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Friday, July 07, 2006

Criminalizing faith?

I recently received this in my e-mail in-box, and I believe I may have alluded to a few of the points in this editorial. As of right now, the author/sender has not said that I may use their name, but they know that I wish to give proper credit, and therefore I wish to say thank you to my friend, who shall (for now) be known only as "The Patriot". I will post the article I received below my remarks.


Not too long ago, the state of Texas put a proposition to the voters, effectively asking if the State of Texas should allow or ban homosexual marriage. Being what some have called "the quintessential RED state", I was never really in much doubt about the outcome of this vote. Granted, "the left" tried all they could to stop the vote, or sway it. There were reports of telemarketing operations set up to call voters (and most of those called were elderly voters), and tell them that due to a "language mistake" that the bill would nullify ALL marriages ever performed in the state. Other attempts to foil this initiative even went so far as to say that our legislature had goofed so badly that voting for this bill would SUPPORT gay marriage, in stead of for the ban. Naturally, those who received these calls (and cared enough to actually be planning to vote), called their state representatives' and senators' offices and were assured that a vote FOR meant for the ban, and a vote AGAINST was a vote for gay marriage.

I have long held the belief that any state which allows gay marriage will see homosexuals SUING because they were denied the "right" to marry in a church, even though their union is against the faith taught by that very church. It would be the same thing as me going to a mosque and demanding that they perform a jewish wedding, and then suing them when they don't. Well, in some states, there are now rumors of laws which will prevent anyone from "denying goods and services based on sexual orientation" (those are my words, but you get the gist). What this means is that the Catholic church could be subject to CRIMINAL liability if they refuse to perform a gay marriage, or run an ad in their newsletter supporting the gay agenda. I wonder what would happen if I went to a gay publication and asked them to run an ad for a program at my church which teaches abstinence only? Or asked Planned Parenthood to rent their building to my church to council women against abortions? Would I be protected under the guarantee that I cannot be denied goods and services? This is a very slippery slope, because what was once seen as the backbone of American society has been lowered to the status of a mere contract, and once that idea takes hold, this country will officially be un-salvagable!

Well, I think I've ranted enough, so I will leave you with some words from The Patriot.
The slippery slope of secular humanism continues to become even more so all around the world. We are quickly moving beyond a mere degradation of social virtues to outright hostility against religion and potential criminalization of adherents who practice their faith in their daily lives.

In recent years we have seen the Dutch government change its laws to allow euthanasia, gay marriage, infanticide of imperfect children, and most recently, the sanctioning of gay polygamous unions.

Gay marriage has become a reality in Canada and Massachusetts. For years our own governments have flirted with passage of so called "hate crimes" legislation that essentially criminalizes individual thoughts by way of adding extra penalties if biases, hatreds or intolerances are perceived in the commission of a crime.

And now the British government is proposing a sweeping new legal code that would forbid discrimination against homosexuals when in the market for "goods and services".

As we know from our own experience in this country with the broad interpretation of our Constitution's language regarding interstate commerce, it?s no leap of logic to deduce that "goods and services" will soon encompass just about any human interaction involving an exchange of money. Its effect will be that of forcing people of faith, be it Christian, Jew or Muslim - pretty much everyone except secular humanists - to act contrary to their religious beliefs in the conduct of their everyday lives, or else become a criminal.

For example, religious schools would commit a crime by not allowing gay students or teachers. Churches that occasionally rent out their facilities for community events would violate the law by not allowing gays the same access - perhaps even to hold same-sex marriage services.

Religious newspapers would violate the law if they refuse to run advertisements for gay lobbying groups. A Christian owned ad agency would be unable to refuse to do work for a campaign promoting gay marriage.

In short, the active practice of one's faith in everyday life would no longer be legal.

Here in the United States, the move by Massachusetts' Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage without so much as a vote by that state's legislature, much less its citizens, has resulted in making the adoption agency practices of the Catholic Church illegal. That being the case, the Church was forced to end providing such services altogether, rather than compromise their faith.

The implications don't stop there. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback recently pointed out that, " states with same-sex marriage, religiously affiliated schools, adoption agencies, psychological clinics, social workers, marital counselors, etc. will be forced to choose between violating their own deeply held beliefs and giving up government contracts, tax-exempt status, or even being denied the right to operate at all."

Generally, such proposed legal changes stem from the fact that the secular humanist crowd doesn't see religion as something that should instruct one's daily life and relationships, but rather as simply representative of a place some people go on Sunday. And they have no patience for people who take it more seriously than that.

Someone once said that true tolerance also means having tolerance for the views of the majority. While history is filled with examples of religious intolerances, the greatest levels of intolerance today no longer come from the faithful, but rather from the anti-religious.

Much is made by the left in our country of the First Amendment's establishment clause in our Constitution, which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...". From bans on prayer in schools, or at publicly sponsored events, to public displays of the Ten Commandments and even the inclusion of the words "under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance, we are told that such observances constitute an establishment of religion and are therefore unconstitutional.

They seem to forget that the very next phrase in the First Amendment states, "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". In other words, it provides for freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
Until next time kids, play nice!

Cross posted at Smoke Signals Blog

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