Monday, March 2, 2020

If ADF Had a Coherent Argument They Would Not Have to Lie

“ADF is dishonest out of greed for money, power and influence. As such they are far more shameful than any gay couple entering into marriage.”
Alliance Defending Freedom
ADF has always been a dishonest hate group
via Media Matters for America
Alliance Defending Freedom is an anti-LGBTQ hate group. I have little quarrel with their religious beliefs. However their determination to impose those beliefs on public policy is unconstitutional. Given that those efforts are often at the expense of LGBTQ people, ADF's agenda is a paradigm of bigotry.

The latest email from ADF is titled: What happened to Jack. The banner text makes clear what the objective of the email is: “Your tax-deductible gift helps defend Jack and others like him.”
For several decades, Tim Gill, a Colorado mega-millionaire and LGBT activist, has poured millions of dollars into opposing the freedoms of people who hold the religious belief that marriage is only between one man and one woman. He is going after Christians and others who won’t support or celebrate different views on marriage because he wants to “punish the wicked.”
The above is dishonest. Mr. Gill has had no effect on religious freedom which is the constitutional guarantee of Free Exercise. The intent of our framers was to make it legally acceptable to worship broccoli were someone disposed to do so.

Contrary to the Christian nationalism of folks at ADF, our framers also intended to eliminate any possibility of a state religion.

  1. There is no mention of a god in the Constitution.
  2. The First Amendment includes the Establishment Clause.
  3. The Constitution explicitly states that there can be no religious test for public office.
  4. All of the above was done when perhaps 99% of the population were Christians.

It is also dishonest because no one cares if others “hold the religious belief that marriage is only between one man and one woman.” It is conduct, supposedly based on those beliefs, that becomes our concern.

People who hold those beliefs are not required to discriminate! Discrimination is a choice that they make. It is a means of demonstrating disapproval; tsk-tsk.

ADF is dishonest in claiming that gay people expect others to “celebrate” our marriages. We neither seek nor require their approval. We are indifferent to whether or not someone celebrates our marriages which means providing robust approval.

The rhetoric is dishonest because it mischaracterized a quote by Tim Gill from June, 2017 in Rolling Stone. By that time, Gill had been using the phrase “punish the wicked” for many years. His definition of the wicked was not what ADF claims.

Indeed, ten years earlier (March, 2007) Gill was very specific (emphasis added):
Most antigay measures, they discovered, originate in state legislatures. Operating at that level gave them a chance to “punish the wicked,” as Gill puts it—to snuff out rising politicians who were building their careers on antigay policies, before they could achieve national influence. Their chief cautionary example of such a villain is Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who once compared homosexuality to “man on dog” sex …
ADF is further dishonest in trying to convey the impression that Gill, as a foil for the gay community, is targeting Christians. Targeting a fuckwit like Santorum is not a blanket condemnation of Christians.

Overall, ADF is dishonest because they claim that we care about what people believe. What we care about is conduct. Jack Phillips, you will recall, is the Colorado baker who refused service to a gay couple. The Supreme Court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was hostile to religion.

What is of paramount importance in these cases is that people can disapprove of marriage equality and still provide service in compliance with law without compromising their religious beliefs. Service is not approval. Service is not an incentive. “Render unto Caesar …”

Since Phillips' case (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado) the Supreme Court has seemingly respected the precedent that there are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid laws.

In March, 2019 the Court declined to hear a challenge to a lower court ruling that the owner of a Hawaii bed and breakfast violated a state nondiscrimination law by turning away a lesbian couple due to the Christian beliefs of the proprietors.
ADF continues
Let that sink in.

According to some, if you believe what God says about marriage, and want to live your life consistently with that belief—you are considered wicked. And you should be punished.

This mindset is more widespread than you may think, [first name]. It is infecting our culture and threatening your freedom.
The above is just more dishonesty. No one — no one — has any interest in punishing people for their religious beliefs. Furthermore, no one (except conservative Christians) believes that differences in religious beliefs makes someone “wicked.”

People live lives consistent with the belief that only traditional marriage is valid by simply not marrying someone of the opposite sex. No one's freedom is threatened because they disapprove of same-sex marriage.

ADF is trying over and over again to instill the idea that their audience has been victimized because of their beliefs. Nonsense!
Jack it up a notch
Consider what’s happening to cake artist Jack Phillips in Colorado.

For years, Jack has endured targeted attacks against him and his business, Masterpiece Cakeshop. It all started in 2012 when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission pursued legal action against him after he respectfully declined a request to create a custom-designed cake celebrating a same-sex wedding.
The above is more BS. That is like saying he respectfully burglarized someone's home. It's not just that he broke the law but respectful discrimination is an oxymoron. Adding to the mendacity, ADF is also implying that Phillips was required to “celebrate” a marriage that he disapproves of.

ADF gets away with this misleading bullshit because some conservative Christians refuse to believe that their approval is not actively sought or even required. They are wed to the notion that they are the state's moral arbiters.

Suppose Phillips disapproved of interfaith marriages; perhaps a Jewish man marrying a Christian woman. Would he dare deny service? Would the Supreme Court consider hearing that case? In the 1950s perhaps but today? Never.

When it comes to permitting discrimination, gay people are special. It is still socially acceptable in some quarters to discriminate against us.
Always the victim
[First name], Jack has been forced to spend the last seven years of his life in court. And during that time, one thing has become abundantly clear: Opponents of religious freedom want to strip away our constitutional right to live and work consistently with our deeply held beliefs.
The turds keep piling up. Phillips wasn't “forced” to do anything. He chose to violate the law by denying service. People who expect others to follow the law are not “opponents of religious freedom.” And, again, the “constitutional right” is to Free Exercise which means the right to worship according to one's beliefs.

In an 1879 decision (Reynolds v. United States) the Supreme Court held that a religious duty is not a defense to violating the law. That was 141 years ago and it remains the law of the land.

Furthermore, denying service is not a religious duty. It is a self-imposed burden that passes judgment on the conduct of others; people that the discriminator disapproves of.

The logic is overwhelmingly simple: If you do not approve of same-sex marriage then do not same-sex marry. No one is forcing anyone to violate their religious beliefs.

As I wrote, denying service is a means of shaming people. Being punished for illegal discrimination is a means of claiming victimhood. An opportunity to shame others while relishing victimization is too delicious for these people to pass up.

To raise money, Alliance Defending Freedom adds dishonesty to the mixture of shaming and victimhood. These holier-than-thou hypocrites find sanctimony in dishonesty.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” is one of the Ten Commandments. According to the New Testament, Jesus explained that obedience to the prohibition against false witness from the ten commandments is a requirement for eternal life.

In fact the traditional Jewish interpretation bars perjury while Christians have a much broader understanding of the prohibition. ADF is dishonest out of greed for money, power and influence. As such they are far more shameful than any gay couple entering into marriage.

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