Friday, February 28, 2014

Maidan Hasn't Won Yet

Protestors Clash with Police in Maidan Kiev 19-01-14
Intro to ‘Maidan Hasn't Won Yet’
Editor John R. Houk

Justin Smith writes his take on what’s happening in Ukraine based on some interviews with some Ukrainian activists from February 23rd and 24th.

I suspect I am like a lot of Americans that know something is going on in Ukraine but have been aloof from paying attention. In my case it sounds like a Korean War or Vietnam War situation in which the people are divided upon a national path to follow. My sympathies are with the anti-Russian Ukrainians because in case you missed Putin is taking Russia down the road of eventual confrontation with the USA. On the other hand years of American soldiers fighting yet another war without the clear objective of winning against an enemy that hates our non-Muslim guts has soured me somewhat in giving the kind of help to those I consider the good guys in Ukraine that could lead to troops on the ground – again. Incidentally our military is being rendered into weakness by our own Left Wing President with military budget cuts and downsizing.

Maidan is a Square in Kiev the Capital City of Ukraine. From Maidan the people of Ukraine began a grassroots demonstration against the Putin-Russian influenced Ukrainian government of now ousted President Viktor Yanukovych. After Yanukovych tried to disperse the crowds protesting in Maidan using strong-arm tactics which most believe were under the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin the protests turned violent. The number I read was that 80 protesters were killed under the direction of Yanukovych. Ultimately Yanukovych fled Ukraine leaving a tenuous situation in which the only thing that seemed to unify Ukrainians was to get rid of the corrupt Yanukovych and his government operation.

Now thanks to the influences of a long history of foreign control which included the 20th century purges of the Communists Lenin and Stalin who tried to Russify the population, Ukraine is divided by sympathies to Russia and an independent Ukraine and religious differences between the Ukrainian Uniate Church and Orthodox Church. Uniates see an allegiance to the Papacy while keeping the Greek Eastern Rites and of course the Orthodox Church is part of the mainline Eastern Orthodox Church which is of Greek origin but is of the Russian version.

JRH 2/28/14
Maidan Hasn't Won Yet

By Justice O. Smith
Sent: 2/28/2014 12:20 PM

The Ukrainian Parliament heard the Bell of Freedom ringing on February 22, 2014, and they ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, their corrupt leader. Since the collapse of the former U.S.S.R, many corrupt men and women have sought to govern Ukraine, in order to empty her treasury; historically, Ukraine has been deliberately exploited geopolitically by many nations over the past five centuries, such as Poland, Germany and Russia, and its language and culture suppressed by all, except for the Hapsburg Monarchy. And, now that Ukraine's Parliament has issued an arrest warrant for Yanukovych and answered their people's call for freedom, the vast majority want Ukraine's course to be uncorrupted and set by the Ukrainian people, without outside interference from the U.S., the European Union and Russia.

President Yanukovych's arbitrary decision to nullify an economic agreement with the European Union (EU), with few strings attached, and accept a $15 billion aid package from Russian President Vladimir Putin was viewed with horror and revulsion. The specter of life under Russian influence and control surfaced, and this is a life that the majority of Ukrainians will never willingly accept again - something they will fight to the death before being forced once more down the road to serfdom.

From the first day of acquiring most of Ukraine from Poland, under the Treaty of Andrusovo (1667), Russian Tsars sought to destroy any sense of national identity in the Ukrainian people. In 1876 Alexander II actually banned books from being published in Ukrainian and speaking Ukrainian in theater plays.

Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine's first major poet (1814-1861), synthesized urban and rural linguistic usages with Church Slavonic to articulate a full range of ideas and feelings. Shevchenko railed against the autocratic Russian state in the name of "this land of ours which is not ours". His nationalist verses reassured literate Ukrainians that they were at least a potential nation.

The Ukrainian people have never forgotten the millions of peasants who were murdered during the 1919 de-Cossackization of the Don region, they have never forgotten the 10 million Ukrainians who were starved to death by Stalin's regime between 1932 and 1934, and they remember the forced exiles to Siberia during 1944-45. Their resentment and hostility towards Russia and communism/authoritarianism has remained into the present, and, in large part, this explains the anger Ukrainians felt towards the corrupt Viktor Yanukovych and his cozy arrangement with the former director of the KGB, Vladimir Putin.

Ulrich Speck of Carnegie Europe (New York Times) recently pointed at Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Romania as EU success stories, and declared that "the protest movement... centered in Kiev's Independence Square, has won," although many others declare that Ukraine will not find real freedom within a European Union economic stricture and the immigration burdens that accompany the EU's open borders policy; however, the initial EU deal was simply an offer of economic aid, a loose association and a free trade agreement, and EU membership was not offered. But no matter how one views the EU, the Ukrainian people are obviously in desperate need of assistance, and perhaps an effective joint economic aid plan will soon be managed by the U.S., the EU and the International Monetary Fund, with mutually beneficial terms included.

Of course, the big pink Russian Bear's reaction remains to be seen, as Russian military "maneuvers" are now occurring along Crimea's border. Right or wrong, Ukraine, "Little Russia", has been seen as critical to Russia's national security, because it was the breadbasket of the old Soviet Union and it was also used as an invasion route by numerous past enemies, including Napoleon and the Nazis. Russian technological advances in missile delivery and other armaments negates this as a serious concern. But, no one should be overly hopeful that Putin will follow Boris Yeltsin's declaration that "The Russian state...will never be an empire...It will be an equal among equals."

At Putin's urging, 
Yanukovych intensified the use of force against the Maidan protesters, resulting in 82 people dead. Since then, Putin has questioned the legitimacy of the recent actions by the Ukrainian Parliament. And, with a heavy imprint in the Crimea (eastern Ukraine) from decades of "russification" programs, Putin's pure naked desire, thinly veiled in a proposed Eurasian Union, to reconstruct the old Soviet Union may result in an Ossetia-style Russian intervention, despite Obama's warnings and Putin's assurances to the contrary; or, at the very least, this means several more months of civil strife and turmoil, since pro-Russian protesters were flying Red Communist flags in Donetsk on February 23rd, and armed men occupied all the government buildings in Simferopol (Crimea) on February 27, 2014 (Reuters).

On Sunday, February 23, Yanukovych's Party of Regions abandoned him and accused him of facilitating the deaths of the protesters and betraying his country. This same day, Yanukovych appointee and military chief of staff, Yuriy Ilvin said, "As an officer I see no other way than to serve the Ukrainian people honestly and assure that I have not and won't give criminal orders."

To the heart of the matter, Serhiy Sobalev, a member of Parliament from the Balkivshchyna Party, stated: "We will come out of Maidan either free or as slaves. But we don't want to be slaves."

After Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Russian parliamentary committee that deals with former satellite states, exclaimed, "They are trying in every possible way to tear Ukraine away from Russia" (Interfax), the world should have asked, "So?" - Russia's claim to the Ukraine has always been illegitimate, and the Ukrainians have never wanted to be integrated into Muscovy. Doesn't Ukraine have a natural right to self-determination and their own independent state? History says "Yes."

Interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov, Petro Poroshenko - opposition member of Ukraine's Parliament, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama all agree that Ukraine's territorial integrity must be preserved. Each has a different understanding of this term "territorial integrity." Just as in the 1950s, today some Ukrainians in the Orthodox east and south still long for the Russian state, while in the west, with its Hapsburg and Polish traditions and its strong Uniate Church, Ukrainian nationhood is understood as inherently anti-Russian.

Recently, Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, announced she would run for the presidency, even though much of her former appeal has been tarnished by being seen as part of a corrupt power structure. In many respects, Tymoshenko was much closer to Putin than 
Yanukovych could ever have hoped to be. But she did herself and her country proud, when she tearfully told a crowd on February 22, "After what you did, Ukraine is yours."

In the years leading up to 1917, Ukraine was torn through national and social upheaval and embroiled in chaotic violence, much like Ukraine after the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Trans-Dniester Republic in 1991, much like present day Ukraine. Professional people, rural cooperatives and officers from the imperial army convened a Ukrainian Military Congress, which proclaimed the Ukrainian People's Republic in November 1917, and it was immediately challenged by a Soviet government in Kharkov and supported by many of the workers and peasants in eastern Ukraine. But, the memory of their national independence from 1917 to 1921, no matter how brief, precarious and embattled, generates a powerful longing for fulfillment in the modern day Ukraine.

I would like to leave you with two of the most poignant thoughts I received from two young activists, as I communicated with them on the 23rd and 24th of February:

4:45 pm Sunday 23rd/ Galyna Kolodkevych, Professor of Ukrainian literature in Kiev, asked, "What is the way forward now?" She continued, "Maidan has become (the) opposition now and (the) new authority has to listen to the people of Maidan, but not to the West or Russia. Our politicians receive the power but then forget us...We demand full lustration of official power, without previous communists, party of regions, (and) (Yulia) Tymoshenko. So, Maidan hasn't won yet. People will stand until the murderers are punished."

4:37 am Monday 24th/ Yevgeniya Goncharuk cried out, "There is a pain in my heart. Ukraine (is) washed with tears. Many different and difficult thoughts are in my head. Fear to forget. Fear to allow politicians to forget what happened. There is no feeling something great was achieved. I do not see a clear plan for how to remove the old politicians, judges and policemen. But I know that people have to learn by new, normal rules - moral law. The main thing is to remember all the mistakes and lies of every person, who worked in the government. The criminals have to sit in jail. How long will they avoid punishment? ...There is hope....Ukrainians are great, they are beautiful people. They surprised themselves. Suddenly they show that they are brave, desperate and they deserve a better life."

No, Maidan hasn't won yet, but the Ukrainian people have always been brave, and they do deserve a better life. They have the right to choose and to create for themselves a more perfect union, with one's liberties and human dignity guaranteed, where equality under a moral law reigns and everyone lives and dies free; today I, all of us, and the world share the chains of the Ukrainian people, since the destruction of just a single person's freedom creates a ripple effect throughout civil society: So, without undue influence, the Free World must enable, through every available means, the destiny of the Ukrainian people to manifest itself through the people's own free will, uncorrupted by immoral men.

By Justin O. Smith
Edited by John R. Houk
© Justin O. Smith

Love Bird Seeking Sanctuary in US

Intro to ‘Love Bird Seeking Sanctuary in US’
Edited by John R. Houk

Salma Peter John (Mistress) & Shahbaz Bhatti
Salma Peter John and Shahbaz Bhatti

Shamim Masih writes about a scandal that apparently that is being ignored by the Christian community in Pakistan because of the tragic circumstances surrounding the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti. Shahbaz indeed died a hero being assassinated by the Taliban for being an activist against Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws. Shahbaz was the only Christian in Pakistan’s government Cabinet at the time of his assassination.

The scandal is Shahbaz Bhatti had a live-in mistress named Salma Peter John. Shamim provides a sympathetic and favorable link to a story and Vimeo video pertaining to Ms. John’s devastation over her sugar daddy’s assassination. I bluntly use the term “sugar daddy” because apparently Ms. John was a kept woman in Pakistan and Shamim wonders who is footing her bills in the USA where she is trying to attain political refuge.

Below is the video I placed on Youtube.  I believe you need to watch the video to see how the writer of an article on obviously sympathizes with Ms. John while only slipping in that Shahbaz’s father was not pleased with the living situation with Ms. John:

Both Salma and Shahbaz worked tirelessly to see the sprouting of the largest political party of Pakistani Christians, formerly Christian Liberation Front (CLF) and later All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), grow in all four provinces. Their three-directional-love for persecuted Christians, for each other and for Cammy’s traditional father was constantly at odds with each other. (Shahbaz Bhatti – “Remembering My Cammy”; By admin;; 2/27/14)

Here is Shamim Masih’s story.

JRH 2/28/14
Love Bird Seeking Sanctuary in US

By Shamim Masih
Sent: 2/27/2014 11:01 PM

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down on March 02, 2011 by an extremist group in Islamabad. His followers planned to celebrate his death anniversary on Sunday, March 02 and his love bird (Salma Peter John) shattered her silence and shared a video link showing her unannounced relation with late Shahbaz Bhatti. She said, “Cammy was me and I was Cammy” (Cammy was Shahbaz Bhatti’s nickname). She claimed that she lived with him for fifteen years and so they had happy life but couldn’t manage to marry with Shahbaz Bhatti.

Salma worked as personal assistance – PA to Shahbaz Bhatti when he was Federal Minister for Minority Affairs. And that is what other knew about it……. A close circle of the minority minister was very well aware of his activities and thus others [were aware of] it as well, but didn’t disclose [the living situation]. On February 15, one of my articles was printed and my family friend wrote me that this article was great but I failed to mention Bhatti’s former “PA” fled to Philadelphia and is still living off another man supposedly active as a leader for Pakistani Christian cause. She mentioned that the big issue is why Christians should trust or respect these who not only deserted their own, but never lived a truly Christian life?

The real issue is the shame and scam these two brought on Pakistani Christians – but why no one wants to talk on that? If marriage is a Biblical standard and even more so a strong tradition of Pakistan, how could this “high profile” [couple] not be held to [Christian] standards? If a man loves and respects you he marries you – otherwise you are just being used. If the Bhatti family would not recognized her as even his partner in politics, much less romance, but [rather] wanted nothing to do with her, why should anyone else give her the time of day? And really when all is looked at what did S. Bhatti do to improve lives of Pakistani Christians?

From what I hear everyone knew she was S. Bhatti’s mistress, kept by him and that’s how she lived there. She is now shifted to the US but gets no dollars from the government until her asylum case is approved so she [can] get a car for a work permit. So how else is she living if not with and off someone else’s support or living on the savings from her time shacking up with Shahbaz Bhatti?

Be Blessed,
Shamim Masih
Edited by John R. Houk
Everything bracketed is by the Editor. The resource links within Shamim’s exposé are by him.

© Shamim Masih
Special Correspondents
Human Rights Activist

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011
Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 
Secretary General
Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

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Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
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Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
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Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
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Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

That Which Makes America Good is Dissipating

Lady Liberty Drowning in Decay
John R. Houk
© February 27, 2014

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona vetoed SB 1062 designed to keep people of faith – particularly Biblical faith – from being sued by exercising their First Amendment Right to Religious especially against the abomination of the practice of homosexual specifically condemned by the Word of God in both the Old and New Testament.


Homosexual Activists have essentially been successful in convincing Americans that homosexuality must be accepted even though God Almighty forbids it. This tells me that Secular Humanism has become so pervasive in our society that a majority of Americans are convinced that human desires are better to be satisfied than the will of the Creator that gave His only begotten Son – God emptied of Divine prerogatives to become the only sinless man – to Redeem humanity back to the path of Oneness with God that Adam experienced before he separated himself from God’s Presence by believing and allying with the Deceiver – Satan – by eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Sins deemed by humanity to be harmless matters of choice is basically the worship of creation rather than worship of the Creator. Hence as in the days of Noah, humanity has no fear of any consequences by openly disregarding the statutes of the Creator.

Jan Brewer had good reasons to veto SB 1062. NONE of those reasons had anything to do with the direction and guidance of God Almighty. Rather here are a few of the obvious reasons dispensed by intense human pressure:

The marketing revenue that would flow in Arizona was threatened by both Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL).


 “As the sport of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs stand united behind the principles of respect, inclusion and acceptance. Those values are fundamental to our game’s diverse players, employees and fans. We welcome individuals of different sexual orientations, races, religions, genders and national origins.

“MLB has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, as reflected by our collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association. Accordingly, MLB will neither support nor tolerate any words, attitudes or actions that imperil the inclusive communities that we have strived to foster within our game.”

The Seattle Mariners issued an individual statement prior to the veto too, and it had an ever stronger call to action than MLB's:

"The Seattle Mariners have enjoyed 37 years of spring training in Arizona. Our fans flock to Peoria for baseball in March, and have always been made to feel welcome by the businesses and good people of Arizona. This should apply to all of our fans. The Mariners respect and value diversity. We welcome fans of all races, colors, religious beliefs, nationalities, ages, and sexual orientations. We believe that intolerance has no place in our game or society. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 1062 sends a message that not everyone is welcome. We hope Governor Brewer will reject that message."


While no overt threat was made to yank the Super Bowl, it was clear the NFL was watching Brewer.

"Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement before the decision.

"We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so."


Both of Arizona’s professional basketball teams [the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury] publicly called for a veto.

JP Morgan Chase

Go Daddy Group

Apple Computers


American Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Delta Airlines

Intel Corp

This list does not include large Arizona businesses and large business associations AND since the above article was written yesterday probably more Corporations were added.

o   Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

o   Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

o   Mitt Romney (R- President Nominee 2012)

o   Steve Schmidt, former John McCain Senior Campaign Advisor

o   Matthew Dowd, Former George W Bush Campaign Strategist

o   Mike Murphy, GOP Political Consultant

o   Bob Worsley (R – State Senator initially voted for SB 1062)

o   Adam Driggs (R – State Senator initially voted for SB 1062)

o   Steve Pierce (R – State Senator initially voted for SB 1062)

The Power of Homosexual Activism

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) provides insights of the kind of Homosexual power/mafia-style oppressive measures by Homosexual Activism that is involved in pressuring Governor Brewer:


Everything to do with power and influencing Americans from the Media, Political Power and Left Wing Secular Humanism such as Homosexual Activism; has SILENCED Christian morality in America. We live in a day that the very evilness that took over and essentially condemned the people of Canaanite heritage become displaced by Divine Ordinance that enabled the fruition of God’s Promise to Abraham for a family heritage that Believers’ in the Bible call the Promised Land, the Holy Land, the Land of Israel and so on (by the way NOT Palestine).

Don’t believe the fullness of the times of the Gentiles has completely arrived yet or the Pax Americana will have begun its collapse. I don’t know, maybe Americans are at the beginning of that collapse and is just awaiting the history books or the Return of Christ to record the end of the USA.

AND I haven’t touched on America’s Left Wing activist judiciary that has recently (again) affirmed the homosexual debauchery as normal in Adam and Steve or Adriana and Eve marriages.

JRH 2/27/14
Blog Editor: Here are some related articles that may be of interest


Posted by ChurchMilitantTV
Published: Feb 19, 2014

26 Feb 2014


On Wednesday evening, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) deliberately misread Arizona SB 1062 -- and, out of a misguided sense of political correctness, proceeded to veto it. "My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona," Brewer said, in a massive cop-out avoiding the central issue of protection of religious freedom.

Brewer stated that the bill "could divide Arizona in ways we could not even imagine and no one would ever want." Of course, her veto of the bill is even more divisive, given that it now sends the message that it is open season on private religious business owners who wish to live out their religious principles throughout their lives, not just within the four walls of their churches or homes.

She continued by stating that the bill was too broadly worded, although she could not point to a specific provision that would allow for additional discrimination currently barred by Arizona law. She also suggested that Arizona's religious population does not face a threat of lawsuit or government action based on practice of religion in the workplace, overlooking the fact that such cases have cropped up repeatedly throughout the United States over the course of the last two years.


This week, controversy has broken out over Arizona’s law protecting the right of religious businessowners to reject service to particular customers. The law came hard on the heels of a series of outrageous court decisions finding that private businesses could be forced, in violation of their religion, to serve events such as same-sex weddings.

Cowardly Republicans including former presidential candidates Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have been running headlong from the law, suggesting that it is somehow granting the moral okay to discrimination to recognize Americans’ First Amendment rights. They have been joined by outraged Democrats and leftists who lie about the nature of the law and suggest that without government intervention, America will be rife with roving bands of Christians looking to bludgeon gays in the streets.

Here, then, are 7 myths the left has told about the Arizona religious freedom law – and why they’re myths:

Arizona’s Law Loosens Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians in The State.

Adam Serwer of MSNBC says that “‘religious freedom laws could be a license to discrimination.” That’s nonsense. Arizona state law has no provision currently barring discrimination against gays and lesbians. So what does the law do? It actually narrows the law with regard to supposed discrimination against gays and lesbians. The law only provides religious people with an excuse to pick and choose clients if they can prove actual religious adherence (which, by the way, should offend atheists, who should have the same First Amendment right to associate as religious Americans).

The law also makes clear what should be clear from the text of the First Amendment: religious practice is not restricted to your church or your home. Individuals operating businesses have a right to act in accordance with their religion at work. The law also states that religious businessowners can defend lawsuits using the law against other private parties, not merely government prosecution
This is the essence of American religious freedom. The disgusting attempt to use government to run roughshod over that religious freedom is blatantly unconstitutional. The law, which simply reinforces that, should be unobjectionable to anyone who actually believes in freedom of religion. Unfortunately, many on the left simply do not.

The Government’s Recognition of a Right to Religious Practice “Allows” Discrimination.

“I strongly support religious freedom,” Kansas state Rep. Patricia Sloop (D) explained with regard to a similar law being considered in her state, “but this bill is not about religious freedom. In my opinion, this is about legalized discrimination, and I cannot vote in support of this.”

The logic here is deeply flawed. My right to religious practice does not spring from the government; therefore, it is not up to the government to “allow” me to do anything with regard to my practice of religion. The question is whether government has a right to invade my religious practice in the name of some majority-determined or court-determined or regulator-determined social good. If the answer is yes on any sort of broad level, the Constitution is rendered meaningless. Rights can be balanced with communal needs, and are generally done so through the mechanism of the market. Once you hand the club of social enforcement to the government, however, rights are no longer balanced with communal goods. Communal goods win. Individuals lose.

The right to practice religion is not unique in this respect. My right to associate does not spring from the government; the government’s protection of that right – not violation of that right – is the purpose for the institution of government. My right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure is not subject to the government’s decision that suspicion of racism justifies violation of that right.

Allowing Private Businesses to Discriminate Among Customers Is Like Jim Crow.

On Tuesday evening, NBC’s Brian Williams made this comparison explicit, stating, “Good evening. It’s just one state out of our 50, but tonight what’s happening in Arizona is being compared by some to the epic battles this nation has fought over lunch counters, separate drinking fountains and restrooms.” Outspoken gay activist and former actor George Takei has called Arizona a Jim Crow state” thanks to the law. Even Fox News’ Andrea Tantaros has jumped on the bandwagon, stating, “I don’t know why you want to bring Jim Crow laws back to the forefront for homosexuals,” prompting host Martha MacCallum to state, “I mean, that’s exactly what it sounds like.”

No, it doesn’t. Private discrimination may be nasty and evil, but it is not and was not Jim Crow. Jim Crow laws mandated segregation in public areas. Here, for example, is Alabama’s Jim Crow law with regard to those “lunch counters:”

It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment.

State-compelled discrimination is not the same as private citizens discriminating.

As to suggestions that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would be overthrown by the act, the supremacy clause of the US Constitution prevents any state from superseding federal law.

Immorality and Illegality Should Be Identical.

Many opponents of the bill have argued, in absurd fashion, that if you support the right of religious Americans to discriminate, you therefore support discrimination. That line of argument is as wrong as it is dangerous. You can believe that something is immoral and yet agree that it should not be illegal. I think that Mein Kampf is an evil book. But I don’t think we should ban it in the United States, because I think people have a right to print it and read it. Does that mean I’m an advocate for the dissemination of Mein Kampf?

Ironically, this line of argumentation cuts against gay rights. If we now believe that anything the majority believes to be immoral should be illegal, regardless of countervailing rights, what exactly is the problem with anti-sodomy laws? Where exactly is the objection to segregation by this twisted logic?

Of course, we don’t feel that way in the United States. We believe that people have rights to activity of which we don’t approve. Otherwise, we’re living in a tyranny in which we elect the tyrants.

Race and Homosexuality Are Analogous.

Any analogy between refusing to service same-sex weddings to refusing to serve black customers is fatally flawed. Race is an immutable characteristic; homosexuality is only publicly known due to homosexual behavior. No matter how much you may be attracted to a member of the same sex, no one will ever know unless you choose to divulge that fact, or to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same sex. That means that discrimination against homosexuals would actually be discrimination against either homosexual activity, or against evidenceless perception of homosexuality. The former is entirely within the purview of religious morality (it should be and always has been my choice whether or not to participate in a gay wedding); the latter is entirely outside logic (if someone throws you out of his store because you wore a pink shirt, he’s a moron).

The same is not true for race. If you are black, you are black. Blackness is not behavior-linked, despite what some racists on the left may believe. That means that discrimination based on race is entirely morally unjustified in any religious universe. The same is not true of behavior; homosexual activity falls under a behavioral classification.

This distinction is vital, because we have decided (rightly) as a society that immutable characteristics should not be the basis for discrimination – but we continue to believe that behavior can be the basis for discrimination. It would be wrong for you to refuse me service based on my last name being Shapiro. It would not be wrong, however, for you to refuse to photograph my future son’s religious circumcision if you are an anti-circumcision activist. The same holds true with regard to race versus homosexuality.

America Is a Nasty Place.

If an alien were to land on earth today and watch the media coverage of the Arizona law, he would likely believe that the American people are incredibly homophobic, and that only the massive bulwark of government prevents Americans from routinely lynching gays and lesbians. That, at least, is the implication the media look to make when they label America on the verge of another Jim Crow era – the idea is that religious Americans can’t wait to erect separate straight and gay sections of their cigar bars.

That’s bull. No business has ever used Arizona’s current religious freedom law to defend against charges of discrimination. Hate crimes against gays and lesbians, while heinous and evil, are thankfully remarkably rare. In 2012, according to FBI statistics, there were a grand total of 1,376 hate crimes based on sexual-orientation bias. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, there are approximately 9 million LGBT people in the country. By way of contrast, there are approximately 6.7 million Jews in America, and 836 Jews were victims of hate crimes in 2012. That means that approximately one out of every 6,540 LGBT people in the United States was victimized by a hate crime in 2012; one out of every 8,014 Jews in the United States was victimized by a hate crime in 2012. America is not an anti-Semitic country; America is not a gay-bashing country.

But it is in the interest of those in the gay rights movement to continue to maintain that America is just moments away from an anti-gay outbreak. Such feelings prompt government action to crackdown on religious opponents of homosexuality. Which is, of course, what this entire debate is about.

The Left Will Leave Your Church Alone.

Even those who oppose the Arizona law maintain that they simply want individual religious businessowners to face a crackdown by the state. But that’s patently false. What, exactly, would be the justification for stating that a business, which is privately held and for-profit, would have to service same-sex weddings, but that a church, which receives non-profit privileges from the state, would not? Where is the left’s internal logic? If a religious person – a person who by definition acts in accordance with religious values in the entirety of his or her life, not just inside the four walls of the church – can be forced to violate religious values, why not a pastor?

A religious person is a religious institution. Anyone who fails to understand that has never met a religious person. Religion starts at home, not in the church. It reaches to businesses, not just to the pews. The left knows that. And that’s why the left will not stop.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of

Taking Fire In Arizona
Group behind religious freedom bill becomes a target.

FEBRUARY 26, 2014 6:28 PM
Cathi Herrod- Prez Center for Arizona Policy

As she spoke on the phone with National Review, Cathi Herrod was interrupted. Protestors and news media were outside of her building; staff members were trying to get through to her. For the past few days, hundreds have protested at Arizona’s state Capitol against the law her organization proposed. Today, they were outside of her office.

Herrod is the president of the Center for Arizona Policy, an evangelical Christian organization devoted to defending life, marriage, the family, and religious liberty. Nowadays, they are best known for being the originators of Arizona’s SB 1062, the proposed law that would allow individuals to refuse to provide services for events against their religious principles.

“People think this law would enable a restaurant to refuse serving homosexuals, or a teacher religiously opposed to divorce to not teach a child with divorced parents,” Herrod tells me. “This law wouldn’t enable claims like that to be made. Opponents found a way to get a foothold and lambaste the bill for unrelated reasons and carry the day.”

In recent days, SB 1062 has been the center of widespread, national controversy. News outlets from Slate to CNN have taken positions against the law, overtly or not, and Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, is expected to veto the legislation.

Yet the controversy surrounding the bill — and the distortion of the bill by politicians and the media — seem to have taken Herrod by surprise.

The Center for Arizona Policy first decided to make religious freedom more legislatively clear after the Elane Photography case in New Mexico, where Elaine Huguenin was charged with discrimination for refusing to photograph a same-sex “commitment ceremony.”

“Around the country we saw increased hostility toward people of faith,” Herrod says. “Our understanding was that in the Elane lawsuit, one of the issues was the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act did not apply to the case because the government was not a party to the lawsuit.”

In order to protect religious freedom in Arizona, the Center for Arizona Policy proposed what is now SB 1062 in order to ensure religious freedom protections in cases where the government isn’t involved.

“This does not create any new legal rights,” Herrod says. “It only clarifies that these rights apply to private actions.”

After debate and hearings in both houses of the state legislature, the bill was passed by the Arizona House and Senate on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, respectively.

It was right then that things began to “explode,” as Herrod put it. People in the tourist industry were worried that, following the passage of the bill, tourists would boycott Arizona, in the same way that the state was boycotted after the passage of its controversial immigration bill in 2010.

Then “it snowballed overnight,” as businesses turned sour and the media pushed increasingly ridiculous portrayals of the proposed law.

I asked Herrod if she believes reports that Brewer will veto the law. “It is incredibly difficult for the governor,” she says. “She’s a woman of faith, she’s a woman who’s strong, but the political upheaval has gotten beyond the pale.

As the protest began to dissipate outside her office, Herrod told me that, as she sees it, the perception of the law has now become the reality. But the real issue is “the First Amendment, the first freedom,” Herrod says. “We should have the right to live out our religious beliefs. That’s what’s at stake here, and this is a wake-up call.”

— Alec Torres is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.
That Which America Good is Dissipating
John R. Houk
© February 27, 2014

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Taking Fire In Arizona

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