Monday, June 26, 2017

You call it 'religious liberty,' I call it another game of 'beating down the gays'

Editor's note - In my headline and throughout this post, the word 'gay' is mean to represent the entire LGBTQ community. 

I knew that the Family Research Council would get 'gloat-happy' at the news that SCOTUS will be hearing the case involving using 'religious liberty' as an excuse to discriminate. So allow me to post the organization's comments:

If anyone’s under the influence of the media and questioning President Trump’s results after six months, look no further than the U.S. Supreme Court and Justice Neil Gorsuch. This morning, after waiting through a string of Monday court announcements, Americans concerned about the relentless assault on religious freedom finally got the word they’d been waiting for -- justices have agreed to hear the case of Christian baker Jack Phillips. For men and women of faith, who’ve been in the fight of their lives for their First Amendment rights since Obergefell, it’s a hopeful sign that the days of persecution against believers like Jack may be numbered.

Like so many Christian businesses, the war on religious freedom came to the Phillips’s front door when two men visited Masterpiece Cakes in 2012 and asked for a same-sex wedding cake. Jack was kind -- but firm -- in his conviction that he wouldn’t participate in a ceremony that violates his faith. Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig offered a choice gesture and stormed out. Later that day, they turned to social media, launching a campaign to force Phillips into submission. It didn’t work. “We would close down our bakery before we would compromise our beliefs,” Phillips told reporters.

Ironically, business only boomed. People flocked to the Colorado cake shop to show their support. They understood, as we do, that this was never about discriminating against anyone. Like Barronelle Stutzman in Washington State, Jack is happy to serve everyone. “If gays come in and want to order birthday cakes or any cakes for any occasion, graduations, or whatever, I have no prejudice against that whatsoever. It’s just the wedding cake -- not the people, not their lifestyle.” All Christians are asking for is the same tolerance that liberals already enjoy. Instead, the Left seems intent on punishing anyone who thinks like 53 percent of Americans on marriage. And in the process, they’ve done an incredibly effective job answering their own question -- how will my same-sex marriage affect you?

 . . . “If Jack can’t make wedding cakes,” his attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom pointed out, “he can’t continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system. That is a reprehensible choice.” Tragically, it’s a choice more Christians are having to make. Finally, the Supreme Court has a chance to rule that the government has no authority to force Americans like Jack Philips to use their artistic talents to celebrate events they morally oppose. With Justice Gorsuch on the bench, we’re more optimistic than ever that the court will uphold our nation’s long tradition of respecting religious liberty. That wouldn’t just be a victory for Masterpiece Cakes but every Christian suffering under the government’s heavy hand.

Even when gloating, the Family Research Council won't stop deceiving.

The poll cited by the organization in its claim that a majority of Americans stand against marriage equality is fraudulent. It comes from the Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research. And repeating what I wrote about this research from a March 14 post, the Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research:

 . . . is a Republican research firm which counts such GOP notables as Texas Senator Ted Cruz as a client. It sounds like WPA is a firm which isn't necessarily paid to show simple objective studies.

But let's get to the brass tacks of this situation.

This 'religious freedom' argument was used as a push back against the African-American civil rights movement and it is as putrid today as it was back then. The case has nothing to do with persecution or religious freedom or religious liberty.  It's nothing more than the latest piece of homophobic garbage from pseudo- religious organizations and individuals who have for decades made it their life's work to attack us, demonize us, and basically send  us the message that we aren't worthy of anything unless it's by their will and pleasure. With as much audacity as in the past when they claimed that gays are trying to "recruit" children, or gays deserve HIV/AIDS because of our supposed lifestyles, or that gays want "special rights," the Family Research Council, and other like minded groups, are claiming that they are merely trying to protect the well-being of Christians. In reality, it's all  another game of "beating down the gays."

It's the same broken record of fear and lies which they repeat ad nausea because no one seems to have the good sense or memory to call them out on their long history of homophobia and phony moral panics.

And they manipulate folks like this baker to think that they are  being persecuted. In reality, this baker was justly penalized for refusing service to lgbtqs just as he would be if he refused service to African-Americans or Jewish people. According to ThinkProgress, this specific case has been repeatedly tried:
The case was pretty open-and-shut as it traveled through state courts. Colorado has a law prohibiting public accommodations (like businesses that serve the public) from refusing service on the basis of sexual orientation. Back in 2012, when David Mullins and Charlie Craig entered Masterpiece Cakeshop inquiring about a wedding cake, owner Jack Phillips refused to sell them wedding cake services because they were a same-sex couple. In court, ADF argued on Phillips’ behalf that cakes are a matter of “artistic expression” and thus a free speech and “religious freedom” concern, even though the refusal of service took place before any discussion of the cake’s design could take place. A Colorado appeals court found that Phillips had violated the law, and the Colorado Supreme Court denied his appeal, letting the appellate ruling stand.

FRC not mentioning that detail is  the most noxious part of this entire "religious liberty" fraud, because it makes the lgbtq community look like villains.

The lgbtq community did everything legally and by the book to win marriage equality. We didn't spread lies about children  being harmed (unlike the Family Research Council and others on their side), we didn't spread false and anecdotal horror stories about parents going to jail to keep their children from being supposedly indoctrinated (unlike the Family Research Council and others on their side), and when we lost battles, we didn't create ridiculous arguments out of thin air designed to cater to the false entitlement of our supporters. We shouldn't have to deal with nefarious schemes to dial back our win. Nor should we have to deal with the semantic mind games which label us as"intolerant" simply because we want everything which comes with our victory.

We won marriage fairly and our victory shouldn't be dialed back in any form to appeal to anyone's sense of religious self-entitlement.

Lastly, with regards to my comments about racial and ethnic discrimination, I would suggest that not only all African-Americans and people of the Jewish faith, but all of those not fitting the white, evangelical right-wing Christian prototype pay attention to what SCOTUS may do.

If SCOTUS justifies "religious liberty" as an excuse to discriminate against the lgbtq community, what makes you think your rights won't be on the slab.

Photo taken from here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would also elevate these fundamentalists to persecute anyone else, religious or non-religious, whose beliefs were different from theirs... theocratic tyranny here we come!!