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Put It All Together…

The news connected with same-sex marriage and its various subplots seems to develop more quickly than it can be responded to.

You probably know by now that A&E has suspended Phil Robertson, one of the stars of its most successful show ever, Duck Dynasty, over comments he made about homosexuality to GQ Magazine.

In a related local story, Eastside Catholic High School dismissed its vice-principle for violating church teaching and his contract after they became aware that he had become part of a same-sex “marriage”.

Both stories were met with outrage.

People came to Robertson’s defense, not simply because they share his perspective, though many do, but because they believe America should still be a place where people can disagree openly without fear of retribution.

At Eastside Catholic, students walked out in protest and were reportedly chanting “Change the Church”.

Regardless, the result was that people on different sides of a controversial issue were protesting for similar reasons. They felt someone was dismissed from their job for reasons that were unjust.

But there are key differences as well.

The most obvious difference is that one involves a church and the other a TV station. That is legally significant.

But the most significant difference lies in how each side is likely to engage this issue over time.

Those protesting A&E don’t like the decision to suspend Robertson.  Many are likely fans of the show, but many are concerned about the growing number of cases involving people who have had their livelihood interfered with because of their beliefs about marriage.

Perhaps they’ll stop watching A&E or make a phone call, but so far I have not heard anyone argue that A&E shouldn’t be able to suspend or fire people who say things they dislike. They just want to mobilize public opinion in such a way that they’re discouraged from doing so.

The left, on the other hand, employs different tactics.  They have shown a repeated willingness to not simply leverage public opinion to encourage people in a certain direction, but to leverage the law to punish anyone who don’t move quickly enough; particularly when the issue involves homosexuality or same-sex “marriage”.

They’re suing floristsfining photographers, shutting down the businesses of bakeries, reprimanding judges all because they don’t feel comfortable being part of same-sex “wedding” ceremonies.

Sadly, the left and the right can be distinguished not simply by their differing perspective on a number of issues but also by their  willingness to use police powers rather than persuasion to achieve the desired outcome.   That wasn’t always the case. Liberals used to be liberal.

It’s true that the law gives religious institutions more latitude than secular institutions to make decisions about issues like homosexuality that are consistent with their churches teaching.   Churches can hire and fire in ways that tire stores cannot…for now.

But we should be concerned with how long they will tolerate these ghettos of hate.

The New Mexico Supreme Court, in upholding a $6,600 fine against a photographer who did not want to take pictures of a same-sex commitment ceremony, said that being forced to do things that violate your conscience is the “price of citizenship.”

Meanwhile, the homosexual lobby is evolving.  They are apparently theologians in addition to being advocates.

In their statement responding to Robertson’s comments, the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said “Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe.”

As silly as that statement is, it is important because it speaks to their state of mind.  It would appear that for them, people opposed to homosexuality on religious grounds aren’t actually exercising religion because that’s not true Christianity.  So what’s the harm in restricting the practice of that “fake, bigoted religion”?

Put it all together and you have a group chanting “Change the Church” that forces people to violate their conscience is the “price of citizenship” and believes it is in the position to dictate what “true Christians” believe.

In fact, just today a same-sex “marriage” bill in New Jersey is being stalled by its supporters because it contains language protecting religious freedom.

Perhaps this all sounds a bit conspiratorial.  One story from here, another story from there, all designed to paint the picture that the sky is falling.  I get it.  I’m generally inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt as well.  But ask yourself, when was the last time you were pleasantly surprised to see the gay lobby decline to take away someone’s freedom to do something they don’t like when they had the chance?

I can’t think of anything either.  Sure, there are refreshing individual exceptions, but this is not a movement that has built itself by putting up with diverse perspectives.

If they didn’t have so much political influence we would simply call them “misguided”.  But since they do, they test our resolve to be free people.

Your contribute of $5 or more will help us protect conscience rights and religious freedom in Washington.

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