Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Can Our Government Impose "Compelled Speech" Regarding Abortion And Same-Sex Marriage?

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Monday, David French wrote in the National Review, "Today, we must pause and consider an important constitutional moment."

This "moment" involves whether our government can force biblical Christians to advocate for abortion in California and elsewhere.

And if our government can force biblical Christian Jack Phillips to celebrate homosexuality and same-sex "marriage" by creating a cake for their celebration.

In a few weeks, these 2 issues will come before the Supreme Court of the United States.

The bottom line: Can our government impose "compelled speech" on citizens?

Monday, attorney David French wrote in the National Review, "Earlier this morning, the Supreme Court granted review in a case called National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Xavier Becerra. The issue is simple: Can the state of California require a pro-life crises pregnancy center to advertise the availability of free or reduced-cost abortions?"

He says there is a term for this. It's called "compelled speech."

He says, "Historically it's been considered among the worst forms of state censorship. It's one thing for the state to tell you that you can't speak. It's another thing entirely for the state to commandeer your voice and compel you to advance your opponent's cause."

He calls it "Free speech for me, but not for thee."

French rightly points out, "The Supreme Court is now considering two critical compelled-speech cases. It will hear the first, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, on December 5. In Masterpiece, the state of Colorado is attempting to compel a baker to create a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding, which his religion holds to be immoral. Here, [he lives in California] the state of California is demanding that pro-life Californians advertise abortion services. Both cases represent direct assaults on the rights of conscience and free will of America citizens."

It has become apparent that the culture war is real---and that dialog is not going to make it go away.

Margot Cleveland, also writing for the National Review last month, noted that a major shift is taking place and that "many liberal and moderate Americans now hold disdain for religious freedom, which was once widely regarded as one of our foremost freedoms."

She says "religious liberty used to hold such bipartisan esteem in our country that when the Supreme Court curtailed the protections granted by the free exercise clause of the Constitution, then Rep. Charles Schumer sponsored that 'grandiloquently named Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The House passed the legislation in a voice vote and the Senate quickly followed suit, passing it by a margin of 93-7."

You will recall that it was President Bill Clinton who signed the RFRA into law.

That was then---this is now.

Most of us are well aware that things have changed since then. Support for religious liberty has diminished and shifted, but the real threat has essentially gone unnoticed by conservative Christians.

States that have tried to pass legislation based on the federal RFRA have been sued and boycotted---and aspiring governors and politicians who like their job more than they hold fixed principles and values have caved to the homosexual pressure.

Liberal, Left progressives are systematically trying to strike down or limit religious accommodations by claiming that such laws violate the establishment clause of the Constitution.

Cleveland explains: "The establishment clause of the First Amendment provides that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." While historically the establishment clause was interpreted as merely preventing Congress from establishing a state religion, the Supreme Court has long abandoned that approach."

She explains the "Lemon Test" which sprang from a legal case known as Lemon v Kurtzman, provides the basis to challenge the constitutionality of religious displays on public property and religious practices by government officials (such as teacher-led prayers, etc). But now, liberals are seeking to greatly expand establishment-clause jurisprudence to prohibit the government from "accommodating' religious beliefs."

French says all this is creating a "pressure-cooker" effect in our culture. He says "societies that don't protect the rights of conscience and free will are vulnerable to instability and civil unrest."

The secular answer is that Christians should compromise regarding abortion, human sexual behavior, family, and marriage---for the sake of the so-called greater good.

The secular progressives and the Christian Left buy into this compromise by ignoring or redefining Scripture. You will recall President Obama---as he evolved in his beliefs about marriage---referred to "obscure Scriptures" as the basis for the biblical belief that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

Our government has created a burden on religious liberty in policies such as Obamacare, and other legislation like mentioned above.

The First Amendment is a core liberty that protects all others.

In the very near future, we will see if the Supreme Court upholds that liberty, or if they take another step down the slippery slope of state censorship and compelled speech.

We will soon learn if the Supreme Court will forsake the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, to give credence to an evolving secular progressive ideology of short-term satisfaction and authoritarianism that destroyed great cultures like Rome.

Or if they embrace our founding wisdom and the eternal Judeo-Christian principles and values that have been the very foundation of our culture.

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