Religious Champions of Discrimination
America’s religious leaders, some of the most esteemed and respectable citizens in our republic, are helping us understand that our precious freedoms — the ones our brave soldiers fight and die for in faraway dust bowls most of us can’t find on a map — are once again under attack. This time the perpetrator isn’t a hairy Muslim in pajamas or an angry white guy with an automatic weapon and the phrase “2nd Amendment is 1st in My Heart” tattooed on his shoulder. This time it’s the White House.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order this week that barred anyone doing business with the United States government from discriminating against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or transgendered Americans. The upshot: if you want to hang onto your tax exemptions, government contracts and subsidies, you must hire the ungodly and unworthy, the sodomites and Sapphos and freaks.
Now, this “don’t discriminate against LGBT” order might seem on its face to be an unequivocal step toward “freedom and justice for all” and “all men are created equal” and every other nice ideal we were taught made America the greatest country on Earth. But people like Rick Warren, the Orange County businessman who delivered the benediction at Obama’s inauguration, and William Lori, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have helped us understand otherwise. Obama’s executive order aiding some of the most discriminated-against people in America is actually discrimination against religious people.
That’s not fair, is it?
In a July 1st letter anticipating Obama’s “emancipation proclamation for queers,” 14 people who consider themselves civic leaders asked the President to exempt them and their organizations from complying. (Abraham Lincoln must have gotten hundreds of petitions like this when he set the slaves free. Perhaps if he had been more sensitive to the opinions and values of slaveowners, a little more sensitive to diversity of opinion, we wouldn’t have had to craft the Fugitive Slave Acts and Jim Crow laws to assuage the sensibilities of those who weren’t quite ready to get with the program.) Catholics and Christians alike understand that as soon as you start compelling their flocks to treat every human being with dignity, respect and something like equality, you’re subtly asserting that God loves all people equally, and, really, when you do that you’ve destroyed one of the main benefits of being religious – feeling morally superior to those who haven’t seen your brand of the light.
Some commentators have called the Religious 14 “shameful,” and “hateful” and “backwards.” That’s unfair! They’re actually heroes. It took tremendous courage – cojones, in the parlance of all the illegal immigrants — for the signatories to write in the year 2014, more than 50 years after Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”: “We believe that all persons are created in the divine image of the creator, and are worthy of respect and love, without exception. Even so, it still may not be possible for all sides to reach a consensus on every issue. That is why we are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identity and beliefs motivate them to serve those in need.”
Hatemongers? No. Americans of Principle. In honor of their bravery, their iconoclasm in the face of a rush to glorify the equality of all Americans, we commemorate the Religious 14. These are their names and affiliations if you’d like to thank them personally for standing up for diversity while everyone else is mindlessly going with the “we’re all brothers and sisters” flow.
Dr. Joel C. Hunter Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed
Fr. Larry Snyder CEO, Catholic Charities USA
Kathy Dahlkemper County Executive, Erie County, PA, Former Member of Congress
Dr. Rick Warren Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church
Gabe Lyons President, Q Ideas
Dr. Stephen Schneck Director, Institute for Religion & Democracy Catholic University of America
Michael Wear Consultant, National Faith Vote Director, Obama for America 2012
Stephanie Summers CEO, Center for Public Justice
Rev. Noel Castellanos CEO, Christian Community Development Association
D. Michael Lindsay President, Gordon College
Andy Crouch Executive Editor, Christianity Today
Stephan Bauman President and CEO, World Relief
Jenny Yang Vice President for Policy & Advocacy, World Relief
Bill Blacquiere President and CEO, Bethany Christian Services
We noted with dismay the absence of any Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or Mormon leaders lending their support to righteousness. We hesitate to call them “spineless.” At the risk of sounding “discriminatory,” we suggest you draw your own conclusions about why none of the “other” religions were courageous enough to stand beside their Christian brothers in faith on this vital issue. Our theory is that religions that don’t have a high percentage of child rapists in leadership positions really don’t know all that much about human sexuality and probably aren’t as qualified as Catholics to discuss what kind of sexual behavior between consenting adults qualifies as normal and what’s aberrant.
How important is it that Catholics be allowed to discriminate against fags and dykes yet still collect federal money? Church royalty, the U.S. Bishops, issued their own letter this week. “Today’s executive order is unprecedented and extreme and should be opposed. In the name of forbidding discrimination, this order implements discrimination. With the stroke of a pen, it lends the economic power of the federal government to a deeply flawed understanding of human sexuality, to which faithful Catholics and many other people of faith will not assent. As a result, the order will exclude federal contractors precisely on the basis of their religious beliefs.”
This is a kind of holy war being waged against the holiest in our nation. Although we don’t condone violence of any kind, we hereby call for a mass uprising, a revolution if you will. It’s time for Catholics and other conscientious Christians who have read the Bible and understand the difference between employable Americans and disgusting Americans to speak with one unified voice. It’s time for them to declare loudly and proudly and repeatedly, “The Godless heathens will not be allowed to discriminate against people of faith!”
Some satanic progressive types have already started minimizing the importance of everything staying the way it’s always been. They claim that religious groups should be allowed to discriminate against whomever they please – but not if they wish to do business with the government, with “the people.” Really? Let’s be honest: One of the very best reasons to call your business “faith-based” is to get access to all that free, untaxed money currently flowing into the religion industry. It sort of defeats the whole point of saving souls if there’s no profit in it.
The fight for moral freedom has just begun. And we all know which side the better angels are on.