Category Archives: Good News Stories

Lawsuit forces CA homeowners’ association to allow Christian groups in senior community

In America’s ongoing culture war, in which the Left and anti-Christians have won too many battles, conservatives and Christians must fight back, with lawsuits if necessary.

A few Christians in a California retirement community did just that — and won.

Solera at Kern Canyon (by Del Webb) is a senior (“active adults” 55 and over) community of 558 homes in Bakersfield, California, where the cost of a single-family home ranges from the low $200,000s to high $200,000s.

Solera has a community center where residents meet, including four popular Christian groups: a Sunday morning worship service, a men’s Bible study group, and two women’s Bible studies groups. About 100 residents attend the groups every week.

In 2016, just before Thanksgiving, Solera’s homeowners’ association (HOA) suspended the group meetings following a complaint from one atheist resident. 

A member of the Sunday worship service and men’s Bible studies filed suit, and the HOA lifted the suspension in late December. The HOA, however, continued to insist that it had done nothing wrong and has the authority to suspend the groups again at anytime. So litigation continued throughout 2017 and early 2018.

Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious (read: Christian) freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties.

In Spring 2018, Pacific Justice Institute intervened in the suit on behalf of the leaders of Solera’s four Christian groups. In collaboration with Bakersfield attorney Doug Gosling of Braun Gosling, PJI argued that, although the homeowners’ association was not directly subject to the First Amendment, it owes residents similar obligations under California’s civil rights laws.

The case was scheduled for trial in mid-May. On March 12, 2018, the parties met for mediation that culminated in the HOA agreeing to a number of concessions that will protect the seniors’ religious rights going forward. After the settlement was finalized over the next several weeks, the plaintiffs filed for dismissal of the case.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “We are thrilled with this tremendous victory on behalf of these courageous senior citizens. This may be the first time a group of residents have taken on their HOA in court to fight for their religious meeting rights—and won.”

Matthew McReynolds, the PJI attorney who led the group’s litigation in the case, stated, “Throughout this case, their faith and dedication have inspired us.  They are overcoming physical challenges and disabilities to spread the light in their community, and we couldn’t have been more proud to represent them.”

Source: Pacific Justice Institute

Click here to donate to Pacific Justice Institute, a great warrior in America’s culture war.

~Eowyn

Trump administration revives “gag rule” on abortion

unborn baby

From NY Post: The Trump administration on Friday resurrected a Reagan-era rule banning federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions or sharing space with abortion providers.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the proposal Friday in a move aimed at burnishing the formerly pro-choice president’s pro-life credentials in the eyes of his evangelical base.

The policy has been derided as a “gag rule” by abortion rights supporters and medical groups, and it is likely to trigger lawsuits that could keep it from taking effect. But it’s guaranteed to galvanize activists on both sides of the abortion debate going into the congressional midterm elections.

The announcement came as President Trump was scheduled to speak at the Susan B. Anthony List’s “campaign for life” gala on Tuesday night. The group works to elect candidates who want to reduce and ultimately end abortion.

It says it spent more than $18 million in the 2016 election cycle to defeat Hillary Clinton and promote a “pro-life Senate.”

The Reagan-era rule barred family planning clinics from discussing abortion with women. It never went into effect as written, although the Supreme Court ruled that it was an appropriate use of executive power.

The policy was rescinded under President Bill Clinton, and a new rule went into effect that required “nondirective” counseling to include a full range of options for women.

According to a Trump administration summary, the new proposal will roll back the Clinton requirement that abortion should be discussed as an option along with prenatal care and adoption.

Known as Title X, the nation’s family planning program serves about 4 million women a year through clinics, at a cost to taxpayers of about $260 million.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but by law, federal family planning funds cannot be used to pay for abortion procedures.

Abortion opponents say a taxpayer-funded family planning program should have no connection to abortion.

Doctors’ groups and abortion rights supporters say a ban on counseling women trespasses on the doctor-patient relationship.

“This is an attempt to take away women’s basic rights, period,” said Dawn Laguens, a senior Planned Parenthood executive who hinted at possible legal action to try to block the Trump administration move, saying, “we will not stand by while our basic health care and rights are stripped away.”

“I cannot imagine a scenario in which public health groups would allow this effort to go unchallenged,” said Jessica Marcella of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, which represents family planning clinics.

Marcella said requiring clinics to be physically separate from facilities in which abortion is provided is impractical, and would disrupt services for women across the country.

But abortion foes said Trump is merely reaffirming the core mission of the family planning program. “The new regulations will draw a bright line between abortion centers and family planning programs, just as … federal law requires and the Supreme Court has upheld,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a key voice for religious conservatives.

Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America said, “Abortion is not health care or birth control and many women want natural health care choices, rather than hormone-induced changes.”

The Trump administration overview of the proposal said it’s not a “gag rule.”

It “will not prohibit counseling for clients about abortion … but neither will it include the current mandate that (clinics) must counsel and refer for abortion,” said the administration document.

Abortion rights supporters suggest that’s a distinction without a difference, since the ban on referring a woman for an abortion could amount to overriding the judgment of medical professionals. They also say women will have no guarantee of getting a full review of all their options.

The Republican-led Congress has unsuccessfully tried to deny federal funds to Planned Parenthood, and the Trump administration has vowed to religious and social conservatives that it would keep up the effort.

DCG

Awesome: Hero dog jumps into pool to rescue his canine pal

Luvs a happy ending!

From Fox News: An Arizona family filmed a remarkable video that showed a dog save his buddy who fell into a pool and struggled to get out.

Smokey and Remus, the dog buddies, were reportedly getting “rambunctious” earlier this month at their home in Mesa, Ariz. And at some point, Smokey fell into the family pool.

The dog is seen struggling to get out while Remus was pacing along the side.

After a few unsuccessful attempts to get the dog out of the water, Remus can be seen jumps into the pool to give his buddy a nudge.

The incredible video was captured by Laurie and her husband Jay Becerra on security camera, KSAT.com reported.

“So Remus and Smokey got a little rambunctious. Smokey can swim just not well,” Laurie wrote on social media. “Jay recorded this off our security camera when he saw Smokey all wet!

She praised “hero” dog Remus, saying though he may be “a crazy pup he’s got a heart of gold.” 

DCG

This photo will melt your heart: Ohio shelter dog’s “freedom ride”

dog rescue freedom fighter

Gregory and his rescuer Joe: Lovin’ life…

From Fox News: Gregory the beagle has become a local celebrity after a photo of the hound on his “freedom ride” went viral, his rescuer says.

Gregory was recently taken to the Franklin County Shelter and Adoption Center after he found running astray. While the hound was in relativity good health, his heartworm test came back positive and was subsequently placed on the shelter’s euthanasia list.

“I saw the shelter’s post and my husband immediately drove there to pick him up,” Schenley Hutson Kirk, co-founder of Hound Rescue and Sanctuary, told Fox News on Friday.

On the two-hour drive back to Findley, Gregory couldn’t contain his excitement. While new rescues are typically transported in a crate during the drive back to the sanctuary, she said, Kirk’s husband, Joe, let the pup ride safely tethered to the backseat.

“He [Gregory] was so overwhelmed and excited, he was licking Joe and being so affectionate,” Kirk said.

At a stop light, Joe decided to snap a picture of the pup on his “freedom ride.” At that same moment, Gregory snuggled up to Joe, tenderly looking up to his rescuer.

As of Friday afternoon, the photo, which Kirk shared on Facebook, garnered over 10,000 reactions and shares. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think this photo would go viral — we are speechless,” she said.

“He’s very laid-back, very happy-go-lucky, and his favorite thing to do is get lots of love from his people,” Kirk, who works to rescue hounds full-time, told The Dodo.

Gregory, who Kirk said has also shown her endless affection, is taking medicine to treat the heartworms. A family with two other rescue dogs has already applied and been approved to adopt Gregory once he fully recovers, Kirk said.

DCG

Your feel-good video of the day: Armed mom stops robber

A gunman approaches a group of moms picking up their kids from a private school in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

But he didn’t figure on one of the moms being an off-duty military police officer — 42-year-old Katia da Silva Sastre.

Swift as lightning, she shoots the punk who falls to the ground.

The gunman, Elivelton Neves Moreira, 21, was shot three times and died in the hospital, thereby saving taxpayers the expense of a trial and prison.

H/t Clash Daily

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional: ‘I will not leave you as orphans’

In the 40 days after He resurrected from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared several times to His apostles and disciples — in their homes, on the road, by the shores of the lake . . . .

Every time, strangely, they at first did not recognize Him because He is transfigured — a mystery that will remain a mystery until, should we be so blessed, we ourselves are transfigured in our “glorified bodies” when we are resurrected from the dead at the end of this world.

How precious those times must have been which the apostles shared with their risen Lord!

And then, 40 days after His resurrection, His mission on Earth completed, Jesus bade His apostles a last farewell.

John 16:4-5, 28; 17:1, 4-5, 13

“I did not tell you this from the beginning,
because I was with you.
But now I am going to the one who sent me….
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father….”
When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come….
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began….
But now I am coming to you….”

Acts of the Apostles 1:8-9

“When he had said this,
as they were looking on,
he was lifted up,
and a cloud took him from their sight.”

Every time I read those passages from John 16, I weep — as I imagine how wrenching it must be for the Apostles to say goodbye to their Lord, master and friend forever.

But of course, Jesus would not just abandon His apostles — nor us.

John 14:19, 18, 16-17

“the world will not see me anymore . . .
I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.
And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him,
for He lives with you
and will be in you.”

Not only did the Father send us the Holy Spirit, who lives with us and will be in us, Jesus also left us His Body and Blood:

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

How very much He must love us, in spite of ourselves . . . .

May the joy and peace of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord, be with you!

~Eowyn

Trump administration to send 57,000 Hondurans in the US back home

illegal

If you can’t follow our laws and obtain legal status then, Adios!

From Sun Sentinel: The Trump administration said Friday that it is ending special immigration protections for about 57,000 Hondurans, adding them to hundreds of thousands of immigrants from other countries battered by violence and natural disasters who are losing permission to be in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security‘s widely anticipated decision not to renew temporary protected status for Hondurans means an estimated 428,000 people from several countries face rolling deadlines beginning late this year to leave or obtain legal residency in other ways.

Hondurans will have until Jan. 5, 2020, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said.

President Donald Trump — who wants to curtail legal immigration and has been cracking down broadly on illegal immigration — and his supporters note that the protections were never meant to be permanent.

Immigrant advocates decried the move and contend that ending the status will drive people underground who have been establishing roots in the U.S. for years or decades, including having American-born children.

For Hondurans, the program known as TPS has been in place since 1999 after Hurricane Mitch devastated in the Central American nation the year before. The administration says conditions in Honduras have improved, while advocates argue that it still hasn’t fully recovered from the hurricane and is now plagued by rampant violence (Gee, I wonder why?).

Trump, his opponents argue, is effectively adding tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people to the ranks of those in the U.S. without legal status.

Marta Connor, a 50-year-old union organizer in Southern California who has lived in the U.S. for decades and has three American-born children, said before the announcement that she wasn’t leaving, regardless of the administration’s policies.

“One thing I can tell you is I am not going to Honduras,” she said, noting that many of the asylum-seeking migrants in a caravan that recently reached the U.S.-Mexico border are from Honduras. “If they are coming, why am I going over there?”

“There is no way I will go back,” Connor said.

Around 437,000 immigrants hailing from 10 countries have had temporary protected status, a designation created in 1990 to allow people from countries affected by natural disasters like earthquakes or man-made disasters like war to have a short-term safe haven. Only a few thousand still have that status.

Those with it have generally been able to work and with permission, travel outside the U.S. and return.

Countries are added to the list as circumstances warrant, with renewals coming usually around every 18 months. While some countries have been taken off the list, others have stayed on it for extended periods, which critics say turns the program into default amnesty.

Under Trump, the Department of Homeland Security has terminated the program for Sudan, Nicaragua, Nepal, Haiti, and notably El Salvador, which accounted for more holders of the special status than any other nation.

They have been given deadlines to leave or gain legal status if possible, starting in November for Sudan and throughout 2019 for the other countries. Several groups are suing to stay in the U.S.

Read the whole story here.

DCG