Religious Conscience, Why It Needs To Be Protected: Good News Friday today on WallBuilders Live! Tune in now to hear about just some of the good things that have been happening in our country recently. In this episode, we discuss things such as, the Second Amendment in Washington, D.C., Assisted Suicide bills being struck down, good news on religious freedom, and so much more, right here on WallBuilders Live.
Air Date: 08/18/2017
Guests: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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- Send in good news to WallBuilders Live for Good News Friday
- D.C. APPEALS COURT STRIKES DOWN ‘GOOD REASON’ CCW LAW
- Attempts to Legalize Assisted Suicide Have Failed in Every State in 2017 So Far
- Mayor Defies Atheist Group’s Demands, Vows to Keep Bible Verse on Courthouse Wall
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
You found your way to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live, thanks for joining us today. We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state representative.
Every day we are looking at the hottest in the culture from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. This particular day the week on Fridays, we call it Good News Friday where David and Tim have compiled all kinds of good news from across the nation and around the world.
This is good news that you’re not getting here on the typical news station but we want to share it with you because it shows victories when we engage in the culture and we stand up for what’s right. Check out our websites at WallBuilders.com and also WallBuildersLive.com.
The Second Amendment In Washington, D.C.
Let’s dive into that good news. David, you’re up first.
Rick, let’s go to Washington, D.C. and it’s going to be about Second Amendment, which doesn’t always go well in Washington, D.C. That’s a part of the Constitution that city does not particularly like, or at least the city government there doesn’t like.
Doesn’t like? Ignored and didn’t even allow to live it out at all for years.
Exactly. The only Second Amendment case that the Supreme Court has decided in the Fourteenth ERA Amendment, which is where the federal courts have to do what they call, “selective incorporation.” Started applying the Bill of Rights to the states not just to the feds. Originally the Bill of Rights was only to limit the federal government.
But through the 14th Amendment and the way the courts reinterpreted that amendment they said, “Well, that also means that we can control state governments as well. That aside, the 14th Amendment, there’s been no Second Amendment decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court ever until back in 2010. And it’s because Washington, D.C. said, “No, you do not have the right to keep and bear arms in Washington, D.C.”
That was the Heller case we hear about.
Heller case, that’s right. Two years later the McDonald case where it really reaffirmed that position. So you’ve had in Washington, D.C., they have been in this position of, “We don’t like guns because that creates violence.”
Wait a minute, you’re a gun free city and you’re the second or third leading murder capital in America? That doesn’t seem to stop your violence very well. But they still have that position.
Well, after the Supreme Court said that you cannot prohibit guns from being in the city then what they said is, “Ok, but you have to get a license to have a gun. And what we require in the license is that you have to show good cause.” For Washington, D.C. there’s not a good cause for having a gun, ever. So you can technically have a gun but when you get into actually wanting to have one and you have to get a license for it, they’re not going to give you a license because that’s not a good cause.
So that went to the court and the Federal Court struck down the Good Cause Provision of Washington, D.C. law. It says that you don’t have to have a good cause to have a gun. The Second Amendment lets you have a gun, you’re a good cause- you’re trying to circumvent the Constitution and the Second Amendment and you’re not going to do that.
So, a federal court in D.C. has upheld the Second Amendment which is good news. Upholding the Constitution any time is good news, but upholding it in D.C. is really good news because they don’t like it there. I guess we can say that for a whole lot of those inside the Capitol don’t like the Constitution for that matter. But in D.C. they’re particularly hostile.
So a federal court has now said, “No, if you’re a citizen in D.C. then you get the Second Amendment protection coverage and rights that everybody else in America gets. Which means you can have a gun and the city can’t keep you from having a gun for things like “good cause.”
Assisted Suicide Bills Struck Down
Good news out of D.C., Tim, where are we headed next?
This one is something that deals actually with 36 states and the District of Columbia since 1994. Doctor Jacqueline Abernathy from Tarleton State University has looked over the last-
Wait a minute, Texas Tarleton?
The article just says, “Tarleton State University.”
That’s the only Tarleton I know of.
The only Tarleton I know is in Texas.
It is in Stephenville. The article says, “Dr. Jacqueline Abernathy from Tarleton State University.” What Dr. Abernathy did was look at the attempts to legalize assisted suicide in the U.S. over this past year but then the research and the data goes back to 1994.
That is something has to be presented at an upcoming symposium up in Toronto in October. What’s significant about this though is that she identifies fewer than 1 percent of all assisted suicide bills become law.
As she broke down, there’s been 231 total bills. But for 43 bills-
231 to promote or to allow assisted suicide?
That is what it appears to be. And 43 bills were introduced this year in 26 states to legalize physician assisted suicide and all attempts failed. That is where the good news is going, is that all of these attempts to legalize physician assisted suicide have failed. There’s only three that have ever been signed into law in the past 23 years. Which is how long this effort has been going on.
What she identifies, the last four years is when we’ve seen those three that have taken effect. One was in Vermont in 2013 and it’s the only one that followed the standard legislative procedure.
In California, theirs was done in 2015-
Wait a minute, standard legislative procedure means it went through the House, went through the Senate, and the governor signed it?
Ok, and that’s the only one out of 231 laws that passed and went through standard- wow.
Yes, only three that have been passed. One in Vermont passed then the California one passed. It was a defeated bill and then it was resurrected-
A defeated bill became law, I love this already. California’s defeated bill became law. Way to go.
Yes, well-done liberals. So in California, the bill is defeated. They had a special session. They resurrected the bill in special session. In special session, the processes are abbreviated and the legislation is rushed. But it was brought back up then it was passed through a special session even though it’s been defeated previously.
Then the only other place is in Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, and they passed their ordinance through a city council vote not through the legislative process. So City Council voted on it in D.C.,
And theirs is actually going down because the Constitution requires that D.C. be under the complete purview and control of the federal government. So the Government Affairs Committee that sits in the House and the Senate, they’re in charge of everything that goes on in D.C.
Back I think in 68 they allowed D.C. to have local governments. So you choose a mayor and city council, etc. But anything the mayor and city council decides has to go through Congress to be finalized. And so when they did that, the House already this year has reversed the D.C. law on assisted suicide. So the House has already said, “No dice.”
Now, it’s still got to go through the Senate so it hasn’t been finished yet but they’re in the process of trying to get that law dumped. Now, in the Senate, I don’t know if they can get 60 votes because that means Democrats would have to vote against assisted suicide and I don’t know if they will. The D.C. one is not done yet even though the city council did it, it’s still got to wait for Congressional confirmation.
So there’s potential for more good news from D.C. if this does, in fact, get overturned, the one in D.C. But the fact that this last year there were 43 bills brought before legislative bodies and all of them were struck down none of them made it to legislation and none of them became law.
So it is good news that in some of these states people still do have their brain and go, “Wait a second. No, we value life and we don’t want to authorize the arbitrarily taking of life because you might want to end your life for whatever reason you might have.” So this is still very good news from the value of life standpoint. Those 43 bills that came up, 26 states all attempts failed. So that is great news.
What About The Death Penalty
This raises to me what I think will be an interesting, at least intellectual kind of debate. A lot of people oppose the death penalty because they say it is better that nobody be put to death, give them life in prison, but nobody put to death, rather than to put to death an innocent person.
That’s why they opposed the death penalty because, “You might be wrong. DNA has reversed several convictions and we don’t want to put someone to death that is not actually guilty. Let’s just make it life imprisonment.”
Yet, I was reading articles last night where that there have been recently two or three actual physician- assisted suicides where the medical people said, “Well, all they needed was counseling for depression.” So wait a minute, maybe you’re putting to death innocent people that really didn’t want to be put to death. They just needed depression counseling.
So are these anti-death penalty people going to take the position of, “let’s save innocent life” on the physician-assisted suicide side? Especially now that these stories are coming out that medical professionals are being too aggressive with this and not using other alternatives and etc.
It would be interesting to see if those anti-death penalty people are in favor of pro physician assisted suicide when we have these abuses. A lot of nations in Europe, particularly Scandinavian nations where they’ve had this for a good while, they have lots, and lots, and lots of reports of people being put to death by doctors that should not have been, that had minimal problems, but the doctor decided, “Well, I’m just going to put you out of your misery, you didn’t know you had misery. But I’m telling you do, so I am putting you out of it.” Crazy stuff goes on in Europe with this so we’ll see if it comes to America or not.
And some of those are calloused enough to be doing this based on a financial perspective. “This person’s life is not valuable enough for what it’s going to cost so we’re going to encourage them to end it.” But they’re willing to spend $30,ooo to $50,000 a year or more to keep someone in prison that was given the death penalty rather than executing through the death penalty. So not a whole lot of logic there.
Got to take a quick, we’ll be right back, stay with us here on WallBuilders Live.
Moment From American History.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. American Patriot Paul Revere road to alert Americans of the impending arrival of the British. But he also sought patriot leader Samuel Adams and John Hancock to warn them that the British were seeking their execution.
Adams and Hancock were staying with the Reverend Jonas Clark in Lexington. When they asked Pastor Clark if his church was ready for the approaching British he replied, “I’ve trained them for this very hour. They will fight and, if need be, die under the shadow of the house of God.”
Later that morning 70 men from his church, and several hundred British in the first battle of the War for Independence. As Pastor Clark affirmed, “The militia that morning were the same who filled the pews of the church meeting house on the Sunday morning before.”
The American church was regularly at the forefront of the fight for liberty. For more information on this pastor and other Colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com.
Good News For The Ark Encounter
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! It’s Good News Friday, so far we have had some good news out of Washington, D.C, good news on the Second Amendment, and good news on the life issue. Tim as you pointed out, almost the assisted suicide bills went down in flames, 40 something of them this year and I think you said at the beginning of over 100 over the last few years and only two had made their way through out of those hundreds of attempts. So good news for all across the nation on those two fronts. David, I think you’re up next.
I’m going to the Cincinnati area, going to southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. It deals with Ken Ham. Ken Ham, the Ark Encounter, we had him on earlier this week talking about taking back the rainbow. I love that offensive minded stuff. It’s a good symbol, take it back.
As he is taking the Rainbow back, which is what God gave Noah to show God’s covenant, it has really made the LGBT community really mad. “How dare they take our symbol.” No, God had it several thousand years before you guys stole it.
But if you remember when Ken was building the Ark Encounter they were able to get some preferential state standing because this was going to bring a lot of tourism into the state. They got sued on that, “You can’t have these tax incentives for the Ark Encounter because they are a religious organization and religious folks can’t get that kind of tax incentives that other businesses do.”
So they had all that fiasco and they actually won, they prevailed. But you had the atheist say, “This is not good.” Well, as it turns out, it really is good and the Ark Encounter just received a big award. It’s called the star of tourism award by the Kentucky Convention of Visitors Bureau. They got it because it has really boomed the economy in that part of Kentucky.
The Ark Encounter only opened last July, so now they’ve been open about a year and you’re talking hundreds of thousands of visitors have come over the last few months. And based on the economic impact they’ve already had they said that over the next 10 years the Ark Encounter will bring billions of dollars into northern Kentucky.
So they’re giving the star of tourism award which is ironic that the secular guys tried so hard to keep them from being able to experience any of the tax incentives that go with tourism. But look what they’ve done for the state, so it’s a really good deal.
Again, we love Ken, love what he does not only with the answers in Genesis and Creation but also on Noah and the ark and the things there. But good news for Answers in Genesis.
We’ll keep the segment short since we were longer on the first one. We’ll be right back with the next a bit of good news coming from Tim Barton. Stay with us here on WallBuilders Live.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. It’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders’ library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution. You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.
Religious Liberty In Tennessee
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live Good News Friday today. Tim Barton is up with some good news, Tim?
This one comes from Tennessee. Actually, it’s from Dan Hughes, the mayor of Henderson County in Tennessee. He actually received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
They had been updated to the fact that something in his city was of great offense to somebody who happened to walk by and see it.
I am amazed that the intelligence assets that these guys have. Any city in the United States, I mean, how did they find out about these little obscure things like how a Bible verse appears on a park bench in some city. Or like some kids somewhere in 16,000 school districts is saying the word, “God.”
Their intelligence assets must be unbelievable because they can find the most obscure mentions of God all over the United States.
For being in a group out of Wisconsin that doesn’t have all these chapters across the United States, they’ve got, I don’t know, a religion detector. They’ve got a smell sense that rivals Superman or some of the superheroes on this.
Or just a bunch of bitter people who want to do something and they know who to call, Freedom from Religion Foundation and then these guys are the ones who embrace the bitterness of the anti-religion perspective.
Anyway, Dan who is the mayor gets a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. It turns out on their city courthouse, the courthouse in Lexington, Tennessee, there’s a verse on the corner stone on the outside of the courthouse.The verse is Psalms 89:14.
I know what we can do. Let’s blow up the courthouse so we can get rid of the Cornerstone because that cornerstone, that’s what everything was built on. We want that cornerstone gone. This is already crazy. Go ahead.
Well, the verse reads, ”Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” Certainly, everybody that reads that goes, “Woah, that’s so religious, I hate that.”
I don’t understand why Freedom from Religion would not want justice and judgment to be part of what goes on in the court.
I know, justice, and judgment, and mercy, and truth, are so offensive. We can’t have that at a courthouse where we want to uphold justice, and truth, and mercy, yeah we wouldn’t want those things in the courthouse.
So Mayor Hughes writes back and says, “Look, I was just totally surprised at this whole thing. I can’t imagine they were frustrated with this. It has been on the courthouse cornerstone for more than 50 years. So this isn’t something that they just randomly happened to throw up there.”
But he did not back down. In fact, he says, “No, we’re going to leave this up there. And then he says, “In fact, I’m thinking of adding another verse. I think I might add Psalms 33:12.”
The verse that says, “Blessed it is the nation whose God is the Lord and the people whom he has chosen for his inheritance well.” So in the midst of this, of course, there are some local media that goes and covers this story.
So the local station interviewed residents and the residents resoundingly said that they were glad the mayor didn’t capitulate to the atheist group’s demands. Then there’s a whole list of statements here in this article. One of the individuals, Adam Pitts says, “You know, if they don’t like it they don’t have to read it.” And this really kind of the general sentiment of, “Look, this is our town, we’re a God fearing town. The mayor actually says that our community is based on the beliefs of a true and living God.”
Really that’s a sentiment you see. But it’s great to see a mayor that’s not going to back down from this. And certainly, we know these, whether it’s Alliance Defending Freedom, or Liberty Council, or First Liberty out of Dallas, so many groups that would gladly take and help these guys know exactly what they need to do to be in a defensible position.
But it’s great to see that you have a mayor that has some backbone, the residents that are supporting this decision. And so this is good news coming out of Tennessee.
So we’ve covered Tennessee, we’ve covered D.C., and we’ve got the end of life issues from all over the country. We’ll be back in a moment to find out what our next bit of good news is from David, here on WallBuilders Live.
H, friends! This is Tim Barton of WallBuilders.This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. I know, oftentimes as parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.
If you remember back in the Bible, the Book of Hebrews it has the Faith Hall of Fame, where they outlined the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well.
I wanted to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called, “The Courageous Leaders Collection” and this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers.
There’s a second collection called, “Heroes of History” in this collection you read about people like Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, the list goes on and on.
This is a great collection for your young person to have and read. And it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at WallBuilders.com.
The Protection Of Religious Conscience
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, Good News Friday today. We’ve got one good segment here left of good news and David is up. David Barton?
We’re going to deal with religious conscience. It is striking that that is the first right protected in the entire American continent when it came to civil government, it was the right of religious conscience, the right to choose what you believe and to express your life and behavior according to those beliefs.
That’s what was protected, that’s what’s protected in the charters, and that was what was protected in the first state constitutions. When the First Amendment was done and the federal Congress, so many of the Founding Fathers said, “We have now protected religious conscience.” It was all about conscience.
Now what we’ve seen since Justice Kennedy was the deciding vote in the over fell decision is that conscience is not protected. If your conscience says that traditional marriage is a man and a woman then you’re in trouble. If you’re a baker, if you’re a photographer, if you’re a florist, if you’re a caterer, or if you’re anything else and your conscience gets in the way of what LGBT stuff wants then you don’t have a right to conscience.
So the right to conscience has been pretty much thrown out. And even back when Kennedy made that over fell decision, he said, “But we have to make sure and protect the rights of religious people.” Well, nothing’s been done to really do that.
So for the last four or so years, it’s really gone hostile against them. One of the cases being appealed to the Supreme Court this year, we haven’t heard if they’ll take it yet, but it deals with Jack Phillips out of Colorado who’s a dedicated Christian guy who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding. He’s facing jail time for following his conscience.
This is like William Penn back in the day and this is like so many others that went to jail for conscience which is why we brought religious constant protection to America because of what was happening in Europe. Now we’re doing the same thing.
You used to tell these stories and I’d say, “Wait a minute, this is happening in America? Now I’m getting numb it’s happening so often, I shouldn’t let that happen.
It’s that a problem. Another magistrate, another clerk, or another whatever. And so legislatures have been trying to respond. It’s striking to me that when you look at Sweet Cakes, they had to pay a $135,000 dollar fine up in Oregon.
Then Arlene Stutzman, a huge fine that she paid in Washington State. Washington State and Oregon, they have specific clauses that in their state constitution says, “You cannot punish someone for a violation of their conscience beliefs with regard to religious conscience.”
It says that you can’t do it and they’re doing it anyway. So all of this has been set aside so a number of states are trying to protect conscience and one of those is Mississippi. Mississippi passed a law which said that it protects citizens and public servants like clerks like Katy Lang here in Texas or Kim Davis in Kentucky. It protects citizens, public servants, businesses like Hobby Lobby, and Conestoga Wagons, and religious institutions like Little Sisters of the Poor from government reprisal for operating publicly quoting their belief that One, marriage is reserved for one man one woman. Two, the sexual activity is intended only for married couples. And three, that one’s biological sex cannot change.
So if you believe those three things then you can’t be persecuted for those beliefs. Well, they instantly took this law and the court and said, “You can’t have a law that protects people who believe that kind of bigoted stuff, that marriage is one man and one woman, and that sex is just for married couples, and that biological sex can’t change. You can’t have that.”
Well, it’s gotten all the way through the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit unanimously ruled that yes you can. You can protect the rights of religious conscience so that’s a really really big deal.
Of course, you’ve had Governor Cuomo out of New York that says, “Well, none of our state employees are allowed to travel to the state of Mississippi because they’re so bigoted down there.” I’m sorry Andrew, you can’t do that. The Constitution’s privileges and immunities clause, the Founding Fathers called it the right of expatriation. You have the right freely to move among the states, the United States.
So you’ve had a really absurd reaction to this but the court decision is really great. Along with that up in Madison, Wisconsin in Madison is where so much goofy stuff comes out of there.
Photographer Fighting For Religious Freedom
There’s a photographer up there and she, same thing, didn’t want to do gay weddings. They had a state law and they had a city code that says, “You have to and if you don’t you can be prosecuted.” So she won her case.
Then you have the same thing that has come out of the Fourth Circuit, the Fourth Circuit out of Missouri, there was law in Missouri that says if you’re a magistrate you can’t be forced to perform marriage services that violate your conscience. And the court the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that Missouri law.
So we’re starting to see a turn in some of this stuff. It’s been years now. We’ve had people serving jail time for literally following their conscience the way we were able to do for 380 years. But now maybe the tide is starting to turn, we’ll see.
Religious Conscience, Standing Up For What’s Right
And the conscience issue, you said at the beginning of this segment, David, number one issue. This was supposed to be a bedrock principle of America. That’s why I think we used to, and we should still, but we used to get so offended when we would see this type of thing happen in the US. That numbness I’m talking about, we can’t let happen.
We need to get riled up every time one of these happen and be just as upset and righteously angry that this is happening in America and stand up against it. There are some great organizations out there that helped do that and we always have links at our Web site. If this is happening in your community folks, don’t go silent. Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. So let’s make sure we’re standing up against it. Thanks for listening today, you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.