This was both a surprising and candid analysis of the "religious
liberty" discussion conservatives have been engaging in recently. I was
astonished to see it characterized as "negotiating the terms of
surrender" in the fight over Gay Marriage. I also find it a bit troubling.
Is this really a war where somebody has to lose? Public opinion has
changed in this discussion. Now those who oppose gay rights know what its like
to express opinions that the majority disagree with - often in strong terms.
Maybe the experience can help everyone learn to discuss issues that sharply
divide the country in a more productive way. Just a few years ago
religious conservatives called for a boycott of Disney films because the
corporation offered benefits to domestic partnerships. They were rightly
condemned. More recently a group called for a boycott of the film
"Ender's Game" because of anti-gay statements of author Orson Scott
Card. I was pleased to see so many people in the Gay Rights movement reject it
as being just as wrong as the Disney boycott. Maybe in the end we
call all exchange surrender for reconciliation.
This whole proposition of minority becoming majority with respect to gay rights
voices has roots in the often quoted scripture passage in Doctrine and Covenants
121:39, "We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and
disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they
suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion."History has shown us that when cultural values shift and minority voices
become the majority, they equal or exceed the level of persecution, hypocrisy,
and control (i.e. unrighteous dominion) previously exercised by the other. The
minority movements begin as innocuous pleas for equal rights, fairness, and
balance, but because of the scripture reference above, the other side of the
agenda seeks to eradicate the competition. Hence, that scripture reference has
been a self-fulfilling prophecy of human nature and groups that are in power
during any particular time period.It would be wonderful if
reconciliation were possible, but when the goal of those that have become the
majority voice is to remove, not preserve with fairness, then there can be no
duality of existence with both perspectives and beliefs. Christians need to
always remember these things.
The reason conservatives keep losing in the marketplace of ideas is because they
keep picking non-issues to champion, none more so than this so-called assault on
religious liberty.Since there are exactly zero instances in the U.S.
of anyone’s religious liberties being infringed – no churches being
shut down (in fact they receive services tax free!), no religious speech being
stifled, no beliefs outlawed – all of the arguments that from
conservatives on this issue essentially boil down to this:“We
used to run the country and want to re-establish our dominance, and if we cannot
exercise all of our beliefs in the public arena, regardless of whether or not
those beliefs trample on the rights of others, we going to let everyone know how
upset we are.”This all sounds less like a culture war and much
more like child having temper tantrums.
Liberals demand that we keep our religion out of their government but liberals
can not keep their government out of our religion! That's the problem!
I agree completely with Tyler D. Those who complain about having lost religious
freedom were nowhere to be found when same-sex couples were denied their right
to marry, even if their religion permitted it. Why were the complainers not out
there championing the religious freedom of same-sex couples to marry?Tyler D is right - those who used to set the rules, and were quite happy to
exert their religious dominance on everyone else, are now whining that they
don't control the show anymore. My goodness, a clerk might actually be
forced to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple! What a gross violation
of his religious freedom - NOT! Just as was the case for those clerks whose
religious beliefs prohibited them from issuing marriage licenses to interracial
couples, the religious beliefs of the clerk do not trump the rights of the
Tyler D, The Skeptical Chymist:You've to be kidding, right?? Do
you honestly believe that '...there are exactly zero instances in the U.S.
of anyone's religious liberties being infringed.'?? Have
either of you ever heard of the 'Extermination Order', signed by
Governor Lilburn Boggs of Missouri? It gave the state militia the legal right to
"exterminate or drive the (Mormons) from the state". This
'law' was officially repealed in 1976 - for the Bicentennial
anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. That's right. For over 130
years it was LEGAL for state militias to shoot a Mormon or drive them from the
state of Missouri! Pleas made by Leaders of religious organizations to
Government officials have often fallen on deaf ears. When Joseph Smith, Jr. met
with then-President Martin Van Buren to discuss the plight of the Mormons in
Missouri, his response was "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for
you; if I take up for you I shall lose the vote of Missouri."Don't kid yourself - not only can Religious Liberty be infringed in the
USA, it already has been!! It can happen again - and next time it might be
something important to you.
@AbeilleMy apologies...I was referring to losses in religious
freedom in recent times - say the last 50 years or so.The example
that you quoted is much more than an infringement of religious freedom. It is
also a failure to follow due process, and probably violated more constitutional
protections than that as well.
Reforming laws to legalize same sex marriage is no infringement on religious
Whether it was Abraham fleeing from Chaldea, Moses and the children of Israel
fleeing from Pharaoh, the remaining disciples of Jesus Christ fleeing for safety
in the meridian of time, the Pilgrims fleeing from the old oppressive regime of
the once-powerful Anglican hierarchy, Roger Williams fleeing to Rhode Island,
"heretics" hiding from Roman Catholic tyranny, or the latter-day saints
fleeing from one state to the other and, eventually, from the United States
itself, truth is always opposed by oppressive governments, secular and
ecclesiastical.Today a new fight emerges. If there is nowhere to
run what is the alternative but to stand your ground?