-Arkansas Joins Indiana With Religious Freedom Bill
-It’s time for Tim Cook and Apple to stand up for homosexual rights in China
-CHINA CRACKDOWN ON MUSLIMS: Court jails man for six years for growing ‘illegal beard’ and his wife for two years for wearing Islamic ‘headbag’
-Let Them Eat Cake!
March 31st, 2015 By: Erick Erickson (Diary)
To recap: Tim Cook and the left are happy to do business in countries that stone to death or otherwise jail gay people, but will not do business with Indiana, which merely passed a law insisting that the “free exercise” clause of the first amendment be on the same legal footing in courts as the “free speech” clause of the first amendment.
The Supreme Court, in Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37 (1983), ruled that for a state to restrict content based speech, it must have a compelling governmental interest. But the Court subsequently ruled that the free exercise clause, also in the First Amendment, need not fall under the compelling governmental interest” standard. President Bill Clinton and a near unanimous Congress disagreed and passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
31 states similarly moved to protect religious practice and 20 have explicit copies of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Indiana is the latest. Georgia’s Governor, Nathan Deal, just tucked tail and ran from putting religious expression on the same legal footing as speech. The cowards of the Georgia Republican Party decided they would rather serve Mamon and have the checks to prove it.
What we are learning in the controversy, though, is simple: you will be made to care. There will be no middle ground. Many people would like to find middle ground. Many churches would like to find middle ground. But there will be none because homosexuals and their culture war warriors on the left are unwilling to have a middle ground.
The gay rights movement has decided their rights are equivalent to the Civil Rights movement and, through their interpretation of the Civl Rights movement, there can be no accommodation with the “free exercise” clause of the First Amendment. The “free exercise” clause is not limited to worship. It is “free exercise of religion.” It applies, or should, to the business owner who views his job as missional. It applies, or it should, to the religious school whose faculty honor the tenets of its faith. But the left, in recent years, has taken to calling it a “right to worship” instead of a “right to religion.”
The gay rights movement cannot abide a middle ground and a free exercise of religion for a simple reason — homosexuality is not normal in nature, in historic relationships, or in the sacred texts of almost all religions. The gay rights movement must therefore censor and subjugate dissent. Any who point out the lack of historic or religious acceptance or the lack of its ready existence in nature or, for that matter, the lack of scientific evidence showing homosexuality is a birth trait as opposed to a choice or external factors, must be shut up.
Homosexuals and the gay rights movement crave not tolerance, but the veneer of normalcy. To tolerate them means to allow them to be. But that also equates to heterosexuals being in a better position — one that decides who to tolerate. They have moved to demanding “equality” for now.
You can generally look at a woman or a person of a different race and tell immediately that the person is a woman or of a different race or ethnicity. One does not need a rainbow sticker on the back of their car to let people know they’re black. Or Asian. Or a Woman. The struggle for equality and civil rights between genders and races is inherently and objectively different from the gay rights movement. It is also why the gay rights movement is so invested in arguing that gender, though not sexuality, is a choice.
The gay agenda depends on equating the various struggles. Through mythology [insert your favorite historic person and he’ll probably be declared gay], pseudoscience [you’re born gay, but you pick your gender], and organized harassment of critics, the gay rights movement silences dissent to establish legitimacy in their quest for normalcy. The Stonewall riots are their Selma. Pay no attention to the lack of dogs in the street, poll taxes at the voting booth, and “heterosexual only” water fountains.
In Macon, Georgia, a Catholic School was okay with a gay band teacher until he wanted to get married. The Catholic Church views marriage as a church sacrament. The school dismisses teachers who get divorced for violating the sacrament and dismissed the gay band teacher for marrying in violation of the sacrament. The Obama Administration has decided the Catholic Church cannot set the standards of conduct for its faculty.
Around the country, gay rights activists have attacked Christians for daring to put their faith ahead of the wants and desires of homosexual marriage advocates. The Christians must be silenced and punished. Their faith cannot be respected. Legislation designed to allow diversity of religion and the free exercise thereof must be stopped and must be decried as discrimination.
The move to put “free exercise” on the same footing with “free speech” must be opposed because most major faiths recognize homosexuality as outside normal behavior. The logical outcome of this will eventually be to reduce free speech. People and faiths are going to have to be shut up for homosexuals to have the veneer of normalcy.
But it won’t stop there. Over time, the gay rights movement will move to pushing churches to marry gays because normally people get married in churches. Over time, it will move to push religious schools to abandon standards on sexuality. Over time, it will mean religious institutions lose their tax exempt status. Over time, it will require Bible believing churches be labeled hate groups and orthodox Christianity be forced to the sidelines. Over time, it will mean that the state must intervene and protect children from parents who want to raise them as orthodox Bible believing Christians.
Essentially, replacing the prohibition on religious tests clause of the Constitution will become an enforcement of a secularism clause. People of faith need not apply for jobs, political appointments, or elected office. People of faith will be the new bigots because their God said “go and sin no more” and dared list homosexuality as one of those sins.
Ultimately, over time, two thousand years of Christianity will be forced to be treated as the deviant lifestyle. You will be forced to pick a side. If you remain true to your God, you will be outside the bounds of acceptable conduct. You will be made to care.
If you pick the wrong side, you will be punished. Gay rights activists cannot show you tolerance and cannot treat you equally, because that means you and your faith that suggests homosexuality is a sin would be allowed to remain in the public square. And in the quest for the veneer for normalcy, that cannot stand.
For any who suggest this is hyperbole, a college is having its accreditation threatened because of its religious views on sex and a seventy year old is losing her home and business because she did not want to provide flowers to existing, regular customers for a gay wedding.
The good news, however, is this — Christianity is growing worldwide, even in places like China and Saudi Arabia. People of faith continue to have more kids and, in fact, can actually naturally procreate. The gay rights agenda may demand the veneer of normalcy, but nature itself will deny the gay community natural reproduction. And the religion that withstood Nero and even now withstands ISIS can withstand a bunch of angry people in comfortable shoes who need stickers on their cars to tell us who they are.
The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.
It’s time for Tim Cook and Apple to stand up for homosexual rights in China
March 31st, 2015 By: Neil Stevens (Diary)
Tim Cook has become a vocal activist in recent years, taking his role in charge of Apple and using to promote his personal point of view on issues. He’s using that role to attack the state of Indiana for a political decision he disagreed with. However Indiana (population 6.5 million) is small potatoes. The fact that they don’t have a law specifically banning discrimination against homosexuals is nothing.
The People’s Republic of China (population 1,350 million) is a major manufacturing hub of Apple’s, also has no law protecting homosexuals specifically from discrimination, but further is arresting homosexual activists. It’s time Apple stood up to China the same as Indiana.
Not only is the Chinese government arresting activists, people who like Tim Cook himself are promoting their point of view, they’re also censoring the Internet to block people from learning about these arrests.
And yet Foxconn is making 70% of all iPhone 6 phones as well as an unknown percentage of iPhone 6S units. Foxconn has more manufacturing plants in the People’s Republic of China than in any other country.
Further, Apple does big business selling in China selling hardware, running Apple Stores (18 in China vs 2 in Indiana), as well as buying parts and products for other parts of the firm’s line. Apple is fully integrated with the People’s Republic of China, an entire country which omits the same protections Indiana is supposed to be omitting.
So if Apple, and specifically Tim Cook, are serious about using this soapbox to stand up for homosexual rights, then it’s time to get as active about the People’s Republic of China, as they are about Indiana. Speak out just as loudly, and if any economic threats are made, they must be applied equally to both.
Anything less discredits their position.
CHINA CRACKDOWN ON MUSLIMS: Court jails man for six years for growing ‘illegal beard’ and his wife for two years for wearing Islamic ‘headbag’
March 30, 2015
A court in China’s volatile Uighur Muslim region of Xinjiang has sentenced a man to six years in prison for ‘provoking trouble’ by growing a Muslim-style beard, a practice discouraged by local authorities. The man’s wife was also given a two-year prison sentence for disobeying the ‘NO Headbag’ rule.
A delegate from the Xinjiang provincial delegation is seen before the start of their meeting with representatives from the National People’s Congress in Beijing
Tribune The law in the predominantly Muslim region comes as Beijing intensifies a campaign against religious extremism that it blames for the violence by Uighur Muslims that has left hundreds of Chinese dead in the past 20 months.
In August, the northern Xinjiang city of Karamay announced that young men with beards and women in burqas or hijabs would not be allowed on public buses.
The man “had started growing his beard in 2010″ while his wife “wore a veil hiding her face and a burqa”, the paper said. For more than a year the authorities in Xinjiang have been campaigning against men growing beards – a practice officials associate with extremist ideas.
A campaign dubbed “Project Beauty” also encourages women to leave their heads bare and abandon wearing the veil, a relatively widespread practice among the Uighurs – the main Muslim ethnic group in Xinjiang.
The Kashgar couple had “received several warnings” before being charged, the newspaper reported, citing local officials. “Since the beginning of the year, a certain number of people breaking the regulation on beards, veils and burqas have been prosecuted and sentenced,” officials in Kashgar were quoted as saying by the paper.
Violence increased last year and at least 200 people were killed in a series of bombings and deadly clashes with security forces, blamed by Beijing on “separatists” and “religious extremists”.
In April last year authorities in Xinjiang’s Shaya county offered cash to informants to report on neighbours with excessive facial hair. China has also made it difficult for certain Muslim groups to observe the month of Ramadan fast.
Let Them Eat Cake!
Why Bless Their Hearts! I’ll Make Them A Cake
March 31st, 2015 By: Repair_Man_Jack (Diary)
We will all be made to care. Compassion; is now compulsory. You are not allowed to fight your wars against Westasia when Big Brother tells you to fight Eastasia or Eurasia. So if you own a bakery, you are free to believe anything you would like about gay couples. However, if a gay couple orders a wedding cake, you will bake it. You will render unto Caesar and he has a fwend in Wome named Biggus Dickus…
So what would Jesus do? The American Digest offers us a suggestion, but that would be too mean. Instead, make like the pwoud Woman Centuwion Naughtious Maximus and bake them a cake that you truly believe reflects the nature of their unconditional mandate to your business.
Now should they be upset, or lodge any complaints, you could plead ignorance. You should, of course, apologize profusely. Don’t let the slightest lilt of sardonic irony creep into your voice. Why bless their hearts! You simply misunderstood. Offer them a complete refund with no hard feelings. If they don’t accept that, bake them yet another cake. Something that reflects young ones, in the spring of their lives.
If that fails to adequately send them running off screaming into the woods, then you bake them a nice, traditional cake that has a gentleman and a lady right on the top. If they seem perturbed, nonplussed or otherwise upset, clarify your confusion. Apologize again and explain you were led to believe that this cake was for a marriage ceremony. You know, the union of one man and one woman. By this time, they should get the point. After all, passive resistance worked wonders for both Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Free Market is Only for People Who Have Self-Worth
March 31st, 2015 By: Leon H. Wolf (Diary)
I’ve been watching over this controversy over the Indiana RFRA with no small amount of genuine amazement. I legitimately cannot relate to the arguments that the opponents of the law are making. The reasons for that are simple: I believe that I have inherent worth and that my spending dollars, earned with my labor, should not be voluntarily given to people who disrespect my sense of self-worth. Let me explain.
My own thoughts on the subject of same-sex marriage are relatively clear at this point and if I personally owned the sort of business that catered to people who were getting married, I would have no problem at all providing that service for a same-sex marriage. I strongly oppose any judicially imposed redefinition of marriage for the reasons set forth by my friend Thomas Crown, and believe that supporters of SSM should pursue victory at the ballot box, where this particular fight belongs.
I don’t think that people who disagree with me on this point are bigots or hateful people. There are some people who just don’t get the concept of following the precepts of their religion, wherever that might take them and however hard or unpopular that might be. However, let’s grant the (false) assumption that the people who don’t want to, say bake cakes for same sex weddings are bigoted people who hate everyone who is gay. Fine.
All that having been said, it’s worth remembering what this particular fight is about. This fight is not about discrimination in the workplace, under the law, or through access to public facilities. This is a fight about forcing people to accept your money who don’t want to take it. And that’s something I can’t even comprehend.
Throughout the few years I have lived on this earth I have had occasion to feel disrespected by any number of companies. And I’m not even talking about being told “We don’t serve your kind here.” I’m talking, companies that have missed appointments with me (looking at you, Comcast), companies whose employees have failed to return phone calls in what I considered to be a timely fashion, companies in which their sales people refuse to pick up the phone when you call (looking at you, Best Buy), companies who fail to hire enough employees to get me through a checkout line in less than 10 minutes (looking at you, Wal Mart), companies that broke promises their customer service people made to me, and so on and so on.
Look, the great thing about America and the free market is that there are an almost infinite number of companies that will compete for your business in all sorts of ways, almost none of which are about price. As a person possessed of self-worth, I take pleasure in not spending my hard earned money with a company that tells me – even in subtle ways – that my money or my time is not valuable to them, and instead giving it to companies who make an effort to win my businesses that provide good service.
Moreover, if a company held some bigoted beliefs against me or others like me, I would prefer that they be permitted to state it openly on their storefront so that I don’t mistakenly freely give my money to people who hate me.
I can’t for a moment wrap my mind around the mindset of the SSM activists in this case, especially the gay ones. Assume that they are successful in this fight and it becomes illegal to refuse to provide given services on this basis. That won’t, contrary to their expectations, change anyone’s religious beliefs, so people who they consider to be bigoted and hateful will still be bigoted and hateful.
Under a RFRA regime, there might be two bakers in a given town who could provide cakes for weddings – one with religious objections to providing them for a same-sex marriage, the other without. If a gay couple wanted to get married, they might unknowingly walk into the first and promptly be informed that the people therein held beliefs they considered to be bigoted towards them – in which case they would promptly go to the other baker who would presumably become more prosperous thereby.
Under the regime the anti-RFRA people are pushing, the first baker still holds the same beliefs and attitudes toward the gay couple and their wedding but now they are essentially prevented from refusing money and business which means that the gay couple might well order a cake from them and unwittingly enrich the business of bigots, which might well have the effect of prolonging the business’s life at the expense of the “tolerant” baker down the road.
For most of us, money is not free. It is purchased with work, and with time away from our families, loved ones, hobbies, and recreational time. The way that the free market works is that people of self-worth mold the business community and the market by valuing their money, effort, and time enough to not force it upon people who don’t want it. Given sufficient time, the market responds to these forces and changes in business culture take hold.
What the anti-RFRA people are doing will almost certainly have a distorting effect on the marketplace that will not change hearts and minds, will breed resentment, and will fail in its ultimate goal: revenge upon the religious for perceived historical persecution of gays. The real revenge here would be for those businesses who wish to not participate in SSM to diminish or go out of business through market pressure, to the benefit of “tolerant” bakeries/photographers/whatever. Instead the RFRA opponents are seeking to remove any market benefit from being geniunely tolerant and inclusive by forcing tolerance and inclusivity at the point of a gun. And thus everyone is equal in the marketplace, the “bigots” and the “tolerant” alike.
The fight against the RFRA is one of the worst examples of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face I have ever seen. And it is undertaken by those who, obviously, don’t have much regard for the value of their face.
Arkansas Joins Indiana With Religious Freedom Bill
3.31.15 by Peter Malcolm
On Tuesday, Arkansas legislators, ignoring the deafening cry from LGBT supporters against Indiana’s religious freedom law, finished approving their own version of a similar bill. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has already indicated that he would sign the bill once it was sent to him, and with the 67-21 vote approving the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the Arkansas House, Hutchinson will get his chance. The Arkansas Senate already has approved the bill.
Hutchinson told KARK that the bill represents an effort to balance religious freedom and equal protection of the law, saying bluntly, “This bill tries to do that, and it’s not that complicated.”
The hue and cry over the religious freedom bill in Indiana prompted the governors of New York, Connecticut and Washington to curtail some government travel to Indiana. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy blustered, “They knew what they were doing. They were going to make it legal to refuse to serve gay men and women. Somebody has to call them on it.” Resorting to typical Democrat name calling, he said of Indiana Governor Mike Pence on MSNBC, “When you see a bigot, you have to call him on it.”
The Arkansas bill states: “The Arkansas Constitution recognizes the free exercise of religion; Laws neutral toward religion have the same potential to burden religious exercise as laws purposely intended to interfere with religious exercise; Governments should not substantially burden the free exercise of religion without compelling justification.”
The bill justified its necessity, asserting:
In City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), the United States Supreme Court held that the protections of religious exercise afforded by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, only applied to religious exercise burdened by federal law or agencies and provided no protection from burdens on religious exercise from state or local law or governments; to provide the same level of protection from burdens on religious exercise from state or local governments, a state must enact an equivalent to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, that was passed by Congress.