Former Aussie PM Takes a Headbutt, Presumably Over His Views on Traditional Marriage

It looks like the Crocodile Dundee stereotype of Australians as rough-around-the-edges in all things has a grain of truth, even when it comes to the debate over same-sex marriage in the country. The run-up to the upcoming referendum on marriage appears to have become particularly unconventional and passionate.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was on the receiving end of a bizarre act of violence upon leaving a dinner with proponents of traditional marriage in Tasmania. On the walk back to his hotel, Abbott received a head butt from a man claiming to want to shake the former PM’s hand. You read that right – a head butt.

“I was walking from the Mercury office across that docks area, that beautiful docks area in Hobart, towards my hotel,” Abbott said to Steve Price and Sky News host Andrew Bolt on Melbourne’s 3AW radio on Thursday.

“A fellow sung out at me ‘Hey Tony!’ I turned around, there was a chap wearing a Vote Yes badge. He says ‘I wanna shake your hand’. I went over to shake his hand and then he headbutted me,” Abbott continued. “Now he wasn’t very good at it I’ve gotta say, but he did make contact. The only damage was a very, very slightly swollen lip.”

Thankfully, his staff member “grappled with this guy” before he “ran off swearing his head off basically.”

“It was just a reminder of how ugly this debate is getting,” Abbott said.

Fortunately, Abbott only sustained a fat lip from what could’ve been a horrible assault.

Alex Greenwich, a member of Australia’s parliament and head of The Equality Campaign, condemned the attack on Twitter.

For what it’s worth, the alleged assailant, a DJ named Astro Labe (can’t make this stuff up), who is also an anarchist, claims that the headbutt had nothing to do with the marriage debate.

‘And I shook his hand and I was a little bit too drunk to actually connect particularly well.

‘Apparently he got a fat lip but he didn’t have one this morning.’

Mr Abbott told reporters he suffered minor injuries and was left shocked by the encounter.

Mr Labe said he was wearing a ‘yes’ sticker supporting the same-sex marriage campaign but the attempted headbutt was inspired by a general dislike for Mr Abbott and not one issue in particular.

Regardless of the real motivation behind the assault, the crazy incident just goes to show how out of control politics has gotten, not just here in America, but all over the world.

BREAKING: Trump Administration Sides With Christian in Compelled Speech Case Before the Supreme Court

This is a huge story. The United States Department of Justice has taken the side of Jack Phillips in his case before the United States Supreme Court.

Phillips is a highly artistic baker in Denver who was asked to custom design a cake for a same-sex wedding. Phillips agreed to sell a cake, but declined to do a custom design citing his deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and woman.

The State of Colorado then decided to try to drive Phillips from business with one government official even comparing him to Nazis participating in the holocaust.

This case is somewhat unique in that Philips was willing to reach a reasonable accommodation with the same-sex couple. He was willing to provide a cake. But Phillips was unwilling to use his artistic talents to promote same-sex marriage through his designs. That was not enough to placate the couple or Colorado.

Phillips is petitioning the Supreme Court for redress and the Trump Administration is siding with him. The Department of Justice, in a filing with the Supreme Court, is arguing that under the First Amendment no one can be compelled to use their expressive talents to support a position they disagree with.

SCOTUS Gives Christian Baker, & All Believers, Their Day In Court

George Orwell once said that “if you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” In a few months, the Supreme Court will let Christians know whether the future has arrived.

The Court just agreed to hear a case filed by Jack Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Denver-area bakery. As his attorneys explain, Phillips is not just a baker – he’s an artist:

[Phillips] cakes communicate the important celebratory themes of birthday parties, anniversaries, graduations, and weddings. His faith teaches him to serve and love everyone and he does. It also compels him to use his artistic talents to promote only messages that align with his religious beliefs.

Phillips’ faith trumps business:

He declines lucrative business by not creating goods that contain alcohol or cakes celebrating Halloween and other messages his faith prohibits, such as racism, atheism, and any marriage not between one man and one woman.

That last one won’t fly – not in Colorado, and not in an increasing number of other states, either.

State authorities penalized Phillips under Colorado’s “non-discrimination” statute after he declined the demands of a homosexual couple for a custom cake for their “wedding.” Those penalties include monetary sanctions, for starters. But that’s not all. Phillips’ employees must submit to “comprehensive training” on non-discrimination. The former Soviet Union might have closed its re-education camps, but Colorado’s are open for business.

In fact, the only real discrimination, and bigotry, in this case comes from the homosexual complainants and the government thugs doing their bidding. As Phillips’ attorneys note, Colorado gave a pass to three other bakeries that refused a Christian customer’s request for custom cakes that criticized same-sex marriage on religious grounds. Nor will the government penalize bakers who refuse to bake cakes “bearing a white-supremacist message for a member of the Aryan Nation” or an Islamic baker who refuses to make a cake denigrating the Koran.”

Bakers are free to decline any expression that they find offensive. Unless they’re Christian bakers. Or Christian florists. Or Christian videographers.  Or Christian farmers.

And if the Supreme Court rules against Phillips, you can add every other Christian to that list. The militant homosexuals who hauled Phillips into court did so by bypassing hundreds of Denver-area bakeries that would happily have taken their money. If Phillips loses, that tactic will be repeated in every state and with believers in every profession.

Archbishop Chaput’s maxim has been on full display in the Supreme Court’s gay-rights jurisprudence. In 1986, the Court reaffirmed two millennia of moral teachings and held that “there is no such thing as a fundamental right to commit homosexual sodomy.”

Evil preached tolerance and, in 2004, convinced the Supreme Court that there was such a right.

The judiciary’s decent into abomination has accelerated. Two years ago, the Supreme Court determined that James Madison’s Constitution required state governments to recognize sodomy as a foundation for marriage.

After Evil’s preaching of tolerance won the day, it began demanding conformity. The lower courts have complied and are ordering our brothers and sisters in Christ to facilitate gay weddings.

In a few months, we’ll learn whether the Supreme Court is cool with that.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending Phillips pro bono, produced a video showing Phillips’ quiet resolve in the face of tyranny:

This is what real resistance looks like – the kind Christ commanded of us for such a time as this.

We should pray for Phillips’ victory, of course. But even that will simply delay the inevitable. Decades ago, gay marriage was barely a blip on pollsters’ radar screens. Now, nearly two out of three Americans support gay marriage, so you don’t need to have read Daniel and Revelation to figure out where this is all headed. The mob always demands, sooner or later, that all of us go from tolerating to facilitating its abominations. Aaron caved when the mob demanded a golden calf. Jack Phillips stood his ground when it demanded a cake. Each of us needs to begin deciding which will be our role model for the day when the mob comes knocking on our door, which it surely will.

‘Practicing Catholic’ Joe Biden Officiates Gay Wedding

Last I checked, the pope has not issued a papal bull approving same-sex weddings. To be honest, I haven’t checked at all, because I’m not a Catholic. But Joe Biden is.

“We all practice the same basic faith but different faiths,” said Biden. “I happen to be a practicing Catholic, and I grew up learning from the nuns and the priests who taught me what we used to call Catholic social doctrine. But it’s not fundamentally different than a doctrine of any of the great confessional faiths.”

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Biden officiated the wedding of a DNC staffer. A same-sex wedding. (NTTAWTT, if Biden wants to do it, more power to him. That’s called “tolerance,” by the way. Nobody is forcing him to do it, or not to do it. We might not say the same thing about the baker or the photographer, however. In any case, my political and faith positions against legally-recognized same-sex marriage are well known. But Biden’s argument won’t be with me.)

This isn’t his first rodeo joining two bulls either. Last year, Biden oversaw the nuptials between “Brian and Joe,” two “longtime White House staffers,” at his home.

See, I don’t think Uncle Joe really understands the meaning of being a “practicing Catholic,” and squaring that with his actions. Just to clarify what being a “practicing Catholic” entails, here’s some guidance from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The natural structure of human sexuality makes man and woman complementary partners for the transmission of human life. Only a union of male and female can express the sexual complementarity willed by God for marriage. The permanent and exclusive commitment of marriage is the necessary context for the expression of sexual love intended by God both to serve the transmission of human life and to build up the bond between husband and wife (see CCC, nos. 1639-1640).

And:

For several reasons a same-sex union contradicts the nature of marriage: It is notbased on the natural complementarity of male and female;it cannot cooperate with Godto create new life; and the natural purpose of sexual union cannot be achieved by asame-sex union. Persons in same-sex unions cannot enter into a true conjugal union. Therefore, it is wrong to equate their relationship to a marriage.

And:

There is to be no separation between one’s faith and life in either public or private realms. All Catholics should act on their beliefs with a well-formed conscience based on Sacred Scripture and Tradition. They should be a community of conscience within society. By their voice and their vote, they should contribute to society’s welfare and test its public life by the standards of right reason and Gospel truth. Responsible citizenship is a virtue. Participation in the political process is a moral obligation. This is particularly urgent in light of the need to defend marriage and to oppose the legalization of same-sex unions as marriages.

Nope. Nothing in there about officiating gay weddings. So I guess that closes the book (and the Book) on Biden’s claim to be “practicing” any form of Biblical Christianity. But he’s getting really good at saying things like “you may kiss the groom.”

Ice Cream Dreams: Ben & Jerry’s Latest Social Justice Stunt

Can’t there be just one thing that social justice warriors don’t attempt to ruin for us?

I guess not.

Over in Australia, ice cream parlors are under assault.

See? It’s not just a U.S. thing.

The creators of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream are hoping to use their product as another weapon on the front to force the nation to approve of homosexual marriage.

I’ll admit their approach is novel, although I can’t really say how effective it may be.

Ben & Jerry’s are banning the sale of same-flavored scoops in their 26 stores across Australia. The message here, I suppose, is: No same-sex marriage, no two scoops of Cherry Garcia.

If you’re an Aussie with a taste for Urban Bourbon, you’ll have to consider how that’s going to mesh with Chubby Hubby. Or you’ll settle for a scoop of Blondie Ambition, and a scoop of Phish Food.

The company released this statement:

“We are proud to be standing alongside The Equality Campaign to continue the fight for marriage equality in Australia,” Imogen Rugg, Ben & Jerry’s Australia spokesperson, said in a statement to HuffPost. “Ben & Jerry’s has a long and proud history of commitment to social justice, including LGBTQI rights and marriage equality. This commitment is grounded in our company’s core values and an unshakable belief that everyone deserves full and equal civil rights.”

They’re also establishing a system for supporters to leave messages at their various stores, advocating for homosexual marriage. These messages will be delivered to local lawmakers.

For the time being, homosexual marriage is not legal, but the campaign of SJWs appears to be chipping away at public attitudes.

It’s Basic Bullying 101.

My recommendation for those Aussies who love ice cream, but may not support what Ben & Jerry’s is attempting to force on them, I hope there are other options. You need to find them, use them, and deprive Ben & Jerry’s the monetary clout they have, which they feel entitles them to engage in such activities.

In our lives, there will be situations that test our principles. They shouldn’t be traded off for something as frivolous as ice cream.

No, a Study Did Not Show That Same-Sex “Marriage” Laws Reduce Teen Suicide Rates

In case you thought that a recent study paraded by CNN and other news outlets as proof positive that same sex marriage has saved scores of young people’s lives everywhere, William M. Briggs has the answer. It’s not what the media thinks.

Briggs holds a Ph.D. from Cornell in statistics. You (and the main stream media) need to read this. The media especially needs to read it lest they embarrass themselves any further.

Think: putting Ebola in the model works equally well with gmarriage to explain the data. So do the disasters of those crashing Malaysian airliners, or the fighting in Ukraine and Crimea. So does the 2014 Winter Olympics! And the death of sad-funny-man Robin Williams (all mentioned by ABC).

Or any of an uncountable number of events. The truth is the data do not say, and cannot say, what caused the observed changes. It is sloppy statistics — it is bad science, period — to suggest the one thing the authors thought of had to be the one and only cause of the changes.

Betsy DeVos Opposed Ending Obama School Bathroom Mandate

The Trump Administration issued an order earlier this week ending the Obama era policy of federal micromanagement of public school bathrooms. As he issued the order, President Trump reportedly received opposition from a surprising source: newly confirmed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Both CNN and the New York Times cite sources within the Administration who say that Mrs. DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions were in conflict over the initial draft of bathroom order. Both the Justice and Education Departments were initially in agreement that the Obama policy was an improper federal overreach into state and local matters. In a joint letter, the two departments said that Obama’s policy was enacted “without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy.”

Mr. Sessions and the Justice Department favored a swift reversal of the policy to head off two pending Supreme Court cases that cover transgender bathroom usage. The possibility of a ruling by the high Court that would lock the Obama policy into place made it necessary to act before the cases came to the Supreme Court. The Court was scheduled to hear one of the bathroom cases in March.

The Times cited three Republicans who said that Mrs. DeVos initially resisted signing onto the Trump Administration order on the grounds that it might cause harm to transgender students. DeVos and Sessions clashed over the order and eventually took their disagreement to President Trump. Trump sided with Sessions and reportedly gave Mrs. DeVos the option of supporting the order or resigning.

DeVos eventually gave her assent to the order, but released a separate statement that said, “We have a responsibility to protect every student in America and ensure that they have the freedom to learn and thrive in a safe and trusted environment. This is not merely a federal mandate, but a moral obligation no individual, school, district or state can abdicate. At my direction, the department’s Office for Civil Rights remains committed to investigating all claims of discrimination, bullying and harassment against those who are most vulnerable in our schools.”

The incident has caused some on the right to suspect that DeVos is soft on resistance to the gay rights movement. Red State pointed out that her political advisor, Greg McNeilly, is in a same-sex marriage and is a LGBT activist. In the Advocate, McNeilly said that DeVos and her husband went “out of their way to show affirmation” for his marriage and views.

“She would say it’s a part of her faith,” said McNeilly in the New York Times. “Her faith teaches her to be tolerant. And like most of America, she’s evolved.”

The New York Times also reported that DeVos’s support for gay rights goes back to the 1990s when she intervened to allow a transgender woman (a biological male) to use the women’s restroom at a Republican call center in Michigan.

John Truscott, a Republican political consultant who worked with DeVos’s husband, Dick, told Buzzfeed in January, “Betsy is supportive of gay marriage.” The Times reported that Betsy DeVos urged other Michigan Republicans to sign a Supreme Court brief in favor of same-sex marriage in 2015, but did not sign herself.

Ironically, LGBT activists opposed the confirmation of DeVos because they considered her a threat to gay rights and accused her of supporting groups that promoted therapy for people with a homosexual orientation. Politifact rated those charges as “mostly false.”

DeVos is apparently one of a growing number of Republicans, particularly from outside the Bible Belt, that support gay rights. President Trump seems to be a member of this group as well, even proudly waving an LGBT flag at a campaign rally last fall. Trump told the publisher of the gay newspaper, Bay Windows, earlier this month that there would be “more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians.”

The establishment of pro-gay curriculums in many schools, including the entire state of California, has caused conflict with many parents who believe that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are immoral. The new revelations about Mrs. DeVos’s views on gay rights may cause many conservatives to wonder whether her sympathy for gay rights will outweigh her desire to return control of schools back to local school boards and parents.

 

Coming State Battles Over Same-Sex Marriage Could Be Huge Opportunity for Conservatives

Despite the political focus on same-sex marriage, arguably the most disastrous marriage policy – no-fault divorce – was implemented, with bipartisan support, 40 years ago. However, arguing against the devastation caused by no-fault divorce laws will require conservatives to do some soul-searching about our own failings. If the current rumblings about marriage privatization as a means to resist a Supreme Court mandate on same-sex marriage materialize into concrete policy, it will provide the perfect opportunity for conservatives to contract around liberal divorce laws that undervalue the principle of marital permanence in their own marriages.

What is Fault Divorce?

Prior to the 1970s, most state laws recognized only fault divorce: in order to obtain a divorce, the divorcing spouse had to prove the “fault” of the other spouse in court. In non-legalese, in order to break the marriage contract, the divorcing spouse had to show good reason – wrongdoing by the other party. The grounds for granting divorce differed in each state, but the four most common, legally-accepted reasons were adultery, abandonment, abuse, and felony conviction. The most common reason given today, “irreconcilable differences,” was not accepted as a legal ground for divorce.

While the earliest known no-fault divorce regime was enacted in post-revolutionary Russia in 1918,[1] the first no-fault law in the United States was passed in California in 1969. It was signed by none other than then-Governor Ronald Reagan, reacting to the pain of having to accept a court designation of “mental cruelty” in order to obtain his own divorce in 1948.  He later called it one of the biggest mistakes of his political career, but other states followed at whirlwind speed; by 1987 some form of no-fault divorce was available in all 50 states.

The effect of no-fault divorce has been devastating and nearly as immediate as its high-speed implementation. Although proponents insisted that the reforms would not increase divorce rates, and would instead merely make divorce less acrimonious to the benefit of children, the divorce rate nearly doubled from 27 percent in 1965 to 48 percent in 1975, after the vast majority of no-fault laws were on the books.[2] (The New York Times dishonestly quotes the marginal fall in divorce rates from 1979, well after most no-fault laws were in place, to today in support of the policy.)

While there were certainly other factors in play as the “free love” principles of the sexual revolution metastasized in the 1970s, it seems likely that the sudden increase in divorce rates was connected to the liberalization of divorce laws and consequent cultural acceptance of divorce.  While fewer than 20 percent of couples who married in 1950 divorced, about 50 percent of those who married in 1970 did so. The American divorce rate, despite going through ups and downs throughout its history, never broke 30 percent until the introduction of no-fault laws.[3]

To be clear, the fault divorce system still allowed couples to divorce under the most extreme circumstances, including violence, substance abuse, infidelity, or abandonment. What it did not do was give legal imprimatur to what are now culturally-accepted, but ultimately frivolous, reasons for marriage dissolution, such as adult unhappiness that does not rise to the level of abuse or infidelity.

Contractual opt-outs for those who want conservative marriages

Although many conservatives have brought up some serious challenges to those advocating the privatization of marriage, there is an upside for conservatives that many neglect: the ability to contract around liberal divorce laws in our own marriages in a privatized system. I’ll confess to having some skin in the game; with my own wedding approaching in July, I would very much like to legally obligate both my fiancé and myself to the traditional marital order. In our “Eat, Pray, Love” culture, which celebrates abandonment of martial vows and family obligations on the heady whims of emotional fulfillment, it would benefit conservative couples to unambiguously lay out from the beginning that “putting asunder” is only an option in the most extreme circumstances.

University of Virginia marriage researcher W. Bradford Wilcox wrote in National Affairs:

In this new psychological approach to married life, one’s primary obligation was not to one’s family but to one’s self; hence, marital success was defined not by successfully meeting obligations to one’s spouse and children but by a strong sense of subjective happiness in marriage — usually to be found in and through an intense, emotional relationship with one’s spouse.

Explicitly placing the principle of permanence at the legal heart of our own marriages would stand as an example to the larger culture, as well as probably helping to reduce the red-state divorce rate. While the Supreme Court bolsters the liberal marriage culture by defining the importance of marriage for those who “seek to find its fulfillment for themselves,” opting out of no-fault divorce will allow conservatives to put their money where their mouths are and place marital stability and children’s outcomes before chasing personal happiness. As the late, great, Andrew Breitbart was fond of saying, politics is downstream from culture. That the Republican front-runner is a twice-divorced unrepentant philanderer should be a wake-up call for all of us that the liberal marriage culture has hit Americans, even those generally in the conservative camp, hard. Regardless of their opinions on privatizing marriage, conservatives should seize the silver lining privatization offers to lead a resurgent marriage culture.

 

[1] No-Fault Divorce: Born in the Soviet Union?, David Bolas, 14 Family L. J. 31 (1975); “The Russian Effort To Abolish Marriage”, The Atlantic Monthly, July 1926, p. 108-114.

[2] Austin Caster, Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Not Repeat the Errors of No-Fault Divorce, 38 W. St. U. L. Rev. 43, 46 (2010)

[3] Id.