Religious-Liberty-CensoredIt’s alarming to me how the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment is being framed these days by government officials. It is being limited to the freedom to believe as you want privately, rather than the ability to practice your faith publicly. Case in point: same-sex marriage. A Christian business owner is free to believe that same-sex marriage is immoral, but they are not free to act on their convictions by denying a request to offer their services in support of a same-sex wedding. They can believe as they want, but they cannot act on those beliefs in a public manner.

This is wrong. The First Amendment guarantees us the right to believe and practice our religion without government interference.  The freedom of religion is not limited to the private sphere, but to public expression as well.  Indeed, religious freedom that doesn’t allow one to act as if their beliefs are actually true is not religious freedom at all.

If we allow the government to reinterpret the First Amendment as a right to private belief only, we will cease to have true religious freedom in this country. Freedom of religion means that one is free to believe as they want, and to act on those beliefs.

That’s the recommendation of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct. In their opinion, judges should not be allowed to marry only opposite-sex couples or even forego marrying anyone in order to avoid marrying same-sex couples. Either marry same-sex couples or find a new job:

A judge’s oath to support the constitutions of the United States and the State of Ohio requires the judge to recognize and adhere to binding court interpretations of the same. A judge’s unilateral decision to refuse to perform same-sex marriages based on his or her own personal, religious, or moral beliefs ignores the holding in Obergefell and thus, directly contravenes the oath of office.

In other words, Christian judges who want to be faithful to their God and their conscience need not apply. Religious liberty and the freedom of conscience is not allowed as a judge. We are watching religious liberty and the freedom of conscience erode before our very eyes and yet few hear the alarm going off.  We said it would happen, and it’s happening left and right.  This is just the beginning.

Everyone on the left said that giving rights to gays and allowing same-sex marriage wouldn’t affect anyone. It was a lie. The effects have been immediate. Think of all the professions that Christians are being excised from by the threat of the law: judge, county clerk, florist, wedding photographer, wedding cake baker, wedding planner, adoption agency. The list will continue to grow. People outside of the law and wedding industry are already starting to lose their jobs simply for believing in natural marriage. I fear this trend will only grow in the coming years.


HT: The Blaze

There was an interesting exchange between Justice Alito and Mary L. Bonauto, one of the lawyers arguing on behalf of same-sex marriage before SCOTUS. Alito asks Bonauto how polygamous unions could be denied the right of marriage in the future if SCOTUS ruled in Bonauto’s favor given that the rationale offered for legalizing same-sex marriage seems to apply to polygamous unions as well. Bonauto’s response was…well…interesting.  After shooting herself in the foot, the best she could come up with was a statement of faith that it wouldn’t happen due to some practical and legal concerns. Not very persuasive. The fact of the matter is that once you dispense with the opposite-sex prerequisite for marriage, the idea of “two and only two” no longer makes sense. The rational basis for limiting a marriage to two people is that there are two sexes, and the sexual completeness of one man and one woman.  As Robert Gagnon has written: (more…)

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.

Kentucky’s marriage law has been found unconstitutional by a KY juduge, though there is a stay on his decision.

Denmark’s parliament voted overwhelmingly that churches in Denmark must allow same-sex couples to use their facilities for same-sex weddings, and even officiate the weddings. If the priest of the parish is unwilling to officiate the wedding, the bishop must find a priest who is willing to do so.

The government is using its power to force churches to rent out their facilities for purposes they find immoral, and that go against the dictates of their religion.  I would love to see them try to force mosques to do the same!  Hopefully the church in Denmark will rebel.  Considering the fact that less than 1/3 of the priests object, however, I doubt it.


I can’t keep up with all of the natural marriage laws being ruled unconstitutional these days!  Three states have had their marriage laws overturned in the last two weeks. 


In 2004, Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment that recognized a man and woman as vital to the institution of marriage.  Fast forward 10 years.  On May 9, Judge Chris Piazza of the Pulaski County Circuit Court ruled that this amendment is unconstitutional.  The Alabama state attorney general appealed to the Alabama State Supreme Court to put a stay on the decision, which was granted in a back-handed way only because Piazza’s decision did not invalidate a law prohibiting clerks from issuing marriage-licenses.  But Piazza updated his ruling to try to address the issue, and refused to suspend his decision.  As a result, some counties are continuing to issue marriage-licenses while others are not.


On Monday, May 19, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled that Oregon’s natural marriage-only constitutional amendment, passed by 57% of the voters in 2004, is unconstitutional. A request was made to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to put a stay on the decision, but the request was denied.


Yesterday, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III federal judge declared Pennsylvania’s marriage laws unconstitutional.  The decision was effective immediately, and same-sex couples began applying for marriage licenses the same day.

There are now 19 states, plus the District of Washington, that support same-sex marriage.

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