New York City votes to fine Biblical counselors for gender dysphoria therapy


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NEW YORK BANS AND FINES CONVERSION THERAPY

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I’d like to take you to a headline out of World Magazine: “New York City Votes to Ban Conversion Therapy.” Conversion therapy, Harry, would be a counselor or a pastor sitting down with a client to help them change their sexual orientation to conform with their gender recorded at birth.

New York City says such counseling would subject the counselor to a $1,000.00 fine for the first offense, $5,000.00 for the second offense and $10,000.00 for each subsequent offense.

WHAT ARE THEY BANNING?

DR. REEDER: Tom, this requires a little bit of closer analysis. What they are responding to, “conversion therapy,” actually, among Christians, has met with much criticism. Conversion therapy is a certain therapeutic method that many believers believe is unbiblical and is inhumane in its methods. It includes all kinds of things – wrapping people up in blankets and then putting you back in the womb – but they have taken a questionable therapeutic method and they have gone to a counseling axiom – a counseling principle – and that principle that they have said is inhumane is not the therapeutic method, but the therapeutic objective.

WHAT DOES BIBLICAL THERAPY LOOK LIKE?

That objective is not conversion of the person, but the realization of sanity that you cannot unconvert what is actually in your DNA so, when someone comes to a counselor and says, “Well, I believe I’m a man,” but they were born a woman, “I believe I’m a woman,” but they were born a man, now this conversion therapy that has come under scrutiny has been used as a mechanism to tell counselors, “You can’t tell people you are what you are at your birth.”

They even go so far in their rationale as to say that this has no scientific validity. Again, if you’re talking about a therapeutic method, let’s discuss it, but they have taken a therapeutic method, which can be analyzed, and they have made a declaration of a therapy objective and that it is unscientific to tell a person, who is male who is self-identifying as a female, that they are wrong – that, in reality, they are what they are biologically at birth and what their DNA says that they are. In other words, the scientific evidence is you are what you are at birth, but they’re saying it’s unscientific to tell someone that you are what you are at birth.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR BIBLICAL COUNSELORS

That’s the upside down world that sin and rebellion brings us to. This means that, if you want to be a Biblical counselor – now, right now, there is some provision for pastors and priests and rabbis, etc. but that’ll disappear like the mist on a summer morning after a couple of legal challenges – so what they’re telling counselors, “If your counseling includes telling someone who was born a man that they can be a man when they say they want to be a woman, then you will now be fined.” That’s basically what they’re saying.

And the second time you do it, you’re going to be fined more – five times as much – and, the next time you do it, you’re going to be fined two times the five times as much. In other words, “We’re going to bring the power of the state backed by the power of the sword – the power of penalties and fees – we are going to make you abandon A.) free speech, B.) free practice of religion and C.) rationality. Now we’re going to call the insane sane and the sane insane. In other words, we’re going to tell people that they can actually self-identify whatever they want to be and that’s what they actually are and, if you tell somebody that they are what they are and not what they self-identify as if it is opposite of what they are, you can’t tell people that that is irrational when, in fact, it is irrational and all of science stands behind it.”

FINES AHEAD

What are you going to do now if you live in the State of New York if you’re a believer – what are you going to do now if you’ve signed onto a company and the company says, “You cannot refer to people as ‘he’ or ‘she’”? In fact, they are inventing whole new pronouns and they are now bringing regulations of fines upon people – if you look at a man who identifies as a woman and you don’t call him by what he says he wants you to call him, then you will now be fined – if you do not participate in this fabrication of self-identification.

Let me be very clear: We need to spend time with people carefully who are going through this gender dysphoria, but what we also are dealing with here is society descending into insanity and imbecility.

CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITIES TO UPHOLD TRUTH

Here are the three things I would suggest:

1.) I cannot violate the Ninth Commandment. The Ninth Commandment says I can’t bear a false witness. I’m not going to tell someone who is a man, “You’re a woman.” I’m not going to tell someone who’s a woman, “You are a man.” I cannot violate the Ninth Commandment as a false witness. In other words, I can’t be in a courtroom and someone says to me, “Do you see that man over there?” and it’s actually a woman and I would say, “Yes.” No, I can’t do that. I’ve got to tell the truth.

2.) I’ve got to tell the truth in love. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be careful and sensitive in communicating the truth, but I’m going to tell the truth and I’m going to tell the truth in love. Part of loving is to speak the truth. Part of speaking the truth is to speak the truth compassionately and courageously and clearly and convincingly.

3.) I am going to be faithful to God’s Word with a Christian world and life view. I will not embrace the insanity of abandoning a Biblical world and life view simply because you say you’re going to fine me, or I’m going to lose my job or I’m going to have to walk away from my profession in your state. I can’t be a Biblical counselor in your state.

TITLE VII AND SUPREME COURT IMPLICATIONS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, another issue that’s going to come up in 2018 is the federal government, aka the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, deciding what Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts means. Now, the term that is under discussion is “you cannot discriminate because of someone’s sex.” Well, the EOEC, on their own, has decided that must mean sexual identity.

DR. REEDER: And, “sexual orientation” – that we are now giving civil rights to gender dysphoria and to sexual behavior. That’s got to be challenged. It’s got to make its way into the court system. I think it’s got to make its way into the Supreme Court. It is there that you hope some amount of sanity is in place.

Our founding documents give us the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By the way, notice it did not give the right to happiness – it gave the right to the pursuit of happiness. You have the right of life, you have the right of liberty and you have the right to the pursuit of happiness. That should not be discriminated against because you’re a male or a female or because of your ethnicity or because of your religion. That is precisely right.

RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION?

What we’re about to find out is will all of the major religions be discriminated against because all of the major religions affirm male and female at creation – that we are men and women, the binary world and life view of sex and gender at birth.

Will we now discriminate against the free speech and the free practice of religion by the invention of a civil right for those who would self-identify, even though scientifically, biologically, logically and legally, they are what they are at birth?

Clearly, that invention of this civil right for sexual behavior and gender dysphoria is about to arrive on the doorstep of the Supreme Court. Let us pray that sanity for the sake of cultural sanity will prevail when that course arrives.

BELIEVERS MUST STAND FIRM AGAINST CHAOS

Believers, you have to learn how to hold faithfully to Biblical truth in love and you have to learn how to practice that in the context of these increasing regulations, threats and fines in a society that would have us not speak the truth in love but, in the name of love, abandon truth and speak falsehood to someone when we would call them something that they say they are when, in reality, that’s not what they are.

The sanity of God’s creation must be affirmed, lest the insanity of our mythological creation of self-identity leads us into the abyss of chaos.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

42 mins ago

DeVonta Smith accepts Senior Bowl invitation

To the pleasant surprise of many, University of Alabama star wide receiver DeVonta Smith has accepted an invitation to participate in the 2021 Senior Bowl, to be held January 30 in Mobile, Alabama.

This year’s Senior Bowl and the week of practices, workouts and interviews before the game will look a little different due to COVID-19 protocols, however the annual showcase will still be a premier scouting opportunity for NFL prospects and teams.

The game itself is already sold out (with limited capacity) for its first-ever game to be played in the state-of-the-art Hancock Whitney Stadium located on the campus of the University of South Alabama.

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Now, the event has added the Heisman Trophy winner to the list of elite prospects who have accepted the Senior Bowl’s prestigious invitation to play in the game.

Smith, a two-time national champion for the Crimson Tide, will be added to the roster of either the American team or National team.

The staffs of the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins will coach the respective teams. Miami owns both the third pick and 18th pick in this spring’s draft, and the Panthers have pick No. 8.

One incentive for Smith to participate in the Senior Bowl is the difference in contract values between top picks; looking at last year’s numbers, there was a $10 million difference in picks No. 3 and No. 7, for example.

The Senior Bowl’s website also says that Alabama offensive linemen Alex Leatherwood, Landon Dickerson and Deonte Brown and long snapper Thomas Fletcher have accepted invitations.

Looking around the Yellowhammer State, Auburn’s KJ Britt, South Alabama’s Riley Cole, and UAB’s Jordan Smith and Austin Watkins, Jr. have also reportedly accepted Senior Bowl invitations.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 hours ago

State Sen. Allen opposes Alabama Memorial Preservation Act repeal — Says it is ‘important’ to protect history

Last month, State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) said he anticipated efforts to change the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, which he had sponsored in 2017.

The law has been in the news as of late given the rise of the so-called Black Lives Matter protest movement, responding to the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis police. The cities of Birmingham and Mobile moved to take down Confederate memorials, in violation of the law.

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Allen echoed his expectations but said he was opposed to any efforts to repeal the law outright.

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“Just like I said in the past, it is so important, and it is something that we need to be careful with and to protect it,” Allen explained. “It is what it is, and there are some things that took place in history that are shameful, and ugly, and disgraceful — but it is what it is and tells a story about who we are and where we come from. In fact, so many events have taken place here in Alabama and across this great country that represents some major, major policy changes. Some of those events took place in this great state. Certainly, I just think for our generation and generations to follow each of us and for four or five generations down the line, for you to be able to tell the complete story on what exactly took place and how we got to where we are — to be able to tell that story I think is very important.”

“If you start removing things and start saying that things shouldn’t exist — I think we need to be of open mind and about how important it is to project history,” he added. “It is a real issue to some. Certainly, I understand that. But it is history.”

APTV host Don Dailey asked Allen if he was open to “tweaks” but opposed a full repeal, which Allen warned a repeal would have consequences.

“I think we’ll be doing a great disjustice to history to go that far with it and to put it in such a way where currently if there is a mechanism in place, and it is a very good process in which individuals must go through, and it is one of those kinds of steps that we put in place to guarantee how we’re going to observe history and protect history as well,” he said.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

5 hours ago

U.S. Rep. Aderholt: Donald Trump, Mo Brooks remarks didn’t rise to the level of inciting violence — U.S. Capitol riot was ‘premeditated’

President Donald Trump and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) are facing threats of repercussions for speaking at a rally in the lead-up to the riots on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.

Trump has since been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, and Brooks is facing threats of a censure resolution by the same body.

However, during an interview with Alabama Public Television, Brooks’ colleague U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), a “no” vote on impeachment, said while they may have been ill-advised, neither of their remarks rose to the level of inciting violence.

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“I don’t think it was an impeachable offense,” he said of Trump. “If you look at what he said, and I looked at them, they were not I don’t think would nearly rise to that level. Obviously, he, like so many Americans, were concerned about the outcome of the election that occurred back in November — not just the outcome but the way it was handled, and the way the laws were not really in compliance with — and a lot of this really dealt with COVID-19 and the way the states were doing things. We could talk about that for an hour but let me just say that I don’t think that his actions were something that would rise to impeachment. If you look at the actions of those that were rioting in the Capitol, they were there and had a plan well before Donald Trump spoke to the people there for the Electoral College vote. They wouldn’t have had time for them to leave there, get the necessary equipment that some of them had — like the ties we’ve seen in the photos, several other objects that they had. That was something that had to be premeditated.”

He added the “vast majority” of the people at the protest event in Washington, D.C. that day were not a part of the rioting at the U.S. Capitol.

“I’ve looked at the words the president used that day and he in no way from the words that I have seen in the transcripts, that he in any way tried to incite any riots. I think those that would say so are just looking for some reason to try to fail the president.”

“Capitol Journal” anchor Don Dailey then asked Aderholt about Brooks, who Aderholt described as being “very passionate” but not responsible for the U.S. Capitol violence.

“If you know Congressman Brooks, he’s very passionate,” Aderholt added. “But again, I don’t think that what he said caused the rioters to go in. Again, they had to have had a plan well before Congressman Brooks spoke. I think looking back, his words could have been chosen differently. I think he could have made his point without using some of the words he did. But I don’t think it rose to the level of inciting the violence that did occur. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I know that he’s been very committed in what his comments were, I think perhaps he would have chosen those words differently had he known the outcome. But obviously, if you know Congressman Brooks, he’s very passionate on whatever issue he works on, and I think that was part of the day there that he was concerned like many of us were — that the electoral votes that were going to be counted — there were a lot of questions. We can’t move forward in this country if we have a lot of people questioning going to the ballot and making sure their vote is counted. If we start down that path, then I think it’s the end of our democracy as we know it because people have got to have the confidence when their vote is cast, their vote is not going to be put in with votes that are not credible and that are questionable.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

19 hours ago

NASA successfully ignites engines on Huntsville-managed SLS core stage, collects valuable data

NASA on Saturday conducted a hot fire of the core stage for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that is scheduled to launch the Artemis I mission to the moon later this year.

The hot fire was the final test of the eight-part, 12-month Green Run series, conducted at Mississippi’s Stennis Space Center.

SLS is the world’s most powerful ever rocket that will power America’s next-generation moon missions and subsequent crewed missions to Mars. Alabama’s aerospace industry has led the effort to build the SLS, which stands 212 feet high and 27.6 feet in diameter.

Boeing is the core stage lead contractor, and Aerojet Rocketdyne is the RS-25 engines lead contractor. The SLS program is managed out of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, while Boeing’s Huntsville-based Space and Launch division manages the company’s SLS work.

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The hot fire test plan called for the rocket’s four RS-25 engines to fire for a little more than eight minutes – the same amount of time it will take to send the rocket to space following launch.

The team successfully completed the countdown and ignited the engines, however the engines shut down a little more than one minute into the hot fire. Teams are assessing the data to determine what caused the early shutdown and will determine a path forward, per a release from NASA.

During the test, the core stage generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust while anchored in the historic B-2 Test Stand. The hot fire included loading 733,000 pounds of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen – mirroring the launch countdown procedure.

“Saturday’s test was an important step forward to ensure that the core stage of the SLS rocket is ready for the Artemis I mission, and to carry crew on future missions,” stated NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who attended the test. “Although the engines did not fire for the full duration, the team successfully worked through the countdown, ignited the engines, and gained valuable data to inform our path forward.”

Support teams across the Stennis test complex reportedly provided high-pressure gases to the test stand, delivered all operational electrical power, supplied more than 330,000 gallons of water per minute to protect the test stand flame deflector and ensure the structural integrity of the core stage, and captured data needed to evaluate the core stage performance.

“Seeing all four engines ignite for the first time during the core stage hot fire test was a big milestone for the Space Launch System team” said John Honeycutt, the SLS program manager at Marshall. “We will analyze the data, and what we learned from today’s test will help us plan the right path forward for verifying this new core stage is ready for flight on the Artemis I mission.”

Overall, the hot fire represented a milestone for American space exploration.

“Stennis has not witnessed this level of power since the testing of Saturn V stages in the 1960s,” commented Stennis Center Director Rick Gilbrech. “Stennis is the premier rocket propulsion facility that tested the Saturn V first and second stages that carried humans to the Moon during the Apollo Program, and now, this hot fire is exactly why we test like we fly and fly like we test. We will learn from today’s early shutdown, identify any corrections if needed, and move forward.”

You can watch the hot fire here.

Under the Artemis program, NASA is working to land the first woman and the next man on the moon in 2024 through Artemis III.

Artemis I will be the first integrated flight test of SLS and the Orion spacecraft. This will be an uncrewed test flight. Artemis II is slated to be the first crewed flight for the program.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

19 hours ago

USDA, Alabama sign historic agreement to improve forests on public, private lands

U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary James Hubbard and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a shared stewardship agreement Jan. 12 to ensure the long-term sustainability of public and private lands in the state.

The agreement signed in an online ceremony is among USDA’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Alabama Forestry Commission.

Shared Stewardship agreements establish a framework for federal and state agencies to collaborate better, focus on accomplishing mutual goals, further common interests and effectively respond to the increasing ecological challenges and natural resource concerns.

“Shared stewardship provides an incredible opportunity to work with the state of Alabama to set stewardship priorities together,” Hubbard said. “We will combine our mutual skills and assets to achieve cross-boundary outcomes desired by all.”

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This agreement centers on USDA’s commitment to work with states and other partners to use the best available science to identify high-priority forests that need treatment.

“From our rolling mountains to our sparkling coast, the world can understand why they call it ‘Alabama the Beautiful,’” Ivey said. “I am pleased that we can build on the conservation efforts already happening through these strong federal and state partnerships. I look forward to our state continually working for the good of the people as well as our natural resources and to preserve our beautiful state for generations to come.”

Alabama becomes the seventh state in the South and 23rd in the nation to sign such an agreement to strengthen partnerships to increase the scope and scale of critical forest treatments that support communities and improve forest conditions.

“We look forward to continuing to work together with our partner agencies under this shared stewardship agreement,” said ADCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship. “This agreement memorializes a lot of the good work we have already been doing together to manage the resources and enhance our beautiful state, and it adds new areas where we can grow our partnerships.”

The agreement can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/shared-stewardship.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)