A Senator from Wisconsin needs some remedial education on the Constitution:
Baldwin said she thinks that business owners, like those that own a bakery, should not be allowed to turn down serving homosexuals gay wedding cakes because of religious beliefs because businesses like that are not considered institutions of faith.
“Certainly the first amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. I don’t think it extends far beyond that. We’ve seen the set of arguments play out in issues such as access to contraception. Should it be the individual pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled, or in this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.”
Here is the relevant part of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Note that “institutions of faith” is not a qualifying aspect of this clause. The First Amendment, as with most of the rest of the Bill of Rights, deals with freedoms that are inherent to every individual. They are not rights that accrue only to a collective, whether a congregation, union, or other human organization. The freedoms enumerated by the Constitution represent statements of our sovereignty as human beings to exercise “inalienable rights” that are bestowed by our Creator — NOT by government. Furthermore, the Declaration of Independence asserts that when government becomes destructive towards these rights, it has forfeited its legitimacy, and the people have the right to “alter or abolish it.” Collectivists cannot abide this worldview, however. It stands in the way of their drive to homogenize humanity to the lowest common denominator. They do not want us to have the backbone or the precedent to say “I refuse to comply with this.”
As I said last week, this has never been about ‘tolerance.’ It is about compelling submission to an authority that has set itself against God and scripture. That is why there can be no “live and let live;” that is not enough for these activists. Speaking only for myself, the very root cause of my unease about the SCOTUS decision had little to do with gays actually pretending to get “married.” No, it was the fact I knew this would immediately be followed by attacks on religious freedom to dissent. Much of the world has become comfortable with compartmentalizing their life into boxes: work, school, family, church (if they attend). That is what Senator Baldwin reflects in her comments: the idea that one is free only to choose how to worship within a group, but that this does not carry over into allowing one’s beliefs to affect the workplace. The collectivists of Western society no longer understand, much less tolerate (I use that word deliberately) the idea of a faith that encompasses every area of one’s life.
Besides, it’s disingenuous even for the Senator to mumble some bland assurance about the prerogatives of religious ‘institutions.’ At least one gay couple is already suing the Church of England to force it to conduct a same-sex ceremony. Yes, that’s in another country — but the judiciary in the United States over the past 20+ years has shown increasing (and unConstitutional, I might add) interest in and deference to foreign jurisprudence. Closer to home, voices are already saying that in the wake of Friday’s ruling it’s time to get rid of churches’ tax-exempt status. The opening salvos in the next phase of the propaganda war are being fired.
Christian-owned businesses in the U.S. have been sued for not providing services to gay weddings. In most, if not all cases, the plaintiffs cannot claim there were no alternatives. This means the real motivation for the suit is to force, via legal gunpoint, participation in a celebration of something scripture calls an “abomination.” I predict it will not be long before a suit is brought against a U.S. church and/or clergy for refusing to perform a same-sex ceremony. We must all decide whether it is right to obey man rather than God. As each of us count the possible costs of standing for what we believe, it is useful to remember the words of Martin Luther:
I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.