Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Discrimination: "A Game Of Words?"

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Mainstream media and journalists are bashing the states that attempt to protect religious freedom---and the politicians and citizens who support the effort.

Mississippi and North Carolina are currently in the cross hairs of the media.

The media and the secular progressive movement view their cause as noble---even righteous---while they view the belief of those who protect religious freedom as evil, calling it "state-sanctioned discrimination."

Are these two views equally rooted in deeply held convictions---or is one merely a game of words?

The media is predictable---both print and electronic---they make a bland partial statement to the public that supposedly gives one side of the story---in this case the side of those who support the religious freedom laws.

This is followed by an avalanche of sound bites ripping into the side they oppose---in this case those who support religious freedom and do not support reordering society for a few who are confused regarding their gender.

In Mississippi, the daily newspaper, "The Clarion-Ledger," reported on the governor's signing of the law with 9 quotes reacting to the bill---7 of them negative.

The Ledger also published an op-ed in opposition and a cartoon criticizing the Governor and the bill.

Monday, I wrote about Bruce Springsteen canceling his sold out concert in North Carolina because the state legislature passed a law that was intended to provide protection for women and children who use public restrooms from so-called transgenders who troll through their restroom of choice.

It was also designed to protect the religious freedom of those who hold a biblical worldview, particularly regarding human sexuality.

The news media has used Springsteen's action to create a movement to "hurt" (Springsteen guitarist's word) those who support religious freedom.

Media Research Center says, "All three network shows hailed rocker Bruce Springsteen's decision to cancel a concert in North Carolina as further evidence of the 'firestorm' and 'growing backlash' against religious freedom laws recently passed there and in other states."

ABC's good morning America introduced the story like this: "We're going to turn now to the firestorm over North Carolina's so-called bathroom law." An attack on the religious freedom protection law followed.

On "CBS This Morning," co-host Norah O'Donnell introduced the story like this: "The rock legend called off his show last night in Greensboro because of a new law limiting legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people." She then quoted Springsteen, "Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry is one of them."

But who is prejudiced?

And who is the bigot?

Others are now joining Springsteen and canceling their own concerts.

Matchbox 20 front man Rob Thomas says the message to North Carolina is clear. "This is going to affect the commerce of your state, this is going to affect the infrastructure because less money is going to come to your state."

Professional sports organizations are attempting to put the hurt on the citizens. Charles Barkley, a former NBA basketball player and now sports announcer, says the NBA should move next year's All-Star game to another state. He says that should cost them at least $100 million.

NBC aired very similar talking points with their Sarah Dallof saying, "This morning Springsteen fans in Greensboro, North Carolina are out of luck after The Boss canceled his show for tonight, citing his opposition to a controversial new state law critics say removes protections from gay and transgender people."

During the report, NBC was running clips of Ellen De Generes telling her audience, "We all want the same things: Love, acceptance, kindness."

But acceptance is not enough. They are demanding affirmation.

Another NBC clip had producer Rob Reiner saying, "It's exactly the same as the Civil Rights Movement."

No it isn't. Sexual behavior and ethnicity are not the same.

Concluding the report, Dallof said "The debate between civil rights and religious freedom is moving swiftly from state house to streets and now to center stage."

That's true. It has moved to center stage.

But who is being discriminated against?

Ryan T. Anderson with the Heritage Foundation gives the following reasons why we should not create sexual orientation and gender identity laws:

Sexual orientation and gender identity laws are ambiguous:
These laws tend to be vague and overly broad, lacking clear definitions of what discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” mean and what conduct can and cannot be penalized. These laws would impose ruinous liability on innocent citizens for alleged “discrimination” based on subjective and unverifiable identities, not on objective traits.

Sexual orientation and gender identity laws threaten fundamental American rights and values, values that both sides in the culture wars share:
These rights of association and contract mean that businesses, charities, and civic associations should be generally free to operate by their own values. They should be free to choose their employees and their customers, the products and services that they produce or sell, the terms of employment, and the standards of conduct for members. They should be free to advance their own values and to live them out as they see fit.

Sexual orientation and gender identity laws would expose children to adult debates:
SOGI laws would prevent schools, parents, and employers from protecting children from these adult debates about sex and gender identity by forcing employers, including schools, to yield to the desires of transgender employees in ways that put them in the spotlight.

Sexual orientation and gender identity laws invade privacy:
… an employer or gym owner would be negligent to ignore the privacy or safety concerns of female employees or customers about having to share a bathroom or changing room with people who are biologically male, whether or not they “identify” as female. The same is true for students in bathrooms and locker rooms.

Sexual orientation and gender identity laws would force employers to censor their speech and beliefs and those of their employees:
SOGI laws create new problems with respect to hostile work environment claims because they extend these restrictions to “actual and perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.” In practice, this means employers who express disapproving religious or political views of same-sex marriage or tolerate employees who do could incur enormous legal liabilities.

Finally, sexual orientation and gender identity laws trample citizens’ rights to make decisions based on reasonable beliefs about sexuality:
SOGI laws impugn judgments common to the Abrahamic faith traditions and to great thinkers from Plato to Kant. By the light of religion, reason, and experience, many people of good will believe that our bodies are an essential part of who we are and that maleness and femaleness are not arbitrary constructs but objective ways of being human. … However, SOGI laws would prohibit reasonable decisions made in response to behaviors that are fraught with moral weight.

The Washington Post published this: "Since facts and human decency seem to hold no sway with the state's law makers, we can only hope that the threatened some eyes to the need to repeal this hateful law," calling the law a "rush to bigotry" on the part of those who support it.

Toward whom is the hate directed?

And who are the bigots?

Those few who seek to re-engineer society to conform to and celebrate their sexual behavior, or those who seek to uphold 5,000 years of successful human social tradition? And common sense?

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Bold. Be Prayerful.