Friday, February 21, 2014

Bryan Fischer - Christian v. Christian

Bryan Fischer - American Family Association
I usually relegate Mr. Fischer, American Family Association's anti-gay blockhead, to the crackpot spike but this seems entertaining. It was posted to Allen Keyes' website (not exactly a mental hygiene preserve to begin with). My comment follows the batshit.
In something that is difficult even to believe, Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Ministries, the second largest church in America, said in USA Today that laws that offer legal protection to such Christian businessmen are actually "offensive." Wow.
He is offended that Christians "would leverage faith to support the Kansas law," a law designed to protect the very first unalienable right the Founders enshrined in the Constitution, a law designed to protect his brothers in the faith from being fined or thrown in jail for running their businesses according to Christian conviction. Double wow.
[ … ]
Simply put, Stanley is advising men of faith who are also business owners to leave Christ out of their businesses. This is astonishing advice coming from one of America's leading evangelical pastors. Triple wow.

One question remains for Stanley: would he himself perform a homosexual wedding ceremony? If he would not participate in a gay wedding because of the moral standards of Scripture, how in the world can he condemn a Christian businessman for doing the same thing?
Mr. Fischer invokes the First Amendment's free exercise clause. He has overlooked the preceding establishment clause which the Supreme Court has perfected through the three-pronged Lemon Test:
  1. The government's action must have a secular legislative purpose; (Purpose Prong)
  2. The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion; (Effect Prong)
  3. The government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion. (Entanglement Prong)
I would argue that the Kansas law was unconstitutional and would not survive the Lemon Test. It did not seem to have a secular purpose, it seemed to advance a religious agenda and it reeked of excessive entanglement.

I suspect that Rev. Stanley knows something that Mr. Fischer consistently ignores. As Rev. Barry Lynn has stated numerous times, religious freedom is best protected by the separation of church and state.

As for Fischer's question about whether Rev. Stanley would "perform a homosexual wedding ceremony," it is both obnoxious and irrelevant. The answer is probably that Stanley would not. However, choosing not to officiate a same-sex wedding is clearly protected by the First Amendment — refusing service based on a customer's sexual orientation is not.  Fischer concludes:
It's too late for that, but it's not too late for Stanley to issue an apology for his alarmingly misguided pastoral advice.
I find that odd coming from someone who has offended virtually every minority group in America. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Fischer has never apologized  to anyone for anything.


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