Entries by Joseph Backholm

Why Christians and Secular Leftists Disagree So Much

Christians and secular leftists disagree about a lot of things. Religious faith, or the lack thereof, is a strong predictor of how someone will feel about issues like sexuality, gender, marriage, assisted suicide, and abortion.

Have you ever thought about why we disagree about so much?

In order to understand our disagreements, I think it’s helpful to first acknowledge where we agree. We all want people to be happy.  Really.  There might be individuals we don’t like and grudges we carry personally,

US Supreme Court: Can Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers be Forced to Advertise Abortions?

Can an organization that exists to prevent babies from being aborted be forced to tell people how to get free abortions?  That is a question the United States Supreme Court will consider on Tuesday when they hear oral arguments in the case of NIFLA v.Becerra.

In 2015, California legislators passed a bill called the “Reproductive FACT” Actwhich forces pro-life pregnancy centers to tell women who come into their center where they can receive free abortions.

California Moves to Ban “Conversion Therapy” for Adults

In the recently completed legislative session, the Washington State legislature passed legislation making it professional misconduct for licensed therapists to provide “conversion therapy” to a minor.  As a result, a therapist may help a boy become a girl but may not help a boy identify as a man if he experiences gender dysphoria.  Similarly, they can help a child embrace same-sex attraction, but they are forbidden from telling a child it is possible to reduce or eliminate same-sex attraction,

WA House Passes Abortion Insurance Mandate

A blizzard of extremist social policy from the Washington State legislature seems to have ended Wednesday evening as the Washington State House of Representatives passed SB 6219 mandating that every insurance policy in Washington State cover abortions and all contraceptive methods.

It also makes it illegal to share the costs of the abortion with the insured through any form of copay or deductible.

The bill, which is strongly opposed by private businesses,

Therapy Ban Passes State House

The Washington State House of Representatives voted Wednesday afternoon to pass legislation banning “conversion therapy” for minors by a 66-32 margin. Sixteen Republicans joined every Democrat to pass it.

Proponents of the bill had long argued that it would protect children from torture that therapists would have used in an effort to make kids not be gay.

No mention was made of the fact that torture and coercion of any kind by a therapist are already professional misconduct.

Tuesday Was A Tough Day in Olympia

Tuesday was a difficult day in the legislature.

Early in the evening, the Washington State Senate passed HB 1523, a bill that requires every insurance plan to pay for every form of birth control.

In broad terms, the bill requires that Washington State require every insurance plan to cover everything that was required under federal law as of December 31, 2016.

If it seems like a strange way to write law,

Momentum Building in Legislature for Helpful Amendments

This legislative session has seen a barrage of really harmful legislation be introduced and gain traction in the legislature.

Two bills, (HB 1523, and SB 6219) would force businesses, individuals, and possibly religious organizations to pay for contraception and/or abortion coverage despite religious and moral objections.

Another bill (SB 6037) would legalize surrogacy contracts in Washington State.  Mitsutoku Shigeta, a single man from Japan,

Man Gets Custody of 13 Children He Fathered Through Surrogacy

Tomorrow, the Washington State legislature will hold hearings on Senate Bill 6037 which would, among other things, make surrogacy contracts legal in Washington State.  Surrogacy contracts typically involve a wealthy individual or couple paying a financially disadvantaged woman to carry a child that she will give up at birth.

In a story that offers a foreshadowing of what could be around the corner, a Bangkok court just awarded a Japanese man full custody of thirteen children he fathered through surrogacy in Thailand.

“Political Issues” Don’t Exist and Why That Matters for the Church

If you haven’t said it yourself, you’ve definitely heard someone say it.

We don’t get involved in “political issues”. Churches say this all the time.

For Americans, it’s a polite way of breaking up with a conversation we don’t want to have. “It’s not you, it’s me.”

But there’s one little problem with this argument, there’s no such thing as a “political issue.”

There are economic issues,

This Week in Olympia

While American’s celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, the Washington State legislature will be reaching the halfway point in their legislative session.  February 14th is the date on which bills must pass the House in which they were introduced.  Bills that fail to do so are likely dead.

Starting February 15th, the House and Senate will both begin committee hearings on legislation passed by the opposite chamber.   The 2018 regular session ends March 8th.