Watching tyranny win in Indiana this week caused me to consider some wonderful irony, God gives us free will, but the government doesn’t. Our country was founded on the idea of “religious freedom”, and now that freedom has been taken from us. Using the “gay wedding” as an example, it is frightening to me at least what the future holds, and makes me wonder if the pendulum has swung too far now that government directs commerce.
‘Free will’ is a common theme in theological circles. Not being a theologian, I’m sure there is just scads I don’t understand about the debate. I do understand the basic concept, God doesn’t force us to accept Him, we are free to reject him and accept the accompanying consequences. The difference being between God and a politician, is that God doesn’t think He is a politician.
Government, typified by the State of Indiana, does not allow us that. A photographer must now accept a job whether he wants it or not. He must now spend his Saturday photographing Adam and Steve’s wedding. The baker in Indiana must now bake a cake for Adam and Steve, whether he wants to or not. The government of Indiana now claims the power to force individuals to act against their will.
The classic definition of liberty, not that it is relevant in America these days, is that your freedom stops where mine begins. You are free to do as you wish as long as it doesn’t impact me. That’s pretty straight forward. So how is it two gay people can now require people to do something they don’t want to do?
To think of this clearly, it requires you to drop your preconceived notions. Forget the issue of gaiety for the moment. Forget the idea of assigning worth to a human, forget the idea of attaching value to an idea of someone you disagree with. Just look at the idea of government not just prohibiting some type of commerce it has determined to be illegal, but forcing you to engage in commerce it has decided to be good? How have we gotten to the point where government decides “good and bad”?
How is this different than slavery? It is forcing you to give a good or service to a person or persons that you may not want to give them. Government is forcing you to expend energy in the pursuit or completion of something you may not want to sanction. Government has gone beyond the simple prohibition of acts, but now has taken upon themselves to tell you what you must do. Government has gone beyond their function of restraining “evil”, to forcing “good”.
There is a section of the PBS NewsHour that has liberal commentators David Brooks and Mark Shields on it. Friday’s piece was interesting. Being on PBS they are both ‘all in’ for all things gay. They both promote gaiety in everything they do. You can’t FIND two better friends of the gay community. But! Even they had this to say in rough transcript:
“You know, I have a lot of good Christian friends who believe in the inerrancy of the bible. And while it may not be right for them to discriminate against gay people, they do have their rights also. They have the right to believe as they wish. Something needs to be worked out. We need to quit looking so thoroughly for heretics, and start looking for converts. The gay rights ascendency has been so overwhelmingly the past decade, we need to quit making everything a ‘battle’. Some of the reaction this week to events in Indiana was a little over the top”.
Needless to say my jaw dropped at rational thought coming out of a TV tuned to PBS. Those were my thoughts also. The Right never saw this coming. Anita Bryant took a pie in the face in Des Moines in 1977 because she was fighting against gay rights. Who would of guessed that it signaled not just losing the battle, but also the war. Because we had sought to deny one group of people their rights, we would end up losing ours. The Right never sees it coming.
Take the ’92 and ’96 Presidential races. Republicans get worked up into all sorts of rage against Ross Perot for upsetting the apple cart and helping a Democrat into office. Well guess what genius’, if Republicans hadn’t betrayed their own principals, less taxes, smaller government, there wouldn’t have been an opening for him to exploit. If we hadn’t tried to deny gays their rights, we wouldn’t have lost ours.
Jan Mickelson and Bob Vander Plaats are regularly on the radio stating why gay marriage is inappropriate. They have used their Christian values to determine gay marriage is wrong. Fair enough. But they use those Christian values to then make the determination that it is therefore wrong for civil society. But civil society is not governed by Christian values. Plus, a marriage certificate is not what makes gayness wrong for Christians. They would not be fully accepting of the gay lifestyle, whether or not they ever got married. That piece of paper is not the deal breaker.
Mickelson and Vander Plaats are typical of those of us on the Right who focus on homosexuality as being a “super sin”. That somehow this behavior trumps all others. Letter to the Editor writer William Poston of Johnston today makes that very point about “picking and choosing” which sins to reject, and which sins to ignore. I myself have wondered that with the gay wedding debate. If the gay couple comes in for a 10th anniversary photo, does he refuse that also? Does the baker refuse to make the cake for a gay couples 25th anniversary? Or just the wedding cake? Do they both refuse to serve a straight couple where the alcoholic groom beats the bride? How about a porn addiction? What if the couple has a previous child out of wedlock? Why refuse just a gay couple? Very few couples planning to get married are perfect. In fact, I would venture to say none are.
Then Mickelson will go on to say that it is all about societal acceptance for the benefits like Social Security survivor benefits? Huh? Social Security is legitimate as long as gay people don’t get it??? Bull! You know damn well Government has no business being in the retirement business, no matter who gets it! All this contorted logic and using Christian values for civil society have got us to the point we are at today, where a photographer and a baker might be forced to do something they don’t want to do. The pendulum has swung too far and knocked the Right out of the park.
“Absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic,
not even in the largest majority.”
— Kentucky Declaration of Rights – Art. I, Sec. 2
also found in the Wyoming Declaration of Rights Art. I, Sec. 7