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Mario Diaz, Esq.

For America (Day 111)

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Gracious Lord and Father, we praise You;
Your Kingdom we exalt on earth, as in heaven,
It is Your will we seek to do and not our own.
We are servants, soldiers, slaves, in freedom and joy.

Keep us from that which you despise, Lord:
From haughty eyes, which look down on the poor
And those who are different or foreign to us;
Break our pride and let humility grow.

From a lying tongue, merciful Father, keep us;
Give us the courage to stand for truth.
Our enemy is the father of lies, and he
Shames us into his perversions with cunning evil schemes.

Protect us from his deception and open our eyes
Empowering us to expose him and help save many.
Hands that shed innocent blood, You also hate!
How can we turn a blind eye to abortion and abuse of power?

No. Help us to speak where injustice reigns,
Give us words beyond our wisdom and age,
From the mouth of babes, may Your truth be heard:
“In His image, He created us,” as the Holy Scriptures attest.

Keep us from hearts that devise wicked plans.
Wicked plans are wicked, even when done for “a good cause.”
Good intentions are not enough, Lord,
Help us be wise as serpents, innocent as doves.

The feet which make haste to run to evil, You also loath;
Keep us balanced in Your Word.
Help us pierce the veil of the world to see that evil exists,
And that evil is never “fun” or “desirable.”

Help us never be complicit in its spread.
On the contrary, we pledge to stand in its way,
That the innocent may not suffer
The consequences of its selfish ways.

Keep us from a false witness.
May we choose You, even before our own.
You gave Your only begotten Son for us,
Help us never to betray you for ours.

May Truth be our north,
Even when pain or suffering be the road.
We need help, Lord. Help!
We stand at the door and knock.

Finally, You’ve said the one who sows discord among brothers, You abhor.
Forgive us! Has any not done so?
By commission or omission, have we not sought our own?
Only by Your grace, we stand in hope.

And by faith, we ask that it be so,
That we may stand approved before You
Our Lord, Creator, Master, Savior, King,
Our refuge, strength, our shelter and help.

Amen.


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

Lawrence VanDyke

Confirm Lawrence VanDyke

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events | No Comments

Update: The Senate has invoked cloture by a vote of 53-40. A final vote for confirmation will likely happen tomorrow.

Senate Majority Leader filed cloture yesterday on the nomination of Lawrence VanDyke for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) sent this letter to the Senate urging confirmation and announcing our intent to score this vote in support of this excellent nominee.

“The hundreds of thousands of supporters of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) are outraged at the politically-motivated attacks on such an excellent nominee and believe this vote is an opportunity to put aside partisanship and stand up for the Constitution and the rule of law. CWALAC will score this vote in favor of confirmation…

“[I]t is critical that this body stands up to the unjust treatment this well-qualified nominee received from the highly-partisan American Bar Association (ABA). The
inflammatory, unsubstantiated accusations of “laziness” and lack of knowledge of legal procedures stand in clear contrast to the facts associated with VanDyke’s career. Senators
from both sides of the aisle rightfully question the ABA’s procedures, and CWALAC urges you to not give the ABA any more input than is allowed any other partisan group in the
nomination’s process.”

For more on the nomination read this memo from the Conservative Action Project, which was signed by our CEO and President Penny Nance. It concludes, “Lawrence VanDyke is a brilliant and accomplished jurist and deserves swift confirmation.”

Concerned Women for America LAC Urges Senators to Support Sarah Pitlyk

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Update: Good news! Sarah Pitlyk was confirmed (49-44) to be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri. Please join us in prayer for Judge Pitlyk as she takes on this solemn task.

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) sent the following letter to U.S. Senators urging the confirmation of Sarah Pitlyk to be a judge at the Eastern District of Missouri. Pitlyk has been attacked by the left merely for being pro-life.

“[Pitlyk] show[s] a full understanding of the judicial restraint that is paramount in the role of a judge. Although some have tried to apply unconstitutional litmus tests based on their favorite policies, Pitlyk was clear that ‘[i]t is never appropriate for lower court judges to depart from controlling Supreme Court precedent.’

“That is the type of judge the American people deserve – one who abides by the law instead of personal preference. We urge you to support her swift confirmation.”

For America (Day 110)

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Anoint me with the oil of gladness
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Let the words of my mouth and the deeds of my hands
Be to Your glory forever and ever.

My instrument is ready for your praise;
A new song I will sing—
A song of remembrance and thanksgiving.
Even (especially!) in my distress, I shall praise You.

With joy and gladness, I take on today’s challenges.
In victory, I approach the battle.
Spirit and truth are my weapons,
And I lean not on my own understanding.

Make me quick to repent before You.
Clean hands You seek; therefore, for clean hands, I plead.
Through the blood of Christ, the perfect lamb, slain,
Renew my heart and mind.

Make me a light onto the nations;
A lighthouse leading them to You,
The Safe Harbor, our Refuge,
Our Help in times of trouble.

When waters roam and foam
And the winds of life threaten
To take us under,
It is You who comes to our rescue.

For the wind and the rain must bow to Your majesty.
No mountain is too high, nor valley too low.
You reach us where we are
And protect us to Your Glory.

Now, come to our aid, Lord,
For Your Name’s sake.
Let Your Spirit fill our land;
Protect us from the enemy.

Give hope to the brokenhearted,
Bring liberty to those in chains,
Heal the sick,
Save the lost.

May the springs of Your Word
Burst out in unexpected places
That the thirsty may drink up
And thirst no more.

Let renewal be the headline that describes us
In every newspaper in every city
In every state.
May the wonder of Your grace abound.

In Jesus’ Holy Name we pray,
Amen.


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

For America (Day 109)

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O Lord, our God, You are great!
All Your works are done in wisdom,
They are perfect and beyond reproach.
Who can pass judgment over you?

There is none like You;
You have no equal.
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
You dwell in light, and in You there is no darkness.

The foundations of the Earth are held
By the works of Your hands;
You speak, and it is so,
What a wonderful, marvelous God!

We are but dust, the morning dew
Here now, gone in a few;
Sinners, fearful and ashamed,
But for Your unbelievable grace.

Therefore, give us clean hands, O Lord,
By the power of the blood of Your Son,
Our Lord, our Savior, Jesus the Christ
That we may praise you in Spirit and truth.

In times of great distress, as we are living now,
We turn, seeking direction, to You.
We confess human wisdom is not enough,
We are blind to much; we can’t see what’s to come.

Only You know the heart of man.
The heart of the king You are able to turn
As You will, here and there
As You do the wind, which obeys Your word.

That is why to You we pray to protect
Our families, cities, and land;
To You we lift our President and Congress
And the rest of those who lead our way of life.

The impossible, we ask:
Wisdom and unity, goodwill and forgiveness;
That all may seek not only after their own,
But to lift each other as countrymen— neighbors, brothers.

Guide us out of this moral rut, O Lord.
Lift up our blindness, that we may enjoy
All that is good and beautiful and true.
Let evil fall in the very traps they set.

In Jesus’ name, we pray,
Amen.


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

The Impeachment’s Partisan Stench

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The putrid smell of malicious, partisan politics is all over the U.S. House of Representatives’ sham impeachment proceedings. It is unavoidable. Try as one may, the fetor coming from every statement, every report, every interview, every room, and every hallway is too much for any reasonable observer to withstand.

The outrageously hostile, personal (even beyond partisan) opposition to President Donald J. Trump from day one has been sort of mystical. On January 20, 2017, the day of President Trump’s public swearing-in ceremony, a Washington Post headline read, “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.” That’s how much faith the mindless opposition had on their efforts to find something, whatever, to remove him from office.

He is worse than Hitler, you see, came the justification. The conclusion that he is a threat to our democracy was accepted, approved, and promoted by the mainstream media as obvious. The suffocating blather in cable news has been non-stop. It has completely exposed them.

Even when the facts do not align with their argument, they will push through with the narrative. The excellent economic numbers, record unemployment, his work on prison reform, nothing the president does is any good to his opposition. Similarly, the lack of evidence is also no obstacle to the faithful.

They have moved away from the Russia “collusion” theory now, but, boy, it was as true as the sun as they covered it. Throughout the investigation, the big bombshell was always about to be revealed. I, like many other Americans, thought they must have something really big.

No. The Mueller Report came and went. They have moved on now. To Ukraine. Maybe this one will stick. The same players are driving the new angle on why Trump must be removed, promising again that the big reveal is just about to happen. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) still leads the effort. And we are supposed to believe this is all an impartial, duty-driven effort?

Have some self-respect.

The Constitution sets a high bar to impeach a president. Article II, section 4 says, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Really hating the president does not seem to meet that bar.

Neither does this phone call on which they keep hanging all their hopes. After reading the transcript the president himself released, it is reasonable to conclude that there is nothing there. Sure, those with a predisposition to hate the president can read into it all they want. But the reality is that the facts do not amount to anything nearly close to an impeachable offense.

Actually, the more facts are known the worse it looks for the accusers. The money was not withheld; there was no investigation; the president of Ukraine denies feeling any pressure, and there is a whole lot more to this story than this simple phone call. There has been a whole lot of money and corruption and fraud through many years in Ukraine, including the fact that they played a role in the 2016 election. And we are supposed to just ignore everything because “Trump must go”?

To make matters worse, the way they are conducting the investigation with secret hearings, selective leaks, and denying the president any representation is completely according to the previous personal, partisan, emotionally driven efforts. It is most certainly not in the best interest of the country, trying to avoid any appearance of impropriety. It is a fundamentally unfair process, motivated by partisan political rancor, and Americans would do well to reject it, regardless of political affiliation.

Would any reasonable person think it just to remove the president from office under these set of facts as a whole?

Now we are starting to hear more about the alleged whistleblower, and, surprise, surprise he is a Democratic operative whose lawyer said in 2017, “A coup has started,” and “I predict [CNN] will play a key role in [President Donald Trump] not finishing out his full term as president,”  and “We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters.” Seriously?

His prediction of the media’s role is eerie.

Those of us who witnessed the dastardly attack on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination up close are hard-pressed to ignore the glaring parallels – the stealth coordination between one party and the accuser, the innuendo and hearsay taken as gospel truth, and the media’s complicit role! It is shameful.

To think of the media’s role during the Kavanaugh hearings and their treatment of the ABC/CBS Epstein sexual abuse cover-up this week is maddening.

We have learned nothing except to distrust one another even more. I mourn for the loss of trust in the media we have experienced through it all. Same with Congress’ impeachment efforts against the president. How can any sane person have any confidence in this fishy process?

It stinks.


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Judicial Nominations Cap the Trump Legacy

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Right at the top of the list of President Donald J. Trump’s legacy is his amazing work on judicial nominations. In just under three years, the U.S. Senate has confirmed the most circuit court judges in a president’s first term since 1980. With several confirmations this week, one out of every four circuit court judges are now a Trump nominee.

The Senate has confirmed a total of 159 judges with more ready to be confirmed at any moment. Forty-five of those are circuit court judges, 112 to the district court, and, of course, two Supreme Court justices.

This week, the President took some time to celebrate the great work their team has been doing on this front. Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Vice-President of Government Relations Doreen Denny was at the White House to mark the occasion.

CWA supporters have been crucial in the Trump Administration’s success through our support of the many judicial nominees. The two Supreme Court nominees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were most prominent, of course.

Which brings us to the most important point about the Trump legacy. It is not about the numbers. It is not about being a Republican or a Democrat. The fact is CWA’s support and the President’s success is worth celebrating because of the type of judges the president has nominated. His commitment to nominating constitutionalists who refrain from interjecting personal policy preferences into the judicial decision has been unwavering. That is why his number will have such a great impact for all Americans, regardless of political persuasion.

When judges are committed to the text of the Constitution and the laws as written, everyone wins. Remember, the danger of the “living, breathing constitution” is not that the Constitution is amended (the Founders indeed provided a way for the Constitution to be amended, since they knew this must happen—that’s what the Bill of Rights is), it is how it is done. For unelected judges to simply amend the Constitution at their pleasure breaks the most fundamental tenets of our Republic. It is “we the people” who are the “supremes” under our Constitution, not unelected judges.

Therefore, with judges who abide by the text of the Constitution and the laws as written, everyone should feel empowered. They are free to persuade their fellow citizens of their preferred policy positions and work through the legislatures to see that those changes are made. To continue to allow judges to implement one side’s preferred policy changes by judicial fiat is to live under judicial tyranny.

President Trump noted this in his remarks this week saying,

“This system was designed to protect citizens against the unjust concentration of governmental power … [but] when judges assume the role of a legislature, the rights of all citizens are threatened. … When judges write policy instead of applying the law, they impose sweeping changes on millions of Americans without the benefit of legislative debate, public rulemaking, or the consent of the governed. As a result, these highly political rulings inflict painful damage on our security, society, and economy—imposing unworkable edicts on businesses, workers, families, and law enforcement.”

That’s music to my ears.

President Trump also noted that the average age of his circuit judges is less than 50 years old—10 years younger than the average age was for President Obama. This means that this legacy will have a lasting effect on the judiciary. We simply cannot overstate how important this is for the protection of our freedoms.

This success should also highlight for us how important the next election will be. Part of the reason for the president’s success was the rule change made by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who opened the door to get rid of the filibuster of judicial nominees. That reality will benefit whoever is in office. If someone committed to judicial activists is elected President, he too would be able to confirm judges at a faster pace, especially if the same party controls the Senate, as President Trump has enjoyed.

This issue must remain at the top of our minds as we consider our choices for the next election.


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Young Woman Prays

For America – Day 108

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Vindicate us, O Lord—
Heavenly Father, come to our rescue.
When enemies assail us and keep us under threat,
We trust not in our own schemes, but in You.

They come at us with sword and spear, lies and smears,
But we shall not be moved.
Those who trust in the Lord endure
Through many trials and tribulations.

You renew the strength of those who wait for you;
We shall mount up with wings like eagles;
We will run and not be weary;
Walk and not faint.

In You we take refuge.
Pardon our sin and do not cast us away,
Like those who have no faith.
Send Your light and truth to our land.

Send us revival and hope for the afflicted.
Help us reject the things of this world,
Preferring to store up in heaven above,
That which is our treasure.

Teach us to value You, help us to see.
Give us wisdom beyond our deserve.
Let us witness the daily miracles of Your grace.
And help us share in love, Your love,

Amen!


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

 

Your Unofficial Guide to Kanye’s “Jesus is King”

By | Culture, LBB, News and Events | No Comments

Count me among the millions of Americans who have had Kanye West’s new album “Jesus is King” on replay ever since it came out on October 25. I want to take you on a listening journey to explain why. For those who are just looking for the bottom line, I would say this: this album is appropriately titled. In it, “Jesus is King.” Every second I spend listening to it, my mind is focused on the Holy One. I see Jesus glorified throughout every track, and this is the purpose of my life, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Therefore, I loved it.

Which is the other point. Kanye’s new music is enjoyable. It is interesting. It is good. No mindless repetition. It is straight and to the point.

The point being Jesus is king!

Even if you don’t like the genre, I’d like to share with you some of the highlights in the message he is spreading to all who listen. If you love Jesus, I guarantee you’ll smile.

Let’s push play.

Track 1, “Every Hour” right away stops me on my tracks. I want to praise. I want to join in this gospel choir. “Sing ’til the power of the Lord comes down … We need you … Every hour, every minute, every second…” Yes. The voices are perfect, and the syncopation between the different parts and the piano leaves me mesmerized. I’m already in praise mode.

All of a sudden everything drops out. A lone organ comes in. Enter “Selah,” track 2. The first line? “God is King, we the soldiers.” The music style fits that line, too. It’s hard-hitting. This is an anthem for battle.

Before the flood, people judge
They did the same thing to Noah
Everybody wanted Yandhi
Then Jesus Christ did the laundry
They say the week start on Monday
But the strong start on Sunday

Boom. You are clearly on one side of the battle line. I find myself among God’s army, and I feel at home. I look around and see Kanye has changed sides. He now stands beside me, and I want to praise God again for His goodness and mercy. I remember from where He saved me too as the hard-hitting lyrics continue to flow.

Won’t be in bondage to any man
John 8:33
We the descendants of Abraham
Ye should be made free
John 8:36
To whom the Son set free is free indeed
He saved a wretch like me

The only response to this is worship. And Kanye seems to understand this. Right in the middle of this battle anthem comes the, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah … Hallelujah, He is wonderful.”

Next comes “Follow God” (track 3). “Father, I stretch, stretch my hands to You,” it starts with an old style that immediately breaks into hip hop. It deals with trying to live the Christian life. Every Christian will identify. Every new believer struggles to live according to a new way. The longer you have lived in the world the harder it is. This track reflects that, “I’m just tryna find, l’ve been lookin’ for a new way. I’m just really tryin’ not to really do the fool way.” It’s a short song that ends with a scream of frustration when hearing the words, “That ain’t Christ-like.” The answer to this struggle is still Jesus. We take on His righteousness by the Spirit.

A smooth classical guitar greets you in track 4, “Closed on Sunday.” Undoubtedly one of the most memorable tracks in the album. Soon a rhythmic alarm-like sound will accentuate the urgency of this message. WARNING:

Hold the selfies, put the ’Gram away
Get your family, y’all hold hands and pray
When you got daughters, always keep ’em safe
Watch out for vipers, don’t let them indoctrinate

This is when I realized I was listening to one of the most important cultural messages we need at this moment in American history. Kanye’s counter-cultural voice is desperately needed. Perhaps he can sound the alarm for a youth that stands before great danger. They are entering the war zone unequipped.

Raise our sons, train them in the faith
Through temptations, make sure they’re wide awake
Follow Jesus, listen and obey
No more livin’ for the culture, we nobody’s slave

Friends pray for Kanye. This is pure truth. He will face the full onslaught of the culture’s attack, no doubt. Listen to this declaration:

Stand up for my home
Even if I take this walk alone
I bow down to the King upon the throne
My life is His, I’m no longer my own

This is my anthem. This is every Christian’s anthem. Or it should be.

Track 5, “On God,” gives us a bit of Kanye’s testimony. The Gospel opens it: “’How you get so much favor on your side?’ ‘Accept Him as your Lord and Savior,’ I replied.” But this confession is what gripped me: “The devil had my soul, I can’t lie.” This recognition, for any man, is crucial for a life of repentance. The enemy is real. There is no neutral ground. God is the only one who can save us from the slavery of sin.

An a cappella chorus greets you in track 6, “Everything We Need.” In a culture that screams that you need something else—the latest iPhone, a degree, more “likes”, a following, etc. – this chorus breaks the cycle of endless self-seeking. “We have everything we need,” repeats time and again.

What if Eve made apple juice?
You gon’ do what Adam do?
Or say, “Baby, let’s put this back on the tree” ’cause
We have everything we need

This is truth for both the artist with much material wealth, as much as it is for the humble person with much of nothing, if they both “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful,” (Hebrews 10:23). Jesus is all we need.

Track 7, “Water,” feels like a deeply personal prayer. The highlight of this song, again, puts the focus on Jesus.

Jesus, flow through us
Jesus, heal the bruises
Jesus, clean the music
Jesus, please use us
Jesus, please help
Jesus, please heal
Jesus, please forgive
Jesus, please reveal
Jesus, give us strength
Jesus, make us well
Jesus, help us live
Jesus, give us wealth
Jesus is our safe
Jesus is our rock
Jesus, give us grace
Jesus, keep us safe

The listener is then taken to a beautiful hymn, “God is” (track 8). Here we get to hear Kanye’s singing talent in a beautiful declaration of worship to God alone.

Everything that I felt, praise the Lord
Worship Christ with the best of your portions
I know I won’t forget all He’s done
He’s the strength in this race that I run…

This song is full of beautiful devotion to who God is:

King of Kings, Lord of Lords, all the things He has in store
From the rich to the poor, all are welcome through the door
You won’t ever be the same when you call on Jesus’ name
Listen to the words I’m sayin’, Jesus saved me, now I’m sane
And I know, I know God is the force that picked me up
I know Christ is the fountain that filled my cup
I know God is alive, yeah

It is the perfect setup to track 9, “Hands On.” This is a hope-filled encouragement to persevere in the faith. It is raw in that it recognizes who was accomplishing things when we walked in the old self: “Told the devil that I’m going on a strike. Told the devil when I see him, on sight. I’ve been working for you my whole life.” A Christ-like rebuke of our pharisaical attitudes feels also appropriate here:

Told people God was my mission
What have you been hearin’ from the Christians?
They’ll be the first one to judge me
Make it feel like nobody loves me

His humble conclusion also strikes a refreshing note. He asks that we pray for him.

Yes, I understand your reluctancy, yeah
But I have a request, you see
Don’t throw me up, lay your hands on me
Please, pray for me
Hold myself on death
Hold it down, all fallen down
Somebody pray for me

He’s got my prayers.

“Use this Gospel,” track 10, feels like the beginning of a great commission to share what God has done. This is the passion of every Christian.

Use this gospel for protection
It’s a hard road to Heaven
We call on Your blessings
In the Father, we put our faith
King of the kingdom
Our demons are tremblin’
Holy angels defendin’
In the Father, we put our faith

This message can bring freedom to many. “From the concrete grew a rose,” one rapped line is heard. Isn’t that a beautiful picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? He can do the impossible. When we die, we live.

Finally, the whole experience is capped with an anthem declaring “Jesus is Lord” (track 11). Fitting.

Every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess
Jesus is Lord
Jesus is Lord
Every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess
Jesus is Lord
Jesus is Lord

He is. May His name be praised now and forevermore.


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

SCOTUS Rally

Transgender Legislative Petition Before SCOTUS

By | Case Vault, Family Issues, Feminist / Women's Issues, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty, SCOTUS | No Comments

Oral Arguments in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC

“Aimee Stephens is a transgender woman,” started the argument at the United States Supreme Court in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, where Stephens is asking the Court to include “gender identity” within the definition of “sex” discrimination in federal civil rights law (specifically Title VII, the employment context in this case) . With that simple statement David Cole of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who represented Stephens, glossed over the most important fact to remember in this debate. Aimee Stephens is biologically a man. Aimee undoubtedly feels like a woman and has decided to live as a transgender woman. But the biological fact (reality) remains.

This is why, it is no violation of civil rights, to ask Aimee to use the men’s bathroom or at least to refrain from using the women’s bathroom (in many cases a single stall, private bathroom is available). Aimee is scientifically a man. If someone like Aimee wishes to enter athletic competitions, there is a place for males to compete against other male athletes. For someone like Aimee to demand to compete among female athletes is a great injustice to those who in fact are female.

This is plain for all to see. It is not bigotry.

The reality is most people empathize and even identify with the conflict between Aimee’s biology and psyche at some level. Most people in the U.S. would stand against harassment or beratement directed at Aimee. The great majority would fight against those wishing Aimee harm.

But the reality, once again, is that that is not enough for Aimee and most vocal transgender individuals. In their mind, to say they are not the sex they identify with is to discriminate against them. This is why we are seeing a push for laws that demand we refer to them as the pronoun of their choice.

Mr. Cole at oral arguments tried as hard as he could to say that that was not the issue in the case. He danced around multiple questions from Chief Justice Roberts on the issue of bathrooms, ultimately admitting to Justice Neil Gorsuch that it would be harmful to ask transgenders to follow sex-specific bathroom rules.

JUSTICE GORSUCH: “… but ultimately came to, I believe, a submission that a reasonable person in the transgender plaintiff’s position would be harmed if he or she were fired for failing to follow the bathroom rules or some sort of dress code that’s not otherwise objectionable …”

COLE: “Yeah.”

Mr. Cole’s effort to avoid the issue was so blatant, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the most liberal voice on the Court, called him out on it.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “Mr. Cole, let’s not avoid the difficult issue, okay? You have a transgender person who rightly is identifying as a woman and wants to use the women’s bedroom, rightly, wrongly, not a moral choice, but this is what they identify with. Their need is genuine. I’m accepting all of that –­

COLE: Yeah.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: –and they want to use the women’s bathroom. But there are other women who are made uncomfortable, and not merely uncomfortable, but who would feel intruded upon if someone who still had male characteristics walked into their bathroom. That’s why we have different bathrooms.

So, the hard question is how do we deal with that? And what in the law will guide judges in balancing those things? That’s really what I think the question is about.

Still, the ACLU attorney refused to acknowledge reality. “Well, that is –that is -­that is a question, Justice Sotomayor. It is not the question in this case.”

That is the sort of unreasonable halt to logic the Court would need to do to go along with the LGBTQ-affirming demands in this case.

Both Justice Samuel Alito and Ruth Bader Ginsburg tried to engage Mr. Cole in the discussion of women’s athletics (under Title IX). Round and round Mr. Cole went to avoid the issue, knowing, as we all do, the disastrous consequences for women if he were to win in this case. There are no consequences according to the way he argued the case. The hundreds of thousands of people expressing concerns, including Judge Gerard Lynch of the Second Circuit are just hysterically overreacting.

Judge Lynch supports LGBTQ protections but acknowledged the text of Title VII does not include sexual orientation and gender identity under the word “sex.” “Congress did no such thing,” he acknowledged painfully in his dissenting opinion on the case.

There was no such consideration on behalf of the arguing attorney, and in fact, there was no such introspection on behalf of the liberal side of the Court. Justice Sotomayor tried to hold it in for most of the argument but finally, let it out at the conclusion of arguments.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “May I just ask, at what point does a court continue to permit invidious discrimination against groups that, where we have a difference of opinion, we believe the language of the statute is clear. I think Justice Breyer was right that Title VII, the Civil Rights Act, all of our acts were born from the desire to ensure that we treated people equally and not on the basis of invidious reasons.”

Did you notice the shift? The text of the statute means nothing really. Passion rules. It appears Judge Sotomayor is ready to make “sex” mean whatever they feel like, as long as she perceives “invidious reasons.”

Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan all seemed open to the idea of manipulating the text as needed. We can only hope they realize the consequences beyond personal passion.

Though there are forceful emotions involved in this case, and even difficult cases left unaddressed where legislation is needed, the judicial action demanded is deference to the legislative branch who has not included sexual orientation and gender identity under Title VII. And, were they to do so, would have to inevitably consider the many examples of significant harm to women’s rights that the LGBTQ-affirming side refuses to acknowledge.

John Bursch, of the Alliance Defending Freedom, who argued on behalf of Harris Funeral Homes, said it plainly, “Treating women and men equally does not mean employers have to treat men as women. That is because sex and transgender status are independent concepts.”

Noel Francisco, arguing as Solicitor General, agreed, “There’s a reason why when Congress wants to prohibit discrimination based on the traits of sexual orientation and gender identity, it lists them separately. It doesn’t define sex as including these traits.”

That should be the end of the inquiry here. This is a legislative matter, not a judicial one, and the Court should resist the temptation to engage in judicial activism, as it has done in the past with disastrous consequences.


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

For America (Day 107)

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PrayerPrecious Lord and Ruler Omnipotent,
You build up and You tear down,
The king’s heart is in Your hand;
It is why through You alone, we seek deliverance.

Your deeds are awesome;
Your works beyond compare.
The glorious splendor of Your majesty
Is seen throughout history in all that is made.

For all Your works we give you thanks!
We will tell the wonders of Your name
From generation to generation
Until the day of Your return.

Now, Heavenly Father,
We ask You to be at the US Supreme Court
Let Your word and Your presence
Be not far from the justices.

As they consider the pressing legal matters of our republic,
May truth and justice remain at the center of their thoughts.
Guard them against the enemy’s schemes,
And help us to continue to remember them in prayer.

Give them eyes to see and ears to hear.
Insulate them from political manipulations.
Give them clarity of mind and help them
Consider the implications of every word they write.

Help us, as salt and light, to serve them well,
As guideposts to righteousness.
Let humility and love for our neighbor
Permeate everything we do and say.

For our hope is secure. Joy is ours!
We trust not in power or might,
Political influence, or legal authority.
We trust in You, the Lord, our God.

In whose holy name we pray,
Amen.


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

President Trump Brings Truth to the UN

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

President Donald J. Trump will forever be “the first President of the United States to host a meeting at the United Nations on religious freedom.”

Not only that, President Trump brought down the house with a message full of truth and hope.

“America will always be a voice for victims of religious persecution everywhere,” he said to the applause of the attendees, “No matter where you go, you have a place in the United States of America.”

Listening to the president, one can’t help but wonder who is the man being demonized every moment of every day by the news media? The president spoke of the fundamental truths upon which our country was founded:

 

The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God.  This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.  Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions.

Those inalienable rights that government can’t take away because it does not grant them are the foundation of religious freedom. Those are the sort of human rights on which the United Nations (UN) is supposed to focus, but that have been so blatantly neglected. The president highlighted the problem, “Regrettably, the religious freedom enjoyed by American citizens is rare in the world.  Approximately 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted, or even banned.”

The president expressed disbelief when he first heard the 80 percent statistic, as most people would. But it is correct. Two hundred and fifty million Christians around the world are experiencing persecution today. We’ve all witnessed a surprising rise in anti-Semitism in recent years. The president spoke of appointing “a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism.”

He expressed his commitment to protect people of all religious faiths, “These evil attacks are a wound on all humanity.  We must all work together to protect communities of every faith.”

And that is the most impressive thing about the Trump presidency. More than the inspiring speech, the president has put action behind every word he’s said on this topic. He highlighted some of the things his administration has done:

In this year’s ministerial [a first-of-its-kind religious freedom meeting also created under President Trump], Secretary Pompeo announced plans to create the International Religious Freedom Alliance — an alliance of likeminded nations devoted to confronting religious persecution all around the world …

We’re also urging every nation to increase the prosecution and punishment of crimes against religious communities …

The United States is forming a coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom.  This is the first time this has been done.  This initiative will encourage the private sector to protect people of all faiths in the workplace.

This last coalition he mentions is yet another ground-breaking effort that comes at a crucial moment in our history. President Trump shows he understands what is at stake. He said, “Too often, people in positions of power preach diversity while silencing, shunning, or censoring the faithful.  True tolerance means respecting the right of all people to express their deeply held religious beliefs.”

The president’s leadership on this issue at home is praiseworthy. And his call to the rest of the world was no less inspiring:

Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution …

To stop the crimes against people of faith, release prisoners of conscience, repeal laws restricting freedom of religion and belief, protect the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed, America stands with believers in every country who ask only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts.

When the president speaks in this manner, he truly speaks for all Americans. Religious freedom has always been a unifying force in our land, and we pray that it may spread around the world.


Click here to read additional posts from Mario Diaz, Esq.

New Kavanaugh Smear Reminds Us the Mainstream Media Leads the Radical Left

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS | No Comments

Every time you are tempted to ease up on an all-out defense of truth and justice, remember Kavanaugh. The latest maliciously orchestrated smear campaign led by “the newspaper of record,” the New York Times, should be a reminder that the “mainstream” media is not only complicit with the radical left, it is the radical left. It is intent and will stop at nothing to destroy conservatives.

To recap, the New York Times published an op-ed alleging a new “bombshell” allegation that Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a female classmate in a grotesque, sexually demeaning way – complete with tabloid-worthy details of the encounter for its esteemed readers. Their “reporting” cued the usual chorus of leftist media friends who immediately commence talks of impeachment—complete with a Vox explainer of what the process would look like.

Even Democratic presidential candidates jumped at the opportunity to “go for the kill,” given the horrendous event described by the Times.  Sen. Kamala Harris, Julián Castro, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren all called for impeachment. Others, like Sen. Amy Klobuchar, stopped short of impeachment but were nonetheless excited to assail the character of the Supreme Court Justice.

But the Times forgot to include one small detail about the horrible encounter it described: the alleged victim does not recall it.

That’s right, there is no victim. There is no reporting. It was a wishful, fictional piece smearing the character of a sitting Supreme Court justice (for a second time!) for political purposes. The Times would have never published a story like this of someone the editors supported.

It is worthy of note that the Times was forced to publish an embarrassing (for anyone else in a similar situation) correction of the story only after Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist, who had obtained an advance copy of the book alleging the incident, reported on the glaring omission.

Did I mention this was on the front page of its Sunday review section?

But it is not just the New York Times. Most of the mainstream media has been complicit in this miscarriage of justice against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Even after the pernicious omission was disclosed, they have run right in line with the impeachment talk, instead of decrying the error and treating Justice Kavanaugh with the respect he and his family deserve.

This was no different than what we experienced first-hand during the confirmation hearings. The leftist media, hiding behind First Amendment protections, is waging an all-out war against conservatives, and we simply cannot give them the benefit of the doubt anymore.

The authors of this dishonest piece smearing Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly are now doing the rounds on every leftist news organization trying to salvage their reputation. In an MSNBC interview, they claim that they had included the crucial fact in their piece at first but “the editors” took it out.  It was sort of “in the haste” in the editing process, they claim.

Whatever the case, note that it was an editing decision, not a mistake.  It was a decision willingly made in order to attack conservatives, as all editing decisions go for the radical left.

Many conservatives’ first instinct is to give the benefit of the doubt to the media. Many conservatives do not particularly like when the president calls them “fake news.” At first glance, this instinct is a testament to their good nature and character. But knowing what we know today, after living through this wicked Kavanaugh smear, it becomes foolishness and a character flaw to continue to ignore what is plain for all to see.

The mainstream media is not only sympathetic to the left. It is leading their efforts. It does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. It deserves our contempt.


Click here to read additional posts from Mario Diaz, Esq.

Judges by the Numbers

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As the U.S. Senate gets ready to go on its August recess, we must highlight once again one of its most successful efforts: the confirmation of judges. Just this week, the Senate confirmed more than double (15) the nominees it did last summer (7). This year the Senate has confirmed 61 judges: 13 judges to the circuit court, 46 district court judges and two to the Court of International Trade (CIT).

Great credit goes to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) whose focus on judicial nominations has remained consistent throughout President Donald Trump’s time in office. Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has also shined, even after following one of the most successful Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The Judiciary Committee has reported 88 judges to the floor in his short time as chairman.

Here are the overall numbers which are most impressive of all. Since President Trump took office, the Senate has confirmed a total of 146 judges. They break down as follows: two Supreme Court justices, 43 circuit court judges, 99 to the district court and two CIT.

The quality of nominees has been very high, as most readers will know. President Trump has committed himself to the nomination of judges who are in the mold of Justice Clarence Thomas and the late, great Antonin Scalia. Judges who will follow the Constitution and laws as written, instead of re-defining terms to reach the conclusions they personally prefer. This approach is essential to the preservation of liberty, and we are grateful to the president for this commitment.

This success has been possible because of several reforms in the judicial confirmation process. There is no more filibustering of judicial nominees, the blue slip process (which required home state senators to return a blue slip before the nomination can move forward) has been greatly adjusted also for circuit court nominees, and the amount of time that can be consumed on each nominees has been tampered, too.

But it is worth noting that things will get tougher going forward because the blue slip process for district court nominees is in full force still. This means that both senators from a state must after the president nominates someone to the district court must “return the blue slip” before the nomination can move forward. This is meant to encourage compromise between the White House and the state where the nomination is being made.

Practically, this means that where there are two liberal senators, the President will have to be more strategic in order to get the vacancy filled with a constitutionalist. Traditionally, some bargaining will be required here where, for example, if there are four vacancies, the president will name three nominees and the home state senators will get to name the other. This has the potential of allowing some less than desirable nominees getting through.

We must, therefore, remain diligent in our monitoring of nominees. We have already identified some troubling ones that we have been able to stop, but much discernment will be required going forward.

Let us continue to pray for the President, the Senate and the CWA legal team as we continue to engage in this important area.

Click here to read additional posts from Mario Diaz, Esq.

For America (Day 106)

By | News and Events, Prayer | No Comments

Lord of Heaven and Earth,
With our most fervent plea
We approach Your throne of grace
On behalf of the faithful in this land.

We recognized it is for freedom that You have set us free;
And we seek to honor You in that freedom
By showing much restraint and deference
To You and Your Holy Word.

Forgive us our trespasses and help us
Not to lean on our own understanding.
We desperately need Your wisdom;
We long for revival in our land.

Father, as evil increases—
That foolish boldness to live loudly against Your statutes
And Your people—we pray for mercy.
We know not what we do, oh Lord!

As a new “political season” slowly approaches,
How we need Your eternal perspective!
Do not let our short-sighted emotions govern
The state of our hearts or the words of our mouths.

Help us to love; to love enough
To speak truth and give grace,
To stand firm and turn the other cheek,
To have courage, fearing only You.

Do not let the enemy’s lies stand unchallenged.
Help us to be light in the darkness,
To never lose our saltiness.
Help us through much struggle to persevere.

And help us to rest—
Rest in Your unsearchable ways,
Which are always right and good; perfect!
In Jesus’ Name we pray,

Amen.


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

For America (Day 105) – National Day of Prayer

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On this National Day of Prayer, Lord
We call upon You—hasten to our aid!
In Your mercy, listen to our plea;
Let our prayers be as a sweet aroma to You.

For we lift Your Name above all;
“In God we trust,” we still proclaim, today,
Recognizing You as the One true King
And rejecting the call of the age to forget You.

Protect us from evil, Father;
Help us to love one another
As You have loved us from the beginning.
Give us servant sprits for our neighbors.

Set a guard over our mouths,
Help us tame it and restrain it
With Your love and compassion.
Keep our heart from self-centeredness.

Help us embrace Your loving correction, as a people.
Give us understanding to appreciate the kindness
Of a friend’s rebuke—may we not refuse it in our pride;
Give us humble hearts.

Give us wisdom, Lord;
Our eyes are towards You—
Our refuge and strength,
Our courage and defense.

Keep us from leaning on our own understanding,
The strength of our armies, or the size of our coffers.
Let those who seek our destruction fall into their own traps,
For we trust in You, our Lord and King.

Let the world forever associate us with You.
The One true God.
Our Creator, our Redeemer,
Our Savior …

In Whose Name we pray,
Amen.

Watch the 2019 Livestream | May 2nd, 7:30-9:30pm EST


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. You can follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Thoughts on the Bizarre “Easter Worshippers” Episode

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka targeted Christians. Among the sites targeted were St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, and Zion Church in the city of Batticaloa. More than 300 died and hundreds more were injured. Naturally, the entire world condemned the terrorists who engaged in these suicide bombings, and millions sent words of encouragement to those affected.

One rather bizarre group of iterations on Twitter cause many to wonder if a coordinated effort to minimize the victim’s religious affiliation was underway. A group of prominent Democrat leaders decided to use the Euphemism “Easter Worshipers” to refer to the Christian victims.

 

I confess it is hard to conclude there was no coordination, though the motives are not entirely clear.

Former President Barack Obama tweeted: “The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.”

Why not say Christians? Why the hesitation? “Easter worshippers” is not a commonly used term so it seemed strange.

But then Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted using the term (spelled the same way) to send her condolences: “On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka.” Others followed suit.

Many took offense. Christians worship Christ, not Easter, they were quick to point out. I am not unsympathetic. Words matter. Jesus was called “The Word” (John 1:1). Of course, the Bible is known as “The Word of God” (Hebrews 4:12). And the schemes of Satan have always involved semantic deception— “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1).

At a time when Christians are being persecuted all around the world in historic numbers, we need leaders (especially Christian leaders!) to be clear in their support for their brothers and sisters around the world. They are being targeted because of their faith and so their faith should not be minimized in any way.

According to Open Doors, every month, on average: “345 Christians are killed for faith-related reasons, 105 Churches and Christian buildings are burned or attacked, and 219 Christians are detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned.”

At one level, if this was an attempt to obfuscate the issue on the part of this group of Democrats, the attempt should be rightfully condemned.  But at another level, from the beginning in the first century A.D. those who followed Jesus have been described in many ways, almost always in an attempt to disparage our faith. In fact, the very term Christian was given to the disciples at Antioch (Acts 11:26) in a seemingly condescending way. Before that, they were known as people of ‘the way” (Acts 9:2; 11:26) or of “the book,” as identified in the Quran (5:77-80). These weird “Easter worshippers.”

I have a sense of pride then in standing with the brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever the world may want to call us. Even when done maliciously, to undermine us, “Blessed are [we] when people insult [us], persecute [us], and falsely say all kinds of evil against [us] because of [Jesus]” (Matthew 5:11).

So, I am a Christian. Count me in among those “of the book” or “of the way,” the “Easter worshippers,” speaking about the “unknown god” (Acts 17:23) and the crucified Christ, risen back to life (yes, in His physical body!) and sitting at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:32-33). He is the hope of the world, and I will gladly suffer this and more to share that hope with you.


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.