barbaric overreach by a state agency,” Staver said. “The family has asked us to pursue every legal means necessary to get their daughter home. Liberty Counsel will file an appeal or a habeas corpus petition,” said Staver.

And Religious Right activists are planning on ramping up their efforts:

Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, said the Free Justina Coalition plans to appeal to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to step into this matter. He also said that they’re considering a permanent office in Boston to organize outreach efforts.

“We’re looking for thousands of people to gather, not just hundreds,” Mason said.

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/25/14

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/25/14

  • David Barton claims that he is "very good friends" with 120 members of Congress.
  • David Brody begs Bill Maher to repent for his blasphemy before he winds up in Hell: "This IS going to happen Bill. It’s your choice if it happens now or after you die. My prayer is that you choose now before it's too late."
  • Dave Daubenmire is organizing a "Jesus IS NOT a Muslim" prayer rally in response to a local billboard.
  • The Home School Legal Defense Association is releasing a documentary aimed at exposing Common Core.
  • Finally, Dinesh D'Souza demonstrates once again that conservatives are not funny:

Fischer: 'The Spirit Of The Antichrist Is At Work' In Obama

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer took some time to reiterate his belief that while President Obama is not technically the Antichrist, he is an antichrist and operates under the "spirit of the Antichrist."

Saying that never in America history has this nation been governed by a leader who was as "aggressively and relentlessly opposed to Christianity" as Obama, Fischer said that doesn't mean that Obama is the Antichrist, but rather that "the spirit of the Antichrist is at work in him":

John Benefiel's Prayers Caused Record Flooding And Protected Oklahoma City From Recession

John Benefiel returned to "God Knows" for a fourth episode in which he explained to Cindy and Mike Jacobs how he and Chuck Pierce broke Baal's control over Texas, Kansas, and Missouri back in 2007, which resulted in massive amounts of rainfall across the region and subsequent flooding.

"Literally the day after we used this Ball divorce decree in 2007," Benefiel explained, "the rains came and we ended up having more rain between February and June of 2007 than any other twelve month period in history."

On top of that, Benefiel's efforts to divorce Baal also ended up protecting Oklahoma City from the global recession that hit in 2008.

"That is not an accident," he said. "That's God's blessings":

Glenn Beck Prays God Will Kill Putin To Stop The Rebuilt Soviet Union/ New World Order

Glenn Beck began his radio show today by declaring that, whether the world realizes it or not, World War III has already begun as Russia will soon roll across Europe as it seeks to rebuild the Soviet Union. The US can either stay out of it, which is what Beck recommends, and settle in for another Cold War or mobilize the military, setting off WWIII.

Beck, of course, spelled it all out on his chalkboard, predicting that the newly reformed Soviet Union and China will work together to collapse the United States and the West, resulting in a New World Order.

Not knowing what to do in response to this inevitable development, Beck has begun praying that God will kill Russian President Vladimir Putin:

Barton: Biblical Law Was Incorporated Into The Constitution Through The Seventh Amendment

Over the last few years, David Barton has been developing an ever-expanding theory that now essentially claims that all of the laws of the Bible were incorporated into the US Constitution through the Seventh Amendment, which says:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re–examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

In the past, Barton has claimed that parts of the Constitution were based on "direct quotations" from the Bible and has seized upon the phrase "common law" in the Seventh Amendment to argue that things like abortion and gay marriage can never be legal because they violate the "common law" which the Founding Fathers understood to mean "the laws of nature and nature's God."

In a presentation Barton delivered last weekend, he once again made the case that abortion and homosexuality are violations of natural law because such things, if found in nature, are always aberrations. At the same time, he has now broadened his theory to claim that there are lots of things that regularly do occur in nature - such as theft, murder, adultery, and incest - which are violations of the "laws of nature's God" since they are explicitly outlawed in the Bible.

Combined, natural law and Biblical law make up the "common law," Barton claims, and were therefore explicitly incorporated into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers through the Seventh Amendment.

"The laws of nature and the laws of nature's God," Barton said, "that's what we find in the Scriptures and that's what became the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution. That's why all of the legal sources back then said Christianity is part of the common law, part of the Seventh Amendment, because it establishes the rights and wrongs. That's why theft is out. That's why rape is out. That's why all these other things are out because either from the laws of nature or the laws of nature's God we know they're wrong":

Anti-Gay Activists Blast World Vision For Welcoming Married Gay Christians

Yesterday, Richard Stearns, the president of the American branch of the Christian charity World Vision, announced that the board had voted to change its policy and would now permit legally married gay Christians to work for the organization.

Insisting that this was just a "very narrow policy change," Stearns took great pains to make the case that this should not be seen as any sort of "compromise" on the issue of gay marriage:

"Changing the employee conduct policy to allow someone in a same-sex marriage who is a professed believer in Jesus Christ to work for us makes our policy more consistent with our practice on other divisive issues," he said. "It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage."

Stearns took pains to emphasize what World Vision is not communicating by the policy change.

"It's easy to read a lot more into this decision than is really there," he said. "This is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support."

"We're not caving to some kind of pressure. We're not on some slippery slope. There is no lawsuit threatening us. There is no employee group lobbying us," said Stearns. "This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues. We're an operational arm of the global church, we're not a theological arm of the church.

"This is simply a decision about whether or not you are eligible for employment at World Vision U.S. based on this single issue, and nothing more."

Needless to say, anti-gay activists are not buying World Vision's defense and have wasted no time in savaging the decision and accusing the organization of "apostasy."

Franklin Graham:

Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, issued a scathing rebuke of World Vision, during an appearance the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch radio program.

“It’s obvious World Vision doesn’t believe in the Bible,” said Graham. “I am sickened and heartbroken.”

...

"I was shocked today to hear of World Vision’s decision to hire employees in same-sex marriages. The Bible is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. My dear friend, Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse, would be heartbroken. He was an evangelist who believed in the inspired Word of God. World Vision maintains that their decision is based on unifying the church – which I find offensive – as if supporting sin and sinful behavior can unite the church. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the Scriptures consistently teach that marriage is between a man and woman and any other marriage relationship is sin.”

Michael Brown:

This is a betrayal of the gospel, a betrayal of the Lord, a betrayal of the family, and a betrayal of the countless thousands of Christians who have put their trust in World Vision as a legitimate Christian organization.

In no way does it contribute to “building a better world for children” – one of the fundamental goals of World Vision. In fact, it does the opposite.

...

[I]f claiming that two men can “marry” and their sexual acts be holy in God’s sight is not “wavering,” then words have no meaning.

...

Let it be stated plainly to the leadership and board of directors of World Vision U.S.: The Lord Jesus is no longer central in the corporate life of your organization. You have denied his lordship by your actions.

Albert Mohler:

[I]t is ridiculous to argue that World Vision is not taking sides on the issue. The objective fact is that World Vision will now employ openly-gay employees involved in openly homosexual relationships. There is no rational sense in claiming that this represents neutrality.

...

The worst aspect of the World Vision U.S. policy shift is the fact that it will mislead the world about the reality of sin and the urgent need of salvation. Willingly recognizing same-sex marriage and validating openly homosexual employees in their homosexuality is a grave and tragic act that confirms sinners in their sin — and that is an act that violates the gospel of Christ.

...

The shift announced yesterday by World Vision points to disaster. We can only pray that there is yet time for World Vision to rethink this matter, correct their course, stand without compromise on the authority of Scripture, and point the way for evangelical Christians to follow once again.

Matt Barber:

“Just because you say you’re not an official wing of the church or that you’re a para-Christian organization does not release you from the command to adhere to biblical truth and biblical reality as it pertains to sexual morality,” he maintains. “So that is a cop-out – and anyone with a clear understanding of scripture can recognize it as such.”

The Christian columnist believes anyone who claims to be Christian is expected to follow God’s Word, not the world. World Vision, he says, has made it clear where its loyalties lie.

“This very dramatic, counter-biblical, apostate move by World Vision shows where they stand,” he concludes. “They have destroyed their credibility as a Christian organization with one fell swoop – and it’s heart-wrenching.”

Bryan Fischer:

When God has spoken as clearly and as repeatedly as he has on the subject of marriage and homosexuality, it is a waste of breath to ask him if he's changed his mind.

World Vision long ago abandoned evangelism, as a condition of accepting money from the federal government. Now they have abandoned morality as well. Is there now anything, anything at all, that makes this an organization worthy of evangelical support?

World Vision's experience is a sobering reminder that once you abandon God at one point (evangelism) eventually it is inevitable that you will abandon him on other points (sexual morality). One compromise ineluctably leads to another until all is gone.

Christianity identifies greed as a form of idolatry, an expression of the worship of the false god Mammon. Greed, quite simply, is doing something you should not do for the sake of money.

Peter LaBarbera:

World Vision’s sellout is part of a disturbing trend in evangelicalism to capitulate in the Culture War over homosexuality–while the pro-LGBT lobby only ramps up its advocacy of sexually immoral laws and corporate policies.

...

Lastly, World Vision does a great spiritual disservice to its “gay married” employees. By implying that unrepentant, practicing homosexuals can be faithful servants of Jesus Christ while living openly in grave sexual sin and mocking true marriage, WV becomes an impediment to their repentance before God. Salvation requires humbly acknowledging and turning away from sin, just as genuine marriage requires two people of the opposite sex joining to produce a natural family.

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/24/14

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