Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Faith and Freedom Under Fire

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Conservatives and faith leaders have been sounding the alarm about a bill making its way through the lame-duck session of Congress – a controversial measure that would codify same-sex civil marriage in federal law.

As of publishing time for this column, the so-called "Respect for Marriage Act" had not yet been passed by the Senate, although it appears they have the votes.

Nor had the amendment that would protect conservatives and biblical Christians from being legally targeted by homosexual activists.

I'll be talking about the bill and its status on our live radio program this morning.

This is an overview of HR 8404. If passed it will be very consequential.

Be informed, not misled.

HR8404 will legally conform marriage and human sexuality to a secular, humanistic institution that defies the Creator.

Critics say the "Respect for Marriage Act" puts a giant target on people of faith and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is fighting to add an amendment that would protect religious freedom.

Had Republicans been faithful to the platform of the Republican Party they claim to represent, we wouldn't be here today---12 Republican senators betrayed their Party and I would guess, many of their constituents. 

This bill, if passed, will repeal the 1996 "Defense of Marriage Act" signed by President Bill Clinton---of all people--- which affirms for federal purposes that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and also permits states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states.

Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation, agrees with Lee.

"This is a gratuitous swipe at people of faith that can't be recast as doing them a favor," he writes. He adds, "Christians, Muslims, and Jews with sincere, historic, reasonable (and true) beliefs about human sexual morality and identity have been under accelerated attack by activists and government ever since the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Obergefell, despite assurances by same-sex marriage advocates that a 'live and let live' world would follow that decision."

That of course was a lie. They always claim to want to "live and let live" but that is part of their incremental agenda to redefine marriage by "normalizing" same-sex relations, then shaming and punishing those who hold a different belief about marriage and human sexuality.

And suing them when possible.

"The proposed Respect for Marriage Act would supercharge these attacks," Severino continues. "The gestures toward religious liberty in the most recent version of the bill do not change this fact."Conservative leaders are urging Americans to contact their senators before the bill is put to a final vote." 

Joshua Arnold writing for the Washington Stand said this late yesterday afternoon:

As senators prepare to take a series of votes on the deceptively titled “Respect for Marriage Act” (H.R. 8404) this week, one focal point of concern is the inadequate — perhaps even stillborn — protections that the bill to codify same-sex marriage provides for religious freedom.

Twelve Republican senators joined Democrats in voting to advance the bill before Thanksgiving. They extracted an amendment to provide religious freedom a fig leaf, but “no meaningful, affirmative, or enforceable shield of protection to those people and entities already being attacked for their belief in natural marriage,” according to Family Research Council. FRC has cataloged dozens of instances of government persecution of religious practice in America over the past five years. The bill affirms “pre-existing religious liberty or conscience rights,” but FRC pointed out that “every person and organization that is already being attacked already has those protections.” In recent years, the list of parties with religious objections to same-sex marriage who have lost their court battles include Catholic adoption agencies, Jewish universities, and Christian wedding vendors. The same-sex marriage bill would only multiply the occasions whereby people and organizations of faith could be discriminated against or sued.

In addition to codifying same-sex marriage and reinforcing the mistaken Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell (2015), FRC explained the legislation would:

  • “Create a private right of action that will supercharge attacks on people and organizations that still believe in natural marriage, including people of faith who are already being attacked.
  • Tacitly vilify millions of Americans who still believe in natural marriage by labeling that belief as ‘sex discrimination’ and tantamount to racism.
  • Subject business owners to even more costly litigation.
  • Threaten the tax-exempt status of faith-based nonprofits.”

When cast in this light, public opinion swings dramatically against the bill. In a recent poll of likely voters in Indiana, Iowa, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming (five states with Republican senators who voted to advance the same-sex marriage bill) commissioned by The Heritage Foundation, pollsters asked respondents whether they would be more or less likely to support the Respect for Marriage Act if they knew these effects would happen. A majority said they would be less likely to support the bill if it exposed religious organizations to costly lawsuits (53%, compared to 18% more likely to support it), punished faith-based charities (52%, compared to 20% more likely), or threatened religious organizations’ tax-exempt status (51%, compared to 22% more likely).

Unfortunately, mainstream opinion polls show that a majority of Americans now approve of legalizing same-sex marriage (71% according to Gallup and 61% according to Pew), depending on how the question is worded. Yet, in Heritage’s survey, a plurality opposed the so-called Respect for Marriage Act (47% against, 41% for) even before its downsides were mentioned. Opposition was much stronger among Republicans (with 70% opposed and only 20% in favor) and conservatives (73% opposed to 17% in favor).

Joshua Arnold says, "The bill to legalize same-sex marriage and snub religious liberty has advanced largely because most people haven’t looked this horse in the mouth. 

"Same-sex marriage is carefully packaged for sale as a matter of equality, or tolerance, or allowing people to be happy. The implicit, and sometimes explicit, assumption is that same-sex marriage is the same as natural marriage, and once everyone accepts that we can all get along. But that’s simply not true. Same-sex “marriages” eschew monogamy, cannot produce offspring and lack the cement of complementary distinctions between the sexes."

He continues, "Nor is it true that LGBT activists are interested in peaceful coexistence with those who disagree with their behavior. Just ask Jack Phillips, a Christian baker in Colorado who has faced one lawsuit after another — even after the Supreme Court ruled in his favor — because he won’t bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Many other bakeries would happily oblige, but nothing will satisfy the LGBT activists except completely destroying Phillips, and the process he must undertake to vindicate his rights is itself the punishment they seek to inflict."

Slouching toward Sodom and Gomorrah.

In 1996 Robert Bork, a former United States Court of Appeals judge, published a book titled "Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline."

Previously, Judge Bork had been nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Reagan. Although he was a brilliant mind and constitutionalist, Sen. Joe Biden, the chair of the Judicial Committee, literally tore Bork to pieces before the country, denying him a seat on the High Court.

Joe Biden is double-minded and unstable.

When a constitutional amendment was proposed to ban same-sex marriage in 2006, Sen. Biden told Meet The Press' Tim Russert, "I can't believe the American people can't see through this. We already have a law, the Defense of Marriage Act...where I voted and others...that marriage is between a man and a woman, and states must respect that...Why do we need a constitutional amendment? Marriage is between a man and a woman."

Now, 16 years later Biden is leading the parade to redefine marriage and crush those who disagree.

This is why we needed a constitutional amendment to protect marriage from people like the person he has become.

Twelve Republicans voted with Democrats to allow this bill to move forward, eliminating a filibuster threat: Sens. Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Shelly Caito, Susan Collins, Cynthia Lummis, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Dan Sullivan, Thom Tillis, Joni Ernst, Lisa Murkowski, and Todd Young.

These people should never, ever be elected again by Republicans.

After the vote, President Biden said, "Love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love."

God help us.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Sober. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.