Tag Archives: Freedom of Religion

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.

Frank Turek lectures on the case against same-sex marriage

About the speaker Frank Turek:

Dr. Frank Turek is a dynamic speaker and award-winning author or coauthor of four books: Stealing from God:  Why Atheists Need God to make their Case, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Correct, Not Politically Correct and Legislating Morality. As the President of CrossExamined.org, Frank presents powerful and entertaining evidence for Christianity at churches, high schools and at secular college campuses that often begin hostile to his message. He has also debated several prominent atheists including Christopher Hitchens and David Silverman, president of American Atheists.

Frank hosts an hour-long TV program each week called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist that is broadcast Wednesday nights on DirecTV Channel 378 (the NRB Network). His radio program called CrossExamined with Frank Turek airs on 122 stations every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. eastern and is available continuously on the free CrossExamined App.

A former aviator in the US Navy, Frank has a master’s degree from the George Washington University and a doctorate from Southern Evangelical Seminary.  He and his wife, Stephanie, are blessed with three grown sons.

He’s one of my favorite speakers, and I admire him for being willing to take a public stand on controversial issues like gay marriage. He’s actually had to pay a price for that in his professional life, and I blogged about that before.

Here’s the lecture on gay marriage, featuring Christian apologist Frank Turek. It was presented in July 2015, after the Supreme Court decision.

[youtub=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3YmHAIgVfg]

Outline:

Outline of Frank Turek's lecture on same sex marriage
Outline of Frank Turek’s lecture on same sex marriage

Introduction:

  • how to present your case against marriage safely
  • Christians are required to go beyond tolerance
  • loving another person can mean opposing the person when they want to do something wrong, even if they hate you
  • what did Jesus say about marriage? (see Matt 19:4-6)
  • what did Jesus say about sexual morality? (Matt 15, Matt 19)

Summary:

  • the same-sex marriage debate is about whether to compel people who disagree with the gay lifestyle to validate and normalize it
  • P1: the government has an interest in marriage because it perpetuates and stabilizes society – this is the purpose of marriage
  • P2-4: government can take 3 kinds of stances towards behaviors: promote, permit or prohibit
  • government promotes behaviors when it has an interest in them
  • same-sex relationships should be permitted, but not promoted
  • Q1: if same-sex marriage had serious negative consequences, would you reconsider their position?
  • Q2: are heterosexual relationships the same as homosexual relationships?
  • Q3: what would society be like if everyone married according to the natural marriage definition: one woman, one man, for life?
  • Q4: what would society be like if everyone married according to the same-sex marriage definition: man/man and woman/woman?
  • Should Christians care about law and politics? or should they just preach the gospel?
  • They should care because people often get their cues about what is moral and immoral based on what is legal and illegal
  • Many of the social problems we see today can be traced back to problems with marriage and family
  • Children do much better when they have a relationship with their mother and their father
  • Same-sex marriage necessarily destroys the relationship between a child and its mother or its father
  • When a country embraces same-sex marriage, it reinforces the idea that marriage is not about making and raising children
  • same-sex marriage shifts the focus away from the needs of the children to the feelings of desires of the selfish adults
  • does homosexuality impose any health and mental health risks?
  • what has the impact of legalizing same-sex marriage been in Massachusetts to individuals, schools, businesses and charities?
  • how same-sex marriage poses a threat to religious liberty
  • how should you respond to the view that homosexuality is genetic?

My biggest concern is religious liberty, and we are seeing how same-sex marriage has proven to be incompatible with religious liberty. But I also care about children… I want them to have mothers and fathers who put their needs first. How did we ever get to this point where the ever-changing feelings and desires of adults are somehow linked to marriage? Marriage is about a commitment – it is the subjugation of feelings and desires to responsibilities and obligations. It is a promise. A promise to commit to love your spouse and children regardless of feelings and desires. It requires more self-denial, self-control and self-sacrifice. Not less.

Gay activist group tells Obama administration to bully religious schools

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

This is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

The largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activist group in the country is calling on the Department of Education to address what it calls a “disturbing trend” on college campuses.

Specifically, the Human Rights Campaign is calling for more transparency towards what it sees as a trend of schools citing religious reasons for not adhering to Title IX.

The Human Rights Campaign believes that in granting such exemptions, schools are given  a “license to discriminate.”

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs that receive federal funding. If schools are found in violation of the statute, their federal dollars could be at risk.

To address these concerns, the Human Rights Campaign wants the Department of Education to issue public reports stating which institutions request or receive religious exemptions, and to detail the scope of those exemptions.

Conservatives reacted to this news so:

Hunter Baker, a fellow for religious liberty at Union, told The Daily Signal that the erosion of religious liberty exemptions, would make it “illegal” for schools to operate in accordance to their religious beliefs.

“If we were unable to choose faculty members who both live out and have a traditional view of Christian sexual morality, then that really damages our ability to pursue our mission as an institution,” Baker said. “You’re making it illegal for us to insist on a Christian life and worldview.”

Baker said it would be a “major intrusion” on the school’s standards of conduct for its student body. Union University, a Baptist college in Jackson, Tenn., follows a traditional Christian view of marriage and sexuality, for example.

“Any kind of activity that would occur between two same-sex individuals would be unacceptable by our standards of conduct,” he said.

Roger Severino, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, calls the Human Right Campaign’s requests an attempt to “blacklist religiously-affiliated schools.”

You might remember that the Human Rights Campaign previously denounced the socially conservative Family Research Council as a “hate group” after they were attacked by a gay activist who was later convicted of domestic terrorism. The Human Rights Campaign was never charged with hate speech by the Obama administration.

The Human Rights Campaign was also connected to the leaking of the names of pro-marriage donors by a gay activist inside the IRS. The IRS was able to settle that case, receiving only a slap on the wrist.

Unfortunately, the Human Rights Campaign enjoys broad support from many American companies, as well as prominent Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It’s difficult for me to see how religious liberty can survive if we keep electing Democrats who want to give gay activists what they want: an end to religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

Should fascist Democrats allow Christians to work for a living in America?

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties
Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

The story is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran lived the American dream. That is, until he was fired from his childhood dream job for writing a book during his own private time.

Cochran’s book, published in 2013 and called “Who Told You That You Were Naked?,” expresses a biblical view on marriage and addresses homosexuality from his Christian perspective.

An active member in his church, he led a men’s small group Bible study and, after discussion with his group on Adam’s sin in the Book of Genesis, researched the words “naked” and “clothed” from the perspective of what the Bible says. He decided to write 162 pages about the topic in a men’s devotional book.

Cochran was reported to have asked the city’s ethics officer for permission before publishing the book and gave a copy of the book to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in January of 2014.

Fast-forward a few months, and Cochran received a 30-day suspension without pay, after an LGBT activist group started to protest the book.

“LGBT citizens deserve the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation, and deserve to be respected for their positions without hate and discrimination,” Cochran said, according to a January article from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “But Christians also have the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation and be respected for their position without hate and without discrimination.”

After 34 years as a firefighter, Cochran’s fairy-tale career came to a halt in January due to his personal views on gay marriage.

“I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community,” Mayor Reed said in a statement. “I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”

[…]“I want to be clear that the material in Chief Cochran’s book is not representative of my personal beliefs and is inconsistent with the administration’s work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all citizens,” Reed stated after he had given Cochran a suspension.

Irony! And I’m sure that the Democrat Reed would say that he is as much a Christian as Cochran, even though he’s not a Christian in any way shape or form. Many Democrats claim to be Christians and even attend churches where they sing and jump around waving their arms. But they’re not authentic Christians.

More:

Cochran had worked his way up, and out from the poverty he grew up in, to be named Atlanta fire chief in 2008. In 2009, he was appointed administrator of the United States Fire Administration under President Barack Obama. Less than a year later, he was back to his position as chief in Atlanta.

Investigation into Cochran found that he did not show discrimination against anyone during employment, yet he was terminated anyway.

[…]“The part that got me in trouble was the fact that in the book I dealt with sexual challenges that Christian men have and spoke of biblical marriage and biblical sexuality,” Cochran said in August while speaking at a religious libertyrally in Iowa.

There is something funny about sin. Not only do the people who do it want to be free to do it, but they also don’t want you to disapprove of it. So, if they have to use government power to force you to approve of it, they will.

It never occurs to me to use the government to force people to approve of what I am doing with my life. I’m chaste, I don’t believe in premarital sex. There is no support for this anywhere in the society, certainly not in the government, the education system, the mainstream media, Hollywood, and so on. There is not even support for this in the church. Yet, I don’t insist that people celebrate me – I don’t even feel ashamed of what I’m doing. It’s not easy, but not hurting women and being able to look at them as people instead of objects is a pretty good balance to the social disapproval I get. I’m just not interested in promiscuity, Tinder, Grindr, hooking up, monogamish, domestic violence, drug addiction, no-fault divorce, suicide, depression, sexually-transmitted diseases, abortions, and all the other things that the sexual revolutionaries push on me. Not interested.

So, that’s the difference between sin and not sin. Sin requires you to get people to agree with you. You feel so bad inside that you want everyone to affirm you, hoping that the shame and guilt you feel because of what you are doing will go away. Hoping that if all the humans agree with you, and support you, then God will have to overlook what you are doing. Hoping that if everyone is as sinful as you, then all of you will get into Heaven somehow.

Here are two more things about me. First, I wouldn’t be writing a thing about sexual issues unless I was using an alias. The champions of the sexual revolution occupy the commanding heights, and they are very happy to punish dissenters. Second, one of the big reasons why I am so picky about marriage is because I would rather save my money and make a difference by writing than get married and have kids and be forced to go silent for fear of becoming unable to support my family. The scarier these restrictions on open Christianity become, the more difficult the choice between making a difference and marrying becomes. Seems like I have to choose between speaking up and defending myself, or going silent and providing for a family.

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: