Yesterday evening a federal judge ruled Idaho’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples unconstitutional. If the state begins issuing marriage licenses Friday morning, plaintiffs Amber Beierle and Rachael Roberts say they are more than ready to make their union official. Beierle reflected, “I don't think people understand what [the ruling] means to native Idahoans who love this state and want to stay in this state but who want to be heard.”
In her ruling, Judge Candy Dale made clear that the state’s ban denied critical rights to same-sex couples simply because of who they are:
Idaho's Marriage laws deny same-sex couples the economic, practical, emotional and spiritual benefits of marriage, relegating each couple to a stigmatized, second-class status. Plaintiffs suffer these injuries not because they are unqualified to marry, start a family, or grow old together, but because of who they are and whom they love.
Close on the heels of the striking of Arkansas’ marriage ban, the ruling in Idaho comes as further evidence that the movement toward full nationwide marriage equality cannot be stopped. Even as the far Right continues to compare same-sex marriage to bestiality and to absurdly insist that marriage bans “take nothing away from anyone,” the stack of judicial wins for equality grows taller and taller.
Matt Barber’s Barbwire celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday by sounding the alarm about a report by the British LGBT site PinkNews that Hallmark has issued a card for people with two moms.
PinkNews reports that the card says, “When it comes to big hearts, mums are second to none, how does anyone ever get by with just one?”
BarbWire responded with an article by managing editor Brian Fitzpatrick, entitled “Hallmark Defiles Mother’s Day with 2 Moms Card,” which was featured as the top story on BarbWire’s daily newsletter.
“Despite its wholesome reputation for producing family-friendly movies, Hallmark has embraced the sexualized view of “diversity,” granting practitioners of homosexuality and other aberrant sexual behaviors the same status as ethnic minorities,” Fitzpatrick writes.
Despite its wholesome reputation for producing family-friendly movies, Hallmark has embraced the sexualized view of 'diversity,' granting practitioners of homosexuality and other aberrant sexual behaviors the same status as ethnic minorities. According to the company’s 'Diversity at Hallmark' web page, 'We also support and rely upon Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that offer opportunities for African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Millennial, Military and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender employees to share common interests and give perspective on product development.'
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins implied today that Christians who support gay rights don’t have the same religious rights as conservative Christians because “true religious freedom” only applies to “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
Last month, a group of North Carolina ministers and same-sex couples, along with the United Church of Christ denomination, filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
The clergy argue that because of a law that makes it a misdemeanor for a member of the clergy to perform a marriage ceremony without a state license, the same-sex marriage ban violates the religious rights of clergy who wish to perform such ceremonies.
When a caller on Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch” asked Perkins about his views on the case, Perkins replied that the ministers don’t have the same religious rights as others because they aren’t real Christians and therefore aren’t protected by the “true religious freedoms” given to Christians.
As we know, only Tony Perkins gets to decide who is and isn’t a Christian and has religious rights under the law.
Caller: I wanted to see if I can get your response to the members of the clergy in Charlotte that are suing for the right to perform gay marriages, saying that the ban on gay marriage infringes on their religious rights. It’s my understanding that they are a Christian organization, it’s normally the other way around, and so I’m curious to hear what you got to say about it.
Perkins: I would use that term ‘Christian’ loosely. That title is — let’s talk biblical, here’s the deal, it’s like with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that we worked on in Mississippi and failed in Arizona and other places, here’s a test of what is a true religious freedom, a freedom that’s based on orthodox religious viewpoints. It has to have a track record, it has to come forth from religious orthodoxy.
You cannot point to the Christian faith and say that same-sex marriage has been a key teaching of the church. You can only point to the opposite, that the church has stood against sexual immorality in terms of sexual relations of those outside of marriage and in particular homosexual behavior. There is no place, there is nothing for them to stand on and say that same-sex marriage has standing in the orthodox Christian faith.
They’re playing games here, trying to turn the effort that so many Americans are now faced with of preserving religious freedom, they’re now trying to do a jujitsu move and say, ‘We’re going to use religious freedom to say we have a right to do same-sex marriage.’ Well, there is no foundation for that, there is no orthodox Christian holding that has ever said marriage is between people of the same sex.
Two incumbent Republican state representatives in Indiana lost primary elections after national anti-gay groups targeted them for their votes against a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki were among eleven Republicans who voted against the marriage amendment in January. The amendment will next have to be placed on the statewide ballot, which won't happen until 2016 at the earliest .
According to the National Organization for Marriage, NOM, the American Family Association of Indiana, Focus on the Family’s political arm Citizenlink, the Family Research Council and the FRC’s Indiana affiliate the Indiana Family Institute were all involved in the effort to unseat the pro-marriage lawmakers. NOM writes:
NOM, the Indiana Family Institute, the American Family Association of Indiana, Citizenlink, and Family Research Council Action had warned politicians before the marriage amendment vote in the legislature that if they did not give the people the chance to vote on marriage this year, there would be political repercussions. After the failure of the legislature to pass the question to the voters, the coalition worked together to choose its targets, particularly the ousting of Heuer and Kubacki while protecting marriage champions.
The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana Family Institute’s political arm "ran $12,000 worth of radio ads in the Fort Wayne area targeting Heuer, Kubacki, and a third incumbent, Casey Cox of Fort Wayne,” who won his primary contest. The FRC-affiliated group also reportedly sent out 10,000 mailers in support of the marriage amendment’s sponsor in his successful effort to fend off a primary challenger.
In February, NOM and Citizenlink started airing radio ads against at least one Republican state lawmaker who ultimately voted for the marriage amendment, but supported a change that would remove a ban on civil unions from the measure, thus pushing back the schedule for getting the ban on the ballot. The groups accused proponents of the change of bringing “San Francisco-style marriage” to Indiana.
In a statement, FRC president Tony Perkins touted his organization’s recent poll on how Republican voters view marriage equality and claimed that “elected officials can no longer avoid the reality that the redefinition of marriage leads to the loss of our most basic freedoms.”
"The election outcome reinforces the findings of an FRC-commissioned survey released last month showing three-quarters of Republican voters want their elected officials to uphold natural marriage as the national standard. Voters in Indiana and across the country are now realizing that much more than marriage is on the line. Elected officials can no longer avoid the reality that the redefinition of marriage leads to the loss of our most basic freedoms.
"Redefining natural marriage is about far more than the marriage altar; it is about fundamentally altering society. In the wake of same-sex marriage, religious freedom and parental rights have been lost. Business owners, like florists, bakers and photographers, have been hauled into court, fined and even put out of business for simply refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding. But it doesn't stop there; university professors, sportscasters and even members of the military have been demoted or fired for simply believing marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Families have been impacted as parents have lost the right to determine whose values are taught to their children," concluded Perkins.
A Florida man has taken this obsession to a new level, filing a motion to intervene in the case challenging the state’s marriage equality ban, purporting to seek the right to marry his “porn filled Apple computer.”
The Broward/Palm Beach New Times provides this quote from the motion of Chris Sevier, which it notes is “Short on sound legal grounding (and even shorter on wit)”:
Recently, I purchased an Apple computer. The computer was sold to me without filters to block out pornography. I was not provided with any warning by Apple that pornography was highly addictive and could alter my reward cycle by the manufacturer. Over time, I began preferring sex with my computer over sex with real women. Naturally, I 'fell in love' with my computer and preferred having sex with it over all other persons or things, as a result of classic conditioning upon orgasm.
Unsurprisingly, Sevier’s motion was rejected last week by the clearly unamused Judge Robert L. Hinkle:
Chris Sevier has moved to intervene, apparently asserting he wishes to marry his computer. Perhaps the motion is satirical. Or perhaps it is only removed from reality. Either way, the motion has no place in this lawsuit. Mr. Sevier has alleged nothing that would support intervention.
The New Times notes that Sevier has tried this sort of thing before:
A Chris Sevier sued Apple because it sold him a computer without telling him about the evils of porn. A Chris Sevier sued A&E after it fired Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson after he was caught spewing antigay talk. And just recently, a Chris Sevier tried to butt his way into Utah's gay marriage legal case . In a 50-page motion, he claimed he was there to make the court "put up or shut up" on the gay marriage issue.
In his motion in the Utah case, Sevier laid out his totally air-tight argument, warning that marriage equality and the “slippery slope” he warns will ensue will result in Americans “becoming salves of our glands, not slaves of virtue”:
Either (1) we will be reduced to a Nation that hypocritically enforces the equal protection and due process clause to suit the interest of the largest minority, which yields discrimination against the true minority classes of sexual orientation, causing hypocrisy to undermine foundation laws, yielding instability; (2) we will remain a Christian Nation that protects traditional marriage, as a relationship set apart because it has the potential of bearing life between two people, who are in a legally binding relationship, who have naturally corresponding sexual organs with the exclusive potential to produce children with DNA that matches theirs; which, of course, makes that relationship both scientifically and factually distinct from all others-religious aside; or (3) we will progress into a Nation that gives equal protection to all classes of sexual orientation allowing everyone to marrying anyone and anything to suit their appetite in the name of tolerance, equality, and love -becoming slaves of ourglands, not slaves of virtue. There is no other possible alternative.
The Iowa-based Religious Right group The Family Leader held a forum for Republican US Senate candidates on Friday, at which the group’s view that “God instituted government” figured heavily. In fact, nearly every candidate at the debate vowed that if they were to be elected to the Senate they would block federal judicial nominees who do not follow what they perceive as “natural law” or a “biblical view of justice.”
Bob Vander Plaats, head of The Family Leader, opened the forum by declaring, “At The Family Leader, we believe God has three institutions: It would be the church, the family, and government.”
He warned that policies such as legal abortion and marriage equality would cause God to cease blessing the country. “As we have a culture that runs further and further from God’s principles, His precepts, from God’s heart, it’s only natural consequences that we’re going to suffer,” he said.
“You cannot run away from the heart of God and expect God to bless the country," he concluded.
Several of the candidates echoed this theme during the forum. When moderator Erick Erickson, the right-wing pundit, asked the candidates what criteria they would look for in confirming federal judges, three out of four said they would demand faith in God or adherence to “natural law.”
Sam Clovis, a college professor and retired Air Force colonel, answered that he has “a very firm litmus test” on judges: “Can that judge…explain to me natural law and natural rights?”
Joni Ernst, who is currently a state senator, agreed, adding that federal judges should understand that the Constitution and all of our laws “did come from God” and that senators should “make sure that any decisions that they have made in the past are decisions that fit within that criteria.”
Former federal prosecutor Matt Whitaker argued that neither Clovis’ nor Ernst’s answer had gone “far enough.” He said that he would demand that federal judicial nominees be “people of faith” and “have a biblical view of justice.”
“As long as they have that worldview, then they’ll be a good judge,” he said. “And if they have a secular worldview, where this is all we have here on earth, then I’m going to be very concerned about how they judge.”
This all must have been very pleasing to Vander Plaats, who in 2010 orchestrated the ousting of Iowa Supreme Court justices who had ruled in favor of marriage equality, and who has repeatedly insisted that marriage equality is unconstitutional because it "goes against" the Bible and the "law of nature."
Heritage Foundation fellow Ryan T. Anderson, the anti-marriage-equality movement’s new young voice, claimed in an interview with the LDS Church-owned KSL TV in Salt Lake City, that banning marriage equality “take[s] nothing away from anyone” and “in no way infringes upon the liberty of any American to live and to love how they choose to.”
Anderson claims that in a “live and let live society,” LGBT people would not have marriage rights, but would receive marriage benefits from their employers if their employers chose.
In the interview, transcribed by the Deseret News, Anderson also explains that it’s easy for him to take emotion out of the marriage debate.
KSL: As you lay out your arguments, many people may be unmoved because it seems like you aren’t giving homosexuals the opportunity for true fulfillment, that society is justifying sacrificing some people’s fulfillment at the sake of others. What is your response to that?
RA: Marriage laws take nothing away from anyone. In all 50 states, two people of the same sex can live with each other and love each other. If their house of worship recognizes same-sex marriage, they can have a wedding there. If their business wants to give them marriage benefits, the business can. That’s very much a live and let live society. What’s at stake with the redefinition of marriage is: will the law redefine what marriage is and then force every community, every religious community, except for the four walls of a church, every business community, into treating the same-sex relationship as if it’s a marriage, even when it violates their beliefs about marriage? But defining marriage as between a man and a woman so that as many children as possible have a mother and a father in no way infringes upon the liberty of any American to live and to love how they choose to.
It didn’t take long for Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins to misrepresent a recent poll their groups commissioned which found that “82 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents believe marriage ‘should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.’”
Speaking with Perkins on Washington Watch yesterday, Bauer claimed that the poll actually proves that most Americans opposed legalizing same-sex marriage: “While certainly, particularly among young people, there is some shift on this issue, most Americans still understand that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Bauer said of the Family Research Council/American Values poll.
In fact, the poll explicitly states [PDF] that it only surveyed Republicans and independents who typically vote Republican.
While the poll used heavily slanted Religious Right language when asking GOP voters if they “agree or disagree that politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples,” Perkins and Bauer accused nonpartisan polling firms — which have consistently found that a majority of voters support gay marriage — of using misleading questions to trick people into supporting marriage equality.
“I think, Tony, we both agree that there is an effort underway here to use polls not to measure public opinion but to form public opinion and move it in the direction of the demands of the gay rights movement,” Bauer said. Perkins agreed: “Absolutely, and a lot of that is done by the way the questions are worded.”
“If there had been really been a massive shift among the American people to the redefinition of marriage, I don’t think we would see all over the country the gay rights movement vehemently opposing every effort that happens in any state to actually vote on the issue,” Bauer added, ignoring the fact that gay rights supporters in 2012 successfully led a marriage referendum in Maine.
Bauer later said that the polls are “cooked” in favor of gay marriage and insisted that gay rights advocates are afraid of having a “national referendum” on marriage rights … even though there is no mechanism in election law or the US Constitution to trigger a national referendum on any issue.
“One would assume if there had been a big shift of opinion, the gay rights movement would say, ‘Let’s have a national referendum, we’ll prove it to you.’ But the fact that they will spend millions of dollars to keep off of the ballot in states a reaffirmation of the traditional meaning of marriage I think is further evidence that they know the polling data, which is often being touted in contrast to the poll we’ve got today, are really in many cases — the numbers have been cooked in order to advance a particular social agenda,” Bauer said.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas joined Frank Gaffney yesterday to discuss Cruz’s bill aimed at stopping Iran’s new United Nations ambassador, who had been involved in the Iranian hostage crisis, from entering the United States. The bill was passed unanimously by Congress and signed by President Obama, who had already refused to grant a visa to the Iranian official, but that didn’t keep Gaffney and Cruz from using the issue to criticize the president.
Like President George H.W. Bush had done with a similar bill, the president noted in a signing statement that the bill might not pass constitutional muster because only the president — not Congress — has constitutional authority to receive ambassadors, so he would have to take the bill as “advisory.”
This led Cruz to berate the president for his refusal to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act in the courts (both Republican and Democratic administrations have refused to defend laws they believe to be unconstitutional), his executive orderdeferring deportations of some DREAMers, his widely misrepresented decision to grant the request of Republican governors to modify welfare-to-work requirements, and the attorney general’s move to broaden clemency opportunities for nonviolent offenders serving time for drug crimes.
When Gaffney asked if such actions “constitute a Constitutional crisis in our time,” Cruz responded, “That is exactly right.”
Cruz: You’re right, he did put out that signing statement, and if nothing else I have to praise him for his candor. Because one of the most dismaying aspects of the Obama administration has been that this president seems to regard all legislation as advisory. And so he said so explicitly here that the legislation was now written in the law books as part of the US code, but if he so desires he might ignore it sometime in the future. None of that surprises me because that has been the approach President Obama has taken to the entire rest of the US code, whether it has been immigration laws or marriage laws or drug laws or welfare laws or Obamacare, which he 30 times has ignored the text of the law and disregarded it.
Gaffney: Or rewritten it on his own authority. This raises the question – and I think you’ve very directly addressed it in the past, and I’d invite you to do so again – does this constitute a Constitutional crisis in our time as the result of the man simply departing from his oath, sworn responsibilities to uphold the Constitution, which clearly makes it the Congress’s role to enact legislation.
Cruz: That is exactly right.
In a fundraising email today, American Family Association president Tim Wildmon warns that the list of careers that Christians can hold in America “is quickly shrinking as homosexuals pro-actively seek opportunities to wreck the personal business and career of any Christian who declines to support the gay lifestyle.”
The email lists “7 common careers Christians may no longer hold in America,” which it says includes photography, broadcasting and teaching. Wildmon cites a few cases in which business owners have been sued for refusing to provide services to gay people and have sought broad exemptions from anti-discrimination laws that apply to businesses operating in the public square. He also cites the case of Craig James, who was hired by a regional Fox Sports network before being fired by the national network, which he claimed was because of his “personal religious beliefs.” Wildmon claims that James, who has since been hired by the Family Research Council , is a martyr who has been banned from broadcasting thanks to “homosexual aggression.”
7 common careers Christians may no longer hold in America
April 23, 2014
Many Christians choose self-employed careers because they want to be able to run their business according to the dictates of their faith and conscience.
That list is quickly shrinking as homosexuals pro-actively seek opportunities to wreck the personal business and career of any Christian who declines to support the gay lifestyle.
Don't be fooled. This is a focused effort to ostracize and humiliate faith-based businesses and their owners. Here are a few recent examples:
- Photography - A Christian photographer in New Mexico was fined $6700 for politely declining to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony. The Supreme Court allowed this fine to stand.
- Baker - A Christian baker in Oregon is facing both civil and criminal penalties, including jail time, for politely declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding ceremony. Her business has closed.
- Florist - Baronelle Stutzman, a Christian florist in Washington, is being sued by the state attorney general for politely declining to prepare an arrangement for a gay wedding ceremony.
- Broadcasting - Craig James was fired by Fox Sports Southwest after only one day on the job for expressing his support for natural marriage while he was a candidate for the United States Senate.
- Counseling - Jennifer Keeton was dismissed from the counseling program at Augusta State University for her religious reservations about the homosexual lifestyle.
- Innkeeping - The Wildflower Inn in Vermont was fined $30,000 and forced to shut down its wedding reception business after politely declining to host a lesbian ceremony.
- Teaching - Ms. Gillian John-Charles was kicked out of a doctoral program in education at Roosevelt University for expressing in class her belief that homosexuals aren't born gay.
What you can do about it…
AFA is improving the way we communicate, so you can get the latest information quickly and effectively engage the culture when our Christian brothers and sister come under attack from homosexual aggression.
Speaking with Phyllis Schlafly on Eagle Forum Live this weekend, Iowa talk show host Steve Deace implied that same-sex couples who want to get married are like people who want to be able to fly.
Responding to a caller who asked what he should say to a friend who says “it’s not government’s job to legislate morality,” Deace responded that the friend has “bought into some postmodern thinking” where he doesn’t want to impose his idea of what’s “wrong and icky” on other people.
Deace compared this to fighting the law of gravity, implying that a gay person who wants to get married is like someone who jumps off a skyscraper because they think they can fly.
“I mean, someone might think, I have the right to fly and I’d love to fly and I have a desire to fly and I even found a judge that gave me a piece of paper that told me I have the right to fly,” he said. “But when I fling myself off the top of a skyscraper, I run smack-dab into the law of gravity.”
“It didn’t change because some judge said so,” he added.
Caller: I’ve got a buddy who’s semi-liberal and he says, his main premise is that it’s not government’s job to legislate morality. And I was wondering what you’ve got to say about that.
Schlafly: Well, practically ever law is legislating morality.
Deace: Phyllis is correct. Everything is morality. That’s a false objection. Question him further to find exactly out what that means. And I’m telling you, what I’m 99 percent positive that it will mean is that he’s bought into some postmodern thinking that says, ‘Well, yeah, I think this stuff is wrong and icky for me but I can’t impose my value system on somebody else.’
But of course, that’s a very slippery slope as well. I mean, someone might think, I have the right to fly and I’d love to fly and I have a desire to fly and I even found a judge that gave me a piece of paper that told me I have the right to fly. But when I fling myself off the top of a skyscraper, I run smack-dab into the law of gravity. It didn’t change because some judge said so. It still exists. So, chances are that’s a false objection from your friend because he’s bought into some postmodern thinking about over-judgementalism.
After suggesting that the House move to arrest Eric Holder, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Washington Watch host Tony Perkins last week that the push for marriage equality undermines biology and will inevitably lead the “country down the road to the dustbin of history.”
We see marriage that’s been defined for the history of man, whether you believe in nature or as we do nature’s God, it’s designed that it’s just biologically for a man and a woman to procreate and to create a family and that’s not our ruling and yet we’re going to throw that aside and say we are so much smarter than the entire history of mankind when actually we’re not smarter, we’re just falling into the same rut that Solomon talked about: ‘There’s nothing new under the sun.’ This is what you’re going to do to lead your country down the road to the dustbin of history and we don’t have to go there.
Ben Sasse, the GOP US Senate candidate from Nebraska who has garnered endorsements from Tea Party-aligned groups including the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the Senate Conservatives Fund, appeared on Friday’s edition of The Janet Mefferd Show to reiterate his commitment to the social conservatives cause.
When asked his opinion on legalizing same-sex marriage, Sasse said he agree with the GOP’s opposition to marriage equality, adding, “Government doesn’t define marriage, marriage is defined by God and we receive it via nature and it predates government. And when the family is under assault as it is today, when the family is in decline, nothing else is going to work.”
“We need to stand for the idea that the Founders got with the Bill of Rights, which is that nature and our rights come to us not from government but they come to us from God and government is our shared project to secure our natural and inalienable rights,” Sasse continued. “The reason we want a government is to protect us from certain kinds of evils and uncertainties so we can live life in the central institutions like family.”
In an appearance Monday on the Christian televangelist network Daystar, conservative commentator Cal Thomas warned that the legalization of same-sex marriage undermines “all of human history” and poses a greater threat to America than Islamic extremists.
Responding to a question about “what can be done about the federal judges that override the majority of voters on marriage,” Thomas responded with apocalyptic warnings.
“Look at Mesopotamia. Look at the Roman Empire, which collapsed from within through moral impurity before they were conquered from without. And that’s my great fear. I don’t fear the Russians or the fundamentalist Muslims as much as I fear ourselves. We are committing moral suicide in this country: 55 million dead babies through abortion and counting, we’re mainstreaming same-sex marriage and the polygamists are right behind,” he said.
“You have the people who believe in adult-child marriage, they already do this in certain Muslim countries, these people want the rights as an adult to marry a child,” he added. “So all I’m asking, and what I do in debates is say, if the line has shifted now and we accept same-sex marriage, where would you then draw the line and on what basis? It’s all about the polls, feelings and the culture at the time, it’s not about established truth and real history.”
Before the 2012 election, many conservative pundits, including Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council, predicted that African American voters would turn on President Obama because of his support for marriage equality and either refuse to vote for the president or back Mitt Romney. Of course, this didn’t actually happen. As Politico reported, “Fully 96 percent of black voters supported Obama and constituted 13 percent of the electorate, a 2-percentage-point rise in their national turnout.”
But right-wing commentators like Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State and GOP activist, persist in arguing that black voters are abandoning Obama over the marriage issue.
On Tuesday’s edition of Washington Watch, Blackwell told guest host Richard Land that African Americans are strongly opposed to marriage equality and are dismayed by Obama’s abandonment of “biblical truth.” “There is no confusion on this issue in the African American community,” he said.
Blackwell may want to check an ABC/Washington Post poll taken shortly after Obama’s announcement that he backs gay marriage, which found that 59 percent of African Americans favor marriage equality.
Land: Isn’t it true that same-sex marriage is less popular among African Americans than any other segment of the society?
Blackwell: That is correct. If you go to California, look at Ohio, what you find out is that the black communities across this country have come out in strong numbers to underscore the point that marriage, natural marriage, is a union between one man and one woman. There is no confusion on this issue in the African American community and I think that we should hold our African American president and another African American leader who speaks to the contrary to account because he’s not reflecting the aspirations or the biblical truth that most black Americans hold onto.
Land: You’re on the frontlines, you’re in the battle. It’s not lost, is it? We can still win this.
Blackwell: Absolutely. We will win this and we can’t give up.
Heritage Foundation head Jim DeMint appeared on Vocal Point with Jerry Newcombe of Truth In Action Ministries last week, where he insisted that “no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves.”
DeMint, a former US senator from South Carolina, told Newcombe that “the conscience of the American people” and not the federal government was responsible for the end of slavery.
In the interview, DeMint seemed to confuse the US Constitution with the Declaration of Independence and implied that William Wilberforce, a British politician who died almost thirty years before the Civil War, did more to end American slavery than the federal government.
DeMint: This progressive, the whole idea of being progressive is to progress away from those ideas that made this country great. What we’re trying to conserve as conservative are those things that work. They work today, they work for young people, they work for minorities and we can change this country and change its course very quickly if we just remember what works.
Newcombe: What if somebody, let’s say you’re talking with a liberal person and they were to turn around and say, ‘that Founding Fathers thing worked out really well, look at that Civil War we had eighty years later.’
DeMint: Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God.
Of course, the Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment was initiated by the federal government.
Historian Michael Les Benedict notes that Republicans at the time advocated a “nationalist” view of the Constitution, unlike “the largely state-rights Democratic party.” Abraham Lincoln’s critics, historian Don E. Fehrenbacher points out, pilloried him as a “tyrant” who was “bringing about destruction of the old Union of sovereign states and setting the nation on the road to totalitarianism” by “subverting the rights and powers of the states.” Confederate leaders insisted that the Civil War was a “war waged by the Federal Government against the seceding States.”
Later in the interview, DeMint talked to Newcombe about his opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage.
He gave a similarly a confusing answer on why he opposes marriage equality, suggesting that states have never enacted marriage equality laws: “I personally don’t think the government has the right, particularly at the federal level, to redefine marriage. It’s always been regulated by the states but never redefined by the states. Marriage was in effect created by the church, regulated by the states. For the government to come in and start redefining our civil institutions makes no sense.”
He went on to claim that marriage equality contributes to “broken families” and “the breakdown of the family.”
Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality was not happy last month when Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy said he was going to stop speaking out publicly against marriage equality, calling him a “sellout” who was “hurting the cause.”
The anti-gay activist was even further dispirited by the charity World Vision’s decision – since reversed – to recognize the marriages of its gay employees. Speaking with talk show host Janet Mefferd yesterday, LaBarbera told evangelicals that you can’t “call yourself a Christian” and also support “redefining marriage to accommodate a sexual sin.”
When Mefferd asked him whether he thought controversies like the one over World Vision’s treatment of gay employees would become more common, LaBarbera responded, “Yeah, I think a lot of evangelicals are going to sell out.”
“I’m afraid were going to see evangelicals either opting out of this issue entirely…or, even worse than that, we’re going to see evangelicals getting behind the idea of natural gay identity and even so-called homosexual marriage,” he said.
“And that’s a sad thing,” he continued, “because if you’re going to call yourself a Christian, don’t get behind non-Christian or anti-Christian ideas. Struggling with homosexuality is one thing – many people struggle with sins – but proudly defending homosexuality and even redefining marriage to accommodate a sexual sin is quite another.”