It may be a matter of some interest to you that the American left is now openly declaring its intention to shutdown your church and outlaw your religious expression entirely. If you've been paying attention, you won't be terribly shocked by this revelation. They plan to come after the churches. That's what they've always wanted, and now they intend to do it.
The hysterical reaction to Georgia's religious liberty bill can be interpreted no other way. Gov. Nathan Deal has now decided -- just one day after Easter, no less -- to veto the bill because the outrage was so severe, and because he has the resiliency and backbone of a dead slug melting in the sun. In his statement explaining his decision, Deal insisted that religious liberty doesn't include the right to "discriminate against anyone." He took a steadfast and courageous posture, declaring that he refuses to be intimidated by "insults and threats" from pastors, nuns, and his local baptist church. On the other hand, for gay groups and large progressive corporations, he will fall to his knees in trembling submission and polish their boots after they finish kicking him repeatedly in the ribs.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (Image source: WSB-TV)
On a day when we hear reports of a Catholic priest being literally crucified by Islamic State because he refused to abandon his faith, perhaps we might hope Christians in this country could at least withstand mean insults and online petitions. But we've learned not to expect anything -- not even one minuscule, microscopic shred of bravery -- from Christians like Deal. They will surrender every time, without fail.
And that's not to downplay the pressure he faced. It was substantial, though not enough to justify his shameful capitulation. Hollywood was leading the charge, with heavy hitters like Disney, Time Warner, Starz, The Weinstein Company, AMC, Viacom, Marvel, CBS, MGM, NBC and other companies threatening to boycott if the bill passed.
The NFL got into the action, promising to bar Atlanta from hosting the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the league hopes to expand into China in the near future, where it's illegal for gays to be depicted on television, much less get married in real life. But I suppose you can't ask for moral consistency from a league that employs Greg Hardy.
Many other massive corporations like Coca-Cola and Apple came out swinging against the bill, and every major sports team in the area -- the Braves, the Hawks, the Falcons -- condemned it in no uncertain terms.
Naturally, all of the radical gay groups like the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD shouted from the rooftops about the apocalyptic repercussions of allowing the First Amendment to continue existing in Georgia.
Virtually everyone was against this thing. And they weren't just against it -- they hated it. They wanted to kill it with fire and then raise it from the dead so they could kill it again. All of the most powerful leftist forces in the country despised the Georgia bill with an ungodly passion. It was dehumanizing. It was an indignity of historic proportions. It was accursed. It was anathema.
So, you're wondering, what exactly was it?
If you didn't know any better, judging by the universal conniption fit it provoked, you'd think the bill must have mandated that all homosexuals be drowned in the sea or deported to Mozambique. If that were the case, I'd understand why it worked dozens of billion dollar companies into such a fantastic tizzy. But, contrary to reports, that's not what the bill was designed to do. Not exactly, anyway.
-Protect a pastor from being forced to perform a gay wedding against his will.
-Protect religious organizations from being forced to host gay weddings against their will.
-Protect religious organizations from being forced to hire someone who opposes their fundamental tenets, beliefs, and goals.
There you go. That's all, folks. That was the whole bill, or at least the relevant portion. And it was narrower than that, in fact, because it provided loopholes and escape hatches where a court could still potentially punish an organization for "discriminating," even if they fell into one of the above categories.
Again, this is the bill that brought upon the wrath of every liberal in the country and resulted in threats of boycotts and other punishments from many major corporations. This. This bill.
This bill, which was so narrow, so toothless, so unremarkable that I could have easily made an argument for opposing it on the grounds that it inadvertently restricted religious liberty. After all, the legislation did not protect the religious rights of private companies and private individuals. It reserved religious protections only to pastors, churches, and other specifically religious groups. Yes, protecting them would be better than protecting nobody, but the unintended consequence is a precedent where only expressly religious entities can enjoy First Amendment protections. Obviously, that's not what the Framers of the Bill of Rights had in mind.
[sharequote align="center"]The fact is that liberals opposed granting basic religious protections to religious organizations[/sharequote]
In any case, that's all academic now. The important fact is that liberals opposed granting basic religious protections to religious organizations. It wasn't all that long ago -- like, I don't know, six months -- when leftists were still insisting that only religious organizations should have religious rights. Remember, when the country debated the Indiana law or any of the various cases involving bakers and photographers and so on, liberals said over and over again that if the companies in question were conspicuously and officially "religious," they wouldn't have a problem with gays being "discriminated against" on religious grounds.
Many of us tried to point out, first of all, the First Amendment applies to everyone, and second of all, this would put us on a slippery slope. Soon, we warned, leftists would come after the churches and the pastors, too. Liberals said we were being ridiculous and paranoid.
And now here we are.
So, which part of this bill was everyone so upset about?
Do they think the government should force a priest to officiate a lesbian wedding at gun point?
Or do they think the government should be able to pry open the doors of a Baptist church and invite a couple of gays to hold their reception in the basement regardless of what the congregation thinks?
Or do they think a private Christian school should be shutdown if it refuses to hire a religion teacher who actively and loudly opposes the very beliefs and doctrines she's being hired to instill in her students?
Which is it? All of it? These companies -- the NFL, Disney, CBS, Apple, etc -- must be advocating for one or all of those scenarios. They are repulsed at the notion that religious liberty would exist anywhere in the country, including inside churches and private Christian schools. They believe that a gay man's basic human rights are being trampled and destroyed if he does not have the power to force his local Methodist preacher into indentured servitude. As I said, there is no other way to interpret the protests. If one objects to a bill, it must be assumed that one objects to the specific content of the bill. Therefore, liberals specifically object to churches, pastors, and religious groups being granted religious liberty. And if they cannot have religious liberty, who can?
Photo credit: Shutterstock
There is no coherent Constitutional argument you could make against a bill that protects the right of a religious group to be a religious group. In no universe would it make sense to claim that a man has a right to use the facilities of, or be employed by, an organization whose fundamental tenets he actively opposes and defies. Leftists are smart enough to know this, but they find the Christian faith so abhorrent that they believe an exception must be made. That's what really lies at the root of these controversies: their hatred for Christianity.
There is no question that a church, Christian school, pastor, etc has the Constitutional right to the free exercise of religion; and there is no question that exercising religion means abiding by the moral doctrines of your religion; and there is no question that a moral doctrine by its very nature excludes and discriminates against activities it deems immoral; and so there is no question that the free exercise of religion does absolutely guarantee "the right to discriminate." Again, this is obvious and anyone who is not an imbecile can see it. But the left does not care. They simply hate Christianity and want it censored, dismantled, and expelled from the country.
The people who opposed this bill opposed, without a doubt, the very essence of the First Amendment. They just do not believe certain religions, in their current forms, should be given safe harbor anywhere within our borders. They could pretend otherwise back when they were "only" trying to strip rights from private, secular companies, but now that they're passionately opposing the rights of religious groups to abide by their religions, the charade is over. They're out of the fascist closet now -- although they were never convincingly in it to begin with.
I didn't quite expect our culture to make the transition from "only religious groups can be religious" to "every church must have their religious beliefs sanctioned by the government" so quickly, but I knew it was inevitable. This is why you cannot compromise with leftists. They do not want to come to an understanding -- they want obedience. That's all they will accept. Make one concession and they'll demand another, and another, and another, unto infinity. Give them an inch and they'll take your soul.
Now they want religious entities to amend their doctrines to make sodomy and same-sex "marriage" morally righteous. They want churches and religious organizations to strike Romans 1:26-28, Jude 1:5-8, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Mark 10:6-9, 1 Corinthians 7:2, and many other passages from the Bible. They've always wanted this -- they've always hated Christianity and they've never had any regard for the Bill of Rights -- but now it's all quite out in the open. This is not about photographers and bakers anymore. Christianity itself is bigoted and hateful, they believe, and those who practice it should not find shelter in post-Christian America. That's the message you can take from the news surrounding this piece of legislation in Georgia.
Put another way: Batten down the hatches, Christians. War has been declared.
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