SCOTUS, Tony Perkins, and Gay Marriage

Referring readers to yet another article that rankles my bones …

Quote by Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council:

“The court is not going to settle this issue. In fact, I think it does a disservice to both sides if the court weighs in on public policy like this,” said Perkins on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “The courts are designed to interpret the constitution and the constitutionality of the laws, not create public policy. When they do that, they create division and they erect barriers to reaching consensus on public policy like this.”

He’s talking about the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on the gay marriage issue.

I can’t help but wonder if SCOTUS was considering the establishment of prayer and bible reading in public schools if Perkins would consider it a “disservice” for them to weigh in on “public policy.”

The Same-Sex Wedding Cake Squabble

Our local newspaper posted this on Facebook and asked for comments:

wedding-cake

The owners of an Oregon bakery might have to pay up to $150,000 to a same-sex couple after refusing to sell them a wedding cake.

The bakery owners said they refused to sell the same-sex couple a cake because it went against their Christian beliefs.

The original article can be found here.

Living in a more conservative part of the state, I wasn’t too surprised to find comments that went along the lines of the following:

  • I hate the fact that this life style is being forced upon us as if they should be entitled to more than the average person. I say no cake for you now be gone.
  • I thought there was a right to refuse service ? Aren’t there other bakeries this couple could have gone to ? If someone doesn’t want to serve me or have my business I’m going elsewhere.
  • What about ‘hate’ I’m a Christian also……but Jesus ask us to Love everyone? Let God deal with the gay couple….just be nice and treat them fair as a Christian should. ….it’s the love and forgiveness that draws us to God. ….we should all be showing that. ….
    Response to this comment: Being a Christian does not mean rolling over for attacks on your faith!
  • It may be against their beliefs to do stuff like that for one. And 2 if you read the Bible. Same sex marriage and sexual relationships are also a sin. That’s part of this country’s problem. If a person doesn’t get their way they sue them.
  • What ever happened to “we have the right to refuse”. This couple needs to suck it up and go elsewhere.
  • So if I refuse to serve a pedifiler I’m going to get sued????
  • Gays are all going to Haitis they don’t belong here read your bible people thats why this country is soon coming to an end. Gay sex is y and if they choose not to make a gay cake it’s up to them. You dont get to buy a car with bad credit does this mean you can now file suite against the banks and auto industry? Gays have way to many rights and think the world owes them 40 acres and a donky slong get over it bake your own cake you gay anyways.
  • Where the right to practice your faith? This country was founded on Christian beliefs of our founding fathers. Morals have gone to hell in this country. I would refuse service as well. They can go elsewhere. I wish the gays would quit shoving their immoral sick crap down every ones throat!!!!!! The decent people are sick of it!!!!! The good Christians of the world need to pray hard for these people.

There were several dozen more but, well, you get the idea.

And then there was this one — which I thought was especially apropos:  [This] “lifestyle” isn’t being forced upon you. Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get one.

I actually thought the individual that wrote the one about letting God deal with it had her head on straight. But based on the other comments, she’s a rarity.


I found the following on LegalMatch.com:

Can a Restaurant Be Sued for Refusing Service to a Customer?

In most cases, a business is allowed to refuse service to patrons and customers. This is usually allowed if the customer is being disruptive, uncooperative, or is violating business laws or health codes.

However, there are certain instances when a restaurant might be sued for refusing service to a customer. These include situations like:

  • There is no discernable reason for the refusal, and the refusal caused the customer to experience financial loss or injury
  • The refusal of service violated the customer’s equal protection rights
  • The refusal of service violated terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • There was a breach of contract between the business and the customer

 

Religion in Politics – The Ongoing Battle

religion

The following is the introduction to an article written by Rev. Howard Bess on ConsortiumNews.com:

Though the United States has a tradition of separating church and state, the 2012 presidential campaign may test the limits of that tolerance. Not only do some Republicans continue to question Barack Obama’s Christianity, but GOP front-runner Mitt Romney is a Mormon and other contenders, such as Sarah Palin, are Christian fundamentalists.

In my opinion (and I don’t think I’m alone in this), politics and religion do not mix! Religion (worship of one’s god in whatever form desired) belongs in a church, temple, or other religious edifice. It DOES NOT belong in politics. NO person, no matter what their faith or political affiliation, has the right to push their particular theology onto the American people.

Issues such as pro-life (anti-abortion), gay marriage, family values, or any other moral concern are individual matters and should NEVER be part of politics. Good grief! Every person that votes is considered an adult — and adults can think for themselves. We don’t need or want someone else forcing us to live according to their beliefs.

I admit, I used to be very conservative in my beliefs and strongly supported “born again” presidents such as Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush for their unwavering stand for Christianity. But I’ve changed. I guess I became an adult.

Contrary to what many, many people believe, this country is not a “Christian Nation” (see this article). Even though Fundamentalist Christians would like the American public to believe the so-called founding fathers intended to establish this country on “biblical principles,” history simply does not support this view. The original leaders of our nation were not Bible-believing Christians; they were Deists.

An individual (docfloss) contributed what I believe was a very thoughtful comment to the article by Rev. Bess (referenced at the beginning of this posting). I urge you to read it.

Why Gay Marriage?

I have no problem with same-sex relationships. It’s not something I would pursue, but I believe we each have a right to our own preferences in life.

Something I don’t understand, however, is why it’s so important for gays to marry. It’s my understanding that civil unions offer the same benefits. The only difference is that the couple has not been joined in a religious ceremony.

Some say it has to do with the fact that civil unions between gay partners are not recognized in every state. But if civil unions became federal law, with all the inherent benefits of marriage, wouldn’t that suffice?

If a religious ceremony is important to a gay couple, why couldn’t a sympathetic minister perform the ceremony and issue a certificate that verified the union and satisfied any legal requirements by the government?

I guess what I’m asking is this: If gay couples were granted all the same rights as (legally-recognized) married couples, does the relationship have to be called a “marriage?” Perhaps the union could be given a different name — one that signifies it as a commited relationship with all the same dignity and respect that is attributed to the current definition of marriage.

Or maybe it’s really all a matter of semantics. Maybe we simply need to change the definition of marriage, because so long as we use that terminology, conservatives will continue to oppose any union between same sex couples.

Changing Beliefs About Gay Marriage

It doesn’t matter what beliefs we hold … they are OUR beliefs and we have a RIGHT to those beliefs.

It is our RIGHT to believe anything we want about gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, the Iraq war, gun control, God, Jesus, or any other issue.

It is also our RIGHT to disagree with others who hold opposite views from ours.

We even have the RIGHT to publicly protest beliefs that we don’t agree with.

BUT … we need to remember that we can NEVER force someone to change their beliefs.

The individuals who are protesting against California’s Prop 8 have the right to do so, but their chants and signs are not going to persuade anyone to begin supporting gay marriage if it is against their core beliefs.

The same holds true for those who march and hold graphic signs to protest against current abortion laws.

And protesting against someone’s religious beliefs by using online forums to post vitrolic and venomous comments accomplishes nothing.

Furthermore, damaging property (or even inflicting bodily harm) is the least effective way to sway another’s beliefs.

People believe as they do as a result of heredity and environment, plus life experiences. New beliefs happen because someone makes the choice to change their opinion about something. It is an action that is taken by the individual. It will never occur due to someone else applying force.