Lessons on Conscience Protection from the UK

first_imgPublic Discourse 5 August 2013Paul Diamond is a UK-based barrister, and standing counsel to Christian Concern.Over the past twenty years I have witnessed firsthand the steady assault on the rights of citizens in Britain to speak and act according to their conscience. During that time different parts of the British state, including our Parliament, publicly funded organizations, and the judiciary, have opposed and punished the expression of belief and conscience.My American friends are, like me, horrified at this rapid deterioration in personal liberty and freedom in the UK. Most of them believe, however, that the First Amendment would stop such a thing from happening in the “land of the free.”The First Amendment is a magnificent and precious defense of personal liberty, and I hope that my friends are right; but my own experiences represent a cautionary tale for truly liberal-minded Americans. I want to share with you four brief examples from my own legal experience.The first case that drew my attention to conscience restrictions arose in 2001. A street preacher named Harry Hammond went into Bournemouth city center carrying a placard that read, “Jesus Gives Peace, Jesus Is Alive, Stop Immorality, Stop Homosexuality, Stop Lesbianism, Jesus Is Lord.” He set up his placard and, as he started to speak, a crowd surrounded him, pushed him to the ground, threw water and soil at him, and pulled down his sign.The police arrived, noted that Hammond had been attacked, and arrested him for inciting the attack he had suffered. They did not arrest anyone who had assaulted him. He was found guilty, and ordered to pay fines and costs totaling $1,000. Shortly after his conviction he was hospitalized, recovered, but shortly thereafter died.We have a state that prefers and establishes its own system of belief as a form of religion. That same state then prohibits the right of Christians to speak or publicly manifest their religion. Like all religions, secular humanism fails the tests of rationality and logic; it shows unwarranted special animus toward Christians and favors certain other religious groups.http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/08/10611/last_img read more

Facebook’s 50 gender options come to UK users

first_imgThe Telegraph 27 June 2014UK Facebook users can now choose from one of 71 gender options, including asexual, polygender and two-spirit person, following the feature’s successful integration in the US.Users can choose a different gender option from the previous male and female choices by selecting ‘custom’ in the gender tab of their profiles. In addition, people who select a custom gender will now have the ability to choose the pronoun they’d like to be referred to publicly — male (he/his), female (she/her) or neutral (they/their).Facebook worked with UK groups Press for Change and Gendered Intelligence to add 21 new options to ensure the list best reflected the ways UK users may choose to describe themselves.“Gender identities are complex and for many people, describing themselves as just a man or just a woman has always been inadequate,” said Professor Stephen Whittle, vice-president at Press for Change. The European Court of Human Rights has upheld the right to develop our gender identity, as key to our personal autonomy.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/10930654/Facebooks-50-gender-options-come-to-UK-users.htmllast_img read more

Gay Marriage Proponents Won’t Tolerate Dissent

first_imgAleteia.org 29 October 2014Bakers and photographers and Knights of Columbus halls have been threatened with legal action for refusing to cater to weddings of same-sex couples.Now, two ordained Christian ministers in Idaho, where same-sex “marriage” is now legal, face jail and fines for declining to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony.Robert P. George can’t say he’s surprised. The longtime McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said recently that same-sex “marriage” proponents will not allow for religious freedom because their belief system does not allow for the fact that dissenters can be reasonable people of good will.George gave the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s 2014 Diane Knippers Memorial Lecture in Washington, DC on Oct. 16.“The whole [gay marriage] argument was and is that the idea of marriage as the union of husband and wife lacks a rational basis and amounts to nothing more than ‘bigotry,’ reflecting animus against a certain group of people,” he said, according to the Christian Post. “Therefore, no reasonable person of good will, we are told, can dissent from the liberal position on sex and marriage, any more than a reasonable person of good will could support racial segregation and subordination. You’ve heard the analogy drawn a thousand times. And this is because marriage, according to the re-definers, consists principally of companionship — the companionship of people committed to mutual affection and care. Any distinctions beyond this one they condemn as baseless.”http://www.aleteia.org/en/society/article/robert-george-gay-marriage-proponents-wont-tolerate-dissent-5805073074487296last_img read more

CHILD POVERTY & FAMILY STRUCTURE

first_imgCHILD POVERTY & FAMILY STRUCTURE: What is the evidence telling us?Released 7 June 2016Executive SummaryFull ReportMedia Release “Child Poverty: Don’t Mention Family Structure”For additional copies, please contact Family First NZ admin@familyfirst.org.nzlast_img

Rape Victim: Transgender Agenda Creates “Rape Culture”

first_imgThe New American 1 July 2016Kaeley Triller Haver is a 33 year old mother of two young children. She is also a survivor of sexual trauma. Her abuse — at the hands of a man close to her family — began when she was still in diapers and lasted the first 10 years of her life, so she is aware of the need to protect women and girls from the types of men who would prey on them.Last year, she found herself on the politically incorrect side of the issue of transgender access to bathrooms and locker rooms in Washington State. And what she found is that her feelings, her fears, her experiences — like those of so many women and girls — do not matter where this issue is concerned. Everyone is equal; some are just more equal than others. Before it was over, she was fired from her job for not going along with the agenda of the transgender lobby.Kaeley began working at the YMCA as a locker room monitor when she was 15. Over the past 17 years, she had continued working for the organization while going to high school and then college and beyond. In her last position there — communications director — her job was to oversee all communications for nine branch locations covering 120,000 members. Then the YMCA decided to open up its locker rooms and showers on the basis of gender identity. Men would be allowed to use the women’s facilities and no one could stop them or even question them about it.She told The New American that she could not go along with that policy and tried — unsuccessfully — to convince the organization of the dangers:Before this even became a matter of law in Washington, I was working at the YMCA here as a communications director and my boss came to me one day and said, “We’re doing this new policy and it might be controversial and I need you to take this stuff home and go over it and start helping me with the talking points.” What she was talking about was transgender locker room access. And so, I pushed back and I got fired.We asked Kaeley how she “pushed back” and she explained:I said this is not something I can do in good conscience, and here’s why. And for the first time in my life — because it’s not something you talk about at work — I expressed my experience as a survivor of sexual trauma. My abuser liked to watch me in the shower and laugh, and so I was keenly aware of what happens in our locker rooms, and wanting to protect our members. And because of my past experiences, I was hyper-vigilant at the Y. I would regularly conduct sex offender screening — on my own time — to make sure that someone wasn’t getting through that shouldn’t. And every time I would run one of these screenings, I would catch somebody — in November I found three sex offenders who were actively using our YMCA facilities. One of them had a free shower pass, actually. I have sat with parents after their children have been harmed, so I know [how] predators work, so this policy was just not something I could get behind. And I told them all of this stuff and said, “This is why we can’t do this.”One would expect the feelings, experiences, and reasonable observations of a woman who had survived the ordeal of having her most formative years marked by sexual abuse to be taken into account. But this is not how the YMCA responded, according to Kaeley. “My boss looked at me and told me, ‘You know Kaeley, any time I find myself feeling the way that you’re feeling right now, I convince myself that I am being closed-minded,’” she told The New American.Ignoring her warnings, Kaeley recounted, the YMCA decided to instate the policy — without informing members of the change. “That’s when I really began to struggle,” she said, “because I realized that I have friends and family who use those locker rooms and showers and they could end up being confined with a naked male. So I ended up writing a blog post about the transgeneder bathroom issue and I got it published in The Federalist.” The blog post — which has seen nearly viral distribution — was not about the policy at the YMCA. It was about Kaeley’s own traumatic experiences as a child. But it did address the transgender bathroom issue. “I didn’t use the YMCA’s name, but I was fired a week later for inappropriate communication with members,” she told The New American. While no one at the YMCA mentioned the blog post directly, Kaeley said, the timing of her termination made the point clear.What she did not realize at first was that she was caught up in a larger battle. The Human Rights Commission was planning to push through a rule that would essentially open all “public accommodations” across the state on the basis of gender identity. It didn’t take her long to put the pieces together once the new rule was announced. She told The New American:I realized the reason the YMCA was doing this was because they had been clued into the fact that the Human Rights Commission here in Washington — which is a group of five unelected bureaucrats — was going to instate this state-wide mandate — basically a rule functioning as law for the entire state of Washington — and they did this on December 26, 2015 — they quietly enacted a new rule that would require all places with public accommodations in the entire state to open their bathrooms and locker rooms on the basis of gender identity. They didn’t tell anyone about this [ahead of time]. Five people decided for seven million.READ MORE: http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/23541-rape-victim-transgender-agenda-creates-rape-culturelast_img read more

Auckland principals say vaping is reaching epidemic levels among students

first_img“In some communities it is at epidemic proportions. This thing is just exploding in some schools. It seems to be more of an issue in higher-income-community schools.“At some schools we are starting to see over 30 per cent of students have tried it. The percentages of people who are using it regularly are pushing up towards five, six-plus percent and the interesting thing about that statistic, that might seem low, but that’s in schools where smoking has hit basically zero percent.” Mr Dykes said many students mistakenly believed vapes contained only water and flavouring and his school had teenagers who vaped and were addicted to nicotine.READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/auckland-principals-say-vaping-reaching-epidemic-levels-among-studentshttps://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/398672/vaping-a-serious-problem-in-some-auckland-schools-principals Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa said she would introduce a bill on vape regulation to Parliament in a few weeks that will have the ability to prohibit flavours where there are safety concerns. They warn that without firm action New Zealand will have a new generation of people addicted to nicotine.center_img Auckland Secondary Principals’ Association president Richard Dykes said teenage vaping had become a serious problem in some of the city’s schools. TVNZ One News 13 September 2019Family First Comment: “They warn that without firm action New Zealand will have a new generation of people addicted to nicotine…”And to cannabis, if we legalise it. That’s where this is really coming from in the US.#saynopetodope  #potvapingcrisisAuckland secondary school principals are backing the Government’s plan to prohibit vaping flavours where there are safety concerns and say vaping is reaching epidemic levels among their students.last_img read more

Criminals ‘may target children’ if cannabis is legalised

first_imgStuff co.nz 11 September 2020Family First Comment: “Legalising cannabis could lead to gangs targeting younger people on the black market, pose major risks to health and safety and be a gateway to using harder drugs. Christchurch Central candidate Dale Stephens said decriminalising the drug and putting an age limit of 20 on its use would see criminals turning their focus towards children if the market for older people disappeared. Stephens, who was a police officer for 20 years and spent four years investigating drug crime, made the warning during a discussion on the forthcoming cannabis referendum with Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson in Christchurch on Friday.”Legalising cannabis could lead to gangs targeting younger people on the black market, pose major risks to health and safety and be a gateway to using harder drugs, a former police officer and current National Party candidate has warned.Christchurch Central candidate Dale Stephens said decriminalising the drug and putting an age limit of 20 on its use would see criminals turning their focus towards children if the market for older people disappeared.Stephens, who was a police officer for 20 years and spent four years investigating drug crime, made the warning during a discussion on the forthcoming cannabis referendum with Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson in Christchurch on Friday.Davidson, whose party is pushing for legal access to cannabis, argued for it to be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal issue.Prohibition had caused “chaos” for decades and Māori and Pacific people were victims of “systemic racism” by being disproportionately targeted over its use, she said.“This is not about voting for whether cannabis exists or not, because it already does,” she said.“Even in the legal and prohibited status it is already in our communities. We need for drugs to be treated as a health issue, not as a criminal issue.”READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/122743271/criminals-may-target-children-if-cannabis-is-legalised–national-candidateKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

8 tasty twists on potato salad.

first_img Share Share ‘Tis the season to fire up the grill across the country as family and friends unite to feast on festive food. While the burgers and brats are often the stars of the show, some of the best fare can also be found along the side lines — the side dishes.When it comes to sides, there’s not one that’s more delicious or more adaptable than good old potato salad. Whether you like it with mayonnaise or without, with eggs or with a kick of bacon or other goodness, there’s a spud-based salad sure to please. Here are eight great potato salad recipes:Traditional Potato Salad This is about as classic of a recipe as you can get — mayo, celery, and hard-boiled eggs are all in there.Nona’s Potato Salad6 Potatoes, peeled and cubed1 Tablespoon grated onion2 Hard boiled eggs, chopped2 Celery stalks, dicedMayonnaise to taste (about 1/2-3/4 cup)1-2 teaspoons vinegarSalt and PepperBoil potatoes, drain, and chill. Combine with onion, eggs, and celery. Add mayonnaise and vinegar until salad is desired consistency and has the perfect amount of tang. Season with salt and pepper.Here are seven other recipes to try as well:New Potato Salad With Feta Cheese This version uses new potatoes (no peeling required!) and adds the tangy bite of feta cheese for a bit of a Mediterranean twist.Potato Salad With Bacon and Barbecue Sauce This is hearty enough to be a  meal in itself, but also accompanies most dishes well. Creamy and smoky, and perhaps a bit spicy, depending on what kind of barbecue sauce you use, it won’t last long.Simple, Mayo-Free This recipe keeps things simple and uses a dressing of mustard and olive oil with a bit of lemon juice. It’s a nice light version with a lot of taste.Potato Salad With Garlic Mayonnaise and Chives This is my favorite way to serve (and eat!) potato salad. It takes just a few ingredients, but the garlic and the chives make it simply perfect.Warm Potato Salad Instead of chilled versions, this recipe from Paula Deen is served warm or at room temperature. With mustard, onions, peppers, and seasonings, it packs some punch.Texas Mashed Potato Salad No peeling required here either as you start with frozen potato cubes. Courtesy of Sandra Lee, you don’t have to tell anyone it’s just semi-homemade.Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad Even people who think they don’t like potato salad, will be won over by this one. by The_Stir Share 29 Views   no discussionscenter_img Tweet Food & DiningLifestyle 8 tasty twists on potato salad. by: – June 2, 2011 Sharing is caring!last_img read more

The Ministry of Public Works resumes work on phase two of The Rosalie to Petite Soufriere Road

first_img Sharing is caring! Share LocalNews The Ministry of Public Works resumes work on phase two of The Rosalie to Petite Soufriere Road by: – April 1, 2011 Ericson Lewis, Senior Engineer in the Ministry of Public WorksRecommencement of phase two of the Rosalie to Petite Soufriere road resumed on March 28, 2011 and is on-going. The construction of the twenty-five million EC dollar new road is a grant funded project and covers 4.16 kilometres of road work.Officials from the Ministry of Public Works sat with GIS on Wednesday to discuss updates on the construction of this road. Ericson Lewis, Senior Engineer in the Ministry of Public Works said that excavation and drainage work are part of phase two.“We have received one million US dollars (US$1 000 000.00) for continuation of works on this project and have engaged a Venezuelan company, Inversiones JJ, LLC, to undertake these works. We will be undertaking works from both ends. There will be some drainage works to be done on the Rosalie end and following that, within two (2) weeks, we will shift all of the resources to the Petite Soufriere end. So, we expect to see quite a lot of excavation works taking place on the Petite Soufriere end. We intend to excavate close to 1.1 kilometre of road.”Lewis said that currently, only a track exists and once the road is complete, many benefits are expected to be derived as a result of the construction of this new road.“The link road is one of the missing links along the eastern zone of Dominica. Once that is done, we can almost say that the road network will be continuous right through the island. Of course, there are advantages for tourism development, housing, agriculture and joining the community of Petite Soufriere will be a tremendous improvement in our road network.Given the nature of the landscape from Pond Cassé going back to Rosalie, you have some tall cliffs. If there were any slides, that road would act as a possible diversion. Right now if there are any slides along that road, one would have to use the Petite Savanne/Grand Bay link road. Therefore there are numerous advantages of constructing this road and it is going to be a pretty piece of infrastructure when it is completed.”Project Engineer, Adam St. Ville said that the communities of Rosalie and Petite Soufriere should benefit tremendously from this link road. “As we can see, the distance from Rosalie to Petite Soufriere via the new road will be only be 4.16 kilometres, whereas, if we have to pass via Castle Bruce it is between twenty to thirty kilometres. Some of the benefits, as we know that area is a fishing community and persons from the south east: La Plaine down to Grand Fond can benefit. They can easily pass through that road to get access to fish and so on.”by Emmanuel Jospeh Sharecenter_img Share 36 Views   no discussions Tweetlast_img read more

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dominica

first_img Share Share 9 Views   no discussions LocalNews A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dominica by: – September 9, 2011 Sharecenter_img Tweet Sharing is caring! Photo credit: amild.us-blogspot.comAt 11am, a tropical storm warning has been issued for Dominica as Tropical Storm Maria is expected to cross the Lesser Antilles tonight. Rainbands associated with this storm is already affecting Dominica and the southern portion of the Lesser Antilles.A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area…generally within 36 hours.At 2pm, the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 14.3 north…longitude 57.9 west about 210 miles east of Martinique or 240 miles east southeast of Dominica. Maria is now moving toward the west northwest near 14 mph and this motion is expected to continue during the next 24 to 36 hours. On the forecast track…the center of Maria is expected to pass very close to Dominica by later tonight into early Saturday morning, accompanied by pockets of moderate to heavy showers, scattered thunderstorms and storm force winds. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 45 mph with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles mainly to the northeast of the center. Models are forecasting Maria to remain a Tropical Storm as it moves across Dominica. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Dominica and the islands north, through to Puerto Rico and a tropical storm warning is now in effect for Martinique.Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area by later today into tonight. Sea swells is a major concern and are expected to peak up to 5.0 metres by today into Saturday across the island. Reports from buoys east of Dominica indicate that swells will be in excess of 5 meters (16 feet).All users of the sea and residents in coastal areas, especially on the northern and eastern coastlines are advised to take all the necessary precautions.Residents in Dominica are advised to make preparations for the approach of Tropical Storm Maria. We will continue to monitor the progress of this system and keep you updated.Hurricane season in the Atlantic began June 1st and ends November 30th.JUNE 1ST MARKED THE FIRST DAY OF THE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON…WHICHWILL RUN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30. LONG-TERM AVERAGES FOR THE NUMBER OFNAMED STORMS…HURRICANES…AND MAJOR HURRICANES ARE 11…6…AND2…RESPECTIVELY.For updated weather information please call the weather hotline at (767) 4475555.Dominica Meteorological Servicelast_img read more