Standing Up for Freedom of Religion in Hillsborough County

One would think the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution is simple enough for anyone in the United States to grasp.  It reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It appears there are some employees in Hillsborough County Parks who fail to understand the fundamental right of religion because a county employee recently informed a church group they could not hold Vacation Bible School classes in a county public park unless they were willing to not use the Bible!  Fortunately, that egregious assertion that would have denied religious liberty has been addressed; however, it does not “fix” the perceived adversarial posture some employees of government have taken towards Christianity.  Because this is not the first time County Employees have taken a less than friendly position regarding religious liberties, Dr. Stacy White,  chairman of the Hillsborough County Commissioners, is proposing that Hillsborough County Park Employees undergo awareness classes on Religious Liberty.

Today I spoke briefly before the County Commissioners in support of Chairman White’s proposal; however, I also asserted that the County Commissioners’ 2014 decision essentially mandating Christian  businesses (ex. – caterers, photographers, bakers, florists, musicians, printers, to name a few) will either serve the demands of the LGTBQ community (example, Gay Marriage) and capitulate their Christian convictions or be punished with crippling lawsuits, set in motion an adversarial tone against churches and Christians in the County.   The following is my brief exhortation to our County Commissioners:

May 17, 2017

I understand the issue before you this morning is to consider a vote on requiring Hillsborough County Park Employees to undergo awareness classes on Religious Liberty. I am here to not only support those classes, but suggest the same be taught to all County Employees.

I find it appalling that anyone employed in Hillsborough County would undermine basic 1st Amendment Rights of Freedom of Religion; however, this is not the first time and the slights against Christianity in this county is growing…from County Park officials daring to tell a church they cannot hold a Vacation Bible School if they use the Bible, to a teacher in Riverview demanding students remove crosses in her classroom.

To assist you in finding the source of this adversarial attitude toward Christians and the free practice of their faith and convictions in this county, I suggest this board of County Commissioners look into your own misguided legislative decisions.

In October 2014, five of the sitting commissioners on this board took an adversarial posture against Christians in this County when you voted to appease the LGTBQ community and attack the free exercise of religion of Christian business owners and businesses. You demanded that every private, family owned business that embraces traditional moral values either cave to your ordinance or face the threat of crippling lawsuits for daring to not capitulate to the invasive demands of the LGTBQ community.

If you are going to take up the requirement that County Park Employees undergo awareness classes on Religious Liberty, I suggest you do the same and fix your own misguided decision to demand by government fiat, that Christian businesses set aside their own religious and moral convictions.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Tampa

Dear Tampa Residents,

Today your City Council, consisting of an Insurance agent, a Racehorse breeder, a retired jeweler, two lawyers, and an English major decided they know more about parenting your children then you.   In fact, they know so much about parenting your children they made it illegal for you to seek the guidance of a licensed mental health professional to counsel your minor children struggling with their sexual identity.

Perhaps you are comfortable with the heavy hand of Tampa government, but I am not!  Is there anyone who honestly believes an Insurance agent, Racehorse breeder, retired jeweler, two lawyers, and an English major know more than City of Tampa parents when it comes to deciding what is best for their minor children?

I am appalled, outraged, and incensed that your elected officials have no respect for parental authority or the sanctity of your home.  Regardless of their good intentions, the Tampa City Council’s decision to make it illegal for parents to seek the counsel of licensed mental health providers for sexually confused minors is egregious and one parents should not accept as tolerable.

The following was my appeal to the Tampa City Council before today’s vote:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

My name is Travis Smith and I am the Senior Pastor of Hillsdale Baptist Church at 6201 Ehrlich Rd., Tampa, FL.

I have heard several reference the Bible today and I will share a verse with you myself: “a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15b).  The topic before us seems to be one area government is bent on rejecting the rights of parents to seek guidance and counsel for their children.

I am outraged the Tampa City Council is considering a law, an ordinance making it illegal for parents to seek the counsel of licensed mental health professionals for their minor children struggling with same-sex attractions.

I am appalled by your arrogance that elected officials… an Insurance agent, a Racehorse breeder, a retired jeweler, two lawyers, and an English major presume to have the right or wisdom to demand by fiat that your will be imposed on the families and licensed mental health providers and counselors of Tampa.

How dare you attack the sanctity of the home and family under some misguided notion you either know better or perceive you have the authority to usurp the role, wisdom, and authority of parents.

How dare you interfere with the God-given role and responsibility parents bear in knowing, training and guiding their own children!

On behalf of the membership of Hillsdale Baptist Church of Tampa, FL, I ask that you not abuse the public trust by thrusting yourself into a role that you have no place and no business.

Regardless of your “good intentions”, a vote for a law that limits or prohibits loving parents from seeking counsel and guidance from licensed mental health professionals is an incorrigible action and an overreach of your office and responsibility to this community.

Respectfully…get out of our homes; stop meddling with our children; and don’t you dare use the heavy-heeled boot of government to crush the freedoms and liberties of the citizens of this community to have the right to seek counsel, help and guidance for their children.

* Today’s Update: The Tampa City Council approved by a 7-0 vote to make it illegal for parents to seek the counsel of Licensed Mental Health Professionals for minor children struggling with their sexual identity.

Your Patriot Parson,

Travis D. Smith

Copyright 2017

Opposition Statement to Hillsborough County School Board’s “Gender Identity” Proposal

school boardDear Hillsdale family and friends,

I took the opportunity to go to today’s Hillsborough County School Board Meeting and once again voice my opposition to President Obama’s recent edict [i.e. executive order] forcing public schools to incorporate “gender identity” in their policies for restrooms, showers, and locker rooms.  

The purpose of the President’s order, combined with the strong-arm tactics of the Department of Justice and Department of Education, is to force public schools to allow “boys who self-identify as girls” and “girls who self-identify as boys” to go to the restrooms, locker rooms and showers of the gender opposite their biological sex [i.e. sex stated on their birth certificate].  

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the White House Brady Press Briefing Room in Washington. Obama is slated Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, to finalize a set of new executive actions tightening the nation’s gun laws. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The breadth of this policy will force schools that have overnight trips to afford accommodations that will allow boys and girls to share the same room if one or the other “self-identifies” with the opposite sex [let’s be honest, we are all thinking, “What could possibly go wrong”].  

The President has threatened to deny federal funds to public schools that do not comply, beginning with financial cuts in meal programs that will primarily hurt students from lower economic households.

The following is the statement I read in front of the school board on behalf of the Hillsdale family [given the a number of pastor’s in attendance, I was brief in my statement].

“I am Travis Smith, the Senior Pastor of Hillsdale Baptist Church in Northwest Tampa’s Citrus Park area.

I am here to voice the concerns and opposition of my congregation to your scheduled “Transgender” vote on June 28 and the moral and spiritual dilemma you are forcing upon our children.

Adding “gender expression” to your nondiscriminatory policy defies the laws of nature, is biologically unscientific, and demands we all set aside common sense. [I confess,  I ad-libbed here, “I cannot believe we are even having this discussion.”]

This school board is charged with overseeing the education of our youth and not attacking the sensibilities of parents who expect our school system to be engaged in education and not radical militant social change.

This pastor and the members of Hillsdale Baptist Church will not forget how you vote on June 28.”

spiritual minutementI ask two things of my readers in closing:

  • Pray for the school board to refuse to bow under the heavy hand of the President, the DOE, DOJ, and not bend with the foul winds of political correctness.
  • Plan to attend the school board meeting, Tuesday, June 28, at 3:00 PM.

Your patriot parson,

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

“The Wrong Side of History”

wrong side of historyI am not sure who coined the term, but I have engaged with a few radical, left-wing, immoralists who, after arguing in favor of non-traditional, anti-family, and anti-God morality (i.e. legalized “gay marriage” or the new political lightning rod, “Transgender” rights) attempt to shut down all discussion with the “fait accompli”, “You are on the wrong side of history”.

President Obama, his administration, liberal activists and the media, all purveyors of a “new morality”, have defended their immoralists’ positions arguing conservatives who adhere to Biblical morality and traditional family values are “on the wrong side of history”.Obama

Writer for the New York Post, Jonah Goldberg, observed in a March 21, 2014 article titled, “The pathetic ‘wrong side of history’ plea” that, “In domestic politics, people (mostly liberals) tend to say, ‘You’re on the wrong side of history’ about social issues that are breaking their way. It’s a handy phrase, loosely translated as, ‘You’re going to lose eventually, so why don’t you give up now?’”

Goldberg continued in the same article noting the “wrong side of history” argument is Marxist in origin and was employed by Karl Marx to argue “that opposition to the inevitability of socialism was anti-intellectual and anti-scientific”.

I find Goldberg’s observation insightful because that is exactly the argument purveyors of immorality make as they dare anyone to challenge their campaign for the abnormal under the guise of “civil rights” regardless how depraved or unnatural their cause (i.e. giving a status of normalcy to “boys self-identifying as girls or girls self-identifying as boys).

Who empowered liberals to become arbiters of the right or the wrong side of history?   Who appointed the President and his liberal consortium to become authorities in matters of morality?

No, I am not intimidated by a liberal’s assertion, “You are on the wrong side of history”.   My concern is not a progressive antagonist’s interpretation of history past, but the history I am living and legacy my generation will inevitably leave as its history lesson.

BibleChristian friend, the author of “His-Story” is the God of Eternity; Sovereign, Righteous, Holy, Just and my Savior.  I have no interest in being on the “right side” of an immoralist’s view of history.  I am on the side of the Author of “His-Story” Who has said, “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

Showdown, Downtown: June 28 Hillsborough County School Board Meeting

gay indoctrinationNotice to Citizens and Parents with Children in Hillsborough County Public Schools:

On June 28, the Hillsborough County School Board will be voting to add a policy for “Gender Expression”, extending civil rights protections to Transsexuals who demand the right to use restrooms, showers, and locker rooms of the sex they “self-identify” with and not their biological sex at birth.  This new policy, if passed, will extend to all public school students and staff in Hillsborough County.

Several years ago the school board put “sexual orientation” into its policies and, unfortunately, parents and moral conservatives were not mustered in time to confront it.  The school board is once again planning to push into the arena of perversity if fathers, mothers, students, and adherents of morality and virtue do not hold them accountable.

From experience, the liberal establishment will probably bus and fly in “militant immoralists” (many of whom are professional, paid advocates for the liberal left who have no citizenship or investment in our community).   These professional agitators of immorality come under the guise of “civil rights” and justice; however, their end is to intimidate citizens and stoke the fires of “political correctness”.school board

I have heard some school board members and county staff members are sowing disinformation regarding the purpose of the policy vote on June 28.  Please do not be deluded. There are some who will have you believe this issue is about “bullying” and the civil rights of .03% of the population who profess to be Transgender.  This is not about Transsexuals feelings or the delusion of “self-identity”; this is about the civil rights of 99.97% of your sons and daughters who have the right to privacy and security in restrooms, showers, locker rooms, overnight field trips, and classrooms.

There are school board members on record pushing the new policies for Transgenders at the sacrifice of your children’s right to privacy and security.  School board member Cindy Stuart [phone # (813) 272-4045] was quoted in the Tampa Bay Times, April 5, 2016, proposing the ”expanded policies”.   April Griffin [phone #(813) 272-4045], chairwoman of the school board, has said, “Our principals are craving information on how to deal with this situation [i.e. Transgender rights]”.  [Note – The Tampa Bay Times article cites a recent situation where a girl transitioning to be a boy wanted to run for homecoming king].

I encourage you to call and write each school board member and express your opposition to a policy for Transgenders that will permit boys to invade girls’ restrooms and girls to invade boys’ restrooms.  Be kind and respectful, but ask where they stand on the policy and do not be mislead by evasive answers or responses.

board meetingThe main school board office phone number is (813) 272-4045 and the fax number is (813) 272-4022].

You can find the names, phone numbers and email addresses of school board members at http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/doc/list/school-board/board-members/97-418/

Finally, nothing speaks louder than you physically showing up at the school board meeting and taking your stand against a policy that will have terrible moral ramifications for our children, families and schools (a meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday, June 14, but the Transgender policy vote is June 28).

Your patriot parson,

Travis D. Smith

http://www.spiritualminutemen.net

patriotparson@gmail.com

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

BATHROOM CHANGING TABLES FOR ADULTS “SELF-IDENTIFYING” AS INFANTS AND TODDLERS

adult baby

I have discovered a whole new “civil rights group” that needs special coddling and care…Adults who “self-identify” as infants and toddlers.

For far too long, we have taken for granted the plight of adults who act like spoiled rotten, self-indulgent, narcissistic children and believe the world owes them and should cater to their whims.  Regardless of how tripe, ridiculous, and inane their beliefs and demands, Americans can no longer ignore, nor slight the perceived rights of this segment of society (their number could be as high as .03%, meaning 99.97% of our neighbors need to be punished, mocked and scorned for their dismissive attitude toward adults who self-identify as infants).

Some will attack this commentary, dismissing my concerns and attacking me as foolish, silly and sick.  Some will demean me for suggesting we protect and offer civil rights protection to this new group of “self-identifying adult infants”!  adult high chairI know you are out there and I want you to know that, because you disagree with me, you are ignorant, bigoted, prejudiced, hateful, and have no concept of what it means to “love thy neighbor”!  You live in your little bubble world where you expect adults to act like adults.  You have no right to criticize my concerns, especially since some of you do not know and have never met an adult who self-identifies as an infant or toddler (of course, parents and college professors who know college millennials demanding “safe-spaces” may identify similar infantile characteristics in them).

I am demanding sensitivity to my new civil rights group.   They have a right for their cries to be heard.  They have the right to be treated as normal and their demands to be fed from giant baby bottles and have super-sized adult-diaper changing tables installed in public buildings, mall restrooms, showers and locker rooms must be accommodated.

For those sensitive to the plight of adults who “self-identify as infants and toddlers”, I invite you to join me in the following demands.

1) I propose diaper changing tables for adults who self-identify as infants be installed in all restrooms of public buildings, including public schools and shopping malls.

2) I propose that shopping mall playgrounds no longer slight and deny the civil rights of adults who self-identify as toddlers.  They have the right to run, jump and play on frogs, hamburgers, and hot dogs.  For far too long, shopping malls have been allowed to discriminate against children taller than 42 inches!playground

3) I propose that adults who self-identify as toddlers and children be given special protections under federal law, including the provision of adult car seats, restaurant high chairs, and strollers.

4) I further propose that adults who self-identify as infants and toddlers not be discriminated against for employment or housing.  Dirty diaper or not, it is mean and discriminatory to judge people by their appearance or delusion!

Finally, I am calling for President Obama, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, and presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton, to stand up for the disenfranchised self-identifying adult infants and toddlers.  I am asking adult diaper changing tableTARGET, Marshalls, Ross, and other retailers to stop discriminating against adults who self-identify as infants and toddlers and install adult diaper changing tables immediately!

Who will join my cause? Who will stand up for America’s newest minority civil rights group and demand that adult diaper changing tables be installed in America’s public bathrooms?

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

  • A note from the author: This satirical commentary is not meant to be a slight of those who, for medical and physical reasons, wear adult incontinence products.

Only lies or denial of reality justifies Transgender Bathrooms

Transgender bathroomsDear Zack Ford,

I just read your article titled An ACLU Attorney’s Ugly Transformation Into An Anti-Transgender Pundit on the ThinkProgress website. Your contention that “there has never been a single incident of transgender people assaulting someone in the restroom or otherwise abusing their access to those spaces” (a quote from the liberal Media Matters crowd) is not true…either intentionally misleading for your own argument, or woefully ignorant of reality.

I cite six examples taken directly from “The Daily Signal” where men have taken advantage of an access to female bathrooms, showers and locker rooms:

In 2016, a man used a women’s locker room at a public swimming pool in Washington state to undress in front of young girls who were changing for swim practice. When Seattle Parks and Recreation staff asked him to leave, the man claimed that “the law has changed and I have a right to be here.” The man was apparently referring to a Washington state rule that allows individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. However, the man made no attempt to present as a woman.

Your argument for Transgender bathrooms is nothing but an indefensible attack on the safety, security, and privacy of our daughters, wives, and mothers.

 Romans 1:26-27 – “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

Travis D. Smith

www.spiritualminutemen.net

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith