Totalitarians cannot tolerate the free exercise of religion. As so many disillusioned communists in the last century observed, communism, to its disciples, is a religion and a god. One well known book, a collection of the writings of a number of former communists, is called simply The God That Failed. Anyone who has attempted to discuss a subject intelligently with a communist quickly grasps that he is talking to a follower of a secular religion.

Sometimes communism has entered into a truce with faith or has loosened the chains on religious people for tactical reasons. During the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, for example, the churches opened again and allowed people to worship without duress. That limited freedom disappeared after the Nazis were defeated. The Soviets also pretended to respect the rights of Jews to worship, although in actual practice Judaism was suppressed (Hebrew, for example, was forbidden while Yiddish, a secular language, was encouraged).
 

A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a new ordinance in New York City requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to posts signs announcing that they do not perform abortions or make referrals to abortion providers. U.S. District Judge William Pauley made his ruling on July 13, a day before the new law was to go into effect. As reported by the Associated Press, the law was designed “to stop some pregnancy centers from what the City Council concluded were deceptive practices meant to delay women from getting abortion services and emergency contraception.”

Abortion proponents accused the pro-life pregnancy centers of opening offices near abortion clinics and deceiving women into assuming they would refer them to abortion providers. As written, the law would require the centers to inform clients that they do not provide abortions or abortion referrals, nor do they dispense such “emergency contraception” as RU-486, the drug also known as the “abortion pill” because of its ability to cause abortion by preventing the implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall after conception.

An Ohio lesbian has lost her legal battle to share custody of the child to which her former same-sex partner gave birth in 2006. The decision by the Ohio Supreme Court highlights the legal nightmare that appears to be evolving as homosexual “families” begin to fracture.

By a four-to-three margin the state high court ruled that the biological mother, Kelly Mullen, could retain sole custody of the child, name Lucy, who is now five years old. Until their split in 2007 Mullen had shared parenting and financial responsibility for the girl with her lesbian partner, Michele Hobbs.

As the 17-year military policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is coming to an end, homosexual military service members are now planning to take on another controversial issue — same sex marriages in the military. According to Fox News, “In the eyes of the military, [same-sex] marriage will not be recognized,” and same-sex married couples “will still be denied most of the benefits the Defense Department gives to heterosexual couples to ease the costs of medical care, travel, housing and other living expenses.”

The Pentagon asserts that the authority to not recognize homosexual marriages in the military is derived from the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Yesterday, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed the controversial bill requiring all public schools in the state to include a social studies curriculum on the contributions of gays and lesbians. The bill has unsurprisingly drawn criticism from a number of groups, including SaveCalifornia.com.

Senate Bill 48, proposed by Democrat Senator Mark Leno, passed the California Senate by a vote of 23-14, then moved on to the Assembly, where it passed on a 49 to 25 vote.

According to The Blaze:

To the voluminous body of evidence that the television and film industries are comprised of doctrinaire leftists determined to promote their political program via these media, we can now add Ben Shapiro’s recently released Prime Time Propaganda. This work is at once too long and too predictable, it is true. But in spite of its vices, it would be unfair to begrudge Shapiro the commendation for the service that he supplies — namely, a much needed reminder of the variety of typically subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways in which Hollywood routinely attempts to invite sympathy from consumers for causes that they would otherwise reject.

My intention here, however, is not to review Shapiro’s book. Rather, I wish to say a couple of things about the relationship between art and politics that he, among legions of others, addresses.

Liberal do-gooders don’t like it when their self-promoting benevolence gets mixed up with conservative Christian values. So when homosexual and abortion activists found out that Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes, one of their favorite charities, had appeared at an event sponsored by Focus on the Family (FOTF) to discuss “faith in action,” they were furious. The TOMS charity, called One for One, is simple and effective. For every pair of TOMS shoes a customer purchases, the company gives a pair to a child in need. Since its founding TOMS has given over 1,000,000 pairs of shoes to needy children all over the world.

Such an impacting and compassionate effort sounds like a great fit for anyone wanting to make a difference in the world, including conservative Christians who embrace traditional family values, right? Wrong, according to those whose values tend more toward normalizing homosexual behavior and pushing abortion on demand.

Claiming allegiance to a "higher law than the law of the land," a town clerk in western New York has submitted her resignation rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as required by the Marriage Equality Act the New York Senate narrowly passed on June 24 at the urging of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill had previously won approval in the state Assembly and Cuomo immediately signed the bill into law, effective July 24. Laura Fotusky, the town clerk in Barker, notified town officials that she was resigning effective Friday, July 21, three days before the new law takes effect.

"I believe that there is a higher law than the law of the land. It is the law of God in the Bible.  In Acts 5:29, it states, 'We ought to obey God rather than men,' " Fotusky said in a letter presented to Barker Town board on July 11. "The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures. Since I love and follow Him, I cannot put my signature on something that is against God." Fotusky wrote that she would be "compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure."

As the state of New York prepares to officially legalize homosexual marriage on July 24, at least one local government official has made the decision to put moral principle above political expediency. On July 11, Laura Fotusky, clerk in the Town of Barker in central New York, submitted her resignation to the town board, explaining that her Christian beliefs would not allow her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as her position would require. Municipal clerks in New York issue and sign marriage license, and under the state’s new same-sex marriage law, Fotusky would eventually have found herself faced with the dilemma of following the new mandate or obeying a higher authority.

In her letter of resignation Fotusky, who has served as the Town of Barker’s clerk since 2007, explained that she would be compromising her “moral conscience” if she were to administer marriage licenses to homosexual couples. “Therefore, I will be resigning as of July 21,” she wrote. “I wanted you to know my position as I understand the marriage law goes into effect on July 24. It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve as Barker Town Clerk.”

A conservative legal advocacy group has come to the rescue of a New Jersey man who was told by authorities in his community that he could not display a cross in his yard. In early July the Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to officials in the township of Livingston asking them to cease from employing an ordinance prohibiting homeowner Patrick Racaniello from displaying crosses in various areas of his front yard. Local police had used the ordinance as justification for ordering Racaniello to remove a cross he was displaying on a tree in his front yard in celebration of Lent, after one of his neighbors had complained.

“It’s ridiculous to stop citizens from displaying a cross on their own property,” said ADF attorney Jonathan Scruggs, who is representing Racaniello. “The Constitution guarantees the right of Americans to express their religious beliefs in this fashion, and no local ordinance can trump that.” Scruggs noted that in the present case, “the ordinance itself doesn’t actually even prohibit these crosses. The law is being used in a vague fashion to stop him from doing what he wishes on his own private property.”

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