This is Part 7 in a series on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that the Federal Government enacted in 1993 (and subsequently states have adopted). It was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.); passed by the House unanimously; voted on in the Senate with 97 in favor; and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton.
Last week I reprinted the main points of the Act so that you could consider over what, exactly, the debate was being raged. I believe, if one reads the Act, he would come to the conclusion that the RFRA is not intolerant nor promotes discrimination but rather prevents the government from discriminating against religious Americans, regardless of how the media have portrayed it.
But speaking of intolerance, notice how those who are against the RFRA’s show “tolerance” toward anyone who disagrees with them.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery in Oregon, had to shut down their business after declining to participate in promoting a “gay wedding” by baking a cake. They have also been fined $135,000. Not only that, a fund was set up ongofundme.com to help the Klein’s out, but it was promptly taken down by the owners of gofundme.combecause of the Klein’s beliefs. The wedding “couple,” the government, and gofundme.com do not tolerate anyone who has different beliefs than they themselves hold.
A Christian T-shirt maker called Hands On Originals in Kentucky was targeted by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission for refusing to print “gay pride” designs for a local homosexual group. If not for a clear thinking judge and Kentucky’s RFRA, the T-shirt company would have been fined and forced to close as well.
After Indiana passed its own RFRA, owners of the family-run Memories Pizza in Indiana were questioned about their religious beliefs when being interviewed on a local TV station. Kevin O’Connor said that anyone was welcome into his restaurant, but he would not endorse “gay marriage” by participating through catering. The “tolerant” ones threatened with destruction of their property as well as murder because they disagreed with O’Connor’s beliefs. Memories Pizza was shut down for a while as a result.
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist ministry, can no longer be used for weddings because a lesbian couple complained when the Camp leaders would not endorse their marriage by allowing them to use the Methodist pavilion. The same people who shut the ministry down and who were calling on the Methodists to be tolerant by accepting their gay beliefs also demonstrated against actor Kirk Cameron when he was allowed to speak at the same pavilion. Apparently Cameron’s beliefs were not to be tolerated.
Cynthia and Robert Gifford, owners of Liberty Ridge Farm near Albany, New York, were fined $13,000 for not allowing a lesbian wedding to occur on their land. Those advocates for “tolerance” will not tolerate anyone using his own land for what he wants to use it for if the “tolerant ones” don’t like it.
Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado has been ordered to take government-approved tolerance training (how’s that for some irony?) along with all of his staff because he believes that marriage is a solemn covenant before God and between one man and one woman and will not endorse otherwise.
David and Jason Benham are a twin brother business team who have succeeded in the house renovation business and were slated to star in a new HGTV show called Flip it Forward. They were immediately dropped when their beliefs about marriage being between one man and one woman were publicized. Apparently HGTV will not “tolerate” these bigots because they believe differently than the executives of HGTV.
Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla, creator of Firefox, was forced to resign because of those who could not “tolerate” the fact that he donated $1,000 in support of a proposition in California that said that marriage was between one woman and one man.
And the list goes on. THIS is why the states need their own RFRA. Since there has been success in adding to the list of protected classes a group of people based on who they sleep with, there has also been a wave of momentum to push back on anyone who does not agree with this group.
The admirable goal of protecting people who are in the minority has had the unintended consequence of producing classes of people who are immune to any kind of dissent or criticism. This power has been abused by a few in each of the protected classes over the years. But no group of people has lashed out with such ferocity against those who disagree with them like the group of people who are protected because they like people of the same sex. And their main target is those who hold to a biblical definition of marriage.