Thursday, December 11, 2008

Religious Freedom Will Soon Be Gone in America

Does same-sex marriage threaten your freedoms of speech and religion? Put slightly differently, does the coordinated legal agenda of those who oppose Proposition 8 in California have the potential to undermine core 1st Amendment rights? The homosexual legal agenda and 1st Amendment rights are on a violent collision course. Religious freedom is your right to believe, profess and practice your faith without government interference. Freedom of speech is your right as a citizen to express yourself without government interference, no matter how unpopular your views. Freedom of speech includes religious speech.

In a Proposition 8 debate panel a few weeks ago, an ACLU attorney kept repeating the mantra that same-sex marriage poses no threat to religious freedom. However, a broad range of constitutional attorneys and scholars disagree and affirm that this "rights" clash is real. Marc Stern of the American Jewish Congress calls it a pending "train wreck" or "Armageddon." In a chilling statement, Chai Feldblum, a Georgetown University law professor and thoughtful gay activist who helps draft federal legislation related to sexual orientation, said that when push comes to shove and religious- and sexual-liberty conflict, "I'm having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win."

The actual evidence is overwhelming that this conflict is not imagined but very real. Unfortunately, religious freedom and free speech are increasingly on the losing end of the equation. In 2005, Swedish minister Ake Green was sentenced to jail for preaching about homosexuality from the New Testament book of Romans (the conviction was eventually overturned). New Jersey's Ocean Grove Campground, a religious nonprofit, lost its tax-exempt status in 2007 because the organization refused to rent its facility to a lesbian couple for a civil commitment ceremony. In 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston stopped doing adoption work rather than be coerced by the Massachusetts to place children with same-sex couples. A Massachusetts father was arrested in 2007 when he would not leave the school because the administration stubbornly refused to acknowledge his legal right to opt his child out of ongoing homosexual indoctrination occurring in a kindergarten class.

This year, two Christian doctors in California were successfully sued for violating state civil rights law because they asserted their right of religious conscience by refusing to perform artificial insemination for a lesbian couple. And famously, just this month, a first-grade class went on a "field trip" to watch its lesbian teacher's wedding in San Francisco.

While legal protections for free speech and religious liberty have been a critical component of our nation's core civil rights protections for more than 200 years, laws granting special rights to those engaged in homosexual conduct are the legal "new kid on the block" -- and this new kid is proving to be an 800-pound gorilla. The danger here is that by embracing the latter (homosexual special-rights) with such vigor, we risk the grave consequences of decimating the former (the 1st Amendment). No doubt, this consequence is intended by the proponents of homosexual special-rights who oppose Proposition 8, in spite of their insistence to the contrary.  The ACLU and others on the gay special-rights side of the argument view people of faith as barbaric and backwards.  They want to see people of faith in this country suffer and eventually disbanded.

The truth is that the conflict is very real. There will be clear winners and there will be clear losers in this zero-sum game. I submit that we should therefore be asking ourselves a more fundamental question: Which better serves the common good or general welfare of our nation -- free speech and religious freedom or gay rights? I stand firmly with our infinitely wise founding fathers on the side of the 1st Amendment.  I suspect, however, that eventually the courts will not.  The will be sending our nation off in a different direction ... in a handbasket.


About This Blog

This blog is about my opinions and world view.  I am a conservative, evangelical Christian.  Generally speaking, if you post a comment, I'll allow you to express your view.  However, if you say something hateful, untruthful, or just generally something I don't like, I may remove it.

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