The Left has become predictably unglued because the government of Indiana has had the audacity to actually and specifically protect every Indianan, regardless of whether they own a business or not, from attacks on their religious freedom by governments and from Leftist activists who seek to force them to do their will.
From the Left’s perspective, I mean, who wouldn’t be incensed that people’s freedom would be protected and put out of the reach of tyrants who seek to force other people to do their bidding?
Indiana’s RFRA is different than most if not all other RFRAs in that it not only restricts government from hammering someone’s exercise of religious liberty, it specifically prevents government from hammering business owners for exercising their religious liberty. Of course, until the past few years, it was virtually unthinkable that government might actually force a Christian business owner to violate their conscience and participate in a behavior they considered immoral.
Before that, most Americans believed as our nation’s founders did and recognized that the right of conscience is the most sacred of that which a person can possess:
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort. . . . [and] conscience is the most sacred of all property. – James Madison
No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience. – Thomas Jefferson
Consciences of men are not the objects of human legislation. – New Jersey Governor William Livingston, signer of the U.S. Constitution
Security under our constitution is given to the rights of conscience. – John Jay, First Chief of U.S. Supreme Court, author of the Federalist Papers
Our rulers can have no authority over such natural rights, only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. – Thomas Jefferson
It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot well be separated. – James Madison
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort…[and] conscience is the most sacred of all property. – James Madison
The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet’ and `Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free. – John Adams
The founders of our great nation considered religious freedom and the right of conscience so important that they made protecting it the first freedom protected in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
First and foremost, religious freedom is protected and guaranteed in our nation’s highest law and founding document. In temporal terms, it doesn’t get more imperative than that.
We should be clear, however, that the federal RFRA still protects everyone’s religious freedom, even though it does not explicitly mention companies:
Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion
After all, regardless of the Marxist Left’s hatred of business and free enterprise, people still own businesses (they are not some mysterious and autonomous entity from some dark, alternate universe), and people do not anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, in any state constitution, in Natural Law, or in any shred of common sense forfeit their God-given rights just because they choose to risk their time and money in owning a business.
Several states have had RFRA’s (in addition to the federal RFRA, and in addition to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) on top of protections for religious liberty in their state constitutions, and homosexual activists STILL managed to destroy the businesses of Christians for having the audacity to obey what God has said is right.
For example, in New Mexico, where the New Mexico Constitution says
Every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and no person shall ever be molested or denied any civil or political right or privilege on account of his religious opinion or mode of religious worship.
Not, apparently, if your conscience says the same thing as the Bible, and it’s perfectly acceptable to molest and deny rights to a Christian business owner to run the business that he owns in a manner consistent with the teaching of his religion. No, in New Mexico (a) the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the federal RFRA, and the New Mexico constitution mean nothing when it comes to the desire to force a Christian photographer to bend to the will of homosexual activists. And in New Mexico, even having a First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a federal RFRA, religious freedom protections in the New Mexico Constitution, and a New Mexico RFRA is not enough to protect religious liberty from the desire of homosexual activists to force people to participate in their immoral activities.
Or Colorado, where the Colorado Constitution says
The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning religion
But apparently it’s okay to ignore that, sue a Christian baker for refusing to make a fake wedding cake for a counterfeit wedding, and sentence him to a re-education center. Move it on down the road, religious freedom and property rights; we don’t need you in Colorado.
Or New York, where the New York Constitution says
The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this state to all humankind
But apparently silly things like property rights and the free exercise of religion don’t matter when it comes to the important agenda of forcing a Christian business owner to participate in a counterfeit wedding. Why bother with property rights and religious freedom in New York?
Or Washington state, where the constitution says
Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion
But apparently explicit protections for a person’s freedom of conscience and protection from being molested in person or property on account of religion somehow ends before it can stop the Washington Attorney General from hammering a florist for refusing to participate in a counterfeit wedding in that state. No need for religious freedom or property rights here.
Or in Oregon, where the state constitution says
No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise, and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience
Yet somehow we are supposed to believe that this doesn’t apply to a Christian baker who refused to surrender his own business and his own labor to help two lesbians counterfeit a wedding. Who needs religious freedom or property rights in Oregon?
Or in Maryland, where the state constitution (which even thanks God in the state constitution for religious liberty) says
That as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore, no person ought by any law to be molested in his person or estate, on account of his religious persuasion, or profession, or for his religious practice
Or in Idaho, where the state constitution says
The exercise and enjoyment of religious faith and worship shall forever be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege, or capacity on account of his religious opinions
And where Idaho has their own RFRA which says
Free exercise of religion protected. (1) Free exercise of religion is a fundamental right that applies in this state, even if laws, rules or other government actions are facially neutral.
But apparently none of that matters when it comes to leveraging government to force a couple of ordained ministers to officiate at counterfeit weddings. We don’t need no stinkin’ religious freedom or property rights in Idaho!
Yet Leftists insist we believe that this somehow doesn’t extend to a Christian tour business that must be forced to service a counterfeit wedding in that state. Phooey on religious freedom and property rights in Maryland.
So no, as some of the “Republicans” told us in the past two legislative sessions in South Dakota, there’s no threat to religious liberty! Riiiiight… In fact, as “Republican” Governor Dennis Daugaard told us last year, Republicans who want to protect religious liberty are really just bigots.
Apparently, as liberals tell us so often about the Bible and the U.S. Constitution, these documents just don’t mean what they obviously and clearly say they mean. Uh huh.
Somehow, it escapes the credible imagination that the same Leftists expect a Jewish or Muslim butcher or grocer to sell pork on demand, or a Jewish baker to be forced to bake a Hitler cake or a pro-Palestinian terrorist cake, or that a black business owner should have to provide goods or services for a KKK rally, or that a homosexual baker be forced to provide cakes that affirm real marriage and condemn counterfeit marriage. Sorry, just can’t see it.
So why are homosexual activists and their “useful idiot” allies so lathered up, when it is obvious that nothing–not the U.S. Constitution, not a state constitution, not a federal RFRA, and not a state RFRA–is going to be allowed to stand in the way of the homosexual agenda and forcing Christians to bend to the will of militant homosexuals?
It’s pretty obvious that logic and reason has nothing to do with their hysteria. But they are so insecure about their immoral, unnatural and unhealthy behavior that even the slightest resistance to applauding said behavior unnerves them and leaves them frighteningly close to the inescapable conclusion that this aberrant behavior can never be legitimate.
So what is going on in Indiana–and in the rest of the United States? Just an all-out, in-the-open war against the Christian faith being waged by homosexual activists and their “useful idiot” friends on the Left. This is obvious on so many levels.
For example, if the issue of the proper response to a business refusing to serve you was anywhere remotely rational, the prospective customer would just go down the road and take their money to someone who wants their business. Why would you rationally want to give your money to someone who doesn’t want to serve you, for whatever reason? Why would you want to force someone to take your money, when that person doesn’t want your money…and even believes the service you seek is immoral?
Imagine if you went into a bakery wearing a “Grateful Dead” t-shirt and the baker refused service to you because the baker believed the Grateful Dead were immoral and anyone who supports them are immoral? Would such a person really be expected to file a lawsuit, to leverage the power of government to force the baker to render service to him…or would the Grateful Dead fan simply utter some choice comments and go to another baker who likely wouldn’t care?
If a baker and a prospective customer rightfully could and probably would behave in this manner over something as trivial as a t-shirt, how much more so should the freedom of association and freedom of religious expression apply to a behavior that the Bible strongly and repeatedly in both Old and New Testaments makes clear is grossly immoral–and on top of that, is extremely unhealthy and dangerous?
Freedom of association in the realm of the private, non-governmental world is is so basic, so fundamental, that it rarely ever gets discussed (discuss your need or right to breath, much?). Yet it should go without saying that in a free society, people should be free to associate with people they want to associate with, and free to not associate with people they don‘t want to associate with. Even more obvious is the reality that the nature of mutual associations should be free and voluntary. After all, while homosexual activists and their “useful idiot” friends on the Left might try to make the claim in this case that compensation makes forced servitude okay, it would never fly in the mind of a rational person that the service imposed on black Americans in the South in the early 1800s was really fine and morally upright because those who forced them to render service against their will compensated them with food, shelter and clothing. Sure.
It is clear where the logic is, and where the logic is not…and in the absence of logic, it becomes crystal clear what the issue is really about.
It’s no longer about “tolerance” (in reality, it never was about tolerance). It’s about forcing you to affirm their values. It’s more difficult to get the average citizen to affirm Leftist and/or homosexual values, but with business owners, they have an “in,” they have an avenue through which to leverage government-forced obeisance. They’re using it to the fullest possible effect. You will not only be made to care, you will be made to render fealty.
And it’s obvious the “Republican” Party can no longer be relied on to protect the people’s freedom, as “Republicans” in South Dakota have repeatedly demonstrated (and even Indiana Governor Pence is giving signs that he may be ready to waffle and “fix” religious freedom protections in Indiana).
No, my fellow Americans, only YOU can be relied on to protect your freedom. So will you stand up and protect your freedom, and help protect the freedom of your fellow Americans from tyranny? Or will you surrender freedom meekly in the face of tyranny? Think of what your ancestors did in 1776, then choose this day.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.