[Reprinted by Permission]
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update
January 20, 2014
Flour Power: Bakers Stick to Beliefs Despite Pressure
In a politically correct world, the costs of running a business are a lot more than dollars and cents. For Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of a small Oregon bakery, the price is their First Amendment rights. Their dream of opening 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.
Exactly one year ago, the Kleins explained that they couldn’t take the order because it would violate their faith to participate in a same-sex “marriage” ceremony. Furious, the women filed a complaint with the state. The story made national headlines, as the young couple became another face in the war on religious liberty. “We still stand by what we believe from the beginning,” Aaron told reporters. “I’m not sure what the future holds, but as far as where we’re at right now… it’s almost as if the state is hostile toward Christian businesses.”
And the state isn’t the only one. After word spread, the harassment in the liberal suburb of Portland became too much to take. The Kleins were forced to close the shop in Gresham and operate out of their home. Even there, the family was a target. Activists broke into their company truck and painted “bigot” across the side.
Now, 12 months later, the state of Oregon is weighing in — and not on the side of free speech and free exercise. Investigators from the state Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled late last week that the couple was guilty of discrimination and ordered the Kleins to settle. If they refuse, the Bureau threatens to bring “formal charges.” Herbert Grey, the bakers’ attorney, was flabbergasted. “They’re being punished by the state of Oregon for refusing to participate in an event the state of Oregon does not recognize.” Even the state constitution defines marriage the same way as Aaron and Melissa — and they’re being persecuted.
While the couple debates their next move, surrender is not an option. In a Facebook post to her 12,000 fans, Melissa thanked people for their support. “I know that your prayers are being heard. I feel such a peace with all of this that is going on. Even though there are days that are hard… we still feel that the Lord is in this. It is His fight and our situation is in His hands.”
Meanwhile, same-sex “marriage” isn’t legal in Illinois until June 1st, but business owners are already bracing for it. Jim Walder hasn’t allowed a civil union ceremony at Timber Creek Bed & Breakfast since its inception — and he doesn’t plan on changing that policy any time soon. “As long as I own Timber Creek, there will never be a gay marriage at this venue,” he said. Like the Kleins, he’s been staring down the state’s Human Rights Commission after a homosexual couple filed a grievance in 2011 for Walder’s refusal to host their “wedding.”
Like most states with same-sex “marriage” laws, Illinois’s failed to protect business owners with moral objections. “I totally support exemptions for everyone doing business in the wedding industry regarding civil unions or gay marriage,” Walder said. “Our current legal predicament could be the predicament of other businesses in Paxton” — like caterers, photographers, cake bakers, or wedding planners. State Rep. Josh Harms (R), who voted against same-sex “marriage” in Illinois is horrified that businesses will have to participate in same-sex marriage “even if their religion forbids it.” He’s working on legislation to exempt churches and religiously-affiliated organizations and schools, but thinks a business exemption would be a tough sell.
Tough sell or no, the Thomas More Society thinks it’s time to go to bat for religious freedom. Tom Brejcha, who is on standby to file a suit the second an Illinois employer is punished for their marriage views, shakes his head at how backwards America has become. “The idea that free people can be ‘compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives’ as the ‘price of citizenship’ is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom,” he told reporters. For his part, Walder is ready to stand for truth — no matter what the outcome. Sure, the complaint caused them to lose a few weddings, but “that’s OK,” he explained. “Overall, our business is up substantially since the [couple] filed their complaint. We hosted 26 weddings last year.”
[Article reprinted by permission]
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update
January 20, 2014
Family Research Council www.frc.org
801 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
In writing this post, I realize that I will ruffle a lot of feathers. But that is OK with me. There is primarily two major competing world views held by people, i.e., a biblical worldview (which relies on absolutes laid out in the bible by God who “changes not,” i.e., immutable) and a progressive/secular view (which determines right or wrong in their own mind – which is relative morality). I adhere to the biblical worldview.
I will not hold back from proclaiming biblical truth simply because someone claims what I write is offensive (which is nothing more than a deceptive and cheap way to marginalize, be dismissive, and avoid personal responsibility for their actions).
Many claim themselves to be a Christian and a Democrat. If you claim that, you are either deceived (lying to yourself) or ignorant. There’s an old saying,
“Just because the mouse is in the cookie jar, doesn’t make him a cookie.”
Likewise, just because you claim yourself to be a Christian, doesn’t make you one. A christian is a Christ follower and one that adheres to scripture and is obedient to the word of God.
The Democratic party openly promotes and supports moral issues that are in contradiction of scripture, specifically in the areas of homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion.
For the Christian, the Bible is the final authority for both belief and behavior. If we deny God’s truths, we call him a liar.
1 John 2:4 “The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
1 John 1:6 “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”
While we may differ on the role government plays in our life in regard to social, political, economic, etc. (as pushed by Democrats and Republicans), as Christians who believe in God’s word and call Christ their Savior, there should be no conflict. We both should see what is written in the Bible as the inerrant word of God. What God commands us to do, we must follow. What he calls sin or commands us not to do, we must obey.
If we claim that Christ is our Savior and Lord, and yet vote in people who knowingly promote agendas and laws that are in direct violation of scripture, we place ourselves in battle against God himself.
Let me first provide you insight on what the bible says about these issues:
Biblical View of Homosexuality
Homosexuality is condemned in Scripture. The Apostle Paul, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declares that homosexuality “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9; 10). Now Paul does not single out the homosexual as a special offender. He includes fornicators, idolators, adulterers, thieves, covetous persons, drunkards, revilers and extortioners. And then he adds the comment that some of the Christians at Corinth had been delivered from these very practices: “And such were some of you: But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11). All of the sins mentioned in this passage are condemned by God, but just as there was hope in Christ for the Corinthians, so is there hope for all of us.
Homosexuality is an illicit lust forbidden by God. He said to His people Israel, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13). In these passages homosexuality is condemned as a prime example of sin, a sexual perversion. The Christian can neither alter God’s viewpoint nor depart from it.
In the Bible sodomy is a synonym for homosexuality. God spoke plainly on the matter when He said, “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel” (Deuteronomy 23:17). The whore and the sodomite are in the same category. A sodomite was not an inhabitant of Sodom nor a descendant of an inhabitant of Sodom, but a man who had given himself to homosexuality, the perverted and unnatural vice for which Sodom was known. Let us look at the passages in question:
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house around, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. (Genesis 19:4-8)
The Hebrew word for “know” in verse 5 is yada`, a sexual term. It is used frequently to denote sexual intercourse (Genesis 4:1, 17, 25; Matthew 1:24, 25). The message in the context of Genesis 19 is clear. Lot pled with the men to “do not so wickedly.” Homosexuality is wickedness and must be recognized as such else there is no hope for the homosexual who is asking for help to be extricated from his perverted way of life.
The New Testament also addresses the issue of homosexuality: Romans 1:24-27; I Timothy 1:10 and Jude 7. If one takes these Scriptures seriously, homosexuality will be recognized as an evil. The Romans passage is unmistakably clear. Paul attributes the moral depravity of men and women to their rejection of “the truth of God” (1:25). They refused “to retain God in their knowledge” (1:28), thereby dethroning God and deifying themselves. The Old Testament had clearly condemned homosexuality but in Paul’s day there were those persons who rejected its teaching. Because of their rejection of God’s commands He punished their sin by delivering them over to it.
The philosophy of substituting God’s Word with one’s own reasoning commenced with Satan. He introduced it at the outset of the human race by suggesting to Eve that she ignore God’s orders, assuring her that in so doing she would become like God with the power to discern good and evil (Genesis 3:1-5). That was Satan’s big lie. Paul said that when any person rejects God’s truth, his mind becomes “reprobate,” meaning perverted, void of sound judgment. The perverted mind, having rejected God’s truth, is not capable of discerning good and evil.
In Romans 1:26-31 twenty-three punishable sins are listed with homosexuality leading the list. Paul wrote, “For this cause God gave them up into vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:26, 27). These verses are telling us that homosexuals suffer in their body and personality the inevitable consequences of their wrong doing. Notice that the behaviour of the homosexual is described as a “vile affection” (1:26). The Greek word translated “vile” (atimia) means filthy, dirty, evil, dishonourable. The word “affection” in Greek is pathos, used by the Greeks of either a good or bad desire. Here in the context of Romans it is used in a bad sense. The “vile affection” is a degrading passion, a shameful lust. Both the desire (lusting after) and the act of homosexuality are condemned in the Bible as sin.
Biblical View of Marriage
In the Bible, marriage is a divinely ordered institution designed to form a permanent union between one man and one woman for one purpose (among others) of procreating or propagating the human race. That was God’s order in the first of such unions (Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:24; Matthew 19:5). If, in His original creation of humans, God had created two persons of the same sex, there would not be a human race in existence today. The whole idea of two persons of the same sex marrying is absurd, unsound, ridiculously unreasonable, stupid. A clergyman might bless a homosexual marriage but God won’t.
The New Testament has much more to say about marriage, which has yet even a deeper spiritual meaning of Christ, the groom, and his bride, the church.
Democrats View (taken from the national web site: http://www.democrats.org)
> Enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which includes measures prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
> Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and our national security;
> Ensuring civil unions and equal federal rights for LGBT couples, as well as fully repealing the Defense of Marriage Act;
Democrats equate homosexuality, bisexual, transsexual/transgender, lesbian and gay behavior to race and/or gender. They love to re-label sinful behavior as a civil rights issue. The Bible calls this behavior sin, and such behavior is made by an individual as a result of personal choice, not birth. To claim that one is born that way (such as in the case of race/gender), and therefore claim they have no choice and that they are only being what they truly are, is a lie and contradicts scripture. It is nothing more than a convenient excuse and justification for aberrant behavior.
The truth is everyone is born with a sinful nature. We choose or choose not to sin, whether that be lying, stealing, murdering, sexual immorality, and more. We cannot call that which God calls sin, not sin. And even more, as Christians, we should not support those parties or people who knowingly embrace, support, and promote behavior that God calls sin.
Clearly, the Democrat position violates scripture in these areas.
The numbers are staggering. Nearly 1,000,000 babies are aborted in the U.S. each year! This is nothing short of mass murder.
Liberals love to scream “save our forests,” or “save the whales,” but have no problem taking the life of an unborn child. A wounded American eagle was found recently in Maryland and rushed to emergency treatment. However, it died and a $5,000 reward was offered for the arrest of whoever injured it. It is illegal to ship a pregnant lobster: it’s a $1,000 fine. In the State of Massachusetts there is an anti-cruelty law that makes it illegal to award a goldfish as a prize. Why? This is what it says, “To protect the tendency to dull humanitarian feelings and to corrupt morals of those who abuse them.” The same people that want to save the goldfish are leading the parade, usually, to kill the babies.
In some metropolitan hospitals, in the major cities of our nation, abortions far outnumber live births. Planned Parenthood has gone so far as to say, “This is nothing more than a means of preventing disease; pregnancy being noted as a disease.” If you think that sounds farfetched, I will remind you of a paper by Dr. Willard Kates, from the Planned Parenthood Physicians Association. The title of the paper is, “Abortion as treatment for unwanted pregnancy: The second sexually transmitted disease.”
Pregnancy then is seen by Planned Parenthood as a sexually transmitted disease that needs to be cured by abortion. Planned Parenthood has somewhere approaching 1,000 abortion clinics doing somewhere approaching 75,000 murders a year, and are receiving millions of dollars of support from the U. S. Government and the United Way, and other agencies like that. Our nation, and other nations in the world are frankly wiping out an entire generation of human beings in mass infanticide.
The official party platform of the Republicans opposes abortion and considers unborn children to have an inherent right to life (this is in line with the Bible).
The Democratic Party platform considers abortion to be a woman’s right. If she doesn’t want to have a child, she simple chooses to get an abortion. This is like equating the issue of life/death to be as trivial as choosing which color to wear today.
The primary point of conflict in the entire abortion debate is the question of when life begins. If indeed life begins in the womb, then no one could disagree that the fetus (latin for `little one’) is a human being, and is subject to the rights (God’s laws concerning humanity) which befit a human being. First, the Bible establishes that God recognizes a person even before he or she is born. “Before I was born the Lord called me” (Isaiah 49:1).
Exodus 21:22-23 describes a situation in which a man hits a pregnant woman and causes her to give birth prematurely. If there is “no serious injury,” the man is required to pay a fine, but if there is “serious injury,” either to the mother or the child, then the man is guilty of murder and subject to the penalty of death. This command, in itself, legitimizes the humanity of the unborn child, and places the child on a level equal that of the adult male who caused the miscarriage.
Scriptural support abounds for the humanity of the unborn child. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Ps 139: 13-16). The Bible, in fact, uses the same Greek word to describe the unborn John the Baptist (Luke 1:41,44), the newborn baby Jesus (Luke 2:12,16), and the young children who were brought to Jesus for his blessing (Luke 18:15).
Perhaps the most stark Biblical revelation of the humanity of the unborn comes in Jeremiah 20, during Jeremiah’s cry of woe in which he laments that he wishes he had never been born, “Cursed be the man who brought my father the news, who made him very glad, saying ‘A child is born to you – a son!’ . . . For he did not kill me in the womb with my mother as my grave” (Jeremiah 20:15-17).
In the aforementioned verses, and in countless other verses, the Bible does indeed establish that an unborn child is just as much a human in God’s eyes as we ourselves are. This indicates that the command “Thou Shall not Murder” (Exodus 20:13) certainly applies to the unborn as well as the already born. Thus, when we read Genesis 9:6, the full realization of what it means to murder comes in to focus, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” Murder is an abomination in the sight of God because it is the unauthorized killing of a being made in His own image, and a blurring of the creator/creature distinction (cf. Romans 1).
Clearly, once again Democrats position on abortion runs counter to scripture!
In all these issues, Democrats worldview is in contradiction to the Bible. This secular worldview colors, taints, affects, distorts and determines how Democrats view other non-spiritual issues, such as: immigration, environmental, science, energy and civil rights, etc.
Regardless of political party, for a Christian to elect people who knowingly embrace, support, and promote behavior and actions that God calls sin, it is a direct violation of revealed scripture. The wise and prudent Christian should ask themselves if their obedience is to a political party, or to the word of God.
The following article was originally posted at: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3945628.html
Reprinted with permission.
Editor’s Note: Adam Ch’ng resides Melbourne, Australia. The political left is the same everywhere.
12 APRIL 2012
Having attended a Catholic high school, I quite reasonably assumed that my teachers were themselves, well, Catholic.
Similarly, it would be slightly inappropriate if the staffer employed by my local Liberal parliamentarian was a card-carrying member of the ALP.
It therefore strikes me as passing strange that there are calls to prohibit religious schools from being able to refuse employment to someone whose religion, sexual orientation or marital status is inconsistent with the school’s religious belief. In short, it is an attempt to restrict the right to discriminate.
As it stands, the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination against persons with an ‘attribute’ – such as sexual orientation, religious belief or disability – in the course of employment, education, and other activities.
However, there are approximately 44 exceptions to the rule. One such exception is found in section 83 which provides that religious schools may discriminate on the basis of a person’s religion, sexual orientation or marital status, where the discrimination:
“… conforms with their religious doctrines; or is reasonably necessary to avoid injury to the sensitivities of the religious adherents.”
Section 83, it is proposed, should be repealed.
Now let’s get something straight: ‘discrimination’ in itself is not a bad thing. If the hysteria perpetuated by the bleeding hearts is to be believed, mere mention of the word is morally offensive and should be legally sanctioned.
The reality is we all discriminate, every moment of every day. Whether we are deciding what health insurer to sign up with or what school to send our children to, we make choices favouring one party over another. Our legal system rightly discriminates against aspiring lawyers who are not ‘fit and proper’ persons and our armed forces appropriately discriminate against aspiring soldiers who fail to meet the physical fitness requirements.
So let’s not immediately assume that discrimination is the moral evil it’s made out to be. In fact, discrimination is indispensible to our ability to make moral choices between good and bad, right and wrong, and of course Liberal and Labor. It is our right to discriminate.
The question then is not whether religious schools should have the right to discriminate. Instead, it is whether that discrimination is unjustified. And insofar as it is justified, the law should protect and not restrict that right.
So is a religious school’s right to discriminate unjustified? Melissa Matheson certainly thinksso:
“If religious schools are willing to accept funding from the government, they should have to play by the rules like everyone else – and that includes equal opportunity.”
At first blush, this sounds perfectly reasonable. After all, if ‘everyone else’ can’t discriminate, why should religious schools get special treatment? All Matheson is proposing is that religious schools be brought into line with ‘everyone else’. But who exactly is ‘everyone else’? And do they all actually ‘play by the rules’?
As it happens, government-funded organisations of all stripes can discriminate on a whole range of matters. The act permits political parties to discriminate against prospective employees on the basis of their political belief or activity. Schools are allowed to discriminate against students through age-based admission schemes and quotas. And single-sex, age-specific and minority culture clubs can exclude from membership people who are not of the same sex, age or culture.
Each of these groups has a legitimate core philosophy that defines their very reason for existence. To adapt Justice Sachs’ words in Christian Education South Africa v Minister of Education, the state should seek to avoid putting people to extremely painful and intensely burdensome choices of either being true to their faith or philosophy, or else respectful of the law.
The simple truth is, religious schools are already playing by the rules like ‘everyone else’. If the equal opportunity crusaders really want a level playing field, why don’t they lodge a complaint against the university womyn’s group for discriminating against men?
I suspect that the real issue at play has nothing to do with equal opportunity legislation, education policy or even discrimination law. If it did, surely the other exceptions under the act would be targeted for repeal and other non-Christian interest groups would be similarly attacked.
Instead, it seems to me that this has far more to do with a rather evangelical crusade against the Christian church. Matheson would do well to note that the right to discriminate she fervently preaches against is similarly enjoyed by Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, the very people she calls Christians to repent of excluding.
Whether it is same-sex marriage or equal opportunity, the knives are out for the Christian church.
Such calls to restrict our right to discriminate should send chills down all our spines. What appears to promote greater freedom and equality actually extends the reach of government regulation into our homes, churches and community groups.
We all have the right to discriminate but the equal opportunity crusaders will stop at nothing to set political correctness in statutory stone.
Adam Ch’ng is a graduate at a law firm in Melbourne where he principally practices employment and workplace relations law. The views expressed here are those solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer or any other organisation. View his full profile here.