The recent battle over religious freedom in Indiana over their Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has exposed the raw wound of the Left’s war on Christianity in America. When two diametrically opposed and incompatible value systems (namely Christianity and hedonistic humanism) come together in the same place, there can be no peaceful coexistence. One will necessarily dominate, while the other is necessarily subjugated. We saw that quickly happen in Indiana last week.
But this deplorable event not only exposed the Left’s war on Christianity in America, but also the Left’s war on the free market in America.
In America, our government was founded to be a limited one, one with a short and specifically identified list of powers delegated to it by the states and the people. Those enumerated powers can be found in Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
The states, as “Father of the Constitution” James Madison pointed out in Federalist No. 45, have broader powers, but the states have always followed the wisdom of our nation’s founders and for most of our history have kept government interference in the free market to a minimum. We have for 200 years recognized that private property rights (the right to do as you please with your property that you made yours through your hard work and investment) are sacred, and that the best government is that which governs least.
What the Indiana government ended up doing last week, and what many state and local governments have taken to doing in recent years with their war on religious freedom, goes in precisely the opposite direction, deliberately bringing government deep into the tent of the free market…and swinging a very big and vicious club of enforcement of its agenda.
What we have seen end up happening in Indiana, and that has already happened in a number of other places around the country, is the determination that it is acceptable to have government force a business owner to provide goods and services that they not only do not wish to provide, but goods and services which because of the moral nature associated with the use of those goods and services violate the conscience and religious convictions of the private business owner.
In Indiana, we have declared null and void that which was held sacred by those who created our free nation:
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
In doing so, we have also determined that it is acceptable, even desirable, to have government mandate which goods and services are made available to the public by privately owned businesses. Stop and think about that, and let it sink in for a minute. We have decided that it is good for government to mandate, to force privately owned businesses to provide goods and services whether they want to or not.
If that is what we desire as a people, what’s next? Logically speaking, if someone (especially a member of an officially “protected” group) wants a product or service that isn’t available to the level of convenience to which they want it, will we then have the government identify people who would be capable of providing such a product or service (i.e. a person who can bake cakes, do professional-grade photography, etc.) and then force them to open and run such a business? To be clear, we’re talking about the complete end of the free market, and a new level of state control of the market only seen in Marxist nations.
Because if the inability of the prospective customer to gain access to that product or service is truly a big enough problem that we must force a private business owner to surrender his labor to provide the product/service (especially when similar goods/services are likely available down the road at another business that wouldn’t mind providing them), then it must be a big enough problem to create a non-existent business to provide such goods/services if they do not exist to the convenience satisfaction of a dissatisfied person.
But that’s silly, you might be tempted to say. Don’t forget that it wasn’t that long ago that it was unthinkable that our federal, state and local governments could call two men sodomizing each other “marriage,” and still more unthinkable that in a country with a First Amendment to protect religious liberty that such governments would force Christians to participate in such a fraud.
And if the logic described two paragraphs ago does not hold (in other words, if it isn’t truly a hardship of a magnitude that it would warrant forcing someone to open a business to provide the product/service), then it logically follows that the hardship is not of a great enough magnitude to supersede property rights and religious liberty to force a person with moral objections to provide that product/service against their will.
So you see, just a tiny drop of logic completely dissolves the ephemeral “justification” proffered by the Left for why we must leverage the power of government to force a Christian business owner to provide cakes/photography/chapels, etc. for the counterfeiting of a marriage.
The only problem is that after several decades of being dumbed-down by our Leftist academia and media institutions as well as being immersed in “bread and circuses” rather than developing the ability to think critically, the ability of the average American to wield logic is about as rare as the ability of the average American to wield a sword effectively.
Only you and I can change that. We can change it by educating ourselves on the facts, and on the truth. After we have educated ourselves and gained proficiency wielding the truth, we can teach others about the facts and the truth, and how to wield it.
The alternative is to turn over this great nation, God’s gift to modern humanity, to the barbarians of darkness without a fight.
What will you choose?
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.