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March 27, 2015

A Church Against Religious Liberty

Hardly anyone ever talks anymore about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination, even though it is historically Mainline, because it doesn’t have many members left and has become culturally marginal.

But the denomination, which is based in Indianapolis, provided a soundbite useful to liberals and secularists this week by claiming its governing convention may not meet in Indianapolis after Indiana approved its own version of the longstanding federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Indianapolis Star describes the law this way:

Senate Bill 101 prohibits state or local governments from substantially burdening a person’s ability to exercise their religion — unless the government can show that it has a compelling interest and that the action is the least-restrictive means of achieving it. 

Many other states have similar laws to offer some protection for religious minorities, and the federal version passed over 20 years ago almost unanimously in Congress, signed by President Clinton.

But protecting religious minorities has become hyper politically incorrect.  Under the new zeitgeist of cultural and political demands, elderly inn owners must host polyamorous rites, nuns must subsidize condoms, and church groups should finance abortions.  Otherwise, they are guilty of “discrimination,” which has become the unforgivable sin, unless the targets of discrimination are religious traditionalists, who merit no rights, until they fall down prostrate and worship at the altar of the latest presenting fad.

One Disciples of Christ spokesman succinctly encapsulated the secularist talking points:

Any time you have laws that basically are permitting bigotry and hatred and wrapping it in the cloak of religious freedom, you are potentially excluding people who would want to come [to Indiana] and work for you.  

Yes, the Catholic Church, Evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, among others, who supported the law, are motivated by hatred and bigotry.  What else could explain their adherence to ancient scriptures that claim human dignity entails more than endless sexual freedom and self expressionism?

The Disciples of Christ warned Indiana’s governor before he signed the bill:

Purportedly a matter of religious freedom, we find RFRA contrary to the values of our faith – as well as to our national and Hoosier values. Our nation and state are strong when we welcome people of many backgrounds and points of view. The free and robust exchange of ideas is part of what makes our democracy great.

As a Christian church, we are particularly sensitive to the values of the One we follow – one who sat at table with people from all walks of life, and loved them all. Our church is diverse in point of view, but we share a value for an open Lord’s Table. Our members and assembly-goers are of different races and ethnicities, ages, genders and sexual orientations. They have in common that they love Jesus and seek to follow him.

We are particularly distressed at the thought that, should RFRA be signed into law, some of our members and friends might not be welcome in Indiana businesses – might experience legally sanctioned bias and rejection once so common on the basis of race.

The Disciples of Christ letter noted that 6000 are expected at its 2017 convention.  It doesn’t mention that such a number represents over one percent of the total national membership of the highly shrunken denomination, which has the distinction of losing a higher percentage of membership than any other liberal Mainline denomination, all of which have shriveled.  The Disciples have lost about 70 percent, despite its widely advertised radical hospitality.  It will not be long before its entire membership can convene in a stadium, or perhaps a private back room at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Why would even a hyper liberal denomination oppose religious freedom and free speech, labeling it “hatred” and “bigotry?”  Originally RFRA laws were intended to protected small religious groups like the Amish and Sikhs from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life.  It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain, even within their own domiciles, from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation.  And there’s always a next wave, always more provocative than the previous, and always accompanied by a shrill chorus angrily berating any and all dissent.

Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people.  Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state’s power to coerce.  As to the spiritually and demographically collapsed religious groups whose spokespersons no longer cherish liberty, they might recall an admonition of long ago from a long since, for them, discarded tradition:  

If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.


  • yolo

    This law does nothing to refuse anyone service. That’s the amazing thing about the reaction to this law. These businesses will perform services for anybody, just not a homosexual ” ” ceremony. If they want a birthday cake, they will get one. If they want a graduation cake, they will get one and so forth. The alternative, without this law, is akin to punishing business owners who refuse to accommodate drug use. Isn’t it interesting that there are no gripes by anyone about businesses that have “Guns Prohibited” stickers, even though that is a right actually amended into our Constitution and one of the Bill of Rights. If drug users want birthday cakes, they can get them. if they want graduation cakes, they can get them. If they want a drug cake, they won’t. If they want a cake that promotes drug use, they won’t.

    • csalafia

      “The alternative, without this law, is akin to punishing business owners who refuse to accommodate drug use.”

      Ummm..that is the stupidest argument ever.

      • Ray Bannister

        Your debating skills are breathtaking.

        “stupidest argument ever”

        Awesome.

        • csalafia

          Sometimes refuting bullsh!t takes exponentially more energy than it did to create it.

          …and sometimes you just have to call it like you see it… and the drug addiction analogy is about the stupidest argument ever.

          • Carlos

            Nice Christian vocabulary there. Using obscenity will not make you appear more manly or intelligent.

          • Dusty H

            The superlative form of the word “stupid” is “most stupid” not stupidest.

          • RhondaStar

            Your profanity completely diminishes your point. Go play with your fellow perversity-pusher & vow breaker, Chris Teideman.

          • jjgrndisland

            Nice, using obscenity on a Christian blog? if you were trying to make an impression, you did, but probably not what you were hoping for.

      • Guest

        So you believe that Jewish bakeries that refuse to make cakes with swastikas on them should be shut down for refusing to promote that speech?

        • csalafia

          Seriously..this worn out canard?

          *Yawn*

          Nice try, but again, a fail.

          • John S.

            When you cannot refute an argument dismiss it as irrelevant.

          • csalafia

            Nah, it’s dismissing an irrelevant argument as irrelevant.

            Learn the difference.

          • John S.

            Thank you for validating my point.

          • accelerator

            How about refusing to cater a wedding at the Playboy Mansion?

          • MarcoPolo

            Who would refuse to cater that venue?

    • MarcoPolo

      Guns are dangerous, and Gays are not!

  • Ray Bannister

    Count on the Religious Left to side AGAINST religion, consistently.

    The Disciples really are becoming marginal. The international mission boards of the United Church of Christ and Disciples merged, called the Common Global Ministries Board. Mergers like this occur because neither denomination is bringing in enough donations to cover operating expenses, just like the “union” churches which merge two failing congregations. The Disciples were 1.8 million in 1960, way below a million today. As the article says, their promotion of “radical hospitality” is bearing no fruit at all.

    • Dusty H

      Yes, and I can see the day that in the final dying breath of the progressive/liberal “church” it could end as a merger into the: “Unitarian Episcopal Methodist Disciples Church of Christ”. Of course the term “Christ” in the name of the newly merged church is only a reference to a mystical Buddhist-like christ-consciousness. And, all the crosses and other religious imagery would have long since been removed so as not to offend the majority Atheist membership.

      “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” -Romans 1:24-25

    • John S.

      You are wrong. The religious left supports religion, civic religion, its religion. Everybody else is not acting religiously but rather out of hate, greed and envy.

  • Dusty H

    Behold the future of the United Methodist Church!

    “At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” -Luke 13:1-5

  • Trevor Thomas

    ALL law “discriminates.” For well over two centuries homosexual behavior was illegal in the U.S. (See: http://www.trevorgrantthomas.com/2012/06/to-define-marriage-we-must-discriminate.html) Each of the original 13 colonies treated homosexuality as a serious criminal offense. Thomas Jefferson himself authored such a law for the state of Virginia, prescribing that the punishment for sodomy was to be castration. (You think modern courts will look to this for guidance?)

    It is also noteworthy that the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (the Fourteenth Amendment being ratified in 1868) did nothing to prevent all 50 U.S. states, including each state that entered the union after 1868, from enacting laws against homosexual behavior. As recently as 1961, sodomy was a felony in every state in the U.S.

    In other words, for nearly 200 years and without any Constitutional conflictions or any serious debate, homosexual behavior in America was seen as immoral and therefore illegal. (See: http://www.trevorgrantthomas.com/2014/02/same-sex-marriage-paganism-founders-and.html) This is not about “rights” for homosexuals. This an attempt by liberals to force the acceptance of homosexuality and all of its perversions on the U.S.

    • MarcoPolo

      And it would appear that some people would like to return to those days of yore.
      That would be regressive in every sense of the word!

      How do your LGBT friends feel about your attitude?

      • Trevor Thomas

        And how do you feel about polygamy, incest, “throuples,” monogamy, pornography, and the like? Or is it simply as “progressive” as “Do as thou wilt?”

        • MarcoPolo

          I don’t think any of those things you mentioned have anything to do with the conversation.

          But since you asked… I think Polygamy is an old religious AND secular arrangement that no longer holds much importance today. It was primarily for ensuring the procreative success of a Man’s gene pool. Pure ego AND practicality!

          Incest: Well that’s just sick! Nobody I know advocates for criminal behavior to become legal.

          Monogamy: I love that plan, and I practice it with my wife! Fidelity ’til death!

          Pornography: Is just a salacious interest to some folks who either can’t get laid, or are afraid of their own sexuality. But I don’t think it’s sinful.
          As my father used to say about sex: “If God had created anything better, he’d have kept it for Himself!”

          • Trevor Thomas

            “Well that’s just sick! Nobody I know advocates for criminal behavior to become legal.”

            Of course you realize, that was EXACTLY the prevailing sentiment on homosexuality not so long ago.

            http://www.trevorgrantthomas.com

          • MarcoPolo

            Without having investigated your link (I’ll check later), I have to wonder if you feel comfortable extrapolating the current acceptance of homosexuals to the potential of making INCEST acceptable?

            If so, you’ve really missed the ‘boat’ when it comes to being civil about people who are different than you simply because they are Gay or Lesbian.

            Too often people conflate homosexuality with sexual crimes that are worlds apart, not only in fact, but emotion as well.

            Good luck with your attitude toward your fellow man (and woman).

          • Trevor Thomas

            Why must we be “civil” when it comes to homosexuality, but not incest, or polygamists, and the like? I think it is you who has “missed the boat.” Either homosexuality is immoral or it isn’t. For millennia homosexual behavior has been determined to be immoral and undesirable behavior. What’s changed? (This link might be better:
            http://www.trevorgrantthomas.com/2014/02/same-sex-marriage-paganism-founders-and.html)

          • MarcoPolo

            Even if we disagree on a topic, we need not resort to being uncivil.

            As for being civil regarding homosexuality. I guess if you don’t feel it’s necessary, you may display whatever sense of dismay you wish. Although, it shows a lack of respect. Oh, I forgot. You probably don’t respect Gays or Lesbians.
            Do you know any gays or Lesbians? Are any of your family members Gay or Lesbian?

            If you did, you might feel differently.
            Homosexuality is something you (excuse me, I mean someone else) is born with. Like being left-handed. But I see even in the twenty-first century, there are people who don’t realize that!

            The Bible, and even Jesus don’t explicitly describe homosexuality per se, as something to denigrate as a human trait.
            But then, as Buddhist, I don’t have those kinds of restraints on how I see people that are different than myself.

            Good luck adjusting to the 21st century. LGBT people aren’t going away. Except, that they will try and keep their distance from folks like you!

            No hard feelings. I’ll still cat with you!
            Thanks for your honesty.

            BTW, I checked out that link. No thanks!
            A quick look at who contributes as columnists is enough to make my skin crawl. Yikes! Ann Coulter? Pat Buchanan? et al…..

          • Trevor Thomas

            I suppose it depends on ones definition of “civil.” Of course, I can be polite, kind, merciful, and so on (all the things that love requires) to those who are struggling with same-sex attractions. However, if by “civil” that means that I’m for the legal recognition and moral support of all things homosexual, then no.

            Of course, the issue isn’t about what century we’re in or whether or not something is here to stay. Truth is for all time, and virtually every sin imaginable has been around since Eden was abandoned. The truth on homosexuality (that it is sin) will remain no matter what is popular, who has the political power, or how many “churches” decide that they want to compromise.

          • Covered California

            So what is your idea for someone who is attracted to the same sex? People don’t magically wake up one day and like the other gender.

          • Trevor Thomas

            The same solution that exists for a married man or woman who is sexually attracted to someone other than their spouse. The same solution that exists for those who crave having sex with prostitutes. The same solution that exists for any unmarried person no matter who they are attracted to. In other words, it matters not so much who you’re sexually attracted to, but what God says about how you are supposed to act on those attractions.

          • MarcoPolo

            But you’re still stuck on the SEXUAL aspects of relationships.
            Marriage between same sex partners, doesn’t always include sexual activity. There are many, many marriages that are sexless.
            For once, I’d like to hear an opponent of SSM leave the sex act out of the conversation. It’s not all about SEX. Marriage is a covenant of LOVE between two people!

          • Trevor Thomas

            In a sense, you are EXACTLY correct. I’ve dealt with this very issue on American Thinker, and on my site: http://www.trevorgrantthomas.com/2013/07/the-gay-marriage-charade.html

            However, it’s NOT the conservatives in this debate who’ve made this into a sexual issue. For liberals, this is not really about marriage “equality.” This is about using the power of U.S. law to force the acceptance of homosexuality onto a (mostly) unwilling electorate. This is why I can NEVER get someone who is pro-SSM to reveal how they would legally define marriage.

          • MarcoPolo

            The acceptance of homosexuality is inevitable.
            As was the acceptance of interracial marriage. There of course will be those who protest, for a variety of reasons.

            We CAN withstand these changes toward fairness, and in time even people like yourself might discover that we’re a stronger nation for it.

            I disagree about which group make this a sexual issue.
            I’ve NEVER heard a Liberal go into such depraved descriptions over homosexual sex, as have Conservatives.
            For Liberals, that aspect of anyone’s relationship is off topic, and private. But for those who either don’t understand homosexuals, or who simply oppose it for religious reasons, there is staunch resistance, coupled with salacious, prurient and disgusting descriptions of sexual activity.

            We don’t go into that degree of description when discussing heterosexuals, and nor should we with homosexuals. Perhaps it’s just because the word ‘SEXUAL’ is the suffix of that descriptive noun?

            The fact is, our fellow LGBT citizens deserve the same rights and responsibilities to matrimonial bliss as heterosexuals.

            I don’t see why the description of “Marriage” has to change, just to accommodate homosexuals.
            It means, and conveys the same importance, whether it involves homosexuals, or heterosexuals.

          • Covered California

            That doesn’t answer my question, given that everyone you mentioned is straight and therefore able to find a spouse and get married.

          • Trevor Thomas

            Sure it does. Someone who has same-sex attractions is free to marry anyone of the opposite sex that they wish. And of course, the only rightful place for sex is within marriage.

          • Covered California

            Moronic response. That’s like me saying you can only marry a man despite have zero attraction towards one. I love when people post ignorant responses like that. And that’s why so Many couples end up splitting after women discover their husbands are in fact gay. But it sounds like you don’t really think through the ignorance you speak.

          • Trevor Thomas

            And like every other liberal that I have put this question to, you have yet to answer my question: How would you “discriminate” and define marriage?

          • Covered California

            I don’t, because unlike you, I’m not paranoid the entire world is going to become one big gay, incestuous polygamy family. It must keep you up at night thinking about all the freaky things going on in bedrooms across the country!

          • Trevor Thomas

            In other words, you can’t.

          • Covered California

            I can, I choose not to because it doesn’t affect me. Just as there’s someone in your town that’s practicing wicca right now. You don’t like it or agree with it but it’s in no way affecting you.

          • Covered California

            It’s really weird you would advocate a gay man marrying a woman.

          • Trevor Thomas

            It’s “really weird” (and perverse, and wicked) that anyone would advocate that people should be able to marry someone of the same sex.

          • Covered California

            That’s fine, your eentitled to your opinion. Fortunately, we done run laws based on your opinion. If you don’t want to marry a man, then don’t!

          • MarcoPolo

            There was a time when some people thought it weird, perverse and wicked for people of differing races to marry. So why?

            The very same thing applies to same-sex couples.

            Question: I’m presuming that your Gay and Lesbian friends know how you feel about this topic?
            So how do they describe to you, how marriage should be defined?

            Hypothetical: If YOU were Gay, do you think it would be “fair” to be denied the opportunity to enter the faithful covenant of marriage?
            I hope you’ll give due justice to this question, as it is personal, and I think important for compassionately understanding the subject.

            Thanks in advance for your honesty.

          • MarcoPolo

            Truth is whatever you confirm it to be. It’s relative to circumstances, Time and space.

            What you consider “normal” may not be anything but abnormal to others.

            I’m imagining that the eventual acceptance of same-sex marriages will leave some people like you, on the fringe of society.

            We shall see!

          • Trevor Thomas

            “Truth is whatever you confirm it to be. It’s relative to circumstances, Time and space.”

            Thanks for articulating plainly the philosophy that guides most of today’s liberals. Of course, such relativism is what has given us Nazism, Communism, Fascism, and the like, and what allows for the killing of children in the womb, sexual perversions, marriage perversions, and the like.

          • accelerator

            “Do you know any gays or Lesbians? Are any of your family members Gay or Lesbian? If you did, you might feel differently.”

            Right, or you might not. Love does not always equal affirmation. I know and love a good many homosexuals. And I know some who have chosen to live without validating their SSA and would say thank the Lord we are not defined by our bent desires.

          • MarcoPolo

            So for those LGBT friends of your who DO stay faithful to their spouse/mate…How do you feel about their right to marry?

            Help me understand what you mean by affirmation?
            Are you referring to those who have denied their homosexual traits, and instead, married a person of the opposite sex? I’m quite sure that has been done millions of times. It just doesn’t seem consistent with their true nature.

  • Mark Brooks

    Their statement is curiously scripture-free, and directed to worldly ends, for a supposedly Christian body. Interesting.

  • torrentprime

    It’s pretty clear in the New Testament that Christians are called to love one another, and where that love is absent, there is no faith. The falsely named “Disciples of Christ” talk about hate, when they conveniently ignore their own hate, specifically, their hate for a business owner who acts on his religious convictions. They hate the very people that Christian love would require them to support and affirm.

  • Namyriah

    At the risk of being called “sexist,” let me point out something I discovered by doing a random web search for Disciples of Christ congregations: it appears about half of them have women pastors. That tends to be true for the other mainline denominations. So there’s a trend: denominations with a large number of women clergy are declining. I’m not saying this is cause-and-effect. I just think there is a connection. Lots of men and women are OK with women clergy – but lots aren’t, especially if they sense that the women is more committed to pushing feminism than faith. Women outnumber men in all churches, everywhere, and for that reason lots of men think of church as a gathering place for women, not men. That’s especially true if the pastor is a woman, or an effeminate male. True, maybe men should be more accepting – but the reality is that more men AND more women choose to attend churches where the senior minister is male. Think of the megachurches – any prominent female pastors come to mind? No, and no dweebish men, either. A masculine male who is secure in his own skin and possesses charisma (in every sense) is a major draw. Obviously Christianity started with just such males. Without them, the church withers and dies – as the numbers clearly show.

    • Dusty H

      I think you have a valid point. It would be interesting to see a study done on the United Methodist Church, but I do think I already know what the results would be. I’m a Certified Lay Servant (Lay Preacher) and sit on our District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries, so I’ve had extensive exposure to many congregations and their Clergy. From personal experience, I can say that most female Clergy I’ve assisted or been instructed by are most definitely theological progressives. Including our Bishop, Hope Morgan Ward. Bishop Ward hasn’t yet openly called for the acceptance of homosexual practice, but her call for “unity” amounts to the same thing.

      While we’ve been distracted by the homosexuality “discussions” there is an equally dangerous radical feminist heresy that has been quietly spreading like a virus through the UMW (United Methodist Women) groups. It’s called the Re-Imagining Movement. This movement teaches that God isn’t a Trinity but actually has four persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Sophia. Sophia being the Goddess of Wisdom personhood. Also, this movement considers the Holy Spirit, being our Comforter, to also be female. Therefore God consists of four co-equal persons: two male and two female. Most definitely a revival of a Gnostic heresy, and it’s not hard to extrapolate how this would make homosexual practice acceptable for Christians.

      Yes, men and women are equal in God’s creation but we must be intellectually honest in admitting that men and women approach and react to theology, and life, differently. Admitting that doesn’t make women unequal but highlights the complementary nature of the male and female pairing as the proper foundation of the family, and Christ is the solid rock on which we place that foundation.

    • Sandra K Jenner

      I don’t claim to speak for all women, but I don’t find anything offensive in your post. I attend an evangelical church which only ordains men, but the church is full of well-educated and intelligent women, many of them more educated than their husbands, they are bright, vital women, not doormats. If this is “patriarchy,” none of us find it oppressive. I do think that a male pastor is more likely to draw both men and women than a woman pastor.

      • FA Miniter

        Perhaps, you have not considered the position of a woman in your church who would like to be ordained, but is barred from doing so. She might find that very oppressive, especially if she is “well-educated and intelligent” and “more educated than” the ordained men in the church. .

        • Namyriah

          You don’t give Christian women credit for much intelligence, do you? If they don’t like a church, they go elsewhere. They have jobs, they have cars. It’s so typical of the left, you talk “diversity” but you don’t mean it. You want to FORCE all women to think alike. If they like a certain type of church, that is none of your business whatsoever.

    • MarcoPolo

      Patriarchy doesn’t die without a fight!
      Entrenched, encumbered and impervious to change. Is that the kind of church anyone wants to be a part of?

      • Belleropho914

        YES! The Catholic church – it doesn’t change based on the latest fad or what the media tells us to do.

        • MarcoPolo

          Changes in what we all deem as valued, such as human beings (whether they are Straight or Gay) isn’t something of a fad.

          The fact that societies have embraced many different nuances of human sexuality is nothing new. However, our country (and many others) have had a history of quashing any slight variants to the status quo. That goes for oppressing Immigrants, Blacks, Gays, Lesbians, etc..
          So now, we finally tun the corner on the 21st Century, and there are still individuals who wish to continue the oppression of our fellow citizens.

          Prohibiting marriage between LGBT people is just the current issue.

          If you were Gay or Lesbian, you too would definitely feel the hate from those who have not yet evolved.

      • Kyle

        There are more women than men in churches.
        That is hard data that the churches are not patriarchal.
        Never argue with data, you will lose every time.

        “Patriarchy doesn’t die without a fight!” That is drama queen nonsense, bumper sticker slogans for people who can’t face reality.

        • MarcoPolo

          I live in reality everyday, so don’t assume because I find the established religions to still be centered around the old school idea of the Man being at the head, that I don’t recognize the population portions of the current church.

          I’m flattered that you still think I’m a Queen.
          Surprised as well, since my (female) wife and I just celebrated our fifteenth anniversary.

          One doesn’t have to be queer to support LGBT rights, any more than one needs to be black to support the Civil Rights Movement.

          But Thanks for the compliment anyway!

  • jjgrndisland

    God or Baal? More like God or liberalism, which is the real religion of the post-Christian churches. You would never hear a sermon in a left-wing church that could not have been composed by an atheist or agnostic – with a couple of Bible verses sprinkled in, kind of like that little sprig of parsley they put on a steak.

  • Papa Mincho

    Here’s Mark Tooley, doing his best Jack Chick imitation and damning other Christians who don’t believe the things he does to Hell.

    Tooley openly lies about the RFRA, or he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The Pence RFRA refers to how private individuals deal with private individuals, while the federal RFRA only applies to how tax-exempt religious organizations interact with the federal government.

    Looking forward to Tooley’s defense of Sharia law. After all, the RFRA isn’t JUST for Christians oppressing gay people. Right? Right…?

    • 0pus35

      Very amusing, but the adults are trying to have a serious discussion here.

      Btw, clicking on your name reveals that you use this “Christians want to impose sharia law” in every post.

      Not very original, or true.

      If you think Christians gather together every Sunday united by hatred for gays, you are intensely delusional. Trust me on this – gays think about Christians a lot more than Christians think about gays. Your side has the obsession, not ours. Focusing on people you hate is very destructive, get some help.

  • FA Miniter

    Sorry, Mr. Tooley, but those ancient scriptures are filled to the brim with hate and bigotry. The early Hebrews prided themselves on destroying towns and killing everyone in them, men, women and children. And those they let live they took as slaves. And the laws in Deuteronomy and Leviticus call for mass bloodshed within a community.

    Besides, the Indiana version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has nothing in common with those of other states. Its Section 3 gives a person the right to discriminate based on a religious belief, even if the belief is not central to the religion, and Section 4 extends this right to discriminate to corporations and other forms of business entities.

    Religion should never be used as a cloak for discrimination.

    • Mark Brooks

      “Section 3 gives a person the right to discriminate based on a religious belief, even if the belief is not central to the religion”

      Who are you or anyone else to say what is central to a person’s religious beliefs? Nice try, but the whole point of the 1st Amendment is to prevent those sorts of inquiries by governmental authorities.

      “Section 4 extends this right to discriminate to corporations and other forms of business entities”

      Which would be the owner’s business, and none of yours, you fascistic hypocrite.

      • FA Miniter

        Obviously, you have not read the statute or you would not have said what you did. I was in fact quoting the words of the statute. Perhaps, I should have used quotation marks, but if you had read the new law, you would have understood.

        As to the attempt to prevent governmental inquiries, you obviously as well are unfamiliar with the case law at the Supreme Court level, where the presence of a practice central to the religion is part of the constitutional test applied, and as the constitution outranks a state statute, it follows that that provision cannot be enforced constitutionally.

        As to your comment on Section 4, perhaps you are also unaware of the “public accommodation” cases of the Civil Rights Era. The ultimate test of any refusal to serve will be decided under the 14th Amendment, not the 1st Amendment.

        And, no, I am telling you what the law is in the United States of America. This is reality. So, you have just called America fascist.

        • torrentprime

          That’s really stupid.

          • FA Miniter

            Since you are so bright, pray tell how is it stupid? By the way, have you read the statutes and cases to which I referred? If not, I question by what authority you call me stupid.

        • Mark Brooks

          You evidently didn’t read my reply, since your response doesn’t address what I said, so why should I take your word for anything? In any event, your legal analysis is seriously outdated and incorrect.

          • FA Miniter

            You comment that I must not have read your reply; yet two of my paragraphs begin with specific references to your post. So, the one not reading carefully is you.

            If you think my legal analysis is outdated, it is incumbent upon you to point out exactly how. What cases do you have in mind?

    • Namyriah

      That is very impressive analysis of the Bible. The ancient Hebrews killed people, therefore Christians in Indiana in 2015 are horrible people.

      It’s hard to know how to respond to such astute reasoning.

      • FA Miniter

        Mr. Tooley was holding up the ancient scriptures as the antithesis of hatred and bigotry.

        He said, “What else could explain their adherence
        to ancient scriptures that claim human dignity entails more than
        endless sexual freedom and self expressionism?”

        I was merely pointing out that those very scriptures embody hatred, bigotry and violence (let polygamy and incest). A close look at those scriptures is very revealing.

        Nor did I make an inference from that fact to modern Indiana. That took place wholly within your own mind. In a separate thought, separated from the previous one by a full paragraph and spacing in between, I countered his false statement about any similarity between the Indiana law and either the Federal law or any state law. Either Mr. Tooley was woefully misinformed about the law, or he chose to report it deceptively. I hope it was merely ignorance.

        • Why would polygamy upset a gay man? They are not monogamous.

          • FA Miniter

            First of all, your revolting bigotry is showing. One would have liked to have thought that stereotyping went out with rational thinking, but it clearly has not.

            Second, you need to reread my post and look at the overall context, such as, what did I quote, and to what my comment was addressed.

          • Noel Weymouth

            Apparently “revolting bigotry” is also known as “telling the truth.” It’s an ironclad rule: whenever someone states a fact about homosexuals, they immediately respond with “bigotry” or “ignorance.”

            Telling the truth is a Christian act. Lying is not.

          • FA Miniter

            Yawn. Fact??

            Well, from the August 2009 Scientific American, this:

            ‘And the percentage of couples who are decidedly closed to sex outside the relationship—they
            discussed extra-partnership sex and decided that “under no circumstances is it alright”—just about doubled in every group (from around 43 percent in 1975 to around 80 percent in 2000) except in gay men, among whom it more than tripled (13 to 44 percent). “It was surprising to us that in all groups, the trend is toward monogamy,” said
            Gabrielle Gotta, lead author of the study.’

            Meanwhile, Fox News reports that 70% of men in heterosexual marriages cheat, as do nearly 60% of their wives. June 7, 2012.

            So stop stereotyping and take care of your own home life.

          • Mark0H

            The high rate of AIDS is proof that gay men are not monogamous. You cannot argue with corpses.

          • FA Miniter

            I can argue with your poor argument and hidden assumptions.
            Look at the World Health Organization website under gender-documents-en-HIV_AIDS.pdf
            Half of all AIDS cases in the world are women. In Africa, about 60% of all AIDS cases are women. The study notes that gender norms and violence play significant roles in the transmission of AIDS. Poverty also is a factor. In the USA, yes, gay men (white and black) account for the largest number of AIDS cases, followed by Hispanic gay men, then heterosexual black women and heterosexual black men. Overall, people of color constitute the class most at risk in America. Studies have also shown, however, that changes in gay behavior has been reducing new cases of AIDS in gays.
            Finally, I have to note that the point of my previous post flew over your head. Neither heterosexuals nor LGBTs in America are monogamous. SO STOP STEREOTYPING!

  • Sam

    Such glee from the author about the diminishing nature of a great historic American denomination. Disagree with their theological and political views if you like Mr. Tooley, but the joy you take in their struggles says much more about you than it does about them.