NEW CANADIAN BILL COULD MEAN JAIL FOR CHRISTIANS WHO REJECT TRANSGENDERISM
Canadians who disavow gender theory could be charged with hate crimes, fined, jailed, and compelled to undergo anti-bias training if the Trudeau Liberals’ Bill C-16 passes, critics told a Senate committee. The Senate could soon vote on the Bill C-16, which adds “gender expression” and “gender identity” to Canada’s Human Rights Code and to the Criminal Code’s hate crime section. Dr. Jordan Peterson and lawyer D. Jared Brown were among those warned the committee the bill is an unprecedented threat to freedom of expression and codifies a spurious ideology of gender identity in law. Meanwhile, Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) has issued an urgent call on Facebook for fasting and prayer that those senators in favour of the bill have a change of heart. As it stands, Bill C-16 is expected to pass. CLC also commended Peterson for proving to be “a hero in this battle.”
A University of Toronto psychology professor, Peterson told the senate committee May 17 that “it’s unbelievably dangerous for us to move towards representing a social constructionist view of identity in our legal system.” He believes “ideologues” are “using unsuspecting and sometimes complicit members of the so-called transgender community to push their ideological vanguard forward,” Peterson said. “The fact that it’s potentially illegal for me not to participate in that is something that I think is absolutely dreadful. It puts a shudder in my heart as a Canadian that we could even possibly be in a situation like that.” Peterson has become Canada’s preeminent critic of the Liberal bill after he produced three videos opposing the enforcement of gender ideology, one of which blasted Bill C-16, which he said “requires compelled speech.”
He also vowed he would not use “genderless pronouns” such as “zir” and “ze” for those who self-identify as gender non-conforming when requested. Since then, the university sent him “two letters to cease and desist in my public utterances because they believed I was violating the university’s standards of conduct and also the relevant provisions” of the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC), Peterson said. The OHRC “explicitly states that refusing to refer to a person by their self-identified name and proper personal pronoun, can be interpreted as harassment,” he said. I think that’s appalling, because there hasn’t been a piece of legislation ever that requires Canadians to utter a particular form of address that has particular ideological implications, and it’s a line we shouldn’t cross.”
Moreover, “the very idea that calling someone a term that they didn’t choose causes them such irreparable harm that legal remedies should be sought,” is an “indication of just how deeply the culture of victimization has sunk into our society.” Bill C-16 also “devolves into absurdity” because the Liberals did not foresee that there would be “an absolute explosion of identities, and also of so-called personal pronouns,” Peterson said. “It has become linguistically unmanageable. Words can’t be introduced into the language by fiat.” Brown said he looked into Bill C-16 when “lawyers and others” criticized Peterson’s very public denunciations of the bill. “What was happening is they weren’t defending the law but downplaying its effects.” As a practicing lawyer, any time a lawyer says, ‘Look away; there’s nothing to see here,’ it gets my antenna way up,” Brown told the Senate
“I’m not an academic. I live with my clients in the land of legal reality and how the law actually works,” he noted. “I know, as a lawyer, that anyone can end up in jail if they breach a tribunal order. It is a simple, civil, contempt-of-court process. People go to jail for this.” The federal department of justice has made clear it will use the OHRC guidelines, and that these “mandate” the use of genderless pronouns on request, Brown said. “Mandating use of pronouns requires one to use words that are not their own that imply a belief in or agreement with a certain theory on gender,” he added. “If you try to disavow that theory, you can be brought before the Human Rights Commission for miss-gendering or potentially find yourself guilty of a hate crime. To sum up, we’re going to have government-mandated speech.” Those who refuse to go along could be “brought before the federal tribunal,” Brown said.
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS PUSH BACK AGAINST HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVISTS
Southern Baptist leaders are standing firm against a coalition of LGBT activists that want them to declare that homosexuality is not a sin. Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore told CBN News that while Southern Baptists believe in the inherent dignity of all people and want to be known for love and compassion “we will not ignore the teachings of Jesus Himself.” He also rejected any question of compromise noting “to minimize or adjust a Christian sexual ethic would be to abandon the very message Jesus handed to us and we have no authority to do this.” Faith in America, a non-profit dedicated to ending what it calls “religious-based prejudice,” has organized the Baptist lobbying campaign at the annual convention in Phoenix with a multi-pronged approach that includes medical professionals, academics and a billboard campaign.
The group is pressuring Baptists around LGBT health issues, charging that Southern Baptist theology physically harms LGBT youth. Spokesman Burns Strider, a long-time faith advisor for the Democratic Party, told CBN News “Our children who are LGBT are being harmed by church and family. I look forward to the day when homosexuality is no longer seen as a sin by so many churches.” Faith in America says research published in 2009 in the well-respected Paediatrics journal shows a link between LGBT youth raised in “condemning households” and their likelihood of attempting suicide versus those raised in “affirming households.” It released a statement saying “LGBT kids raised in condemning religious families are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than their LGBT peers from accepting homes.”
But the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project, says Faith in America misreported the findings. “We did not say that LGBT youth from religiously condemning families were at an 8 times greater likelihood of dying by suicide.” Ryan says one study did show that LGBT young people who were “highly rejected” by their families during their adolescence were more than 8 times as likely to attempt suicide, compared to peers from families that did not reject or only slightly rejected them. Ryan says what’s most important is not a family’s religious beliefs but the behaviours they exhibit towards members that are LGBT. She explained that evangelical families can positively influence health, noting that “family accepting behaviours help to protect against suicidal behaviours, substance abuse and depression and help promote self-esteem and general health.”
Ryan’s research has identified more than 50 “accepting behaviours” which don’t require a theological shift. They include: expressing affection for LGBT youth, listening respectfully to youth talk about their sexual orientation and gender identity, talking with faith leaders about welcoming LGBT people to services and standing up for LGBT youth when others mistreat them. Sing Oldham, spokesman for the Southern Baptist convention, said that this is not the first time that Faith in America has demonstrated at the annual meeting. Faith in America describe their mission as a movement to end “centuries of using religious teachings to justify discriminating against others.” Theologian Dr. Robert Gagnon is applauding Southern Baptists for holding fast to Biblical teaching. “They know that Jesus viewed God’s creation of 2 and only 2 sexes, “male and female” as the foundation for all sexual ethics,” he said.
Saudi Arabia is experiencing a social revolution, in what some Saudi women refer to as seeking to abolish their personal slavery. Its tipping point started with a report written by Human Rights Watch (HRW). Last July, HRW published their findings that the male guardianship system is ‘the most significant impediment’ to equality, and recommended the need to abolish it. It went viral on social media, and a movement began. According to Saudis interpretation of Sharia law, women must have permission from their male guardian for what most countries consider adult privileges. These privileges include traveling outside the house, seeking medical treatment, or renting an apartment. Many in Saudi Arabia believe the male guardianship law is intended to protect women, but others find it stifling.
Freedom-fighting women have pursued greater liberties for a long time in Saudi Arabia. Traction has been slow, but steady. However, the HRW report pointed out that the guardianship system is still dominating even newly gained freedoms. For instance, to vote, a freedom won last year, a woman must have her guardian’s permission. After the publishing of the HRW report, women from across the country joined the social media campaign to express their dissatisfaction with the system. The campaign that began in response to the report is unprecedented although many women are unaware of the report or are too afraid to join the movement or disagree. By the first week of August 2016, more than 170,000 tweets were posted in English and Arabic.
In September last year, more than 14,500 women signed a petition calling for the ending of the guardianship system. A leading women’s rights campaigner delivered the petition to the royal court. The campaign is moving forward, even though Saudi Arabia continues to arrest, prosecute and imprison women’s rights activists. If women are arrested, they need their guardian to agree to their release. Although the Saudi government has still not responded, the country’s most senior religious authority, the Grand Mufti, did. He said the social media campaign is a “crime targeting the Saudi and Muslim society,” and that the guardianship system should remain. But many women believe guardians abuse their power. Still, other women believe the guardianship system does protect them. Let’s pray that the women’s rights’ issue will resolve peacefully.
* that God will deliver justice, dignity and protection to Saudi women and that through this campaign, the Saudi government will seek a solution that gives honour to all members of society.
* that a social media explosion of women wanting to know the truth about Jesus Christ and about having open fellowship as Believers in Jesus would erupt. Pray that they would come to know Jesus Christ as the loving the Guardian of their souls.
* that women will grow as Christian leaders and as voices of freedom for the emerging Saudi church.
MOB THROWS SMOKE BOMBS TO TRY AND STOP MARCH FOR LIFE IN ENGLAND
Red smoke filled the air as pro-abortion activists broke into an enclosure, invaded the stage, and threw smoke bombs before the fourth annual UK March for Life. The small crowd of protesters later blocked the March as it made its way through central Birmingham. They screamed while the pro-lifers sang and prayed. But despite the opposition and the pouring rain, the marchers remained upbeat. “Our witness is a witness of love and joy,” proclaimed the master of ceremonies. Thousands of pro-lifers gathered in Birmingham to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the UK. The day began with Mass at Birmingham Oratory at 9 a.m. and at St. Chad’s Cathedral at 10. The “LifeFest” fair opened at 11:45 a.m. in Birmingham’s Victoria Square with education booths, live music, pro-life merchandise, and street food. The abortion supporters made their first attack before the speeches.
“It was a bit difficult to see over people’s heads, but what seems to have happened is that protesters broke into the front of the enclosure, by the stage,” witness Alithea Williams said. “Apparently, some of them got on the stage and had to be restrained while the organizers called authorities to have them removed. I saw a lot of red smoke go up … I could hear one of the MCs saying, “Get off, you’ll electrocute yourself!” I think they were trying to tear down the sound system.” The speakers included representatives from all nations in the United Kingdom and from Ireland: According to England’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), Rose showed a video about changing minds through education, which “certainly seemed to make some of the pro-abortion protestors watching from the side very uncomfortable.”
Nevertheless, the pro-abortion activists disrupted the March soon afterward, first forcing it to divert and then blocking it completely when it reached St. Philip’s Anglican Cathedral. Police dissuaded the pro-lifers from marching on, apparently fearful that the marchers would be attacked. Footage of the blockade shows pro-lifers singing “As the Saints Go Marching In” to a guitar as whooping, screaming pro-abortion activists run toward the cathedral, cutting them off. As the pro-lifers begin to sing “This Little Light of Mine,” the ragged line of pro-aborts screamed, “Shame on you,” the usual chant about women deciding their fate and the familiar line that pro-lifers don’t care if women die. The protest was so nasty, and it lasted so long, the only thing we could do was kneel and pray, and many of us knelt on the grass and said the rosary,” Anne from Cheltenham told the Catholic Herald’s Corinna Turner.
SUDANESE AUTHORITIES CAMPAIGN TO DESTROY CHRISTIAN CHURCHES
When the southern part of Sudan seceded six years ago it became the nation of South Sudan. Most of Sudan is Muslim and most of South Sudan is Christian, some although Christians still live and worship in Sudan. The government has deliberately sought to weaken the church in Sudan. Ownership of church property has been challenged and Christian pastors have been jailed on trumped up charges. Authorities claim the churches violate the designated purpose for the land but refuse new church buildings while at the same time systematically destroying the ones that exist! Christian Believers have found little recourse for their complaints of unfair and illegal destruction of property. This systematic destruction calls for focused prayer for God’s intervention! Increasingly, Sudan makes the headlines for its violation of human rights. This purposeful destruction of churches is just the latest violation.
Please pray for:
. Government efforts to demolish or confiscate church properties to cease. May God intervene and save His people.
* Wisdom, patience and peace for church leaders and members facing ongoing harassment, unfair treatment, and persecution.
* Those responsible for these acts of hostility and destruction will love mercy, act justly and learn about Jesus Christ and choose to follow Him. Pray too that God would arise and His enemies to be scattered.
TRUMP ANNOUNCES NEW JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS OF CONSERVATIVE JUDGES
The White House has announced a new round of judicial nominations by President Trump, and, once again, conservative groups were hailing the nominations, suggesting the president has stuck to his commitment to appoint jurists who will uphold a conservative “constructionist” view of the Constitution. It’s been clear since he took office that the federal judiciary is undergoing a foundational transformation that will reverberate for decades to come. This is the second round of judicial nominations from the president following the confirmation of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The first round, led by the confirmation of Judge Amul R. Thapar of Kentucky to serve as a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, has already been confirmed by the Senate.