…all in the name of anti-discrimination laws. What could be nobler than those after all? You may not have heard about it. The national press isn’t making too big a deal of it, at least yet: a few days ago the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a Christian photographer, who declined to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony on the grounds she did not wish to be involved in a ceremony that conflicted with her religious views, did so illegally. And I believe they came to that decision unanimously! You read that correctly. If you are against homosexuality on religious grounds, and you happen to own a business, expect to be forced to act against your religious beliefs…that is…if you actually want to exercise the privilege of operating a business in today’s’ America.
The scary, or simply rather the very saddening thing, is just how many Americans today would look at this situation and say “Good! They’re trying to force their religious beliefs on other people. They can’t do that. They can’t discriminate against people like that. We have separation of church and state in this country!” Thus goes the mindless one-size-fits-all battle-cry of those who hate religion; especially religion that has a differing social agenda than they do. In other words, they’ll let you have your silly religion. You can practice it in church, or in your basement, but LIVE your faith? Have your faith MANIFEST itself in action and truly exercise your right to decline a thing, in public, on religious grounds? Oh the humanity! Now THATS going a bit too far these days.
It used to be the case in this country that if someone went to a place of business, and the owners of that business treated you in a way you thought mean or unfair, you went somewhere else and told everyone you knew to not go there. NOW, if that happens, you sue to make that privately owned business to change what THEY believe, and force them to serve you. That’s freedom? That’s privacy rights? Whatever happened to the “liberal” quote that “I disagree with you, but I will fight to the death for you to be able to believe it”? It just goes to show you really how illiberal the “liberals” have always been in reality. The most obvious compromise, and the easiest compromise, would be for this couple to get another photographer!! Duh. That’s actual freedom, like it or not. But too many people don’t like it, and therefore won’t respect other peoples freedom. It’s nothing other than hatred dressed up as tolerance.
The battle is not however lost. In fact there’s a poll I just read about that says 85% of people polled think this photographer should have been able to decline on religious grounds. But, the framework is being laid, and secured, and fortified quite well to force an outcome pleasing to progressives on this issue. Remember the provision in Obamcare that forced companies who disagree with certain forms of contraception to offer them despite? It’s still being fought in court. Cases like this one are FAR from isolated instances. This fight is being fought out in the courts as we speak every day in different ways. And for every apparent victory, there is a defeat, like the occurrence in New Mexico. This is a very volatile, fluid fight, and too many people are on the sidelines either thinking that freedom of religion couldn’t possibly be taken away, or, outright wanting it to be taken away, without of course saying so in such clear terms.
The desire to cleanse our society of those that many secularists disagree with is trumping our constitutional right to practice our religion freely, and there is no more accurate way to put it than that. This isn’t new by the way. Culture has always been the interpreter of laws. Justice should be blind, but it never really has been. If culture accepts a thing, then it finds a way in the courts to rule that way, and our culture has changed quite a bit in the last few decades. It’s not disturbing that people want to protect a class of people for God’s sake. What’s disturbing is the open hostility to religion and the practice of religion, all in the name of tolerance. It’s intellectually dishonest, and again, it’s hatred disguised as tolerance!
As our society becomes more and more secular, more and more secular people are passing judgment on what religious freedom really means, to them, and they are dead-wrong as to what it is, not surprisingly. This country used to have a proud tradition of religious exemptions because it valued religion so. Not any more. Now the order of the day is to get rid of as many exemptions as possible, and only allow people of faith to practice that faith if other people aren’t offended. Again, an openly intellectually stupid argument, one that clearly goes against how the first amendment has been interpreted since the founding of the country, and yet one that despite this, is starting to win the day because of the changing religious demographics of the country.
Oh how quickly things change. The SECOND certain social mores reached a tipping point the left in this county have POUNCED to take away every freedom of your they disagree with. If the current trend continues, most religion, if not forced to conform, will one day be considered a hate crime and therefore illegal, all while of course the claim is made that freedom of religion is as intact as it has ever been. The groundwork is being laid, and that groundwork is ignorance of the constitution and hatred of religion, particularly “conservative” religion, all in the name, ironically, of tolerance. Don’t sit idly by and watch it happen. That is, if you value your freedom and your religion. The answer is actually pretty simple: informed tolerance…not fake tolerance; having a society where people are free to believe a thing and engage or not engage voluntarily in commerce, rather than having protected classes and unprotected classes where government chooses winners and losers, all in the name of what they perceive equality to be. Easier said than done however.