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Stop Arguing for Religious Liberty and Start Arguing Against Religious Discrimination



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For an increasingly secular populace, actions and policies must be defended on the basis of reason much more than faith.

Author Auguste Meyrat profile




In a recent legal settlement, Catholic Charities West Michigan successfully challenged Michigan’s decision to bar state funds to adoption agencies that do not serve same-sex couples. The settlement forced Michigan to reimburse the charity for its legal fees and other costs. Using an argument that has now become familiar to most Americans, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a lesbian mother of two and former gay rights activist, charged Catholic adoption agencies with discriminating against same-sex couples. In response, the Catholic adoption agencies used the same logic, accusing the Michigan state government of discriminating against Catholics and effectively denying them their religious freedom.

While Christians should celebrate this recent victory, it’s nonetheless sad this appeal had to be made. When gay marriage was legalized in Obergfell v. Hodges, Christians were assured that they could practice their faith and live out their values in peace, but this was almost immediately proven wrong. As the ink of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion was drying, LGBT groups immediately went after Christian bakersfloristsphotographers, popular chicken sandwich chains, and other Christian organizations for their religious beliefs.

Defense Based on Reason not Faith

This war will continue so long as Christians keep using the religious freedom defense. Even though this argument has the best chance of winning in legal courts, it is unconvincing in the court of public opinion. As more Americans drift away from Christianity, they increasingly view this defense for denying service to same-sex couples not as a valid objection, but as a childish copout: “The Christian God doesn’t like gay people.”

Rather, it’s important to establish that most Christian churches are established on natural law (that is, moral laws based on objective truth) as much as the Bible. To be sure, faith and reason both matter enormously, but for an increasingly secular populace, actions and policies must be defended on the basis of reason much more than faith.

This has been the case with abortion, with the pro-life position steadily gaining popular support as it has adopted more reason-based arguments. The pro-life movement has grown because it has argued that unborn babies are people, and therefore abortion is murder. Although the Bible acknowledges this argument, the argument itself isn’t strictly based on the Bible.

Reasons Against Same-Sex Couples Adopting

Similarly, in issues involving marriage and children, Christians need to appeal to reason more than their faith. In the case of same-sex couples adopting, two issues need to be addressed. First, do all couples have a right to adopt a child? Second, do children have a right to a father and mother?

Concerning whether all couples have a right to adopt, the answer is that they do not. As any couple who has gone through the process of adoption understands all too well, many screenings and conditions have to be met. Someone from the adoption agency will inspect their home, rifle through their personal information, interview them and others, and then, after so many legal hurdles, possibly allow a child to live with them. Even then, the biological parent may change his or her mind and take back the child.

As painful and expensive as this process is, it is necessary because children are human beings with rights of their own, not objects a couple acquires out of boredom or simply some charitable impulse. Consequently, adoption agencies must discriminate among couples wanting to adopt, only selecting those who meet the criteria of good caretakers.

A Right to a Mother and Father?

This leads to the second issue of whether a child’s rights include having a mother and father, as opposed to two fathers or two mothers. The science on this is mixed, both because it’s a politically charged issue and because it’s a difficult thing to measure. One may say that a loving committed couple is enough, but one may contend that a loving committed heterosexual couple is necessary.

Katy Faust persuasively argues this latter view in her excellent book “Them Before Us.” She explains that men and women represent two distinct and essential supports to a child growing up; fatherhood and motherhood are not interchangeable or dispensable. Furthermore, she argues that a child does best with his or her biological parents in nearly all cases. For Faust, adoption is an alternative that should only be considered in cases of serious abuse or neglect.

Not only does Faust support her argument with a multitude of studies, but she has both a homosexual parent and an adopted child. Even though her situation would suggest that same-sex adoption should be treated the same as any other parental arrangement, her reasoning leads her to think otherwise.

Faust’s example is a good model for all Christians trying to serve their community in accordance with their values. Whatever charitable work they do — whether it is finding homes for orphans or allowing those orphans to be born in the first place — it is done for the person in need, first and foremost. This is not a political or religious issue, but a human one.

It is not a coincidence that this means they are doing God’s will in the process. Contrary to what opponents claim, Christian values are based on objective truth, not blind faith to various Bronze Age prejudices. As such, the goal is not about winning, but about making the world a better place.

Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher in the Dallas area. He holds an MA in humanities and an MEd in educational leadership. He is the senior editor of The Everyman and has written essays for The Federalist, The American Conservative, and The Imaginative Conservative, as well as the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Follow him on Twitter.


Christian web designer opposed to creating same-sex wedding websites loses at 10th Circuit

Reported By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter | Tuesday, July 27, 2021


Lorie Smith
Lorie Smith | Alliance Defending Freedom

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit has ruled that a Christian web designer must create websites that conflict with her religious views. In a 2-1 decision released Monday, the circuit panel ruled against Lorie Smith and her web design company, 303 Creative, stating that they must provide services for same-sex marriages if they offer said services for traditional weddings.

Smith filed a pre-enforcement legal challenge in 2016 to the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, arguing that the law would compel her to provide services that go against her religious beliefs and is unconstitutional.

At issue was a plan to start building websites for weddings, but with the desire to not provide those services for same-sex weddings due to religious objections to the unions. In 2017, a district court ruled that Smith couldn’t challenge the law and upheld that decision in a subsequent ruling.

Circuit Judge Mary Beck Briscoe, a Clinton appointee, authored the majority opinion. The appeals court acknowledged that 303 Creative could face prosecution under CADA if they refused to build websites celebrating same-sex weddings while offering such services for opposite-sex weddings.

Nevertheless, Briscoe concluded in part that “CADA is a neutral law of general applicability, and that it is not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad.”

“Colorado has a compelling interest in protecting both the dignity interests of members of marginalized groups and their material interests in accessing the commercial marketplace,” wrote Briscoe.

“When regulating commercial entities, like Appellants, public accommodations laws help ensure a free and open economy. Thus, although the commercial nature of Appellants’ business does not diminish their speech interest, it does provide Colorado with a state interest absent when regulating noncommercial activity.”

Regarding the intentions of 303 Creative to put a statement on its website explaining its refusal to create websites for same-sex weddings, the majority opinion concluded that “Colorado may prohibit speech that promotes unlawful activity, including unlawful discrimination.”

Lawyers for Smith say that the state has placed a “gag” rule that prohibits designers and artists from expressing religious views in the online marketplace about marriage that indicate someone is “unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable.”

“Having concluded that the First Amendment does not protect Appellants’ proposed denial of services, we also conclude that the First Amendment does not protect the Proposed Statement,” continued the majority opinion.

“Parts of the Proposed Statement might not violate the Accommodation Clause, such as those parts expressing Appellants’ commitment to their clients or Ms. Smith’s religious convictions. Yet, the Proposed Statement also expresses an intent to deny service based on sexual orientation — an activity that the Accommodation Clause forbids and that the First Amendment does not protect.”

Tenth Circuit Chief Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich, a George W. Bush appointee, authored a dissenting opinion. He argued that “the Constitution protects Ms. Smith from the government telling her what to say or do.”

“But the majority takes the remarkable — and novel — stance that the government may force Ms. Smith to produce messages that violate her conscience,” wrote Tymkovich.

“In doing so, the majority concludes not only that Colorado has a compelling interest in forcing Ms. Smith to speak a government-approved message against her religious beliefs, but also that its public-accommodation law is the least restrictive means of accomplishing this goal. No case has ever gone so far.”

Tymkovich contends that while “Colorado is rightfully interested in protecting certain classes of persons from arbitrary and discriminatory treatment,” the state should not “turn the tables on Ms. Smith and single out her speech and religious beliefs for discriminatory treatment under the aegis of anti-discrimination laws.”

“CADA forces Ms. Smith to violate her faith on pain of sanction both by prohibiting religious-based business practices and by penalizing her if she does speak out on these matters in ways Colorado finds ‘unwelcome’ or ‘undesirable,’” he continued.

Attorney John Bursch of the nonprofit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, representing Smith, denounced the panel decision and declared plans to appeal the ruling.

“The government should never force creative professionals to promote a message or cause with which they disagree. That is quintessential free speech and artistic freedom,” Bursch said in a statement.

“Lorie is happy to design websites for all people; she simply objects to being forced to pour her heart, imagination, and talents into messages that violate her conscience.”

Critics of 303 Creative’s efforts include Americans United for Separation of Church & State. The progressive advocacy group joined several other groups in filing amicus briefs in 2020.

“The sweeping exemption for religiously motivated discrimination that 303 seeks so that it may deny equal service to same-sex couples would necessarily also permit businesses to deny service to people of the ‘wrong’ religion (or race, or sex, or any other characteristic protected by the Act),” the Americans United brief argues.  

“A ruling in 303’s favor would therefore undermine, not strengthen, religious freedom by impairing the ability of the people of Colorado to live as equal members of the community regardless of faith or belief.”

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Colorado’s treatment of a Christian baker punished for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding in defiance of the state’s discrimination laws. However, the Supreme Court this month refused to hear the case of a Washington florist who was punished for refusing to provide floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding. 

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

Media Promotes “Pedophile Rights”

waving flagPosted By Kit Daniels | On September 21, 2015

Article printed from Infowars:

URL to article:

Promoting Pediphiles published an op/ed by a self-described pedophile asking Americans to “learn to accept” pedophiles and be “understanding and supportive” of their “sexual orientation.”

“So, please, be understanding and supportive,” pedophile Todd Nickerson wrote. “It’s really all we ask of you.” He blamed his “sexual preference” on his brain while asserting he’s “not a monster.” 

“In essence, your brain knows what it likes and isn’t going to take no for an answer,” Nickerson continued. “For that reason, the nature or nurture question with respect to sexual preference is ultimately irrelevant — it becomes all but hardwired soon enough, until it’s all you know, and it’s self-reinforcing, no matter how much you wish to dig it out.”

“Eventually it all tangles together with the rest of who you are.”What did you say 06.jpg

Numerous political commentators predicted that pedophiles would try to hijack the June 26 Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriages to argue that they too are “suffering” discrimination over their “normal” sexual orientation.

“Using the same tactics used by ‘gay’ rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals,” wrote Jack Minor for the Northern Colorado Gazette.

Minor also added that “psychiatrists are now beginning to advocate redefining pedophilia in the same way homosexuality was redefined several years ago.”

This trend began in 1998 when the American Psychiatric Association claimed the “negative potential” of adult sex with children was “overstated” and that “the vast majority of both men and women reported no negative sexual effects from childhood sexual abuse experiences.”What did you say 02

And in 2014 Margo Kaplan, an assistant law professor at Rutgers University, argued in favor of civil rights for pedophiles in an op/ed published by the New York Times. “Arguing for the rights of scorned and misunderstood groups is never popular, particularly when they are associated with real harm, but the fact that pedophilia is so despised is precisely why our responses to it, in criminal justice and mental health, have been so inconsistent and counterproductive,” she claimed.What did you say 05.jpg

Simply put, pedophilia is emerging as the next “sexual rights” revolution.

95b119e45c50cbea1e7a4fbfa33415f3 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

Mike Lee: Liberals won’t stop at same-sex marriage victory

waving flagBy Paul Bedard | June 11, 2015

Republican Sen. Mike Lee, strongly suggesting that the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to approve same-sex marriage this month, warned Thursday that liberals will use the victory to impose other restrictions on those opposed to gay weddings including churches, colleges and military chaplains.

“They seem tempted by the intolerant impulse to punish Americans,” Lee said in a thoughtful speech at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington.

Sen. Mike Lee. (AP Photo)
Lee, of Utah, used the speech to preview legislation he is drafting to protect religious-affiliated schools and institutions that don’t support same-sex marriage from federal attack if the court approves the ceremonies.

President Obama’s top lawyer told the court that the institutions might be targeted if the court makes gay marriage constitutional and that could threaten the tax status of over 25,000 colleges and schools.

Lee seemed to suggest the Left will win. “At the very moment this campaign appears to be on the brink of success,” he said, adding, “sometimes in a democracy, the other side wins.”

And, he warned what could happen next if supports of religious freedom don’t respond:

Regardless of how the Court rules in this particular case, it is becoming increasingly clear that the next controversies will not be over whether gay couples should receive marriage licenses, but:

— Whether people who don’t think so may keep their business licenses.

— Whether colleges that don’t think so will be able to keep their accreditation.

— Whether military chaplains who don’t think so will be court-martialed.

— Whether churches who don’t think so will be targeted for reprisal by the state.

— Whether heterodox religious belief itself will be swept from the public square.burke

Lee, called the GOP’s ideas factory in the Senate, however said he sees opportunity and said conservatives should focus on equality just like those promoting same sex marriage. “Political conservatives and religious traditionalists may not like how the gay marriage debate is going. But it is no small thing that the gay marriage movement has succeeded in recent years only by adopting our principles – of tolerance, diversity, and equal opportunity,” he said.cp 11

He called on conservative to demand a debate on religious freedom, and even quoted former President Bill Clinton who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and said it protects the “space of freedom between government and people of faith that otherwise government might usurp.”

That’s where his still unnamed religious liberty bill comes into play. He explained:

If we want to reinforce religious liberty in America, our first step must be to protect that crucial “space of freedom” from undue government interference. That is the principle behind a bill I will soon introduce in the Senate.

It would protect the tens of thousands of religiously affiliated schools in America – pre­schools through college – from government discrimination. And it would prevent any agency from denying a federal tax exemption, grant, contract, accreditation, license, or certification to an individual or institution based on a belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

Moving forward, the debate will be less and less about marriage and more and more about freedom of conscience. Those of us who value that basic human right have the better of the argument. But that matters only if we have the courage to make that argument at every opportunity, before every audience.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at
It HasNever Been About Marriage freedom combo 2

Tom DeLay: Civil Disobedience Ahead If Gay Marriage OK’d

waving flagFriday, 05 Jun 2015, By Bill Hoffmann

URL of the Original Posting Site:


Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay tells Newsmax TV he is ready to fight the U.S. Supreme Court tooth and nail should it rule that same-sex marriages must be recognized nationwide — including staging acts of civil disobedience. “Rick Santorum is absolutely right. If this Supreme Court rules against marriage, all hell is going to break loose,” DeLay, a Texas Republican who represented the Lone Star State’s 22nd District, said Thursday on “The Steve Malzberg Show.”

“In fact, I’m a signatory of a document that basically says you can rule any way you want to, but we’re going to stand for marriage even if it takes civil disobedience.”  DeLay did not outline exactly what forms of civil disobedience would be used, but insisted that a Supreme Court ruling is not necessarily enforceable.  “A ruling by the Supreme Court is nothing but an opinion if the legislative branch and the executive branch do not enforce it,” he told Steve Malzberg.  “Not only that, if the states would just invoke the 10th Amendment and assert their sovereignty, they can defy a ruling by the Supreme Court. It’s in the Constitution. We can tell the court what cases they can hear. I passed six bills out of the House limiting the jurisdiction of the courts saying you can’t hear a case on prayer in schools or you can’t hear a case on a nativity scene on the county lawn.”

The Supreme Court is set to rule on whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right and many legal experts believe the nation’s top jurists will invalidate gay marriage bans because five of them voted to advance gay rights as recently as 2013.
DeLay said if that happens, the United States will be bucking the longstanding and historical definition of marriage. “For all of time, not just Christians and Jews, but all religions have defined marriage as one man and one woman to come together as one and have children and raise those children,” he said.

“You cannot redefine it. It is set in stone. You can call it something else and create civil unions, but you cannot redefine marriage. Plus, this is about religious liberty. Look at what’s already happened and the Supreme Court has not ruled yet.’

“We have a photographer losing their business, a baker losing her business, a florist losing her business because the government and its heavy hand came down on them because under their religious tenets and religious standing, they could not bring themselves to service a same-sex marriage ceremony … This is about religious liberty more than anything else.”

Same Sex Marriage

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