- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

Religious broadcasters call out Kasich over bathroom bill

GOP presidential hopeful John Kasich apparently is confused about the principle behind North Carolina’s “bathroom law,” the head of the National Religious Broadcasters charged after the Ohio governor urged citizens engaged in the conflict between the gay agenda and religious liberty to “chill out.”

“Clearly, rather than ‘chill out,’ Gov. Kasich needs to study the North Carolina law – as well as the recent Georgia bill,” said Jerry A. Johnson, the president of the NRB. “We commend North Carolina for protecting its citizens in public restrooms, which is a public safety matter, not a religious liberty issue.

“But I’m deeply concerned that Gov. Kasich appears to not understand very well critical religious liberty issues. He is either naïve or poorly informed. Indeed, this is not the first time the governor has spoken in a less-than clear way about religious liberty,” Johnson said.

The conflict has intensified since the Supreme Court last year, in a narrow 5-4 decision that the minority described as unconnected to the Constitution, created “same-sex marriage.”

At issue are the demands from homosexual activists that Christians and others religious believers not only permit their moral choices but also actively support them, including providing wedding venues and services such as catering and photography.

Read the history of the attacks on marriage and the family, from the days of Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger to those now pushing for mandatory recognition of same-sex “marriage,” in “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.”

While the court opinion that created same-sex marriage specifically affirmed the rights of religious believers, many business owners have been prosecuted for declining to endorse gay marriage through their services.

WND has created the Big List of Christian Coercion about cases in which religious business owners have been punished for upholding their beliefs.

Kasich, in a “Face the Nation” interview Sunday, said he believes religious institutions “ought to be protected.”

But he said he would not have signed the recent North Carolina law that protects women and girls in public restrooms and locker rooms from intrusion by males who “perceive” they are female.

“Everybody needs to take a deep breath … respect one another,” Kasich said. “Why do we have to write a law … can’t we figure out just how to get along? Everybody chill out, get over it.”

Johnson noted that Kasich acknowledged in the “Face the Nation” interview that even though he wouldn’t sign the law, he hadn’t “studied it.”

“Kasich said he believes religious institutions ‘ought to be protected and be able to be in a position of where they can – they can, you know, live out their – their deeply held religious purposes,’ although the North Carolina law is not about religious liberty. Instead, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (HB 2) is aimed at ensuring individuals adhere to their legally recognized gender in the use of public restrooms and similar spaces. On his own, Kasich mentioned Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, apparently in reference to the recent religious liberty law vetoed by the governor, which the governor claimed was unnecessary,” the NRB report said.

Kasich continued, “But in our state, we’re not facing this. So everybody needs to take a deep breath, respect one another.”

The NRB noted that during a Feb. 25 Republican presidential debate, Kasich rejected religious liberty claims of religiously motivated business owners who do not want to participate in “gay” wedding ceremonies, again drawing a distinction between religious institutions acting on their beliefs and religious business owners doing the same.

“I urge Gov. Kasich to give careful consideration to the real threats – indeed, violations – of religious liberty that are happening across our nation,” Johnson said, citing the cases of former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, florist Baronnelle Stutzman in Washington state, Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon, and other examples.

“These are not theoretical matters, but real-life cases where religious freedom is being violated. NRB is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of all citizens. This means not only protecting free speech, but also protecting the freedom to believe – and live – in accordance with those deeply held religious beliefs.”

Read the history of the attacks on marriage and the family, from the days of Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger to those now pushing for mandatory recognition of same-sex “marriage,” in “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.”

The NRB is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers.

At the National Review, David French wrote: “News flash: Kasich is behind the times. Religious liberty is now ‘contentious’ even for religious institutions. The Left is seeking to restrict the religious freedom of Christian adoption agencies, Christian schools, Christian campus ministries, and many other religious organizations unless they recognize and embrace same-sex marriage or conform to the view that gender is a matter of psychology, not biology.”

He continued: “Here’s another news flash: The other side isn’t remotely shy about writing laws, and that’s exactly why we’re seeing increased conflicts between religious liberty and so-called ‘social justice.’ As the regulatory state grows – and as nondiscrimination rules expand – clashes with individual liberty are inevitable.

“We need religious liberty protections because – in the real world – people are not respecting each other. People are not taking a ‘deep breath.’ We’re already polarized. In fact, so long as the Left believes it can confine religious free exercise to ever-smaller corners of American life, no one is going to ‘chill out.'”

He pointed out that recent laws in North Carolina and Mississippi do not “prevent a single gay person from getting married or enjoying any other individual liberty. Instead, they protect religious individuals from being coerced into facilitating or participating in behavior they find immoral. In the absence of protections for freedom of conscience and free exercise, the Left will simply keep pushing until orthodox religious belief achieves the same legal and cultural pariah status as white supremacy. That means continual conflict. The only ‘peace’ will come through surrender, but that seems to be the peace that Kasich craves.”

See the Big List of Christian Coercion where Christians already, in the U.S., have been penalized, punished and even fined for nothing more than exercising their constitutional right to live by their faith.