It is amazing how easily we abandon what was once a bedrock, foundational principle.
At one time, we all agreed: This nation was founded on religious freedom. Many of our earliest settlers came to the new world in search of religious freedom, fleeing religious persecution. Our commitment to religious freedom was enshrined in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. At one time, had I declared, "A man should never be forced by the government to violate his religious principles," I would have been met with resounding "amens." Yet today, when Indiana enacts a law that helps protect a man from being forced to violate his religious conscience, it is decried by the left as "legitimized discrimination."
In a recent high-profile case in Oregon, a bakery with the ironic name "Sweet Cakes" was fined $150,000 for refusing to sell a wedding cake to a lesbian couple. A florist in Washington state was fined $1,000 for refusing to furnish flowers for a same-sex wedding between two of its long-time customers. Both businesses cited religious beliefs in refusing these services. Should we applaud when the government punishes a business for obeying its religious conscience?
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Before you answer, consider this: What if the government fined a Halal butcher for refusing to cater a bar mitzvah? Or perhaps a pig roast? What if a Muslim videographer refused to videotape a gay pride parade? Or a mosque refused to furnish a hall for a same-sex wedding? The left would no doubt decry it abhorrent Islamophobia. But when the government levies a draconian fine against a Christian bakery for refusing to bake a cake for a gay marriage, the left celebrates it as righteousness?
If we are to be truly righteous, we must protect those religious beliefs that we like and those that we do not like. Yet the left cries that religious conscience should not be protected when it contradicts the left's own secular religion: a religion that exalts gay marriage.
How can we be so deaf to our own foundational principles?
David A. Nauheim