Author Kenton Long
Nobody will say it. I have not seen ONE so-called conservative guest or host on cable TV news who has the manhood to admit religious freedom trumps discrimination. Damnable cowards all.
Making the rounds on the news is adoption of Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) in the states of Indiana and Arkansas. Other states have similar laws on the books. These state laws in their various forms give people of religious conscience the ability to legally stand against challenges to their personal religious convictions. These religious convictions are being legally challenged by those claiming they have been discriminated against because they are homosexual.
Examples are popping up across the nation. In Washington State, a florist refused to provide floral arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding based on the florist’s Christian beliefs. In Colorado a baker refused to make a gay wedding cake because it “violated his religious beliefs.” Other family-owned businesses are claiming they too cannot and will not cater to gay wedding services based on the business owner’s religious beliefs that marriage is only between one man and one woman.
The RFRA bills in Indiana and Arkansas are causing quite a stir with gay activists in the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-sexual (LGBT) community who charge discrimination. Since the firestorm hit the news, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson are walking back their commitment to pass the original versions of their state’s RFRA bills.
Do the RFRA bills really give people of religious conviction the legal protection to refuse service to weddings of gay couples? Does this legalize discrimination of a “class” of people? Yes, of course it does! This is discrimination even though being gay is not yet a “protected class” of people, like race, gender, disability, and age. That’s what galls me—to hear so-called conservatives dance around the truth. Governors Pence and Hutchinson have not the manhood to admit the truth that RFRA laws discriminate. I have zero respect for these men.
Any Constitutional Conservative will tell you as an individual I’m perfectly within my God-given right to discriminate. I’m at liberty to hate whomever I wish. It’s not a question of religious liberty at all! This is a question of private property. If I own a business, I am perfectly at liberty to refuse service to whomever I wish. My business is as much my private property as my home. I can allow or refuse anybody I wish into my home—gays, blacks, women, men, Jews, Buddhists, Christians, Hispanics, whites, Asians, infants, elderly, disabled, etc. If I don’t like you, you aint getting in my house. And if you don’t like me, I respect your freedom to refuse me into your house.
Lawyers will tell you, a business is considered a “public place” and therefore subject to the government’s anti-discrimination laws. And I will tell you BS! My business is not a “public place” or government property. That’s the creepy thing about Leftist—they are always trying to turn private property into public property. See what they’ve accomplished by doing so? Now the question about something as simple as my personal preference becomes a matter of the State to decide. Warning: slippery slope here. As ALL Leftist designs are slippery. Once you enter the Leftist trap choices become impossibly difficult.
I have a God-given right to my faith and the expression thereof so long as it does not abridge or deny anyone else of life, liberty, and property. I am an individual; a child of God. But what about government? Government is NOT an individual or child of God. Government does not have God-given rights. Instead, government is created and administered through man-made laws.
Unlike individuals, the government may not discriminate. The government may not abridge or deny a person based on race, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual preference. The government cannot deny you the right to vote, drive on the street, or right to a trial by jury. These are functions of government because government is a “public place.” Per the 14th Amendment: “…no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Government does not have God-given rights, but must protect the God-given rights of individuals.
By extension, corporations do not have God-given rights. Corporations are legal entities created by man-made laws. Corporations are owned by more than one individual, the many shareholders who each own a divided portion of the business. Therefore, like government, corporations cannot claim religious freedom as protected under the 1st Amendment. A corporation is not a child of God.
What about private businesses that are not corporations? If a business is privately owned and the property of the business is not divided into portions for each of the owners—that is, it is owned in whole by all the owners—the business is the undivided property of all the individual owners. Like a family business for example. The owners can therefore run that business under the protection of God-given rights of individual private property. A private business is not a child of God, but the individuals who own it are. Therefore, a private business may discriminate as it chooses.
We don’t need RFRA laws in this country; we have the 1st Amendment. Anytime you add man-made laws to bolster your case for God-given laws, you diminish the God-given laws. God-given laws are, as Thomas Jefferson said, “self-evident.”
What we need is to do is remove the claws of the government from claiming private property as its own. We need to undo this thinking that, just because my business is physically located in the middle of the city does not mean the city can claim my business is a “public place.” The city government is a “public place;” my business on the other hand provides services to individual customers. The city provides services to everyone whether they want to use the services or not. My business provides services only to those who freely chose to pay for them.
Jim Crow laws will return! This Leftist claim doesn’t even make sense. Jim Crow laws were state and local government laws that discriminated against and segregated races in government services. A detestable thing. But the Jim Crow laws did not mandate discrimination or segregation for privately owned businesses. As I stated above, government and corporations cannot discriminate; only individuals can discriminate if they chose to.
I was a private small business owner for a number of years. We were grateful to each and every customer who found their way to our doorstep. We never discriminated or refused service to anyone for any reason. Neither was there ever a reason or opportunity to refuse someone service based on my religious convictions. And our business thrived!