Well, it’s finally happened. Teaching a boy to be a man is now deemed harmful for the boy.
I’m not making this up. This assessment is not the ranting of a rabid libtard feminazi, but the considered opinion of the august organization, the American PsychologicalAssociation (APA).
The APA said it could be damaging to teach boys about “traditional masculinity.” In its recently released report titled, “APA Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men,” the APA said the “traditional masculinity philosophy not only is ‘harmful’ but also could lead to homophobia and sexual harassment.”
The U.S. News & World Report said the APA cited traditional masculinity as including elements of “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk and violence.”
Fox News this week quoted an APA press release stating, “The main thrust of the (APA’s) subsequent research is that traditional masculinity – marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression – is, on the whole, harmful.”
The Daily Caller wrote that the APA report held that “traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage that echoes both inwardly and outwardly.”
“Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict, and negatively influence mental health and physical health,” the 36-page report says, Fox reported.
Further, the report proposes that “masculine boys may put their energy toward disruptive behaviors such as homophobia, bullying and even sexual harassment rather than strive for academic excellence.”
The report suggests that psychologists relinquish any predisposition when treating boys, and offers tips on how to do that while also advising them to teach them how “power, privilege and sexism work both by conferring benefits to men and by trapping them in narrow roles.”.
Never before has the APA delivered guiding principles to aid psychologists to “specifically address issues with men and boys,” According to a U.S. News & World Report article.
Ronald F. Levant, Ed. D, a professor emeritus of psychology, told Fox, “Though men benefit from patriarchy, they are also impinged upon by patriarchy.”
The APA published statistics to support their research, “including that men are four times more likely than women to die of suicide worldwide, are ‘far more likely’ than women to be arrested and charged with intimate partner violence in the U.S., and commit about 90 percent of all homicides nationwide.”
Stephanie Pappas, writing in an APAP article said that, “[M]en still dominate professionally and politically: As of 2018, 95.2 percent of chief operating officers at Fortune 500 companies were men. According to a 2017 analysis by Fortune, in 16 of the top companies, 80 percent of all high-ranking executives were male. Meanwhile, the 115th Congress, which began in 2017, was 81 percent male,” the Daily Caller reported.
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) filed legislation Wednesday (January 9) that if passed, would ban practically all semi-automatic firearms. A press release from Feinstein’s office said the legislation would not affect “more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.” Yet the actual terms of the proposed ban tell a different story.
The legislation would ban all firearms that can have “a detachable ammunition magazine” or that have “one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel, or a folding or telescoping stock,” the release states. Practically all semi-automatic rifles, handguns, and even some shotguns utilize detachable magazines. The inclusion of threaded barrels would eliminate noise suppressors. And, finally, the inclusion of pistol grips, a forward grip, barrel shrouds, or a folding or telescoping stock, all of which would be banned under the legislation, would effectively disarm a majority of law-abiding gun owners.
The Feinstein’s proposed “assault weapons” ban includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment. But even those firearms would come under strict government oversight and excessive restrictions for maintaining ownership.
Key provisions of the legislation:
•Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.
•Bans any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners may keep existing weapons.
•Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.
•Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.
•Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.
•Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
•Bans stocks that are “otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of a firearm.”
•Bans assault pistols that weigh 50 or more ounces when unloaded, a policy included in the original 1994 ban.
•Bans assault pistol stabilizing braces that transform assault pistols into assault rifles by allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon and fire more accurately.
•Bans Thordsen-type grips and stocks that are designed to evade a ban on assault weapons.
Support for the proposed gun ban was decidedly based on emotional appeal. Senator Murphy said, “Military-style assault rifles are the weapons of choice for mass murderers. There’s just no reason why these guns, which were designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, are sold to the public,” said Senator Chris Murphy. “This past year, we’ve seen Americans rise up and demand Congress change our gun laws. Banning assault weapons would save lives, and I’m proud to join Senator Feinstein in introducing this bill.”
Senator Blumenthal opined, “Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are deadly and dangerous weapons of war that belong on battlefields—not our streets. They have no purpose for self-defense or hunting, and no business being in our schools, churches and malls. By passing this legislation, Congress can honor the memory of the beautiful lives cut short by military-style assault weapons in Newtown, Parkland, Las Vegas, San Bernardino and far too many other American cities. This is the year for my colleagues to turn our rhetoric into reality and finally end America’s gun violence epidemic.”
Senator Feinstein referenced the faux “spontaneous student protest”, saying, “Last year we saw tens of thousands of students nationwide take to the streets to demand action to stop mass shootings and stem the epidemic of gun violence that plagues our communities. Our youngest generation has grown up with active-shooter drills, hiding under their desks—and now they’re saying enough is enough. Americans across the nation are asking Congress to reinstate the federal ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. If we’re going to put a stop to mass shootings and protect our children, we need to get these weapons of war off our streets.”
Co-sponsors of the proposed legislation included many of the usual demobrat anti Second Amendment rat pack, and included senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
Facebook’s “hate speech” suspension only lasted 24 hours. But it may have been the longest 24 hours yet for the social media giant. Evangelist Franklin Graham, CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, told the Charlotte Observer that he was recently suspended from Facebook for taking a stand for his biblical beliefs. The offending “hate speech” that shut down Graham’s account was nothing recent. Rather it stemmed from an April 9, 2016 post in which Graham endorsed a North Carolina law that prevents men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms. In addition, Graham’s post urged a return to biblical principles as a way of life.
The Facebook suspension prompted an immediate flurry of comment from numerous media outlets, including Fox News, the Washington Post and The New York Times. In addition, the suspension was concurrent with a Times investigative report revealing that Facebook maintains a secret rule book for policing—and censoring—Facebook members’ speech.
Facebook moved quickly to remove the suspension, but not soon enough. By the time Facebook restored Graham’s account, the word was out. On December 28, Facebook apologized. A Facebook spokesperson admitted to the Charlotte Observer that Graham was indeed punished for his post. And while the spokesperson is now apologizing for censoring Graham, it’s clear that some of Facebook’s team of 15,000 speech police can censor conservative Christians at will.
Graham says it’s just wrong that his biblical comments would be ever considered “hate speech.”
“Facebook said the post went against their ‘community standards on hate speech.’ Facebook is trying to define truth. There was a character in a movie a few years back who said, ‘The truth is what I say it is!’ That’s what Facebook is trying to do. They’re making the rules and changing the rules,” Graham said.
But he says God’s truth will always be the only real truth. “Truth is truth,” Graham said. “God made the rules and His Word is truth. Actually, Facebook is censoring free speech. The free exchange of ideas is part of our country’s DNA.
Graham reposted his 2016 post, last week, asking readers to judge whether what he said was “hate speech.”
“April 9, 2016—Bruce Springsteen, a long-time gay rights activist, has cancelled his North Carolina concert. He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms is going ‘backwards instead of forwards.’ Well, to be honest, we need to go back! Back to God. Back to respecting and honoring His commands. Back to common sense. Mr. Springsteen, a nation embracing sin and bowing at the feet of godless secularism and political correctness is not progress. I’m thankful North Carolina has a governor, Pat McCrory, and a lieutenant governor, Dan Forest, and legislators who put the safety of our women and children first! HB2 protects the safety and privacy of women and children and preserves the human rights of millions of faith-based citizens of this state.”
The suspension, however brief, raises serious questions. If Facebook is willing to block one of the most prominent Christian leaders in the world, then what’s next? Graham’s Facebook suspension also reinforces ongoing reports of censorship against Christian beliefs by other social media giants and the tech companies that control so much of the communication and interaction in our world today – companies such as Google, Twitter, WordPress and Apple.
The revelation that Facebook records, monitors, scrutinizes and judges all subscribers’ speech according to a draconian and biased set of secret rules is frightening. It is a direct threat to free expression and an assault on conservative and Christian values. Had Graham’s suspension been confined to his account, Facebook might have been able to say that it was a simple error in judgment. But it was not an aberration. It was a punitive suspension levied according to corporate policy that was, until then, a secret. But the cat, so to speak, is out of the bag.
Christopher Carbone, writing for Fox News, outlined the report by The New York Times that disclosed the existence of Facebook’s rulebook. He said the rulebook was Facebook’s attempt to eliminate misinformation and hate speech. But he noted that the effort was predicated on a “byzantine and secret document of rules packed with spreadsheets and power point slides that gets updated regularly for its global content moderators.”
He said the New York Times showed the social network to be “a far more powerful arbiter of global speech than has been publicly recognized or acknowledged by the company itself.” The Times, he said, discovered a range of gaps, biases and outright errors — including instances where Facebook allowed extremism to spread in some counties while censoring mainstream speech in others.”
The rulebook’s details were revealed by a Facebook employee who leaked more than 1,400 pages of the speech policing rulebook to the Times because he “feared that the company was exercising too much power, with too little oversight — and making too many mistakes.”
Carbone said that Facebook “is trying to monitor billions of posts per day in over 100 languages while parsing out the subtle nuances and complicated context of language, images and even emojis. The group of Facebook employees who meet every other Tuesday to update the rules, according to the Times, are trying to boil down highly complex issues into strict yes-or-no rules.”
Facebook, he said, then outsources the content moderation to other companies that tend to hire unskilled workers. The 7,500-plus moderators “have mere seconds to recall countless rules and apply them to the hundreds of posts that dash across their screens each day. When is a reference to “jihad,” for example, forbidden? When is a “crying laughter” emoji a warning sign?”
In the U.S., Facebook has banned the Proud Boys, a far-right group that has been accused of fomenting real-world violence. It also blocked an advertisement about the caravan of Central American illegal aliens put out by President Trump’s political team.
“It’s not our place to correct people’s speech, but we do want to enforce our community standards on our platform,” Sara Su, a senior engineer on the News Feed, told the Times. “When you’re in our community, we want to make sure that we’re balancing freedom of expression and safety.”
Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, said that the primary goal was to prevent harm, and that to a great extent, the company had been successful. But perfection, she said, is not possible.
“We have billions of posts every day, we’re identifying more and more potential violations using our technical systems,” Bickert told the newspaper. “At that scale, even if you’re 99 percent accurate, you’re going to have a lot of mistakes.”
Facebook’s most politically consequential and potentially divisive document could be an Excel spreadsheet that the Times reports lists every group and individual the company has barred as a “hate figure.” Moderators are told to remove any post praising, supporting or representing any of the people on that list.
Anton Shekhovtsov, an expert in far-right groups, told the publication he was “confused about the methodology.” The company bans an impressive array of American and British groups, he added, but relatively few in countries where the far right can be more violent, particularly Russia or Ukraine.
Still, there’s inconsistency in how Facebook applies the rules. In Germany, where speech in general is more scrutinized, Facebook reportedly blocks dozens of far-right groups. In nearby Austria, it only blocks one.
For a tech company to draw these lines is “extremely problematic,” Jonas Kaiser, a Harvard University expert on online extremism, told the Times. “It puts social networks in the position to make judgment calls that are traditionally the job of the courts.”
Leyla Pirnie–victim of discrimination over gun ownership
Leyla Pirnie, a 24-year-old Harvard graduate student, has been asked to move out of her Massachusetts student apartment after her roommates ransacked her room while she was away for a weekend.
Pirnie told the Washington Free Beacon that her roommates confessed they went looking for guns because she is from Alabama and owns a Make America Great Again hat—two items that led them to believe that she also would own firearms.
She said she was confronted about her guns by her six roommates on her return from her weekend break.
“When I asked them why they were in my room to begin with, they each came up with completely contradicting stories (none of which made any sense), but one comment struck me in particular: ‘We saw that you had a MAGA hat and come on, you’re from Alabama… so we just kind of assumed that you had something,'” she said. “I asked why they didn’t just call me and ask me before intruding. One of the girls responded that fear took over her body and she felt compelled to search my room until she found proof… I cannot make this up.”
Pirnie also said that despite explaining she was trained in the use of guns, her roommates were more concerned with someone breaking in and turning the guns on them or that a gun “might go off on [its] own.” Although, Pirnie said her biggest issue was her roommates, who she barely knew, going through her personal belongings. Pirnie went on to say that she believes her landlord “showed tremendous prejudice against my right to legally have firearms.”
The discovery of Pirnie’s firearms prompted one of the roommates to e-mail the landlord, David Lewis, to verify that Pirnie was in compliance with applicable firearms laws.
“We discussed with Leyla that all of us are uncomfortable with having firearms in the house, and that their presence causes anxiety and deprives us of the quiet enjoyment of the premise to which we are entitled,” the roommate wrote to Lewis.
Lewis, president of Avid Management, the company that owns the apartment house, said in an e-mail to the household, “Since it’s clear that Leyla wants to keep her firearms, it would be best for all parties if she finds another place to live.” That e-mail came after Lewis had consulted with his attorney and after an inspection of the firearms by Somerville, Massachusetts Police Captain James Donovan. Donovan told Lewis and the tenants that Pirnie was in full compliance with Massachusetts state law, and that the firearms were kept, stored and maintained in full compliance with Massachusetts state law.
Lewis acknowledged that Pirnie was well within her rights and that she was not violating any laws. But his e-mail continued, “That being said, it is clear that the rest of the housemates are extremely uncomfortable with the idea of Firearms (sic) being kept in the household and this difference in philosophy and life style has led to an uncomfortable level of tension and stress for the entire household.”
Pirnie has refused to vacate her apartment. She said that when the roommates confronted her about her firearms she explained to them she was a legal gun owner who is trained in the safe handling of firearms. She said the roommates weren’t concerned with Pirnie’s handling of the guns but rather that somebody might break in and turn the guns on them or the guns “might go off on their own.”
She told the Beacon that her landlord’s concern over some of her roommates being uncomfortable with legally owned firearms is misplaced and his request that she move out is inappropriate.
“What I find uncomfortable is coming home to find out that six people I barely know went into my bedroom without permission and went through every single one of my drawers, without any regard to my privacy whatsoever,” Pirnie said. “My landlord’s e-mail, though carefully crafted, showed tremendous prejudice against my right to legally have firearms.”
Pirnie said her motivations for owning firearms have been ignored even though she shared them with her roommates. While an undergrad, she said she was in a physically abusive relationship. She said the experience is part of what drives her to be armed.
“Nobody has bothered to question, ‘Well, why do you want to have protection? Could it be because you’ve experienced something where you need to protect yourself as you see fit?'” she said. “I have a real and legitimate reason as to why I want to protect myself.”
When Pirnie and her father rejected Lewis’s request that she move out in the middle of studying for finals, Lewis responded by saying his request “was based strictly on practical and not ideological terms.” He then warned that if the other roommates moved out Pirnie would have to pay their rent.
“If the other roommates were to move out, Leyla would need to find roommates to share the place or foot the entire $6000+ monthly rent herself,” Lewis wrote in an email to Pirnie and her father. “Obviously it would be much easier for the others to stay and just fill one room (and I’m confident—were this to happen—that the remaining housemates will release Leyla from any further responsibility under the lease) and that’s why I proposed what I did.”
Pirnie feels she’s being punished for being a gun owner.
“I’m still very much so being threatened out of my apartment,” she said. “Either I leave and incur moving expenses or my roommates move and I incur their rent expenses… Doesn’t seem right. Not only is this a blatant violation of my privacy, but it’s also a violation of my rights.”
A search of Pirnie’s social media accounts reveals much about her political and religious philosophy. According to her Facebook page, Pirnie is from Izmir, Turkey. Pirnie says on her page that she began studying at Harvard on September 4. In a Facebook conversation about Ronald Reagan and the belief that the United States is a Christian nation, Pirnie identifies as a Christian. In response to a Reagan quote that saw the 40th president quoted as saying, “The constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying: its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray,” Pirnie said, “It’s important to keep in mind that this country was founded on Christian principles and values, with the belief that we should be tolerant of other religions. That doesn’t mean that we should be changing things like “in God we trust” or “merry Christmas” to “happy holidays” just because it might offend someone. Christians can’t be the only ones who are tolerant of other religions.”
Pirnie said in a University of Alabama questionnaire in 2015, “My name is Leyla Pirnie. I was born and raised in Izmir, Turkey for 12 years; however, my parents are both American. My mother is from German descent, while my father is from Scottish descent.”
A search for Pirnie’s Twitter account shows that her account has been suspended. It is not clear why this occurred; the last mention for her username came in May 2015.
Since Pirnie’s eviction story spread across the internet, she has deleted her LinkedIn account. A view of a cached version of that page shows that Pirnie is a graduate of Fairhope High School, class of 2009, and a 2017 graduate of the University of Alabama. At Alabama, Pirnie studied International Relation and Affairs, French and Political Science.
While at the University of Alabama, Pirnie was the social chair of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women and the Director of Public Relations for the International Students Association. Pirnie also said on her LinkedIn page that she is a senior director of Ropir International S.A., a package delivery company based in Doral, Florida. A separate online profile shows that Pirnie lived in Paris, France, for a time.
Since November 30, when the Washington Free Beacon broke the story of her threatened eviction, support from conservatives has skyrocketed. She was interviewed by FOX News. In addition, her story has struck a chord with conservatives on Twitter, with many rushing to offer their support to the Harvard grad student. Here are just a couple of their illustrative responses:
“A Christian in Turkey is almost as bad as being a Conservative in a Starbucks or at Harvard…….Dave Lewis has no legal grounds to remove her and if he attempted to do so, it would be in violation of her 2nd Amendment rights. As for her two roommates, I’m assuming all three of them signed the lease agreement. If they did and the two roommates moved out, the bigoted Dave Lewis’s only legal recourse would be to pursue them for non payment of their portion of the rent……”
“This is why people should talk about gun ownership before becoming roommates. Her roommates should never have searched her room or her belongings. A lot of younger people claim to her values, but their values seem to be do “whatever I feel like even if it’s wrong.”
Alex Roberts, writing for Halsey News December 1, concluded his article with a sentiment that many who support Pirnie echoed on their social media accounts.
“What this situation comes down to is another white educated woman who has found herself attacked when she has done nothing wrong. The landlord clearly displays no respect for the rights of Layla Pirnie who was legally within her rights and met the state requirements according to the very police officers who David Lewis had inspect the situation.”
If anyone still needs a reason to dump Netflix, here it is.
Moira Walley-Beckett, a screen writer whose loafers obviously don’t touch the ground, has created a new Netflix series titled “Anne With an E,” based upon Lucy Maud Montgomery’s immensely popular 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables. But the new Netflix series takes a bizarre and twisted turn.
The new series is produced by Northwood Entertainment.
Critic Mark Martin, writing for the entertainment section of the Christian Broadcasting Network July 21, said the Netflix adaptation of Montgomery’s novel has been revised to include multiple homosexual characters. As an example, the beloved character Great Aunt Josephine Barry is now a grouchy lesbian.
“Upon reading (the novel) again as an adult, I was wondering about Aunt Jo,” Walley-Beckett told IndieWire. “In the book, she’s a spinster, and she’s just a bit of a curmudgeon, and that’s kind of it. So I’m like, ‘Well, she’s coming to the Barrys for a month and she’s grieving;’ that’s why I decided to justify why she’s there: Who is she grieving?”
Aunt Jo revealed in Season 1 that she was grieving over the loss of a character known as Aunt Gertrude, Aunt Jo’s partner.
IndieWire reports their relationship is what’s called a “Boston marriage,” when two women live together without being supported financially by a man. But the term didn’t exist during the time period of the novel.
Walley-Beckett said, “And so we touch on that in Season 1, and in Season 2 we get to expand upon it in a way that allows her to provide a forum of acceptance.”
That “forum of acceptance” is known as a “queer soirée.” In Season 2, Aunt Jo holds her first queer soirée since the passing of her partner.
“It was very exciting for me and the writers to create that,” Walley-Beckett continued. “We’ve been talking about the queer soirée, which is how we refer to it, since we all first sat down together.”
IndieWire goes on to say that one of the artists attending the soirée is the show’s creation of the real-life pianist and composer, Cécile Chaminade.
“Cécile Chaminade is really torn from the pages of history. We didn’t invent anything about her really,” said Walley-Beckett. “She was a feminist and a gay icon and a composer, and she travels the world playing piano. So that’s how Jo would know her.”
The new Netflix series also features two homosexual male characters. One is Anne’s good friend, “Cole.”
“It would only make sense that there would be somebody in the class who was struggling with identity,” Walley-Beckett claims. “I was very keen to include a storyline like that.”
And it doesn’t end there. The children’s teacher, Mr. Phillips, is also gay.
“Also, in my mind, their teacher Mr. Phillips has always been an unidentified closeted homosexual,” Walley-Beckett said. “He just has no idea that he was.”
Walley-Beckett said there is an opposing view in the series through the character of “Diana.”
“It is very difficult for Diana confronted with this sudden circumstance about her two aunts, basically,” she said. “I felt like to balance things, it was great to have the kids have a conversation about it, and have conflicting points of view because those are the points of views that are within the families who are watching the show.”
“I am just so proud to be a part of something that can offer this to people, and I hope to all the kids, too, who are struggling with their gender (and sexual) identity, who may not have the empathy or understanding around them that they need,” she said.
Tess Farrand, a contributing writer for Movieguide: The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment, spoke out against all the prominent homosexual story lines depicted in “Anne With an E”:
“The creators of the series have carefully manipulated the classic story with an agenda that fits their worldview. ANNE WITH AN E’s attempt to also push LGBT in programming that would normally attract more faith-based audiences is utterly unnecessary.
“Moreover, focusing attention on the sexuality subplot of the series detracts from the moral redemptive nature of the story. Obviously, the minds behind the series are jumping onto the ideological bandwagon that already has concerned parents even more worried.
“The discussion of gender and sexuality are in fact discussed ad nauseam. People in 2018 don’t need or want to see political/social debates take place on ‘family’ TV shows; they see enough of it on social media or see it on the 5 ‘o clock news.
“Rather, we should be turning to the ultimate resource for clarification on these pressing topics: the Bible.”
Farrand encourages audiences to know the “power” they have to make changes in the entertainment industry.
“Audiences need to recognize the power of their part in the industry,” she wrote. “We can say no to entertainment choices, and we can pray that the individuals that make up the industry would be shaped by God’s Word, which has the power to transform and renew everyone.”
The 2017 Tax Act (formerly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act), signed into law late last year, was welcomed by wage earners and business alike that saw it as the fulfillment of President Trump’s campaign pledge to ease the burden of federal income tax. The law reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and created new income brackets that generally reduce the amount of federal income tax levied on wage earners. And yet, the new tax law has a darker, and for some, a more sinister side.
As of January 1, 2018, all non-profit 501(C)( 3) charitable organizations, including churches, which for decades were exempt from paying income tax, are no longer tax exempt.
Among other things, non-profits may have to file and pay a new income tax called “990-T,” at the rate of 21 percent on some benefits they give to their employees.
Section 512(a) (7) of the new tax code creates categories of taxable income by considering free employee benefits such as parking, travel expenses on company business, and the like as income to the church or non-profit corporation, which would then be taxed. The tax law applies to churches; religious organizations that provide services such as the Salvation Amy, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Good Will; and secular non-profits such and hospitals and colleges.
“Because of this new tax, many tax‐exempt employers, including churches, hospitals, charities, and schools will be required to file federal Form 990‐T, and in many cases, state corporate income returns, every year regardless of whether they actually engage in any unrelated business activity. This new tax was purportedly added to the law to put tax‐exempt employers on the same footing as taxable employers with respect to employer‐provided parking,” the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) states.
The change in non-profit status was not mentioned during the debate over the tax bill. And even now, many people involved in tax-exempt organizations still do not have a good grasp of what the tax law means for their organizations.
The new law will reportedly apply to all churches that provide parking for their employees even if the employee isn’t charged for parking. So how much does a parking space cost? The IRS is still calculating it. Dan Busby, president of the ECFA, predicts it will cost non-profits even more money than the actual tax amount because some will have to hire accountants just to sort through the new tax requirements.
Busby said “churches weren’t expecting to’ get hit with – of all things – an income tax bill,” which he called “a huge burden on groups that have historically enjoyed tax-exempt status.”
He said there are “nearly 15 million employees that work in the United States for nonprofits – nearly 10 percent of the workforce – so that’s 15 million parking places. And conservatively, it’s going to cost the non-profit community as a whole up to a billion dollars (in income tax levies). That’s a lot of money for ministries that rely on donations.”
Brian Faler, writing for Politico, June 26, 2018, said, “House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady is defending a controversial provision of the GOP tax law that requires churches and other historically tax-exempt organizations to begin paying a 21 percent tax on some types of fringe benefits they provide their employees.”
According to Faler, during the writing and debate leading up to the new tax code, Republicans wanted to treat nonprofits equally with for profit businesses, a task, “which proved challenging.”
“Because those organizations don’t pay income taxes lawmakers couldn’t take away fringe-benefit deductions,” he wrote. “So instead they created a 21 percent tax on the value of some of nonprofit employees’ benefits. The main benefits affected are transportation-related, like free parking in a lot or a garage and subway and bus passes. It also targets meals provided to workers and, in some circumstances, may affect gym memberships.”
However, Rob Damschen, Rep. Brady’s spokesman, defended the new tax policy, saying, “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included provisions that provided greater parity in the tax treatment of different types of employee compensation. These provisions apply to both employers that are taxable entities and those that are tax-exempt entities. Providing this greater parity helps to reduce the extent to which decisions about the elements included in the employee compensation package are driven by tax considerations.”
Mike Batts, ECFA chairman of the board, took issue with Damschen. “What we’re talking about is an income tax on the church for providing parking to its employees — that’s what we’re talking about,” he said. “It’s absurd.”
Predictably, many churches and non-profit organizations are calling for the repeal of the law that would force ministries to file federal tax returns, and in some cases pay taxes.
While churches, religious organizations and other non-profits decry the tax, other groups are delighted that churches now will have to pay income taxes to the IRS. The groups?
Atheists and humanists.
Michael Stone, writing in the online progressive secular humanist blog Patheos June 26, praised the new law saying: Good news: The new Republican tax law that gives to the rich while hurting the poor has a surprising consequence: taxing churches.
“In fact,” he wrote, “the new GOP tax law will force churches to pay taxes for the first time. And the churches are furious. Despite the complaints, taxing churches is long overdue, and a welcome development. A 2015 report from the Secular Policy Institute shows that tax exempt churches cost U.S. taxpayers $71 billion every year. . . . Among the report’s findings: Each year religious groups receive $35.3 billion in federal income tax subsidies and $26.2 billion property tax subsidies. In addition, religious organizations also enjoyed approximately $6.1 billion in state income tax subsidies, along with $1.2 billion of parsonage, and $2.2 billion in the faith-based initiatives.”
Stone noted that there currently is no estimate of how much tax revenue the new law will produce. He quoted Politico, however that the new tax “could cost some churches tens of thousands of dollars.”
“Bottom line:” he wrote, “This is good news. Churches should be taxed. Taxpayers should not be in the business of subsidizing religious superstition. It’s long past time to start taxing churches.”
Opposition to the new taxes is growing among non-profit organizations. The Christian Broadcasting Network June 27 reported that more than 1,000 churches and other non-profit groups have signed a petition put out by the ECFA demanding that the new 990-T tax on non-profits be repealed.
According to the ECFA, “By signing the petition, you will be advocating for the repeal of this new burdensome provision in the law . . . either by legislation or effectively by action of the Treasury Department. The position statement may be used to communicate these concerns to members of Congress and/or Treasury officials.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary and daughter of former Arkansas governor Republican Mike Huckabee, was thrown out of a Virginia restaurant Friday night (June 23) in an incident that sparked a social media storm. The reason? Sanders works for President Donald Trump.
An Associated Press report, first picked up by the Christian Broadcasting Network, and subsequently by other media, said Sanders was ordered out of The Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, by the owner Stephanie Wilkinson, even as the chef was cooking Sanders’ dinner. Sanders said the event said far more about the owner of the restaurant than it did about her.
In a tweet from her official account, Sanders said, “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.” The tweet generated more than 22,000 replies in about an hour. The ensuing furor pitted both supporters and detractors of Sanders. Her father, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, even joined the conversation. “Bigotry.” He tweeted. “On the menu at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington VA. Or you can ask for the ‘Hate Plate.’ And appetizers are ‘small plates for small minds.”’
The incident mirrors an earlier incident in the week when Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen cut short a working dinner in a Mexican restaurant after protesters shouted, “Shame!” until she left.
In the ensuing social media dialogues, people from all across the country began to take sides. Some wanted to organize protests outside Red Hen restaurant, while others championed owner Wilkinson as a hero.
On Yelp, a Los Angeles-based restaurant reviewer chimed in, “Don’t eat here if you’re a Republican, wearing a MAGA hat, or are a patriot.”
Other Yelp commenters, however, supported the restaurant owner’s action. A responder from Commerce City, Colorado wrote, “Bonus: this place is run by management who stuck up for their beliefs and who are true Americans. THANK YOU!!!!”
Red Hen was trending toward the top of Twitter — 75,000 mentions within a couple hours of the first news stories.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Wilkinson explained her reasons for why she asked Sanders and her companions to leave.
“Several Red Hen employees were gay,” she said. “They knew Sanders had defended Trump’s desire to bar transgender people from the military. This month, they had all watched her evade questions and defend a Trump policy that caused migrant children to be separated from their parents.” Wilkinson said that the Sanders party already had been seated and their orders taken when she was informed by telephone who they were. It took her several minutes to drive from her home to the restaurant. She conferred with her employees.
“Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave,” Wilkinson told her staff. “They said yes.” Wilkerson then walked up to Sanders’ chair.
“I’m the owner,” she said. “I’d like you to come out to the patio with me for a word.”
She told Sanders about her feelings vis-sà-vis the president and recent events.
“I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation. I’d like to ask you to leave.”
She said that Sanders’ response was immediate: “That’s fine. I’ll go.”
As of Saturday afternoon, media personnel from broadcast stations and newspapers were camping out on the street next to the Red Hen. Wilkinson, however, remained steadfast in her belief that she was justified in throwing out the White House press secretary because she works for President Trump. She told the Washington Post, “Whatever happens, we will soldier on. Absolutely, yes, I would have done the same thing again.”
It must be noted that what the jackals of the Mainstream Media call “separation of families” is actually the Trump administration enacting a measure that flowed from the Clinton-era Flores vs. Reno Supreme Court decision allowing unaccompanied illegal border-crossing minors be held “in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs.”
Below is a pic of Red Hen owner and her partner, Duncan Richter, wearing pink pussy hats (h/t FOTM‘s MCA).
According to TruthFinder, Wilkinson and Richter own and co-habit a home in Lexington, VA:
Stephanie Wilkinson, 55, has a Ph.D. in European and American Religious History from the University of Virginia. Her LinkedIn profile here.
Duncan Richter, 51, is a philosophy professor at Virginia Military Institute in Roanoke, VA. His LinkedIn profile here.
So much for higher education . . . .
Their lofty degrees evidently taught them nothing about classical or original liberalism — the political ideology that believes in the primacy of individual liberty; that while government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others, government itself can pose a threat to liberty; and that no one or group has a monopoly on truth, and so we must tolerate our differences of opinion in the market place of ideas.
On behalf of my hometown of Lexington, I want to apologize for the rudeness of one liberal New York transplant (who also happens to be Meryl Streep’s cousin). We hope you will come back and enjoy our area’s true southern hospitality.
You can write a review of The Red Hen Restaurant at Yelp, here.