The Baker, The Florist, the T-Shirt Maker…

Hysteria over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has drowned out one critical question: Who are the florist and baker that ABC’s George Stephanopoulos hounded Gov. Mike Pence about? When Americans learn what that florist and baker are threatened with, we face an emerging trend that will destroy companies and jobs, and the chilling specter of what sort of a nation we are becoming.

The florist is 70-year-old grandmother Baronelle Stutzman of Washington State. A longtime gay customer—with whom she had a warm relationship—wanted her to do flower arrangements for his gay wedding. Mrs. Stutzman, a Southern Baptist, explained her Christian belief that marriage is between a man and woman, and thus could not participate in a gay wedding. Washington’s attorney general prosecuted her, pursuing not only her business, Arlene Flowers, but also Mrs. Stutzman personally. A state judge has ruled against her, and she faces the loss of her life’s savings and even her home.

The baker is Jack Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. When he declined two gay men’s order to bake a cake celebrating gay marriage (though the men were welcome to buy any of the premade cakes off the shelf), they officially complained that Mr. Phillips violated Colorado’s civil-rights law. A court ruled against him, ordering him and his employees to undergo government-approved “tolerance training,” and also ordering him to bake cakes celebrating gay marriage for anyone who asks. If he refuses, he can go to jail—put behind bars—for contempt of court.

There are others. First was a New Mexico photographer who did not want to do the wedding shoot for a gay-commitment ceremony—not a wedding, because New Mexico had neither gay marriage nor civil unions at the time. A Kentucky T-shirt maker is being sued for not making shirts celebrating a gay-rights event. An Idaho pastor couple was pursued for not actually performing a gay wedding, until their town changed course. The list goes on, and grows monthly.

Secularists on the political left have vehemently opposed all RFRA’s since at least the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobbycase in 2014. The justices held that Hobby Lobby—a corporation owned by a devout Christian family—could assert religious-liberty rights as an extension of its Christian owners, and that Obamacare’s regulation requiring Hobby Lobby to provide abortion-related healthcare violated the federal RFRA, because the regulation substantially burdened the family’s religious beliefs and was not the least restrictive means to achieve any compelling public interest. In 1993, the federal RFRA unanimously passed the U.S. House, passed the Senate 97-3, and was signed by President Bill Clinton, a vocal supporter of both abortion and the gay-rights agenda.

Millions of Americans are employed by businesses owned by people of faith—Christian or otherwise. Without RFRA protections, employees of Hobby Lobby, Arlene Flowers, Masterpiece Cakeshop, and religious non-church entities, such as the University of Notre Dame, would lose their jobs. Therefore protecting religious liberty also protects jobs. Republicans must reject the false choice that this issue is business versus the Christian Right; those framing the issue as such seek to drive a wedge in the GOP to defeat Republicans in 2016.

These recent lawsuits are why Indiana’s RFRA specified that businesses like Hobby Lobby can assert RFRA in court. And lawsuits initiated by the plaintiffs in Washington and Colorado are why the law specified that RFRA can apply between private parties.

It’s baffling why Indiana legislators were unprepared to explain these things to the nation. Nor can we understand why they chose to sign a “fix” creating unprecedented ways for opponents to sue people of faith in Indiana for declining to participate in gay marriages and abortions. Christians in Indiana might have been better off had Indiana legislators instead repealed RFRA, reverting Indiana’s laws to their previous condition.

If anything, Republican leaders could have demanded a replacement bill identical to the federal RFRA. “If it was good enough for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to sponsor and for Bill Clinton to sign, then it’s good enough for Hoosiers today.” Opponents would have condemned it, but in doing so confirmed that the modern secular Left condemns all religious freedoms that impede their agenda, and that RFRA truly has nothing to do with hate or discrimination.

It is astounding that a nation settled by people who crossed an ocean to live in a wilderness so they could live according to their religious beliefs and conscience, is now poised to oppress millions who desire simply to live by those same beliefs. Everyone has the right to run a business consistent with their beliefs, employing other Americans in the process. Republicans must take up that theme as a pro-business stance.

RFRA supporters are like the brave Americans in the Deep South decades ago who stood for black civil rights against intense political pressure. The fanatical authoritarianism of the political left is plunging this country headlong into a very dark place, from which many nations never return. (Townhall.com)

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Thou Shalt Not…Part II

Bacon, the Devil’s Food!

After Being Fined and Forced to Host Gay Weddings, Christian Farm Owners Make Drastic Decision That ‘Will Likely Hurt Their Business’

I want to thank the Egotistical Liberals for their “tolerance” and “sensitivity” for ruining the “choice” for everyone because they have to feel powerful and stroke their egos!

They go looking for people to sue and be “offended” by. It gives them power.

Yeah, they stuck it to those “hateful” “right wing Christians”! And I’m sure they are damn proud of themselves!

Congrats, you spoiled it for everyone. Your “discrimination” has hurt our “choice”. Your “freedom” to have your Lawyer-on-Speed-Dial crush anyone anytime some uppity non-Gay Liberal dares to get in your way is very “diverse” and loving of you.

Some are just more “equal” than others…. 🙂

Should the government be in the business of “re-educating” its citizens to change their moral beliefs?

No. But don’t tell that to the Sanctimonious Left!

A husband and wife who were fined $13,000 and told they could not discriminate against same-sex couples after refusing to allow a gay wedding on their New York farm have announced that they will “no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their property.”

“Going forward, [Cynthia and Robert Gifford] have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their property (other than the ones already under contract),” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney James Trainor told TheBlaze in a statement.

A judge ruled earlier this month that the Giffords’ farm is a public accommodation because they rent their space out, and they therefore must abide by New York anti-discrimination law.

“Since the order essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions, even though it will likely hurt their business in the short run,” Trainor said.

The family will continue hosting wedding receptions, but ceremonies — which have traditionally been hosted inside the Giffords’ home on the property or at another nearby location — will immediately cease. Same-sex receptions will be allowed on the grounds.

The move comes after Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, a lesbian couple, approached Cynthia and Robert Giffords in 2012 and inquired about holding their nuptials at the Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York.

The Giffordses, who are Christian and hold the belief that marriage is restricted to one man and one woman, said the couple was welcome to hold their reception on the property, but not the actual ceremony.

McCarthy and Erwin complained to New York’s Division of Human Rights, claiming they had been discriminated against as a result of their sexual orientation.

A judge subsequently ruled in their favor, rejecting the Giffords’ argument that the family owns a private business that is legally permitted to issue such refusals.

Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that Liberty Ridge Farm is a public accommodation because it rents its space and regularly collects fees from the public. The judge said the fact that the owners live on the premises does not mean that their business is private in nature.

Pares ordered that the Giffordses must abide by anti-discrimination regulations under New York’s Human Rights Law and must pay a $10,000 fine, as well as an additional $1,500 each to McCarthy and Erwin, Religion News Service reported.

A representative for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal firm, told TheBlaze that in addition to the fines, New York State is forcing the Giffordses to” teach classes to their employees that impose the state’s view of marriage.” Gay marriage was legalized in the state in 2011.

The Alliance Defending Freedom said the Giffordses should have the right to hold and exercise their religious views without the “threat of government punishment.”

The Giffordses and their attorneys believe that the family has been punished for taking a biblical position and for exercising their First Amendment rights.

“The government should not force anyone to participate in or celebrate an event that violates their faith and beliefs. However, that’s exactly what the state of New York has done to the Giffords,” the firm said. “The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples.”

The family has not yet decided if it will appeal the judge’s decision. (The Blaze)

The Giffords must pay a $1,500 mental anguish fine to each of the women and pay $10,000 in civil damages penalty to New York State. If they can’t pay in 60 days, a nine percent interest rate will be added to that total. Like Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Giffords must also institute anti-discrimination re-education classes and procedures for their staff. (Daily Signal)

But what do I know…I’m just a “hater”…:)

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 

 

 

 

Photo Opportunity

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

In an interview with Steve Kroft for this Sunday’s “60 Minutes” conducted today, President Obama said he won’t release post-mortem images of Osama bin Laden taken to prove his death.

“It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool,” said the president.

“We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies,” Mr. Obama added. “The fact of the matter is, this is somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received.”

In explaining his choice not to release the photo, Mr. Obama said that “we don’t need to spike the football.” He said that “given the graphic nature of these photos it would create a national security risk.”

Since out Dear Leader is as dishonest as the day is long that makes people suspicious.

Besides, he’ll get some flunky to do so he’s not personally responsible and he can feign outrage. That is more like how our Dear Leader works.

After all, it’s likely that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” (aka “torture”) led to the information that led to Bin Laden and the Left will NEVER admit to that one!!

Even if it true.

The core conflict is the White House’s “desire to kill bin Laden but also to have the world think we did so respectfully and politely,” said Eric Dezenhall, founder of Dezenhall Resources, a PR firm. “I’m in the PR business, and I don’t think guys like me have the alchemy to persuade the public that something is the opposite of what it is,” he said, adding, “spin only gets you so far.”

This claim “reveals a certain discomfort with this side of life….[and] a belief system that says displays of strength are immoral, that it is somehow immoral to defend yourself or neutralize an enemy with force,” even when conducted skillfully and with minimum civilian damage, Dezenhall said.

A politically correct assassination. Amazing…
Of course, in the Arab world a show of strength is considered a great thing, a sign of weakness not at all.

The administration’s two-sided policy also explains their controversial decision to use Islamic ritual when disposing of his body at sea. “We were absolutely within our rights to go after the most wanted man in the world…it needs to be recognized that this [killing] is seen as a good thing throughout the world,” Carney said Wednesday. “Yet, because of who we are, we took extraordinary measures to show the kind of respect that was shown in his burial,” he added.

“I was offended they wanted to give him religious recognition” after he had killed so many Muslims and non-Muslims, and even after the administration has repeatedly called him a extremist, said Zuhdi Jasser, a former Navy doctor and the Muslim founder of the Arizona-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Jasser, who is seeking to combine Islam with Western ideals of personal liberty, said he would have declined to participate in the Islamic rituals used during the disposal of Obama’s body. (DC)

When hasn’t our Dear Leader had at least 2 faces on ever issue at ever time??

And there there’s the far left nuts. The ones with a virulent case of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

“So when does Seal Unit 6, or whatever it’s called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden. Wasn’t he, or am I wrong here?,” liberal radio talk show host Mike Malloy said on his show Monday evening. (RCP)

Nice. 😦

But don’t worry, our “unity” president will get right on it, after he continues to rake in the cash for his Billion Dollar Re-election Campaign.

Although Obama said he opposes use of the photos as trophies, he is traveling to New York today for a televised wreath-laying ceremony at Ground Zero.

No Photo. But massive Photo-Op.

After all, it’s not all about HIM, is it… 🙂

But at least he has his priorities straight! 🙂

So has he been deified yet?

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay