Category Archives: Religious Persecution

The Astonishing Shredding of the Constitution by California-Based Judges and the Legislature

If the executive, or legislative, or judicial branch of government can suspend rights enumerated in the US Constitution “at will” than we have no “rights”; only “permissions”. mrossol

 

May 27, 2020 The Epoch Times. Thomas Del Beccaro – CONTRIBUTOR
 
 

As the nation prepares to reopen, the response to the COVID-19 crisis has taught us many lessons, not the least of which is that politicians and judges are willing to run roughshod over the Constitution if it suits their purposes.

Nowhere is that more true than in California.

Recently, a panel of 9th Circuit judges based in California, in a split opinion, upheld a ban on church services. Two judges who are sworn to uphold the law suspended the Constitution and wrote that if a “court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.”

Meanwhile, California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom has “required” “Mortgage Payment Relief During COVID-19 Crisis.” Courts have suspended eviction and foreclosure proceedings and the legislature is considering a law that would allow “bars, restaurants and entertainment venues to renegotiate rent prices with their landlords if they’ve experienced a 40-percent drop in revenue or have limited their capacity by at least 25 percent to safely reopen their doors,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

In plain terms, our Founding Fathers would be horrified. But then again, they never imagined government spending topping 50 percent of the economy either—and that is just where we are headed with the response to COVID-19.

We would do well to remember that one of the main reasons we have a Constitution was the reaction of the post-Revolution politicians to a depression. After the Revolution, the colonies were deeply in debt and taxes were far higher than those imposed by England. Combined with lost trade and private debt, a deep recession ensued.

Debtors were suffering during those bad economic times and politicians came to their rescue by enacting various laws that permitted them to repay their debts in installments, shut down courts to prevent judgments, and printed paper money so that debtors who took out their loans in gold could pay it back with paper of lesser value.

The states were enacting laws at such a fast and furious pace that our founders saw the economic uncertainly and damage the reaction to the crisis was causing to trade across state lines and internationally. Alexander Hamilton thought Americans were “growing tired of an excess of democracy.” Others identified the problem as “a headstrong democracy,” a “prevailing rage of excess democracy,” or “democratical tyranny.”

The solution the founders fashioned, and again, a central reason we have a Constitution, was the famed contract clause. Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1 states: “No State shall . . . coin Money . . . or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts . . .”

Keep in mind that our founders were often short and blunt with their words. They needed few words to convey that the states wouldn’t change the terms of the existing contracts by “impairing” them.

They enshrined that law in the Constitution precisely because states were passing laws that permitted debtors to get out from their debts, delay payments, or pay their debts with dubious paper money.

Who among us today thinks a state court would cite that history or that language?

As for not allowing church services, it must be said that judges sworn to uphold the Constitution can’t do so by suspending the Constitution. It is also worth remembering that the Revolutionary War was fought amid the deadly smallpox epidemic.

At the time, and to this day, there is no known cure. The mortality rate for those who contracted smallpox was 30 percent overall and 80 percent among children. Nevertheless, the founders fashioned the First Amendment that says, quite bluntly: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

According to the two liberal judges who backed Newsom’s dubious restrictions on churches, “We’re dealing here with a highly contagious and often fatal disease for which there presently is no known cure.” The court opinion, of course, cites no evidence to back its “scientific” conclusion.

Of course, COVID-19 is nowhere near as dangerous as small pox, which was estimated to have killed somewhere between 300 and 500 million people. Such perspective, however, is lost today.

The legendary historian Will Durant once said, “History is an excellent teacher with few pupils.” It appears that many politicians and judges have missed class, too, and we are all the worse for it.

Thomas Del Beccaro is an acclaimed author, speaker, Fox News, Fox Business, and Epoch Times opinion writer, and the former chairman of the California Republican Party. He is the author of the historical perspectives, “The Divided Era” and “The New Conservative Paradigm.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-astonishing-shredding-of-the-constitution-by-california-based-judges-and-the-legislature_3366419.html

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Caesar, God and the Lockdowns

I don’t understand all the motives, but there are elements in the USA that are inclined to restrict religious activity more strictly that non-religious activity.  This is unconstitutional and the people should push back.  mrossol

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WSJ. – 5/12/20

As governors consider how to ease their lockdowns, they might take a moment to read a pair of unanimous opinions this month from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. They rebuke the idea of giving office parks greater pandemic leeway than churches.

A March order by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear barred “mass gatherings,” including religious ones. Offices and factories were exempt if they followed “appropriate social distancing.” Other orders said that only “life sustaining” enterprises could stay open. That included law firms, laundromats and liquor stores, but not churches.

When Maryville Baptist Church in Louisville held an Easter service, some worshipers went inside. But a loudspeaker in the parking lot allowed sequestered faithful to stay in their cars. State police placed notices on vehicles, including occupied ones, explaining that congregants were breaking the law. The police took down license-plate numbers. The church sued.

“It’s not always easy to decide what is Caesar’s and what is God’s—and that’s assuredly true in the context of a pandemic,” a Sixth Circuit panel wrote on May 2. That said: “The Governor has offered no good reason so far for refusing to trust the congregants who promise to use care in worship in just the same way it trusts accountants, lawyers, and laundromat workers to do the same. Are they not often the same people, going to work on one day and attending worship on another?

Or this comparison: “Why is it safe to wait in a car for a liquor store to open but dangerous to wait in a car to hear morning prayers?” The question “is more difficult,” the court concluded, for gatherings inside a sanctuary. But it temporarily blocked Kentucky from prohibiting the drive-in service. The Governor, in a subsequent court filing, pointed to news reports of 50 to 100 people inside the church.

The Sixth Circuit followed up with another opinion on May 9 freeing the church’s in-person services. “Assuming all of the same precautions are taken, why can someone safely walk down a grocery store aisle but not a pew?” the court wrote in Roberts v. Neace. “While the law may take periodic naps during a pandemic, we will not let it sleep through one.”

Gov. Beshear has now excluded churches from his original order. Kudos to the judges for a reminder that the Constitution requires neutral treatment of religion, even in a pandemic.

Source: Caesar, God and the Lockdowns – WSJ

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‘Nobody can hurt me’ | WORLD News Group

Well, President Trump? How big are your cajones?
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On the night before her final hearing before Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Asia Bibi had a dream. “I saw in a dream that all the doors of the prison are open,” she described, “and I’m worrying that if the jail superintendent comes she will be very furious.”

Hope can burn from the faintest wick. For Bibi the dream was a fresh fire. A field worker who does not read and a mother of five, Bibi is in her late 40s or early 50s and has been jailed since 2009. From a dispute with two Muslim women, who alleged she blasphemed Islam after one asked Bibi to bring her water, she has been on death row.

Her children, including one who is mentally handicapped, have grown up without her. Pakistan has had four prime ministers while Bibi has been behind bars. And multiple courts upheld a death-by-hanging sentence in her case, which has been pending before Pakistan’s Supreme Court since July 2015.

But on the eve of an expected ruling in October, she told her attorney, Saiful Malook, “From my dream I am very, very certain that my appeal is going to be accepted and I am going to be free.” Then she said, “I have such a full faith in God that I have [a] strong feeling that nobody can hurt me.”

To Malook, Bibi said, “I assure you, sir, you also don’t worry.”

The following day the Supreme Court ruled in her favor, saying she had been accused falsely and ordering her freed, but her ordeal was far from over. Islamic hard-liners sparked widespread protests, shutting down roads and services. Bibi was not guilty, but not free, and clearly needed to leave the country. On Nov. 7 authorities reportedly flew Bibi from the detention center in Punjab to Islamabad, where she remained in an undisclosed location. The government caved to the hard-liners, agreeing to review the Supreme Court’s decision for technical issues.

Malook told the story of Bibi’s dream at a church in the Netherlands, where he was forced to seek temporary shelter after threats against his own life. For offering to shelter him, the Netherlands faces threats too: On Nov. 13 Dutch officials had to close their embassy in Islamabad and withdraw staff over threats against Dutch diplomats.

The case already has become a watershed moment for Pakistan and the Muslim world, something like the 1979 Revolution in Iran. Hard-liners threaten Christians using the blasphemy laws, while their tactics threaten Pakistan’s democratic government. Two leading statesmen—Muslim Salman Taseer and Christian Shahbaz Bhatti—were assassinated in 2011 for defending Bibi.

The only thing more astonishing than the bravery and faith of Asia Bibi in the face of so much hatred and violence is the cowardice and retreat of nations more powerful than Pakistan. The United Kingdom granted shelter to those calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie and has allowed rallies parading the Hezbollah flag, but British leaders stayed silent on Bibi’s future.

The United States took in the very publicly threatened Russian Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Chinese democracy movement leader Wei Jingsheng, yet made no offer of asylum for Bibi. Privately U.S. officials say the situation is too sensitive to talk about, but while they remain silent the hard-liners are winning.

Besides wanting to kill Asia Bibi, Pakistan’s Islamist parties and their mullahs want to silence Western powers through fear and intimidation. They want to threaten violence in such a way that they get their way. Until Bibi is fully freed, they have made a sham of Pakistan’s rule of law and its court system. Unless the traditional protectors of freedom step forward in a public and profound way to offer safe passage, it will appear the greatest powers in the world can be lassoed by a jihadist-ruled street.

Weeks after a brave verdict, few are looking brave beside the farm worker and mother, Asia Bibi herself. Attorney Malook told the Dutch congregation: “I have not seen such a strong woman in my life, nor in any book story, who is behind the bars for more than nine years … and still can be so strong.”

https://world.wng.org/2018/11/nobody_can_hurt_me

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Egyptian Christians Fearing Terror Flee

Notice who is protesting??
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Feb. 26, 2017 AP

ISMAILIA, Egypt—Egyptian Christians fearing attacks by Islamic State militants fled the volatile northern part of the Sinai Peninsula for a fourth day on Sunday, after a string of sectarian killings there sent hundreds packing and raised accusations the government is failing to protect the minority.

More than 100 families from the town of el-Arish and nearby have come to the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Cairo, since Friday, Nabil Shukrallah of the city’s Evangelical Church said.

Families arrive scared and in need of supplies, which are being stockpiled at the church via donations from several parishes, he said. They are then transported to be housed in and around the city, in private homes and now also accommodation provided by the government.

“They’re exhausted, with urgent needs for food and children’s clothing,” he said, as one father carried off a sick infant to be evacuated by ambulance. “They’re terrified of the violence and brutality of the terrorists.”

Northern Sinai has for years been the epicenter of an insurgency by Islamic militants, and the area’s few Christians have slowly been trickling out. But departures rose in earnest after suspected militants gunned down a Christian plumber at home in front of his family on Thursday in el-Arish. It was the seventh such killing in recent weeks and stoked panic among Christians.

Egyptian Christians fearing attacks by Islamic State militants are fleeing the volatile northern part of the Sinai Peninsula for a fourth day.
Egyptian Christians fearing attacks by Islamic State militants are fleeing the volatile northern part of the Sinai Peninsula for a fourth day. PHOTO: FAYED EL-GEZIRY/ZUMA PRESS
No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack. But Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate, which is based in north Sinai and which in December carried out a devastating suicide bombing against a Cairo church, vowed in a video earlier this week to step up attacks against Egypt’s embattled Coptic Christian minority. It described them as “infidels” empowering the West against Muslims.

The Cairo church bombing and the recent killings point to a shift in Islamic State’s tactics in Egypt, with the group now also attacking Christian targets that are less protected than military installations, in an attempt to isolate them and embarrass the government.

Before Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising, some 5,000 Christians lived in northern Sinai, but the number has since dwindled to fewer than 1,000, priests and residents say. Egypt doesn’t keep official statistics on the number of Christians in cities or across the country.

Many rights activists say the displacement is a clear sign the government has failed to provide a minimum of security for the embattled minority in the volatile region, where they have faced public threats before.

The government only agreed to put up the fleeing Christians in government housing in Ismailia after pressure on social media, which they underline as another disturbing sign.

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