A Star Is Born
David and Tierney Abel are dedicated to hosting what they call “events with a purpose.” The Abels are the owners, or as they prefer to be called, “stewards” of Stone Gables Estate, which includes the Ironstone Ranch and the Star Barn Village. For years, they have hosted events with the purpose of creating “a God-honoring legacy that will impact future generations with its charitable and benevolent acts of generosity.” Because of their Christian faith, the Abels believe in the biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
After a man who identifies as gay learned about the Abel’s faith by reading their Core Values online, he lashed out in protest, expressing his opposition to the company on Facebook. What followed was the usual avalanche of hate and vitriol that could peel the paint off the Star Barn. When I asked David on Washington Watch about the hostile reaction, he explained that the Core Values have been posted online for seven years, and this is the first time they have had an issue. “[The] Constitution protects us [so] that we can live out [and] freely exercise our religious faith here in this country without any law being passed that goes against that freedom. They’ve chosen to try to bully us and force us to participate in an event that is in direct contradiction to our faith beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman, and we can’t do that.”
David related how he and Tierney seek to treat all people with hospitality. “We welcome all. We want to share what we’ve been entrusted with. It belongs to God with the world.” He went on to note that his opposition is to “an event [a same-sex wedding], not people, not their choices, but about an event that is in direct contradiction to my longstanding core tenet of both my church and the Bible, [in] which [I place] my faith.”
The Abels have responded to the backlash just as they should – by praying for those who “spitefully use you and persecute you.” The irony is this is exactly what religious freedom allows us to do, operate our businesses and order our lives according to the teachings of scripture. The LGBT community are attacking the very thing that instructs us to pray for them despite what they say about us or do to us. We are to love those who oppose us as the Abels are doing. It is essential to point out that love is not affirmation. While we can, and must love, we can never affirm that which is in contradiction to scripture. And love compels us to stand for and speak the truth that points the way to the only source of true affirmation.
By-the-way, those activists who want to put a spotlight on the Abels by trying to make them out as haters and bigots might want to reconsider. All the proceeds the Abels and their 17 children (12 of whom are adopted) receive from Stone Gables goes to a child welfare organization called Brittany’s Hope, which they named for their daughter who passed away in a car accident. The funds aid children with special needs worldwide.
Originally published here.
Heartbeat Bill is Given Life in Ohio
Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine made Ohio the 6th state to adopt what is known as the Heartbeat Bill, a measure that prohibits abortion after the detection of a baby’s heartbeat. DeWine’s signature on the bill comes after the previous Republican governor, John Kasich vetoed similar measures twice, the latest being shortly before Christmas last year.
When Gov. Kasich last vetoed the bill, he dismissively told pro-lifers that “every army needs a rest.” So far, the newly elected Governor DeWine hasn’t taken Kasich’s advice. Thursday as he signed the bill into law, he was joined by our friends at Citizens for Community Values, Aaron Baer, and FRC’s National Director of Ministry Engagement, Pastor JC Church, all of whom participated in the incredible effort that has taken nine years to accomplish.
Not surprisingly, the radical Left can’t handle it. Video footage shows protesters holding Planned Parenthood signs outside the Ohio House Chamber as the final vote was happening. The ACLU of Ohio promised to file a lawsuit against this pro-life bill even before Governor DeWine signed it.
The reaction to New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s extreme abortion legislation and Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s pro-infanticide comments has been swift and decisive. In the 2019 state legislative season, which is still not over, 250 pro-life bills in 41 states have been introduced. As of today, nine states have enacted a pain-capable unborn child protection act, and 11 states have enacted a dismemberment abortion ban. In the 2019 legislative session, 11 states have introduced the former, and eight the latter – one of which was just signed into law in North Dakota. As I shared last night at an event in Southern California, the nation is on the verge of becoming a predominately pro-life nation, and the political pro-life momentum reflects that reality.
Ohio State Representative Candice Keller, a sponsor of Ohio’s newest pro-life law, joined me on Washington Watch Thursday and said that “As Ohio goes, so goes the nation.” Long considered the swingiest of swing states, Ohio has voted for the winning presidential candidate in all but four elections since the Civil War. For Ohio to prohibit abortion after six weeks is really a canary in the coal mine for abortion in America.
Rep. Keller, who also runs a pro-life pregnancy clinic, continued, “Enough is enough! It’s time to tell the truth.” Abortion advocates have largely given up on disputing what an ultrasound so clearly shows: an unborn baby is very much a living human being. Think about it; if the absence of a heartbeat determines the end of life, shouldn’t the beginning of a heartbeat determine the start of life? But increasingly, the Left is openly rejecting science whether it is in regard to the presence of life or the reality of gender.
It is time for our country to acknowledge what science and our consciences so clearly tell us and defend the dignity of human life.
Originally published here.
Putting Readiness First: Transgender Military Policy Finally Takes Effect
Friday was a banner day for any American who is committed both to the best interests of the military and the rule of law. After nearly two years of judicial obstruction, President Trump’s commonsense policy on transgender service in the military has finally taken effect (although legal challenges to it are still being litigated).
In July of 2016, as President Barack Obama’s second term was coming to a close, he left another gift to his far-left constituents by lifting long-standing restrictions on military service by transgender persons – those who identify psychologically with something other than their biological sex. Although long justified on grounds of both mental and physical health, President Obama and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter decided that political correctness was a more important priority than military readiness.
A year later, though, Donald Trump was President, and he fulfilled a campaign promise to stop using the military for social experiments, announcing on Twitter that he would reverse the Obama/Carter policy. After careful study by a panel of experts, in March 2018 Defense Secretary James Mattis announced the detailed new policy – and the substantial justifications for it – in a 44-page Report and Recommendations.
Lawsuits were filed against the policy in four different U.S. District Courts, though, and all four judges issued preliminary injunctions to prevent the policy from taking effect. It was not until after the Supreme Court intervened that the last of the injunctions was lifted, allowing the Trump/Mattis policy to take effect.
While none of the cases have reached a final decision yet, the Supreme Court’s decision – that the policy does not cause the kind of “irreparable harm” that would justify a preliminary injunction – is encouraging. It may rest in part on the fact that Service members who have “come out” as transgender from the time the Obama/Carter took effect until Thursday are “grandfathered in” and will still be allowed to serve.
In the end, the courts must uphold the commander-in-chief’s power to make personnel policy for the armed forces. To understand the details of the Trump/Mattis policy and the compelling justifications for it, see FRC’s publications “Summary of Trump Administration Policy on Transgender Military Service” and “Department of Defense on Why Those with ‘Gender Dysphoria’ Are Disqualified from Military Service.”
Originally published here.
FRC on the Road
Thursday night I joined a crowd of nearly 600 FRC supporters in southern California where I shared the stage with Dr. Sebastian Gorka for our annual Friends of FRC banquet. Our friends were very encouraged to hear more about FRC’s End Birth Day Abortion campaign and our efforts to protect religious liberty at home and abroad. In attendance was Alice Lin, the daughter of a U.S. pastor held hostage by the Chinese government for more than a decade. She was greatly moved by the show of support and expressed her appreciation for our call to prayer for her father, which already has over 10,000 commitments to pray.
Looking ahead to the weekend, both General Jerry Boykin and I will be speaking in churches. General Boykin is headlining the Men of Valor Conference tonight and tomorrow at Victory In Truth Ministries in Bucyrus, Ohio, followed by preaching the 10:00 AM Sunday service at Victory in Truth Ministries. On Sunday morning, I will be delivering a message from Luke 9 about Missing Power of the Cross at the 8:00 and 10:30 AM services at my home church, Greenwell Springs Baptist Church in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana. If you are in the neighborhood in Ohio or Louisiana, we would love to see you this Palm Sunday!
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.