Hiding Behind The Supreme Court Won’t Stop Beto O’Rourke’s Crusade To Punish Orthodox Religion

In addition to showing the left’s trajectory on religious freedom, O’Rourke’s comments also reveal why conservatives are faring so poorly on the LGBT front of the culture war.

Hiding Behind The Supreme Court Won’t Stop Beto O’Rourke’s Crusade To Punish Orthodox Religion

Oct 17, 2019

In 2003, the Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a rather prophetic statement in his dissenting opinion in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), a Supreme Court ruling that struck down anti-sodomy laws across the country. After excoriating the majority for simply waving away the long-held notion that sodomy was a form of sexual immorality that the state had a legitimate interest in prohibiting, Scalia wrote:

One of the benefits of leaving regulation of this matter to the people rather than to the courts is that the people, unlike judges, need not carry things to their logical conclusion. The people may feel that their disapprobation of homosexual conduct is strong enough to disallow homosexual marriage, but not strong enough to criminalize private homosexual acts — and may legislate accordingly. The Court today pretends that it possesses a similar freedom of action, so that that we need not fear judicial imposition of homosexual marriage. … Do not believe it.

In other words, Scalia was declaring, “It’s not within the nature of courts to remain neutral on moral issues. By declaring that the government can’t prohibit homosexual acts today, the court is guaranteeing that the government will be celebrating homosexual acts tomorrow.”

A mere 12 years later, the Supreme Court, via Obergefell v. Hodges, declared every state prohibition against same-sex marriage unconstitutional, with Justice Anthony Kennedy justifying the majority’s opinion by lauding the beauty of homosexual relationships. While Scalia’s words did indeed prove prophetic, they were not perfectly so.

Legalizing gay marriage may have been taking the court’s logic to the next logical step, but it wasn’t the logical conclusion of declaring that the state can’t punish those who engage in homosexuality. Rather, the logical conclusion of the court’s judgment in Lawrence is saying the state must punish those still clinging to the former orthodoxy.

O’Rourke Shows Left’s Trajectory on LGBT Issues

This is something presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke demonstrated in a recent CNN forum on LGBT issues. When Don Lemon asked him if churches and religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage should lose their tax-exempt status, O’Rourke replied with a firm “Yes.”

Then O’Rourke explained his position by stating, “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. So as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

While one might dismiss O’Rourke as an outlier, it’s worth noting that his response met cheers from the audience and tepid disavowals from a few of his fellow would-be Democrat nominees who couldn’t sufficiently explain why they disagreed, indicating the former congressman’s position is more mainstream among leftists than we might think, even if many on the left recognize it’s not wise to state that view publicly.

Quite simply, O’Rourke’s plan to tax religious groups opposed to same-sex marriage is not merely the hard-left pandering of an unserious candidate trying desperately to bring his poll numbers above negative-400 percent. It’s the logical conclusion of the illiberal philosophy embraced in Lawrence.

Yesterday the state said homosexuality is neutral. Today the state says homosexuality is good. Tomorrow the state will say opposing homosexuality is bad and must therefore be punished. While O’Rourke’s position may be too hot for the eventual nominee to embrace right now, don’t be surprised if it becomes the official platform of the Democratic National Committee the moment it becomes clear they can win the presidency while giving churches, synagogues, and mosques the sin tax treatment.

In addition to showing the left’s trajectory on religious freedom, O’Rourke’s comments also reveal why conservatives are faring so poorly on the LGBT front of the culture war.

While most Americans would probably describe their general approach to human sexuality as “live and let live,” most Americans also intuitively understand that the “live and let live” doctrine gets complicated when people’s sexual practices and identities follow them into public places. When that messiness arises, both conservatives and progressives have the chance to convince people that their respective solutions will get things tidied up. Why, then, are conservatives losing so many of these battles for the hearts and minds of the general public?

The Folly of ‘Live and Let Live’

To answer that question, consider transgenderism. “Live and let live” flies out the window the moment a man identifying as a woman shows up in the ladies’ bathroom and makes the women in the room uncomfortable. Likewise, how do you solve the problem when public schools demand that teachers use students’ preferred pronouns and some teachers object?

Progressives promise to clean up this mess by carrying their beliefs to their logical conclusion. Transgenderism, they argue, is a perfectly valid identity the state should celebrate and defend. And because it harms people to have their identity rejected, the state must therefore compel others to acknowledge it — thus, force institutions to have transgender bathroom policies. Force taxpayers to subsidize transgender surgery. Fire teachers for refusing to use students’ preferred pronouns. Follow Canada’s example and remove children from their parents if they refuse to embrace their kid’s trans identity.

Conservatives, however, have shown little willingness to follow their own principles likewise to their logical actions. By and large, we assert that transgenderism is, at best, a phase and, at worst, a form of mental illness, so it should follow that the way to clean up the mess is to use the state’s power to hinder those who would do physical and psychological harm to those struggling with a false sense of identity. Yet we are largely unwilling to urge the state to do this.

We aren’t willing to say that mothers who shove their supposedly gender-nonconforming children in front of TV cameras should have their children removed from their homes. We aren’t using the power we have in red states to pass laws promising revoked medical licenses and perhaps even jail time for doctors who prescribe puberty-blocking drugs to minors and chop off perfectly functional sex organs. When trans students show up at schools and demand that teachers use their preferred pronouns, we aren’t willing to say, “The solution to this problem is to forbid males from coming to school dressed as females and vice versa while they get the help they need.”

In all of this, we refuse to clean up the “live and let live” mess by carrying our beliefs to their logical conclusion, which frequently convinces the undecided public that they should probably side with the people who will. That’s why Sen. Elizabeth Warren didn’t consider it political suicide to cheer the bravery of a 9-year-old girl living as a boy. That’s why we’re losing.

Conservatives Need More Than a Supreme Court Ruling

It is, of course, important for conservatives to keep defending those dragged into court for refusing to accept the new LGBT orthodoxy. And God bless those florists, bakers, and educators who have refused to acquiesce to the state’s demands, but not everyone has the mettle or the ability to wait five years for a favorable Supreme Court ruling.

For their sake, it would behoove conservatives to remember that you don’t win culture wars by refusing to fight until you get to the courthouse steps. Likewise, it’s also worth remembering that those who lose culture wars will eventually lose the constitutional protections in which they’ve sought sanctuary.

Sure, O’Rourke’s vindictive tax policy would likely be ruled unconstitutional by today’s Supreme Court. But the more comfortable our culture becomes with the idea of destroying dissenting churches via the power of taxation, the less confident we should be that future justices will maintain today’s understanding of the First Amendment. After all, if the Supreme Court, high on elitist zeitgeist, can stick its hands into the void and invent a constitutional right to abortion or to marry anyone, it can also invent a constitutional right to a clean conscience, which can only be preserved by silencing those repentance-preaching pastors and priests.

Quite simply, conservatives need to win converts to prevent progressives from devouring us. And that won’t happen if we refuse to carry our beliefs to their logical conclusions. So at the risk of rekindling the Ahmari-French debate, when conservatives express discomfort with the concept of obscenity laws, see drag queen story hour as a “blessing of liberty,” and won’t scream in defense of gender-confused children who are being abused by the people who are supposed to protect them, we aren’t clinging to our first principles. Rather, we’re forgetting the very first principle — namely that earthly governments are instituted by God to punish the wicked and reward the good in order to give us a peaceful and quiet life.

Because of this, we shouldn’t hesitate to use the state’s power to defend ourselves and our children from the kind of metastasizing libertinism that rots every brick of the public square it touches. If we don’t, as the journey from Lawrence v. Texas to Beto v. Traditional Christians, Jews, and Muslims shows, those who have gotten comfortable using the state to impose their perverse morality on us won’t tire of doing so any time soon.

Hans Fiene is a Lutheran pastor in Illinois and the creator of Lutheran Satire, a series of comical videos intended to teach the Lutheran faith. Follow him on Twitter, @HansFiene.
Photo LifeSiteNews

 

https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/16/hiding-behind-the-supreme-court-wont-stop-beto-orourkes-crusade-to-punish-orthodox-religion/

Bullying and Children with Disabilities and Special Health Needs

Oct 10, 2019

Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well.

Kids with special health needs, such as epilepsy or food allergies, also may be at higher risk of being bullied. Bullying can include making fun of kids because of their allergies or exposing them to the things they are allergic to. In these cases, bullying is not just serious, it can mean life or death.

Creating a Safe Environment for Youth with Disabilities

Special considerations are needed when addressing bullying in youth with disabilities. There are resources to help kids with disabilities who are bullied or who bully others. Youth with disabilities often have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or Section 504 plans that can be useful in crafting specialized approaches for preventing and responding to bullying. These plans can provide additional services that may be necessary. Additionally, civil rights laws protect students with disabilities against harassment.

Creating a Safe Environment for Youth with Special Health Needs

Youth with special health needs—such as diabetes requiring insulin regulation, food allergies, or youth with epilepsy— may require accommodations at school. In these cases they do not require an Individualized Education Program or Section 504 plan. However, schools can protect students with special health needs from bullying and related dangers. If a child with special health needs has a medical reaction, teachers should address the medical situation first before responding to the bullying. Educating kids and teachers about students’ special health needs and the dangers associated with certain actions and exposures can help keep kids safe.

Federal Civil Rights Laws and Youth with Disabilities

When bullying is directed at a child because of his or her established disability and it creates a hostile environment at school, bullying behavior may cross the line and become “disability harassment.”  Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the school must address the harassment. Read more about federal civil rights laws.

Bullying Prevention for Children with Special Health Care Needs

Having special health care needs due to neurological, developmental, physical, and mental health conditions can add to the challenges children and young people face as they learn to navigate social situations in school and in life. While bullying and cyberbullying is an unfortunate reality for many young people, children with special healthcare needs are at greater risk for being targeted by their peers.

One reason children and young adults with special health care needs might be at higher risk for bullying is lack of peer support. Having friends who are respected by peers can prevent and protect against bullying. Ninety-five percent of 6- to 21-year-old students with disabilities were served in public schools in 2013. However, children with special health care needs may have difficulty getting around the school, trouble communicating and navigating social interactions, or may show signs of vulnerability and emotional distress. These challenges can make them be perceived as different, and increase their risk of aggression from peers.

Young people with special needs may benefit from, both individualized and class-wide approaches to address the specific effects of their condition and prevent them from becoming the target or perpetrator of bullying. Teachers, school staff, and other students need to understand the specific impairments of a child’s health condition, so that they can develop strategies and supports to help them participate and succeed in class and with their peers.

Potential Perceived Differences

Children and youth with special needs are impacted by their conditions in a variety of ways. Every child is unique, and so are the ways that their health condition affects them. Some impairments, such as brain injuries or neurological conditions, can impact a child’s understanding of social interactions and they may not even know when they are being bullied. Here are a few ways that disabilities may affect children:

  • Children and youth with cerebral palsyspina bifida, or other neurological or physical conditions can struggle with physical coordination and speech.
  • Brain injuries can impair speech, movement, comprehension, and cognitive abilities or any combination of these. A child or youth with a brain injury may have trouble with body movements, or speaking in a way that others can understand. It could take them longer to understand what is being said or to respond.
  • Children and young people with Autism Spectrum DisorderAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Tourette’s Syndrome may have difficulties with social interactions, sensitivities, impulsivity, and self-regulating their behavior or effectively communicating.
  • A child or young person who experiences anxiety or depression or who has a mental health condition may be withdrawn, quiet, fearful, anxious, or vulnerable. They may exhibit intense social awkwardness or have difficulty speaking.
  • Children who have epilepsy or behavioral disorders may exhibit erratic or unusual behavior that makes them stand out among their peers.

Supporting Special Needs and Preventing Bullying at School

Strategies to address student’s special needs at school can also help to prevent bullying and have positive outcomes for all students, especially tactics that use a team approach, foster peer relationships, and help students develop empathy. Some strategies include:

  • Engaging students in developing high-interest activitiesexit disclaimer icon in which everyone has a role to play in designing, executing or participating in the activity.
  • Providing general up-front information to peers about the kinds of support children with special needs require, and have adults facilitate peer support.
  • Creating a buddy system for children with special needs.
  • Involving students in adaptive strategies in the classroom so that they participate in assisting and understanding the needs of others.
  • Conducting team-based learning activities and rotate student groupings.
  • Implementing social-emotional learning activities.
  • Rewarding positive, helpful, inclusive behavior.

Peer Support Makes a Difference

Here are a few examples of innovative strategies used by schools to promote peer-to-peer learning, foster relationships, and prevent bullying:

  • One high school created a weekly lunch programexit disclaimer icon where student’s with and without special healthcare needs sat and ate lunch together. Several senior students led the group, and invited their friends to join. All kinds of students participated. The students got to know each other through question and answer periods and discussions over lunch. They discovered things they had in common and formed friendships. A group of them went to the prom together.
  • Youth at one school held a wheelchair soccer nightexit disclaimer icon. Students with special healthcare needs that used wheelchairs coached their peers in how to use and navigate the wheelchairs to play. The students helped another peer who used a wheelchair who was interested in photography by mounting a digital camera on her chair so she could be the game photographer.
  • Another schoolexit disclaimer icon created a club rule that required clubs to rotate leadership responsibilities in club meetings so that every member had a chance to run the group. This allowed students with special health care needs to take on leadership roles.

Peer support is an important protective factor against bullying. By working together, teachers, parents and students can develop peer education, team-building, and leadership activities that foster friendships, build empathy, and prevent bullying to make schools safer and inclusive for all students, including children with special healthcare needs.

Bullying and Children with Disabilities and Special Health Needs


Cartoon Bully intimidating a man. Isolated

Related

Study links gene to children with physical and intellectual disabilities

Increase in Developmental Disabilities Among Children in the United States

 

Growing numbers of parents are taking a stand against moves to impose lessons on LGBT issues on primary school children

by Godinterest

Parkfield Community School

Parkfield Community School

Protesters against LGBT teaching at a primary school have been banned from gathering outside the gates of Anderton Park Primary School by a High Court injunction which was granted on the basis that the risk to children became “too serious to tolerate”. Birmingham City Council said the behaviour of demonstrators was “increasingly unacceptable” and that they pursued the injunction in order to protect staff and pupils when they return from their half-term break on Monday.

After months of demonstrations outside Anderton Park Primary School Birmingham City Council decided to pursue the legal action. The Council leader Ian Ward said “common sense had prevailed”.

The school had to close early before half-term due to escalating action.

The council said it sought the urgent injunction after the risk to children became “too serious to tolerate”.

Birmingham City Council

Protests have been held outside Anderton Park School for several weeks

Nazir Afzal who is in charge of steering talks between the council, parents and teachers, told Sky News that six weeks of discussions have been unsuccessful.

Protests have been held outside Anderton Park School for several weeks

Protesters were not made aware of the High Court application but told the BBC they still intended to gather next week on a street further away from the school.

How did it all begin?

No outsiders in Our School Teaching the Equality Act In Primary Schools, by Andrew Moffat

The No Outsiders project was the brainchild of Andrew Moffat, assistant head teacher at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham and based on a book written by headteacher Andrew Moffat.

In an attempt to teach equality amongst children in school irrespective of gender, sex, race or religion. The project aim was to change attitudes towards South Asian and Muslim homosexuality by teaching children about the Equality Act 2010 and British values. He also wanted pupils to “be proud of who they are while recognising and celebrating difference and diversity”.

When did controversy begin to unfold?

The Government intends to introduce compulsory Relationships Education at primary school level from 2020, which will teach children as young as five about “different types” of families.

Parents at seven primary schools in Greater Manchester have contacted school management to complain about proposed LGBT lessons.

In January this year a parent whose child attends Parkfield school raised a petition, claiming the teaching contradicted the Islamic faith.

How did the school respond to the growing anger?

The No Outsiders lessons were paused to allow teachers to “re-engage with our parents”, Mr Moffat said.

What do education chiefs say?

Ofsted has backed the No Outsiders programme, with its chief inspector Amanda Spielman saying all children must learn about same-sex couples regardless of their religious background.

Respecting parents

The Christian Institute’s Education Officer John Denning said respecting parents is “essential”.

“The protests reflect the lack of confidence parents have that schools are observing the proper boundaries of their role.

“The law is clear that teachers must respect the range of views amongst parents and not undermine them with one-sided propaganda.”

“It is being justified by claiming that it is required by the Equality Act, but the Act is explicit that it does not apply to the school curriculum.”

 

Original here