Liberals overplay their hand. It’s part of the deficiency. Whether real or perceived, if the pagan left can rationalize a sense of “progress” on some freedom-killing cause du jour, then it’ll push, push, push until it falls flat on its face.
Religious liberty is non-negotiable. Freedom of conscience is the bedrock of American society. Today’s anti-Christian lynch mob, which angrily imagines that some newfangled “gay right” to not be offended trumps the First Amendment, is not only on the wrong side of the U.S. Constitution, it’s on the wrong side of history.
It’s also on the wrong side of public opinion.
Bloomberg reporter Dave Weigel gets it. That is, he gets it to the extent that any mainstream media-type can get anything. Weigel is a liberal. Despite this affliction, he recently admitted that Religious Freedom Restoration Acts like the one signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 and those introduced in Indiana, Arkansas and dozens of other states are, media propaganda notwithstanding, popular with the American people.
In his April 1 Bloomberg article, headlined, “Democrats Turn Against Religious Freedom Laws. Voters Don’t Agree With Them,” Weigel laments that, “in panic about the backlash over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Democrats are settling in as the party that opposes religious liberty laws.”
“[I]t’s now expected for Democrats to denounce RFRAs, just as large corporations are denouncing them,” he continues. “In doing so, all of the critics are on the wrong side of public polling. According to a March edition of the Marist poll, 54 percent of Americans agreed with ‘allowing First Amendment religious liberty protection or exemptions for faith-based organizations and individuals even when it conflicts with government laws.’ By a 2-point margin, 47-45, even a plurality of Democratic voters agreed with that.
“The margins were even larger in opposition to laws that proposed ‘penalties or fines for individuals who refuse to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples even if their refusal is based on their religious beliefs,” adds Weigel. “[A]ccording to Marist, Americans oppose penalties on businesses … by a 65-31 margin. The margin among Democrats: 62-34 against.”
It remains unclear whether Weigel intended to draw a distinction between Americans and Democrats, but the anti-Christian penalties and fines to which he refers – the very ones Americans reject by a 2-to-1 margin – are even now being levied by left-wing “human rights” Star Chambers with increasing frequency and intensity against Christian bakers, florists, innkeepers, caterers, photographers and a litany of other small-business owners from coast to coast. This, not because these Christian individuals won’t “serve gays” (they will and do without hesitation), but, rather, because they politely decline to spend their time and talent contributing to, and thereby endorsing the message behind, specific events that run counter to biblical principles and otherwise infringe their deeply held religious convictions.
You know, the First Amendment.
It’s the Constitution, stupid.
Even so, I say keep it up. With each overt instance of anti-Christian bigotry, discrimination and persecution, public sympathy and support for religious liberty mounts. It also undercuts the withering LGBT-whatchits’ “We’re-all-a-bunch-of-victims!” blather. In fact, there is evidence suggesting that this systematic anti-Christian hostility is souring the public on “gay marriage” altogether.
Still, if there’s one thing the non-fascist majority hates more than freedom trampling, it’s blatant hypocrisy. “The dispute is illustrated in Colorado, where a Christian baker, Jack Phillips, is defending himself in court for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex ceremony,” reports WND.
“And at the same time, Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission ruled that ‘cake artists’ at Azucar Bakery, Gateaux and Le Bakery Sensual were perfectly justified in refusing to bake cakes that ‘violated their conscience.’”
In an apparent (and successful) effort to prove a point, a clever Christian activist sued these pro-”gay” bakers for refusing to create, at his request, Bible-shaped cakes with scriptural references to homosexual sin. What’s good for the Christian goose is evidently not good for the “gay” gander. It’s the textbook double standard. It’s the near-exact scenario in reverse with a wholly opposite outcome. In one case the government discriminates against the Christian by forcing him, under penalty of law, to violate his right of conscience, while, at the very same time, it allows the “gay” baker to freely exercise his own.
It’s called viewpoint discrimination.
And it’s illegal.
To be clear, I think the commission got it right the second time. Whether “gay” or straight, pagan or Christian, nobody should be forced, against his or her will, to create unique works of art that endorse a message or event that he or she finds repugnant. That sort of thing happens in Communist Russia, not in America.
Yet here we are.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco agrees: “We commend the commission for reaching the right conclusion that these cake artists should not be forced to violate their conscience, but clearly the commission should have done the same for Jack Phillips. The commission found that these three cake artists have the freedom to decline creating unique cake creations because the artists found the requests offensive, but all Americans should be alarmed that the same commission determined that Jack doesn’t have that same freedom. Like the other bakers, Jack happily serves all people but declines to use his artistic talents to create cakes that violate his conscience. The commission’s inconsistent rulings mean that the owners of these three cake shops may run them according to their beliefs, while Jack cannot. He risks losing his life-long business altogether if he continues to run it consistent with his faith. Such blatant religious discrimination has no place in our society.”
Furthermore, and lest we forget, it was the same Christianity secularists now seek to silence that largely led, some time ago, to the abolition of both slavery and indentured servitude.
Why the comeback?
Whereas no “gay” baker in America should be made to slave away for another human being in creation of a product or service that he finds repugnant, neither should a Christian baker be forced to labor in kind.
In short: Bake your own damn cake.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).