JUDGE RUINS A FLORIST FOR HER CHRISTIAN FAITH

The Noose is Tightening

“If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, ‘The servant is not greater than his lord.’ If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” — John15:18-20 (KJV)

Washington State Benton County Superior Court Judge, Alex Ekstrom, has issued a summary judgment in the case against a Christian florist whose faith prevented her from providing service for a same-sex couple’s wedding. The case was set to go to trial in March, but the judge’s judgment serves as the final word. Basically, he has authorized the “personal ruin” of Barronelle Stutzman.

This ruling makes her personally liable for the claims against her, which places not only her business assets at risk but also her home and personal savings as well! World Net Daily reports that this reprobate judge ordered that the state as well as the sodomite plaintiffs, each of whom filed lawsuits, could collect damages and attorney’s fees from Stutzman.

Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, with the Alliance Defending Freedom stated, “The message of these rulings is unmistakable: The government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage.”

She reports the two men had plenty of other options in the marketplace, and even received offers of free flowers from other vendors. However, this wasn’t good enough for either Groom because Robert Ingersoll and his partner Curt Freed, sued Stutzman for politely refusing to engage in a business transaction that interfered with her faith.

Ironically, Ingersoll had bought flowers for his lover from Ms. Stutzman for years, and she was well aware they were a gay couple. The problem only surfaced when he asked her to arrange the flowers for their wedding. According to her deposition, she put her hands over his, and told him that she couldn’t “because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,” and because of her belief that marriage should only be between the opposite sex.

The State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, also sued based on details he learned in the news. According to arguments in the case, the state of Washington apparently believes the state’s statutory protections for sodomites trump the Constitution’s protection of religious liberty, even though the flower corporation was set up under a state law that protects personal assets except in cases of deception, theft or knowing fraud. None of these circumstances occurred in this case.

The defendant, Ms. Stutzman, said, “America would be a better place if citizens respected each other’s differences and the government still protected the freedom to have those differences. Instead, the government is coming after me and everything I have just because I won’t live my life the way the state says I should.”

By Donna Wasson – News With Views –

Religious Liberty Denied: Oregon Bakers Found Guilty

Make them bake cake! That’s the verdict of an administrative judge in the case of Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein. The couple, who became the brave face of America’s religious liberty clash, were informed yesterday by the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries that in the battle over marriage, their First Amendment rights no longer counted.

In the first of what will almost certainly be several rulings, the Kleins were found guilty of violating state law for politely declining an order for a same-sex “wedding” cake. As part of his 52-page order, Judge Alan McCullough claims that “requiring them to provide a wedding cake for Complainants does not constitute compelled speech.” Aaron Klein disagrees. “First Amendment, Constitution. Freedom of religion. I’m free to exercise my religion however I see fit. If I’m told to make a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage, I feel that I’m violating my beliefs. I don’t think I should have to do that.”

Unfortunately for the parents of five, wedding vendors like them may soon have no choice. In the free market, the courts no longer seem to recognize the right to believe what you want. Owners of small businesses like Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Arlene’s Flowers, Simply Elegant Wedding Planning, Hands On Originals, and others are seen as nothing more than tools of the government to think and believe as the state sees fit. If they refuse, as Aaron and Melissa have done, Oregon is threatening to bring the full weight of the government to bear.

A hearing on March 10 will decide exactly how much the Kleins’ courage will cost them. As much as $200,000 could be at stake for a family who’s already been forced to close their shop and scrape together the money they need to make up for that lost income. Anna Harmon, one of the Kleins’ three attorneys, said that although the judge tossed out every claim but one, it’s still a tough loss. “Americans should not have to choose between adhering to their faith or closing their business, but that is what this decision means….

By Tony Perkins – Washington Update –

Christmas denied by Hindus in India

While the rest of the world was celebrating Christmas by exchanging gifts and good wishes, several Christians in central India were forced to spend their Christmas in jail. Thirteen Christians, including three children and an eight-month-old infant, were falsely accused by Hindu radicals of blasphemy and were sent to jail in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh on December 26th.

Rev. J. Divine of the Methodist Church in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh told ICC, “The situation is very serious and the Christians of this region are frightened, as the authorities do not act on the cries of the minorities.”

Thirteen Christians spent Christmas in Jail.

Mr. Shamlal, a Christian in Sukta Dam, hosted a Christmas celebration in his house in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh where Geetanjali, Geetanjali’s family, and ten other Christians were invited for the celebration. During a time of worship, three unknown men came and stood at a distance trying to take pictures and video footage of the Christmas celebration.

Sensing the trouble, the Christians went and inquired as to why the men were taking pictures and videos of their program without informing the host of this activity. Soon, more people joined the three strangers and started to threaten the Christians, accusing them of converting innocent tribal and poor people.

Shamlal, sensing the situation was out of control, asked all of the Christians who came to leave and return home. As the Christians were preparing to leave, they were chased by the mob of Hindus. The Christians immediately went into a house and locked themselves inside for protection. “Lord help us and protect us,” was the prayer offered to God by Geetanjali, a young mother, as mob of now 400 Hindus surrounded the mud house where the Christians were hiding.

The growing mob threatened the Christians who were inside the house, demanding that they come out. Geetanjali told ICC that she heard the voices of the Hindu radicals shouting, “Come out of the house in five minutes; otherwise we will kill you. We will not spare you.”

After fifteen minutes, police arrived and asked the Christians to open the door, saying that they would protect them from the mob. When they opened the door, the officers escorted them to the police station. To the shock of the Christians, a case had already been booked against them under Section 295 of India’s Penal Code, popularly known as India’s blasphemy law. The police refused to record the complaints from the Christians refused to hear what the Christians had to say regarding the incident. The police said, “What you want to say, say it in the court.” The Christians stayed in the police station through the night as well as the next day. All thirteen, including an eight-month-old infant named Abhilasha, were sent to jail.

In total, the Christians spent five days in the jail, before they were able to post bail and were released on December 31st.

False accusations cancelled Christmas.

In a similar situation, Christians in Balisurah village, located in the Sundergarh district of Odisha, also spent their Christmas under awful pressure, as false cases were also booked against several pastors and Christians in the region. Pastor Joshua Das, a Christian leader from Raurkela told ICC, “We had to cancel 3 days of Christmas celebrations, as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) filed a case against seven people who were part of the organizing the Christmas celebrations.”

“Beginning on the 25th, almost every day we had to go to police station,” Pastor Das continued. “We have had to halt our normal worship service now. We do not know how long this will continue.”

Mr. Yuvraj Vardhan, the Regional Secretary of FMPB (Friends Missionary Prayer Band), also told ICC that, “The Christians of this region are being targeted and threatened more frequently than normal by the Hindu radical groups.” Mr. Vardhan went on to urge Christians to pray for the protection of Christian workers and the Christian community. He also expressed hope that both the police and media will take neutral positions.

The time for action is now.

Ever since Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power in May last year, Hindu radical groups have been emboldened and are carrying out outrageous acts of violence and persecution against Christians who are already a minority in India. The Sangh Parivar and its affiliate groups continue to threaten to hold large scale conversion ceremonies that forcefully convert Christians to the Hindu faith.

Despite India’s laws officially protecting the freedom of religion, there have reportedly been thirty-one incidents of Christian persecution just in the month of December, 2014. Unfortunately, many more incidents go unreported for various reasons.

In December, ICC launched a petition calling on India’s government to stop the attacks on India’s Christian community, and they have already collected over 5,000 signature. Please consider adding your name to this petition and taking a stand for India’s persecuted Christian community. To sign this petition, follow this link: http://info.persecution.org/IndiaPetition .

As the Christian community in India continues to face this new wave of persecution, Christians worldwide must take action to call for the protection of their brothers and sisters in India.

You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.

By Adrian Holman – Commentaries on Spirituality –

CHRISTMAS HEROES: Parents Fighting Anti-Christian Agendas

How ironic that as children all across the nation prepares to take part in various Christmas season events that they, in far too many cases, will not be allowed to actually celebrate Christmas. But to be honest, it is far more serious than just celebrating Christmas. Each day millions of students are sent by their parents off to build a solid academic base as well as learn about our American values in school. Those values and principles are built upon Judeo-Christian beliefs. In 2013 there were over 400 biblical principle attacks on children who wanted to read a Bible before or after school or even during lunch break and were denied.

When your child returns from the Christmas holidays will he or she still have to learn and embrace the teaching of Islam in the classroom, but have the teaching of biblical history overruled? What happens when the topics your child may be learning are ideals and values that marginalize how you have raised them and articulate an agenda that compromises your family’s religious beliefs? This is not something that can be overlooked simply because the child is heading home for a Christmas break.

Actually this serves as the best time to discuss and share what your beliefs are and reinforce the reasons why you will stand up for them when your child returns to school in the New Year. Don’t accept the erroneous church and state separation argument that liberal school officials try to jam down the throat of Christian parents. Your child has U.S. Constitutional rights and they must be protected….

So it really is upon you. As a parent what are you willing to sacrifice to stand up and protect your child from a school or a school district that is willing to take away or marginalize your child’s values and principles because it is convenient for them? Are you willing to tolerate unfair and illegal treatment of your child? Are you willing to let the politically correct values of liberal parents and secular anti-Christian organizations dominate your life, principles and support of America’s biblical heritage?

America has a culture that rises up from the deep foundational values that guided the founding fathers….parents that pray over their decisions at their kitchen table, or in the living room or perhaps during the church service. As a responsible parent they take a stand on principle rather than they should turn over their role and responsibility to the offending teacher, principal, submitting to the will of a partial anti-Christian school administrator or local school board member. They are not like others who take the easy route and conveniently swallow their principles and their values….

Take a page from Samuel Adams, who was one of America’s Revolutionary Heroes and a Founding Father. Adams’s father was a church deacon and was deeply influenced by him. Adams spoke of lukewarm supporters saying,

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Let liberty and your children and America’s future generations be your guide and your prayer as you celebrate this Christmas season. There is no tranquility in servitude to political correctness, so take off the politically correct chains of convenience that are used to shackle your children. Praise the birth of the Son of God and fight to protect your child and their future in the New Year as their Hero!

By Kevin Fobbs – Clash Daily –