Gay Rights

Gays + Government = Anti-Religious Bullying

Fr. Greg Shaffer, the head chaplain of the Newman Center at The George Washington University, is currently being persecuted for teaching doctrine “consistent with that of the Catholic Church.” Two students are upset by his stance on homosexual acts and gay marriage, so they want him removed from the university and the GW Catholics’ Club funding reduced. I guess if you don’t support homosexuality 100%, you just don’t deserve access to the student association funds that part of your tuition goes toward.

This is wrong, as Catholics shouldn’t be persecuted by gays for their beliefs. I preach against bullying no matter the target. Catholics shouldn’t bully gays and gays should ignore the Catholic Church if they don’t like its teachings. But at least this is just two individuals seeking to get a priest fired. What if the state started cracking down on priests? Well, that day isn’t far off.

The Boy Scouts of America may very well fall victim to the gay agenda in California. Senate Bill 323, a bill that would cause the Boy Scouts to lose their tax-exempt status, moved quickly through the state senate last week. The Boy Scouts proposed lifting the ban on gay youth shortly afterwards. The bill seeks to revoke the Boy Scouts tax-exempt status by denying the status to any nonprofit youth group that discriminates based on gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, or religion. That’s going to affect a lot of groups, since many nonprofits target certain ethnic or religious groups, but I’m sure Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) – the man who introduced the bill – didn’t think of that. He believes that the state should only reward organizations with tax exemptions if they are supported by the majority of Californians. Ironically, the majority passed Prop 8, so I don’t know why he thinks SB 323 is something the majority would want. I think it is what he wants, because even though the Supreme Court upheld the right of the Boy Scouts to exclude homosexuals from their organization, he is seeking to punish the organization via the government.

This is becoming and issue in other states, too. Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Hawaii is being sued for discrimination stemming from a refusal to provide services to a lesbian couple in 2011. The owner said she was uncomfortable having a lesbian couple stay in her house, since she is very religious. However, a public accommodations law seems to violate her First Amendment rights by forcing her to provide rooms in her house to anybody who wants one. If she doesn’t appreciate that person’s actions or views, then that’s just too bad, because apparently her house isn’t hers anymore.

Actually, the entire West Coast is being plagued by a spate of lawsuits challenging shopkeepers’ rights to do business with who they please. Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts, is currently being sued by both the Washington Attorney General and the ACLU for refusing to supply flowers for a gay wedding. Robert Ingersoll and his partner Curt Freed had wanted to purchase Stutzman’s arrangements for their wedding, but she refused to help them with their wedding arrangements. Despite being loyal customers, Freed said he felt Stutzman “discriminated against us as a result of our sexual orientation.”  Attorney General Bob Ferguson took the case stating, “Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation.” However, both of these men are missing the point. She had served Freed and Ingersoll, and presumably other gay people, in the past, knowing that they were gay. Thus, it wasn’t because of their sexual orientation, but because she would be servicing a gay wedding, that Stutzman turned the couple down. This is well within the bounds of the law and also her First Amendment rights.

In Oregon, a lesbian couple is suing a baker for refusing to provide them with a cake for their wedding. Just like in the previous case, they had purchased cakes from him in the past, but apparently they still feel that he is anti-gay and is breaking the law. The law in question in the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Again, the baker in this case is not against selling cakes to homosexuals – he just doesn’t want to have anything to do with their wedding. The baker, whose name is Aaron Klein, provided this statement: “I’d rather have my kids see their dad stand up for what he believes in than to see him bow down because one person complained.” I appreciate this attitude, so anyone in the area reading this, please go to Sweet Cakes Bakery next time you need a cake and give this guy some business.

As this article has shown, Attorney Generals on the West Coast are extremely bored or bad at prioritizing. They are wasting taxpayers’ money persecuting, or prosecuting (I can never remember which it is nowadays), religious shopkeepers for their refusal to partake in something they view as sinful. Why do they want these shopkeepers to violate their pact with God? What right does the state have to force anyone to provide services to an event they deem unworthy? The entire West Coast is plagued by lawmakers and government attorneys who are apparently blind. The “criminals” in question serve gays all the time, just not gay weddings, which means that they aren’t discriminating based on sexual orientation. That doesn’t matter to liberals, though, who have decided to bully organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and individuals like Barronelle Stutzman for exercising the right to freedom of association and religious freedom.


Adam Ondo | University of Rochester | @JoplinMaverick

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6 Responses

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  1. Joseph M
    May 01, 2013 - 12:35 AM

    Where a homosexual or liberal person’s feelings are hurt, another person’s rights will cease.

    EDIT* Delete other post.. (unrelated argument)

  2. Joseph M
    May 01, 2013 - 12:28 AM

    Where a homosexual or liberal person’s feelings are hurt, another person’s rights will cease.

    Benefits provided to married American couples have been provided throughout and after a history in which male dominant cultural bias was instilled. Marriage benefits were necessary because it was usually the male who was providing an income to sustain the family. Or to cover the costs associated with the months or years one must take off when bearing children.

    Don’t modern liberals and feminists work to make women as equal to men as possible, even in terms of gender stereotypes? Women are in the workplace, providing for themselves and their families. Women are more independent today compared with 50 or 60 somewhat years ago. One could say that heterosexual marriage benefits aren’t even totally necessary today.

    Therefore, gay marriage benefits actually diminish the self reliance that same sex couples should display. Heterosexual marriage benefits are justified when one considers they may be to cover the costs of going through the whole process of bringing children into this world. Pregnancy, birth, and care. Processes which naturally aren’t the same for homosexual couples.

    Why work towards progressing these dependent welfare policies, and make those who never needed them in the first place look less reliable by needing them? A wave of benefits, sapping the country’s wealth. Many believe that a true family is a mother and father who are the two sole reasons for the creation of their child.

    To respond to Raun Bransburg and Tray…

    You have your own opinions, and that is wonderful. It is a shame that you, too, get your feeling hurt by people that have their own feelings as well.

    Don’t all religions do that? Or at least the three religions of Abraham? Come on now…

    • raun bransburg
      May 01, 2013 - 10:11 PM

      Joseph,You have got to be kidding. Do you think a black person should feel compelled to discuss the merits of slavery with a white person. How about a Jew discussing the merits of Hitler’s leadership and economic policies. A gay person does not owe the an ultra conservative Christian the courtesy of discussing whether his genetic trait is inherently evil. Being under constant attack and having to defend one’s identity is not something anybody has to do. Race, gender, and sexual orientation are not the same as political opinions or religious opinions. The former do not need to be defended in the court of public opinion. Equality is something that should be taken for granted.

  3. raun bransburg
    Apr 27, 2013 - 07:01 PM

    Recently, I ate in a neighborhood restaurant. I was waited upon by a new waitress. In a polite conversation, she revealed that she recently emigrated from Lithuania. I showed some interest and informed her that my grandmother was from Lithuania. She demonstrated interest and shared that there are problems in Lithuania because all “those Jews were coming back and demanding their houses from before World War II”. She said “ those Jews should be careful.” I was enraged and told her that a 1/3 of Lithuania’s real estate should belong to the Jews. Then I asked for the owners to fire here, which they did promptly. But here is the real issue: It is not just that she was anti-Semitic but something else that bothered me. As a Jew and a grandson of a holocaust victim and as a victim myself of the consequences of Lithuanian anti-Semitism I am not willing to start a conversation with any Lithuanian on Jewish Lithuanian relationship unless the Lithuanian starts the conversation with an apology. The purpose of the apology is to acknowledge that in the relationship between a Jew and a Lithuanian, the Jew is the victim and therefore is morally superior and the Lithuanian is the oppressor and therefore morally inferior. This is the only term of social negotiations that are acceptable to me. The extent to which the absolute rights of the descendent of holocaust victims to compensation for lost property might be lessened by the immediate financial difficulties of the current Lithuanian regime is irrelevant to the conversation. As long as the Lithuanian takes the conflict between Lithuanians and Jews out of context and believes that he is the victim because he believes that out of no-where Jews came and asked for property, there cannot be a constructive conversation about the problem. The communication stops when the oppressor becomes “confused” and thinks that he is the victim.

    This is theoretically similar to a white person in South Africa that complained in 1994, that the Blacks cause so much inconvenience to the normal standard way of life of the Whites because they demand substantial investment and social upheaval by demanding to invest in replacing all the “white only” park benches with race neutral seats. Obviously, the White takes the history of oppression out of context and sticks to the trivial inconvenience as Black demands for special rights.

    I encountered this victim oppressor negotiation in particular at graduate school. Occasionally, I made friends among Arabs and Palestinians. We had discussions on a variety of subjects. However, when it came to Arab-Israeli conflict, the main problem was that my Palestinian friends expected me to acknowledge guilt as the oppressor who came from Europe and took Arab land. As the victims, they expected me to come to a solution that would compensate them for their loss. On the other hand, I saw myself as the victim because of hundreds of years of European oppression and Arab oppression and for the murderous Arab attacks on Jews during World War II and for terrorist attacks.

    While the issue between Arabs and Israelis is controversial and both sides are guilty of some atrocities, I do not see such a problem between Jews and Europeans, Blacks and White Americans or Gays and Straights. It is and should be made clear that Jews, Blacks, and Gays are always morally superior because they are the victims, and conversely, Whites, Europeans and Straights always are morally inferior because they are the oppressors. Thus, any conversation must start from the statement” I recognize our fault at creating a hostile social climate for your group. What can we do to fix the problem.”

    • raun bransburg
      Apr 27, 2013 - 07:08 PM

      As long as Christians and other conservatives claim that Gays came out of nowhere and through their actions and behavior caused interference with the natural social order and therefore made straights the victims, the conversation can go nowhere

  4. Tray
    Apr 26, 2013 - 03:08 PM

    “… gays should ignore the Catholic Church if they don’t like its teachings.”

    Surely you realize it’s not that simple, when the Catholic Church insists on legislating morality?


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