The media’s reporting on the Arizona bill regarding religious freedom has been nothing short of Orwellian. As I wrote yesterday, the debate about the bill has been far more depressing than the actual defeat of the bill. Why? Because nearly every media outlet reporting on the bill has been propagating an erroneous group-think. They described the bill by turns as an attempt to enact Jim Crow style discrimination against gay people. The reporting has been biased and in some cases straightforwardly wrong on the facts. Continue Reading →
All eyes were on Arizona this week to see if Gov. Jan Brewer would sign or veto a controversial bill relating to religious liberty. Supporters of the bill had hoped that it would have given legal recourse to Christians (and others) who decline to participate in gay wedding celebrations. Opponents of the bill painted it as the resurrection of Jim Crow and as a cynical attempt to enact legal discrimination against gay people. Continue Reading →
Last week, Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt joined their voices with the opponents of Christianity. In short, they argue that Christian business owners who refuse to participate in gay weddings are unjustly discriminating against gay people. Powers even went so far as to say that legal efforts to protect these Christians are tantamount to Jim Crow laws for gay people. Again today, Powers has another op-ed doubling down on her stance against these Christians. Continue Reading →
Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt are doubling down on their argument that Christian business owners are morally wrong when they refuse to participate in same-sex wedding celebrations. In a co-written essay for The Daily Beast, they argue that Christian business owners are morally and legally obliged to participate in gay wedding ceremonies with their goods and services. Not to participate is tantamount to the kind of discrimination that whites in this country used to exhibit against blacks.
Let me just say first of all that I am grieved by this article. Not merely because it is a moral and constitutional mess, but also because of who has written it. Do Powers and Merritt realize that they ratify the arguments of Christianity’s fiercest opponents when they attribute our conscientious objections to animus and bigotry? There is a larger context here. The sexual revolutionaries have done a fine job over the last decade of demonizing Christians as purveyors of hate because of our commitment to what the Bible teaches about sex. Powers and Merritt are joining their voices with our opponents when they militate against conscience rights for Christians. And this all by itself grieves me. I would have hoped for more from them.
Kirsten Powers argues in USA Today that Kansas’ recent effort to protect religious freedom is akin to enacting Jim Crow laws. She writes:
What’s the matter with Kansas? A bill protecting the religious freedom of businesses and individuals to refuse services to same-sex couples passed the state House of Representatives last week. It was blessedly killed in the state Senate on Tuesday…
Christians backing this bill are essentially arguing for homosexual Jim Crow laws.
She goes on to argue that Christian business owners have an obligation to serve people they disagree with because that’s what Jesus taught us to do. She invokes Pastor Andy Stanley for support on this point:
Last week, Robbie George and Cornell West visited Swarthmore College to host a public discussion about “what it means for intellectuals to learn from each other despite deep differences on important questions.” As many of you know, George is a renowned conservative while West is a well-known liberal. Both have had distinguished academic careers and have held professorships at Princeton University.
I watched the video of their meeting last week. The most interesting part of the discussion occurred when the Q&A period began. The first question out of the box came from a student who wanted to inquire about George’s public opposition to gay marriage. This is what the student said in his own words. Continue Reading →
Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Obama yesterday is fascinating on a number of levels.
From the ERLC’s Dan Darling in The Washington Times:
I’m a conservative. I’m pro-life. I’m a Southern Baptist. I don’t live in Texas… Still, I’m glad Ms. Davis is running for governor of Texas. Why? Because, thanks to her 11-hour filibuster on the floor of the Texas Senate last year and her subsequent coronation as a left-wing heroine, America is about to have a national conversation about the gruesome, inhumane, un-American procedure she fought so valiantly to keep legal and restriction-free.
Read the rest here.
Ross Douthat has a column today on the national debate about immigration reform. As is often the case, he’s exactly right about both the politics and the policy, particularly as it relates to the GOP. He writes:
THE debate over immigration reform, rekindled last week by House Republican leaders, bears a superficial resemblance to last fall’s debate over the government shutdown.
Again, you have establishment Republicans transparently eager to cut a deal with the White House and a populist wing that doesn’t want to let them do it. Again, you have Republican business groups and donors wringing their hands over the intransigence of the base, while talk-radio hosts and right-wing bloggers warn against an imminent inside-the-Beltway sellout. Again, you have a bill that could pass the House tomorrow — but only if John Boehner was willing to live with having mostly Democrats voting for it.
Except there’s one big difference: This time, the populists are right.
In politics, sometimes something is better than nothing. But when it comes to immigration reform, I suspect Douthat is right. For the near term, nothing is better than something. Read the rest here.
Rachel Held Evans has recently written a lengthy blog post expressing her views on the morality of contraception. She basically defends Obamacare’s contraception mandate and complains that evangelicals are mistaken in their views on modern birth control methods and “morning-after” pills.
Andrew Walker and I have published a response over at the First Things website, and we argue that her essay is mistaken on a number of levels. For instance, Evans denies that “morning-after” pills have an abortifacient mechanism. Yet somehow she misses that the FDA label on Plan B’s package says otherwise. But you don’t have to believe me. You can read the label for yourself. Notice the second sentence in bold underneath “Other information”: Continue Reading →