Sunday, September 07, 2014

The 3 - September 7, 2014

In this week's edition of my week-in-review feature, "The 3," there was some heartening news about traditional marriage from a Federal judge this week, but a Federal appeals court struck down marriage laws in two states.  In another court development, the Administration has backed off on appealing some temporary measures in place preventing the contraception mandate from going to effect in certain cases.   And, news concerning Christians in the Middle East continues to raise concerns, as the growth of the ISIS terror organization is causing alarm.

3 - Federal court upholds LA marriage amendment, Federal appeals court strikes down WI and IN marriage laws

Up until several weeks ago, there was seemingly a fairly significant losing streak of court decisions that stated that marriage amendments in various states defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman were unconstitutional.  Then came a ruling from a district judge in Tennessee upholding that state's definition of marriage.  And, this week, a Federal court judge in Louisiana ruled in support of that state's marriage law.

According to Tony Perkins' Washington Update from the Family Research Council, Federal Judge Martin Feldman said, "he was reluctant to throw away centuries of natural, social science, and legal tradition to satiate a radical fringe."

He wrote, "This Court is persuaded that Louisiana has a legitimate interest... whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents."

Perkins went on to say,
Relying on research -- not the Left's misshapen idea of "rights" -- the Reagan appointee was blunt about the danger of chasing the political and cultural winds. "Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental," he said plainly.
He is quoted as saying, "The state of Louisiana has a legitimate interest under a rational basis standard of review for addressing the meaning of marriage through the democratic process."

Later in the week, and not unexpectedly, in light of one particular judge's comments in oral arguments, a Federal appeals court ruled against marriage laws in Wisconsin and Indiana.

CitizenLink reports that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down marriage law in Wisconsin and Indiana.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, was quoted as saying that she was disappointed, but not surprised by the decision.  She pointed out that, "We knew we had the most liberal panel of judges on the 7th Circuit...When they denied the state’s request to have the case heard before all ten judges on the court, we pretty much knew what to expect.”

Appling had harsh words for Judge Richard Posner, one of the three who heard the case. She related that she was in the courtroom and said, "I knew then what the outcome was going to be. Judge Posner in particular made his opinion quite clear. His clarity took a backseat only to his sarcasm.”

According to the WORLD Magazine website, Posner said that only “hate” is behind wanting to order society around one-man-one-woman unions and used the phrase “savage discrimination” to describe it.

2 - Government drops appeals in cases involving contraception mandate

The Alliance Defending Freedom reports that in the face of mounting court losses, the Obama administration Wednesday abandoned its appeals in several lawsuits against the contraception and abortion-pill mandate. The ADF press release states that, "The preliminary injunctions that the federal district courts issued in all of the cases where the administration is dropping its appeals will remain in effect until the cases are litigated to conclusion."

As the release points out, "The surrender means that existing court orders which protect family businesses in those cases from violating their religious beliefs will stand while the lawsuits proceed."  This includes the Hobby Lobby case itself.

ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman is quoted as saying, “The administration was right to abandon its fight against the family businesses involved in these particular cases in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June. In a free and diverse society, we respect the freedom to live out our convictions. For these families, that means not being forced to participate in distributing abortion drugs and devices.”

1 - Christians prepare for threat of ISIS while NATO leaders meet to craft plan to combat the terror group's spread

This week, throughout the Middle East, the threat of ISIS continues to cast a long shadow over the entire region, as NATO leaders met and discussed how their nations would respond to the advancement of this terrorist group.   And, the WORLD Magazine website reported that Christians in Lebanon are now taking steps to protect themselves against the onslaught of the Islamic State.

The report says that,"as Christians flee Syria and Iraq to escape the radical Islamic State, Lebanese Christians are preparing themselves for the possibility of hostilities flowing over their border."  It points out that for the first time since the Lebanese civil war ended in 1990, Lebanese Christians are arming themselves for self-defense, including deploying on hills surrounding their communities, and even lying in ambush.

Vandals spray-painted the walls of several churches in northern Lebanon this past week with the words, “The Islamic State is coming,” after someone posted a video online of boys burning an Islamic flag in a Christian neighborhood in Beirut.

Meanwhile, WORLD reports that President Obama, at a press conference near the end of a two-day NATO summit in Wales, said ISIS (also called Islamic State or ISIL) has an ideology of “extremist nihilism” and is a “savage organization” that must be stopped.

To that end, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with leaders from nine other nations at the NATO summit to forge an international alliance against ISIS. One of the group’s main goals will be to try to cut off the terrorists’ financial resources, the other to provide military support to Iraq as it fights the group. The NATO allies hope to have a plan ready in time for the United Nations’ General Assembly meeting this month.  Issues surrounding fighting ISIS in Syria remain.

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