By Tony Perkins
If the Left wants to know what real tolerance looks like, it should ask one of its targets. In an interview this week, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers had a powerful message for her attackers. After nine years of building a relationship with the customers who are suing her for turning down their same-sex “wedding” order, Barronelle Stutzman said, “If Rob walked in the store today, I would hug him and catch up on his life. The same faith that tells to me that I can’t be a part of Rob’s wedding is the same faith that tells me to love him as Christ does.”
Those aren’t the words of an anti-gay monster. They’re the picture of grace and compassion. Unfortunately, the Left is so blinded by its own intolerance that it can’t stop and consider the other side. Instead, they resort to whatever totalitarian tactics — including steamrolling Christians’ constitutional rights– to force submission.
So when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) announced today that it wants to strike a balance between sexual orientation and religious liberty, those of us closest to the issue understand how impossible that is. “Gays win; Christians lose.” Those were the words of the White House’s own Chai Feldblum. An open lesbian, Feldblum has been candid about the LGBT agenda and its impact on faith. When homosexuality clashes with religious liberty, she was clear: “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”
While the Mormon Church should be applauded for trying to find a happy medium, its position is untenable. The legislation it unveiled today — which supports Houston-type sexual orientation/gender identity ordinances — is based on the flawed assumption that religious liberty can co-exist with government sanctioned and celebrated sexual immorality. Former Salt Lake City policeman Eric Moustos’s case is just one example among a growing number of individual Americans being punished by the government because they exercised their freedom to believe. Like Atlanta’s Kelvin Cochran, he lost his job because he refused to check his beliefs at the door to public service.
And the casualties are only climbing. In the Left’s crusade, there are no Barronelle Stutzmans — only militant, hard-lined activists willing to destroy anyone and anything in their way. To suggest that it’s possible to compromise with that, however noble the intent, is at best naïve — and at worst, deadly to our First Freedom.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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