Since being introduced earlier this year, Georgia’s “religious protection” bill has has faced intense opposition from the loudest voices in the room, namely Hollywood elites, and liberal activists, who have threatened to economically boycott the state. Monday, quasi-Republican Governor Nathan Deal vetoed the legislation.
HB 757, aimed at protecting those who hold a sincere religious belief concerning same-sex marriage, wasn’t quite as clear as it should have been with regard to its definition of what constitutes a “religious institution.” However, all it would have taken was a few tweaks to craft a tighter piece of legislation.
That being said, the bill was designed to protect, not to enforce; it was a shield, not a sword. The activists didn’t see it that way.
Many referred to the legislation as an “anti-LGBT” bill, saying it would allow people to be fired for being gay. This isn’t the case per se. The pertinent text regarding the firing of employees whose behavior doesn’t line up with one’s religious beliefs reads:
“Except as provide by the Constitution of this state or the United States or federal law, no faith based organization shall be required to hire or retain as an employee any person whose religious beliefs or practices or lack of either are not in accord with the faith based organization’s sincerely held religious belief as demonstrated by practice, expression, or clearly articulated tenet of faith.”
For the purposes of the bill, the term “faith based organization” means:
“…a church, a religious school, an association or convention of churches, a convention mission agency, or an integrated auxiliary of a church or convention or association of churches when such entity is qualified as an exempt religious organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended.”
So if someone works for a church or a Christian school and was living a lifestyle completely contrary to the teaching of the bible, the organizations would have been allowed to let them go. This is different from Missouri’s proposed bill, which protects Christian owned participatory businesses from similar discrimination.
This is the story in a nutshell. People, in good conscience, created a bill designed to protect religious organization from the increasingly litigious left. Hollywood, as well as every liberal activist this side of the Mississippi, freaked out. This placed enough pressure on Governor Deal to back down like an absolute coward.
You may not know it, but we’re in a fight for the standing of the faithful. Over the last few years, multiple Christian-owned businesses have been decimated by the gay mafia.
In 2006, photographer Elaine Huguenin and her husband informed a lesbian couple that they only photographed “traditional weddings.” Despite the couple finding another wedding photographer, they filed a lawsuit anyway-and won.
Huguenin appealed, but according to The Washington Times:
“The U.S. Supreme Court declined her request for an appeal in 2014, leaving Ms. Huguenin with a $6,637.94 bill for the attorneys’ fees of Vanessa Willock, the woman who filed the complaint with the state Human Rights Commission.”
When a gay couple asked Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman to participate in their wedding, Stutzman told them she couldn’t because it violated her religious beliefs. The couple sued, and won.
The Washington Times reports:
“The judge fined her $1,000 plus $1 to resolve the state’s case against her and ordered her to make sure any goods available for sale for opposite-sex couples were available to same-sex couples…Mrs. Stutzman’s attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) believe that these damages could bankrupt her business and wipe out her assets and retirement.”
The Washington state Supreme Court has decided to hear the case.
Cynthia and Robert Gifford used to host weddings and receptions on their New York farm, but after being sued by a lesbian couple for refusing to host their wedding, they were fined $13,000. The Gifford’s even said they would host the reception, just not the wedding, as it violated their Christian beliefs. It wasn’t enough to satisfy the couple.
According to The Blaze, Cynthia and Robert Gifford have decided to stop holding wedding ceremonies on their property following the lawsuit.
This is just in America, by the way. It’s even worse abroad.
In 2013, Rob Hughes was arrested for street preaching in Essex. He was detained for 11 hours, interrogated and released with $3,800 in expenses and legal fees. That same year, Tony Miano met a similar fate. After street preaching, he was arrested and detained for 6 hours. This is all because of section five of the U.K.’s Public Order Act of 1986, which reads:
“A person is guilty of an offense if he uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, or disorderly behavior…within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”
We’re reaching a point in American society where religious freedom will be tested, and put under intense pressure. They keep telling us that they won’t go after churches, but I know how this works. Once the glitter ball gets a’rolling, the gay mafia won’t stop. As we saw with photographer Elaine Huguenin, it doesn’t matter if there are other accommodations, the lesbian couple sued anyway.
The common argument goes like this: What if there aren’t any other caterers or bakeries in town? This is similar to the “life of the mother” argument from pro-abortionists. They take a minuscule exception, and use it as the prime model for the whole. It’s just a clever way taking a bat to religious freedom.
The left is full of hate; they hate like it’s their job. This hate cannot be contained for very long. It will expand until we begin to look like England. Christians will be arrested for reading the bible aloud on the street. We’re lucky that we have the First Amendment, but so long as activist judges are in control, it offers little comfort. After our freedoms are eroded, American Christians will face a choice they’ve been lucky enough to avoid in modern times: Compliance or Resistance?
Just wait. They tell us we’ll be fine; they tell us they won’t come after our churches, our religious schools, etc, but it’s coming down the pike. Hate is never satiated. They won’t stop until religious faith is completely and utterly gutted.