First Amendment Protects Religious Beliefs
It seems that there is a new internet outrage each and every day. Sadly, many of these are over religion. While religious actions, feelings, duties, etc should be a personal decision, far too may people seem to be forcing their own convictions onto others. That being said, while it is unconstitutional do to so, it is also unconstitutional to force others to ignore their own convictions.
According to the 1st Amendment, Congress can make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning … That means they cannot make a law which denies anyone the right to exercise their own beliefs. If your religion tells you that it is wrong to commit abortion, for example, then Congress can make no law forcing you to do so…same with performing gay weddings…
Houston Preachers Already Under Attack
As we reported last week, we have already had a breach of the First Amendment Rights of pastors when the lesbian mayor of Houston demanded that the city’s pastors turn their sermons over for review. Although the demand was quickly reworded to say “speeches” instead of sermons, the result is the same. As Ben Carson points out in the National Review, “Of course, gays should be able to live in any manner they choose as long as it does not infringe on the rights of anyone else. And of course, ministers should be able to preach according to the dictates of their conscience as long as they are not forcing others to listen.” That’s the whole point. No one is being forced to listen to these sermons…if someone in the congregation disagrees, they are free to get up and find a church that accepts their lifestyle. The same is true of gay marriage.
“Forced to Support” Vastly Different Than “Forced to Perform”
The First Amendment guarantees that one person cannot be forced to share the same beliefs, or live by the same beliefs as others. The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is doing just that. Ministers at a for-profit wedding chapel are facing fines and jail time if they do not perform gay marriages. While many point out that the “for profit” part of the situation makes this chapel essentially a business, that is not the point. This problem is not the same as the Houston pastors being forced to hand over sermons. Even if we treat this chapel as a business, to force them to perform gay weddings is unconstitutional. It is not even the same as the bakeries which have been forced to make cakes for gay weddings.
Being forced to sell a product to someone who is gay, or to create something that supports being gay is completely different from being forced to perform a ceremony which is absolutely against your religion. While it may be wrong to force someone to make a product which supports gay marriage or abortion, it is inherently worse to force them to perform the wedding or abortion. How long before Christian doctors will be sued for not performing abortions? ObamaCare has already demanded that Christian businesses pay for them.
What Do You Think?
As Ben Carson stated, “Our Founders were very concerned about free speech and religious freedom because they came from countries where these basic elements of American life were compromised. The First Amendment to the Constitution was carefully crafted to preclude the imposition of laws and ordinances that trample on these rights.” It does not matter what your religion is, or lack thereof…if you stand for these rights to be taken from one religion, you are standing in support of them being taken from all. Whether you are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, or undecided, we cannot allow our government to trample on the Constitutional rights of any American because in doing so, they trample on the rights and freedoms of us all….
You may have the Constitutional right (and God-given free will) to have that abortion or gay wedding, but please, just find someone who wants your business instead of forcing those who don’t? If you continue to force others to adhere to your beliefs, how long do you think it will be before the tables are turned?