Texas commission sued for bashing justice of the peace for her Christian faith

Officials charged with violating Religious Freedom Restoration Act

A Texas justice of the peace is suing the state for punishing her for devising a solution to accommodate her Christian belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Judge Dianne Hensley initially refused to officiate any weddings after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2015 that same-sex couples have a right marry. But in August 2016, she resumed officiating weddings and “politely referred” same-sex couples to willing local judges.

There have been no complaints about her system, but the State Commission on Judicial Conduct investigated and issued a “public warning” against the judge.

The case was filed by First Liberty Institute on behalf of Hensley against state officials. The legal team argued that the law in Texas allows judges to officiate weddings but it does not require them to do so.

When the Supreme Court established a legal right to same-sex marriage in 2015, most of the judges in Waco and McLennan County stopped performing ceremonies.

That forced residents to “travel further and incur greater expenses,” First Liberty said.

“To ensure those seeking to be married in McLennan County could be, including same-sex couples, Judge Hensley made arrangements with a local private vendor and her staff to facilitate weddings she, for religious reasons or just because of schedule, could not officiate,” the legal team said.

The complaint charges that the commission “violated the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act by investigating and punishing Judge Hensley for recusing herself from officiating at same-sex weddings, in accordance with the commands of her Christian faith,:.

“By investigating and punishing her for acting in accordance with the commands of her Christian faith, the state of Texas has substantially burdened the free exercise of her religion, with no compelling justification,” the complaint states.

“Because of Judge Hensley, anyone who wants to get married in McLennan County can get married,” said Jeremy Dys, special counsel for Litigation and Communications at First Liberty Institute. “For simply trying to reconcile her religious beliefs while meeting the needs of her community – ensuring anyone can get married who wants to be married – the Commission on Judicial Conduct punished her.”

The filing in McLennan County District Court states: “At her own expense, Judge Hensley invested extensive time and resources to compile a referral list of alternative, local, and low-cost wedding officiants in Waco that she provides to people for whom she is unable to officiate due to time constraints or her religious convictions.”

The options include a walk-in wedding chapel three blocks away.

The judge’s “referral solution” means that “many more couples – including same-sex couples – are able to marry than by the predominant practice of many public officials, who have simply ceased officiating weddings altogether.”

The complaint charges: “The commission’s public punishment of Judge Hensley – as well as its threat to impose further discipline if Judge Hensley persists in recusing herself form officiating at same-sex weddings – violates Judge Hensley’s rights under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages, costs and attorneys’ fees. Hensley also wants “a declaratory judgment that her referral system complies with Texas law, and that the law of Texas prevents the commission from imposing any further discipline on justices of the peace who recuse themselves from officiating at same-sex marriage ceremonies.”

The commission’s preliminary charges claimed Hensley was violating the code of conduct for judges, which requires judges not to “manifest bias” based on religion, race, sex, sexual orientation and other factors.

But the commission’s complaint itself was based on Hensley’s religion.

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British Doctor Under Investigation for Praying With Patients

June 29, 2019 by 

 

British Doctor Under Investigation for Praying With Patients

A British doctor is under investigation because an atheist organization lodged a hearsay complaint about his praying with a patient.

Dr. Richard Scott, 58, a general practitioner and partner in Bethesda Medical Center in Margate, England, stands accused of having made a “highly vulnerable” patient feel “discomfort at the use of prayer,” according to the complaint, which is based on an account provided to the National Secular Society (NSS) by an alleged acquaintance of the patient. “The acquaintance told the NSS that the patient felt unable to express discomfort and was not able to raise the matter formally or change GP practice,” said the group.

The General Medical Council (GMC) informed Scott on June 7 that it was launching a fitness-to-practice investigation, which could result in Scott’s termination, on the basis of “some information” it had received from the NSS.

Scott told the Telegraph “that he was shocked that a fitness to practice inquiry had been launched by the GMC as opposed to ‘a chat or gentle discussion.’” He should not have been surprised. The GMC censured him in 2012 for discussing his faith and praying with another patient. That complaint, which Scott disputed, was filed by the patient’s mother. The patient, who the GMC’s lawyer said had a “troubled psychological history,” was allowed to testify anonymously and privately, with no opportunity for cross-examination — all but ensuring Scott’s discipline. The NSS was also involved in that case.

“The NSS is obviously gunning for me — and would like me to lose my job because they don’t like me,” Scott told the Telegraph. “Well, to be honest I don’t like them but I am not gunning for them to lose their jobs. They think I am irresponsible and dangerous and I would say the same about them.”

As for the GMC, he said, “They are kowtowing to aggressive secularism.” Scott, who makes no secret of his Christian faith, claims he always asks patients for permission to discuss faith or pray with them, but only after completing his regular medical duties. He estimates that he offers prayer to about one patient out of every 40 he sees.

Scott “maintains that his behavior is vindicated by the World Health Organization, which includes spiritual alongside physical and mental wellbeing, alongside scientific evidence that faith benefits health,” reported the Telegraph.

Even if there were no evidence that faith and prayer have any health benefits, what would be the basis for investigating, let alone punishing, Scott? The Telegraph pegged it well in an editorial the last time Scott was in the GMC’s crosshairs:

The GMC’s excessive reaction is part of a tendency: a number of institutions and companies have, in a misguided attempt to be “multicultural,” banned Christian symbols and overt expressions of faith, something that would never be attempted in the case of other religions. And yet the Christian faith is central to our country’s history and our traditions. Its legacy is visible everywhere. It is right that today, no one expects a person who holds positions of power and responsibility to be a practicing Christian. But we appear to be heading towards an alarming situation in which the profession of faith becomes an active disqualification.

Both cases against Scott have been absurd, failing to meet the rules of evidence. Speaking of the current one, Tim Dieppe of the U.K. advocacy organization Christian Concern told Premier Christian Radio’s News Hour, “It’s kind of crazy that they’re having an investigation on the basis of hearsay of what a patient claimed happened in a conversation. There’s no complaint about, medically, what he’s done or the diagnosis or what the clinic is offering. That is just hearsay about a conversation at this stage. I think that really it should just be dismissed.”

It certainly should, but the GMC, while saying it could not disclose details of an ongoing investigation, told the Telegraph it has “a duty to investigate” if a “complaint or concern raises issues about a doctor’s ability to practice safely or threaten [sic] public confidence.” If the investigation indicates anything, however, it’s that the public should have no confidence in the GMC’s ability to distinguish between genuine charges of malpractice and nuisance complaints grounded in anti-Christian animus.

Photo: andrei_r/iStock/Getty Images Plus

https://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/32729-british-doctor-under-investigation-for-praying-with-patients

Pence Warns Graduates to Prepare for Persecution for Their Christianity

May 13, 2019

On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the 2019 graduates of Liberty University.

While many commencement speakers wish the graduates a bright and glorious future, Pence issued a dire warning.

He told the students that for most of America’s history, there was no problem being a Christian, but times have changed.

He continued to tell the graduates that in today’s America to be prepared to be ridiculed and shunned because of their Christian faith.

He also said that the loudest voices for tolerance have little tolerance for anything pertaining to Biblical teachings.

The Hill – Mike Pence tells Liberty University graduates to prepare to be ‘shunned,’ ‘ridiculed’ for being a Christian – Vice President Pence warned the 2019 graduating class at Liberty University in his commencement address that they would face persecution for their faith.

“Throughout most of American history, it’s been pretty easy to call yourself Christian,” Pence told students Saturday, according to USA Today. “It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible.”

“But things are different now,” he continued, adding that “some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs. Be ready.”

Drawing from his own personal experience during the address, Pence discussed the criticism his wife, Karen, received last year after she returned to work as an art teacher at a private elementary school that prohibited LGBT students and teachers

Pence as right when he said the loudest voices calling for tolerance are the most intolerant of all.

They preach inclusion, but NOT the inclusion of Christians or anyone who disagrees with their perverse and sinful agenda.

The Obama administration launched a war against Christianity in the workplace, military and even private life.

The leaders of most major social media outlets have also been busy persecuting Christians and trying to silence the truth of Scripture.

READ MORE HERE

 

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