The U.S. Solicitor General gave the following testimony during the Supreme Court hearings in the Obergefell v. Hodges case:
WILL COLLEGES LOSE TAX-EXEMPT STATUS IF THEY BELIEVE MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN 1 MAN & 1 WOMAN?
“It’s certainly going to be an issue. I--—I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is—--it is going to be an issue.”
- U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL DONALD VERRILI
The First Amendment Defense Act would prevent this scenario, as well as many others, from happening. While it is disappointing that these common-sense protections must be specifically spelled out in legislation, it is time to act quickly and decisively to protect our constitutional rights. As Senator Lee writes:
“In light of the Supreme Court decision, Congress must move swiftly to pass the First Amendment Defense Act and clarify in federal law what five justices left ambiguous in their legal opinion: that the right to form and to follow one’s religious beliefs is the bedrock of human dignity and liberty that must be forcefully defended from government interference.”
- U.S. SENATOR MIKE LEE, WRITING IN THE DAILY SIGNAL, JUNE 29, 2015
Guest Post by Anthony DeFazio | @anthonyjdefazio on Twitter
Between the Iran Deal, Hillary’s email server, and the omnipresence of The Donald, the realm of politics can sometimes appear to consist of only a few hot button issues. While the aforementioned topics are undoubtedly valid, politics on the local level often gets lost in the proverbial shuffle.
This isn’t a good thing.
I’m a seventeen-year-old homeschool student who is interning for a local political campaign in Virginia. After a couple weeks on the job, I’m continually amazed at how little attention people devote to local government. Many have adopted a mindset that local politics is boring–and that only national issues truly matter. I beg to differ. Local politics matter, and undeniably affects you. The schools our children attend, the roads we drive on, and even the water we drink is all within the sphere of influence of local governments. But sadly, the average person probably doesn’t even know the names of their local elected officials.
Local politics present a unique opportunity for everyday people to take part in the grand American tradition of self-government. To paraphrase F.A. Hayek, I’d argue that local government is the ultimate school of political training for the public. The experience and knowledge that you can gain is immeasurable. And the best part is that the cost of tuition at this “school” is completely free. All that is asked is that people donate their time. Case in point: All of the volunteers and interns I work with have one simple thing in common.
Despite the many arguments I have read on the subject, I have not seen an article correctly defending Kim Davis' Constitutional ability to refuse to give a marriage license to a homosexual couple. Liberals are correct that Ms. Davis cannot use Free Exercise of Religion because she is a government employee, but they and the rest of Conservatives have failed to recognize that it is not this clause at issue. The actual clause at issue is in Article 6, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
County Clerk is an Office under the United States. Kim Davis was a County Clerk, so a religious test cannot be administered to keep her from this position. Christianity holds that marriage is between one man and one woman anything else is a violation of the edict of God and thus a sin. Christianity also holds that helping someone sin or recognizing a sinful act as good or as something other than sin is in itself sinful. Giving a marriage license to a homosexual couple would thus be sin. If it is illegal to refuse service to a homosexual couple as a county clerk there is a religious test for holding office, namely, "Do you believe in the tradition Christian doctrine regarding sin and marriage?" Thus under the Sixth Article of our Constitution Kim Davis not only had the right, but was fully justified in refusing service to homosexual couples.
This distinction is important. Many are already comparing the refusal of Christians to participate in sin to ISIS. There is no similarity. While ISIS kills you if you disagree, Christians merely want to be conscientious objectors. Our world has almost reached the point where some believe that offending a person is tantamount to killing them. In a world with this position, Christianity cannot survive long unmolested. The Constitution will soon be irrelevant.
Guest post by Zachary Zupan
Today there are many who cry peace, peace, when there is no peace. Our debt rises above us; our culture crumbles beneath us; we are buffeted continually by the mandates of the far left, the architects of which make no apology for their beliefs. We are the ones told to moderate, or demanded to defend, our stances on the most basic institutions of our country since its’ founding: freedom of religion, free enterprise, marriage—life itself. We are being pushed off the edge of a cliff and our assailants are telling us to concede ground.
If you think this is a stubborn and dogmatic assessment, recall that it was no less prominent a Founder than John Adams who said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
We who stand on the right are accused by our fellow partisans of alienating voters by our stance on principle, but it is our accusers who are guilty of the very same! The Evangelical Christians; the Reagan Democrats; the voters who are desperate for an ounce of sincerity and conviction in a candidate, and saw that, if nothing else, in our White House’s present occupant: they are being alienated by an indifferent, disingenuous, blithely placating establishment. They are being ignored. They are being marginalized.
When our leadership has failed us and lost our trust, it should hardly be considered a blot on a man’s character when he cannot or will not interact peaceably with that same cabal. Do you consider the inhabitants of Washington your friends? If not, why would you want to send someone else to befriend them, or elevate someone who has already done so?
Today, Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland said she will back President Obama and vote to uphold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- better known as the Iran Deal. She is the 34th Senate Democrat to come out in favor of the deal, making it extremely unlike that it can be stopped.
To stop the deal, both houses of Congress would have to reject it, requiring a 60-vote majority in the Senate and a majority vote in the House of Representatives. After that, the rejection would go to the President's desk, and President Obama would veto it. Then, it could go back to Congress for a vote to override the veto. That's where the problem comes in -- 67 votes in the 100-member Senate are required to override a veto, and Sen. Mikulski's decision means that although some, such as Sen. Chuck Schumer, have announced their opposition to the deal, there are still already 34 Democrats supporting the deal -- and thus opposed to a rejection of it. That would block opponents of the Iran Deal from gathering the 67 votes necessary to override the veto.