Freedom Of Speech, Religion & The New Gay Rights
Aside from the NCAA final Four one of the most hotly contested situations in Indiana this weekend is the states position of the intersection of freedom of speech, free exercise of religion and values, and the implementation of gay rights as defined by gay advocacy groups including Lambda Legal, GLAAD, the HRC (Human Rights Campaign), and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).
In short, the Indiana legislature took it upon themselves to look back nearly 22 years into American history adopting their version of The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which reiterates policies that both political liberals and conservatives all agreed upon at a time in American history...that No one has a right to infringe on the closely held beliefs and religious freedoms of anyone else in America, nor does anyone have the right to force another, through law or otherwise, to set aside their religious freedoms and values in order to satisfy the whims of another group or class of people without "compelling interest".
|Indiana Governor Mike Pence|
Governors of other states, in efforts to look good, cancelled state sponsored trips to Indiana for bona-fide business purposes, and major news organizations, whose correspondents I believe purposely misreported the law(1) as being bigoted, placed all their efforts on examining the law with over the top skepticism, un-objective journalism, and rank criticism. The governor of Indiana, looking like a rag doll caught by the cat, was overwhelmed trying to balance his political career with his moral values. At times seeming to explain that the law really meant nothing... In all, it seems that anyone, who voiced their opinion in support of the law, was met with public shame, wrath and indignation sparked by false reporting, misrepresentations and an absurd view of closely held American rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Due to this confusion, the State of Arkansas, before they could even roll out a similar law, began to backtrack and modify its position due to fear of continued media backlash, and because Arkansas corporate giant Walmart, said that they were displeased....WHAT???
So now, we allow corporate America to dictate morality and what American people should think and believe is moral? Aren't WE, the people the ones who keep corporate America in business? Then how do they have any say in what we believe or what directly affects our lives?
An Ugly Mess!
In order to unravel this, I feel that it is appropriate to look back a little bit at recent history over this issue and how we got here. In addition, those of us who are Christian and even those who are non-Christian who do not believe that the government should dictate to us who we should like, serve or what we should endorse, may be able to find a reasonable answer to the critics who are bent on making everyone come under the subjugation of the gay agenda.
I will do this by looking at gay marriage and then looking at the law, its aim, and why the critics are wrong for their over the top criticism and why we shouldn't be swayed in supporting the law and its intent.
The Argument, False Arguments & Some History
Indiana's Law Is Not New. America Accepts A Federal Version On The Books For Years
“The federal version of Indiana’s bill, which was signed into law in 1993 by Democratic President Bill Clinton, prohibits the federal government from substantially burdening a person’s free exercise of their religion — except in instances where the government can prove it has a ‘compelling interest’ and can impose the burden in the least-restrictive way possible.” ~ WashingtonExaminer Online
|President Bill Clinton Signing|
The Federal Version Of RFRA Into
Law 22 Years Ago
- Senator Ted Kennedy and now Vice President Joe Biden introduced and voted for Federal RFRA in the Senate,
- while Representative Charles Schumer introduced and voted for RFRA in the House, supported by the entire Democratic caucus, including
- Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.
- President Bill Clinton signed it into law
- President Obama voted for Illinois’ RFRA . . . twice.
- Hillary Clinton, who openly railed against the new Indiana law, perhaps should reflect on her husband’s words “we all have a shared desire . . . to protect, perhaps, the most precious of all American liberties, religious freedom.”
- Moreover, the diversity of groups that supported the federal RFRA, 68 according to then Vice-President Al Gore, included the ACLU. Vice-President Gore stated that the groups “usually don’t agree on very much, but [these] groups have come together to support religious freedom.”
The Country Accepts The Gay Agenda?
Secondly, no matter how many times news reporters continue to say it, it is still false that the country advocates either gay marriage or accepts homosexuality as a normative lifestyle. As I have heard many commentators say, "the country now accepts gay marriage and being gay", I will agree that this is certainly what the news wants us to believe and seemingly what most of them reporting would like to believe themselves. Contrary to their assertions, however, and more specifically to gay marriage, which is the vanguard of gay rights advocacy, their commentary is simply not true. Whenever put to vote in nearly every venue throughout America the redefinition of marriage has always been voted down by the people of the respective communities.
In fact, only 3 states in the country have ratified gay marriage by popular vote: Maine (Dec. 29, 2012), Maryland (Jan. 1, 2013), Washington (Dec. 9, 2012). (3)
So ANY journalist stating that "America accepts gay marriage" is simply not telling the whole truth. This is more in line with propaganda. The COURTS accept gay marriage, whereas the people do not, have not, and have proved such through voting against it.
While the majority of Americans do not accept gay marriage, bu yet manage to live without complaining while accepting gays in nearly every venue of living, the intolerant attitudes and lies of gay advocacy groups regarding Americans who speak out in favor of traditional values and against the proliferation of gay inspired values, is at an all time high.
The Further Confusion Of A Confused Court
In addition, gay rights advocacy groups paint the picture of hate and intolerance upon all them that do not accept gay values and gay normalization. Every word of them who do not support their insistence that homosexuality should be sanctioned and even endorsed, is scrutinized and used to prove some greater point of hatred, and homophobia (that made up word by homosexual advocates) which is a totally repugnant attitude towards those of us who have founded and principled moral values that stem from core values found within our faith.
This is where it gets sticky and where the crowd starts to thin out. The point where love for the person and abhorrence for the sin cross. As I have written previously on this blog, no one intends for gay persons to be treated as second class citizens. Gay persons have every right to jobs, housing, and all the other pursuits of happiness in life afforded to anyone. However, there is no other group of people that want a redefinition of society and morality as we see with the gay advocacy rights groups. So the argument must be carefully delineated from the person who deserves the common rights that we all share as a part of humanity and the realigning of moral values to suit the sins and propensities for sin of a group of people, no matter who that group of people may be.
Marriage and the altering of of moral values associated with marriage, and the exaltation of a certain sexual arrangement as "normal" (no matter what that sexual arrangement may be outside of heterosexual marital arrangements) is totally unacceptable no matter how many courts seem to think otherwise.
In addition, and more to the point of my article, because the courts have made gay marriage legal, in most venues the legislatures have been forced to apply and modify anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender. Hand in hand with such protections are the actions, acts and attitudes of those who are gay invoking civil protections. Since not only gay marriage, but also being gay itself, has some civil protections, gay advocacy seeks to subdue every institution to the thought that "if it is available in society to anyone, whatever gay wants, gay should get"!
What Gay Advocacy Wants:
Here are a few examples:
- Denver, Colorado 2012 ~ Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake Shop, was approached by 2 gay men and asked to make a cake for their marriage. Phillips refused because he did not believe in and or support gay marriage and was a Christian. Results: The court found this cake maker guilty of discrimination and demanded him to make a cake for the couple married in MA. Phillips said he'd rather close than violate what he believes.
- Gresham, OR. 2013 ~ Aaron & Melissa Klien of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, were approached by 2 gay women and asked to bake a cake in celebration of their homosexual union. The Kliens refused citing their religious beliefs as a basis for not participating in any way including baking a cake. The court ruled that the Kliens were in violation of the law and were not exempt because their business was not a "religious organization".
- New Mexico, 2013 ~ Elane Photography. Elane was approached by 2 lesbian women desiting photography services for their gay wedding ceremony. Elane refused due to her religious belief against participation in gay ceremonies and told the couple his information up front and on the phone. The court sided with the lesbian couple that they had been discriminated against according to states statutes that prohibit business from denying services based on sexual orientation. Upon appeal, the US Supreme Court sided with the New Mexico Supreme Court's ruling by refusing to hear the case.
- Richland, Washington, 2014 ~ 70 year old Florist Barronelle Stutzman, grandmother, andperson otherwise described as a "Christian florist", the owner of Arlene's Flowers, was sued by a long time customer who wanted flowers for his gay nuptials. The court not only sided with the gays that brought the suit, but fined Ms. Stutzman $1,001 and court costs which were asked for in the suit by the ACLU. In the judgment the judge wrote a handwritten note apart from the official judgment )as if she could not read) that said the following: "All goods, merchandise, and services offered or sold to opposite sex couples shall be offered or sold to same-sex couples, including but not limited to goods, merchandise and services for weddings and commitment ceremonies,"
Not only do we have kids in our schools that are gender confused, some girls who are not legal age to marry, calling other girls 'wife" and 'husband" and some boys, that don't know which way to turn, gay advocacy in education has demanded that children within the public education system be further indoctrinated with ideals and values of acceptance for the gay lifestyle through a new sex education curriculum driven by gay advocacy groups which includes the affirmation of not only gay marriage, but the affirmation of gay attitudes, feelings and the gay lifestyle itself. One particular blogger wisely commented as follows:
"This is where my emphasis on the difference between racism and sexual traditionalism in historic Judaism and Christianity comes in. Public schools can actively educate against racism without challenging fundamental tenets of religion. The same cannot be said about efforts to teach children that homosexual behavior and gay marriage are morally acceptable. Such efforts cannot help but impinge upon the religious freedom of those students and their families.
Strictly — meaning legally — speaking, there might be little that religious traditionalists could do to challenge such a curriculum. The First Amendment's protection of religious free exercise might not apply because it's firmly established in law that families are free to withdraw their children from public schools in favor of private religious schools or homeschooling.
But as a matter of prudence, the public schools — and liberals — should proceed cautiously in such matters. The last thing they should be doing is acting to provoke even greater numbers of religious traditionalists to withdraw from the mainstream civic life of the nation into self-segregated enclaves. That is precisely what will happen if and when public schools begin to denounce traditionalist beliefs about sexuality as backward or rooted in ignorance and unthinking bigotry." ~ Linker, Damon, "How should public schools teach the gay marriage movement?" The Week.com 2/2014To advise children of more traditional sexual choices and against being gay within our schools could be considered not only a violation of school policy, but a violation of the law. In fact in Illinois, and in many other venues where homosexual marriage and subsequently gay acceptance is the law, pending legislation makes it a crime to try to convince persons, especially our youth, who believe themselves to be gay, to turn from their ways denouncing such immoral acts and actions. Doing so could lead to not only civil action, but to de-licensure, loss of jobs and even criminal prosecution no matter the outcome.
As one can see, this is very divisive issue. An issue filled with many obfuscations and some flat out lies. No, it is not easy. But then again it is...One thing that this argument is full of is hypocrisy and double standards.
What IF, a Christian asks a gay owned establishment to advocate that heterosexism or to affirm through their work that heterosexual marriage is the only suitable sexual and marital arrangement? Or that a slogan such as "Down with gays and up with heteros" should be on a cake for a celebration of some sort? Do we feel that gays should be subject to such messages and treatment? How about a gay owned photography company forced to take pictures of the "Straight Is the only way to heaven convention" of the First Straight Church Of The Brethren? Why should they not have to participate in and provide services to the Christian event? I wonder, do any of us believe that it is acceptable for a Jew to have to serve a nazi convention by placing "Hail Hitler" on a cake or help an anti-Jewish group celebrate an event? Then how about this, do ANY of us believe that it is right to ask a Black business owner, cake maker, or caterer, to cater and or decorate a KKK or White Only convention?
What about any of this?
We are Americans and certainly support America, but listening to these gay advocacy groups, reporters and all of the misinformation that they put out, one would think that it is acceptable and in accord with the law to serve groups committed to supporting jihadist ideals and ideologies with our time and talents. I mean my goodness, if we can't draw the line on stupidity, where will and how will the line be drawn?
Just as we KNOW it is wrong to make a Jew support nazism...just as we KNOW it is wrong to make a Black man or woman support a KKK convention...just as we KNOW it is wrong to make a homosexual be forced to endorse heterosexism by denouncing their lifestyle with their talents... we also KNOW that forcing Christians and individuals who believe that homosexuality is a sin, and who do not believe that sexuality is a matter of human rights, equality or any of the other silly notions that we have been fed, we KNOW that it is a double standard to make Christians violate what they believe and affirm with their life and further wrong to hold their livelihood hostage to those requests designed to incite hate and create conflict. In fact, the gay advocacy groups should be tried for hate speech if anything....try that one on for size!
NO, this is not a "precise parallel" to the fight for Black equality for anything. As I state, Black is not subject to change. Who these people have sex with is. People continue to leave homosexuality every day, because they don't want that lifestyle.
America may treat homosexuality like a golden calf, but it will pay for her idolatry and certainly is paying for it in many ways.
As for me, I refuse to be duped and or subject to the lunacy of changing popular opinion. I am ready to see what many of these same people say when some of their counterparts begin to advocate for child marriage and for the acceptance of other forms of sexual diversity. I want to see how they get themselves out of the corner that they are painting themselves into. Believe me, we will see it....I'm looking...
On Wednesday, February 26, Arizona Governor, Jan (shake your finger in the President's face) Brewer, vetoed state Senate Bill 1062. The bill sought to provide a basis for legal defenses in discrimination suits brought against those who do not wish to provide services for homosexual weddings because such involvement contradicts their sincerely held religious beliefs. In her veto, Governor Brewer denied religious protections to those whose deepest ethical commitments would have them avoid participation in homosexual weddings.
1~ Reporters Openly Side Against Indiana Law 'Washington Examiner'
2~ Gay Marriage Pros & Cons
3~ Gay Marriage Pros & Cons
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