Must-See Moments: Corruption and Bias within the FBI

The Daily Signal’s Facebook Live present “Top 10” options the highest information tales of the week—a lot of which have gone both misreported or underreported by the mainstream media. This week, lawmakers on Capitol Hill referred to as for an investigation into the “particular therapy” of Hillary Clinton and the bias throughout the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

President Donald Trump made an essential determination this week, as he introduced that he plans to maneuver the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. And we additionally handle one broadly misunderstood story—Patagonia and others claimed that “the president stole your land” when  Trump scaled again the last-minute federal land seize from the Obama administration in Utah.

We lined all of this and rather more on this week’s high 10 must-see moments. Watch the total video above.

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The Christian Baker Need Not Have Ended Up on the Supreme Court

On Dec. 5, the Supreme Court heard the case of Jack Phillips, the Christian baker who can’t in good conscience design and create marriage ceremony truffles that commemorate same-sex marriages. The justices now will resolve whether or not states, according to the First Amendment, can pressure residents to precise help for same-sex marriage via their creative merchandise.

But this case needn’t have ended up on the court docket. And future circumstances like it may be averted.

Agree or disagree, however Phillips believes he’s serving Christ with each cake he makes. He has beforehand turned down requests to create Halloween-themed truffles, lewd bachelor celebration truffles, and a cake celebrating a divorce. He was by no means reprimanded over these selections, however the same-sex-wedding cake plunged him into sizzling water.

Not surprisingly, a lot of the oral arguments targeted on the First Amendment. Phillips argued that making him create a cake that celebrates a same-sex marriage ceremony would violate his First Amendment rights to free speech and free train of faith, by forcing him to precise a message, and rejoice an occasion, that runs towards his beliefs. If the court docket agrees, it would bar Colorado and different states from making use of anti-discrimination statutes in such a method.

But Colorado ought to by no means have utilized its statute this solution to start with. Indeed, states can keep away from First Amendment showdowns by refusing to view help for conventional marriage as “discrimination.”

Part of the issue is that Colorado misunderstood the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. Colorado claims that the court docket held “opposition to same-sex marriage” to be “tantamount to discrimination on the idea of sexual orientation.”

In truth, as Chief Justice John Roberts identified in the course of the Masterpiece oral arguments, the court docket in Obergefell famous that perception in marriage because the union of husband and spouse is held “in good religion by affordable and honest folks right here and all through the world.” The court docket said in its majority opinion that “many who deem same-sex marriage to be unsuitable attain that conclusion primarily based on respectable and honorable non secular or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged right here.”

The states shouldn’t disparage these folks and their respectable and honorable beliefs, both.

An enormous a part of the issue is that sexual orientation anti-discrimination legal guidelines at the moment are getting used to “punish the depraved,” within the phrases of Tim Gill, their greatest monetary backer (to the tune of $500 million). But anti-discrimination insurance policies ought to function shields, not swords. They are supposed to defend folks from unjust discrimination that may forestall them from flourishing in society. They aren’t presupposed to be swords used to punish folks for performing on their affordable beliefs.

You can see this when contemplating the historical past of Colorado’s legislation. Within a two-year span, Colorado residents voted to outline marriage because the union of husband and spouse and to ban discrimination primarily based on sexual orientation. Many different states, too, concurrently enacted sexual orientation nondiscrimination insurance policies whereas insisting that the normal understanding of marriage just isn’t discriminatory.

Justice Samuel Alito pointed to this actuality throughout oral arguments. At the time that Phillips declined to bake a same-sex marriage ceremony cake, Colorado wouldn’t even acknowledge—not to mention subject—same-sex marriage licenses. So the same-sex couple couldn’t get the state of Colorado to acknowledge their relationship as a wedding.

“And but when he goes to this bake store, and he says, ‘I need a marriage ceremony cake,’ and the baker says, ‘No, I gained’t do it,’ partially as a result of same-sex marriage was not allowed in Colorado on the time, he’s created a grave unsuitable,” Alito said. “How does that every one that match collectively?”

Indeed. Colorado ought to have by no means declared Phillips to be responsible of discrimination within the first place.

We apply different anti-discrimination statutes in a extra honest and nuanced method. Bans on religion-based discrimination usually are not used to pressure secular organizations to violate their beliefs. Religious anti-discrimination insurance policies haven’t been used, for instance, to pressure Planned Parenthood to rent pro-life Catholics. And the state of Colorado mentioned it wasn’t non secular discrimination when three completely different bakeries refused to bake truffles with non secular anti-gay messages. Religion anti-discrimination legal guidelines merely don’t search to impose non secular orthodoxy on the nation.

But sexual orientation and gender identification anti-discrimination insurance policies are used to impose sexual orthodoxy. They’re used to attempt to pressure Catholic colleges to make use of individuals who undermine their sexual values and to coerce Evangelical bakers to lend their creative abilities to messages about marriage with which they disagree. Sexual orientation and gender identification legal guidelines are used to punish folks of fine will who merely search the liberty to steer their lives in accordance with their beliefs about human sexuality.

But it is a mistake. And—in what may show to be crucial remark made throughout oral arguments—even Justice Anthony Kennedy appeared to reject the American Civil Liberties Union’s argument that the opposition to same-sex marriage simply is discrimination towards individuals who establish as homosexual.

Kennedy defined Phillips’s beliefs: “Look, suppose he says, ‘I’ve nothing towards homosexual folks,’ he says. ‘But I simply don’t suppose they need to have a wedding as a result of that’s opposite to my beliefs. It’s not their identification; it’s what they’re doing.’” In response to the ACLU’s declare that that is sexual orientation discrimination, Kennedy responded, “Your identification factor is simply too facile.”

We can do higher. The United States has reached compromises on equally troublesome ethical and cultural points earlier than. Following Roe v. Wade, Americans refused to make use of intercourse anti-discrimination legislation as a sword to punish pro-lifers.

In 1993, in Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, the Supreme Court resolutely rejected the argument that pro-lifers are inherently discriminatory: “Whatever one thinks of abortion, it can’t be denied that there are widespread and respectable causes for opposing it, apart from hatred of, or condescension towards (or certainly any view in any respect regarding), ladies.”

The identical is true in the case of marriage because the union of husband and spouse: There are widespread and respectable causes for supporting it that don’t have anything to do with hatred or condescension. But this isn’t true in the case of opposition to interracial marriage—and that is the place the analogies to racism break down.

When the Supreme Court struck down bans on interracial marriage, it didn’t say that opposition to interracial marriage was primarily based on “respectable and honorable premises” and held “in good religion by affordable and honest folks right here and all through the world.” It didn’t say it, as a result of it couldn’t say it.

Opposition to interracial marriage developed as one side of a bigger system of racism and white supremacy, as a part of an effort to carry a race of individuals in a situation of financial and political inferiority and servitude. It was primarily based on the concept that contact with African Americans on an equal aircraft is unsuitable.

That thought, and its premise of the supposed inferiority of African Americans, is the essence of bigotry. Bakers who declined to bake truffles for interracial weddings additionally declined to deal with African-Americans equally in a number of circumstances. Racists didn’t merely object to interracial marriage; they objected to contact with African-Americans on an equal footing.

By distinction, marriage because the union of husband and spouse has been a common human follow till only recently, no matter views about sexual orientation. This imaginative and prescient of marriage is predicated on the capability that a man and a girl possess to unite as one-flesh, create new life, and unite that new life with each a mom and a father. Whether finally sound or not, this view of marriage is affordable, primarily based on respectable and honorable premises, and disparaging of nobody.

A scarcity of disparagement additionally explains why bakers like Jack Phillips have been serving homosexual prospects faithfully for years.

Sparing folks similar to Phillips from the sword doesn’t undermine the legitimate functions of anti-discrimination legislation—eliminating the general public results of anti-gay bigotry—as a result of help for conjugal marriage isn’t anti-gay. Protecting freedom right here sends no message in regards to the supposed inferiority of these figuring out as homosexual; it sends no message about sexual orientation in any respect.

It does say that residents who help the historic understanding of intercourse and marriage usually are not bigots. It ensures their equal social standing and alternatives. It protects their companies, livelihoods, and professional vocations. And it advantages the remainder of society by permitting these residents to proceed providing their providers, particularly social providers, charities, and colleges.

During oral arguments, Roberts requested the solicitor normal of Colorado how the state would apply its anti-discrimination legislation to a professional bono Catholic authorized group for the poor that served all comers however couldn’t do authorized work for same-sex that they would supply for husbands and wives: “So Catholic Legal Services can be put to the selection of both not offering any professional bono authorized providers or offering these providers in reference to the same-sex marriage?” The solicitor normal replied: “I believe the reply is sure, your honor.”

Catholic Legal Services, Catholic Charities, Catholic adoption companies—and the faith-based social providers of any faith that believes we’re created female and male, and that female and male are created for one another—are at stake.

A line of questioning on the comparisons to interracial marriage introduced up the case of Bob Jones University, a college that misplaced its nonprofit tax standing as a result of it prohibited interracial relationship and marriage. But do we actually need to reside in a rustic the place performing on a perception about marriage that folks have held all through all of recorded historical past—that it’s a union of female and male—is handled because the useful and authorized equal of racism?

All of us ought to work to forestall such an consequence. Which is why Phillips needn’t have ended up in court docket. We should refuse to make use of anti-discrimination legal guidelines as swords to impose sexual orthodoxy on the nation. As Americans proceed to disagree about intercourse, we should refuse to weaponize the redefinition of marriage.

Even Kennedy appeared alert to this in oral arguments for Masterpiece. “Tolerance is crucial in a free society,” he mentioned. But, he continued, “It appears to me that the state in its place right here has neither been tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ non secular beliefs.”

Anti-gay bigotry exists and must be condemned. But help for marriage because the union of husband and spouse isn’t anti-gay. Just as we’ve combated sexism with out treating pro-life drugs as sexist, we are able to fight anti-gay bigotry with out treating Orthodox Jews, Roman Catholics, Muslims, Evangelicals, and Latter-day Saints as bigots.

Not each disagreement is discrimination. And our legislation shouldn’t say in any other case.

Originally revealed in National Review

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Support Grows for Air Force Colonel Suspended Over Religious Beliefs on Marriage

When Heather Wilson was picked to be secretary of the Air Force, she advised the Senate: “Air Force coverage should proceed to make sure that all airmen are ready to decide on to apply their specific faith.” Now, she has an opportunity to show it.

On Wednesday, the Family Research Council’s Lt. General Jerry Boykin and Travis Weber gave Wilson 77,024 causes to rethink the motion taken towards Col. Leland Bohannon.

A distinguished fight pilot, Bohannon has served his nation for greater than 20 years. In May, the fame he’d constructed within the Air Force got here crashing down when his superiors determined that the colonel’s choice to not signal a “certificates of appreciation” for a same-sex partner was sufficient to droop him from obligation.

Never thoughts that Bohannon had requested a spiritual lodging. Or that he’d consulted the command chaplain and a employees choose advocate. Leaders appeared decided to make an instance of the dad of 5, grounding him and snuffing out any probability of promotion. Eight senators had been outraged, demanding that Air Force leaders intervene. Then, greater than 77,000 of you piled on, urging justice for Bohannon and others like him.

Wednesday, Boykin and Weber delivered these petitions on behalf of the Family Research Council and our buddies on the American Family Association—together with a letter signed by 31 spiritual advocacy teams.

“In his Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty issued earlier this yr,” the organizations write, “President Trump acknowledged that ‘it shall be the coverage of the chief department to vigorously implement Federal legislation’s sturdy protections for spiritual freedom,’ and that individuals ought to be ‘free to apply their religion with out worry of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government.’ Yet regardless of his spectacular decades-long profession with the Air Force, Col. Bohannon’s life and repair are about to be derailed by the violation of this basic precept.”

Not solely is there no proper to a certificates of spousal appreciation, an lodging ought to simply have been granted right here … If the Air Force coverage mirrored the view of [Department of Justice] on this difficulty, these in Col. Bohannon’s scenario would don’t have any must be involved for his or her spiritual liberty within the first place, and we urge the Air Force to convey its insurance policies into line with the understanding of the DOJ on this space … In addition to correcting Air Force coverage to make sure this doesn’t occur once more, we respectfully request that you simply reverse the criticism towards Col. Bohannon and take away any unfavorable supplies associated to this criticism from his document.

As far as Boykin is anxious, “We not solely delivered petitions, we delivered a message: We is not going to again down from defending the spiritual liberty of these within the army. The motion taken towards Colonel Bohannon is unacceptable, and Air Force coverage have to be corrected to make sure this doesn’t occur once more.”

Thanks to tens of hundreds of you, Secretary Wilson could also be motivated to just do that.

This was initially revealed in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update, which is written with the help of Family Research Council senior writers.

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Jack Phillips Case Shows Misunderstanding of Discrimination, Warn Legal Experts

There is a transparent authorized distinction in declining to precise a message and refusing to serve a category of individuals, authorized specialists mentioned concerning the case of a Colorado baker that declined to design and bake a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony.

“Fundamentally there’s a distinction between denying a service to sure sorts of individuals and declining to convey a specific message,” @ishapiro says.

“Sexual orientation discrimination legal guidelines are being misused proper now in a method to silence and punish those that have non secular convictions about marriage being between a person and a girl,” mentioned Kristen Waggoner, who argued earlier than the Supreme Court Tuesday on behalf of the baker Jack Phillips, proprietor of the Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Phillips declined to design a customized cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony as a result of it violated his Christian religion.

Waggoner, a senior vp of Alliance Defending Freedom, a non secular liberty authorized group, added that Phillips was prepared to promote different merchandise and supply different companies to the LGBT group, simply not a marriage cake. Not being a vendor for same-sex weddings is just like Phillips’ determination to not do Halloween muffins or muffins that remember a divorce, Waggoner mentioned.

“They serve everybody, however they will’t categorical all messages that violate these non secular convictions about marriage,” Waggoner continued, talking at a discussion board at The Heritage Foundation Wednesday.

“We have purchasers which might be actually going through jail time in Minnesota and Arizona as a result of they gained’t categorical messages about marriage that violate their conscience,” she continued.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission and an administrative legislation choose decided Phillips engaged in sexual orientation discrimination. Phillips contends forcing him to design and bake a cake violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and free expression of faith.

Waggoner famous the far-reaching penalties of the case.

“Respondents’ idea, hopefully, was breathtaking to the courtroom after they take a look at it intently as a result of the [American Civil Liberties Union] and the Colorado authorities have informed the courtroom that in a public lodging legislation they will pressure speech of filmmakers, oil painters, graphic designers, anybody, with out actually any restrict on the federal government’s authority underneath these public lodging legal guidelines,” she mentioned.

She added that the Colorado fee has accused Phillips of being akin to perpetrators of the Holocaust and slave house owners, however the fee has demonstrated bias in different circumstances.

“Three different bakeries had been requested to design customized muffins that solely had a non secular message, a verse from the Bible. That verse was vital of same-sex marriage,” Waggoner mentioned. “The Colorado fee mentioned that that message they may decline as a result of it was offensive.”

The Cato Institute supported the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling recognizing same-sex marriage as a constitutional proper. However, the libertarian suppose tank helps Phillips’ First Amendment rights on this case.

“Creating expressive merchandise is constitutionally totally different than nonexpressive actions like delivering meals, renting out ballrooms, or driving limousines,” Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow in constitutional research on the Cato Institute, mentioned throughout The Heritage Foundation discussion board. “We would possibly need, or there is perhaps, totally different type of defenses for these sorts of companies, be they statutorily or constitutional. But they don’t resound within the freedom of speech.”

He mentioned utilizing the federal government to stamp out dissenting views ought to trigger concern.

“Fundamentally there’s a distinction between denying a service to sure sorts of individuals and declining to convey a specific message,” Shapiro added. “I don’t even know why you’ll need to have as your marriage ceremony vendor somebody who can’t in good religion—actually—help your union.”

A public lodging argument is weak on this case as a result of there isn’t a scarcity of competing bakeries that may gladly function distributors for a same-sex marriage ceremony, mentioned Lloyd Cohen, a professor on the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

“The state of Colorado provided no proof that the overwhelming majority of retailers are unwilling to supply their companies for same-sex nuptials on the identical grounds they might service every other request,” Cohen mentioned on the discussion board.

Legal precedent is that the authorized presumption lies with liberty in lieu of a compelling state curiosity, Cohen continued. He made references to the Statue of Liberty, President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Patrick Henry.

“We shouldn’t have in New York Harbor a ‘Statue of Inclusion’ and the 16th president didn’t in his most well-known handle confer with this as a nation conceived in giving no offense,” Cohen mentioned. “And Patrick Henry didn’t rise within the Virginia House of Burgess and proclaim, ‘Give me a secure place or give me dying.’ Rather, all of those main emblematic utterances in our historical past privileged liberty as a foundational precept.”

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DC Metro Won’t Run Religious Christmas Ad

The Catholic diocese of the District of Columbia has filed authorized motion in opposition to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority after it was unable to run a spiritual commercial.

The Archdiocese of Washington was denied entry to put up an commercial for its annual “Find the Perfect Gift” marketing campaign, which directs folks to an internet site to assist them discover a Christmas mass to attend.

In 2015, WMATA modified its promoting coverage to ban issue-oriented promoting, together with political, spiritual, and advocacy promoting,” stated Sherri Ly, media relations supervisor at WMATA. “The advert in query was declined as a result of it’s prohibited by WMATA’s present promoting pointers.

The Archdiocese of Washington responded to WMATA’s guidelines on the identical day it filed authorized motion, Nov. 28.

“The rejected advert conveys a easy message of hope, and an invite to take part within the Christmas season,” stated Ed McFadden, secretary for communications for the Archdiocese of Washington. “Yet, citing its pointers, WMATA’s authorized counsel stated the advert ‘depicts a spiritual scene and thus seeks to advertise faith.’”

McFadden stated that if Christmas is about presents, then WMATA will let the commercial by, but when Christmas includes faith, then WMATA gained’t let it by.

In the archdiocese’s authorized criticism, the church states that WMATA is a government-owned company and its buses are public, so not permitting spiritual messages to be marketed goes in opposition to the Constitution.

The criticism references freedom of speech and free train of faith within the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, equal safety, and due course of as causes for why the commercial must be allowed.  

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993:

Prohibits any company, division, or official of the United States or any state (the federal government) from considerably burdening an individual’s train of faith even when the burden outcomes from a rule of basic applicability, besides that the federal government could burden an individual’s train of faith provided that it demonstrates that utility of the burden to the particular person: (1) furthers a compelling governmental curiosity; and (2) is the least restrictive technique of furthering that compelling governmental curiosity.

The criticism asks the federal court docket to not permit WMATA to dam the commercial and to award the archdiocese the sum of money owed for its lawyer charges and prices.

“We imagine rejection of this advert to be a transparent violation of basic free speech and a limitation on the train of our religion,” stated Kim Fiorentino, the Archdiocese of Washington’s chancellor and basic counsel. “We look ahead to presenting our case to affirm the fitting of all to precise such viewpoints within the public sq..”

Chieko Noguchi, director of media and public relations for the Archdiocese of Washington, stated the church really marketed with WMATA since 2006 with a few of the church’s different campaigns, however that modified when WMATA applied its new guidelines in 2015. The American Civil Liberties Union can be suing WMATA as a result of it took down commercials for conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’ e book after WMATA obtained complaints from prospects earlier this 12 months.

The Catholic Association, a corporation that works to defend Catholic values, additionally chimed in on the controversy.

“The D.C. metro authority has outscrooged itself,” stated Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow on the Catholic Association.

“Christmas is a spiritual vacation, and the D.C. Metro is blatantly discriminating in opposition to Christians by rejecting the Archdiocese of Washington’s Christmas advert whereas permitting different Christmas adverts which might be purely about consumption and secular materialism,” McGuire stated. “Are they going to ban each advert that incorporates the phrase ‘Christmas’ because it incorporates a reference to Christ?”

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Justice Kennedy: Colorado Has ‘Neither Been Tolerant nor Respectful’ of Jack Phillips’ Beliefs

During oral arguments for Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court justice who is anticipated to forged the essential swing vote within the historic case involving non secular liberty and the First Amendment appeared to precise sympathy—and even anger—for the way in which that Colorado has handled the petitioner, Jack Phillips.

“Tolerance is crucial in a free society,” Justice Anthony Kennedy mentioned on Tuesday. “It appears to me that the state in its place right here has neither been tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’s non secular beliefs.”

Earlier this yr, The Daily Signal visited Phillips, the proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, who was sued for declining to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony, and addressed the methods during which state officers have disparaged his non secular beliefs.

In 2014, for instance, Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner Diann Rice in contrast Phillips’ actions to slavery and the Holocaust. Little did Rice know, Phillips’ father fought in World War II, and noticed most of the Holocaust atrocities for himself.

In an interview with The Daily Signal, Phillips recounts studying in regards to the Nazi focus camps from his father within the years earlier than he died, and describes what it was like to listen to a authorities official examine not making a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony to the atrocities dedicated through the Holocaust. Learn extra about these cases and see Phillips’ response within the video above.

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