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AG’s religious objection order undercuts LGBT protections

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds up a rainbow flag with "LGBTs for TRUMP" written on it at a campaign rally in Greeley, Colo., on Oct. 30, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlo Allegri

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an order that undercuts federal protections for LGBT people, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a sweeping directive to agencies Friday (Oct. 6) to do as much as possible to accommodate those who claim their religious freedoms are being violated.

The guidance, an attempt to deliver on President Trump’s pledge to his evangelical supporters that he would protect religious liberties, effectively lifts a burden from religious objectors to prove that their beliefs about marriage or other topics are sincerely held.

Under the new policy, a claim of a violation of religious freedom would be enough to override many anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, women and others. The guidelines are so sweeping that experts on religious liberty are calling them a legal powder keg that could prompt wide-ranging lawsuits against the government.

“This is putting the world on notice: You better take these claims seriously,” said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “This is a signal to the rest of these agencies to rethink the protections they have put in place on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Trump announced plans for the directive last May in a Rose Garden ceremony where he was surrounded by religious leaders. Since then, religious conservatives have anxiously awaited the Justice Department guidance, hoping for greatly strengthened protections for their beliefs amid the rapid acceptance of LGBT rights.

Religious liberty experts said they would have to see how the guidance would be applied by individual agencies, both in crafting regulations and deciding how to enforce them. But experts said the directive clearly tilted the balance very far in favor of people of faith who do not want to recognize same-sex marriage.

“Except in the narrowest circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law,” Sessions wrote. “To the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance and practice should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity.”

The document lays the groundwork for legal positions that the Trump administration intends to take in future religious freedom cases, envisioning sweeping protections for faith-based beliefs and practices in private workplaces, at government jobs and even in prisons.

In issuing the memo, Sessions, a Methodist from Alabama, is injecting the department into a thicket of highly charged legal questions that have repeatedly reached the U.S. Supreme Court, most notably in the 2014 Hobby Lobby case that said corporations with religious objections could opt out of a health law requirement to cover contraceptives for women.

The memo makes clear the Justice Department’s support of that opinion in noting that the primary religious freedom law — the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 — protects the rights not only of people to worship as they choose but also of corporations, companies and private firms.

The document also says the government improperly infringes on individuals’ religious liberty by banning an aspect of their practice or by forcing them to take an action that contradicts their faith. As an example, Justice Department lawyers say government efforts to require employers to provide contraceptives to their workers “substantially burdens their religious practice.”

The document also calls into question the Johnson Amendment, which bars churches and tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates. Trump in May signed an executive order aimed at weakening the enforcement of that law, which he has said penalizes people for protected religious belief.

The Justice Department, in the document, says the Internal Revenue Service may not enforce the Johnson Amendment “against a religious non-profit organization under circumstances in which it would not enforce the amendment against a secular non-profit organization.”

The department’s civil rights division will now be involved in reviewing all agency actions to make sure they don’t conflict with federal law regarding religious liberty.

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By Eric Gorski/ The Associated Press

109 Comments

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  • This is good news. Children and parents should not be forced to condone and embrace gay marriage, pornography, adultery, prostitution, fornication and other forms of sexual immorality. Hopefully, this Attorney General’s order will stop federal agencies from punishing ordinary citizens who uphold traditional moral values.

  • It’s good stuff, that’s for sure. Hopefully Christians will study this AG order, and make good use of it, while they have this opportunity.

  • “This is putting the world on notice: You better take these claims seriously. . . ” So we are finally going to start taking religious claims seriously. I am sure the Satanic Temple is looking forward to it.

  • Yet children are FORCED to condone adultery going UNPUNISHED on a daily basis. 21 states have laws against adultery yet NONE prosecute these criminals. Why is this?

    What are traditional moral values anyway?

  • I didn’t serve and sacrifice my body to allow a bunch of power greedy bible clutchers to determine who should be treated as second class citizens.

    If it’s the goal of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to establish these United States as a Christian hegemony, I suggest he begin with clearing out EVERY elected representative and appointee who has more that one living spouse.

  • “… a claim of a violation of religious freedom would be enough to override many anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, women and others. ”

    Do you agree with Anthony Comstock?
    Should Griswold v. Connecticut be reversed?

    Have you ever been to a country where women are allowed only one day a week to conduct business in a market? Master Sessions’ stripping protection from women based on religious freedom is a step in that direction.

  • All I can say, religious dominionists, is to be careful of what you wish for. You may get it, and I don’t think you’re going to like it all that much.

  • Do you mean like embracing 2Rump’s third marriage– fornication and adultery, I believe is the biblical standard that applies– to a woman whose pictures doing soft-core lesbian porn are available to any child who wants to google it?

  • I’m sitting here imagining man modern court rooms looking the set of Inherit The Wind.
    Gonna be a lot of Spencer Tracys if this gains a larger foothold.

  • Picture a playground where one group of kids are blasting another for following an inferior brand of religion. I’ve seen it happen in my youth.

  • “But experts said the directive clearly tilted the balance very far in
    favor of people of faith *FAITH who do not want to recognize same-sex marriage.”

    Except in the narrowest circumstances, no one should be forced to choose
    between living out his or her faith *FAITH and complying with the law.”

    “The document lays the groundwork for legal positions that the Trump
    administration intends to take in future religious freedom cases,
    envisioning sweeping protections for faith *FAITH-based beliefs and practices
    in private workplaces, at government jobs and even in prisons.”

    “The document also says the government improperly infringes on
    individuals’ religious liberty by banning an aspect of their practice or
    by forcing them to take an action that contradicts their faith *FAITH.”

    *FAITH: Foolishly Accepting Ignominious Theological Hogwash.

  • “This is putting the world on notice: You better take these claims seriously,” said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Why? Simply because people advancing these claims SAY the claims are serious? Because, as the Supreme Court decided in Hobby Lobby, it doesn’t matter if the claims have any substantial merit, but the people offering them are sincere about the religious belief that underlies the claims?

    I heard that same argument growing up in the South during the Civil Rights period, and it was ruled illicit — for very good reasons. It was decided that people could quote the bible till they were blue in the face to support their denial of rights to people of color.

    But their sincerity and their religious belief did not make this behavior valid or respectable.

  • An always appropriate warning, of course. But after 8 years of Obama’s successful fanaticism, and some none-too-subtle hints as to how the legal and political landscape would change under Queen Hillary’s worldviews, it’s clear that American Christians don’t have anything left to lose anyway.

    So ANYTHING regarding religious freedom that we Christians can get during Trump’s brief years in office, is a mercy and a blessing. We Christians already know that it will be 100 Percent Revenge Time when the Democrats re-take the White House. Trump is just a small unexpected last-chance breather, before the hammer falls.

  • The SCOTUS has already acknowledged in Obergefell that the belief in the wrongness of homosexual behavior is rooted in “decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises.”

  • Was that in the majority or the minority opinion?
    And since it is strictly a religious opinion, a theocratic concern, why should it have any reference at all? It’s a sin against god not to believe that Jesus died for your sins, and yet we don’t call discriminatory behavior directed at religious minorities “decent and honorable.”

  • So was belief in slavery for millennia.

    Saying that something was long rooted in “decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises” is no kind of argument at all for the morality of a belief or practice. It has long been considered decent and honorable religious practice to subjugate women to men.

    It was long considered decent and honorable Christian religious practice to burn witches and so-called heretics and Jews.

    Why is homosexuality, which is not even mentioned in the Jewish and Christian scriptures, a special case?

  • That was Justice Kennedy writing for the majority and he also said after that statement that sincere, personal opposition cannot be enacted into law and public policy without doing serious harm to gay & lesbian couples and violating the 14th amendment.

    It’s interesting how Evangelical Christianists not only prooftext scripture, they also prooftext court decisions!

  • Granted, but this wasn’t Trump, this was his Attorney General. Trump is too stupid to do anything more than scrawl his mark on these documents.

  • You can think anything you want about the rightness or wrongness of a belief. The point is that the court was acknowledging that the belief is legitimate and valid in light of scripture and church history and tradition, and not personal “bigotry hiding behind religious” or somesuch nonsense, or something individually concocted out of thin air for personal and non-religious purposes (such as the much-made-of “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster”). “Substantial merit” is simply not at issue.

    While the SCOTUS could go either way on these issues, it sounds suspiciously as if the court in Obergefell were laying the predicate for the kind of balancing of rights and interests that it performed in Wisconsin vs Yoder. I personally don’t find it moral to deprive children of a high school education (and neither did Justice Douglas, according to his dissent), but of course that is in no way determinative of whether and to what extent the state should be allowed to interfere in religious exercise.

    Slavery, btw, was ended by constitutional amendment, not by a court deciding it wasn’t moral.

  • They said the belief that homosexual behavior “should not be condoned” has decent and honorable roots, and was not being disparaged by the court’s decision.

  • People tend to scoff at anecdotal evidence…yet in some measure it remains evidence. A co-worker’s wife works for the FAA here in Oregon, she was put on notice by her superiors’ that a pro-life bumper sticker on the back of her car would be grounds for discipline if it were not removed while parked in the agency’s lot.. She did so under protest. This strikes me as extremely coercive and not consistent with 1st Amendment freedoms which are not sundered by employment with the government. Such instances may not resonate as well, or get the media play of reproductive choice and gay marriage, but it is a more than subtle reminder of the outright governmental hostility…not neutrality, that people of faith experience.

  • “We KKKristians?” Many of you “believers” are living lives of utter ignorance and confusion. Know what I mean? I mean really. You HAVE NEVER “heard, spoken to, or seen” YOUR savior…this is a FACT!! And, IF you HONESTLY would be willing to LIE to yourself, to such a degree that you somehow are convinced, and then WANT TO convince others, that your “faith,” (yours) PROVES what? JACK…as far as truth and reality are concerned…I am afraid you are MAJOR ignorant and lost. And LACKEYS…that are being used and abused for CENTURIES. Scary. Some call that delusional. And you people have the audacity to be arrogant enough to JUDGE others?
    SERIOUS mental issues… MANY of you. To be so arrogant and deluded, to base your ENTIRE EXISTENCE on….?

    WTF?

    Come to terms with this FACT first…before you pick on some gays you never met, nor ever will.

    This “higher power,” savior, “died for sins,” etc. etc. NONSENSE…really needs to get a grip. Remember “the truth shall set you free.” It appears you are in bondage…Sad.

  • “The point is that the court was acknowledging that the belief is legitimate and valid in light of scripture and church history and tradition, and not personal ‘bigotry hiding behind religious’ or somesuch nonsense.”

    Just as the Supreme Court did for ever so long with slavery, a practice people justified by citing scripture and religious belief.

    People cited scripture and religious belief as they burned “witches” to death, tortured “heretics,” and conducted pogroms against Jews. Citing “legitimate and valid” religious belief is simply no kind of moral argument for a pracitce — as history has shown us over and over again — Supreme Court or no Supreme Court.

  • Okay. Let me to ask you to explain how that last paragraph works. It’s a total non-sequitur you’ve got there, and you gotta clean it up somehow. We all get to shop at Wal-Mart every day if we got the money; it’s that simple. I don’t think Sessions is repealing that.

    Meanwhile, religious freedom is written in the very fabric of the Constitution, the Bill or Rights. It’s why the government can’t force Jehovah’s Witnesses to say the pledge of allegiance. You cannot, and should not, be forced to participate in activities that clearly oppose your chosen religion. All Sessions is doing, is trying to protect constitutional religious freedom to the best of his ability.

  • I don’t believe the SCOTUS ever issued any opinion concerning the legitimacy of slavery within historical religious belief OR its morality. All its pronouncements re slavery were built upon its undeniable legitimacy under the original constitution, the supreme law of the land, which is why that constitution’s amendment was ultimately required.

    The morality of law is not within the purview of the judicial branch but of the legislature.

  • “The morality of law is not within the purview of the judicial branch but of the legislature.”

    And yet, you keep quoting a passage that says precisely the opposite.

    In 1964, when Justice Leon Bazile issued his infamous ruling in the criminal miscegenation case against Richard and Mildred Loving, he stated, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    If that’s not the judicial branch issuing a statement about the morality of law — with explicit religious undergirding — I’ll eat my hat.

  • I’m still trying to figure this out. How does one prove they are homosexual in public? I know by sight what a man and a woman looks like and I know what different races look like but how does one know what a homosexual looks like?

  • So did witch burning and Jew hatred. Lots of decent and honorable people condoned both, until they realized it wasn’t actually decent and honorable.

    As always, the issue for me is you can believe whatever you want. But put your purely theological concerns into civil law, and use them to make my life difficult, dangerous, unpleasant, expensive, and lots of other things that have been done to gay people for 2000 years, and you can expect a fight.

  • And I believe the law Bazile was so defending was overturned.

    Much has been made of Bazile’s words in that case, but he was really only issuing a personal opinion dressed in religious language to achieve the result he wanted. Support for miscegenation laws are nowhere to be found in scripture, nor were they enacted anywhere or at any time in the Christian western world except for 18th and 19th century America. And don’t think for a minute that the justices who overturned those laws didn’t know that, although they didn’t claim it as part of their reasoning process.

  • So, back in the day, when Jim Crow was being touted as sincere religious belief, you were ok with that?

  • Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. You cannot simultaneously advance a Supreme Court text applauding a position that rests on “decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises,” and then turn around and claim that “the morality of law is not within the purview of the judicial branch.”

    This does not compute. You cannot be credible and advance two diametrically opposed argument at the same time.

    Your ultimate argument is, of course, that simply because some people, citing religious belief and moral principles, have long attacked homosexuals, their attacks must rest on some sound basis — because what has long been believed and held religiously must be honorable.

    People long thought that slavery was morally acceptable.

    People have long subjugated women to men, citing religious and moral tradition.

    People long killed “witches,” citing longstanding religious tradition and moral principles.

    People long attacked Jews and “heretics,” spouting bible verses long held as a sound basis for such ugly, immoral behavior.

    Citing sincere religious belief and long-held religious tradition is no kind of argument for the “right” of people to discriminate against LGBTQ human beings as the chant bible verses — even when those verses are mirrored in judicial rulings, as they have been in all sorts of cases in the U.S. judiciary for many years.

  • “Support for miscegenation laws are nowhere to be found in scripture, nor were they enacted anywhere or at any time in the Christian western world except for 18th and 19th century America.”

    This is simply not true, by the way. The biblical text about the so-called curse of Ham in Genesis 9:20-27 was cited as a basis for forbidding miscegenation and propping up white supremacy from the time Western nations from the Reformation period forward. See David Whitford’s historical study of how this text has long been used for those ugly purposes.

  • Actually, she can advance contradictory interpretations. It what she does.

    Christianity is responsible for our society. But not for the bad stuff, only the good stuff.

    There is no scriptural justification for all of the evil Christianity has done, except for the people who said there absolutely was. Chapter and verse.

    As I always say, don’t tell me that Christianity doesn’t justify the evils it has committed. Tell the people who cited their faith that.

  • I’m afraid there is no curse of Ham to be found anywhere in the Bible. The curse was upon Ham’s youngest son, Canaan, progenitor of the people who preceded the Israelites in the holy land and were rejected by God for their immorality.

  • Mr. Jim Crow wanted to force us blacks to do things HIS way, under penalty of law. Forcing black families & individuals to participate in a horrific system that was clearly opposed in Genesis, the Old Testament, the words of Jesus, and the New Testament.

    But Mr. Jim Crow is long gone. He’s been replaced by the new kid on the block: Mr. Ben Oakland.

    You’re likewise trying to force black families & individuals, especially in business, to participate in ANOTHER biblically-opposed horrific system, under penalty of law. Forcing us to again do things that effectively oppose the clear position of the Bible, and thus self-repeal our own Bill of Rights religion freedom(s).

    You’re not doing US any favors, Ben. In fact, black service providers are absolutely potential targets, and you like it that way. Go figure.

  • Which is why I quite precisely spoke of the “so-called” curse of Ham . . . .

    You write that discriminatory treatment of gay people is rooted in “decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises,” according to the Supreme Court.

    When it’s pointed out to you that the Supreme Court long upheld the practive of slavery because, in the view of a majority of white Americans, the practice of slavery rested on “decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises,” suddenly you decide that “the morality of law is not within the purview of the judicial branch.”

    When it’s pointed out to you that, in the person of Justice Bazile, the judicial branch very explicitly rested its case for upholding anti-miscegenation laws on longstanding religious premises long considered decent and honorable, you counter by saying that, oh well, that ruling was overturned.

    When you state — erroneously — that “support for miscegenation laws are nowhere to be found in scripture, nor were they enacted anywhere or at any time in the Christian western world except for 18th and 19th century America,” and I point you to exhaustive historical research showing that your claim is simply incorrect, you shift the ground to a quibble about how people tagged the biblical text they long used to support anti-miscegenation laws.

    Resting your moral case on facts seems irrelevant to you. Your facts shift and morph into something new (and, usually false) every time someone points to the holes in your argument, which is basically an argument that, if some people have long held homosexuality to be abhorrent and have cited scripture to justify their abhorrence, their moral position must be right.

    Because tradition.

    Slavery, misogyny, anti-semitism, persecution of “heretics,” witch hunts were (and in the case of misogyny, still are) longstanding traditions within Christian cultures, resting on biblical citations and claiming a “decent and honorable” religious basis.

    Why is homophobia a special case? Especially when homosexuality is not even mentioned in the bible, and could not have been mentioned in texts composed milliennia ago — when the word was coined only in the 1860s?

  • “A co-worker’s wife works for the FAA here in Oregon, she was put on notice by her superiors’ that a pro-life bumper sticker on the back of her car would be grounds for discipline if it were not removed while parked in the agency’s lot.”

    So a hearsay anectdote is your example of Conservative Christian’s facing penalty for their views. But we know instances of such people being the discriminators, attacking others for their views and seeking legal excuse to act badly to others. It is so common that any news outlet has a ton of verified first hand stories describing them.

  • Bring on the lawsuits! Time for the judiciary to put the bigoted president and his AG in their places.

  • Obviously there’s no attempted Christian hegemony going on. But let’s set that aside. Here’s a simple snip for NavyLady, which I stole from a previous Denny Burk gig. Forget about the religious freedom stuff for a minute; just see what you can wrangle out of this brief question.

    Jesus was a carpenter. What if he were still around today to offer his services?
    Indeed, what would he do if a gay couple asked him to design a platform upon which to conduct their gay wedding ceremony?

    Okay. I already know you’re not a Christian; don’t worry about that. Just give me your best guess, what Jesus would most likely do on the highlighted question, and why.

  • As always, you have your stories about me. They’Re not true.

    As always, you want discrimination on the basis of religious belief to be ok when it comes to gay people, but not when it comes to black people or anyone else.

    There is NOTHING biblical that requires you to treat gay people any differently than you would treat all of the rest of the people you think are going to burn in hell forever, or the people that reject the entirety of your religious beliefs.

    It’s very telling that you think there is.

  • Pay attention, please. Obergefell did not make a pronouncement about the “morality” of such belief, only that it is neither trumped-up nor fraudulent but part of an authentic and recognized religious tradition and as such deserves to be protected from all but the most absolutely necessary restriction by the state. It assumes the existence of a necessary element of any case for religious accommodation.

  • Lest I forget about the cLear position of the Bible:

    The clear position of the Bible is that not believing that Jesus died for your sins is the one unforgivable sin, because it is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:31, mark 3:29, and I’m sure a few other places.

    But you have no issue with the 2/3 of the world that thinks the Christian story is nonsense. Your poor persecuted Christian vendors– all 20 of them– have no problem with atheist weddings, Hindu weddings, or anyone else who rejects entirely the message of Christianity.

    THat’s the clear position of the Bible, far clearer than anything that has to be hermeneuticked into “thou shalt not bake a cake for them horrible figs.”

    Someday, you’ll start being honest. This is all about your issues. it’s about uppity figs daring to claim their place in humanity.

    But clearly, Not today.

  • The curse of ham was to be found specifically in the texts of the missionaries that went to Hawaii in 1820.

  • The curse of Ham is not in scripture, period. Your stubborn insistence upon it will not make it materialize — sorry.

  • No, you didn’t “quite precisely” speak for any such reason. Like most blowhards around here, you assumed the truth of a popular myth and got called on it. It happens all the time here.

    The SCOTUS NEVER upheld the practice of slavery because of any belief religious or otherwise that it was decent and honorable, and you will find no such constitutional jurisprudence to that effect. They upheld it because it was recognized by the Constitution as originally written, and only for that reason, and therefore it required an amendment to uniformly abolish it.

    You sorely need to read the Federalist Papers.

  • No, it is not in YOUR interpretation of Scripture. It certainly was in other people’s interpretation of scripture, period. Your stubborn insistence upon it will not make it dematerialize.

    And I’m not sorry, other than that you are so dishonest about the reality of the situation.

  • So any religion can claim to avoid federal law? This is discrimination, plain and simple!

  • Why the hell is forcing you to marry a same sex partner? Same damn excuse used to complain about the Civil Rights Act of 1964!

  • The testimony received from an individual as a direct quote does not qualify as hearsay; further, logic suggests that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If Christians are accused of imposing their perspective on others in an obdurate fashion, it is no leap to reasonably surmise that the opponents of Christianity in govt. would not also seek to impose constraints on those with whom they disagree, and use a cudgel to do so. To think otherwise is naïve.

  • The difference is one is well documented and the other is fictional martyrbaiting. Bullies pretending to be the bullied. It has been my experience that pretty much whenever there is a story about a conservative christian claiming to be persecuted for their beliefs in this country, the facts show something far different. Usually the situation involved the Christian acting in an untoward or obnoxious manner rather than the beliefs which caused the problem.

    Given their propensity for imposing on others, showing tone deafness to beliefs besides their own and a desire to give their faith government support, I have no problem assuming Conservative Christians are the ones who are at fault, until proven otherwise.

  • No, that was your fellow Christians. Not me.
    As I keep pointing out, and as you keep dishonestly avoiding, THIS IS WHAT CHRISTIANS CLAIMED, THIS IS WHAT THEY FOUND IN THEIR BIBLES ACCORDING TO THEIR INTERPRETATION.
    That YOU don’t find it where they did is simply irrelevant. And, it is simply historic– and hysteric– revisionism to claim that they didn’t so find it, under the guise of claiming that it was never there. .

  • I know what a man looks like. I know what a woman looks like. What I don’t know is what their sexual preferences are in public. So how am I to figure that out by looking at them and why should it matter?

  • This is the passage in question:

    “Cursed be Canaan.
    The lowest of slaves
    will he be to his brothers.”
    Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
    May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
    May God extend Japheth’s territory;
    may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
    and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

    –Gen.9:24-27

    See anything there about Ham being cursed? Neither do I. Neither did Jews or Christians for several millenia until someone cooked up this nonsense in early America to shoehorn a contemporary social controversy into the bible — much like John Boswell more recently did with similarly nonsensical results.

    And even if this “curse of Ham” were a real thing, that would in no way justify miscegenation laws – which do not appear in scripture at all. We know from the OT that Moses’ first wife was descended from Cush, an older son of Ham (Josephus identifies her as the Ethiopian princess Thaurbis) with no condemnation whatsoever from God.

    All caps, btw, don’t make things materialize into the bible which aren’t there.

  • Yeah…HERE IS A MAJOR EXAMPLE of “KKKristian revisionism” and dishonesty!! The use of the Bible…to manipulate and control. To WARP and divide….

    Anti-abortion, “pro-life” movement MANTRA: “Life begins at conception…so the Bible says…blah, blah, blah.” As SOME of you MAY know..(some), lot’s of political garbage THANKS TO…this “controversy,” right?

    WRONG… the Bible DOES NOT mention “Life at conception” ANYWHERE… You folks, as usual, have been USED, for advancement of ELITIST AGENDAS…that WILL.. F u UP… in the long term. BET THAT.

    Read it and weep…IF YOU DARE…(doubtful):
    http://religiondispatches.org/the-not-so-lofty-origins-of-the-evangelical-pro-life-movement/
    “THE NOT-SO-LOFTY ORIGINS OF THE EVANGELICAL PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT”

    NOTE: Jerry Falwell QUOTE: “The Bible clearly states that life begins at conception,” Falwell declared, referencing Luke 1:39–44 and Psalm 139:13–16.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%201:39-44

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139%3A13-16&version=ESV
    You were LIED to folks!! For POLITICAL gain and manipulation. By your “religious leaders.”

    NOTE: “…Given that the Bible, does not, in fact, teach that life begins at conception, evangelical scholars understandably emerged to challenge these views. The evangelical pro-life movement maintained momentum by actively suppressing such scholarship. ”

    “Actively suppressing such scholarship.” WHY?

    NOTE: “But its founding moral outrage stemmed not from Roe v. Wade, but from the prospect of government-imposed desegregation;

    ANTI-Abortion movement and the Moral Majority lead by Falwell and others was created to FIGHT INTEGRATION of Black people”!!

  • You’d have to answer the question of why does it matter yourself…

    As soon as you stop obsessing about gay people.

  • Hey Spuddie. Since your quoting the Bible, how about the one that says, “confess your sins one to another.” When you quote one verse from the bible to base your opinion on, it’s inevitably out of context. One book, one story is the way to handle the Bible. Condemning sin does not equal condemning sinners. But you need something higher than yourself to figure this all out. Jesus never condemned sinners but he did say a lot, “Go and sin no more.” Grace for sinners is shown through out the Bible, but toleration for sin isn’t. We, the people, aren’t backing down because our beliefs run contrary to current philosophy or opinions and the law is on our side. Separation of church and state meant historically that the government has to stay out of the business of regulating the establishment and free exercise of faith. Unfortunately, that understanding has taken a beating in our courts for a while, but it was the the foundational to the framers of our Constitution.

  • Where there is sin:

    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination”. Lev. 18:22

    There also seems to be an obligation to point it out:

    “But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul”. Ez 33:7-12

    And Jesus reaffirmed the Law:
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished”.
    Mt. 5:17-18

  • So now all Christians follow Leviticus rules concerning behavior which is “foreign”?
    Oh right. Old Testament rules are only for others to follow, but never Christians. 🙂

    Why be consistent when you can pretend your bigotry and malice have the backing of religion?

  • Confession of sins is a voluntary act. Calling out people for their alleged sins is not.

    When one uses religious scripture to try to justify malicious and harmful behavior, they forgo any kind of deferential respect one desires for their beliefs. It all merely acts as pretext to acting badly to others.

    “Condemning sin does not equal condemning sinners.”

    Bull1sh1t! The sole purpose people do so, and why you support such behavior, is to condemn people. To demean them, attack them, deny them rights and liberties, and to deny their humanity. Pretending it is somehow concern or love of others is a sickening and dishonest gloss on what is merely just seeking excuse for hate.

    The sins of others are not your concern. Nobody is asking you to intervene on behalf of their souls and find it trespass upon their person. Besides, you are full of crap anyway. You have no concern for people attacked in such a way. You simply want to act like every other bigot, but are too spineless to own up to your prejudices. So you hide behind religious excuses.

    “Separation of church and state meant historically that the government
    has to stay out of the business of regulating the establishment and free
    exercise of faith.”

    Which means that government can’t show favoritism to a given faith and give its purely sectarian beliefs color of law. The free exercise of your faith has never been a license to attack people in service of it. It no more covers discrimination than it does human sacrifice, honor killing, or cross-burning (on other people’s property). Nobody has to care what you think God says nor can they be forced to.

  • Pull the log out of Denny’s eye and build a platform? I can only speculate on that.

    Turn Denny’s tears into political whine…reality.

    Who could deny He is risen?

  • Except for the bacon sandwiches, the shrimp, divorce, remarriage after divorce, shopping at Walmart on sunday, and a host of other things so-called bible-believing Christians do because whenever the bible says something inconvenient, it must mean something lese entirely.
    So, since Lev. 20:13 advocates the death penalty for that particular sin, are you cool with that?

  • So, I guess you’re a lawyer too. No. Well, I’ve been one for over 40 years and know something about the Constitution and the history surrounding it. Sounds like you know zipster of the origins of”separation of church and state. Try reading about why many of the colonists came here – to find freedom from the state mixing in with faith. It wasn’t about who to prefer and not prefer. It was about a bar to state action concerning faith. But probably these historical facts are confusing to you so you use cursing to further your arguments. It, cursing, doesn’t mean anything to me. Rather it shows a lack of thought on your part. Your indignation is not persuasive. And guess what, I don’t attack anyone. I didn’t write the game plan that you object to. And I don’t sit idly around while others are drowning. I have a right to free speech even if you don’t like it. I’m not shutting you down and you have no right to shut me down condemning ideas different than yours. And yes, Jesus said go into all the nations and preach the kingdom. You can disagree that a kingdom exists or that Jesus has a say in your life, but one day you’re going to face 12 Jewish guys and a Jewish Messiah who will hold you accountable for what you said and did. Try to get on the right side of this before you run out of time. No one has said that those who believe in God should abuse people because of what they do. But you no right to shut us up about how we see the universe works. It’s not going to happen and we will never approve what God has said is death. Actually He said, “This day I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose life that you may live.” That’s one fact you’ll have to deal with now or later. Respectfully submitted.

  • Hey Spudster. Were you raised in any kind of faith system. It will help me understand where your coming from. You write as if you have some understanding of the Bible, but what makes you so mad at Christians or those who believe in the actual words of the Bible?

  • Paragraph breaks are your friend. 🙂

    The really fun thing about an appeal to the founders and the nonsense of “Originalism” is how it requires one to blatantly ignore the existence of the 14th Amendment and the fact that the founders had glaring errors and problems in their conception of civil liberties. Sorry David, but our government and our laws are not beholden to your religious beliefs. There is no part written into our laws in pencil which says, “except Christians”.

    You want to make excuses for acting badly to others and pretend it is the action of a loving compassionate person. I am not buying it. It is patently dishonest drivel. I doubt even you believe that for a moment. It is such a canned, rehearsed response that it only makes you sound worse than merely admitting your beliefs more openly.

    You are so spineless in your hate that you want to pretend it is not your opinion, but merely God’s will. Well, that is also crap. There are many many faiths and sects who do not share your desire to treat people as less than human. They read the same scripture and worship the same god as you do. You chose to be part of one which encourages hate and bigotry because it appealed to you.

    It is telling that you are reduced to threats and Jeremiad warnings rather than address the criticism leveled at you.

  • Not going to answer that question. If your reaction depends on what religious belief I hold, then it most certainly is not going to be of any value in a discussion.

    “but what makes you so mad at Christians or those who believe in the actual words of the Bible?


    1. You don’t. You use the words of the Bible to justify your behavior. It is not scripture which guides your actions. It is actions which guide your view of scripture. Proof texting to avoid concepts such as respect and compassion for others. To excuse patently dishonest discourse.

    2. Because Christians like yourself seek to act badly with impunity to others using religion as an excuse. You seek to maliciously harm people and use God as a way to avoid responsibility. There is nothing worthy of respect there. “Live and let live” is a two way street. You do not get respected by others unless you are willing to show it in return.

  • Don’t bother. Spuddie cuts and pastes what his buddies say about the bible. He has probably never opened an actual bible in his life.

  • My point is, that action, in the Bible is a sin, & there may be worse things then physical death, which comes sooner or later.

  • So I’m a bigot & malicious?

    Seems you forgot racist & a few other labels to help your attempted rational argument.

  • The shoe fits. Complaining about a label is not a refutation if it. If you support legalized discrimination, you are a bigot. Calling it religious belief doesn’t change that. It only makes one a spineless bigot.

  • My point is that is never your concern and you are merely using a dishonest religious pretext for malice towards others.

  • I prefer the Baconator myself. Double hamburger patty, sometimes triple.

    (But no fries or drinks. Strictly protein!)

    P.S. Lev. 20:13 clearly identifies homosexual behavior as a sin, even if you’re a vegetarian. Agreed?

  • How unfortunate (for gay marriage supporters) that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not support gay marriage. At all.

  • Oh, but I have no problem with atheist weddings.

    Atheist man plus atheist woman? Sure, go for it — although without God, the central problem for both parties (atheism), is now effectively doubled.

    But at least the two of them are obeying God in spite of themselves. They’re obeying that Male-Female-Gender-Complementarity, just the way HE designed and called for it. Can’t fault them for THAT, can you?

  • Even God discriminates, Ben. Not against some people (indeed, God does not play favorites), but against some behaviors. If we all changed our minds tomorrow and supported gay marriage 100 percent, you would still be VERY acutely aware of what the Bible says. And God would still stick in your craw, all the same.

  • The way you’re describing it does sound violative of the First Amendment. But more would be needed to make a reasoned judgment, such as removing the several layers of hearsay. And what the bumper sticker specifically displayed.

  • It doesn’t have to prove anything. What matters is the shopkeeper’s perception. If he perceives them to be a same-sex couple and denies service on that basis, then he may have violated the law.

  • God doesn’t stick in my craw. Will you never stop making up stories about me to satisfy your own ego?

    People who hide behind religion are what we’re talking about. Not god.

  • God ordained marriage. Atheists reject god therefore, atheists reject what god has allegedly ordained.

    Once again, you prove the obvious this is no more about god than it is about anything except antigay bigotry. I can reject the entire tea of your religious believes in this wouldn’t bother you. But let me say that I am gay, and dessert the full rights according to me by the Constitution as an American citizen, and suddenly all hell breaks loose.

  • It identifies something that. Ignite have something to do with the subject. Maybe in a vague, general sort of a way.

  • Putting a label on something, is a cheap attempt to win an argument, due to inability to provide an articulated rational counter.

    Has it ever occurred to you that “discrimination” is also defined as ” recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another”.

  • You aren’t bothering to refute being called a bigot. You are just showing you are thin skinned about it. Not really showing why it would be inappropriate here. In fact all you do right now is reinforce why it is accurate.

    You support legalized attacks on the civil liberties of others using religion as a pretext. Practically a textbook definition of bigotry. You want to use phony concern for the sins of others to act maliciously. There is no rational or moral argument to be made for your view.

  • I don’t see several layers of hearsay. The woman in question told her husband, who told me; there is only one intervening individual between the source and myself, this in itself does not make the narrative claimed implausible. In fact, the tension between personal conviction and potential sanction speaks volumes. As to the bumper sticker itself, presumably it was the standard, run of the mill, conventional, affirmation of pre-natal life, though I cannot quote the text or describe any image.

  • Her husband and you would be two “layers” of hearsay if this were in court. Hearsay isn’t necessarily unreliable, and there are many exceptions to the rule against hearsay anyway.
    As to the substance of the bumper sticker, I did a search to see if this case made the news anywhere. I didn’t find it, but I did find many anti-abortion stickers. You know your friends, but I found many that had partisan political messages. Here’s one lovely example: “pro life and a right wing extremist according to the left wing Marxist Obama administration.” I can’t say that her employer could force her to remove that kind of sticker, but it would make the situation more complicated.

  • Well, I’m certain “pro-life” stickers of any sort give the more politically minded “choicers” on the left fits at all times. But we were originally talking about untoward governmental oppression of free speech. Or at least that is what I was positing. As I understand it, in the private sector, since most employees are not under contract, personal or collective, an employer can dictate pretty much what they want on their property as employees are “at will.” The story doubtless did not make the news precisely because the employee in question was directed to remove the sticker, or move the vehicle out of the govt. lot and thus chose to comply rather than contest for her speech rights as she saw them. A situation of coercive tension in my opinion, if all the facts as attested to me are true.

  • Don’t worry, I’m not having a fit over them. You are correct that public sector employees have greater First Amendment rights, but they are limited compared to the general situation.

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