Tag Archives: Religious Liberty

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.

Obama administration to assist gay rights group in targeting Christian schools

Hillary Clinton and her ally, the Human Rights Campaign
Hillary Clinton and her ally, the Human Rights Campaign

An article from the Daily Caller.

The Human Rights Campaign — America’s largest gay and transgender civil rights group — is celebrating this week’s decision by the U.S. Department of Education to create a searchable database targeting faith-based colleges and universities that have sought exemptions from federal gay and transgender rights regulations because the regulations violate their religious beliefs.

Clearly, the gay rights group commands the immediate attention of the Obama administration. The announcement that the Education Department will now pointedly identify such religious schools comes just a few weeks after the Human Rights Campaign released a Dec. 18 report naming and attempting to shame the schools.

The Human Rights Campaign is a curious organization. Their co-founder was charged by police for having sex with an underage teen. He is a big Democrat Party donor and supporter.

The Human Rights Campaign leaked the names of pro-marriage donors that were stolen by a gay activist from within the IRS. The IRS later had to pay a fine for leaking the names of the donors.

The Human Rights Campaign is a group that had previously condemned the Family Research Council as a hate group. This is the same Family Research Council that was later attacked by a convicted domestic terrorist / gay activist. After the attack, the HRC continued to denounce the FRC as a hate group.

What did Jesus think?

Here’s what Jesus says about marriage.

Matthew 19:1-11:

1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.

2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”

4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,

5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8

He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.

I should also note that one of the Republican candidates, Marco Rubio, has the backing of a supporter of the Human Rights Campaign. And I’m sure he expects a return on his investment in Marco Rubio.

This is from the Washingon Blade:

In a three-page letter to dozens of donors obtained by The New York Times, New York-based hedge fund manager Paul Singer says Rubio “has been turning his campaign into a compelling argument for using conservative ideas to help America adapt and thrive in the 21st century.”

[…]The endorsement from a high-profile donor like Singer, who backed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, is a major score for Rubio.

Alex Conant, a Rubio spokesperson, is quoted in The New York Times as welcoming the endorsement, adding, “We know we have a lot of work to do before Marco wins the nomination, but clearly this moves us in the right direction.”

Jimmy LaSalvia, author of “No Hope” and a gay political commentator who recently left the Republican Party, said Singer’s endorsement of Rubio isn’t surprising.

“At the end of the day, Paul Singer is an establishment Republican,” LaSalvia said. “The GOP establishment has been looking for a candidate to fall in line behind, and it’s looking like that’s Rubio.”

Now, if you profess that view of marriage in public, you will find find yourself in opposition to the Human Rights Campaign, and their Democrat ally Hillary Rodham Clinton. Should you vote for her as President? It seems to me that there is a pretty clear conflict between the teachings of Jesus on marriage, and the teachings of the Human Rights Campaign and their political allies.

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.

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.

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.