Tag Archives: Conscience

Gay marriage collides with freedom of conscience and religious liberty in the UK

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

It’s not just happening in Canada and the United States.

Here’s the UK Telegraph article.

It says:

The Christian bakers taken to court for refusing to make a cake promoting gay marriage say their experience is like living in a dystopian “science fiction” world where the state orders people to say things they do not believe.

[…]The family firm, based on Newtonabbey, near Belfast, found itself at the centre of an international storm in summer 2014 after cancelling an order for a cake featuring the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie with the slogan “support gay marriage”.

[…]The McArthurs, who are evangelical Christians, said they could not in conscience make the cake because they believe same-sex marriage is against the teaching of the Bible.

[…]But Mr Lee, backed by the Equality Commission, a state-funded body which operates in Northern Ireland, said it amounted to discrimination under laws which ban refusing to provide services on grounds of religion, race or sexual orientation.

[…]Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled that refusing to produce a cake calling for the change did amount to discrimination against Mr Lee.

She said the McArthurs did not have the right to ‘manifest’ their belief in a commercial setting.

You don’t have a right to act like a Christian outside your church. When you are outside your church, you have to act like a progressive atheist. That’s “neutrality”. Progressive atheists have to act like progressive atheists in public, and  Bible-believing Christians have to act like progressive atheists in public. That’s “equality”, according to the taxpayer-funded “Equality Commission”. That’s their job, actually – converting the taxes collected by Christian taxpayers into witch-hunts against those same Christian taxpayers.

But look, there is more hope in the UK than there is here:

Speaking to The Telegraph, the couple said they had received hate mail and online abuse but had no regrets.

It came as Peter Tatchell, the veteran gay rights campaigner, emerged as a surprise supporter for the McArthurs’ appeal.

He said that, while he totally disagreed with their views on gay marriage, it is a basic “infringement of freedom” to force people to promote ideas to which they conscientiously object.

See? Now look here. I have no problem with gay people living how they want, signing contracts about wills and hospital visitation, and so on. But what I do object to is their desire to redefine marriage for all of us, so that people like me who have a different view of what marriage is have to be fired, pay fines and go to jail – all for disagreeing with their view. Well, excuse me, but I am allowed to have a different view.

At least one gay activist (Tatchell) has sense enough to be tolerant of those who disagree with him. That’s real tolerance, not like these secular leftist fascists in the UK government. I hope there are more like him.

Last point. How did the Christians feel about it?

Excerpt:

Speaking to The Telegraph, the couple said they had received hate mail and online abuse but had no regrets.

[…]Mr McArthur said he had been bewildered to find himself up against the courts and a state equality body for supporting what is currently the law.

[…]He insisted that, rather than discriminating against a gay customer, the family were themselves effectively suffering discrimination by being denied the right to refuse to endorse gay marriage.

“For us, I think it means you have to leave your Christianity at your house and in your church, once you go out the door in the morning you can forget about your Christian beliefs,” he said.

[…]but [our faith affects] every part of our lives.

“It is impossible for us not to bring it with us during the day.”

He added: “It is our human right to live according to those beliefs and we can’t do something that goes against those beliefs, we can’t be forced to do it.

“That is basically what the Equality Commission expect us to do, they expect us to go against our Christian beliefs despite how we feel.”

“It is like something out of a science fiction book: ‘you have to do this, there is no choice … you must do this, no matter what your conscience tells you, no matter how hard, never mind that you couldn’t do that, you have to do it we demand it of you’.”

So, UK taxpayers must pay taxes to the government that wants to silence and coerce them. I wonder that anyone who claims to be a Bible-believing Christian could support overreach by a bloated secular government. We need small, limited government where government is focused on its Constitutional responsibilities – not on using force to make us all think alike.

I don’t think that most people of other religions, except perhaps Orthodox Jews, really understand what is required of Bible-believing Christians. We are expected to honor God in everything we do, and acknowledge him in all of our thinking and decision-making, including decision-making about morality. Although most secular people think morality is illusory and that truth takes a backseat to hedonism, that is not the Christian view.

Jesus says this:

Matthew 10:32-33:

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.

33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

You may not believe that, but don’t push your views on us, using the power of government. Christians are not like you. We are not here to have a good time on Earth. Our religion is not a community activity that is engaged in for social cohesion of feelings of comfort. Bible-believing Christians think that Christianity is true – objectively true. You’re not just trying to get us to try a different flavor of ice cream when you push your different morality on us – you’re trying to get us to live a lie. And your “feeling offended” by our disagreement is not justification for using the government to coerce us (which is fascism, by the way). If we Christians are right, the worst thing that a non-Christian person can do is to discourage us from pursuing God in Christ. You do not want to face God if you are the person who causes a Christian to turn away from God. That is the worst thing you can do. And yet so many people on the secular left do exactly that… in the public schools, in the university, in the court rooms, in the media, in Hollywood, etc. Stop it.

In New York, you could be fined $250,000 for not using a transgender person’s preferred pronoun

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign
Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

This article from the Daily Signal makes me wonder why anyone would live in a garbage state like New York.

Excerpt:

The new legal guidance, issued Dec. 21 by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, came as part of an expansion of the city’s 2002 Human Rights Law, which protects against discrimination in a range of categories. The updated policy specifically protects transgender and gender non-conforming individuals from discrimination in areas of employment, public accommodation, and housing.

[…]Under the new policy, landlords, employers, and businesses can face civil penalties up to $125,000 per violation and up to $250,000 “for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct.”

[…]The guidance has the support of prominent LGBT groups, including the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York City Anti Violence Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

[…]New York City Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis promised to “aggressively” enforce the protections in order to ensure the safety of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.

“Today’s guidance makes it abundantly clear what the city considers to be discrimination under the law and the commission will continue to aggressively enforce protections to make that promise a reality,” Malalis said. “Every New Yorker deserves to live freely and safely, free from discrimination.”

Her undergraduate degree is in Women’s Studies, I noticed. I wonder if that has anything to do with her sensitivity to feeling offended?

What would you have to do to get slapped with that fine?

This:

Intentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun, or title. For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman “him” or “Mr.” when she has made it clear that she prefers female pronouns and a female title.

Or this:

Refusing to allow individuals to use single-sex facilities, such as bathrooms or locker rooms, and participate in single-sex programs, consistent with their gender identity. For example, barring a transgender woman from a women’s restroom out of concern that she will make others uncomfortable.

Or this:

Failing to providing employee health benefits that cover gender-affirming care or failing to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals undergoing gender transition, including medical appointments and recovery, where such reasonable accommodations are provided to other employees. (Federal and New York laws already require certain types of insurance to cover medically-necessary transition-related care.

Wow. This is what New York politicians think is a big problem? No wonder so many people are leaving their lousy state.

Look:

More people move to Texas than any other state, according to data released by the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS collects data based on year-to-year address changes from tax returns to see which states individuals leave and where they subsequently move.

From 2012 to 2013, which is the latest data available, Texas had the largest positive net migration of 152,477 individuals. This is calculated by subtracting the number of out-migrant tax returns from the number of in-migrant returns.

Following Texas, Florida ranked second with a positive migration of 73,789 people. South Carolina was third with 28,905 people, Colorado fourth with 26,380, and North Carolina fifth with 25,911.

Conversely, New York ranked last among the states with a negative net migration of 113,861 people. Following New York were Illinois, California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Look, Americans love America because they want freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to work and earn and run your business. New York thinks that they can take away that freedom, and that people will stay to live like that. But they don’t. They move to Texas. They move for freedom.

Hillary Clinton supports jailing Christian clerk for dissenting from gay marriage

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

NBC News reports that a county clerk is now in jail for refusing to recognize gay marriage.

A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has turned away same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, was found in contempt of court and taken into custody on Thursday.

Davis, 49, was in federal district court to appear before a judge after refusing to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples in Rowan County. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, has said doing so would “violate God’s definition of marriage” and infringe on her personal religious beliefs.

District Court Judge David Bunning said that she is bound by an oath of office to perform her duties under the law, and ordered her to jail.

Hillary Clinton tweets that Christians should be jailed for holding to the definition of marriage taught by Jesus:

Hillary Clinton tweets support for jailing Christians
Hillary Clinton tweets support for jailing Christians

Obviously, Clinton is as much a Christian as the atheist Obama: not Christian at all. And it turns out that all the talk of tolerance and diversity on the secular left was just lies.

Anti-marriage demonstrators cheer fascism

So the Christian woman is in jail. Here are some supporters of diversity and tolerance chanting their support for using the government to coerce someone against their religion and conscience:

They want to force us to agree with them, and our religious liberty is no defence to government coercion. Imagine this woman tried to run away from the police who were arresting her – what would happen then? This is the America we got for voting for the Democrats.

Some people who claim to be Christians actually think Jesus is a fool

You might think that jailing people for agreeing with Jesus would not be supported by many Christians, but actually, many people who claim to be Christian do disagree with Jesus on issues like marriage:

Which religions supported Obama most in 2008?
Which religions supported Obama most in 2008?

For some people, keeping the money coming from government is more important than actually following what the Bible teaches. That chart shows who is good at following the Bible and who is not.

What should she have done?

In this particular case the right course of action is civil disobedience until you are fired. It’s important to do this so that the public has a clear understanding of what is happening. If you substitute an example like Nazi Germany forcing a Christian in government to murder Jews, then you can see that there are some cases where Christans have to refuse to do what the government wants them to do. Marriage is one of the cases where Christians should prefer to be fired rather than act against conscience.

Now, if you can get a conscientious objection that allows you to recuse yourself from duties that conflict with your duty to Christ, that is a good enough compromise. Because then you keep your influence in government (which is important!). But if there is no opt-out, then just let them fire you. I would say that you can resign, but in this case it’s better to resist and let it become a news story. That way, in the next election, people will remember where the fascists stand on religious liberty. Maybe some of the fake Christians will actually vote the right way.

How to live your life in preparation for tyranny

I would suggest that Christians stop making bad decisions with their education and career. When things like this happen, it’s important for you to have savings and skills, so you can find another job. In a very real sense, your ability to be a faithful Christian is going to hang on the decisions you make about school and work and spending vs saving your earnings. Jesus was not a person who pursued fun, thrills and travel for travel’s sake. He did not go on adventures. I think it’s time that we start to get serious about having an influence and making ourselves defensible against threats like this.

Right now, the fascists are running everything, and we seem to be disinterested in doing the degrees and careers necessary to have an influence. Some people like to think that God is speaking to them through their feelings, and telling them to have fun, go on adventures, and feel happy. But God is not your feelings. These threats are real. You need to start doing what actually solves the problem, instead of following your heart.

You want to plan your life out in a way that will allow you to defend against these threats and recover from losses. That means you don’t get to do whatever you feel like. It means you study hard things, do hard work, pay off your debts, save and invest, and stop complaining that work is boring. Christianity is not about having fun.

Here are a couple more posts for you to read about this issue:

Colorado Court of Appeals rules that Christian must bake cakes for gay wedding

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

This is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

A custom cake baker in suburban Denver can’t cite his religious convictions in declining to make a wedding cake for two men, a Colorado appeals court ruled today.

“Cake artist” Jack Phillips said he gladly serves gays and lesbians in his family business. But, Phillips said, he could not in good conscience design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple when, as a Christian, he believes marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

A three-judge panel of the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that not doing so amounts to illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation, Associated Press reported.

You’ll recall that Colorado is one of the states that does not recognize religious liberty as a human right:

States with non-discrimination laws
States with non-discrimination laws

If you live in one of the non-gray states, you’re at risk.

What’s troubling to me about this is that Phillips was defended by Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defending Freedom. He is a very capable religious liberty lawyer.

More:

The baker’s lawyer, Jeremy Tedesco, told The Daily Signal that the three judges “got it wrong on all counts” in a unanimous, 65-page opinion.

“He objects to the message, not to their protected status,” Tedesco said of the business owner’s attitude toward Charlie Craig and David Mullins, the two men who wanted him to design a wedding cake. “That’s not discrimination under the law.”

Tedesco, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, added:

Business owners have a right–especially when they’re engaged in expression, as our client is–to run their business in accordance with their beliefs. …When they’re engaged in expression, [they may] decline to create an expression that violates their convictions.

What’s interesting is that after being denied the cake, the gay couple easily went to another shop and got a cake. There was no harm done.

But that was not good enough for them, hence their decision to involve the state, and punish the Christian for choosing not to celebrate something he disagreed with.

Tedesco says that the baker should not be forced to say something that he violates his conscience:

As The Daily Signal reported, Tedesco argued that compelling Phillips to create a cake for the wedding of two men would violate his First Amendment rights not only to freedom of religion but also free speech or expression.

“The other side of the case thinks there are no First Amendment rights in the commercial context and once you open a business, you cede all First Amendment protections,” Tedesco told The Daily Signal after the hearing in Denver.

The ADF intends to appeal the case to the Colorado Supreme Court, and then to the Supreme Court of the United States. Unfortunately, since Obama won in 2008 and 2012, the Supreme Court is likely to rule against religious liberty. We’ll find out, I guess.

You can read more about Jeremy Tedesco here.

Kentucky bans pastor from prison ministry because he disagrees with homosexuality

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

Yes, in Kentucky.

The Stream has the story.

Excerpt:

Like Christian ministers across the confessional spectrum, David Wells takes seriously the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “I was in prison and you did not visit me.” Minister of evangelism of Pleasant View Baptist Church in McQuady, Kentucky, he has been visiting and mentoring juveniles in the Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center for 12 years.

Not any more. On July 7th, the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) revoked his volunteer credentials and permanently barred him from visiting, counseling or leading worship services for juveniles. He was found in violation of a newly revised departmental policy on “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” because he could not sign a state-mandated statement that he would not use the word “sinful” when talking about homosexuality. The policy states that volunteers:

shall not refer to juveniles by using derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias towards or hatred of the LGBTQI community. DJJ staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful, or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The acronym “LGBTQI” stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and Intersexed.”

I recommend reading the articles to get the details on the inmates, so that you see what they are in for, what their real problems are, and what it is that the pastor talks to them about.

But I want to skip to the end, which is about the conflict between the gay agenda (don’t offend me by saying that what I am doing is wrong, because it makes me feel bad) with the Constitutional right of religious liberty.

More:

The issue really isn’t the way Wells speaks to the juveniles he ministers to. The issue is what he says. In effect, the DJJ wants to remove the Bible from his hands. The policy equates the teaching of Biblical morality with derogatory and hateful speech.

Removing the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like taking a scalpel from the hands of a surgeon. The policy effectively deletes passages such as Romans 1:24-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1 Tim 1:10 from the New Testament. The words of Scripture are the gifts a pastor has to offer. He’s not there just to counsel the young people. He’s there to tell them the good news of Jesus Christ. That’s not hate speech, it’s love speech.

Wells is represented by Liberty Counsel. In a letter to the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, Liberty Counsel explained that the new policy creates an unconstitutional religious test for access to the DJJ. The First Amendment prohibits the government from discriminating on the basis of viewpoint. This detention center may not prohibit the expression of biblical morality because DJJ policymakers object to the Bible.

That’s what the American Constitution says, but the authorities in other states and in federal and military prisons have begun imposing similar restrictions on religious speech. This may become one more aftershock of the Obergefell v Hodges decision. The homosexual equivalency movement wants to insert homosexual activity into the category of a protected class under State and Federal law in order to use the police power of the State against those who disagree with them. It’s one more example of a growing soft persecution underway in the United States.

I have been saying for some time that Christians have been really missing the boat by focusing on charity without theology. We are interested in being nice so we can be liked. We are not interested in telling the truth, so that we can be faithful. We spend all our money feeding hungry people and helping the poor and so on, and nothing is going to defend religious liberty – the freedom to actually treat what the Bible about God as real and serious – in public. Maybe instead of doing nice things, we can try to focus more on doing good things. We can start by not voting for secularists who charm us with their desire solve the world’s problems by redistributing wealth, and instead vote for people who promise to protect our religious liberty and our freedom of conscience. No more giving money to World Vision and the Boy Scouts of America and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. We have other things to think about now.