Monday, February 20, 2017

Gov't Trying to Shut Down Beef Company Over Religious Expression

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

While the government is trying to dispose of Barronell Stutzman for declining to participate in a same-sex "wedding," big brother is now putting its foot on the neck of a family owned beef packing company because of a Christian tract the family placed in the company lunchroom.

A Christian legal group is responding.

There is evidence that the president is developing a religious freedom executive order that would help Stutzman, the beef company family and all others who are living out their faith in the public square.

But first, President Trump held a rally in Florida on Saturday. Before introducing her husband, his wife, Melania, asked the thousands in attendance to pray. She then led them in the Lord's Prayer.

Franklin Graham said yesterday, no other First Lady has ever done that in the history of our nation.

I'm certain he's right. I'm also certain this will do nothing to calm the emotions and anger of the Left, both secular and religious, who seek to destroy this presidency and what he is trying to accomplish.

Today is "President's Day." As we remember the great service of Washington, Lincoln, and others, please remember to pray for our current President Trump.

The Vander Boon family is at risk of having their family owned plant---West Michigan Beef Company--- shut down and their employees left jobless because of the Department of Agriculture's unfair targeting of the Vander Boon's biblical beliefs on marriage.

Soon after the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage, Don Vander Boon says he was walking through his own employee lunchroom and saw a number of articles celebrating same-sex "marriage."

A devout Christian, Don asked himself why there wasn't something about biblical marriage there as well---so he placed an article published by a prominent Christian organization that explains the biblical teaching on the fact that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

In this 4-minute YouTube video, he explains what has happened.

The attack on the Vander Boon family is a bit different than those we have seen on other Christians living out their faith in their business.

The US Department of Agriculture is threatening to pull its inspectors from the normal---and required regular inspection of the family-owned meat packing plant.

In 2015, Dr. Ryan Lunquist, the USDA inspector for the West Michigan Beef Company, found a Christian tract about marriage that Don Vander Boon had placed on the table in the breakroom of the family owned business.

Lundquist took the article and reported it to Robert Becker, the USDA front line supervisor, and Lunquist and Becker had a meeting with Vander Boon, in which Becker threatened 3 different times to remove USDA inspectors if Vander Boon didn't agree to refrain from placing the article in the breakroom.

Karnail S. Mudahar, the USDA deputy district manager, has said Vander Boon "violated a new anti-harassment policy" that forbids "written or spoken communications that USDA executives determine to be 'disrespectful' or 'insulting' in regards to sexual orientation."

That threat has never been lifted.

Vander Boon has filed a complaint with the USDA, however, he has received no response other than 2 letters informing him that his complaint was received and forwarded to the director of the agency's Civil Rights Division.

The Alliance Defending Freedom law firm has now taken the case to defend the Vander Boons and their business.

If the inspectors are pulled from the Vander Boon's meat packing business, that would mean the USDA inspection stamp would not appear on their meat products, which would immediately shut down the company.

This assault on Don and Ellen Vander Boon is a perfect example of the obsessive desire on the part of the Left, and the government agencies they have infiltrated, to demonize and destroy Christians who live out their faith in their business---whether it is Hobby Lobby, West Michigan Beef Company, a florist in Richland, a baker in Gresham or a photographer in New Mexico.

Ryan T. Anderson with the Heritage Foundation says there is a leaked copy of an executive order that is being developed by the Trump administration. He says, "In early February, a copy of the religious freedom executive order was first obtained by ABC News."

Ryan says, "If President Trump signs the leaked version of the draft [executive order], it would provide immediate help to Mr. Vander Boon."

He also said: "It ensures that the government will not discriminate against beliefs that are under assault, and protects a religious organization’s right to maintain their mission and identity in their staffing decisions and programming, while not losing the ability to partner with the government."

Ryan says the order as it has been drafted doesn't take anything away from anyone, but "simply ensures that the public square remains open to all religious voices, even when those voices diverge from the government's view on contested questions."

A letter has been sent to President Trump urging him to sign the order.

There are also several petitions circulating, asking citizens to sign, urging the president to execute the order.

In total there are, as of last night, about 500,000 signatures. The number will grow substantially over the next few days.

I have personally signed the petition being circulated by Tony Perkins and Family Research Council.

The Heritage Foundation's "The Signal" is also circulating a legitimate petition, which I would be comfortable signing as well.

Please be careful whose petition you sign. Some so-called Christian petitions are fraudulent--- nothing more than an exercise in acquiring your name, etc., for fundraising purposes. And many organizations sell or rent that information. They may or may not actually attach your name to something being sent to the White House.

On a personal note, our ministry has never in our history given, rented, sold, loaned or in any other way provided any personal information about anyone who supports us. And we never will.

Don Farris, with Alliance Defending Freedom, says President Trump's executive order, when signed, "will ensure that hard-working Americans" their private businesses, charitable and social service organizations---"will not have to fear government punishment or bullying simply for peacefully living out their faith."

Be informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.