The New Intolerance (Part 2)

Leftist Intolerance

Ever since I can remember, the political left in general and the gay rights movement in particular have always cloaked themselves in arguments and language calling for greater diversity, tolerance, and pluralism in American society. My, how times are changing! Now as the left is inching ever closer to winning the culture war, their once fine sounding pluralistic arguments have been replaced by a mantra which says, “Adopt our way of thinking, or else pay the consequences!” In our first post, we gave several examples of how this new intolerance has found its way into our language and “logic.”

 

The Legal System

couplesSadly, not only is such intolerance finding its way into our language and “logic,” but now even the American legal system is beginning to move in this negative direction. Stories, such as the following, are becoming far too common place in contemporary American society. Recall Houston Democratic Mayor Annise Parker’s draconian decision to subpoena the sermons and communications of five Houston-area pastors who had used their pulpits to speak out against the Mayor’s proposed “bathroom bill” (HERO), which allows a man dressed as a woman to legally enter the ladies’ public restrooms alongside our daughters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, etc…[1] Consider also the following example from Colorado:

Jack Phillips is a baker who declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because his Christian belief is that marriage exists only between a man and woman. Now a Colorado judge has ordered him to bake cakes for same-sex marriages, and if Phillips refuses, he could go to jail.[2]

Not to be outdone by Colorado, consider the following recent case from Oregon:

If you thought it was expensive to buy a wedding cake, try not baking one! Aaron and Melissa Klein found out just how expensive today, when — after two long years — an Oregon judge finally told the young parents of five exactly how much living by their beliefs would cost them: $135,000. Their dream of owning a dessert shop near Portland, Oregon turned into a nightmare when two lesbians refused to take “no” for an answer on their request for a same-sex “wedding” cake. Sued, harassed, vandalized, and threatened to the point that the couple had to close their doors, the Kleins still didn’t budge. Found guilty by an administrative court earlier this year, the Kleins spent four sleepless weeks wondering what the government — the same one that guarantees them the freedom of religion — would charge them. Now that they’ve been ordered to pay up to $135,000 in fines, Aaron and Melissa have made it clear that they are willing to pay a far steeper price to stand up for Christ. “To be told they’re going to force me to convey a message other than what I want to convey — it flies in the face of the Constitution,” Aaron explained. “It’s a violation of my conscience. It’s a violation of my religious freedom. It’s horrible to see your own government doing this to you.” Anna Harmon, one of the Kleins’ attorneys, said the sentencing was tough to swallow. “Americans should not have to choose between adhering to their faith or closing their business, but that is what this decision means… The [judge] ruled wrongly that the Kleins’ right not to design and create a work of art celebrating an event which violates the tenets of their religion is not protected by the Oregon or Federal Constitutions. This is a dangerous result for religious liberty and rights of conscience in Oregon…”[3]

Notice also similar and recent happenings in Idaho:

Coeur d‘Alene, Idaho, city officials have laid down the law to Christian pastors within their community, telling them bluntly via an ordinance that if they refuse to marry homosexuals, they will face jail time and fines. The dictate comes on the heels of a legal battle with Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post wedding chapel in the city, but who oppose gay marriage, The Daily Caller reported. A federal judge recently ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, while the city of Coeur d‘Alene has an ordinance that prevents discrimination based on sexual preference…The Knapps were just asked by a gay couple to perform their wedding ceremony, The Daily Caller reported. “On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined,” The Daily Signal reported. “The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and a $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.” The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a suit in federal court to stop the city from enforcing the fine and jail sentence, saying in a statement from senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco that the government has overstepped its bounds, The Daily Caller reported. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here — and it’s happened this quickly,” Mr. Tedersco said, The Daily Caller reported. But the city sees it differently. As far back as May, city officials were insisting that their ordinance is indeed in line with law. “If you turn away a gay couple, refuse to provide services for them, then in theory you violated our code, and you’re looking at a potential misdemeanor citation,” said Coeur d‘Alene City Attorney Warren Wilson, to KXLY months ago.[4]

In our next post, we will observe how next month’s anticipated ruling creating a new constitutional right to gay marriage is about to make this negative situation even worse and what we can do about it.

 

(To Be Continued…)

[1] http://www.texastribune.org/2014/10/16/subpoenas-sermons-draw-outrage-houston/

[2] http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/12/Christian-Baker-Willing-to-Go-to-Jail-for-Declining-Gay-Wedding-Cake

[3] http://www.frc.org/washingtonupdate/20150424/sue-chef

[4] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/20/idaho-citys-ordinance-tells-pastors-to-marry-gays-/

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