French court recognizes the “right” to not be offended by the truth! 

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Last month a French court upheld an administrative ban on a positive and uplifting television advertisement featuring children with Down Syndrome.  The constructive commercial was created by the World Down Syndrome Foundation in 2014 to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day.  The touching tribute has more than 7.5 million views on YouTube.

The positive piece features children addressing a pregnant woman who has been informed her child will have Down Syndrome. The woman writes, “I’m scared: What kind of life will my child have?” In reply, beautiful smiling children with Down Syndrome from across the globe reassure the anxious mother that her child will be able to hug, run to you, speak, write, go to school, work, tell you he loves you, be happy and you will be happy too.  The children acknowledge that it will be “difficult,” but “[i]sn’t it like that for all mothers?”  The video closes with the smiling children hugging their mothers.  I strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to watch the video.

One thing is clear: France can’t handle the truth. In fact, because the powerful promotion did not make the secular progressive French government “happy,” the Orwellian court recently upheld a ban of the video by the French Broadcasting Council.  The court found that the depiction of happy and healthy children with Down Syndrome was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.”

George Will in the Washington Post brilliantly points out the disturbing trend of the secular left’s growing discomfort with inconvenient truths, leading increasingly to state suppression of facts when they do not comfortably align with the worldviews of those peddling self-serving distortions of reality.

“Pictures persuade. Today’s improved prenatal sonograms make graphic the fact that the moving fingers and beating heart are not mere “fetal material.” They are a baby. Toymaker Fisher-Price, children’s apparel manufacturer OshKosh, McDonald’s and Target have featured Down syndrome children in ads that the French court would probably ban from television.”

France’s morally vacuous pagan thinking is not limited to post-Christian Europe and is having a deadly effect worldwide. In France, approximately 97% of babies with Down Syndrome, as revealed by pre-natal genetic testing, are killed. In America the rate is 90%.  In this regard, Margaret Sanger would applaud the French government for its callous commitment to the dark “virtues” of eugenics.  This is the result of an increasing rejection of the truth that each life is sacred and beautiful, being known by God and created in His image.

What France is in effect saying is that the lives of people with Down Syndrome, and by implication people with any disabilities, are not worth living or allowing to live.  Our wonderful and precious sixteen year old adopted son Ryan has autism. He is a unique and valuable blessing who brings our family a lot of joy every day.  My wife has often remarked that she is very happy they have not yet developed a genetic test for autism, otherwise millions of American children, including our beautiful Ryan, might not have escaped the womb alive.

But what France is also saying is that the state should have the authority to suppress the truth when it does not support the state’s preferred message on the subject.  However, France’s foolishness does not end there.  In doing so, the court recognizes a “right” of women who have decided to kill their children with Down Syndrome to not have to face reality in a TV commercial or be “offended” by the truth.

Can America handle the truth? Perhaps not. I pray that such foolish totalitarian-fascism will not come to America, but I fear that it is already here.  Many college campuses have turned into politically correct coddling centers where sensitive liberal “snow flake” students are assigned to safe spaces and cry rooms and given Play-Doh and coloring books.  Why? Apparently, it is to avoid hard truths and hurt feelings.  While students with traditional beliefs, especially those based upon a Judeo-Christian worldview, are increasingly ostracized, demonized, and marginalized.  When feelings replace facts, you know that a culture is collapsing.

What about the feelings of the Christian florists, bakers, and photographers? Well, apparently because their beliefs are not aligned with uber-liberal PC values, their feelings, religious beliefs, economic interests, and civil rights just do not matter and are not entitled to any recognition or respect.  Therefore, those darn Christians can now in the name of a new brand of “justice,” be dragged before human rights commissions, fined, run out of business, and lose their livelihoods.  Tragically, the land of justice, freedom, and equality has increasingly become for many Christians a land of intolerance and injustice—where some people are less free and some civil rights are more equal than others.

Where does this all end?  If these disturbing trends continue unopposed and unabated, I fear we will see increasing state coerced distortions of reality and suppression truth, thought, and expression—especially the freedom of speech and religious freedom—all in the name of progress!

It is time for us to rise up and rededicate ourselves to being America again, not France. The very lives and the civil rights of millions of Americans, yet unborn, depend on it!

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Is Franklin Graham Right About America?

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I was still rubbing sleep from my eyes, preparing to groggily reach for my morning coffee, when a story jumped off my smart phone screen, catching my eye.  The Fox News editorial headline read, “It’s Open Season on Christians in America.” The piece by Todd Starnes hailed Billy Graham’s Johnny-Cash-loving, once rebellious son as a prophetic “voice crying in the wilderness.”  Personally, I have had a soft spot in my heart for the Graham family since, as a young boy, my father proudly told me the story of how he, as a young pastor, was part of the leadership team hosting the Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles in 1958.  “So what is the ever-biblically-bold Franklin saying now?” I pondered.  The weighty words I read next hit me right between the eyes!

“I believe we are perilously close to the moral tipping point for the survival of the United States of America.  I refuse to be silent and watch the future of our children and grandchildren be offered up on pagan altars of personal pleasure and immorality,” Graham wrote in Decision magazine.  Upon absorbing these two sentences, Franklin and Starnes had my full attention!  Franklin Graham was addressing, head-on, the fundamental issues that I have been thinking about, writing about, and fighting about for my entire career as a constitutional attorney.  In fact, the book proposal I am submitting to my literary agent this month is precisely about how American Christianity is rapidly succumbing to powerful pagan cultural myths.

So, what evidence does Graham cite for his dark diagnosis?

  • The U.S. Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Radical Islamic terrorists on our shores increasingly in our midst slaughtering innocents, in an age of truth-denying political correctness.
  • The deep-seated antagonism and hostility towards Christianity in every seat of power in this nation—government, media, courts and education.

Many other Christian leaders have bemoaned these and other very serious problems we now face.  But what is the solution?  In this season of nearly wall-to-wall political coverage, is it politics?  Graham says no.  “The only hope for America is not the Democratic Party and it’s not the Republican Party.  The only hope for America is God.”  And Graham has put his money where his mouth is by launching a Decision America Tour that includes a series of prayer rallies at capitol building in all 50 states.  “It’s trying to lead this nation in prayer, confessing the sins of our country, asking for God’s forgiveness and encouraging Christians to get engaged in the political process,” he told Starnes.

Graham explained to Starnes that he is addressing issues many pastors, especially younger ones, do not.  “The younger pastors—so many are caught up in the pop culture, and the pastor in a church is more about being cool,” he said.  “We’re beginning to put theology in the back seat and I’m concerned about the church.  To be honest with you, the problems we have in America today are the failure of the church,” Graham said.  This, by the way, is another issue I tackle in my book. Graham went onto explain that as government has grown bigger the church’s historical role in feeding and clothing the poor and health care has diminished.  His point:  It’s time for Christians to get off our bottoms and reengage the culture.

Indeed, our salvation is not in politics, it is in the Lord!  Although I am a confessed political junkie, over the past decade I have increasingly realized the limits of politics to bring about meaningful enduring change.  If America is to be changed, if America is to be transformed to the depth necessary to see lasting progress, our hearts and minds must be renewed.  Only God can do that! That is why I have been hoping for, praying for, and looking for revival.  Not a passing fad, but a profound reformational shift on par with the First or Second Great Awakenings.

So what can you do, what can I do?  What are some take away action points?

  • Pray for America: that the Gospel will be clearly preached, that we will respond by confessing our sins, repenting, and that, by God’s favor and grace, we will see revival (some would say reformation) in our lifetime. This starts with the church (See II Chronicles 7:14).
  • Pray for the church: that pastors and Christian leaders will become biblically bold and courageous, reject powerful pagan cultural forces, preach the full counsel of God, and lead the flock biblically.
  • Engage the culture: develop a comprehensive biblical worldview and apologia, be willing to suffer and be persecuted, live out your faith publicly without fear, speak the truth in love (See Ephesians 4:15), share the Gospel, and vote for leaders who will not subvert religious liberty. Be salt and light (See Matthew 5: 13-16).

Yes, Franklin Graham is right about America. Will you join us in prayer and godly action today?  I believe with all of my heart that this is the only way we will see meaningful hope and change.

Federal lawsuit filed in San Diego to stop California pregnancy care center “Bully” law AB 775 that coerces conscience violating speech.

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THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR LAW & POLICY NEWS RELEASE

October 13, 2015– FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT NCLP MEDIA RELATIONS: (760) 747- 4529, x103

SAN DIEGO, CA—Today a federal lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court challenging California Assembly Bill 775, the Reproductive FACT Act (“Act’). The Act forces California’s pregnancy care centers (“PCC’s”) to express government sanctioned speech that conflicts with and undermines PCC’s life-affirming beliefs and messages.

AB 775 passed the legislature on September 3, 2015 and was signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. on October 9, 2015. Plaintiffs are the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), the Pregnancy Care Clinic located in El Cajon, and the Fallbrook Pregnancy Resource Center. Named defendants include California Governor Edmund D. Brown, Jr., Attorney General Kamala Harris, co-sponsor of the legislation, San Diego County Counsel Thomas Montgomery, and El Cajon City Attorney Morgan Foley in their official capacities.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive and declaratory relief against the Act because it compels plaintiffs’ speech in violation of the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause, is impermissibly vague under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, violates the Free Exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment, and transgresses the Coats-Snow Amendment, 42 U.S.C. § 238n, a federal statute protecting licensed health care entities from being required to refer for abortion or make arrangements for such referrals.

The PCC’s are represented by The National Center for Law & Policy’s (NCLP) Dean Broyles and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys Matt Bowman, David J. Hacker, Kevin Theriot, and Elissa Graves. Anne O’Connor of National Institute of Family Life and Life Advocates (NIFLA) completes the legal team representing the plaintiffs.

Sponsored by NARAL and supported by Planned Parenthood, the Act unfairly targets California’s life affirming PCC’s with coerced speech designed to steer women away from PCC’s and towards abortion providers. The Act forces medical PCC’s to refer women elsewhere for free or low cost abortions. Non-medical PCC’s must, in very large, bold, conspicuous print, both at the clinic and in all advertising, notify women that they are not medically licensed. Violation of the law would lead to financially burdensome fines.

“Pregnancy care centers provide valuable resources and services to women facing unplanned pregnancies, giving them meaningful life-affirming alternatives to abortion, like adoption,” declared Dean Broyles. “I am honored to be a part of the legal team challenging this egregious and unjust law that violates the freedom of conscience, religious freedom, and the freedom of speech. If not stopped, the Act will lead to more unnecessary death and dismemberment of children.”

“Planned Parenthood and NARAL are cheerleaders for abortion,” continued Broyles. “The transparent goal of AB 775 is to increase the number of infant deaths in California by, now with the force of law, diverting women away from PCC’s to Planned Parenthood facilities and other abortuaries where death is aggressively promoted, babies are killed, dismembered, and their body parts sold for profit. This gruesome inhumanity and callousness has been on full display recently as Planned Parenthood doctors and others have been caught on tape operating grotesque baby chop shops, casually discussing trafficking in children’s body parts while crunching on salad and sipping Chardonnay, reducing human flesh to a highly profitable commodity.”

“Planned Parenthood and their allies have a clear conflict of interest as they stand to significantly profit from the Act,” added Broyles. “Laws similar to AB 775, coercing commercial speech, have already been successfully challenged and defeated in New York, Texas, and Maryland. Our legal team will work very hard to ensure that AB 775 experiences the same fate here in California.”

Please address media inquiries to The National Center for Law & Policy. The National Center for Law & Policy is a non-profit 501(c)(3) legal defense organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of religious freedom, the affirmation of life, parental rights, and other civil liberties. Please visit our website at www.nclplaw.org.

For further comment, please contact The National Center for Law & Policy at 760-747-4529 x103 or dbroyles@nclplaw.org.

Dying for a Lamborghini

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What would you do if you were offered the one thing you really wanted, but you had to do something truly terrible to get it?  What would you be willing to trade for your dream?  Your humanity?  Someone else’s humanity?  Let’s say that you had to hurt someone you love to finally achieve your big dream home.  Or perhaps you had to hasten the death of a relative to inherit a million dollars?  How far would you go?  What would you be willing to sacrifice to fulfill your selfish fantasies?  Would you kill for a really cool car?

Such Faustian bargains are unfortunately not just the fodder of fairy tales.  They are all too contemporary in our complex, modern, increasingly value-free, jaded, materialistic American culture.  We don’t want to admit it, but sometimes we are tempted to sacrifice our principles for profit, trading our virtue for worthless idols.

Truth is stranger, or perhaps darker, than fiction.  Enter reality, ripped from the headlines.  A Planned Parenthood employee, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, was caught on tape casually discussing how to avoid crushing aborted baby body parts containing vital organs, while crunching on salad and sipping Cabernet. Exposed, Planned Parenthood’s media team started distorting reality at speeds faster than the salad spinner that dried her fancy lettuce.  They claimed it wasn’t really all that bad, because the commodification of dead babies was for medical research and because they weren’t really “selling” the body parts, but only charging for transport costs, a modest fee of, say, $30 to $100.  What a bargain!  Why the explanation? Because the optics where truly horrible and because they were probably breaking the law.  According to the 42 U.S. Code, Section 289-G2, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.”

And then, as it so often does, the other shoe dropped.  Be sure your sin will find you out!  Another video of yet another Planned Parenthood employee, Dr. Mary Gatter, surfaced revealing the callous deception of their duplicitous media messages.  You see, while bragging about a “less crunchy method” to preserve baby vital organs during abortions, Dr. Gatter drove a very hard bargain, not wanting to reveal her asking price for human baby flesh so as to weaken her negotiating position.  The truly dark conversation ends with Gatter confirming that she probably wants more than $100 per intact specimen. Why, because, as she explains, “I want a Lamborghini!”

Here’s a truly gruesome summary of what we learned, or perhaps have been reminded of, this week.  First, approximately 55 million of our fellow citizens have been “legally” exterminated (in perhaps history’s largest genocide) since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade unlawfully discovered and created a specious new “constitutional right” to kill babies (similarly as they did with same-sex “marriage” last month).  Second, Planned Parenthood is an active proponent and purveyor of baby killing.  Third, Planned Parenthood is significantly funded by you and me—our taxpayer dollars at work (They gross well over $1 billion annually—half of that from taxpayers.)! Fourth, they are altering abortion procedures to ensure lucrative baby body parts remain intact, also a violation of the law.  Fifth, Planned Parenthood has commodified dead baby body parts and is unlawfully profiting from their sale.  And finally, Dr. Mary Gatter wants to be so successful in this satanic scheme, that perhaps she will be able to afford a Lamborghini, starting price, $241,000.

As my friend attorney Casey Mattox recently noted, these videos have perhaps once and for all exposed Planned Parenthood as “an uncaring abortionist with a terrible bedside manner looking to squeeze out the last few dollars in profit from the unborn child it is killing.”  Are you not outraged?  If this sadistic status quo doesn’t grieve you deeply as a fellow human being, I simply ask, why not?  Perhaps this is because those holding culture’s megaphones have so successfully desensitized us by their pervasive propaganda as to what is truly evil, that we have lost the ability to be subjectively (and appropriately) shocked by darkness, sin, evil, or murder—even when confronted by truly such objectively awful things.  Have we become so morally numb that we have lost the human capacity for compassion, empathy, love, and concern for innocent victims?

This week’s macabre video montage reveals that the abortion industry is morally bankrupt and, like the proverbial emperor, has “no clothes.”  Planned Parenthood has been exposed as what it has always been, not a magnanimous champion of the rights of women, but rather a maleficent eugenically-motivated killing machine misappropriating taxpayer dollars as a part of its gruesome legacy of death and destruction.  We will be judged for how we have treated the least of these.  America, we can do better!  We must do better.

American genocide

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No human right is more basic than the freedom to live. With all of the violence, destruction, and death in our world, the womb ought to be the safest of places—a sanctuary. But, not satisfied with external violence, as we have done with many good things, taking matters into our own destructive hands, we have re-purposed and distorted the womb into a torture chamber, a killing field, a sanctuary of death.

We express appropriate moral outrage at Stalin’s slaughters, Hitler’s holocaust, ISIS’s religious cleansings, and other deadly atrocities, yet barely notice the more than 56 million missing Americans, untimely ripped from their mother’s wombs. We say that we value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but ignore the weakest and most vulnerable among us, denied the most basic of rights—their first breath of freedom. These hard truths do not synch well with our ideals of American exceptionalism.

As Mother Teresa said, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want.” True, a proper love for God and our fellow humans would never have allowed this senseless slaughter of the innocents. We have accepted abortion. We have accepted violence. We have accepted death. We have narcissistically worshipped ourselves, our unrestrained materialism and successes, rather than God. Why? Because children are far too often viewed not as a beautiful God-imaged precious gift from our creator, but rather an inconvenient truth, standing in the way of our empty American dreams. We have been weighed in the moral balance and have been found wanting.

How did this happen? We have “killed” God and, with Him, truth, morality and justice have died. If God is dead everything is indeed permissible and is now being permitted. Employing a macabre Darwinian “survival of the fittest” approach, we have coldly dispatched our own offspring as an inconvenient truth, easily erased and forgotten.

More ancient stories reveal that each human has profound eternal significance. We are intentionally created in God’s image, designed to be in relationship with Him. This old story teaches us that every unique person matters, having great value to our father—that our highest and best purpose is to love the Creator and to love other humans. Observation reveals that, like our ancient parents, we have fallen far short of our purpose, have turned away from truth, and have acted in contradiction to it. Abortion and our tolerance of death are surely symptoms of this deeper problem: unrestrained rebellion and sin.

The once bright light of our shining city on a hill is being covered with a shroud of darkness and death. My prayer for America, as we acknowledge 42 years of legalized genocide resulting in 56 million deaths, is that we would turn away from ourselves and our sin and back to God, back to truth, back to justice. That is the hope for America and the hope of finally bringing to a full stop the savage slaughter of the innocents among us.