Friday, June 22, 2018

LA Lawmakers Speak to Campus Censorship


In a time when free-speech advocates are sounding the alarm that a growing movement to silence opinions and speakers on colleges and universities is hindering 1st Amendment rights, one state recently took action to stop that trend.

Louisiana (LA) lawmakers passed SB364 – a bill which protects freedom of speech on public college campuses, and Gov. John Bel Edwards signed it into law earlier this month.  The law reads in part that education leaders will:
“Develop and adopt policies on free expression that contain: A statement that it is not the proper role of an institution to shield individuals from speech protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution of Louisiana, and other applicable laws, including without limitation ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

The director of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Center for Academic Freedom, Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, weighed in on the new law.  “The free and open exchange of ideas is essential to democracy, and perhaps no place is it more important than on public university campuses,” Langhofer said in a statement.  “Public colleges and universities are meant to be the marketplaces of ideas — where our future teachers, lawyers, judges, community leaders and voters can exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms,” he continued.  “"This new law ensures that public universities remain these marketplaces where intellectual diversity flourishes and all students are able to engage in the exchange of ideas rather than censorship on campus” Langhofer said.

Leaders associated with the ADF Center for Academic Freedom say the goal of the organization is to preserve freedom of speech and association for students and faculty so that the sharing of different ideas is not hindered by government censorship.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

President Trump Discusses Brutal Persecution of Christians in North Korea with Kim Jong Un


Last week, President Donald Trump made history with a handshake in his face-to-face meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

“Chairman Kim has the chance to seize an incredible future for his people.  Anyone can make war—only the most courageous can make peace,” Trump said.

The two leaders were smiling just before signing a historic document.  The key phrase in the agreement is that in exchange for security guarantees, Kim reaffirms his commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“We have a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind and we are about to sign a historic document,” Kim said.

The accord establishes new US-North Korea relations building towards a lasting, stable peace.  It allows the US to recover POW/MIA remains from the Korean War.

Trump said the US will cut back on its military exercises with South Korea but will not withdraw any American forces.  “We’re not reducing anything,” Trump said.  “At some point, I want to get our soldiers out, get them back home, but not right now.”

Trump also said human rights were part of the discussion, including the treatment of Christians, who face brutal persecution in North Korea.  Trump spoke movingly of American college student Otto Warmbier, who spent a year in a North Korean prison and died days after returning home to the US.  “Otto is someone who did not die in vain.  He had a lot to do with us being here today,” said Trump.

It’s hard to believe that months ago both countries were ready for war, with Trump threatening “fire and fury” against the rogue regime.

The sanctions on North Korea will not be lifted until progress toward denuclearization is verified.

“The world will see a major change,” Kim vowed.  “I would like to express my gratitude to President Trump.”

Trump called Kim a worthy negotiator and plans to invite him to the White House in the near future.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Monday, June 18, 2018

Once 56-Congressmen Declared Our Independence from British Rule, Now 56-Congressmen Demand Our Independence from Planned ‘Murderhood’


Members of Congress gathered outside the U.S. Capitol last week to call attention to an important investigative report and video series exposing Planned Parenthood’s (PP) repeated failure to notify law enforcement of suspected human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and girls.

PP has a decades-long history of covering up crimes against minors which has gone largely ignored.  Live Action (LA) has released its report and video series seeking to blow the lid off PP’s unchecked, ongoing criminal behavior victimizing young girls who are already victims of sexual assaults.  [I wrote about it last week.  Read my blog posting of Wednesday, June 13, 2018 – “New LA Undercover Videos Expose PP’s Child Sex Abuse.”]

“Abuse cover-up is systemic to the abortion industry,” said Lila Rose, founder of LA which produced the investigative report and video series.  “What these abusers do - what sexual traffickers do - to their victims is take them or threaten to send them by force to an abortion facility, which can become a key place for that abuse to be covered up,” said Rose.  “And Planned Parenthood, instead of reporting the abuse as they’re mandated to do in virtually all fifty states by law –– instead of reporting abuse, instead of being that person who can encounter a girl in a situation of extreme distress and be that moment of intervention for her –– does a secret abortion, has a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell policy,’ and sends this vulnerable young girl back into the arms of sex abusers.”

“Abortion is not family planning; It is family destruction,” said Rep. Diane Black (R-TN).  “The lies that are coming from the Big Abortion Industry are just heartbreaking,” Black continued.  “Live Action’s findings show us that these same lies are used to willfully neglect reporting these horrific cases of abuse, rape, and sex trafficking.  Sometimes these young teenage girls plead with Planned Parenthood staff to them help them escape their abusers, but their pleas go unheeded.  It’s come to light that Planned Parenthood performs abortions on girls as young as 12 years old, and then sends them right back into the arms of their abusers without alerting the authorities,” noted Black.  “It is shameful.”  “Planned Parenthood’s failure to report these heinous crimes does not empower women or our children; It empowers their abusers,” said the Congresswoman.  “The despicable cycle of these facilities, turning a blind eye to sexual abuse and exploitation of our children must end.”

“Planned Parenthood has shown gross negligence by returning these children to their abusers,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).  “I find Planned Parenthood’s complicity in sex trafficking absolutely appalling.”

“It seems that Planned Parenthood … has broken the law,” said Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC).  “There should be a full investigation into whether or not Planned Parenthood willfully turned over child victims of abuse back to their abuser, and if necessary, criminal prosecution.”

“We’re borrowing money from China to send to Planned Parenthood, how moral is that?” asked Iowa, Rep. Steve King (R).  “I don’t think any taxpayer dollars should go to any organization that either does abortions or counsels in favor of them.”

“Planned Parenthood portrays itself as a champion of women’s rights, but Live Action’s investigation exposes the abortion giant’s systematic betrayal of vulnerable women and girls,” said former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave in advance of the gathering. Musgrave now serves as Vice President of Government Affairs for Susan B. Anthony List.  “Abortion is a gift to pimps, traffickers, and abusers,” continued Musgrave, “and Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business, has helped them cover their tracks while raking in more than half a billion dollars from taxpayers every year.  We can’t put a price on the lives and dignity of unborn children and their mothers.  That’s why further action is needed to disentangle taxpayers from the scandal-ridden abortion business.”

As a result of LA’s reporting, 56-members of Congress have called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to begin an investigation into PP.  The letter from Congress to HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar II states in part:
“The report’s findings suggest that abusers feel comfortable taking their victims to Planned Parenthood.  We are therefore requesting an investigation into Title X recipients, particularly Planned Parenthood, to determine how widespread this failure is and if there are other instances where Planned Parenthood failed in its duty to report suspected child abuse to local authorities and to HHS.”

“Members have requested that HHS turn over records regarding all incidents of Planned Parenthood’s Title X recipients’ failures to report suspected sexual abuse of minors in their care, records of the steps taken to bring recipients into compliance with reporting laws, and documentation of any disciplinary actions,” according to a statement about the letter released by LA.  “Since 1999, federal regulations have made clear the expectation that organizations that receive federal Title X ‘family planning’ grants follow state laws mandating the reporting of suspected child sexual abuse and rape,” continued the statement.  “Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of Title X funding, receiving about $60 million annually through the program.  It is also the nation’s largest abortion provider.  In 2015, 474 of nearly 650 Planned Parenthood facilities received Title X funding.”

The first of LA’s investigative report videos provides an introduction to the project and an overview of what to expect in its future installments, including documented cases, the testimony of former abortion industry insiders, two of LA’s own previous undercover investigations, the lies PP has told in response to the allegations, and what consequences the offending personnel have faced, if any.  The group has also released Part 2 in the series - “Recorded Cases.”  It details how the abortion giant’s refusal to report men who brought in girls as young as age twelve for abortions enabled their abusers to continue raping them.  LA has documented many of these cases here and here.

LA says that a later installment will quote former PP insiders such as Sue Thayer and Catherine Adair, who say the organization actively discouraged reporting of children being brought in by their apparent abusers.

Last year, a separate investigative report by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) exposed PP’s selling of aborted baby body parts.  [Read my blog posting of Wednesday, June 14, 2017 – “Pro-Life Groups Urge DOJ to Investigate Planned ‘Murderhood’”.]

“Planned Parenthood has actively participated in illegal activity, selling the body parts of aborted babies in exchange for profit,” said Abby Johnson, a former abortion advocate and PP director who is now a pro-life activist.  “They’ve lied to the very women they purport to fight for.  I saw it firsthand when I worked for the abortion giant and yet, they still manage to obtain over half a billion dollars a year in our tax dollars.”

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Left’s Latest Attack on Religious Liberty


Nothing says “tolerance” like imposing a travel ban in an attempt to force another state to require religious groups to violate their deeply held beliefs.

Two weeks ago, the California (CA) Attorney General (AG) announced the state will soon ban state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Oklahoma (OK) … because of its allegedly “discriminatory” adoption laws.

In May, OK approved legislation that ensures “no private child-placing agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”  The purpose of the law is to protect faith-based adoption agencies—which, in many states, remain vital players in helping thousands upon thousands of kids find permanent homes every year—from being compelled to participate in activities that contradict their values.  

Because some religious groups believe they have a moral and religious responsibility to place children in homes with a married mother and father—as opposed to with single parents, transgender parents, or gay couples—CA has determined OK’s law protecting these groups is “discriminatory” and a form of “bigotry.”

“California will not use state resources to support states that pass discriminatory laws,” CA AG Xavier Becerra said.  “The law enacted in Oklahoma allows discrimination against LGBTQ children and aspiring LGBTQ parents who must navigate the adoption process.”

OK is now the ninth state subject to CA’s ban, joining Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

CA social justice warriors like Becerra say they “are taking a stand against bigotry and in support of those who would be harmed by this prejudiced policy.”

In reality, all they are doing is trying to score political points with their far-left-wing supporters, to the detriment of parentless kids everywhere.  CA lawmakers might not like it, but tens of millions of Americans worship God and support faith-based community initiatives meant to help those in need, including children without homes.  These organizations, of which there are thousands across the country, must adhere to their religious beliefs.  If they are forced to violate their values, most of them will inevitably close their doors, leaving millions of people without services these charities are compassionately providing.

Although Becerra and others currently running much of CA’s government won’t admit it publicly, shutting down all faith-based services—or forcing them to abandon their most unpopular beliefs—is exactly what they want.  And they are more than willing to sacrifice the countless kids who are waiting to find families in Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Muslim, and other religious homes on the Left’s altar of political correctness.

OK Gov. Mary Fallin (Republican) noted, OK’s religious liberty law is absolutely not discriminatory.  OK “will not be in any way restricting current practice allowing LGBTQ individuals and couples fostering or adopting,” Fallin explained.  “It does not ban same-sex adoption or foster care in Oklahoma.  Instead, the bill will help continue Oklahoma’s successful placement of children with a broad array of loving families and basically maintain the status quo by setting forth in statute practices which have successfully worked for the best interest of Oklahoma children.”

Contrary to the claims made by Becerra, OK’s law, like other similar state laws, is merely meant to protect religious groups by guaranteeing their right to follow their conscience. It’s no different than the laws that permit the Amish to escape having to participate in a slew of government programs and mandates they disagree with.  Or the laws that allow pacifists to avoid the military draft.  Or the exemptions that protect Roman Catholic nuns from paying for abortion.  Or the laws that protect some religious groups from having to swear oaths.

Listen: If Leftists have it their way, the Amish would be forced to abide by the same rules, taxes, and regulations everyone else must adhere to.  Pacifists would be forced to participate in drafts and fight and die on battlefields.  Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim clergy would be required to pay for abortions.  In other words, all religious beliefs would be abolished from the public square because of their “discriminatory” nature.  And who gets to decide what is “discriminatory,” anyway?  Well, the majority of people in society would be at risk of being forced to live in ways they vehemently oppose.

One of the primary reasons America has become so successful is its commitment to religious tolerance.  Tens of millions of people from around the world have come to the U.S. A. to worship their God.  

The Left is, apparently, incredibly frightened by this religious freedom, and many Leftists are working to end it forever and enact instead a completely unoriginal, uniform, dull society composed of single-minded drones.  Rather than embrace tolerance, Leftists in CA and elsewhere are seeking to destroy it.  And, ironically, they are engaging in this attack on religious liberty in the name of protecting “diversity.”

Don’t be fooled: The far Left doesn’t want diversity.  It’s probably the thing they are most afraid of.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

New LA Undercover Videos Expose PP’s Child Sex Abuse


Planned Parenthood (PP) has a history of covering up crimes against minors … which has been largely ignored.  But, Live Action (LA) hopes to change that in a new video series … the first of which was recently released.

Last week, LA announced its 7-part “Aiding Abusers” series, which “expos[e] a systemic, decades long cover-up of child sexual abuse at Planned Parenthood.”

The first video provides an introduction to the project and an overview of what to expect in its future installments … including documented cases, the testimony of former abortion industry insiders, two of LA’s own previous undercover investigations, the lies PP has told in response to the allegations, and what consequences the offending personnel have faced (if any).

“Whether it’s Hollywood, sports, politics or big media; we’ve heard the names of perpetrators and their enablers—people who knew about the abuse, but did nothing to stop it,” LA founder Lila Rose says in the introductory video.  “But few are calling out one of America’s biggest accomplices to sexual abuse even though there is widespread documentation of systemic sexual abuse cover-up behind its doors.  The group is called Planned Parenthood, and they are tax funded.”  

I pray that LA’s video series will get maximum exposure and convict the complacent of the issue of life!

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Monday, June 11, 2018

Two Recent Developments on the Pro-Life vs Abortion Battlefront


Two recent, bi-partisan, pro-life actions have occurred on the federal and state levels.

SCOTUS Won’t Declare ‘right’ to Abortion for Illegal Immigrants
Perhaps you missed the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS).  SCOTUS tossed out a lower court ruling allowing a 17-year-old illegal immigrant in government custody to obtain an abortion despite the Trump Administration’s protests.  Even though the baby at the center of the case has already been aborted, the SCOTUS has prevented it from setting a legal precedent establishing a “right” to abortion for underage illegal immigrants.

“The Trump Administration deserved this victory in court, as they continue to create policies designed to support a pro-life culture in America, including defunding abortion-related policies,” said Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America.

The Trump Administration’s Health and Human Services (HHS) has been fighting efforts by the pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to force the government to facilitate abortions for illegal immigrant minors in its custody.  Pro-life advocates have called this an attempt at a “Roe v. Wade 2.0” … establishing a “right” to abortion on American soil for non-citizens.

“The ACLU, Planned Parenthood (PP) and others want to create Roe v. Wade 2.0, a ‘right’ to abortion for all who are on U.S. soil, which is not in the interests of our great nation,” said Hawkins.

By throwing out the past court ruling, even though the teen in question has already aborted her child, the justices “eliminated a precedent at the federal appeals court level that could have applied in similar circumstances in which detained minors sought abortions,” reported Reuters.  “In the unsigned opinion with no dissents, the justices threw out the appeals court decision on the grounds that the dispute became moot once the unnamed teenager had the abortion.”

The Trump Administration had asked the SCOTUS to “discipline” the ACLU lawyers behind the case for misleading them about the timeline of the teen’s abortion.  The SCOTUS declined to do that.

The “Court [did] not rule on the government’s request for sanctions against the ACLU attorneys,” wrote Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog as the decision came out.  She continued: “The Court makes clear that it takes these kinds of allegations by the government “seriously.”  “On the one hand,” the per curiam [Latin: by the court] opinion says, “all attorneys must remain aware of the principle that zealous advocacy does not displace their obligations as officers of the court.  Especially in fast-paced, emergency proceedings like those at issue here, it is critical that lawyers and courts alike be able to rely on one another’s representations.”  “On the other hand,” the court continues, “lawyers also have ethical obligations to their clients and not all communication breakdowns constitute misconduct.”

The ACLU said in a press release the “decision does not affect the ongoing-class action lawsuit challenging the government’s policy barring young immigrant women in government custody from getting abortions.”

Democrat LA Governor Signs Law Banning 15-Week Abortions
Louisiana (LA) Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, recently signed legislation banning abortions on babies 15-weeks or older, pending the outcome of a legal challenge.

The law, SB 181, would sentence any abortionist who commits an abortion beyond that date to a prison sentence of up to 10-years and a fine between $10,000-$100,000, though it expressly exempts the woman seeking the abortion from punishment.  The law does not contain an exception for babies conceived in rape, and only allows exceptions for abortions deemed necessary to save a woman’s life from physical danger.

Thanks to an amendment added by Republican Sen. Danny Martiny, SB 181 will not actually take effect unless and until federal courts uphold a similar 15-week ban Mississippi enacted in March.

Gov. Edwards has not yet released a statement on the law, but confirmed his decision to multiple media outlets through a spokesperson.

“We thank and commend our pro-life governor for signing this bill and once again taking a stand for life,” said Sen. John Milkovich, the bill’s sponsor and another pro-life Democrat. “This is an important step forward in Louisiana’s fight to protect the unborn.”

Seventeen states, including Louisiana, currently ban most abortions at 20-weeks, by which point medical evidence suggests babies can feel pain.  Only Iowa, which recently enacted a ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, has stronger legal protection for the preborn.  That law is set to go into effect on July 1, but PP and the ACLU are challenging it.

“For us to rank at the top nationally among states who protect the lives of the unborn, I think that’s a harbinger of blessing for our state,” Milkovich added.

Abortion activists such as the left-wing group Lift Louisiana have condemned the law.  Pro-life lawmakers are urging state Attorney General Jeff Landry to file a legal brief on Mississippi’s behalf, to help ensure that Louisiana’s new law can begin protecting babies.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Friday, June 8, 2018

Trump Reads Prayers in the Oval Office from Americans on 3’x5’ Cards


Even though most Americans might believe that President Trump is far too busy to read a note from them, one Christian’s story may work to change their minds.

Few people know that the president takes time every day in the Oval Office to pray – a fact that Tracy Bost found out in an amazing way.  Shortly after the 2016 presidential election Bost went to a conference that the newly elected president was attending.  “There was so much chaos outside the retreat center where the president was – the newly elected president,” the devoted Christian shared.  “There were 600-rioters, and it was just awful.”

Then a thought occurred to her.  “We prayed as Christians that God would change the election, that God would open up a door for someone else to be elected – someone that He chose above all else,” Bost recounted.  That person in such an influential leadership role deserves our prayers, the prayer warrior thought.  So Bost started a campaign to put prayers on 3x5 cards and send them to the White House via her husband, congressman, Mike Bost of Illinois to the White House.

She thought that was the end of that … until … “My husband got the opportunity to be with the signing of the energy bill in the Oval Office, and when they introduced their names, Mike’s name was called,” Bost recalled.  “The president instantly put together Mike Bost, Illinois, wife, prayer cards.”  She was even more surprised as what was said next.  “And he [President Trump] said they’re right over there on the shelf, and they brought in the original bag,” Bost continued.  “And he said we use these every day, and he said, ‘We look forward to it.’  And he said, ‘These are such a blessing.’”

Then it was divulged that Trump’s devout Christian running mate, Vice President Pence, was also regularly involved in using the prayer cards.  “He said, ‘Vice President Pence came right up to me and said he really does … We really do use this every day – sometimes more than once a day – depends on the day.”

Today, Bost is extending Christians the opportunity to get their prayer into the president’s hands through FrontLine Family Ministries’ Encourage Prayer webpage at http://frontlinefamilies.org/home/encourageprayer/.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

FB Blocks Sharing Pro-Life “Roe v. Wade” Film


Actor Nick Loeb, co-producer of the upcoming film “Roe v. Wade” starting Jon Voight, said Facebook (FB) has been blocking him and Dr. Alveda King from promoting their pro-life film.

Loeb said on the Fox News show ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ “I’ve already run into some problems.  We’ve had a lot of difficulty raising the money in Hollywood so we decided to do a crowdfunder [a leader in helping to raise capital for thousands of companies].  We created a crowdfund site called “roevwademovie.com” and we launched on Facebook to try to raise money and even Facebook tried to shut us down.”

The “Roe v. Wade” film is being made to explain “what happened from 1966 through 1973” that led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision declaring existing laws against abortion unconstitutional.  Loeb maintained that the abortion-legalization movement was orchestrated around deception and it’s all historically established despite it being a little-known fact.

The filmmakers said documentaries have been made but there has never been a feature film to tell “the untold story of how people lied, how the media lied, and how the courts were manipulated to pass a law that has since killed over 60-Million Americans.”  More specifically, they pointed to how the media was manipulated by people like Dr. Bernard Nathanson, among others, and lied to about backalley abortions and about how many women were dying.  “The truth that we talk about in the film, a lot of people don’t want that truth to come out,” Loeb said.

When asked by Carlson what grounds FB had to block their ads, the actor shared what they were told.  “They said that we were spamming.  So we had to set up a separate crowdfunding site.  Facebook is one of the only platforms out there to be able to promote a crowdfunding site and they stopped us from sharing.  I couldn’t send out the crowdfunding site to my friends or family and people who liked the site couldn’t share it,” he explained.

Loeb stated that Dr. Alveda King, who came on as executive producer of the film, was likewise blocked from sharing.  He noted that FB has now lifted the block but has now created a “shadow ban” where what they promote doesn’t show up in the feeds of the people who follow or like them.  “We even bought and paid for advertising and they blocked us from sharing paid advertising, so it’s been a struggle to get people to go roevwademovie.com to support the film,” he added.

Many have accused FB and other social media sites of censoring conservative and pro-life viewpoints, discussion, and thought.  FB recently announced that it will have an external group investigate whether the social media site has an anti-conservative bias.

When asked why he as a popular Hollywood figure wanted to make such a counter-cultural film, Loeb told Carlson, “I have my own pro-life fight going on for life and the director had read about an article I had written in The New York Times and he approached me.”

Along with Voight, the film also stars Stephen Baldwin and Stacey Dash.  It is expected to be released in winter 2019.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Monday, June 4, 2018

Judge Rules Christian Doesn’t Have to Bake Gay Cake


This Christian-owned wedding venue may have just solved the gay ‘marriage’ dilemma.

A California judge has made a final ruling in favor of a Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding.  The baker’s refusal was based on her claim that making the cake would have forced her to go against her deeply held Christian beliefs and endorse something that she personally disagrees with.

Last August, Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio ordered a wedding cake from Tastries Bakery owner Cathy Miller, who declined the lesbian couple’s request on account of her own staunch opposition to homosexuality.  Subsequently, the couple filed a complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, according to LifeSite News.  They argued that the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act should forbid businesses from refusing to provide services on the basis of sexual orientation (among other grounds).  But Miller’s objection was distinctly religious, and therefore was protected by the 1st Amendment.  “Everyone is God’s creation and I love everyone,” Miller has previously explained, according to San Antonio Express-News.  “But there are certain things that violate my conscience, and my conscience will not allow me to participate in things that I feel are wrong.  Most of what that’s based on is scripture.”

“The right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment outweighs the State’s interest in ensuring a freely accessible marketplace,” County Superior Court Judge David Lampe wrote in his original decision.  “The right of freedom of thought guaranteed by the First Amendment includes the right to speak, and the right to refrain from speaking. Sometimes the most profound protest is silence.”  Miller, the judge explained, was being compelled to “use her talents to design and create cake she has not yet conceived with the knowledge that her work will be displayed in celebration of marital union her religion forbids.”

“Cathy gladly serves everyone who walks through her bakery’s doors, including same-sex couples.  But she should not be forced by the government to express messages that conflict with her sincerely held religious beliefs,” said Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) president Charles LiMandri, whose religious liberty organization represented Miller pro-bono.  “We are pleased the judge recognized that the First Amendment protects Cathy’s freedom of speech.”

The FCDF is seeking $438,000 in legal fees from the plaintiffs.  Lampe’s most recent ruling deemed Miller “the prevailing party for purposes of the fight to recover litigation costs as permitted by law.”

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Friday, June 1, 2018

Trump Disentangles Taxpayers From Abortion Industry


Last week, the Trump Administration took decisive action on the president’s pledge to disentangle taxpayers from the abortion industry – delivering a policy win that promotes better health care alternatives for women … and may save countless lives.

The Protect Life Rule (PLR) stops taxpayer funding of abortion through the Title X family planning program.  Most Americans agree that abortion is not family planning and oppose taxpayer-funded abortion.  The PLR does not cut a single dollar from family planning; it instead directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions … such as the growing number of community and rural health centers.  There are already more than 3,000 Title X service sites nationwide – including state and county health departments, community health centers, and nonprofit clinics – where women and families are already accessing comprehensive preventative and primary care … not abortion.

For too long, abortion businesses – chief among them Planned Parenthood (PP) – have exploited Title X as though it were their own private bank account.  Since the Clinton era, all Title X grantees have been required to refer for abortion, and service sites have been allowed to carry out abortions on the same premises and keep their taxpayer funding.

PP has been receiving $50-$60-million in Title X funds annually and more than half of its service sites provide abortion at the same address.  This is contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the Title X statute, which specifically states that funds should not go to programs that treat abortion as a method of family planning.  

The PLR puts a stop to it, reinstating the policy of President Reagan and restoring the integrity of the Title X program.  Pro-life groups have been working for this change for months.  More than 85 national and state pro-life groups sent a letter earlier this month to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking him to revise Title X rules.  41-senators and 153-representatives also sent letters making the same request.

Abortion advocates will of course be livid about the PLR.  They give an extremely misleading impression of how Title X works when they claim millions of Americans will lose access to basic health care.  Rather than being earmarked for specific services, Title X is a slush fund for general operations.  Title X dollars pay for rent, utilities, staff salaries and computers, even advertising to recruit clients.  

As anybody who has the slightest business experience knows, money is fungible; if it helps keep the lights on and the doors open, it contributes to the overall success of the company.  When that company is PP, that means taxpayers are helping prop up the nation’s largest abortion business.  

PP carries out more than 320,000 abortions every year and even faces federal investigation for its role in the harvest and sale of aborted children’s body parts for profit.  Their total services and patients have been in decline for years, but the number of abortions has remained stable and their revenue has hit a record high.

While policies that prevent taxpayer funding of abortion have clearly been shown to reduce abortions, the consequences of bankrolling the abortion industry are dire.  Peer-reviewed research indicates PP has inflated the U.S. abortion rate – so much that more than 3-million avoidable abortions can be attributed to PP’s intervention in the abortion market.

If they truly view women’s health care as paramount, and PP and other abortion centers want to continue providing Title X services, the logical thing would be to simply comply with the rules.  If they refuse to do that, they can fund their activities without conscripting taxpayers.  The PLR offers that choice.  Sure, PP might have to dip into the $98.5-million in excess revenue they reported for fiscal 2016-2017.  They might have to cut into the $75-million spent on “movement building.”  They might even have to hit up their ultra-wealthy donors who are capable of giving them $9-million at a time.  There’s no evidence they require taxpayer funding to survive or break even, and plenty of evidence that they don’t deserve it at all.

President Trump’s PLR is a huge step in the right direction.  It shows that he has heard the frustration of pro-life voters over continued funding of the abortion industry.  A victory like this is just the shot in the arm the pro-life grassroots needed to head enthusiastically into the critical mid-term elections.

Many thanks to President Trump for doing what it takes to fulfill this core promise and get taxpayers out of the abortion business.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Our Schools: Bring God Back and Guns Be-Gone


U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-Rep) spoke to the Susan B. Anthony List gala last week, touting President Trump’s pro-life accomplishments and concluding with his thoughts on the importance of prayer in light of the recent school shooting in Santa Fe, TX.

Scalise, who survived being shot in the leg at a congressional baseball game practice last year, talked about the crucial role of faith in his own recovery and said prayer is important for healing society in general.  “I do want to say something about the power of prayer because as we talk about standing up for life, we also believe in a deep faith in God,” he said.  “We have our lives from God, God gave us our lives, God is the one who gave us all of our abilities.  Now there are people that are trying to push God further and further away from every element of our society.”  He emphasized that he and his family “would not have been able to get through the now nine surgeries without the power of prayer and if you look at what happened that day the only explanation for so many of the things that happened to allow me and everyone else on that field to be alive are miracles, true miracles from God and you can go and point to God’s presence.”

Scalise complained that the media always wants him to focus on the topic of guns when tragic shootings happen, but he thinks society should be more focused on prayer.  “Every time there’s another tragic shooting the media always wants to ask me: well gee whiz does this change your view on guns and they want to make it about guns,” he said, “we just had another horrible, tragic shooting last week in Texas and what I said is you know for decades we’ve had guns but you know what they also had decades ago when you didn’t have school shootings like this?  You had God in school, you had prayer in school.”  “There’s no single answer,” Scalise said of these tragic shootings.  However, he asked, “what harm could there be in maybe bringing some of those elements of the values of prayer and God back in our schools and other elements of society where it’s been pushed out over the decades and then we wonder why the culture of our youth has changed where a kid would do some of the things that they’re doing today that they never would’ve done decades ago.”

In addition to emphasizing the importance of prayer, Scalise praised President Trump’s pro-life accomplishments including his recent proposal to take away Title X family planning funding from abortion providers.  “You’ve got a president who backs up everything he said with real action,” he told those gathered.  “He follows through on his promises and he has carried through what can arguably be the most pro-life agenda of any president.”

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day: We Honor Them by Remaining Vigilant


Today we honor the memory of the more than 1.2 million Americans in uniform who have given their lives for our country.  No words can adequately describe the valor of the men and women we honor today.  They defended the future of freedom at places like Bunker Hill and Yorktown, Gettysburg and Antietam, the trenches of France, Guadalcanal and Normandy, the Korean peninsula, Vietnam, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.  Thanks to America's service members, freedom endures.

For more than 200-years, Americans have distinguished themselves on the battlefields for freedom.  In places far from American soil, men and women, representing every race, religion and creed of this diverse American melting pot, have willingly donned an American military uniform and defended this country.  And they all knew the risk.

The Americans we honor today loved the ideals and values upon which this nation was founded – values like loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

As we pay homage to our nation’s fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, let us reaffirm our national commitment of keeping the freedom torch burning for tomorrow.  Let us support the American armed forces that are defending freedom even at this moment.  For today’s armed forces personnel, the mission of defending freedom lives on … strengthened by our eternal memory of American patriots who have given their lives to preserve peace and democracy for future generations.  Your support of our armed forces is one of the most powerful weapons in the war against terrorism.

In addition to honoring the memory of those who gave their lives for this country, I urge you to remember in your prayers their families; and to our living veterans and to the service men and women who continue to defend our freedom.

The words that adorn the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery, where some of our heroes are interred, also speak volumes about the bravery and valor of the men and women who risked their lives for our nation:

“Not for fame or reward, not for place or rank, not lured by ambition  or goaded by necessity, but in simple obedience to duty as they understood it, these men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all and died.”

May the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country live forever in our memories.  And may we honor them by doing everything we can to protect freedom for future generations, whenever, and wherever, it is threatened.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel