“First they came for the (insert ‘not you’ group here)”- Idaho ministers face jail time.

Recently, a good friend shared with me that she felt like her heart was increasingly hardened toward the gay community.  As a young adult, her social group was disproportionately gay and transgender men.  She accompanied them to gay bars- like the kind of place where you needed an insider who knows the secret knock to get in through the hidden back-alley door. As she described it, “Um, that’s a door?” She got a first-hand education on what a Prince Albert piercing was. Heck, she had to explain it to me. Oy vey.

My friend is also a strong believer in liberty. You know, like the liberty to speak your mind for example, or to have ideas (even *G A S P* unpopular thoughts) without the heavy boot of government coming down on you. She and, apparently, many others are growing increasingly bitter at the ways that the gay identity politics are being used as a weapon to silence those who refuse to march lock step with GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign.

Here are a sampling of some comments following the recent news story of the Idaho ministers Donald and Evelyn Knapp who are facing $1,000/day fine and jail time for refusing to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies.

– I don’t care about same sex marriage it’s not something I really believe in, however, I sure don’t want it crammed down my throat and it sure the hell isn’t right for them to do that to ministers!

– They are bent on destroying the rights of those who are not in agreement with their life style.

– I don’t care who marries who, it’s none of my business. BUT I don’t like the government forcing people to alter their religious beliefs to accommodate others either.

The story is just the most recent of a growing list of those who have been fined and/or coerced into violating their consciences in the handcuffedname of “marriage equality.”  A GROWING LIST of people who were told that “gay marriage won’t effect you,” being forced to comply at the point of a gun – because that is what government is people. It’s force. It’s “Do what we say or we take your freedom, whether we bleed you dry financially or imprison you”. How do you enforce when someone will not lay down for you? Someone who won’t abide by your threats? You come and arrest them. With a gun. By force. Don’t kid yourself.

So, if I were five and a half I would do a little victory twirl, point at you and raspberry followed up by a big fat TOLD YOU SO. But I am above that. A little. So here it is.

I told you so.

We all told you so.

It’s no longer just a culture clash of ideals regarding the definition of marriage. Now it’s: do what we tell you to do or loose your freedom.

May I suggest to those die-hard gay marriage advocates that this is not the best method of winning hearts and souls to your cause? Crucifying dissenters of gay marriage simply engenders a smoldering resentment among onlookers. Look at how well it worked for the Romans. Did they put the kibosh on that Jesus guy or what?!?!  It may swell your ranks on the surface but you are not genuinely winning people to your side.  It’s akin to this sentiment from ISIS on how the Yadzi women and children who have been taken as slaves have responded to Islam:

Many of the [Yadzi] women and children have willingly accepted Islam and now race to practice it with evident sincerity after their exit from the darkness of [polytheism].

Sure they do!! Much like they can’t wait to hastily divorce their husbands so they can be sold and “married” to an ISIS fighter and legally raped under Sharia law.

*Drops Mic*

Where was I.

Oh. Right.

I was still near the top of the slope we call slippery and luckily I have marching orders for you.

First, we must be ready to do battle.  We must educate ourselves. It is our civic duty to learn about marriage policy and be involved in grass-roots advocacy.  Get familiar with issues and stories that intersect with marriage such as pornography, cohabitation, divorce, same-sex attraction, adoption and third-party reproduction. Learn about how poverty, incarceration rates, low academic achievement, early sexual behavior, rates of mental illness, and many other social ills are connected to the health of the family.  Following Public Discourse, the Ruth Institute, and English Manif are good places to start. Investigate CanaVox– where you can really put your passions to good use.

Secondly, give to the organizations that fund the legal fight, who represent the cake-maker and pastor and photographer often free of charge, and who defend the citizen-approved definition of marriage when it is challenged in court.  Alliance Defending Freedom, Heritage Foundation, and The Becket Fund are some of those.

First, LOVE. (you get it, I know you do) We must resist the urge to distance ourselves from the gay people in our life because of our frustrating legal and political landscape.  The uglier the political battle becomes, the more beautiful our attempts to draw in our gay friends should be.  Be the generous, loving, service oriented Christ-like person you are directed to be and if it doesn’t come sincerely, ask God to help you with that. Your God is the same one who formed them in the womb, who knows when they sit and when they rise, and who fearfully and wonderfully made them. When your lesbian neighbor thinks of you, let it be that she wonders “How is it that someone who is diametrically opposed to me politically loves me better than most?”

Media and politics teach us that we can only love someone if we agree with them.

Christianity teaches us to love someone because we disagree with them.

It’s going to take adults loving adults, loving freedom and exercising restraint to wade through this mess.

Our kids are watching us, let’s not act like them.

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30 thoughts on ““First they came for the (insert ‘not you’ group here)”- Idaho ministers face jail time.

  1. This post raises an interesting question about how religious institutions are recognized in our policies and how religious freedom is protected. As I understand it, the reason why these particular ministers might be subject to the application of the law in this way is that the chapel they run is “for-profit” and therefore not subject to the same kinds of legal protections as an institutional church. It’s an element of our laws that perhaps deserves more nuance than is offered in the article you cite, and is an important part of the education you advocate. A helpful explanation is available here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/10/18/can-ministers-who-make-a-living-by-conducting-weddings-be-required-to-conduct-same-sex-weddings/

    In the long run, I doubt ministers will be “required” to perform weddings for anyone else, at least in churches, because ministers are allowed to set parameters around whom they will marry (or not) based on a variety of reasons. My own denomination has always advocated the “freedom of conscience” of its ministers in conducting any wedding, letting the minister decide whether marriage is appropriate for any given couple. In a for-profit “service” industry, however, the rules are somewhat different, and that seems to be what is being adjudicated. The same kinds of distinctions are made in terms of gender or race discrimination, ADA requirements, etc.

  2. Thank you. I am LDS (Mormon) and in our recent General Conference, one of our apostles, Dallin H. Oaks spoke on loving people, even people that disagree with us. I do want to love everyone. My frustration lies when love and tolerance are not extended back to me. I understand why your friend feels embittered, because I do too at times. Here is a link to his talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/loving-others-and-living-with-differences?lang=eng

    • Hi Atomic. Love your comments. I know some awesome LDS women who are working hard and smart on this issue in UT. Yes, love those when we disagree. Really hard to do sometimes. But those of us who worship Christ must be the best at it. Thanks for stopping in!

  3. Here is a case where, awkwardly enough, Protestant assemblies are at a disadvantage. Because marriage is not defined as a Sacrament, gatherings must ensure their By-Laws are very clear, and it will be advised to not charge for marriage ceremonies. Profit opens the door to all sorts of shenanigans.

    Having said all that rhetoric ramble, this thing is playing out as suspected. First, we heard no one in the community wanted to interfere with our religious rights… just let them be… give us what we want. Surprise! We want more! Duh… human nature strikes again, from whatever side of the aisle.

  4. Something doesn’t compute here. I’m afraid you’re not telling the whole truth.
    Hitching Post Lakeside Chapel is not a church. It’s a business establishment. A business establishment that offers to perform wedding ceremonies. It’s considered a public accomodation and should obey non-discrimination laws.

    In case you missed it: HITCHING POST IS NOT A CHURCH. The “martyrs” ARE NOT PASTORS THERE.

    Until quite recently, as October 9, according to their website, they were offering to perform civil ceremonies for people of other faith.

    Now their website only offers traditional Christian ceremonies. Which goes against non-discrimination laws. A for-profit business cannot discriminate against customers on basis on religion. This is why Hitching Post hot in the legal troubles.

    • Offering only a particular kind of service is discriminatory? Does a diner that doesn’t separate meat and milk discriminate against observant Jews? That has never been considered discrimination. The fact that the diner is not a church and that their policy of not keeping kosher isn’t motivated by religion. The remedy for Jews who want to eat kosher is to go to a kosher restaurant, if one exists in their town. Every business specializes in certain kinds of services. There are some services they provide, and some that they don’t.

      There are Christian bookstores that choose which books to stock. They are organized as profit-making entities, they don’t pretend to be churches, and yet they make decisions as to which books to stock and which not to stock. Are they discriminating on the basis of religion because they don’t carry the latest from Richard Dawkins?

      This “not a church” argument doesn’t hold water.

      Nor is the argument that by not conducting these same-sex marriages, they are discriminating against homosexuals. Presumably, they will not marry two gay guys who want to get married, and they won’t marry two straight guys who want to get married. If so, they are not discriminating against gays.

      • If a business offers service only for a particular class of customers, it’s discriminatory. Note that Knapps were OK with conducting civil ceremonies for customers of other faiths, up until very recently.

        Note that the blog post makes it appear that the Knapps are hit with a lawsuit. It’s not true.

        Knapps with ADF filed their motion for a temporary restraining order against the city..

        I’ll quote from Thinkprogress post:

        “Back in May, when a federal judge first overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Hitching Post Chapel in Coeur d’Alene expressed concern about the possibility of having to marry same-sex couples. The wedding chapel located just across the street from the Kootenai County Courthouse recognized that it would be subject to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance, which requires that public accommodations (like businesses) offer service equally regardless of sexual orientation. Now that marriage equality is the law in Idaho, the Hitching Post owners Donald and Evelyn Knapp have filed a federal lawsuit for the right to discriminate.
        At the time, Coeur d’Alene City Attorney Warren Wilson explained, “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.” Wilson clarified that religious entities are exempt under the city ordinance, but apparently told Mr. Knapp at the time that the Hitching Post was not exempt because it is a business, not a religious corporation like a church. As same-sex couples began marrying last week, the Hitching Post did apparently turn away a same-sex couple.
        Though they have not yet been found in violation of the ordinance, the Knapps have filed a complaint and motion for a temporary restraining order against the policy. They are represented by the anti-LGBT Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and allege that they are now under “a constant, coercive, and substantial threat to violate their religious beliefs due to the risk that they will incur the penalties of jail time and criminal fines” for refusing to offer wedding services to same-sex couples.”

        Let me remind you something. Jesus said: “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”. This means not only monetary things, but also requires to obey civil authorities and civil laws in civil matters. Civil marriage is a civil matter. Wedding chapel business is a civil matter. Don’t want to marry same sex couples? Open a church as a non-profit, and marry only the people who you think deserve marriage.

        Trying to represent yourselves as religious martyrs while conducting a business is a lie. A lie may work for a while if you need to lie to advance a cause you think is right. You may win. You may gain the world. But you lose your soul, because Jesus doesn’t approve when you lie for Him.

  5. Hi and thanks for sharing This with me. I think I agree with some of what I read I this article you shared. How would we handle it, if these people who are in favor of controlling the Gay People with all these rules, decided that when you become 21 years of age you MUST BE MARRIED to be qualified for a certain group of rules that only you, if you are married to the opposite sex would qualify for?

  6. Thanks and as I read the comments they are very helpful and informative as is your article. I really liked how you summed the article up. In the days ahead Christians are going to be confronted and persecuted for their beliefs in America (Jesus predicted it so I guess with is 100% accuracy rating we might as well just accept that). What we do with that persecution. How we respond in both love and wisdom is going to make eternal differences for people around us.

  7. I love your posting, Kathy. And as I am seeing the responses, I can see that this legal debate will be protracted and nasty. I’d like to add two things: Paul recommended the church in Rome to do “good to everyone” and to “be at peace with all men”. This is echoed by Rodney Stark, in his “Rise of Christianity” who indicated that Christians won the hearts and minds of the Romans by helping those who were sick or poor, even though they disagreed with them or didn’t share their values. Doing good doesn’t mean acquiescence, however; in other words, I will help you as long as it doesn’t violate my conscience. The argument that a for-profit is required to provide services to everyone is fraudulent: a sex shop won’t sell bibles or manuals on abstinence and Christian businesses should not be required to provide something that goes beyond their moral acceptance. Heck! If you don’t want to make my gay wedding cake, I’ll go to another business and/or I’ll write bad reviews on zillo or Angie’s list: putting businesses out of order will not help. Love is a two way road.

    • “The argument that a for-profit is required to provide services to everyone is fraudulent: a sex shop won’t sell bibles or manuals on abstinence and Christian businesses should not be required to provide something that goes beyond their moral acceptance”

      Your argument is fraudulent. A sex shop doesn’t have bibles in stock, and is not in the business of selling bibles or abstinence manuals. It’s not a matter of moral acceptance, it’s just a matter of advertised business. And a sex shop will sell porn and dildos to any pastor or minister who comes in, even though the pastor could promise hellfire to those heathens from his pulpit.

      Have you seen photos of protests against inter-racial marriages in 1950s-1960s? Have you seen the arguments on their protest signs? They’re no different from arguments on anti-SSM signs.

      I think there are still many people who think that God didn’t mean for different races to mix. Would you allow such people to use “religious convictions” excuse to refuse to provide the wedding venue to a mixed race couple?

      Note that those people actually DON’T HAVE DO CONDUCT THE CEREMONY THEMSELVES. They can get another officiant. But their business have to provide the venue.

      • Hi FyVa. Thanks for the comments. As in many cases such as the baker, florist, photographer, etc., these people are declining participation in an event. They likely offer their services to LGBT people in their line of work (at least, when you are talking about pastors outside of a wedding ceremony). But because it is feelings and behavior that distinguishes LGBT from the rest of the population (unlike race which is a popular but false equivalent) it is participation in the activity that these service providers are rejecting. More on that line of thinking here: https://askthebigot.com/2014/02/26/cake-or-no-cake-arizonas-religious-freedom-bill/.

        You talk about the Knapps not being pastors. You are right. They are not pastoring, they are ordained ministers. And while I still believe that they have the right to decline participation in an event with which they disagree, it’s a subtle but important distinction that I missed when I first published this. So I have changed their title throughout the post. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

        This post from one of my favorite bloggers came out this morning. The story of a gay marriage advocate raising $150,000 for the Oregon cake makers who declined to bake a cake for a gay ceremony. His methods are 1) more in line with scripture and 2) more likely to win support to his cause. So it seems right to share it here. http://stasisonline.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/gay-activist-donates-150000-to-conservative-christians/

        All the best to you, friend.

      • So if I advertise in my business bylaws and regulations that I’ll perform marriage only to straight couples, you would feel discriminated regardless, even if my next door business does so? Also, you don’t choose your race. Mainstream Christianity rejects racial intolerance, because it is not advertised in the Bible, but is rather the fruit of a fraudulent interpretation (the so-called “Ham curse”), while homosexuality is clearly rejected. Making the argument that race and sexual orientation are alike is flawed. We distinguish between the individual and the sin.

        • >So if I advertise in my business bylaws and regulations that I’ll perform marriage only to straight couples

          This would be refusal of wedding business to the people qualified to get married, You provide a venue as a public accomodation, and as a public accomodation you cannot turn people away just because you don’t like them.

          >Also, you don’t choose your race.

          It may be a surprise for you, but just as straight people didn’t choose to be straight, gay people didn’t choose to be gay. Did you, personally, choose to be straight? Did you decide: “from now on I will fall in love with people of opposite sex”? Or, like it used to happen way too often, you decided: “though I like men more, I’ll hide that and will try to marry a woman”? In David and Jonathan story, David, at least, had decency to decline to marry King Saul’s daughter (though the second time he was like: “Why don’t you give me a task that may get me killed, instead).

          • Hum…yes, I was always attracted to the opposite sex: sexual attraction towards people of the opposite sex is natural, because of our own physical layout; anything that goes otherwise goes against nature. So, yeah, it’s your choice; secondly rehashing the old “gay David and Jonathan” is so cliched that I am bewildered that you didn’t come up with something more interesting. Suffice to say that beside the evidence that David did love Saul’s younger daughter, Saul wanted to give her the older daughter and David did the task with gusto. David was a ladies’ man, which, granted, is as sinful as your own personal tastes, and which btw brought him a lot of problems with his kids. Katy, I am sorry to clog your space with this dialogue: it feels rude to do that; thank you for your patience.

          • For you, it’s natural to feel attracted by opposite sex. For gay people, it’s natural to feel attracted to their sex. Just as you since your young age might have looked at girls and though they’re cute, gay people feel the same toward their sex, often since their young age. If you know any gay people, ask them: since when they were attracted to their sex?

          • Ok….lemme see how I can answer that. In Christianity, we use the term “sinful nature” to define everything that attracts us, but that we shouldn’t do, because God prohibits it. We do not have the concept of “my sin is less sinful than yours” because in the eyes of God, as James 2:10 says, “whoever keeps the whole law and offends in one point, he is guilty of all”. The Bible is explicit about homosexuality and defines it as a sin. We do not get to tell God what is right or wrong, He does. I may have some devious desires inherited from my circumstances, and I may think they are stronger than me (and they will if I let them be), and I may wish I would do them, but in the end, I must step away from them in order to be agreeable to God. What you feel is natural is not. I cannot fight that fight for you: if you wish to be saved, you should. I cannot in all honesty tell you that everything is alright when it’s not, because I’d be lying and so would Kathy and every preacher in the world. I hope that one day you come to the knowledge of that and that you step away from the weight of sin. It won’t make you perfect, but that’ll be a step in the right direction. That’s all I can tell you.

          • >The Bible is explicit about homosexuality and defines it as a sin

            The Bible also prohibits a lot of other things we consider acceptable now, and condones a lot of other things we consider unacceptable now. Some things from the Bible are often interpreted to make too far reaching conclusions. Just like story of Onan from Genesis 38, who didn’t want to make a child to his late brother’s widow, and got killed by God for that, got interpreted as a ban on family planning. Though I find it strange that everybody decides to ignore that his supposedly righteous father (no word on him being wicked or killed by God) used shrine prostitutes. Must be totally OK with you, I guess.

            Your understanding of the Bible is not everybody’s understanding of the Bible. Also, the Bible is NOT the law of the land. The Constitution is. If the Constitution guarantees equal treatment under the law, the law must allow civil marriage for same sex couples. That’s how the judges see it. Most of whom are Christians, by the way.

          • Wow you really jump from the rooster to the donkey, like we used to say in France! 1) the fact that the Bible mentions it doesn’t make it right, you must put things in context and based on their consequences : the Onan story is not a story on family planning (the coitus interruptus described seemed the most common and “trustworthy” way to control demographics) but rather based on the fact that he was violating his own brother’s memory and was being greedy (ie wanting to keep all inheritance for himself); likewise, the story of Judah and the sacred prostitute (who turned out to be his daughter in law, disguised as one) doesn’t end well either and is actually a good cautionary tale about moralists who are everything but; 2) I agree with you that the law is the law; however, this is mandated on a civil level, not religious; in other words, a courthouse clerk will be required to give marriage licenses to same sex couples if they’re getting hitched, because that’s the clerk’s legal obligation. On the other hand, clergy aren’t civil employees: they aren’t paid by the government, nor do they belong to a state or “national” church; neither can the state force upon their throats something that goes against their conscience (there are those exemptions as well for military service and religious objectors). Now, you may decide to marry whoever you want if it’s legal, I couldn’t care less; I cannot prevent sinners from sinning (be they alcoholics, drug addicts, adulterers, compulsive gamblers, etc.) What troubles me is that I start to see a trend, which I will call the “church-chaser” type, for lack of a better or worse word, which I foresee will abound in the coming years, that will do everything to sue churches that refuse to condone SSMs or perform them for conscience reasons. I hope you enjoy your victories and your monolithic dictatorship of thought. Good As Me? Hah!

          • There is a difference between persons and businesses. Persons go to church, businesses don’t. Persons believe in God, businesses don’t. A person doesn’t have to obey business laws, a business has to.

            The Knapps don’t have to officiate a same-sex wedding, Hitching Post Lakeside Chapel has to. Hitching Post Lakeside Chapel is not a church, it’s a for-profit business. If the Knapps don’t personally want to do that, they can hire/invite another officiant willing to do that, but they cannot refuse to provide the venue.

          • Full circle back to square one. I already answered to that earlier: business purpose or values thereof seems irrelevant to you, but fine. Thank you for this peripatetic trip through the lunar cycle of SSM.

  8. Hello!

    I’m curious about your feelings on laws that protect people from religious discrimination. Certainly many of the same broad arguments made against protections based on sexual-orientation would apply?

    Currently the Hitching Post would be required to host marriages of Hindus, Wiccans and atheists. The cake baker and wedding photographers would also be obligated to do so under current public accommodation laws in almost every city and state in this nation.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Ben. Welcome. Thanks for the question. Here’s an excerpt from this post (https://askthebigot.com/2014/02/26/cake-or-no-cake-arizonas-religious-freedom-bill/) which I think answers your question:

      Often it is said, incorrectly, “but if they are a public business, they cannot refuse service to anyone.” Wrong.

      Is a Jewish tattoo artist required by law, meaning by force, to tattoo a swastika on the Aryan Nation President? Is the black restaurateur required to take reservations for the annual KKK benefit? Is Ted Nugent required to open his ranch up for the P.E.T.A. convention?

      Nope. Every business has the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. No, really. Any reason. You argue that it would be bad for business for them to refuse service to any group and, in most cases, I agree that it is a ridiculously stupid way to do business. But that is for you to decide on your property. In your establishment. They choose in theirs. And the market forces will have their way with them.

      The law is actually redundant because all this “freedom to associate” business comes from our founding documents. It is a crying shame that we are so far adrift that laws are being enacted to shore up what is already established.

      • HI Askme.

        I don’t think that answered my question at all… it is illegal for a Christian business to not provide a service they normally provide to someone because they are non-Christian or the reverse is true as well, because the mutable characteristic of religious behavior is protected by law. For instance, an atheist cannot legally, in ANY state, refuse to serve you coffee at their coffee shop because you are a Christan blogger, even if you were using the WiFi to write your blog. They would face the same consequences as these other locations, under the law.

        I think you make a lot of assumptions in you initial “cake or not cake” post, and I wish I had the time to write out my response. This is a topic that is not easy to discuss online because there are ideological, philosophical and pragmatic concerns that need to be addressed.

        Also, IMO – comparing your opponents to ISIS doesn’t seem to me really fit with your Rules of Engagement. I’m fairly sure no one has been murdered for not supporting gay marriage, and I will the first in line to defend my neighbors if someone tried.

        • Ben you are incorrect in how you frame this issue. The issue is not discrimination based on or because they were not a christian, this is not an issue of differing faiths. The discrimination was based in the fact that performing the act of their services for same sex unions would violate their religious beliefs, (marriage, man and woman only). big difference. If say the coffee house atheist made the case that his deeply held (and substantiated) beliefs would be violated by providing the Christian blogger with his sacred coffee ritual I would also support his decision to refuse and the law would be on his side. But just coffee withheld because you are a Christian blogger? No. Coffee and the Christian sacred vows of marriage before God are just a smidge different.

          Now the above is based on law. However Philosophically the right of an individual to refuse association, be it through service or otherwise is a fundamental right directly subordinate to, and one required to ensure, the right to life. It is currently not recognized (wrong things done for all the right reasons, civil rights law and all) however it is indeed a right. in short, “I don’t like your hair cut” or “I don’t like your damed Bush bumper sticker, get the hell out of my shop!” are acceptable reasons to refuse service by right, transcendent of law. Philosophically speaking.

          • Hewho –

            I am glad to understand some of your view. I often think that the views each of us comes from makes even finding common understandings of things to be hard (reflecting world views, I suppose). I don’t see baking a cake (wedding, birthday, etc) as participating in the wedding anymore than an atheist making coffee that someone is going drink in the pews is participating in the church service. I don’t believe anyone aught (and I don’t believe the law would required) to add gay wedding cake toppers, Jewish cake toppers, etc if that wasn’t something they normally carry (just a Jewish deli need not carry ham). To me, baking a cake is not substantially different than making a coffee.

            Personally, I would prefer business make their views known, so I can make informed choices about my shopping. I do grow concerned if a service provider was the only option available. Where do we draw the line on what is a deeply held belief and who gets to be the arbiter of a “substantiated” belief.

            Should a Jewish ER doc be able to decline to see an “unclean” women who is dying (based on the belief that anything she touches also becomes unclean. I hate using the slippery slope, but the religious arguments being made, to me, pose a far greater danger of slipping down that slope, or forcing the government to dictate what is and isn’t a deeply held belief.

            Askme – The same broad arguments can be made against Christians. A minority support laws that include harsh prison sentences (or death) for gay and lesbian people, all in the name of their Christian faith. I have seen very little from the Christian majority challenging such views, and even some in the traditional marriage movement actively supporting such things both abroad and in the US.

          • I also apparently edited out something before posting…

            I believe your position re: is baking a care participating in a wedding is that it should be best left to the baker to decide if that is participation, a position I can understand and respect, but still believe can cause use to slide down a slippery slope.

            Re: The Hitching Post – According to the most recent reports, no one has filed a complaint, so there is no case before any judge regarding this matter. No gay couple has been turned away, no one has filed a report, so there are no merits to judge.

        • Yes. What Hewho said.

          Ben, I am not saying that the gay lobby is like ISIS in their physical brutality. I am comparing two groups that have a minority of radicals who want to harm those who do not fall in line with their ideology. Most gay people do not seek to harm those with whom they disagree. But the moderate majority of both groups, through not standing against the extremists’ destructive tactics, are letting the radicals shape the debate.

          • “I am comparing two groups that have a minority of radicals who want to harm those who do not fall in line with their ideology.”

            So you don’t think gay couples are being harmed by being told, “We don’t serve your kind here.”? Who exactly is doing the discriminating here, the gay couple wanting the exact same service that everyone else receives? You are also demanding that gay citizens “fall in line” with religious people’s CHOSEN ideology. What other social group has the right to discriminate at will? None that I know of. In states with non-discrimination laws, NO ONE is exempt from following them. Religious people want special rights. That is not acceptable in a secular society.

  9. The owners of the chapel have already been exposed as frauds. There is no lawsuit. So there is no possibility of them getting fined or going to jail. Also, they had no problem overseeing secular civil ceremonies a couple of weeks ago. One has to wonder why they had no issue facilitating the marriages of a non-religious couples if these ministers truly believe that marriage is solely a Christian religious sacrament. Does it really need to be said that these people are simply anti-gay bigots, and this has absolutely nothing to do with their chosen religious beliefs (that only seem to come into play when gay people are involved). Alliance Defending Freedom chose the wrong people for their test case on the issue of religious freedom v. civil rights for gay citizens. These people have zero credibility.

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