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Barb Wire

In New York, Another Attack on Religious Freedom


Religious liberty continues to fall under attack from homosexual activists and their “useful idiots” in government.

The list has grown quite long of places like ColoradoWashingtonOregon, and New Mexico where Christians are being forced to participate in acts their conscience tells them is immoral, or face persecution at the hands of government force. Christians who own businesses are particularly susceptible to facing illegal, unconstitutional coercion.

One of the latest incidents to be reported nationally is in New York.  From the Daily Signal:

In 2012, Melissa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy contacted the Giffords to rent the family’s barn for their same-sex wedding ceremony and reception. Cynthia Gifford responded that she and her husband would have to decline their request as they felt they could not in good conscience host a same-sex wedding ceremony at their home. The Giffords live on the second and third floor of the barn and, when they host weddings on the first floor, they open part of the second floor as a bridal suite.

The Giffords have owned and operated Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York for over 25 years. Like many small farm families, they often open the farm to the public for events like berry picking, fall festivals, and pig racing.

They also open their home for weddings and receptions. When the Giffords host weddings, they are involved in every aspect of the wedding planning and celebration: they greet and drive guests in their farm trolley, decorate the barn, set up floral arrangements, arrange fireworks displays, and provide catering. As the Human Rights Commission ruling even points out, “the only wedding-related service Liberty Ridge Farm does not offer is providing the official for the wedding ceremony.”…

The Giffords must pay a $1,500 mental anguish fine to each of the women and pay $10,000 in civil damages penalty to New York State. If they can’t pay in 60 days, a nine percent interest rate will be added to that total. Like Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Giffords must also institute anti-discriminationre-education classes and procedures for their staff.

Our nation’s founders recognized the sacred nature of the right of conscience.  As James Madison said, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort. . . . [and] conscience is the most sacred of all property.” Thomas Jefferson also recognized: “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience.” And New Jersey Governor William Livingston, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, nailed it when he said, “Consciences of men are not the objects of human legislation.”

Some like to play the “race card” and make faux comparisons between the “right” of homosexuals to force people to facilitate their immoral acts, and discrimination against people on the basis of their skin color.  Not only does it fall logically and ethically flat to attempt to compare an immoral sexual behavior to an innate, morally neutral physical characteristic, that “discrimination” dog to force others to do your will just doesn’t hunt.

As pointed out by economist Dr. Walter E. Williams, who happens to be black, in his column:

Should people have the right to discriminate by race, sex, religion and other attributes? In a free society, I say yes. Let’s look at it. When I was selecting a marriage partner, I systematically discriminated against white women, Asian women and women of other ethnicities that I found less preferable. The Nation of Islam discriminates against white members. The Aryan Brotherhood discriminates against having black members. The Ku Klux Klan discriminates against having Catholic and Jewish members. The NFL discriminates against hiring female quarterbacks. The NAACP National Board of Directors, at least according to the photo on their Web page, has no white members.

You say, Williams, that’s different. It’s not like public transportation, restaurants and hotel service in which Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act “prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment.” While there are many places that serve the public, it doesn’t change the fact that they are privately owned, and who is admitted, under what conditions, should be up to the owner.


One does not have to be a racist to recognize that the federal government has no constitutional authority to prohibit racial or any other kind of discrimination by private parties. Moreover, the true test of one’s commitment to freedom of association doesn’t come when he permits people to associate in ways he deems appropriate. It comes when he permits people to voluntarily associate in ways he deems offensive.

Despite the clear teachings of our nation’s founders and the wisdom of men like Dr. Williams, some people can’t or won’t get it. Sadly, even many “Republicans” refuse to protect people of faith from these attacks on their religious freedom–on their very right of conscience. It’s already been happening here in my state of South Dakota, with our own “Republican” governor Dennis Daugaard throwing defenders of freedom under the bus as he joins liberal “race card” players to attack religious freedom.

It is absolutely stunning that in America, the “right” to force others to participate in an act to “validate” an immoral sexual behavior could trump the God-given, First Amendment-protected right of religious freedom. Yet because we have coddled immorality in our society, we have brought ourselves to this situation.  If you coddle weeds in your garden, weeds will soon choke out the legitimate plants.

Two diametrically opposed value systems cannot coexist. One will always come to dominate the other.  The value system that has governed the United States for over 200 years has been the Judeo-Christian value system, and it produced the greatest, most free and most prosperous nation in all of human history. We are now on the verge of replacing that value system–and the unparalleled blessings that came with it–with a value system of hedonism, narcissism and oppression.  We will inherit all the “blessings” that come with that behavior, too.

Will good people rise up and demand and end to this tyranny, before it becomes entrenched in America?


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