By Jonathon Van Maren
A few updates from the frontlines of the culture wars as you head into your weekend.
In Pennsylvania, a Bible study ban crosses the boundaries of a personal property line. From the Family Research Council:
If the government can ban Bible studies on private property, what’s next? That’s what a couple in the Pittsburgh area is wondering after they were ordered by Sewickley Heights Borough officials to “cease and desist” from using their 35-acre property to host Bible studies, worship events, and other religious activities or face a daily $500 fine — plus court costs.
Despite the borough’s threats, however, the couple isn’t backing down. The Independence Law Center has filed a lawsuit on their behalf against the city for violating the couple’s religious freedom as well as their freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and equal protection. As Jeremy Samek, Senior Counsel for the Independence Law Center pointed out, “Government should not target religious activities for punishment, particularly when similar secular activities are permitted. In America, no government can categorically ban people from assembling to worship on one’s own property.”
The borough’s order claims that the couple is in violation of zoning restrictions that are in place for “Places of Worship.” But as Samek points out, secular activities like political fundraisers, Super Bowl parties, and book clubs aren’t banned. On top of that, the couple and the previous owner of the property have reportedly been using it to host religious events for decades without a single issue!
This will be an important legal case, and one to watch very closely.
The Federalist is reporting that once again, the Democrats are willing to put LGBT ideology over the good of children:
A House committee passed a bill earlier this month that would allow faith-based adoption and foster-care agencies to continue operating in accord with their moral beliefs. Democrats responded calling the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act “disgusting, deeply immoral and profoundly offensive,” “unconscionable,” and “shockingly biased.”
The Inclusion Act was first introduced in 2014 to protect faith-based adoption agencies and foster care providers from state and local governments’ discrimination against their services solely because of their religious mission to place children in loving homes with both a mother and a father. The bill sought to counteract a growing trend of invidious discrimination on the basis of faith. It became even more necessary when the city of Philadelphia moved to shut down faith-based foster-care providers earlier this year.
The bill has been accused of being a “license to discriminate” against LGBT couples, but it does nothing to inhibit the ability of LGBT couples to adopt children, nor does it reduce access to adoption for LGBT couples. The Inclusion Act merely discourages states from discriminating against faith-based providers and ensures that as many pipelines as possible remain open to connect children with loving homes.
As I’ve written before, this has nothing to do with the good of the children. Mary Eberstadt chronicles the willingness of the Left to hurt good adoption agencies with decades of amazing work behind them for the sake of a handful of LGBT activists in her book It’s Dangerous to Believe, and I’ve noted many times that this entire discussion has boiled down to the rights of sexual minorities to demand children, rather than the right of children to have both a mother and a father. Children have become hostages in the hands of the sexual revolutionaries, and their political representatives are perfectly willing to destroy adoption agencies in order to further the LGBT agenda. There is no price too high for these activists—but innocent children generally pay it.
From LifeSiteNews, there is this awful story that gets to the heart of what “transitioning” is all about—mutilating the bodies of healthy boys and girls—many of whom would have simply grown out of gender dysphoria if they’d been left alone:
A plastic surgeon in Toronto who calls himself a “leader in the LGBT community” has admitted to performing double mastectomies on girls as young as fourteen who believe themselves to be ‘boys.’
Dr. Marc DuPéré will perform the procedure, despite the vast majority of children with gender identity confusion eventually reverting to their natal sex, as long as the teen girl is “firm about the decision to transition,” he wrote in a now deleted post on his website.
DuPéré defended what he calls “top surgery” of young girls in an interview with LifeSiteNews.
“Parents should encourage questioning with their children to understand ‘their story’,” he said.
His Visage Clinic in Toronto offers these “top surgeries” for about $9,000 and he recalls removing the breasts of two 14-year-old girls in the last five years. He also admits he’s done a few more of these surgeries on girls 15 and 16-years-old.
This is major surgery.
Double mastectomies typically leave scars on the patient’s chest while removing the possiblity of a woman breastfeeding any future children.
There’s also the ever-present possibility a girl or woman who gets such a surgery may later change her mind. Even DuPéré admits there is a risk of “regret”.
And that is precisely why it is so important to keep the ideology of gender fluidity out of our schools. Doug Ford’s government seems to be buckling on this point, so let’s hope that the social conservative politicians within the Progressive Conservative caucus here in Ontario hold strong and demand that these dangerous ideas be evicted from the classroom.
That’s all for this week. We’ll have more updates for you in the coming days!
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.