News

Religious freedom supporters are awakening all around the world!

July 31, 2018

“Religious freedom is a universal aspiration, and its supporters are awakening,” said USAID Administrator Mark Green at the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom last week. Samuel Brownback, the Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, agreed. He thinks nations are tearing down the Iron Curtain that has prohibited religious freedom. A burst of religious freedom is hopefully on its way!

“Ensuring religious freedom around the world is a key priority of the Trump Administration’s foreign policy,” declared U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who hosted the Ministerial. Since it’s a key priority, the U.S. invited over 175 civil society representatives and more than 100 religious leaders from around the world to create an action plan for ending religious persecution and to inspire commitment toward religious freedom.

The first day of the Ministerial (aka a meeting with government ministers) was focused on equipping and empowering civil society organizations that spread religious freedom. The organizations learned how they can access U.S. grants to help support their efforts. Senior U.S. government officials also provided an overview of their foreign policy goals regarding religious freedom.

The second day involved speeches by religious leaders representing every corner of the world. Breakout sessions included discussions about countering violent religious extremism, the connection between religious freedom and economic prosperity, and best ways to provide support to religious persecution victims.

The third day brought together government authorities and international organization representatives from over 80 counties. They participated in sessions about global challenges to religious freedom. Delegations announced their new plans and commitment to protect religious freedom.

At the end of the 3-days, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the U.S. has now established a Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program and is also launching an International Religious Freedom Fund. The Potomac Declaration was also unveiled. It’s a Declaration of Religious Freedom that comes across as strong as the Declaration of Independence. The accompanying Potomac Plan of Action sets forth the important work to be done.

Throughout the three days, survivors of religious persecution also shared their stories.

One woman spoke of her many family members in Iran who have been incarcerated for many years because they follow the Baha’i faith. Their family farm—which belonged to the family for hundreds of years—was deliberately demolished.

Two other women, Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh, told their story of converting to Christianity and then being arrested and sent to one of Iran’s most notorious prisons for nearly a year. They were threatened with execution unless they denied their faith in Jesus Christ, which they wouldn’t do. The women said they endured only because of their personal relationship with Jesus and the love of God they had experienced. Fortunately, they were released because Christian ministries, international organizations, etc., put too much pressure on the Iranian government, but unfortunately, religious persecution continues in Iran.

A Muslim man named Qasim Rashid explained that it was Election Day today in Pakistan, yet the Ahmadiyya Muslim community is not allowed to vote because of their religion.

A woman named Ji Hyeona was in the audience, and Mike Pence told her story. She had been imprisoned and tortured in North Korea simply for carrying a Bible. When she tried to escape, the North Korean authorities forced her to have an abortion.

Nadia Murad, a part of the Yazidi faith community, was also in attendance, and Mike Pence described how she had been taken captive by ISIS and was forced to endure the “most degrading form of human slavery” before escaping.

After hearing such heart-breaking testimonies, Bryan Hook, the Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State, said these stories underly the importance of the work being done to promote religion freedom: the work is critical so that we no longer have victim stories like these.

Such work is also critical for protecting freedom as a whole. Mark Green said our Founders enshrined freedom of religion into our Constitution from the very first lines of the Bill of Rights: religion is America’s first liberty. It first must exist, or else our other freedoms will be lost.

Hopefully, many more will be awakened to that fact.  Johnnie Moore, a commissioner for a governmental body that defends the universal right to freedom of religion world-wide, dubbed last week’s Ministerial the “first-ever Super Bowl for religious freedom.” Now that people are pumped up and awake, religious freedom might start ringing through every nation.

At least, that’s our prayer. Please join us in praying for an end to religious persecution and an influx of religions freedom.

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

Illegal immigrants can now vote to shape education in CA—let’s hope Colorado doesn’t follow suit

July 25, 2018

Apparently, San Francisco, California thinks that you no longer need to be a U.S. citizen to have the right to vote. Come this November election, immigrants who are here illegally can show up at the voting booth to shape the direction of education in San Francisco. Wait a second…let me get this straight…those who are breaking the rules get to vote on and make the rules? This can’t be good.

In the November 2016 election, Californians voted to allow non-citizens to vote. The Charter of the City and the County of San Francisco was amended to allow San Francisco residents “who are not United States citizens but who are the parents, legal guardians, or caregivers of a child residing in San Francisco to vote in elections for the Board of Education.” That amendment will now be implemented for the first time in this year’s upcoming election.

Doesn’t that break Federal law, which declares non-citizens are not allowed to vote? Actually…no. It’s true that Federal law proclaims that non-citizens cannot vote to elect any Federal offices, such as the President, Vice President, Senator, Representative, etcetera. However, non-citizens are authorized to vote in other types of elections—such as a city election for a Board of Education—if a State constitution, statute, or local ordinance allows it. So, that’s how San Francisco is getting away with this craziness.

To be fair to San Francisco, this isn’t without precedent. Up until the 1900s, non-citizens were allowed to vote in most states, and currently, a city in Maryland allows non-citizens to vote in city elections.  Nonetheless, it does not make sense to allow people who are here illegally to vote.

Those who are all gung-ho about non-citizens voting say the intention is not to allow illegal aliens to vote but to give a vote on local matters to legal non-citizens who are permanent residents. If it’s true that the intent is not to allow illegal immigrants to vote, then why doesn’t the amendment simply clarify that only legal non-citizens can vote? Instead, the wording of the amendment leaves it completely open for illegal immigrants to vote.

Also, why in the world will there be an “important notice” on the San Francisco ballot, warning people that their information will be public and immigration officers might find out about them? Doesn’t that imply San Francisco is expecting illegal immigrants to come vote? I think it’s crystal clear what the intention is—it’s about opening the ballot door to illegal immigrants.

Now, before some liberal yells that we’re being racist for not wanting illegal immigrants to vote, this isn’t about race. This is about whether someone is breaking the law to be in America or not. The U.S. Constitution declares the right to vote is not to be “denied or abridged on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Yes and amen. We’re not advocating that people should be denied the right to vote based on their race, but based on their legal status in America.

Those who disrespect the law by being here illegally should not have the right to shape our nation’s laws. If they truly respect America and our rule of law, they can prove it by becoming a citizen or being here legally.

That means we also need to promote immigration reform that gives a clear pathway to citizenship to the lovers and respecters of our country. The muddied, near-impossible, red-taped path to legal residency and citizenship needs cleaned up. However, while we’re working to clean it up, we cannot just start allowing those who took the illegal shortcut to vote.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Please send us a message and let us know what you’re thinking!

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

Is the Supreme Court Nominee Part of the Swamp or Part of an Experienced Pool?

July 17, 2018

Some conservatives are concerned that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is part of the Establishment Swamp. After all, he’s lived in Washington a long time, attended Yale Law School, worked on the team that investigated Bill Clinton, served as a close aid to President George W. Bush, and judged on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for over ten years. But does that make him “swampy”—or experienced?

These days, we’re often immediately suspicious of anyone who has worked in D.C. for a long time. And with good reason. Corrupt career politicians are a serious concern. In fact, one of the main reasons people voted for President Trump is so he would clean out the Establishment Swamp.  However, an NBC article claims that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination reveals that President Trump is not so anti-establishment when it concerns the highest court of the land. Similarly, Fox News legal analysist, Andrew Napolitano, argues that President Trump is no longer being faithful to his campaign promise to drain the swamp.

If President Trump is anti-establishment for every position except the role of judge, does that make him unreasonably inconsistent and unfaithful to his campaign promise? Maybe there’s good reason behind the so-called inconsistency. What if he realizes there’s an important distinction between the judiciary and the other branches of government?

Being a part of the judiciary branch requires deep knowledge of history, law, and the Constitution, while that knowledge might not be as necessary for the other branches. Way back when our Constitution was being drafted and ratified, Alexander Hamilton argued in Federalist Paper 78 that Supreme Court justices must know an extremely large bulk of cases and precedents, which demands “long and laborious study to acquire a competent knowledge of them.” That means there are very few people in society who have sufficient skill and knowledge to qualify them for the stations of judges. Plus, skill and knowledge aren’t the only things needed to be a judge. Hamilton declared that integrity must be united with knowledge. But since human nature is often corrupt, it’s hard to find someone with the necessary integrity to be a judge. We are thus left with a very small pool of people capable of being a judge.

And the people capable of being a judge might be those who have gained experience and knowledge by being in D.C., attending an Ivy League school, and serving on other courts for a long time. We don’t necessarily want that from our Representatives and Senators—we want them to live normal lives, with normal businesses, so that they can represent us better. We don’t want them being entangled for long in D.C., making a career out of politics. That’s not the example George Washington set. He set the example of serving for a limited time in politics and then returning to his own “vine and fig tree” to be a normal, private citizen again.

Perhaps for the judiciary branch though, we don’t need normal, everyday citizens on the bench. The judiciary branch does not represent us or popular opinion—they represent the Constitution. Our Supreme Court justices thus need a specialized set of knowledge of law, and since their station is for life, we must be more certain that they’re the right pick. We need to be able to examine their past dealings and rulings, so in a way, they need to be people who have been working in D.C. for a while. They must be people whose integrity has been tested and tried repeatedly, and people who have endured long and laborious study over the years. Justices can’t be “normal.”

What do you think? Is Brett Kavanaugh swimming in a swamp or a clear pool of experience? Has his many years in D.C. trained him to be a competent judge, or a corrupt one?

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

A Conservative Movement led to American Independence

July 4, 2018
It’s rather ironic that we’ve dubbed America’s War for Independence a “Revolutionary War,” because in many ways it was not “revolutionary.” Rather, it was a conservative movement, attempting to preserve and respect the good parts of the past.
​To better understand that the War for Independence was not technically a “revolution,” but a conservative movement, it helps to compare it with the French Revolution, which was a revolution in every sense of the word!​

John Quincy Adams liked how the German conservative, Friedrich Von Gentz, described the major differences in his 1800 book titled, The Origins and Principles of the American Revolution, compared with the Origin and Principles of the French Revolution.

Gentz showed that the French revolution was violating old rights and trying to create radical, arbitrary rights out of thin air. Essentially, the French invented grand wishes based on their feelings and called their wishes “rights.”

In contrast, the American colonists were just trying to preserve their previously-established  rights as British citizens. They even wrote to the king that “We ask only for peace, liberty and security…we demand no new rights.” To put it in modern terms, they were not whining for socialized medicine, or demanding that everyone should have equal possessions and no private property, or asking for more social welfare without having to lift a finger. They just wanted their essential rights.

Another difference is that the French revolutionists went wild: they made arbitrary laws, stole property from the rich, murdered royalty, robbed the clergy’s possessions, etc., and it eventually led to Robespierre’s Reign of Terror and  Napoleon’s dictatorship. The French revolutionists had a “thirst for destruction,” Gentz said.

The American colonists, on the other hand, kept themselves within the bounds of their previously-established rights and natural law. They first attempted a peaceful solution for many years and didn’t want to go to war. They wanted preservation, not conquest, and were defending themselves, not attacking, as Gentz described.  They finally had to resist though, because King George III and the British Parliament continued to tighten the American colonists’ chains.

The British Parliament chained up the American colonists in the form of taxes. Gentz proclaimed the only purpose of the taxes was to make the “colonies feel their chains.” In other words, the taxes were an attempt to make America bow down at the feet of Parliament. But for all the previous years, Parliament didn’t even have control over the colonists! An essential right of British citizens was that they could not be forced to pay taxes unless their own representatives established them. Since the colonists did not have representation in Parliament, they had not been under Parliament’s authority–they were just under the authority of the king and his governors.

Instead of the British Parliament, almost all American colonies had their own representative assemblies, which basically functioned like small American parliaments. In England, legislative and executive powers were split between the king and parliament, but in America, the powers were split between the king and America’s representative assemblies, as Gentz explained. The king could only levy taxes if the American representative assemblies agreed. So, when the British Parliament declared the Stamp Act, tea tax, etc., Parliament was violating the rights of Americans.

The American colonists were accustomed to self-government–it’s the system they grew up in. There was a “long established chartered right of the colonies to govern themselves,” as Russel Kirk explained in his book the Roots of American Order. But when Parliament enacted one tax after another, they were putting an end to America’s old, constitutional ways of self-government.

That means the “Revolutionary” War prevented a revolution. The Crown was revolutionizing the system of government in America. When the American colonists resisted, they were stopping a “royal revolution,” as Kirk put it.

In the Olive Branch Petition to the king, the colonists said they wanted nothing more than the “restoration of the former harmony.” When the king refused to restore the former harmony, the American colonists were left with no other choice than staying chained with their rights stripped away, or fighting to conserve their self-government and way of life.

They chose the conservative route by fighting to preserve their inherited rights and liberty. As a result, we now get to celebrate being a free, independent country with our rights maintained.

Have a happy Independence Day!

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

What is a conservative?

June 25, 2018

We throw around the word “conservative” a lot. Perhaps the term has lost its meaning from overuse and from Leftist abuse of the word. So, what does it actually mean to be a conservative? If you’ve titled yourself a conservative, how would you respond if someone asked you, “What do you mean by that?”

Russel Kirk, a 20th century political theorist and historian, attempted to describe what is meant by the term conservatism, defining it by ten principles. You can find the principles in his book, The Politics of Prudence, or here, but below is a short, paraphrased summary so that you’re ready to go the next time someone asks you to describe conservatism.

1. Conservatives believe in permanent moral truth. Society will fall if it’s based on self-interest or social controls: moral order is needed instead. Even if a nation has a perfect constitution, if the people do not have a sense of right and wrong, a good society will not be possible.

2. Conservatives observe custom and tradition, believing that traditions help people live together in harmony. They believe that such things as order, justice, and freedom come from centuries of trial and error and from people making necessary sacrifices, so we should not be in such a hurry to change the way things are. Some change will obviously be necessary, but it should come about gradually and with discernment—not by radically overthrowing all the customs of the past in such a mad rush that the baby is thrown out with the bathwater!

3. Conservatives do not make decisions based on one person’s private rationality and judgement. Instead, they know the human race has inherited wisdom from previous generations, and it’s important to follow the rights and morals they established. “Conservatives sense that modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time,” as Kirk expresses.

4. Conservatives are prudent: they don’t rush into sudden and disruptive reforms without weighing the consequences. Unlike liberals, conservatives know that society is complex and there are no simple, quick remedies, so conservatives first think long and hard before trying to change something.

5. Conservatives prefer variety and diversity instead of the “narrowing uniformity” of liberals, as Kirk states. Liberals try to level everyone to the same status; they think “equality” means “sameness,” and thus there can be no authority, no one who has more than someone else, etcetera. In contrast, conservatives realize that people are equal before God and the law, but that does not mean we should have equality of outcome, pay, or class. It’s okay for there to be natural and institutional differences between people, differences in wealth, etcetera.

6. Conservatives are aware that humans will never be perfect while on earth. They know that trying to make a utopia always ends in tragedy. Kirk says the “ideologues who promise the perfection of man and society” have turned the world into a “terrestrial hell.”

7. Conservatives advocate for personal property, for we know it helps protect freedom, teaches responsibility, and helps people stay out of poverty. Keeping the fruits of one’s labor—instead of it being stolen by government—improves culture and society as a whole.

8. Conservatives perceive the vast importance of voluntary community and local governance and do not want a centralized authority to take over the functions and duties of the local community. Living in community is how people learn to love their neighbors, and a nation can only be strong if the numerous little communities throughout the nation are strong.

9. Conservatives restrain power and human passions by using political checks and balances, enforcement of laws, Constitutional restrictions, etcetera. Since human nature is a mix of evil and good, conservatives do not trust someone to always do the right thing. There’s always a possibility power can be used for evil, so no one person, or small group of people, should have a monopoly on power. Limiting and balancing power is the way to go.

10. Conservatives are not against progress and prudent reform. After all, people will stagnate without change. However, conservatives also respect their heritage and history. Progressives think that everything new is automatically superior, but conservatives believe that some of the old is instead superior. Conservativism strives to reconcile and balance both permanence and change.

So, what do you think of Kirk’s ten principles? Are there any other conservative principles that need added to the list? Let us know what you think!

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

The Taliban Killed a Trump Supporter—Can it Happen in America?

June 6, 2018

An Afghanistan tribal elder, Gul Nabi, helped make a medal in support of President Trump. Apparently, that meant he had to die, according to the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Back in January, a gathering of about 300 people in Afghanistan decided to pay for a medal to be crafted and delivered to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for President Trump, as reported by a leading TV station in Afghanistan. The medal had the following words etched on it: “Bravery Medal from the people of Afghanistan to Donald Trump, the President of the U.S.”

Gul Nabi made the medal, and now the Taliban has killed Nabi with a bomb. An Afghan Local Police commander, Farhad Akbari, also helped raise funds for the medal, and he is fleeing the country so that he will not be killed too.

The official website of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan proclaims that Nabi’s support of the medal for Trump was “appalling.” The Taliban said Nabi had to face the dire consequences of his action.

The Taliban sure has a strange definition of “appalling.” What’s really appalling is that the Taliban thinks making a medal for President Trump deserves a brutal death sentence!

Before you think that nothing like that could ever happen in America, consider the violent threats that some Trump supporters here have received. When Kanye West came out in support of President Trump, the American rapper Daz Dillinger called for the deadly Crip gang to “F*** Kayne up.”

Award-winning recording artist Joy Villa is a proud supporter of President Trump, and as a result, she has been pounded with hate mail and has received death threats.

At a 2016 Trump rally in San Jose, protesters threw eggs and water balloons at Trump supporters, and even started punching them.

U.S. Representative Martha McSally received death threats from Steve Martan, because he was upset the representative supported President Trump.

And it goes both ways. A quick Google search reveals reports of violence by Trump supporters, too.

It’s time for such threats to end. If we don’t stop now, down the road perhaps it will not be mere threats—people will actually get killed for their political views, as happened in Afghanistan. We must slam on the brakes and stop America from going down that road. How? We can be intolerant toward wrong political ideas, but we must be tolerant toward people. We can put to death wrong views using sound reason and evidence, but we must not strike down people. We should engage in robust debate, not robust punching!

Here’s our challenge for the day. Go out and find someone who has complete opposite views when it comes to religion or politics. Take them out for coffee and ask questions about their views. Respond with your own views, and remember that solid evidence will speak loudly enough, so we don’t have to raise our voices in shouts. If it’s on Facebook, respond without using ALL CAPS or calling people names. Let’s set an example for others—let’s show that we can disagree without yelling at people, smearing them, or punching them. Let’s show we can disagree without hate.

Let’s demonstrate that we can still “love thy neighbor,” even while disagreeing with our neighbor about who should be president!

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

Here’s How You Can Prevent Government Tyranny

May 24, 2018

Every day, it seems that government finds something new to control. It’s invading our businesses, our family life, our healthcare—you name it, and government probably controls it. Our democracy is turning into a democratic despotism, with the government or the majority having absolute power. We should’ve heeded Alexis de Tocqueville’s advice back when he wrote Democracy in America in the 1800s. He had the solution to prevent a tyrannical government, and perhaps it’s not too late to enact his solution and turn back the tide of tyranny. But you have to be willing to come out of your hole and associate with others!

First off, how has government gained so much power? As Tocqueville explained, in a democratic society, “all men are independent of each other, isolated and weak.” In an aristocratic society, people have permanent and obligatory associations based on what groups they’re born into. In a democracy though, people can choose to come together or not. If people don’t come together, they’re too isolated from others and cannot lean on others for assistance. That means they’ll start to lean on government instead. If people try to be independent from those around them, they’ll end up being dependent on government.

If people are isolated from each other, they’re too weak as individuals to protect themselves from an encroaching government. Government will constantly intrude “into the minutest details of human actions,” as Tocqueville warned. Government will take each “individual one by one into its powerful hands” and mold each person as it pleases. Tocqueville declared government might not violently tyrannize, but it will hinder, repress, extinguish, and turn citizens into “nothing more than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

Our government may not seem harsh and tyrannical on the surface, yet it has power that can control and manipulate even the smallest details of a citizen’s life.

So, how do we prevent a despotic government turning us into nothing but a flock of timid animals? Tocqueville’s solution is that we must unite together in voluntary associations. The “art of uniting” can defend and preserve freedom. Associations are a dam that holds back the wave of tyranny.

If U.S. citizens want something done, they can combine forces with others who have the same goals and views. “From that moment they are no longer isolated men, but a power seen from afar, whose actions serve for an example…” as Tocqueville explained. He went on to say that each association then defends its own authority and rights “against the encroachments of the government,” which “saves the common liberties of the country.”

Tocqueville observed Americans forming associations to construct churches, send missionaries, build industries, and create hospitals and schools. If citizens unite to accomplish what needs done in a community, then government will not need to come help. For instance, we’d no longer need government welfare if people united in a charitable association that provided for the poor.

How does this apply to you? You can do your part in preventing a tyrannical government by being involved in your community! Don’t be an isolated individual or else you’re easy prey for government intervention. We don’t need government to solve all our problems—we just need each other.

The American experiment of freedom is fragile, and it takes all of us to keep it from breaking. Please join us in a voluntary coalition of citizens! Together, we can unite against an encroaching government.

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

 

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

Did the State or Alfie Evans’ Parents Know Best?

May 10, 2018

It’s a good thing we broke from British rule. Apparently, courts in Great Britain think that hospitals can hold children hostage from their parents. The parents of Alfie Evans lost their right to make medical decisions for their son.

Alfie Evans died a couple weeks ago after being in a semi-vegetative state for a year due to an undiagnosed disease. The hospital decided to take Alfie off life-support and even take away his feeding tube. When his parents objected, the hospital didn’t care—they were going to do it anyways. A hospital in Italy volunteered to provide treatment for Alfie, but the Britain hospital refused to release Alfie to his parents’ care. Alfie’s parents took the issue to court, but the court ruled that the hospital was right, and Alfie’s parents were barred from taking him abroad.

Not everyone with power in Britain agrees with the decision. Lord David Alton declared: “I am not alone in believing that when British law can displace the rights of parents then British law must be changed.”

The parents of Alfie Evans just wanted the freedom to take their own son to Italy for treatment. They just wanted to give their son a fighting chance to stay alive. Is that too much to ask?

Apparently, it is. The court ruled it was not in the “best interests of the child” to go abroad for treatment. Why does the court get to decide what is in the best interests of the child, instead of his parents? Claire Fenton-Glynn, a legal scholar at the University of Cambridge, explains that in Great Britain, if parents and doctors can’t agree on medical care, “it is up to the court to decide—on a purely objective basis—what is in the best interest of the child.”

It makes me laugh to think that a court could ever be purely objective! Some would argue the parents cannot make a rational, objective decision because they are too emotional—they’re too close to the situation to be “objective” about it. However, that is exactly why the parents are the best ones to decide the fate of their child—they’re the closest to him and the situation. He’s their own flesh and blood! To them, he’s not just another patient in the hospital; he’s not just another subject in the court. Their emotions for their child is an asset, not a liability: parents’ emotions help them be fierce protectors of their children.

It’s true that “outsiders” such as the court may not have any emotional attachment, but that does not necessarily make them more rational and objective. The staff at the hospital and the judges at the court are human too and cannot be “purely objective” and all-knowing. They’ll likely be emotional too—but their emotions might be pride and arrogance, thinking they know best for the child over and above the parents. They might be motivated by money and power. Who knows? The point is, no one in this situation can be completely emotion-free and all-knowing. If we must choose, wouldn’t we rather have the loving emotions of the parents guiding this decision? Instead the court got to decide, and it decided it was in Alfie’s best interest to die.

Even the British Medical Association believes parents are usually the best ones to decide what’s best: “…in most cases [parents] are best placed to judge their young child’s interests and decide about serious treatment.” It states parents are not entitled to decide “inappropriate treatment” for their child though. Yet it was certainly not “inappropriate treatment” to give Alfie nutrition and hydration through a feeding tube or allow his parents to take him to Italy for treatment!

At least nothing like this could ever happen in America, right? Well, something similar happened here in 2016. At a hospital in Los Angeles, two-year old Israel Stinson was taken off life support, even though his parents objected. The judge ruled in favor of the hospital. There’s an important difference though between this case and Britain’s: the parents could freely take their son elsewhere. His parents had taken him to a Guatemalan hospital that was willing to keep him on breathing and feeding tubes.

Even so, the fact a judge ruled in favor of the hospital’s wishes instead of the parents’ shows American courts might further copy Britain’s. As many parents can tell you, the government has taken away their rights before—it might not be long until parents also lose the right to make medical decisions for their children. American parents might be pushed to the sidelines and be forced to stand helplessly by as the hospital and courts decide that death is “best” for their children.

I don’t think Americans will put up with that though. Surely, we’ll never let our government become that authoritarian…or will we? If government starts to take more control of the family and takes away parents’ ability to protect their children, will you stand up in courage and resist such tyranny?

We fought to be free from Britain. We must resist becoming Britain again. We must stay lovers of liberty so that we have the liberty to do what’s in the best interest of our children.

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

California’s Government Might Ban Christian Books, Sermons, and Counseling

April 25, 2018

Now’s a good time to be thankful that you live in Colorado instead of California. Free speech is under heavy attack in California. California Assembly Bill 2943 (AB 2943) could potentially ban some books, sermons, conferences, speech, and counseling!

The bill will make it an “unlawful practice” to advertise, offer, or engage in, sexual orientation change efforts with an individual. As a result, books that teach a Christian view of sexual morality might be deemed “unlawful,” as David French explains in a National Review article.

A Snopes.com article claims its false that the bill could ban books. It quotes California’s Senate Bill 1172 that was passed in 2012. The bill defined “sexual orientation change efforts” as “any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation.” That bill impacted the “Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts” and only prohibited sexual orientation change efforts directed toward minors.

What Snopes.com doesn’t seem to understand, however, is that the wording is much different in the new proposed bill. It is much broader in scope and can lead to our First Amendment rights being taken away.

It prohibits sexual orientation change efforts not just for minors, but for adults too. It not only applies to the “healing arts,” but would change the civil code that relates to all business practices. The new bill states that “goods or services” that advertise or engage in sexual orientation change efforts are unlawful. It doesn’t just say “services,” such as counseling services. It includes “goods”—and books are considered “goods.”

The new bill defines “Sexual orientation change efforts” as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” Notice that it doesn’t say “any practices by mental health providers,” as the previous bill stated. It says, “any practices.”  It is left very open-ended. It could potentially include practices by pastors, authors, etc.

Such prohibited practices would include “efforts to change behaviors” or “reduce sexual or romantic attractions.” What about a pastor’s effort to reduce a person’s same-sex attraction by speaking out against homosexuality in a sermon? What about a book’s effort to change behaviors by making an argument against same-sex behavior? As currently worded, the bill could prohibit speech in all those cases and more. Thus, even if the authors of the bill did not intend to ban books, conferences, speech, etc., the authors did not include any wording to prevent that from happening.

Even the Rhode Island chapter of ACLU—a long-standing supporter of LGBTQ rights—is against this bill. They agree that such “legislative intrusion” is a violation of the First Amendment rights and declare that “Legislative regulation remains problematic in our view, particularly because of its potential civil liberties impact…”

Even if the bill is just referring to counseling practices, and not banning books, the ACLU still thinks the bill’s language is too broad. The ACLU proclaims that some individuals might want to resist acting on same-sex attractions “for reasons such as a desire to maintain a marriage or to enter the seminary.” And thus, if there are people who do not want to act on their same-sex attraction, efforts to help them by counseling should not be barred by the government.

As cultural commentator and author Nancy Pearcey asks, “Whatever happened to client autonomy and self determination?” and do “you really want the government to tell people what kind of counseling goals they are allowed to have?”

I sure don’t! This issue is not about whether you are pro or anti-LGBTQ rights. This is about saying “No” to the government’s over encroachment and “Yes” to the First Amendment. Government does not have the right to ban books. Government does not have the right to tell people they can’t offer help and therapy to people who want to change their feelings or behavior. Government does not have the right to silence those with different viewpoints or religious beliefs. Government does not have the right to intrude into every area of our life, such as our bookstores and private counseling rooms.

It’s time for government to put down this bill and back away…quickly. C’mon, government! Stop being a control freak.

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

Aren’t Republicans Supposed to be Pro-Life?

April 17, 2018

We’re still fuming over the omnibus spending bill passed last month. With a Republican majority in the House and Senate, and with a Republican president, we had such high hopes that this would finally be the year that America’s largest abortion vendor came tumbling down. Nope. Still funded. It’s utterly baffling and wholly disheartening that funding for Planned Parenthood was included in the spending bill yet again. Our taxes continue to support an organization that kills the most vulnerable and innocent human beings in our society: unborn babies.

It’s time for our government to make it illegal to rip babies apart or burn them alive in the womb (as D&E abortions or saline abortions do to babies). Or at the very least, it’s time for government to stop making us have to pay for it with our tax dollars.

I know pro-choicers will just respond that tax dollars don’t go toward abortions—they go toward Planned Parenthood’s other services. However, our tax dollars are still helping to keep Planned Parenthood in business, and its main business is abortion. Our tax dollars might not be directly paying for abortions, but if we’re paying for the lights in the building to be on during abortions, paying for the equipment necessary for abortions, and paying for counselors to work there who urge women to abort their sons and daughters, that’s essentially still paying for abortions.

When will the Left get it through their jumbled heads that we don’t need Planned Parenthood? Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and not-for-profit pregnancy help centers are more valuable for woman’s health than Planned Parenthood facilities. There’s only about 650 Planned Parenthood facilities, but there’s over 13,000 FQHCs throughout America that provide more health services than Planned Parenthood does, and the FQHCs don’t offer killing as one of their “services.” Why don’t we just fund an extra 650 FQHCs instead of funding abortion facilities? As Students for Life of America points out, Planned Parenthood’s funding has increased, but their health services have decreased. Planned Parenthood is offering significantly less cancer screenings, preventative care, prenatal services, etc., than they used to. What’s not significantly decreasing is the number of abortions they do a year: 321,384. That’s over 850 sons and daughters killed every day by Planned Parenthood.

It’s time for Republicans to stop merely claiming to be pro-life, and instead back up their words with actions—the action of defunding Planned Parenthood! As the omnibus spending bill proves though, we obviously cannot wait on them to save the unborn. Even though we haven’t been able to change the law, we can still change hearts and minds about this issue. How are you living out your pro-life beliefs in your neighborhood, family, church, and community? Our founder here at Colorado Citizens Coalition, Gary Gates, didn’t merely claim all life is valuable—he backed up his words with actions. He’s been a board member at a local Pregnancy Resource Center, and he adopted eleven children, opening up his heart and home to them.  By adopting, he and his wife could provide an alternative for women considering abortion.

What about yourself? What type of life-affirming actions do you take part in? How do you show that you believe all human life is valuable and worth saving? Click here to send us a message —we’d be delighted to hear from you!

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

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