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Culture war becoming a war over religious liberty

religious libertyWith each passing day the country’s ongoing culture war is morphing into an assault on religious liberty.

When liberals talk about opposing the “legislating of morality”, what they really mean is that they oppose policies that are supported by people whose morality is based on religious beliefs – and that they want to force everyone else to comply with their own secular based version of morality.

And since fewer liberals believe in God anyway, destroying religious liberty isn’t something they worry about.

In the wake of new gay marriage laws we’ve seen Christian photographers, Christian bakers and Christian owned venues sued for refusing to provide services to same-sex weddings. We’re now seeing lawsuits against states that don’t recognize gay marriage by homosexuals who have been “married” in other states.

We’ve seen Catholic adoption agencies run out of business for refusing to violate their faith and place children with homosexual couples; and seen a Christian school get sued for expelling two students that were involved in a lesbian relationship on the grounds of its religious views.

In San Diego a fertility doctor was sued for refusing to artificially inseminate an unmarried lesbian because of his beliefs. Meanwhile, the state of California is considering legislation mandating insurance coverage for gay and lesbian “infertility”, (yes, you read that right).

In the area of healthcare, the government is trying to force religious institutions to pay for insurance coverage that includes not just birth control, but drugs that are designed to induce abortions.

As one Catholic Bishop put it, the state is trying to use the “rule of law to force a church institution, in violation of its own self-identify and constitution, to pay for something in its own workplace that the institution holds and teaches to be sinful.”

To paraphrase another church official, does the state have the right to tell citizens how to practice their religion? Many liberals would emphatically answer “yes”.

According to the Obama administration, once you start a business you don’t have First Amendment rights anymore. In its response to Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit against Obamacare’s abortion coverage mandates, the administration wrote: “Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular employer…and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion.” Got that?

In our military, the Air Force censored a video created by a chaplain simply because it included the word “God”; another chaplain was removed for not allowing a military chapel to be used for a same-sex wedding; and another service member received a potentially career ending reprimand for expressing his religious beliefs about homosexuality on a personal religious blog.

Senior officials at Fort Campbell sent out emails informing the ranks that “the religious right in America” is a “domestic hate group” because of its opposition to homosexuality. And this is the same military that recently produced training materials that lumped Tea Party supporters in with terrorists.

As instances like these came to light, a Republican US House member introduced an amendment to a military funding bill that would have “required the Armed Forces to accommodate actions and speech reflecting the conscience, moral, principles or religious beliefs” of service members.

The Obama administration “strongly objected”.

Add all of this to the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage in California which, as Justice Scalia put it in his dissent, formally declared “anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency” and that “any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement”.

That’s par for the course. The diversity and tolerance crowd doesn’t give a rip about diversity of thought or tolerate values that are different from their own, (such as they have them).

Gay marriage is the biggest weapon in this war simply because refusal to accommodate or sanction it can potentially leave you open to massive lawsuits in the conduct of normal business.

As former US Senator Sam Brownback put it, “…in states with same-sex marriage, religiously affiliated schools, adoption agencies, psychological clinics, social workers, marital counselors, etc. will be forced to choose between violating their own deeply held beliefs and giving up government contracts, tax-exempt status, or even being denied the right to operate at all.”

In short, the active practice of one’s faith in everyday life would no longer be legal.

These are the kind of problems you run into when government becomes so large that it covers virtually every type of human interaction. Inevitably it crosses the line from the secular to the realm of religious conscience.

All of which is kind of ironic for a country created by people looking for religious liberty.