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Author Topic: Free Speech  (Read 3292 times)

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truthjourney

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Re: Free Speech
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2020, 08:47:27 am »
The Yellow Vest movement started from motorists being angry about the increase in diesel price.

“Yellow Vest” protesters have defied a ban on mass gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFKnD3Zuw9s
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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

truthjourney

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Re: Free Speech
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2020, 09:01:59 am »
That's all we need, to have more of our rights taken away. As if the Patriot Act wasn't bad enough.

As leaders seize powers to fight coronavirus, fear grows for democracy

BRUSSELS —France and Bolivia have postponed elections. Peru handed its president broad new legislative authority. Israel sharply ramped up the reach of its surveillance state.

While leaders around the world fight the spread of the coronavirus, they’re amassing sweeping new powers. As legislatures limit or suspend activities in the name of social distancing, many of the norms that define democracy — elections, deliberation and debate, checks and balances — have been put on indefinite hold.

The speed and breadth of the transformation is unsettling political scientists, government watchdogs and rights groups. Many concede that emergency declarations and streamlining government decision-making are necessary responses to a global health threat. But they question how readily leaders will give up the powers they’ve accrued when the coronavirus eventually subsides.

“This is a situation where it’s far too easy to make arguments for undue interference with civil rights and liberties,” said Tomas Valasek, a Slovak lawmaker.

The country that has attracted the most notice for a lurch backward from democratic reforms is Hungary, which last month handed Prime Minister Viktor Orban near-dictatorial powers. Orban was already facing the prospect of sanctions from the European Union over concerns he had packed courts with loyalists, closed down opposition media outlets and overhauled the country’s constitution to ensure he remains in power. The new measure gives him authority to legislate by decree, free from parliamentary oversight, for as long as he deems necessary to fight the coronavirus, and it imposes steep penalties for spreading “false information” — a step that critics fear will be used to further crack down on the opposition.

But even countries with robust traditions of freedom and dissent have imposed measures nearly overnight that under other circumstances would look more familiar in an authoritarian state. In Belgium, authorities have ­requisitioned cellphone companies’ location tracking data to make sure people aren’t straying too far from home. Police checkpoints on major streets monitor what the phone companies miss.

“It doesn’t just take the despots and the illiberals of this world, like Orban, to wreak damage,” said Valasek, who has been involved in negotiating Slovakia’s pandemic response. “We need to make sure that we don’t go a single inch further than absolutely necessary in curtailing civil liberties in the name of fighting for public health.”

Past moments of extreme anxiety have given rise to measures that long outlived the crisis they were imposed to address. After the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981, for example, Egyptians lived 31 more years under a state of emergency that granted the government sweeping security powers.

The state of emergency declared in France after terrorist attacks in November 2015 remained in place for two years — and was ended only after many of the surveillance powers it enabled were made permanent.

And in the United States, the 9/11 attacks led to emergency measures that persist to this day. The detention center in Guantánamo Bay is still open. Targeted drone killings continue. Under the Patriot Act, mass surveillance is still possible.

“September 11th is the appropriate analogy,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “We had a fearful public that was willing to countenance a government that was taking steps that undermined civil rights and were difficult to reverse over a long time.

“Governments around the world are assembling emergency powers that they will be reluctant to relinquish, and over time emergency powers seep into the fabric of society,” he said. “You see this throughout history.”

Story continues:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/as-leaders-seize-powers-to-fight-coronavirus-fear-grows-for-democracy/ar-BB12wC0t?ocid=spartanntp

« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 12:05:15 am by truthjourney »
Eph. 5:11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose and rebuke them.
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patrick jane

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Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

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1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

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Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Free Speech
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2020, 05:53:13 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/november/scotus-ruling-new-york-church-worship-block-barrett.html








Supreme Court Blocks New York’s Worship Service Restrictions




It’s the first time during the pandemic the high court has sided with churches and synagogues challenging the new rules on religious liberty grounds.


As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.

The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented.

The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett’s liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada.

The court’s action Wednesday could push New York to reevaluate its restrictions on houses of worship in areas designated virus hot spots, though both groups who sued are no longer in zones subject to the strictest attendance restrictions.

The justices acted on an emergency basis, temporarily barring New York from enforcing the restrictions against the groups while their lawsuits continue. In an unsigned opinion the court said the restrictions “single out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment.”

“Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area. But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty,” the opinion said.

Though the decision addresses the restrictions in New York in particular, religious liberty expert John Inazu said on Twitter, “I think the Court’s conclusion is correct and makes some important observations, including that these orders cause irreparable harm because they involve restrictions of First Amendment freedoms, and that virtual worship is not a constitutionally sufficient alternative.”

“In other words, worship is absolutely an ‘essential activity’ and to say otherwise is constitutionally incorrect and politically unwise,” he added. Inazu, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said it was the first time the high court had sided with houses of worship challenging COVID-19 regulations, but also that as the pandemic has gone on, Americans have learned more about the disproportionate risks of different activities.

The opinion noted that in red zones, while a synagogue or church cannot admit more than 10 people, businesses deemed “essential,” from grocery stores to pet shops, can remain open without capacity limits. And in orange zones, while synagogues and churches are capped at 25 people, “even non-essential businesses may decide for themselves how many persons to admit.”

Roberts, in dissent, wrote that there was “simply no need” for the court’s action. “None of the houses of worship identified in the applications is now subject to any fixed numerical restrictions,” he said, adding that New York’s 10 and 25 person caps “do seem unduly restrictive.”

“The Governor might reinstate the restrictions. But he also might not. And it is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety in the midst of a deadly pandemic,” he wrote.

Roberts and four other justices wrote separately to explain their views. Barrett did not.

The court’s action was a victory for the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues that had sued to challenge state restrictions announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on October 6.

The Diocese of Brooklyn, which covers Brooklyn and Queens, argued houses of worship were being unfairly singled out by the governor’s executive order. The diocese argued it had previously operated safely by capping attendance at 25 percent of a building’s capacity and taking other measures. Parts of Brooklyn and Queens are now in yellow zones where attendance at houses of worship is capped at 50 percent of a building’s capacity, but the church is keeping attendance lower.

“We are extremely grateful that the Supreme Court has acted so swiftly and decisively to protect one of our most fundamental constitutional rights—the free exercise of religion,” said Randy Mastro, an attorney for the diocese, in a statement.

Avi Schick, an attorney for Agudath Israel of America, wrote in an email: “This is an historic victory. This landmark decision will ensure that religious practices and religious institutions will be protected from government edicts that do not treat religion with the respect demanded by the Constitution.”

Two lower courts had sided with New York in allowing the restrictions to remain in place. New York had argued that religious gatherings were being treated less restrictively than secular gatherings that carried the same infection risk, like concerts and theatrical performances. An email sent early Thursday by The Associated Press to the governor’s office seeking comment was not immediately returned.

There are currently several areas in New York designated orange zones but no red zones, according to a state website that tracks areas designated as hot spots.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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patrick jane

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Re: Free Speech
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2020, 05:57:41 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/november/scotus-gets-it-right-religious-liberty-church-is-essential.html








SCOTUS Gets It Right on Religious Liberty: Church IS Essential





But the right outcome here doesn’t mean all restrictions are invalid or that churches should reopen.



Last night, the Supreme Court issued injunctive relief to houses of worship challenging New York City’s COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings, the first time it has granted such relief during the pandemic. I have mixed views about the decision and early reactions to it.

First, I don’t think this decision is as momentous as commentators are suggesting. It is fairly fact-specific injunctive relief, and the nature and scope of pandemic orders vary greatly around the country. It’s hard to generalize much from this decision, and I’m concerned that public messaging about it will fuel a broader culture wars narrative from religious leaders like John MacArthur who insist “there is no pandemic” and continue to hold services for 7,000 unmasked people. An injunction against a 25-person cap is not a green light to return to regular worship. Given the current state of the pandemic, it’s not even a yellow light.

The dire rates of transmission we’re seeing all around the country, the Thanksgiving holiday travel, and our growing awareness that indoor, in-person gatherings are a major cause of transmission all increase the likelihood that even more restrictions may be coming. That’s another reason it’s best to view this order as limited and fact-specific.

That said, I think the Court’s decision is correct and offers some important observations. One of the most important is that these shutdown orders cause irreparable harm because they restrict First Amendment freedoms—and that virtual worship is not a constitutionally sufficient alternative. In other words, worship is absolutely an “essential activity” and to say otherwise is constitutionally incorrect and politically unwise. The New York City order and others like it should not be classifying worship as non-essential. Of course worship is essential.

That doesn’t mean worship may not be restricted. Earlier this year, the Court denied injunctive relief to a challenge against California’s restrictions affecting houses of worship. Chief Justice Robert’s concurrence supporting California’s restrictions seemed largely correct to me. In many cases, limitations on houses of worship will be constitutionally permissible policy decisions.

The New York City order is an example of policy overreaching. The constitutionality of other orders will depend upon local context and the degree to which restricted activities share comparable characteristics. Justice Gorsuch’s concurrence in last night’s decision gets too cute, comparing worship services to bike shops and liquor stores:

[T]he Governor has chosen to impose no capacity restrictions on certain businesses he considers “essential.” And it turns out the businesses the Governor considers essential include hardware stores, acupuncturists, and liquor stores. Bicycle repair shops, certain signage companies, accountants, lawyers, and insurance agents are all essential too. So, at least according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians.

Picking up a bottle of wine and attending a lengthy worship service are not comparable activities when we consider where people are located, how they’re moving, and what they’re doing. We would need to know a lot more before buying into Justice Gorsuch’s closer: “Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”

Justice Gorsuch rightly notes that we are past the pandemic’s early stages and we know much more about the virus today. But it’s not clear which way that cuts. On the one hand, many houses of worship are taking precautions that appear to be effective (as noted by the evidence presented in this case), and certainly better than activities like in-person dining. On the other hand, the pandemic is getting worse.

The elephant in the room is all of the latitude given restaurants and bars, whose gatherings seem far worse for the pandemic than limited-number, masked, indoor worship. As Amanda Mull observes in The Atlantic:

Why can’t a governor or mayor just be honest? There’s no help coming from the Trump administration, the local coffers are bare, and as a result, concessions are being made to business owners who want workers in restaurants and employees in offices in order to white-knuckle it for as long as possible and with as many jobs intact as possible, even if hospitals start to fill up again.

She’s right. That’s bad news for the pandemic, but it also weakens governmental responses to constitutional claims by houses of worship. Keeping Home Depot open while limiting houses of worship might make sense. Keeping restaurants and bars open while restricting houses of worship at the level of NYC’s order is much harder to defend.

Of course, questions of law and governmental policy speak only to what houses of worship may do, not what they should do. At a time when much of the country is sick and suffering and much of the country is partying and dining, many houses of worship continue to comply voluntarily even when orders have exempted them. That’s a tangible sign of loving one’s neighbor, even at great cost.








John Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly (Yale University Press, 2012) and Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference (University of Chicago Press, 2016), and co-editor (with Tim Keller) of Uncommon Ground: Living Faithfully in a World of Difference (Thomas Nelson, 2020).
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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