by Del Tackett
I am also voting for religious liberty.
If anyone has any doubts about the next major pillar of American Society that is going to be pulled down, then you might have your head in the sand. The declarations are clear; the precedents are being set; the agendas are not hidden.
And don’t misunderstand this. Those who are pushing to eliminate religious liberty will tell you that they do not want to take away your “religious freedom” which they will define as “freedom to worship”. The critical element here is “worship”. You can “worship” in your church or home, but you cannot maintain “religious liberty” in the public square. You are “free” as long as you keep your religion “private”.
Let me give you an example. I wrote last year of Jack Phillips, a baker in Denver, who found himself targeted by the homosexual agenda. After appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court found him in violation of civil rights laws, even though Jack offered to sell them anything he had in his store, or bake them a birthday cake, a promotion cake, a celebrate Spring cake, but made the appeal to them that his religious convictions kept him from baking them a cake to celebrate a homosexual wedding. Jack wasn’t picking customers based upon their race, religion, or even sexual orientation. Jack would have refused his mother if she had asked him to bake something against his Christian convictions. It wasn’t about the customer; it was about what they wanted to force him to do. They wanted to breech his religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
This is a key battle that is at stake in this election and “sexual rights” will be the wedge used to tear down religious liberty. Progressively, beginning with Roe v. Wade, the flow has increasingly moved toward the notion that “sexual rights”, including abortion, marriage, the right to name your sex and your pronouns (gender identity) and the right of mandated health care to physically make sexual changes, supersede any supposed “religious liberty” in which one’s religious convictions conflict with sexual rights. Sexual liberty trumps religious liberty.
Consider this ruling from Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey (1992):
At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.
Here the court declared that the “heart of liberty” is essentially the individual’s right to define Truth. It is a very short step from here to say that the heart of liberty is one’s right to define their own gender identity.
What is interesting in this battle is that Congress has attempted, and failed, for almost 40 years to add sexual orientation as a protected class to the Civil Right Act. But today, “sexual orientation” as a protected class is being won, not in Congress, but through Federal Regulations and Executive Orders.
And as sexual rights becomes increasingly protected by the Executive Branch, so too is the increased effort to stem any appeals to “religious liberty”. Martin Castro, Chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in September 9, 2016, makes religious liberty the bad guy and states: “We now see ‘religious liberty’ arguments sneaking their way back into our political and constitutional discourse…in an effort to undermine the rights of some Americans. This generation of Americans must stand up and speak out to ensure that religion never again be twisted to deny others the full promise of America.”
Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs….have to be changed” when they conflict with abortion rights.
Frank Bruni, New Your Times, said that we must free “religions and religious people from prejudice… and [they] must rightly bow to the enlightenments of modernity.”
Mitchell Gold, prominent furniture maker and gay philanthropist says that church leaders must be “made to take homosexuality off the sin list.”
Tim Sweeney, former CEO, Gill Foundation, speaks of how they must fight “religious exemptions” even though it make take them twenty years to accomplish.
The money is flowing in for this in buckets, including the David Bohnett Foundation $150,000 grant to Columbia University to “gather together scholars to oppose religious exemptions” and the Ford Foundation and Arcus Foundation $3 million spending to “target religious exemptions and other protections for religious freedom.”
More could be said about this battle, like the NCAA boycott of North Carolina because it enacted a law that preserved male and female privacy in bathrooms; photographers and bakers losing their businesses because they stood on religious convictions; Houston serving subpoenas on a group of pastors ordering them to produce sermons dealing with homosexuality or gender identity.
Make no mistake, this battle is huge and it isn’t so much about “sexual rights” as it is about destroying religious liberty. Those who hold to their religious conviction and beliefs are going to be increasingly labelled as haters and bigots. Religious liberty is going to be painted with horns. Hated. Despised. Rejected.
On the issue of religious liberty, the two party positions and their candidates are polar opposites.
I’m voting for religious liberty.
I encourage you to consider doing the same.