Gay Rights Trump Religious Freedom

American Family Association:

The California Supreme Court, which recently legalized same-sex marriage, has ruled by a 7-0 vote that homosexual rights trump religious freedom. The ruling barred doctors, because of their Christian beliefs, from withholding unnecessary medical care to gays and lesbians. The ruling says that under state law sexual orientation rights trump religious freedom.

Justice Joyce Kennard wrote in the ruling that two Christian fertility doctors who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian have neither a free speech right nor a religious exemption from the state’s law, which “imposes on business establishments certain antidiscrimination obligations.”

Doctors at the Christian clinic referred the lesbian to another clinic, but the lesbian refused their referral – demanding that the Christian clinic perform the procedure. When the Christian doctors refused to violate their religious convictions, the lesbian sued and the Supreme Court gave her the victory.

This ruling will affect every business in California. If a similar victory in a federal court is won, every business in America will be affected.

For example: Alabama Fertility Specialists (AFS) has begun a campaign to bring Honda of Alabama to its knees because Honda will not cover artificial insemination for a lesbian in it’s insurance.

Honda advised their insurance carrier to “exclude domestic partners (same-sex partners) from ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) benefits including diagnostic services related to fertility/infertility…” If this doesn’t work, then count on AFS to sue.

Alabama Fertility Specialists alerted the media, their supporters and gay groups about Honda’s actions and called on supporters and gays to bombard Honda with phone calls and letters.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Gay Rights Trump Religious Freedom

  1. We are in the world, not of the world and should render unto Caesar. Originally meant for tribute taxes, but public licensees are no great stretch. Same for dispensing birth control, et al, if you are not willing to render the service, you should relinquish the license. Hashem is good with that and so would your conscience.

    Note: I have removed the link from this comment as I did not feel it was appropriate to leave up (due to the sensual image that was featured in this bloggers most recent post).

  2. I would disagree. Following that reasoning, no Christians should be doctors at all… right?

    Christian doctors will not always be able to “render the service” due to their religious beliefs, therefore they should all “relinquish the license.”

  3. In this new world order, we will have less religious rights than they had in Commuinist Russia. Any judge who makes those kinds of decisions against God and his people are only damning themseles and all who follow.

    Not long from now; like world acceptance of homosexuality, Pedophilia, through a weak and complacent society, will be embraced.
    “Knowing the first that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” 2 Peter 3:3
    This Biblical quote is within this chapter (from Society Under Seige, Joseph Michael)
    It is very clear…the times…
    God left a special message for legislators: “Woe to them that make wicked laws: and when they write, write injustice.” Isai. 10:1. Also, God left everyone, including politicians, this message about being an accessary to sins (that is, one who is associated with or has the authority or ability to speak up against anyone involved with the act of sins): “Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things are worthy of death; an not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.” Rom. 1:32. Anyone who teaches their children or teaches any child that homosexuality (the act of homosexuality) is okay or normal is guilty of a horrible sin. Remember what Jesus stated in Matt. 18:6, in reference to teaching children or corrupting their minds with sin that it is better to tie a stone on their neck and fall into the sea. This is a powerful statement. By teaching our children this type of thing about homosexuality we are also allowing them to make unsound judgements of many other things in our laws and the laws of nature. When questions come to their minds about issues such as, “Who is to say that murder is wrong?” or “Is genocide wrong?” or “Is pedophilia wrong?”, they will easily make the wrong decision based upon an already perverted law or established guideline in our society. Once things like pedophilia and genocide are accepted, we will crumble as a society. We will revert to tribes or gangs. There will no longer be laws, only street rule. Worst of all, our children’s souls will be destroyed and may burn not for a while but forever in Hell. No matter how politically correct, homosexuality is an awful sin against God and its effects on our world are worse than any terrorist organization.
    Homosexuality is a destructive, suicidal behavior. As a note, pedophilia also has similar origins as homosexuality. Once homosexuality is freely accepted in our society through marriage, TV, etc., pedophilia will soon be the next deviation society may fall prey to. Who in the 1950s would have ever imagined that in a public school our children would be taught that homosexuality is an accepted lifestyle? Those who push this horrible self destructive lifestyle are those who know it is morally and socially wrong. What they are saying is that they want to close their eyes and ease their consciences by others accepting and validating a psychological and moral corruption that they are enslaved with. This wilful blindness is described by God here, “Knowing the first, that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” 2 Peter 3: 3.
    To prove a point that the acceptance of homosexuality may usher in the acceptance of pedophilia, one only has to look at the details of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament. Before Sodom was destroyed by God, every single person of the city was involved in horrible, forbidden lusts. This included men, women, and children. At that time it included more than what we consider as “homosexual”. How can any Christian, Jew, or Muslim defend such a horrible sin? Now, acceptance of pedophilia has begun. A dangerous and dark thunder cloud is rolling our way. Even recently; without question, many people successfully defended someone alleged to be a pedophile in the U.S. This situation has become a world-wide plague, a disease of our culture. It has invaded our homes, our places of work, our places of worship, and even our schools.
    When we admit that homosexuality is a terrible sin and a social ill, we wonder how such a deviate behavior has become accepted in a modern society. Anyone with a little wisdom can figure it out but those without any wisdom will concoct some illogical theory based on something to do with human genetics or perhaps some theory as wild as social revolution. The truth is that it took weak theories, in a fragile and gullible society to be accepted in the first place.
    Firstly, there is no evidence that people are born homosexuals. God doesn’t make homosexuals. In the Old Testament, at that particular time of the writing, Jerusalem had gone astray. God through His profit, Ezechiel, compared Jerusalem with the iniquity of Sodom. Basically, it explains the steps by which the Sodomites fell into their abominations for which they were destroyed. In particular, the profit explains that pride, gluttony, and idleness are the highroads to all kinds of lusts, especially when there are no works of mercy (to obtain grace and forgiveness) with these actions. “Behold, this was the inequity of Sodom, thy sister, pride, fullness of bread and abundance, and the idleness of her and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy and to the poor. And they were lifted up and committed abominations before me: and I took them away, as thou hast seen.” Ezechiel 16: 49-50. These steps of falling into the abominations of homosexuality and other forbidden lusts are very vivid in today’s society. It is an easy thing to see that people go to homosexuality, not by birth or genetics but by the steps outlined by Ezechiel; this was true thousands of years ago as it is today.
    People choose to act as they do. Homosexuality is a choice. Some reasons people go to homosexuality are likely based on loneliness, boredom of everyday life and of a feeling that they alone have control of their destiny. Some men are more masculine than or more feminine than the average man. This is similar for women. There are also people who are born as both male and female; that’s truly an heavy burden or cross that God gives them to carry. There are those who are born with an extra maleness gene in their genetic makeup; that’s proven. Often those men with an extra male gene are found committing more crime in society compared to an average man. Like the person who is born with both male and female characteristics, a man who is born with an extra male gene has a burden or cross given to them by God. It’s a heavy burden to carry around sometimes but it can be done by the grace of God. If a man has a predisposition to exhibit aggression through his genetic makeup, does it give him any natural born or societal right to commit murder or rob banks? Of course it doesn’t. Those men have to try more to conform in society and if they do conform, they will be blessed. And so it doesn’t give a man who is more feminine than other men a right to perform homosexual acts.
    It’s wrong for anyone to carry out a homosexual lifestyle and it’s wrong for anyone of us to accept it as anything but immoral and harmful to our society. The more homosexuals promote themselves and their lifestyles, the more we as a society wrongfully believe homosexuality is normal. Shame on every religious leader who does not speak up against it. Society pushes and promotes homosexuality by setting a false notion that those who don’t accept and embrace this lifestyle, are therefore, intolerant to differences in cultures. This reverse psychology twists morality until it appears as if those who speak up against it or disagree with it for either religious grounds or grounds of common sense are portrayed as hateful. This ideology of twisting sound moral and logical judgement around to look as if it were hate is entirely false, deceptive and unacceptable. Anyone who says they are a Christian, Jew, or Muslim and accepts homosexuality is a hypocrite, an apostate, and is guilty of the same sin of the homosexual act. In the Old Testament, several times, the horrible sin of homosexuality was condemned. In the New Testament, Sodom and Gomorrah are referenced more than once as horrible sins against God. So then, if God condemned (and there is really no “if”) homosexuality; how can God who knows all and created the earth, the solar systems, and every star that one can count if they were able to count for perhaps, trillions of years, make a mistake? What God said back then still applies. It is not okay for a man or woman to have sexual relations with an animal or a child nor with a person of the same gender.
    Many say there is no association between homosexuality and pedophilia. They say there is no association because any association might show society that like pedophilia, homosexuality needs to be stopped, not pampered. Homosexuality like pedophilia, is a mental illness and if you prefer, a strong inner conflict, sometimes hidden, sometimes not. There is hardly anyone alive who doesn’t suffer from some sort of mental twitch, major or minor. Some mental illnesses are very minor and too minor to be listed as a mental illness. There are some so large that a person must be protected from himself or herself and from harm to society. Just remember that all diseases need proper treatment and all individuals with any diseases need respect and treatment. Proper treatment does not mean acting out a mental illness. Homosexuality probably develops from a deep emptiness within a person. It is more than just a deviation from normalcy. It is an escape from boredom and loneliness through an uncensored act of attempted self destruction. To make up your mind to carry on such a lifestyle, you must have to almost completely burry any thoughts or notions of wrong doing. Homosexuality is, in a way, similar to an infection.
    It is not difficult to draw a parallel between infection of the body and the act of homosexuality. We have defense mechanisms against immorality as well as defense mechanisms for our body that prevent us from becoming infected. In everyday life we are protected from our own potentially dangerous microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses) through our many natural defense mechanisms. Our skin protects us from obvious things we encounter within our environment. It is not until we have an accident and cut or injure our skin in some way that our body is challenged by its unseen enemies. Even then, our bodies initiate another, secondary defense to further protect us. When the skin breaks, a complex system (composed of killer blood cells, etc.) existing within our blood springs into action so our body system is not destroyed. When we forget to wash our hands or put something contaminated in our mouths, we introduce our body to several other potential, harmful microorganisms. In our mouths our saliva begins to destroy the invisible invader. Then the contamination is sent to the stomach where a secondary defense, a powerful acid, acts to disassemble and destroy certain microorganisms. Even our eyes have their own minor defense mechanism.
    Throughout life, consciously by washing our hands, avoiding contaminated food or water or other conscious acts, we help prevent the destruction of our bodies. Unconsciously, our natural defenses help prevent the destruction of our bodies. Sometimes we foolishly initiate a slow or rapid destruction of our bodies when we inject ourselves with illegal and toxic drugs for one reason or another or spend years smoking potentially cancer causing cigarettes. Sometimes we don’t get enough sleep for years or drink excess alcohol over many years. Or we subject ourselves to a host of other abuses that tear down our God given defense mechanisms. It seems as if we never cease to slowly erode our bodies until they become either infected or destroyed.
    Most of us realize what we are doing when we continually destroy our bodies. Many things that we do from day to day become so repetitious and familiar that they become subtle enough to slip from our consciousness. We do many things because they are so common place in our society that we feel left out or odd if we do not do them. The more often we do something over and over again (good or bad) the more we get used to the repetitious act and the more we accept it. A teenager who smokes cigarettes is a prime example of a bad habit that is done because “everyone else does it.” Bad habits can destroy our bodies as well as our souls. When we are confronted with decisions to carry our immoral actions there are only two paths to follow.
    The primary immune system of our morality is our God given knowledge of what is right and wrong; it is found in our consciences. We have the ability to reason and choose between right and wrong. When we choose to do wrong, we contaminate our souls in a similar manner as we do when we inject toxic drugs into our bodies; the immune system of our morality is compromised. We then bypass our consciences and let our minds become infected.
    Like disease that we initiate slowly and foolishly by ignoring our natural defenses, homosexuality has been introduced slowly in our society to the point that it has become dangerously subtle and we are numb to it. We now accept the idea because it’s so familiar and because “everyone accepts it.” It’s a serious infection of society.
    We were all born with many things in this world; many that are good, some that are bad. We were also all born with the ability to tell right from wrong. When something is wrong we know it is wrong, even if we can’t admit it publically. Many times because of convenience, we force ourselves to believe something that is wrong to be right. An example of this would be if someone cheats on their tax returns but tries to justify their actions and tries to get themselves to believe what they did was right by saying, “the government steals.” We all were born with the laws of God in our hearts (and the ability to know right from wrong) whether we were taught religion or not. In Romans 2:11-15, it is explained:
    “For there is no respect of persons with God. For whosoever have sinned without the law shall perish without the law: and whosoever have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law. For not the hearers of the law are just before God: but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles who have not the law do by nature those things that are of the law; these having not the law, are a law to themselves. Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them: and their thoughts between themselves accusing or also defending one another.” In the quotation from Romans 2, its interpretation is basically that everyone is born with the knowledge of right and wrong regardless of the knowledge of the existence of God from a religious education or not. It also describes the responsibility of both the believer and nonbeliever of God. Here the word, “law” is used to mean the written and taught law relating to an established synagogue, church, etc. The part starting, “…whosoever have sinned without the law shall perish without the law….” means that those who were not taught the written and established law of God will die and be judged according to the law written in their hearts from their birth, by God; they are responsible to keep the natural law within their hearts. In the phrase, “whosoever have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.” Here it means that those who have been taught the written law of God shall die and be judged according to the established written law. The phrase, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God: but the doers of the law shall be justified.” is explained. The hearers of the law are those who know the written law of God either through learning the word of God or because it was written in their hearts; they both know right from wrong. Both are responsible to live sound moral lives according to what is either in their heart (the law of nature) or what they were taught about God. In the phrase, “…but the doers of the law shall be justified…” means that those who follow either the written and taught law of God and those who follow the law God established in their hearts will not be condemned by but will be glorified by God. The phrase, “…the Gentiles who have not the law do by nature those things that are of the law; these having not the law, are a law to themselves.” Here it means that those (the Gentiles or nonbelievers of God) who are only born with God’s law in their hearts and did not learn it by a written law of God have an unwritten law of God that they are morally bound to. They are guided by their consciences. Finally, the phrase, “who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them: and their thoughts between themselves accusing or also defending one another.” This is interpreted as those who only have God’s law, written in the hearts will follow God’s law, guided by their conscience and within their community, they will establish their own moral law and rules. In essence, we all know that homosexuality is wrong; it is written down and is also in our hearts and we must not do it if we are to keep God’s law. There is no excuse.
    It seems very clear that those who claim to be homosexuals have an agenda in life that goes way beyond that of enjoying a deviate sexual behavior. These people truly believe in God in their hearts and do everything in their power to try to destroy God or destroy His values on earth. They try to destroy holy marriage of a man and woman, the innocense of children, the family unit, and anything they believe that was created to follow a wholesome lifestyle. They have even tried to dismantle the Boys Scouts of America, a necessary organization for boys that strives to act as a mentor for boys so they can live normally in society. In the case of the Boy Scouts and children in general, it is appalling that homosexuals don’t want young children to be taught the basic rules of societal decency but want innocent children to start life with an acceptance of extreme deviation of nature and God. It is unconscionable that this group of God hating people want to take over the minds of innocent children like some evil dictator.
    Homosexuality is worse than any terrorism in the world. Terrorism is man against man. Homosexuality is terrorism against the soul, the body and the mind. People who claim to be homosexuals are only using the label, “homosexual” to place themselves as a protected group and to try to justify a horrible deviation. Most people want to be accepted in society. Acceptance seems a natural part of human coexistence. People try to conform in society by wearing the latest fashion of clothes, driving a popular car, using the latest computer, and even socializing with a certain group of people. Many follow fads. Some fads are harmless and some are very harmful. When society is influenced by a group of people and then pushes the general public to accept a popular belief that something like homosexuality is acceptable, it (society), pushes this agenda which causes the public to accept homosexuality as some sort of fad. Society subtly pushes the general idea on people that homosexuality should be acceptable. Of course, this subtle message is also pushed on people when movie stars, sports heros and the like represent homosexuality by using phrases such as, “…those who do not accept homosexuality are bigots and intolerant to the diversity of others.” The thought of performing homosexual acts probably originates in a person due to extreme loneliness. But everyone is lonely sometimes in their lives. When a person decides to alleviate the stress of loneliness by directing it toward a person of his or her own gender, that is not only wrong but it is irresponsible. It’s easier to burry guilt in your mind rather than to try to overcome a painful lonely feeling or push the desire to explore a passionate curiosity, out of their minds. Those who decide to perform homosexual acts are doing nothing but taking the easy way out and seeking immediate gratification. Regardless what modern psychology says about homosexuality, homosexuality is a way to attempt to release psychological tension by the immediate gratification through a virtually easy and non-committed relationship with a member of his or her own gender. This easy way out is destructive to those involved and society itself.
    Homosexuality promotes itself by using both the homosexual community and the heterosexual community. Through years of patience and perseverance, homosexuals made themselves known to the general public. It is obvious that the far most important way homosexuality was promoted in the early years was by of course, through Hollywood. Since there has always been both masculine men and those men who are more or less, petit and feminine by nature, Hollywood produced films that starred the more feminine men. The roles, in the early films (the 1950s and 1960s) that starred more feminine men where usually comedy. Such things as male prisoners of war dancing with other males during lonely times brought enough laughs to not only continue with that type of theme but advance to another step of introduction and promotion of homosexuality. The aim was and is to gradually convince the general population to accept homosexuality. Another strategic aim of the homosexual community was to promote itself above the family unit and over God Himself.
    It’s always worse when children are the targets of some propaganda or brainwashing from a sick part of society. In Hollywood, cartoons were also part of the early homosexual promotion. Cartoonist introduced little cute animated characters as feminine men and other similar roles to make children laugh and begin to soften their young minds to later accepting homosexuality as part of life. A simple fact is that children are tender and gullible . And as much as children watch television, it is easy to understand how constant bombardment of their young minds by any propaganda can brainwash them. Nowadays by the time children become young teenagers they are often brainwashed in believing that men should act feminine and women act masculine. When the children who were exposed to the “introduction to homosexuality” became young teenagers, they were exposed to even a bolder initiative from Hollywood that suggested that such things as homosexuality were natural in all animals, including humans; this is nothing but a huge distortion of the truth. Children were also taught that anyone who was against the idea of homosexuality was out-of-touch with reality. This was nothing more than the twisting of reality. When young teenagers became adults and had children of their own, Hollywood and the general news media was dictating to the general public that homosexuality was an acceptable life style and that we should embrace the life style and accept homosexuality as part of life. Hollywood films now show extremely suggestive (some are blatant) films of homosexual acts. There are pop songs played on certain radio stations that are suggestive of homosexual acts. A normal man or woman is easily sickened to his or her stomach by that. Some parents already indoctrinated with a lifetime of one-sided propaganda from the homosexual groups in society, often teach their children that this way of life should be acceptable. When the child becomes an adult and gets lonely, the temptation to experiment with homosexuality may appear. When the existing child or new adult chooses to become a homosexual, he or she chooses a life of severe inner conflicts of what is right from wrong because he or she was not properly corrected in early life. The child or new adult ultimately chooses the path of self destruction in this life and possibly Hell that follows. Not only is society responsible for the child’s or new adult’s self destructive behavior but also are his or her parents. All parents should note what is said in 1 Kings 3:13, “For I have foretold unto him, that I will judge this house for ever for iniquity; because he knew that his sons did wickedly and did not chastise them.”, and in Ecclus. 41:10, “The children will complain of an ungodly father, because for his sake they are in reproach.” The sin, guilt, shame, and possible deadly disease the person gets from such experimentation is unspeakably horrible.
    A common inner conflict which may affect people nowadays is one of love. Much of society emphasizes that homosexuality has to be accepted as a normal lifestyle. Rapidly the laws of nations are allowing marriages between people of the same gender. Therefore, it might seem to some that love exists in most marriages because people who love each other get married. Using this logic, it might be subliminally deduced that if someone of one gender likes or loves someone of the same gender, it should be the kind of love shared by a man and woman. This is confused and foolish logic. It must be remembered that love is found in several forms, such as brotherly love, sisterly love, father-son love, mother-daughter love, etc. These types of love are not romantic love but wholesome love. With a mixture of loneliness, brotherly-type or sisterly-type of love (man for man or woman for woman), and an inner conflict that society has created, this confusion might easily turn to a homosexual union. When this happens, the person who chooses homosexuality knows well that it is a deviation from nature and he or she will feel extremely guilty and out of place, at least inside himself or herself. Yet, he or she knows that mainstream society (wrongly) teaches that homosexuality is a normal function. And therefore; often, he or she, instead of searching for a way to properly deal with loneliness or an explanation of how to deal with a wholesome love, takes the easy way out and commits the sin of homosexuality.
    Remember, just because someone loves a person as a brother, sister, or in another wholesome way, doesn’t mean they must love that person in a romantic way. Naturally, there has always been healthy brother-brother, sister-sister, father-son, mother-son, father-daughter, mother-daughter, etc. relationships (unless there was an improper mental-affliction-incest relationship). When someone believes that homosexuality is normal and acceptable, and he or she loves a person from the same gender in a wholesome relationship, instead of dealing with that person in a brotherly or sisterly way, often it is thought that the situation must be dealt with on a sexual basis. This person is confused. Sadly, these harsh inner conflicts likely are responsible for many suicides.
    No one is born a homosexual; their decision to carry out their “homosexual tendencies” or experiments is a bad choice in life. Someone who makes a bad choice in life and commits an offense against God has a chance to walk away from the sin and ask God for forgiveness. It’s similar when someone commits a white-collar crime such as when a corporate executive makes a decision to raise profits for a handful of stockholders and the affects of the decision causes millions of people to go hungry. Both, the person who commits a homosexual act and the corporate executive who caused the hunger are guilty of serious sins. Both have an opportunity to walk away from the sin and ask God for forgiveness.
    Homosexuality and other wrongs are rapidly destroying the foundations of our families and society as a whole.
    The key to any responsible society is the foundation on which it stands. This key principal is also true when one talks about a physical structure such as a building or bridge. With a physical structure, a solid bedrock foundation will allow the structure to endure a large number of natural calamities. In a responsible society, its bedrock foundation is the stable family.

  4. do you have any research what so ever to support your rant???? why cant a LOVING homosexual family be a stable bedrock? how is homosexuality ruining society?? you give me solid evidence to support this, both biblical and societal, and i will accept that i, as a lesbian, am a sinner. also, find me the bible verse where jesus says homosexuals are sinners. can you also explain to me the correlation between a mutual love between same sex couples and the rape of children?

  5. I apologize if this post is a duplicate — for some reason, my message keeps posting despite the fact that I did not hit the “Submit Comment” button.

    I am openly gay and am politically active. I am also proud of myself — specifically, I am proud of the fact that I retained my individuality and managed to survive in a world that is still openly hostile to gay men and lesbians. Just how hostile that world is, is manifest from the rabid diatribe written by “josephudo” — a diatribe so long that I skipped most of it, simply because I just don’t have the time to read reams and reams of homophobic propaganda.

    I knew, as a very young child, that I was different from other boys of my age. I did not know HOW I was different — however, I knew that I was different in a very fundamental manner. This did not go unnoticed — other boys of my age viewed me with considerable suspicion, and I soon realized that I would have a few very close friends in my life as opposed to a large number of friendly acquaintances.

    I was raised by a biological parent and by a step-parent. The latter figure recognized the manner in which I was different, and engaged in a campaign of psychological terrorism that lasted until I left home and went to college.

    It was only when puberty hit that I understood the precise nature of the difference between me and my friends. Whereas they lusted after girls, I found myself sexually attracted to them. This was embarrassing, and I would frequently change and unchange for physical education classes in a corner where nobody could see me (for reasons that I should not have to explain). This was not a matter of conscious moral choice; it was simply a facet of my emotional and psychological makeup, and remains as much a part of me as my height, skin color, eye color, or sex. I don’t need to read through the arrogant rubbish written by “josephudo” to know all of the arguments that have been made about gay sex being sinful, unnatural, etc. The bottom line is that I know that I am the way I am for reasons that I neither wish to control nor am able to control. In fact, I feel so strongly about this particular issue that if forced to choose between taking a magic pill that could transform me into a heterosexual or being executed, I would opt for the latter.

    My sexual orientation is a part of my psyche, and is as much a part of me as any physical feature. All the religious ranting in the world will not change this. It is because most major religions continue to condemn homosexuality that I reject not just the religions, but the very concept of organized religion itself.

    In other words, any effort to change me by spewing forth reams and reams of religious ravings is a waste of time that would be best spent doing something else.

    The California Supreme Court issued the decision that has provoked this firestorm of discussion in accordance with the relevant federal case law. In Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), the US Supreme Court held that any law of general application that was not written to target any particular religion or religious practice will not be declared unconstitutional merely because it has the incidental effect of burdening a particular religious activity or practice.

    The Court reached this decision after two Native Americans were denied unemployment insurance benefits because they had been fired for ingesting peyote (a hallucinogen) as part of a religious ritual. The majority decision was authored by none other than that darling of the hard right, Antonin Scalia.

    To quote from Scalia’s opinion: “Subsequent decisions have consistently held that the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes).”

    In other words, if a law is of general application (it applies to everybody) and if that law was not written for the purpose of targeting the practice of a religion (it is neutral), then that law will be upheld even if it has the incidental effect of burdening a particular religious practice.

    This makes perfect sense. There is a religious sect led by the late Rousas John Rushdoony (“Christian Reconstructionism”) whose followers believe that gay men and lesbians should be stoned to death. This sect’s “economist” (Gary North) has stated that stoning is an appropriate punishment because of its biblical roots, because it requires the participation of everybody involved in the “execution,” and because stones cost nothing and are easy to come by.

    We have state and federal laws against murdering people (most of these laws are state laws). Our system of criminal justice would not permit this defense to be raised by a person accused of participating in stoning a gay man to death.

    While many people have cursed Smith, this decision makes perfect sense. People cannot hide behind their religious beliefs and use them as a shield against criminal prosecution for murdering gay men, or murdering women who commit adultery; religious beliefs cannot be used as a “get out of jail free” card depending on the nature of the crime and the status of the victim in the eyes of the religion at issue. The criminal justice system would collapse into a shambles were it possible for defendants to assert religious exception defenses of this nature.

    It should be noted that the state supreme court followed Smith to the letter. The providers of artificial insemination services cannot declare themselves to be above the law simply because they do not approve of homosexuality. The State of California has a state statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, and access to places of public accommodation. This is a law of general application. It was not drafted to obstruct the exercise of a particular religious practice. It had the incidental effect of impairing the religious beliefs of the doctors concerned.

    In plain English — religion is not a shield that permits the believer to pick and choose which laws to follow and which laws to ignore.

    For a more expansive examination of this particular issue, please refer to http://gayequalityandthelaw.blogtownhall.com/default.aspx

    PHILIP CHANDLER

  6. Philip, I agree with you when you said, “religion is not a shield that permits the believer to pick and choose which laws to follow and which laws to ignore.”

    But, God’s laws are the standard which one must use to determine what is and what is not lawful.

  7. yhoshua writes:

    “But, God’s laws are the standard which one must use to determine what is and what is not lawful.”

    *********
    Response:
    *********

    Sorry, but in the US, the Constitution of the United States is the highest law of the land. That is simply the hard truth about our system of government. We do not live in a theocracy, in which people get to foist their interpretations of “God’s laws” onto unwilling people (including people who do not believe in God). We live in a diverse, pluralistic society in which many different people have many different beliefs. Some people are fundamentalist Christians. Some people are Muslims. Some people are Jewish. And some people are not at all religious, but have their own spiritual beliefs (I fall into this category).

    The Constitution was written so as to guarantee that people could live their lives according to their own religious beliefs, without forcing those beliefs onto other people who do not share those beliefs.

    PHILIP CHANDLER

  8. Philip,

    “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,” Psalm 24:1. Surely if God has ownership over everything, then His word stands supreme, even over the US Constitution. There is a higher law than that of the US, and it is by that standard (God’s standard) that everyone will be judged.

    Also, if the, “Constitution was written so as to guarantee that people could live their lives according to their own religious beliefs, without forcing those beliefs onto other people who do not share those beliefs.” Then the Christian doctors should be allowed to deny the gay and lesbian people unnecessary medical treatment as they would simply be living “their lives according to their religious beliefs.” The doctors are not asking the gay and lesbians to agree with their religious beliefs, they are simply wanting to live their lives in accordance with their religious beliefs.

  9. Have you actually READ the California Supreme Court decision? If you had done so, you would realize that the state supreme court based its decision on an interpretation of the US Constitution authored by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia — the darling of the hard right in legal circles. In Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith 494 U.S. 872 (1990), the US Supreme Court held that any law of general application that was NOT written in an attempt to target a particular religion, but which has the INCIDENTAL effect of infringing on a particular religious practice, will be upheld from constitutional attack. The California law that the California Supreme Court upheld in this context (the Unruh Civil Rights Act) is a law that applies to everybody (i.e., it is a law of general application) that was NOT written to target a particular religion, but which has the INCIDENTAL effect of forcing these “Christian” doctors to provide healthcare to gay and lesbian people on the same terms as is done for heterosexual people. Providing healthcare is not speech.

    This approach to the law is entirely logical. There are many men and women who believe that gay people should be stoned to death (see the Christian Reconstructionist movement, founded by the late Rousas John Rushdoony of Chalcedon). Laws against murder are laws of general application that are not written to target any specific religion, but they have the incidental effect of impairing the desired religious practices of Christian Reconstructionists. Should we allow these people to mount a free speech and religious freedom defense against murder charges if they stone gay men and lesbians to death?

    I draw your attention to the fact that the California Supreme Court did NOT rely upon a novel interpretation of the state constitution, or of the US Constitution, to arrive at this result. The state court relied upon Smith (supra), which was authored by Scalia. The point of upholding laws of this nature is to prevent people from picking and choosing which laws to follow based upon their religious beliefs. The plaintiff in this case was a woman who was denied health care on the same terms as heterosexuals, merely because she was a lesbian. The state has a legitimate interest in stamping out sexual orientation discrimination — in fact, it is the public policy of the State of California to eliminate “the cancer of discrimination” and to treat its gay citizens with the same respect as is shown to heterosexual citizens. This means that people have to obey laws that apply to everybody. The Unrug Civil Rights Act was not passed in an effort to target Christians and to hinder the practice of their religious beliefs; it was written to prevent discrimination from rearing its head in terms of access to employment, housing, and places of public accommodation (which reviewing courts have held includes providers of health care).

    I hope that this clarifies the issue.

    PHILIP CHANDLER

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s