A U.S. Navy chaplain has been reassigned from his duties at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, SC while he awaits action that could remove him from the military. His offense? Lt. Cmdr. Wes Modder expressed his Biblically held beliefs on homosexuality and pre-marital sex.
Michael Berry, Modder’s attorney, stated, “Chaplain Modder does not dispute that during private, one-on-one pastoral care and counseling sessions, he expressed his sincerely held religious belief that: sexual acts outside of marriage are contrary to Biblical teaching; and homosexual behavior is contrary to Biblical teaching; and homosexual orientation or temptation, as distinct from conduct, is not sin,” Berry said.
Modder stated, “[The military] want[s] a chaplain to accommodate policy that contradicts Scripture.”
The 19-year veteran also said, “Many Americans may be shocked to discover how much military culture has changed over the past few years. . . This new generation is very secular and very open sexually. The values that the military once held – just like the Boy Scouts of America – are changing. The culture wants this. Culture is colliding with truth. That’s at the heart of this.”
On October 6th, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from 5 states where lower courts ruled same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. By refusing to hear those appeals, the bans on same-sex marriage are overturned and the Supreme Court is unlikely to rule in favor of any bans in the future.
Geoff Pender reports that many legal experts believe it is only a matter of time before Mississippi’s ban will be overturned. Even state Representative Andy Gipson (R-77), Pastor of Gum Springs Baptist Church, says to prepare for Mississippi’s constitutional ban to be overturned.
Gov. Phil Bryant remains defiant, “In 2004, over 86 percent of Mississippi voters supported a constitutional amendment providing that marriage in Mississippi is valid only between a man and a woman. I will continue to uphold the constitution of the state of Mississippi.”
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Tavish Kelly is co-owner of Kelly Firearms, a retailer and manufacturer of guns in Picayune and he believes that the protection of liberty is the only legitimate function of government. A former chairman of the Pearl River Republican Party, he has been very active in the county and state party activities.
Valedictorian of his Pass Christian High School class, he is an Eagle Scout, graduated from Mississippi State University with degrees in Political Science and Mathematics, and is studying Constitutional Law at Ole Miss.
The issues below issues and the positions are taken from Kelly’s campaign website:
- Abortion: Believes that life begins at conception and that abortion is a violent trespass upon another human’s rights. However, he does not think this is an area for the Federal government but for the states: “The Constitution contains no provisions enabling the Congress, President, or Supreme Court to regulate, allow, or forbid abortion. This power is thus reserved to the States and the people, respectively, under the Tenth Amendment.”
- The Federal Reserve: Does not like the Federal Reserve and wants to return competition back to the monetary system.
- 2nd Amendment: Sees the right to keep and bear arms as one of the most important freedoms and the 2nd Amendment should prevent any and all Congressional legislation infringing upon that right. Desires the repeal of laws such as the Firearms Act, Gun Control Act, and Brady Act.
- Patriot Act: Wants to repeal the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act as a violation/circumvention of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Marriage: Believes it is the union of a man and a woman administered by God. Kelly sees that the regulation of marriage by government through various means has been corrupted by the political process. Desires to free governmental infringement in marriage and repeal of statutes that attempt to define and control it.
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Having served in Washington, DC since the 1970s, Sen. Thad Cochran is no stranger to politics or to Mississippi. Seeking to return for his 6th term in the U.S. Senate, Cochran is facing his toughest Primary contest since first becoming a Senator.
With over 30 years in politics, there is little that Cochran doesn’t have a record or position on. The positions below are taken from his campaign website:
- Economy: Supports free enterprise, lower taxes, and economic opportunity. Believes governments role is to create an environment where opportunity exists for everyone who wants to seize it. Opposed bailouts, the stimulus package, Obamacare, and IRS targeting of individuals.
- Spending: Wants to get spending under control and has repeatedly co-sponsored a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Entitlement spending comprises 55% of the federal budget and must be limited. Attributes his role as an appropriator as being responsible for rooting out wasteful spending proposals than anyone else in Congress.
- Healthcare: Opposes Obamacare and has voted to oppose, defund, or repeal it. Forced the National Institutes of Health to put a great focus on Mississippi academic research partnerships leading to the Guyton Research Complex in Jackson.
- Energy: Supports an “all-of-the-above” policy to harness all of our country’s energy resources. Desires to make Mississippi a leader in energy independence. Opposed to a “carbon tax” and is dedicated to blocking EPA over-regulation.
- Agriculture: Reduce regulations to save taxpayer dollars and help farmers and help negotiate the current farm bill which slashed duplicative programs.
- Abortion: Pro-life and desires “to bar the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions.” Cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act of 2011 and wants every health plan under Obamacare to disclose any coverage of abortion in the plan’s marketing and advertising.
- 2nd Amendment: “[B]elieves that the Second Amendment right of the American people to keep and bear arms is not negotiable.” Opposed efforts such as the UN Arms Trade Treaty which threaten the 2nd Amendment. Works tireless to equip first responders.
- Education: Championed Ready to Learn to encourage broadcasters to create educational programming for early childhood. Opposed Common Core. Helped make Mississippi’s community college system a national model.
- Immigration: “[C]onsistently voted against inadequate immigration legislation.” Voted against Reagan’s amnesty bill in 1986; “one of three Senators in history to vote against every comprehensive immigration reform bill that sought to provide amnesty to those who have entered our country illegally (1986, 2006, 2007, 2013).” No path to citizenship for those here illegally. Enforce existing laws.
- Infrastructure: “[H]e has ensured that needed improvements to[Mississippi’s] interstates, bridges, and railways have been made.” Working hard to keep jobs at Stennis Space Center and that the state is an attractive venue for private aerospace ventures.
- National Security: Has always supports the missile defense technologies necessary for global security and defense of Israel. Supports shipbuilding needs of the navy and other federal organizations and that many of them “would not have been built in Mississippi” without his leadership. Made the Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg the flagship research facility for the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Supporter and advocate of Israel.
- Emergency Management: Secured $29 Billion after Katrina to rebuild basic infrastructure. Helped make Mississippi the national model for how to prevent waste, fraud and abuse.
- Marriage: Cosponsor of the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act which would bar the Federal Government from discriminating against individuals and organizations upon their faith-founded belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
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A lawyer and former state Senator, Chris McDaniel is attempting to upset incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran to become the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. The Christian Science Monitor listed McDaniel as the top candidate that could be “the next Ted Cruz.”
Representing Jones County in the Mississippi Senate since 2008, he is a Partner at Hortman, Harlow, Bassi, Robinson and McDaniel, PLLC, a general civil and trial practice in Laurel. McDaniel’s attorney profile lists his practice areas as general litigation, insurance defense, personal injury, commercial litigation, constitutional law (civil rights), education law, consumer products litigation, mass tort litigation, and complex multi-party litigation.
The following positions were taken from McDaniel’s campaign website:
- Healthcare: Volunteered his time in Mississippi’s suit against Obamacare. Opposed Medicare expansion, supports defunding, repealing Obamacare. Desires commonsense healthcare reform, increased choice, health savings accounts, and allowing insurance across state lines.
- Taxes: Believes the tax code is a mess and must be reformed. Supports scrapping the existing tax code and moving to a simpler, flatter tax system. [Stated in an interview with Bryan Fischer that he did know whether the Fair Tax or the Flat Tax was best.]
- Education: Desires to repeal No Child Left Behind, eliminate federal government control over education, and restore education to the states, local communities, and parents. Supports school choice. Opposes Common Core.
- Immigration: Opposes amnesty and supports enforcement of existing laws including securing the border. Introduced the Employment Protection Act to require all companies to check legal status of potential employees.
- Energy: Reduce foreign oil dependence by expanding domestic energy use. Supports offshore drilling, drilling in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), Keystone pipeline, and opposes subsidizing alternative energy forms.
- Agriculture: Unleash agriculture from federal regulations and control from Washington. Supports repealing the Death Tax in its entirety to enable the transfer of farms to children without penalty.
- Economy: Regulations are strangling jobs and small businesses. Washington is addicted to spending and our country is on the verge of financial crisis. Must cut spending, pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. Supports making permanent the temporary ban on earmarking.
- 2nd Amendment: Opposes all efforts to undermine the 2nd Amendment. Sponsored legislation that required the state to honor any valid concealed carry permit issued by another state.
- National Security: Will fight for the men and women of the military to ensure support in and out of uniform. Wary of engaging in foreign entanglements but acknowledges the need to remain vigilant of many threats. Wants to reevaluate foreign aid process. Will oppose all treaties that compromise American sovereignty. Committed to the U.S. military remaining the strongest in the world and will not appease our enemies.
- Abortion: Pro-life and believes in the responsibility to protect unborn life.
- Marriage: Believes marriage is between and man and a woman and will vote to protect that definition.
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After claiming credit for stripping language from Senate Bill 2681 that would have allowed individuals to deny service based on religious beliefs, the Campaign for Southern Equality is continuing their push for gay rights in Mississippi.
Via their “WE DO Campaign,” the Campaign for Southern Equality is seeking a sympathetic, local elected official in the south to grant a marriage license to a gay couple. Short of that goal, homosexuals around the state of Mississippi and the South are planning to apply for marriage licenses on March 25th. Since gay marriage is not legal in the state, gay rights advocates expect to us the denials as evidence of the harm that is caused by prohibitions against same-sex couples. Undoubtedly, gay rights advocates will use those experiences in law suits to force their will upon the people.
Prodded by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), three Mississippi cities, Starkville, Hattiesburg, and Oxford have passed resolutions this year that recognize the “dignity and worth of . . . lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [residents].” HRC’s mission statement declares, “HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.” Vice President Joe Biden addressed HRC on March 22nd and stated, “Barack [Obama] and I believe that the rights of [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] people is an inseparable part of America’s promotion of human rights around the world.”
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The Miss. Republican Party has authorized 4 candidates to run for the 4th Congressional District. The little known Tom Carter from Carriere, Miss. is a businessman and SAIC executive (federal contractor). His views as indicated on his campaign website:
- Economy: The role of government is to foster an environment conducive to business. He will use “tax relief to help Americans keep more of what they earn.”
- Government Spending: Staunchly opposed to increasing national debt and the endless debt limit increases. Advocates a balanced budget with priorities in national defense and protection of Social Security and Medicare.
- Tax Reform: Advocates simplifying the tax code and reduce the high level of taxation.
- Obamacare: Supports the complete repeal of Obamacare. Against “fixing;” the law must be killed.
- Traditional Values: Opposed to abortion and believes marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. “However, I support the free rights of all men and women to make decisions that may be contrary to my core beliefs and values with their lives, and I will respect the law of the land.”
Paul Gallo interviewed Carter on SuperTalk Mississippi on March 24th (7:34 AM). During the interview, Carter said that is his first run for public office which is an outpouring of his sense of civic duty. His principled character, dedication to his core and family values, and experience as a businessman separate him from the other candidates. Carter is for term limits since career politicians lose a connection to their constituents and the understanding of the impact of their policies. He said he would not vote for Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker of the House.
Gallo pressed Carter on how he would work with regard to party politics and obtaining committee positions that could provide the necessary power to influence things (such as the C-130s moving from Keesler AFB). After Gallo replayed a segment of Gene Taylor’s March 11th interview taking credit for Katrina Relief, Carter said that connections (as his with the Secretary of the Air Force) are part of business and negotiations.
When asked about how to keep the casino industry, which is a big employer on the Gulf Coast, Carter stated that he did not support the casinos and he is not interested in growing the industry but would continue to utilize them as they exist as an economic tool.
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