Discrimination vs the Free Exercise of Religion

I have absolutely no issue whatsoever serving anyone, regardless of their race, religion, creed, age, gender, orientation, or belief. That’s one issue, the one involving discrimination.
 
I absolutely will not ever, however, allow any individual to force me to do, make, say, create, write, photograph, or otherwise use my skills and resources in a manner that violates the free exercise of my religion. That’s the second issue, the one involving our First Amendment.
 
Two separate issues. Two separate responses. Dear Media, liberals, Democrats, and others: Please STOP intentionally confusing the two.
 
There is a vast difference between refusing to serve customers because of discrimination and refusing to use one’s skills and resources to promote, exalt, or endorse a message that violates one’s free practice of their religion.
 
Liberals, mudstream media, and the Democrats refuse to consider the fact these are separate issues because they’re trying to use one issue — discrimination — to force artisans of all types into promoting behavior which violates their religious convictions.
 
Our First Amendment, however, very specifically protects those religious convictions where it states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.”
 
The free exercise of one’s religion usually requires its adherents to say, “No” to a great many things this world claims are OK and even glorifies. Indeed, our Ten Commandments contain 8 negatives and only 2 affirmations. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27
 
Our First Amendment protects our right to freely exercise our religion. Our religion specifically requires us to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world. Being forced to incorporate messages or images into our creative works violates the very foundations of our religion and as such our government is expressly forbidden from forcing that upon us.
 
I have absolutely no issue whatsoever serving anyone, regardless of their race, religion, creed, age, gender, orientation, or belief. That’s one issue, the one involving discrimination.
 
I absolutely will not ever, however, allow any individual to force me to do, make, say, create, write, photograph, or otherwise use my skills and resources in a manner that violates the free exercise of my religion. That’s the second issue, the one involving our First Amendment.
 

Two separate issues. Two separate responses. Dear Media, liberals, Democrats, and others: Please STOP intentionally confusing the two.

And Courts, stop allowing these lawsuits.  They’re both frivolous and injurious to the entire system of jurisprudence.

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Baker’s Right to Freely Exercise Religion

 
“In a 7-2 decision, the justices set aside a Colorado court ruling against the baker — while stopping short of deciding the broader issue of whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people.”
 
The issue here has absolutely nothing to do with refusing service to othersexuals. The maker said he’d bake them any other cake, and referred them to other bakers when they insisted on a gay wedding cake.
 
The issue at stake are the artisan’s First Amendment rights to freely practice their religion without being forced by government to violate their religious convictions: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.” – First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
 
Those who believe it’s OK to force people to violate their religious convictions should also agree it’s OK to force a Muslim to make pork sandwiches. What’s next?  Forcing Christian photographers to film gay consummation?  Absolutely not.  Professionals have always had the right to refuse to take on certain projects.
 
By the way, “7-2” is NOT a “narrow ruling.”
 
As a Christian, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever of serving anyone of any faith (or lack thereof), race, creed, gender, or sexual persuasion. As a Christian, however, I absolutely will NEVER make a sandwich, or a cake, that in any way exalts a behavior the Bible deems as sinful.
 
I’m very glad Jack Phillips got his day in court and his decision to honor God was upheld by the highest court in our land as being the right one.
 
“Justice Kennedy has held that tolerance is a two-way street, and Jack Phillips was not tolerated by the Civil Rights Commission of Colorado” “
 
Amen, and I sincerely hope this slap in the face serves as a wake-up call both to Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission as well as our State’s many wayward legislators.
 
It would behoove both liberal groups to remember “liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan joined the conservative justices in the outcome.”
 
In closing, well, Justice Kennedy said it best: “When the justices heard arguments in December, Kennedy was plainly bothered by certain comments by a commission member. The commissioner seemed “neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs,” Kennedy said in December.”
 
Again, there’s nothing wrong with serving those who believe differently than you. There’s EVERYTHING wrong with allowing one group to dictate what and how an artisan or craftsman creates, particularly if it violates the artisan’s or craftsman’s right to freely practice their religion as protected by our First Amendment.
 
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/04/supreme-court-sides-with-colorado-baker-who-refused-to-make-wedding-cake-for-same-sex-couple.html

The Necessity of Religious Freedom in a Democracy

Clayton Christensen, a professor at the Harvard School of Business, had the following to say about the incredible and vital necessity of religious freedom here in America:

Here’s the transcript:

Sometime ago, I had a conversation with a Marxist-Communist from China. He was coming to the end of a religious freedomFulbright Fellowship here in Boston. But I asked him if he had learned anything that was surprising or unexpected.

Without any hesitation, he said, “Yeah. I had no idea how critical religion is to the functioning of Democracy. The reason why Democracy works,” he said, “is not because the government was designed to oversee what everybody does, but rather Democracy works because most people, most of the time, voluntarily choose to obey the law. In your past, most Americans attended a church or synagog every week, and they were taught there by people who they respected.”

My friend went on to say that “Americans follow these rules because they had come to believe that they weren’t just accountable to society, they were accountable to God.”

My Chinese friend heightened a vague but nagging concern I’ve harbored inside, that as religion loses its influence over the lives of Americans, what will happen to our Democracy? Where are the institutions that are going to teach the next generation of Americans that they, too, need to voluntarily choose to obey the laws?

If you take away religion, you can’t hire enough police.

His observations bring up two related thoughts:

First, a number of recent studies in the field of criminal justice, often involving pairing video situations with polygraph and multiple-choice options have shown that many acts of violent crime involve criminals doing what they honestly believe to be the most appropriate response given the situation.  They know “the man” doesn’t like it, but they feel little remorse, and often significant satisfaction, about making choices and taking action along criminal lines.

Second, entire generations of Americans have been brought up outside the church.  This is now running into two, sometimes three generations deep.  Whether they’re “stuck” in the welfare system, protesting against Wall Street, rioting in Ferguson, or routinely engaged in criminal activity in American cities, many of them honestly believe they’re doing the right thing.  This has become their very heavily-entrenched world view.

Based on these two thoughts, I am reminded of a couple of occasions in the Bible where God told the Israelites to either take over a land occupied by an evil people or defend themselves against the attacks of an evil people.  In those situations, he treated them pretty much like he treated Sodom and Gomorrah, and instructed the Israelites to “kill them all, down to the last man, woman, and child.”

Did he say this because hated those with reprobate minds?  No.  How then could a righteous God kill entire civilizations?

Two reasons:  First, they were beyond redemption.  While there may have been some among them who were redeemable, God alone knew who they were and would deal with them appropriately at the bema seat.  Second, he wanted to protect his people, keep them from being brought down by the infiltration of an evil society and corrupted from within.

Our God isn’t merely righteous.  Above all else, he is holy.  He doesn’t cause the downfall of entire nations.  The people within those nations do it to themselves, by turning away from holy, righteous and loving principles of behavior which greatly enrich society as a whole.  When evil people embrace evil, they corrupt themselves and everyone around them.

In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, not one individual was righteous.  In the cases of other civilizations, only God knew if anyone was worthy of redemption.  If so, you can rest assured he took care of them.

All of the above, however, is why I have few qualms about capital punishment for clearly unrepentant or unrehabilitated repeat perpetrators of violent crime.

Let them swing.  Might serve as a reminder that the wages of sin is death.