Political Incorrectness


In light of my recent post regarding religious freedom, Lowder with Chowder has a great video talking about this issue.  He illustrates it by showing what happens when a supposedly homosexual man asks a number of Muslim bakeries to bake him a same-sex wedding cake.  The end is great too.  He addresses the idea that people should not go into business unless they have no conscience or are willing to violate their conscience are willing to provide their services for any purpose.

For those who are reacting so negatively to the Indiana religious freedom law, do you not realize what you are saying (even if not explicitly)? You are saying that people should not have the right to live out their own religious convictions and follow their own conscience. Read that sentence again. Say it out loud. You are saying we should deny these American citizens a Constitutional right that is 200+ years old so that we can uphold these new same-sex marriage rights that are less than 10 years old and nowhere to be found in the Constitution. You would deny American citizens a basic human right (the free exercise of religion and conscience) in favor of a right we just made up a few years ago.

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Indiana Governor, Mike Pence, has signed legislation that prevents anyone (individuals, business owners, organizations) from being forced to violate their conscience and religious convictions (what the bill calls “exercise of religion”). One would think the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution would be enough to secure these rights, but not these days. While the historical context of the bill is surely recent examples in which business owners have been forced by state governments to offer their services to homosexuals in ways that violate their conscience and religious convictions, the bill does not make any reference to homosexuality in particular. It is a general protection religious freedom.

This bill will prevent Jewish publishers from being forced by law to print anti-Jewish propaganda, gay sign-makers from being forced to make signs that condemn homosex, and Christian business owners from being forced by law to provide services that violate their religious convictions.  Like it or not, agree with it or not – that is true freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

You can read the text of the law here.  An excellent legal analysis can be found here.

Boy ScoutThe CA Supreme Court voted on Friday, January 23 to prohibit state judges from being affiliated with the Boy Scouts on the grounds that the Boy Scouts discriminate against gays.  Apparently the Court voted in 1996 to prohibit judges from participating in any organization that discriminated against someone because of their sexual orientation, but had an exception clause for youth organizations including the Boy Scouts.  That exception has been rescinded.  This brings CA in line with 21 other states that have the same prohibition.

This ruling strikes me as troubling for a number of reasons: (more…)

benham-brothersHGTV was planning to air a new show about fixing up houses for families in need, Flip It Forward.  It was being hosted by twin brothers, David and Jason Benham, who have made a career of flipping houses.  But the network decided to cancel the show after Right Wing Watch reported that the Benham twins do not agree with homosexuality, and have even led protests outside of abortion clinics.  Initially HGTV said they were “currently in the process of reviewing all information about the Benhams,” and then they issued a tweet declaring that they would not move forward with the series.

While Right Wing did not call on HGTV to cancel the show, it appears that HGTV caved to the small amount of public pressure they received based on Right Wing Watch’s report. Shame on HGTV for not having the internal fortitude to stand up to the public pressure and say, “We understand that a large number of people do not agree with the personal views of David and Jason Benham, and we respect that. However, Flip It Forward is not a show about the Benham brothers’ personal views.  It’s a show about helping financially-challenged families get their dream home.  The Benham brothers’ experience in flipping houses makes them well-qualified to host this show, so we will continue to air the show with them as hosts.  HGTV’s employment of the Benham brothers is not an endorsement of their views, but we believe people have a right to their own moral opinions, and that those of us who disagree have a responsibility to extend tolerance to those we disagree with.  We believe a civilized, tolerant society must give space for people to believe and act according to their convictions, and do not agree with those who think anyone who doesn’t agree with them is not deserving of gainful employment.  We can do better that as a society, and at HGTV, we are doing better than that.  For those who find the Benham’s views distasteful, we would ask that you extend the same tolerance to them that you want extended to those who share your point of view. We ask that you set aside your personal differences with the Benham’s personal views, and allow yourself to enjoy and celebrate their work to help our mutual neighbors.”  That’s the press release you’ll never see, but one that would be cheered by the vast majority of citizens, and I would suspect, the vast number of HGTV viewership.

The Benham brothers have responded graciously (see here and here).

Remember when they asked us, “How is same-sex marriage going to affect you?”  This is how.

 

Brendan EichEarlier in the week it was reported that three of of Mozilla’s (the people who make the Firefox browser) board members resigned when Mozilla co-founder, Brendan Eich, was appointed as CEO of the company.  Why?  Because Eich gave $1,000 to support California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, a ballot initiative that sought to define marriage as an institution exclusive to male-female pairings.  His appointment as CEO so irked the dating site, OkCupid, that users attempting to login to the site received this message: “Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience. Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.”

Now, it’s being reported that Eich has “resigned.”  Surely he wasn’t tired of the job yet.

Apparently some in the gay rights movement think that those who think natural marriage is the only valid form of marriage don’t deserve a job. As Todd Starnes writes, “Why not demand that those who oppose gay marriage relinquish the right to own property? Why not take away their right to vote? Why not take away their children? Why not just throw them in jail? Why not force them to work in chain gangs? Why not call for public floggings? Or better yet, let’s just strap them down on gurneys, stick a needle in their arm and rid the world of these intolerant anti-gay bigots once and for all.”This is the face of liberal tolerance.  Where is the uproar?

Credit: CBS

Credit: CBS

Another cake maker, this time in Colorado, was sued for refusing to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding celebration.  Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled that Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop discriminated against the couple based on their sexual orientation, and would be fined in the future if he ever refused to provide a cake to another same-sex couple again. He wrote, “At first blush, it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses.  This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.”  So the law can force a man to violate his conscience just so someone else’s feelings don’t get hurt?  What about Jack Phillips’ feelings?  Should the law protect him from feeling bullied by the government?  Surely his feelings are hurt at the prospect of having to close his business.  I don’t see his feelings being taken into consideration.  And finally, Jack Philips is not denying them service “because of who they are,” but because of what they are doing.  It’s not as if Jack Phillips refuses to make birthday cakes for people who are gay.  He is refusing to provide a cake that will be used to celebrate an action that he considers immoral.  There is a big difference.  But I don’t expect the law to recognize such distinctions anymore.

Just more of the same.

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