The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Melissa Klein

The ongoing battle between gay rights and religious liberty escalated Thursday as husband-and-wife bakers in Oregon appealed their case after being ordered to pay $135,000 in damages for declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

“Everything up to this point has been administrative hearings,” Aaron Klein, co-owner with his wife Melissa of the since-closed bakery, told The Daily Signal afterward. Continue reading

Mark Ellis, The Northwest Connection, Assistant Editor

Governor Mike Huckabee

Governor Mike Huckabee Keynotes Oregon Freedom Rally
Aside from two national midterm elections, Oregon conservatives haven’t had much to celebrate in the last eight years. They haven’t fielded a winning statewide candidate in fourteen years.

This year, at the Oregon Liberty Alliance’s fourth annual Freedom Rally, there was a new Republican president, a GOP majority in both houses, and new constitutional Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s likely confirmation to celebrate. The 1,800 in attendance February 25th at the Oregon Convention Center did just that.

Not to mention Oregon’s new Secretary of State, Dennis Richardson, one of the featured speakers, and the first Republican elected to statewide office since 2002.

But the man of the hour was Governor Mike Huckabee, a keynote speaker who galvanized his audience with flourishes of humor and hard-won political wisdom. Continue reading

By Jim Kight, NW Connection

Since I was a little boy I have had a love for cars. I can still remember looking out the back window of my father’s 1950 Chevrolet Fleetline and naming off the brands of cars as they passed by. Americans have had a love affair with cars for decades and the brand loyalty towards car manufacturers is part of our heritage. One of those car brands is MoPar where this name was first used in 1923.

An exhibition of those brands of Plymouths, Dodge, DeSoto, and Chryslers were showcased recently at lot. There was every color imaginable both newer and older models, including a vintage1944 Plymouth 4-door sedan that was on display. Muscle cars of the current era were in abundance. The latter looked speedy just sitting in the parking lot. Continue reading

Helen Maguire, The Northwest Connection

 

From its earliest days, America has been a nation of immigrants, starting with its original inhabitants, who crossed the land bridge connecting Asia and North America thousands of years ago. By the 1500s, the first Europeans, led by the Spanish and French, had begun establishing settlements in what would become the United States.

The Pilgrims in the early 1600s, arrived in search of religious freedom. They were soon followed by a larger group seeking religious freedom, the Puritans, who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By some estimates, 20,000 Puritans migrated to the region between 1630 and 1640.

From the 17th to 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of African slaves came to America against their will. By 1680, there were some 7,000 African slaves in the American colonies, a number that ballooned to 700,000 by 1790, according to some estimates. Congress outlawed the importation of slaves to the United States as of 1808, but the practice continued. The U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) resulted in the emancipation of approximately 4 million slaves. Continue reading

Pastor Bill Ehmann, Wood Village Baptist Church

Certain times in a person’s life are all about change ‒ graduation from high school, marriage, babies, career moves, death of a spouse, or the news that we have a terminal illness.
While these changes are a normal part of the life process, most people do not think much about them until faced with the reality that they are actually happening. And in many cases, there has been little or no preparation, so the adjustment is difficult.
There might be a sense of security in ignoring that these changes are coming. A four-year-old child should be allowed to enjoy the privilege of having no worries about finding employment. A newly married couple would not be expected to think about life challenges 50 years ahead. There is appropriate joy in making the most of now without thinking a lot about what tomorrow will bring. Continue reading

Tj Saling Caldwell

To many, the Bible is a book of legends and myths passed down through the ages. To say you inherently believe in the Word of God is generally viewed as ignorant, naive, and even foolish. So how do we know the Bible is reliable? To take it further, how do we know the Bible is the absolute truth? And if we don’t look to the Bible for truth, where do we look and how do we know a source is trustworthy? Now, more than ever, I think these are good questions to ponder.

People have been questioning truth and God’s Word since the beginning of time. In the garden of Eden, the serpent (Satan) planted doubt about God’s Word by saying to Adam and Eve “Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1); and then Pontius Pilot asked Jesus Himself, “What is truth?” This was after Jesus said that He came to be a witness to the truth (John 18: 37-38). Francis Bacon said of Pilate, “What is truth? Said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.” Continue reading

By Connie Warnock, NW Connection

In May of 2014, two young teenage girls took a third girl, their friend, into the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They then stabbed her repeatedly and left her to die. The perpetrators took off to find and report to an urban legend known only as “Slender Man.” Fortunately, the victim was found near death and miraculously survived.

Her family has been amazing in helping her cope. One would assume they are very attentive to her mental condition. The two perpetrators go to trial in March of this year. I imagine all three girls are dealing with huge wake-up calls. I find myself wondering if these parents ever checked their teens’ bedrooms, computers or cell phones. Did they listen to them? Did they have rules? Why didn’t an adult notice the mutilated Barbie dolls or hear the Slender Man conversations? Why didn’t one of those parents overhear the other world reality that these girls were involved in?

This is horrifying, but also for me, has meaning. I love (always have) scary movies. I still go to the good ones with my son. But, when my kids were teens all three of us would go. We loved the good ones and hated the stupid ones. I was, for most of their teen years, a stay-at-home mom. Continue reading

Lori Porter

Lori Porter, Parent Rights In Education

(Same People, Same Organizations, Same State Agencies…Just a
New Nom de Guerre)

We always knew the cancellation of the Adolescent Sexuality Conference was a temporary stay on the march to sexualize our children in the public schools. So we weren’t surprised when Oregon’s Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force (OSATF) held the first 2016 Statewide Summit on Sexual Health and Promotion and Violence Prevention: Connecting the Dots in Oregon, in October 2016.

In 2015 the legislature passed Oregon K-12 Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program, Senate Bill 856, a laudable bill, as an attempt to train teachers to identify signs of child abuse and abusive behavior. It should be noted that all Oregon teachers are already required mandatory reporters for child sex abuse and anti-bullying. Continue reading

Eric Fruits, Ph.D., Cascade Policy Institute

Despite an eight percent increase in general fund revenues, Governor Kate Brown and some lawmakers say Oregon is facing a $1.7 billion budget shortfall in the 2017-19 biennium. Nevertheless, the Governor has released a budget that expands entitlements while raising taxes, fees, and charges by nearly $275 million for the general fund alone.

Expanding programs while increasing taxes is something Oregon could do if it were a rich state. Oregon is not a rich state. Income for the average Oregonian is about nine percent lower than the national average, and the cost of living is 15 percent higher. In other words, the average Oregonian earns less but pays more for basic items than the average American. Oregon legislators and other policymakers must face the reality that the state simply cannot afford costly new or expanded programs. Continue reading

Steve Bates

For almost 100 years, Oregon has honored its wounded warriors, our disabled veterans with a property tax exemption. At one time, research shows, this exemption was over 100% of the value of a median single family dwelling in Oregon. This is fitting, as our wounded warriors have given a portion of their body; a part of their being, in the service of our country.

But, this exemption has been reduced to less than 10% of the value of a median priced single family home. This is an unfortunate result of not reviewing old laws and updating them to meet current needs. Continue reading

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