Marraige Equality

Rick Wiles and Paul Blair: Government Will Use EMP Attacks And Jade Helm 15 To Silence Conservative Christians

Far-right pastor Paul Blair joined Rick Wiles on his “Trunews” radio program last Wednesday to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down gay marriage bans, the debate over which Wiles said will inevitably “come to blows” as the government launches EMP attacks and the Jade Helm 15 military exercise against states that resist the ruling.

“The only way to stop force is with force,” Blair declared. The liberty to discriminate against gays is “not going to come easy,” he said, warning that “we are going to have a fist fight on our hands.”

“We’re at the point, pastor, that it’s going to come to blows,” Wiles agreed. “We have reached that point, because either we’re going to stand up and resist and suffer the consequences, or we’re going to roll over and play dead and let them take control.”

“This regime is so mad, such lunatics for power,” he continued, “I think they would use an EMP against a state that dared to defy them. I really do. I think these people are insane and they’re dangerous.”

Christians have “reached the danger level,” Wiles declared, reasoning, “That may explain why Jade Helm 15 is taking place in the South and the Western states this summer, because they know that people are starting to rise up and say ‘something’s got to happen.’ Either we take a stand, or it’s over; it’s finished.”

Sandy Rios: Gay Rainbows Increase Terrorism Threat For America

American Family Association official Sandy Rios warned on her radio program yesterday that the Obama administration’s decision to light up the White House in rainbow colors in celebration of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision was “an unbelievable affront to God” that will have “consequences.” According to Rios, God will lift His hand of protection from America in response to the court’s ruling and the celebratory rainbow images, thereby increasing the threat of terror attacks on the United States.

The rainbow, she said, “was God’s sign to mankind that he would never destroy the earth again by flood,” so if “you take his symbol and you use it for a sign of sexual behavior that is ungodly, unallowed,” it will have “some consequence.”  

“My grief is for you, because you don’t understand what you just did. You don’t understand,” she told gay rights activists. “Again, now, to get more practical about this, the terror threat against this nation has gone up exponentially.”

Citing warnings about possible terrorist attacks in America over the  July 4th weekend, Rios declared that, to make matters worse, “it is Ramadan.” Unlike Christians, whom Rios claimed understand the true meaning of the word ‘holy,’ Muslims use the holy month of Ramadan to “fast so that [they] can murder people,” she said.

Rios then pivoted to address gay rights activists, telling them that when you “ignore God” you “do away with his protection,” which is “why we fear for the country and we fear for you too.”

Meanwhile, she said, American Christians have “entered a new era” of persecution where they will be “like believers in Iran and Syria” or “first-century Rome, pagan Rome, China most recently, Russia before the breakup of the Soviet Union. We are entering a time of living in a hostile culture.” 

“We’re gonna see a lot of things change,” warned Rios, “and those of you that stay strong in your personal convictions, you’re gonna have trouble at work, you may lose your jobs. This is a new era, so it’s not for the faint of heart.”

Religious Right legal activist Michael Farris joined Rios later on the program, telling her that after the marriage decision, “I really feel like I’m a stranger living in a strange land. They’ve stolen America from us, and they’ve stolen our heritage and they’ve stolen everything by a five-to-four vote.”

“I don’t think that’s an overstatement,” responded Rios. “The people that won on Friday don’t understand that they have lost terribly. We’ve lost protections of God for this country. We have thumbed our nose at him using his symbol, the rainbow, which was a personal, sacred symbol that he gave to a sign to earth that he would not destroy it again. They have thumbed their nose a God’s design for man, a man and a woman designed from the beginning of time and creation, and it will not, it will not stand. While we’re under such terrible terror threats, you know, our protections have been lifted and that’s what they don’t understand. And they are in the same boat that we’re in so it’s a — it is a sad day for America.”

Supreme Court Declines to Review New Mexico Rejection of Wedding Photographer Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a request to consider Elane Photography v. Willock, a case brought by a wedding photography business that had been penalized for violating a New Mexico law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. After the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously rejected its free speech and religious liberty claims, the company appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds that taking pictures is expressive activity protected by the First Amendment, and that the government has no right to force a photographer to take a particular picture. The Supreme Court declined to take the case.

People For the American Way is committed to religious liberty, freedom of expression, and LGBT equality, and recognizes that people who support both religious freedom and full legal equality for LGBT people can and do disagree on where lines should be drawn in such cases.  A small business person who wants to run a business that reflects their values can be a sympathetic figure. Some believe a mom-and-pop company whose owners have religious objections to same-sex marriage should have the right to turn away a gay couple under those circumstances.  But it is hard to identify a legal principle by which a business covered by an anti-discrimination law would be allowed to ignore the law on the basis of the owner’s religious beliefs on marriage, but not on the basis of his religious beliefs on segregation or gender inequality.

The tension between the rights of a business owner and the ability of a legislature to ban discrimination as a matter of public policy finds eloquent expression in New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Bosson’s concurrence in the Elane Photography case.  The court unanimously upheld a finding by the state’s Human Rights Commission that refusing to provide services to a same-sex couple had violated anti-discrimination law. Bosson wrote that the court’s ruling means that the business owners “are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering.”

More from Bosson’s opinion:

On a larger scale, this case provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice. At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. The Huguenins [the business owners] are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish, they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life…In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs , so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship.

Bosson’s opinion recognizes that there are competing interests at play and that can make line-drawing difficult.  He treats the religious liberty questions respectfully.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped Religious Right from portraying the decision, and Bosson’s opinion, as pure tyranny.  A lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom called the decision “a blow to our client and every American’s right to live free.” Cases in Colorado and Oregon involving bakery owners that declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and faced punishment for violating anti-discrimination laws have generated similar rhetoric. 

Most Americans do not see tyranny in the balancing act that legislatures and courts are engaged in. They believe the principle staked out in PFAW Foundation’s Twelve Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics: it is legitimate for government to require religious organizations and individuals to abide by rules and regulations that promote the common good. A poll conducted by Third Way and HRC just before the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act found that 68 percent of Americans believe that small business owners should not be allowed to refuse service to gays or lesbians, regardless of their religious beliefs. When asked specifically about wedding-related services like catering, flowers, or cakes, nearly as many – 64 percent – were opposed to laws that would allow small businesses to deny services based on their religious beliefs.

PFAW

Minnesotans Soul Search on Marriage Equality

On a hunch that voters are more influenced by their own experience rather than a birrage of big-budget advertising on the issue of marriage equality, Minnesota Public Radio put together an excellent miniseries asking Minnesotans to share their stories about how they came to their decision – or are still struggling to decide – how they will vote on marriage equality in November.

The stories are striking for their sincerity and level of introspection. While each story was unique, there were common themes among those who stand on the side of equality for all: Love. Commitment. Family. Freedom. Equality for All.

Enjoy these videos below, and you can view the full set here.

 

“True love is not about self, it’s about the other person. It’s about mankind, it’s about the world around you. It’s about loving and loving and loving. And I think marriage is the perfect embodiment of expressing that love.”

 

“As long as they’re not harming me…who has a right to challenge their right to their choices?”

 

“[My father’s second marriage, to a man] has been infinitely more fulfilling, more harmonious, more authentic, more of a model to all of us kids of what marriage should really be.”

 

“Now that I am legally married, all the benefits and wonderful things that have happened in my life around marriage, not just the ceremony but all the legal things that I get to participate in. I want that to happen for everybody.”

PFAW Foundation

California Supreme Court Supports Marriage For All Citizens

The Supreme Court of California ruled that the state Constitution requires that all citizens be allowed equal marriage rights. People For the American Way Foundation President Kathryn Kolbert said, “This is a proud day for all Californians. No one should be excluded from marriage simply because they are gay or lesbian. Giving all people the freedom to marry is the American way.

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