Wednesday, May 16, 2012

President warns Americans to keep religious beliefs hidden

In President Obama's flip-flop on same-sex marriage, he made a very revealing proclamation when asked how instituting this would impact religious institutions and faith-based citizens in general. "I respect the beliefs of others and the rights of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines," he said, "but I believe that, in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally."

In other words, just like with the HHS mandate, religious people watch out. Once again, you're being told by the government that you're welcome to believe what you want, as long as you keep it to yourself. Once you're in the public square in "the eyes of the law", you'll conform to the government's dictates, or else. Freedom of worship in a private dwelling is fine, but forget freedom of actually living your religion. Other people's rights matter more than yours do.

In fact, it's already happening everywhere we look. A private church group that had a gazebo on a beach was taken to court when it refused to allow a same-sex ceremony to take place there. A Christian wedding photographer in the southwest who declined a request to photograph a same-sex ceremony, even though she found another photographer to do the job, was sued. A Christian T-shirt maker in Lexington, KY, bid on a festival project to provide shirts for the event, but then withdrew when he learned the event was actually a gay-pride festival. Like the photographer, he found another vendor to do the job at the same rate, but was hauled off to the local human rights commission nonetheless. A private bed & breakfast owner in Hawaii was sued for refusing lodging to same-sex couples, even though there were plenty of other B&B's nearby the couple could have rented.

For the record, the issue is not about opposing 'civil unions', and it is in no way anything remotely hateful toward homosexual people. To say so is a gross and unfair misrepresentation of the issue. What this is about is the danger of a government so committed to advancing one group, that it does so at the expense of another group's freedoms. This is what "in the eyes of the law" means. You're free to do what you want in your own church or home, but when in public, check your beliefs at the door. 

It's bad enough that the president admitted that his young daughters were instrumental in getting him to change his mind on the marriage issue because "they have friends whose parents are gay." It's downright frightening to think that the President of the United States of America is throwing centuries of traditional marriage out the window - and along with it traditional marriage's profound role in society - based on his own personal feelings and the opinions of inexperienced children who have no idea why the issue is of such paramount importance and significance in the first place. 

It's also bad that the president is, once again, completely ignoring public will on the issue. Of the 32 states that have presented voters with the opportunity to uphold traditional marriage, all 32 states voted to do so. But like the vast numbers of Americans who opposed ObamaCare, Obama simply took what he feels is the most politically expedient route to achieving his own agenda -- namely reelection and trashing the Constitution while he's at it.

The foremost concern here - besides the potential consequences of nullifying the definition of marriage (which requires its own discussion) - is that the president has already sounded the warning bell that people of certain religious beliefs will be forced to accept same-sex marriage, despite their deeply held doctrines, just like religious groups and individual employers are now being forced to provide contraception and abortifacients.

President Obama said he "personally" feels the need to now embrace same-sex marriage because it's a matter of equality. What is really happening is the government is creating a preferred class of people whose freedoms trump the rest of the citizens' freedoms in this country. Sadly, there is nothing equal about that.

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  1. The leftists will do their best to make religion a hate crime. Those who believe in the Bible will be forced underground like they are in China. Most Americans are asleep at the wheel and won't realize whats happening until it is too late.

  2. Can you explain how exactly your religious freedom is being suppressed if the government recognizes marriage between any two people?

  3. If you are a private business owner, and you have a religious belief about homosexuality, and suddenly you can be subjected to fines, charges, etc., for not wanting to, say, rent your apartment to a homosexual couple (or for that matter, even a non-married heterosexual couple) then, yes, your religious freedom is being suppressed.

    1. The important thing to note now is that sexual orientation isn't protected under the Equal Protection Clause. It's (I think) legal to deny someone services for sexual orientation.

      I think another important thing to note is that before the EPC, many people used religion to not serve those of other races or religions; for example, Christians opposed to interracial marriage commonly cited the stories of Ham and Phinehas (today, we hear Sodom and Gomorrah).

      Still, how homosexuals are treated by private business-owners doesn't quite answer Dan's question - how does the action of two people getting married by the state negatively affect another's religious freedom?

    2. The EPC, I believe, only regulates LAWS that protect "suspect classes". I think you mean the Civil Rights Act of 1965, before which people could be denied service at restaurants and the like. It may be plausible to add sexual orientation because it may have an impact on interstate commerce (which was how the Civil Rights Act was passed). As for the legality of refusing to serve a homosexual, many states outlaw discrimination against homosexuality (though you're right that there is no federal one).

      And yes, I don't think that response fully answered my question. How business owners are affected by choosing not to serve homosexuals is quite different than just having two people get married :)

  4. The people being denied service at restaurants in 1965 were discriminated against because of their skin color -which, regardless or any choice, was ascribed to them. Like it or not, a homosexual can still choose whether or not to engage in certain physical activities with another person, just like a heterosexual person can choose (notwithstanding rape, but, obviously that's a pathetic comparison in this case) whether or not to engage in sexual activities. The rational black population is protesting the comparison between the blacks' struggles vs the homosexuals' "struggles". It's a contrived battle. And yes, if someone is forced to accommodate any behavior against their beliefs, then that is a social movement usurping individual freedom. If you can contemplate this intellectually honestly, then please do.