And So It Begins....
The first indication that things would not go well for religious liberty this week was when the White House for the first time in her history was used for a political purpose. In years past the buildings in Washington D.C. have always been viewed with respect and above the petty political battles, whether the Supreme Court, the Capital, or the White House. After the Supreme Court decision, the White House was lit up in rainbow, to celebrate.
Shortly after the decision several county clerks resigned their position. In Montana a man applied for a second marriage license citing the marriage case. Already a Catholic School was sued for following their religious precepts.
A gay teacher sued Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, Georgia because he was fired from the position of band director. He claimed discrimination based upon sexual orientation. The school has stated that they were just following the teaching to the Catholic Church. The teacher claims that the school's hand book did not require adherence to church doctrine or living, but the school points out that such adherence should be a logical conclusion of working with a school.
This is only the beginning. Churches will likely lose their tax exempt status. Religious Universities and Colleges will lose their ability to receive government funding - the GI Bill, or student loans, because of this many will close down. Some will possibly loss their accreditation. Religious business will have to close down, stop participating in weddings, or comply. Religious charities will find themselves in trouble. Hospitals and Adoption agencies will find themselves under pressure to comply or close down. Already a religious business has closed down because they refuse to participate in homosexual weddings, and thus have closed their business to all weddings. Businesses that do some work with weddings may be able to survive, but the businesses that mostly revolve around weddings will most likely close their doors. As one former Christian print shop manager told me if he still owned the business all of the preset wedding invitations and wedding planning guides would have gone into the dumpster on June 26 at 10:05am. A Print shop can survive without doing weddings but a photography business likely cannot.
Although this may be sound depressing the fact is that the Church has weathered worst troubles before. We will survive this. In the past the Church has overcome impossible odds. We can overcome this as well. The West has survived tests before our civilization can do so again.
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The recent Supreme Court decision not to review cases from the Court of Appeals has made homosexual marriage legal in over 30 states. It is unbelievable that only 11 years ago many states banned the homosexual lifestyle Now many of those same states have been forced to accept homosexual marriage.
Freedom's Defenders has opposed Homosexual marriage for the simple reason that God designed marriage to be one man for one woman for life. Even without this biblical reason, it is illogical to accept homosexual marriage so fast. Firstly, no one is being discriminated against by leaving the law as it is. Non-homosexuals can no more marry someone of the same sex than a homosexual can.
One may argue that this is similar to the bans on inter-racial marriage. This is very different from the bans on inter-racial marriage. The definition of marriage was not altered by lifting those bans. The definition was still one man for one woman. We are discussing not just lifting a ban based upon something like skin color, we are discussing changing the definition of a marriage itself. The Supreme Court of Minnesota affirmed this in their 19721 decision Baker vs. Nelson; "Loving does indicate that not all state restrictions upon the right to marry are beyond reach of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in commonsense and in a constitutional sense, there is a clear distinction between a marital restriction based merely upon race and one based upon the fundamental difference in sex."
Unfortunately only four circuit courts are left to rule on this matter: 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th. Several States within these circuits have appeals pending. We will see what the future holds regarding the definition of marriage.
Same-Sex Marriage is Not Like Interracial Marriage - Family Research Council
Judge Strikes Down Utah Traditional Marriage Laws, Calls Them 'Irrational' - Family Research Council
Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court upheld the right of the owners of Hobby Lobby to practice their religion. Hobby Lobby was threatened with millions of dollars of fines if they did not pay for abortions, but the Supreme Court struck down the HHS mandate. This was a victory for religious freedom and we are all thankful that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the rights of the owners of Hobby Lobby.
However, this battle is not over. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said last Tuesday, "The one thing we’re going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men, this Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we’re going to do something about it. People are going to have to walk down here and vote, and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think they’re going to be treated unfavorably come November with the elections." Then, Senator Pat Murray (D) of Washington introduced S.B. 2578 to "repeal" Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Inc.
Please note that the Supreme Court would UPHOLD this law. The Hobby Lobby decision was decided under a 1993 law known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This law was enacted after the Supreme Court decision in Employment Div vs. Smith. In this decision, the court stopped using the compelling interest test for religious freedom cases involving a neutral law of general applicability. Because the Hobby Lobby decision was made based on a federal law and not the first amendment, the US Congress is ALLOWED to change the law to ensure that there is no exemption for Hobby Lobby.
We must fight S.B. 2578 to the very end. While it may be unlikely that five republican senators will vote to allow this bill to go up for a vote in the Senate, we must remember that republicans have voted to allow other bills to go up for a vote. And while we would not expect the House to pass this bill we must watch them carefully. Remember, this is an election year and politicians are often more likely to cave to demands in an attempt to gain more votes.
Remember Chick-Fil-A Day?
Well it's back -- but this time, it's for Hobby Lobby, the craft store chain that could face fines of up the $1.3 million per day if its Christian owners don't comply with the federal "HHS Mandate" to provide contraception to employees in their health coverage. (Keep in mind that Hobby Lobby still covers, and would continue to cover, 16 out of 20 contraceptives.)
Their case was argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 25.
Now, you can join Americans across the nation in supporting Hobby Lobby by shopping in-store or online tomorrow, March 29!
Please RSVP to this Facebook event hosted by Family Research Council Action as another way to show that you stand with Hobby Lobby!
You can show your support for Hobby Lobby by using this photo for your Facebook cover! Right-click, save the graphic, and then upload it as your Facebook cover photo.
BREAKING NEWS!!! The Romeikes can stay!!!
This amazing news comes right on the heels of a disappointing announcement yesterday by the Supreme Court that they would not hear the Romeike case. With this new announcement from the DHS, however, the case would have been unnecessary, and the Romeikes can stay in the United States.
Praise the Lord!
First of 2014 - Marriage in Utah, Reince Priebus on March For Life, New Parental Rights Cosponsors
MARRIAGE IN UTAH: The US Supreme Court issued a stay on a December ruling by federal District Court judge Robert J. Shelby that would have forced the state to accept homosexual "marriage". The stay issued yesterday by the Supreme Court allows Utah's ban on homosexual "marriage" to remain in place while Judge Shelby's decision is appealed to the Tenth Circuit court.
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, released the following statement:
"The Supreme Court has today signaled that it will not allow state laws defining marriage to be set aside by a lone judge without a careful consideration of the issues involved. The issuance of a stay is consistent with the Court's ruling last year in Windsor v. United States, in which they affirmed that states have the 'historic and essential authority to define the marital relation' and condemned federal efforts 'to influence or interfere with state sovereign choices about who may be married.'"
MARCH FOR LIFE: On Sunday, news broke that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is delaying the start if the GOP's winter meetings so that RNC members can attend the March For Life on January 22. The party will also charter a bus to transport committee members to the March For Life. Read the story in the Washington Times here.
While we don't always agree with Chairman Priebus, we applaud this decision and hope that he will continue to show strong pro-life leadership as the chairman of the Republican Party.
PARENTAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT: Over the Christmas and New Years holidays, the Parental Rights Amendment gained five new cosponsors, bringing the total number up to 70! Click here to see if your Congressman is on the list, and if they're not, give them a call and ask them to support parental rights!
Marriage Under Fire
For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate states of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guarantee of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement." -Supreme Court of the United States: Murphy vs. Ramsey: 114 US 45
In the last two weeks devastating developments have happened around the country for marriage. Before this week 17 states had legalized same-sex "marriage." Three by the will of the people and four by the legislatures, and the rest by judicial fiat. This week added 2 more states - Utah and New Mexico- to the horror of many residents of these states. In both states a court ruled bans unconstitutional. In Utah the same-sex marriage ban had been passed by the people.
Mayor Mia Love expressed her horror at the overruling of the ban on same-sex marriage:
"I am disappointed in today's ruling by Judge Robert J. Shelby. Judge Shelby used his position on the federal bench to override the will of Utah's voters, who have defined marriage in our state constitution as a union between one man and one woman. Amendment 3, which Judge Shelby's ruling strikes down, passed by an overwhelming vote in Utah: 65.9% to 34.1%. I am hopeful that the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will reverse this activist ruling by allowing states—not the federal government—to define marriage within their borders."
Sadly there are only 31 states left that hold to the traditional, biblical view of marriage.
"Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." - Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6
Last week a new attack on marriage arose; Utah's polygamy ban was ruled unconstitutional in Brown v. Buhman. this is the first time in American history a ban on polygamy was ruled unconstitutional. Throughout case law, polygamy is seen as vile, for in the words of the Supreme Court, "[Polygamy] degrades women." In three different Court cases the Supreme Court affirmed that polygamy is invalid; Reynolds vs. United States, Davis vs. Beason, and Murphy vs. Ramsey. Thankfully in order for Polygamy to become legal in any state these cases would have to be overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States. Despite this Brown v. Buhman makes clear a new danger for the American family.
As the Supreme Court has declared;
Bigamy and polygamy are crimes by the laws of all civilized and Christian countries. They are crimes by the laws of the United States, and they are crimes by the laws of Idaho. They tend to destroy the purity of the marriage relation, to disturb the peace of families, to degrade woman, and to debase man. Few crimes are more pernicious to the best interests of society, and receive more general or more deserved punishment. To extend exemption from punishment for such crimes would be to shock the moral judgment of the community." - Supreme Court of the United States - Davis vs. Breason
Weekly Wrap Up: December 9-December 15
As we approach the CHRISTmas season things begin to slow down, this last week has been no exception.