CNN's Lemon: Religious Liberty is 'Code for Discrimination'


#1

CNN’s Lemon: Religious Liberty is 'Code for Discrimination’
By Matthew Balan
newsbusters.org
April 1, 2016 | 5:58 PM EDT

CNN’s Don Lemon acted more like a socially-left activist than a journalist on Friday’s New Day, as he moderated a panel discussion on a proposed religious liberty law in Mississippi. Lemon twice misrepresented what the law actually says, and asked a LGBT activist, “Religious liberty — is that just a code for discrimination — I don’t want to provide services to certain people? Isn’t that just a code?” He was more explicit later in the segment: “People in certain professions…wouldn’t have to serve certain people — which, at its base, is discrimination.”

“Discrimination” is a synonym of “choice”, though “discrimination” has acquired a negative connotation in recent decades. In this case, the choices of which Lemon disapproves are recognized and protected by the US Constitution, and he knows that there are not enough gays and lesbians in society to effectively “punish” religious organizations and people for their choices. Don’t like the First Amendment? Change it the honest way, through another amendment to the constitution. Word-game end-arounds will haunt and bite the activists creating them.


#2

It’s also less verbally awkward to say “Discrimination” than “Title VII violation”.


#3

Are you suggesting that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act overrides the First Amendment?

Are you suggesting that churches and religious charities should be forced to employ people whose lifestyles are open rejections antithetical to those churches’ and orgs’ beliefs and reason for being? Courts have already ruled on that point: Fighting the Good Fight in San Francisco. Like I said, if one doesn’t like the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment, there is a proper way of changing it. Arcane statutory and/or ordnance end-arounds are not that proper way.


#4

Of course it’s discrimination. “Religious freedom” is a euphemism for not serving gays. It’s not like we can’t see what Christians are up to.

And there don’t have to be enough gays and lesbians to punish states for passing these laws. There just have to be enough people like me, who have gay friends, think these laws are stupid and homophobic, and will threaten to boycott. Money talks and BS walks, that’s why Georgia folded. North Carolina and Mississippi aren’t exactly economic powerhouses, so not as much pressure can be brought to bear, but you’re seeing blowback there too.

Politically, I don’t know what on Earth these GOP states are doing. America has moved past homophobia. Is the GOP TRYING to alienate an entire generation of voters? Millennials are the largest demographic bloc in the country now, and they support gay marriage by 70%. It’s a loser issue, and the eventual GOP nominee will have to defend the actions of these GOP legislatures and governors.


#5

No DHL, Christians are simply simply exercising a freedom specifically recognized and protected by the 1st amendment to the Constitution:

> Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …

The 14th amendment extended that prohibition to state and local governments. It doesn’t matter whether you like to call it discrimination, choice, or fried pickles (though the latter would be silly), choices based on religious beliefs are protected by the US Constitution, as amended. The USC is superior to and overrides the Civil Rights Act, state laws, and municipal ordinances when they contradict the USC. If you don’t like the USC as currently amended, amend it.

Ooooo! How conspiratorial-sounding! DHL, what Christians are “up to” is very plain and in the open, from Jesus’ affirmation of the rightness of the Law of Moses to these laws that forbid end-arounding the USC through “public accommodation” laws (such as the SF ordinance in the court case I linked above).

So you’re saying that gays & lesbians and their friends are discriminating against NC and MS because of their laws? Go for it! They have that right. And they will fail. And BTW, NC has a significant technology area in the Raleigh-Durham-RTP area, so it’s not the backward area you imagine it to be. I’ll leave to RO’s Southerners to chime in concerning MS, I just happen to have spent some time in that part of NC.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just like in 2000 “social moderates” were saying that Pro-Life was the route for the Rs to become a permanent minority party … just before the country elected a Pro-Life R to the Presidency … for 2 terms. And in how many of the past 15 years have the Ds controlled Congress, despite the Rs supposedly becoming a permanent minority party? And how many states’ governors are Rs?

The simple fact is that right now Evangelical Christians (not all, but a large percentage) are a large part of the R base. We may not be a majority of the R base, but even if we are just 10%, alienating Evangelical Christians would seriously hurt the Rs at the ballot box, swiftly and for an extended time (once trust is broken it isn’t easily repaired). This article from Gallup suggests that the number of Evangelical Christians among R voters is 3-5 times my hypothetical 10% in my sentence above.


#6

Churches are free to discriminate against people, so long as they’re not operating a monetary activity.

Operating business activity through the church is also antithetical to Christians(or at least to Jesus).

If a church wants to operate a school and take enrollment fees and hire salaried workers, they have to follow the same rules as any other business.

If my church wishes to limit worship participation based on age, race, sexual orientation, and people with names the start with an M or higher, they are legally free to do so. That right applies to them exercising their religion, not when they decide to operate a daycare.

It doesn’t matter that the Bible says I can own slaves. American law is not based on the Bible, and you cannot use religious justifications for flouting workplace rules or human rights.


#7

Just think of all the muslims coming in I am sure when they are not bombing they are all pro-gay.


#8

Unfortunately (for Christians), there are competing rights. For example, if I have a religious belief that I should punch every atheist I meet, I can’t exercise that right. It’s trumped by other’s rights of non-interference. If I have a religious belief that serving blacks is evil, the 1st amendment won’t help me. I have to serve blacks no matter what my religious beliefs are.

So no, a religious belief to discriminate does not allow one to discriminate. Gays, at the moment, are not a protected class, like gender and race, but everyone can see the writing on the wall, which is what makes these “religious freedom” laws so stupid: ultimately SCOTUS will decide the issue and SOCTUS will rule that discrimination based on sexual orientation, like gender and race, is unconstitutional.

> Ooooo! How conspiratorial-sounding! DHL, what Christians are “up to” is very plain and in the open, from Jesus’ affirmation of the rightness of the Law of Moses to these laws that forbid end-arounding the USC through “public accommodation” laws (such as the SF ordinance in the court case I linked above).

Yes, it is very plain, and there’s a very real backlash against it. Christians are obsessed with gay people. County clerks won’t issue marriage licenses, bakers won’t sell cakes to them, florists won’t work with them. It’s very bizarre, and like I said earlier, totally baffling to anyone under 30.

> So you’re saying that gays & lesbians and their friends are discriminating against NC and MS because of their laws? Go for it! They have that right. And they will fail. And BTW, NC has a significant technology area in the Raleigh-Durham-RTP area, so it’s not the backward area you imagine it to be. I’ll leave to RO’s Southerners to chime in concerning MS, I just happen to have spent some time in that part of NC.

Well, we know it won’t fail because we already got Georgia to cave. But even if N. Carolina and Mississipi don’t, they’re going to ultimately lose in the courts, so this whole thing is pointless.

> Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just like in 2000 “social moderates” were saying that Pro-Life was the route for the Rs to become a permanent minority party … just before the country elected a Pro-Life R to the Presidency … for 2 terms. And in how many of the past 15 years have the Ds controlled Congress, despite the Rs supposedly becoming a permanent minority party? And how many states’ governors are Rs?

I don’t remember social moderates saying that. The polling on abortion has been consistent for decades. Young people are MORE pro-life than their parents. The polling on gays, however, has changed dramatically in just 5 years. A majority of the country is pro-gay marriage and the younger the person, the more accepting they are.

But hey, it’s not my political party, or my funeral. The GOP cannot win at the national level anymore. Betting odds put a Democrat winning the White House at over 70%: https://electionbettingodds.com/

> The simple fact is that right now Evangelical Christians (not all, but a large percentage) are a large part of the R base. We may not be a majority of the R base, but even if we are just 10%, alienating Evangelical Christians would seriously hurt the Rs at the ballot box, swiftly and for an extended time (once trust is broken it isn’t easily repaired). This article from Gallup suggests that the number of Evangelical Christians among R voters is 3-5 times my hypothetical 10% in my sentence above.

You’re a shrinking part of the overal electorate. Americans are less religious than ever. U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious | Pew Research Center

The wedge issues Karl Rove used to drive people to the polls still work, but they now have the opposite effect.

But go ahead, run a conservative like Cruz and see how he does. There’s a reason Cruz has a 6% chance of winning and Hillary’s is 65%.


#9
  1. Demonization of the word “discrimination” is intellectually dishonest.
  2. Dog poop.
  3. If you could, you wouldn’t be demonizing us.
  4. Because numbers make you right. Except you haven’t even got those on some aspects of the LBGT argument (homosexual marriage, transgender bathrooms).
  5. The governor talked BS at the alter of the “almighty” buck. And he may find himself in the unemployment line next election. If he’d been a man, he’d have told Disney and the NFL to go bark at the moon.
  6. It’s called standing on principle.
  7. Yeah, if the LBGT activists don’t get their own way, call it “homophobia” regardless of the truth.
  8. Yeah, that’s why Prop 8 went down in flames and the left didn’t need to ram through homosexual marriage through judicial fiat… :banghead:
  9. So was the defense of Poland in 1939…

#10

I wonder if gays think it is discrimination when they go into a christian church and upset the congregation?

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#11

Perchance is that a video of this 2008 incident? Predictably, the national MSM spiked the story. The church took the gay activist group to court … the gay group lost.

While checking out the church’s website to see what sort of church it is, I learned that they just dedicated a new sanctuary. Evidently the gay activist group accomplished no lasting harm to the church. Bash Back! seems to have fared less well; it sounds like they fell apart by more or less eating their own (metaphorically, of course).


#12

I see you haven’t read the Bible very carefully.

1. If you read again the accounts of Jesus in the temple, you’ll find that His objection was to their defrauding worshipers.The historical background is that the High Priest had a racket set up by which the temple only accepted temple coinage, not Roman coinage, and only accepted pre-approved animals for sacrifices. Roman coinage could only be exchanged by the money-changers in the temple, the first stage of the fraud, and the pre-approved animals could only be bought from sellers in the temple, the second stage of the fraud. The High Priest controlled who could exchange the money and who could sell the animals, and took a cut.

2. That may be your opinion (or that of some source from which you drew), but the US Supreme Court has ruled differently. You can find information on the case, including the text of the ruling, here.

3. Evidently you are referring to the Law of Moses, which applied to the ancient nation of Israel. The nation of Israel effectively ceased to exist with the conquests of the Northern Kingdom by the Assyrians (~721 BC) and of Judah by the Babylonians (~582 BC). Judah was briefly independent again in the 2nd and 1st Centuries BC, but were finally conquered by Rome and were subject to Roman law. The ancient nation of Israel to which the laws applied regarding slavery has not existed for over 21 centuries. So, no, the Bible does not say that you, CWolf, can own slaves; hope that doesn’t disappoint you.


#13

So you’re claiming that Congress - or state governments - can make a piece of the US Constitution null and void of meaning, provided they do it slice by slice, like salami? You might like that idea, but you know that’s absurd.


#14

Actually, you have this backwards. Discrimination is the norm in practices of all businesses, not just those run by Churches.

A business can discriminate based on demeanor, it can discriminate based on what a customer is wearing, it can discriminate based on age. To use a germane example, a baker can most certainly deny a stripper asking for a cake to jump out of, or the baker can deny one because they don’t like the name of the person they’re putting on it. Even though these both would be discrimination.

Precisely who/what the Government decides to protect from discrimination, is ultimately a mere fraction of all the kinds of discrimination that exist, and equally, that protection is arbitrary.

> Operating business activity through the church is also antithetical to Christians(or at least to Jesus).

Not at all. Even within Jesus’ ministry while he was alive, there were people tasked with earning money, so that the ministry could be sustained, and provided the means to travel. Jesus certainly wasn’t counterfeiting money to do this.

Equally, there’s precedent during the ministries of his disciples, who themselves would most likely have known what the Lord would have wanted.

> If my church wishes to limit worship participation based on age, race, sexual orientation, and people with names the start with an M or higher, they are legally free to do so. That right applies to them exercising their religion, not when they decide to operate a daycare.

You’re simply giving a rough outline of how some of our law sit. You aren’t addressing how the moral underpinnings of this work, or how the ideas backing these policies appear through the lens of Natural Law.

And our system most certainly is predicated on Natural Law. All nations founded upon Anglo-Saxon common law are; at least at their start.

> It doesn’t matter that the Bible says I can own slaves. American law is not based on the Bible, and you cannot use religious justifications for flouting workplace rules or human rights.

Freedom of Conscience is a Natural Right. Right of Religious practice falls under that freedom.

You’ve attempted to hold up business practices up in isolation; claiming that they aren’t in the realm of Natural Rights, and are subordinate first to the dictates of Civil Law. But there’s no reason why we would think this.

Anglo-Saxon common law was specifically tailored to manage & facilitate commerce. It wouldn’t draw an all-encompassing “exception” concerning the one thing it most dealt with. It’d be an exception that’d bury the rule.


#15

Jesus was a not a priest. Nor were his disciples. Nor did they use any temple as a place of business.

> You’ve attempted to hold up business practices up in isolation; claiming that they aren’t in the realm of Natural Rights, and are subordinate first to the dictates of Civil Law. But there’s no reason why we would think this.
>
> Anglo-Saxon common law was specifically tailored to manage & facilitate commerce. It wouldn’t draw an all-encompassing “exception” concerning the one thing it most dealt with. It’d be an exception that’d bury the rule.
I understand what you’re saying. Others tried to make that argument as well. And that’s when the federal government intervened and started sending in officers to bused schools, and desegregate restaurants.

This is very similar to the “Can states secede?” The Civil War pretty well settled this: “No. And if they do, they can expect to be conquered”.

Slavery was still a-ok with God, even in the NT. Paul even wrote out some rules on how to handle your slaves. Slaves are given by God, to numerous people. And He *never *prohibits the practice.

So yes, I can own slaves and still be in line with Biblical dictates. I just need to treat my slaves fairly.

The only exception that exists, is to the extent that religion is required in order for them to practice their job role. So a Methodist church can require a Methodist minister, but cannot seek to hire a Methodist janitor. Similarly, a church with open worship can prohibit Muslims from entering, but if the church offers a daycare service, they cannot turn away a Muslim client.


#16

I favor freedom of association, which includes religious-based decisions but also non-religious based decisions.


#17

? He was not a Rabbi in the sense we know it today, but he was a spiritual leader, yes. You’re attempting to split hairs here.

> I understand what you’re saying.

I don’t think you do, as you just went down a rabbit hole for what might be a criticism of Federalism. Which I haven’t touched on here.

Natural Law is an unrelated topic.

> Others tried to make that argument as well. And that’s when the federal government intervened and started sending in officers to bused schools, and desegregate restaurants.

After State Governments had segregated them in the first place. It was state-on-state action, not state-on-citizen.

> This is very similar to the “Can states secede?” The Civil War pretty well settled this: “No. And if they do, they can expect to be conquered”.

Yeah…

… This is a primer to the American dialectic on rights.

Even today, this is how our legal system describes them; Positive vs Negative. I can even bring up case history surrounding the ACA that puts it in these terms.

Natural Law, framed through the topic above, is what one might call a list of Negative rights. These rights, incidentally, form the foundation of the foundation of the Constitution. It has been cited as precedent by jurists both here and in England, and was mentioned by name in the Declaration, along with being paraphrased there in the preamble:

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

For the “American Civil Religion”, it is an axiomatic principle. Not absolute per se, but certainly the embodying spirit in which our Social Charter was forged.


#18

That’s refuted throughout the book of Hebrews:

There are more, but you get the point.


#19

Clarifying a bit, Jesus was not a priest within the Jewish religious system. Jewish priests within that system had to be of the tribe of Levi and, specifically, descended from Aaron (who was of the tribe of Levi). Jesus was of the tribe of Judah. In saying that Jesus was of the “order of Melchisedec”, the writer of Hebrews is pointing out that Jesus’ priesthood is outside of and older than the Aaronic priesthood, not limited to Jews only (i.e. Melchisedec was not a descendant of Abraham), was recognized by Abraham as being over him (and thus, over the priesthood of Aaron), and Jesus was appointed to this priesthood by God, directly.

This level of detail can be obscure and seem arcane if one doesn’t understand the context into which it fits. Salvation is “simple” - acknowledge one has sinned against God, acknowledge one cannot be good enough to “fix” that problem, rely on what Jesus did as a solution for that problem. Understanding God’s dealings with mankind, living in a way that shows love for God, and understanding God’s character are a lifetime of learning and being changed by God.


#20

THis is from GOTquestions.org. They’re fine with this as long as they get their link posted.

Question: “What does it mean that Jesus is our High Priest?”

Answer: High Priest is only one of the many titles applied to Jesus: Messiah, Savior, Son of God, Son of Man, Friend of Sinners, etc. Each one focuses on a particular aspect of who He is and what that means for us. In the book of Hebrews, Jesus is called a High Priest (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14). The word “priest” carries a couple of primary meanings. First, it means one who mediates in religious services. It also means one who is holy or set apart to perform those services.

The first place we find the word used in the Bible is in Genesis 14. Abraham, the friend of God, entered into battle to rescue his nephew Lot, who had been captured by the army of Elam. On his return, Abraham was met by Melchizedek, King of Salem and priest of the Most High God. This man, whose name means the “king of righteousness,” blessed Abraham and the Most High God who gave victory to Abraham. In return for this blessing, Abraham gave a tithe (10 percent) of all the spoils of war to Melchizedek. By this act, Abraham acknowledged Melchizedek’s high position as the priest of God.

Years later, Abraham’s great-grandson Levi was singled out by God to be the father of the priestly tribe. When the Law was given on Mount Sinai, the Levites were identified as the servants of the Tabernacle, with the family of Aaron becoming the priests. The priests were responsible for making intercession to God for the people by offering the many sacrifices that the law required. Among the priests, one was selected as the High Priest, and he entered into the Most Holy Place once a year on the Day of Atonement to place the blood of the sacrifice on the Ark of the Covenant (Hebrews 9:7). By these daily and yearly sacrifices, the sins of the people were temporarily covered until the Messiah came to take away their sins.

When Jesus is called our High Priest, it is with reference to both of these previous priesthoods. Like Melchizedek, He is ordained as a priest apart from the Law given on Mount Sinai (Hebrews 5:6). Like the Levitical priests, Jesus offered a sacrifice to satisfy the Law of God when He offered Himself for our sins (Hebrews 7:26-27). Unlike the Levitical priests, who had to continually offer sacrifices, Jesus only had to offer His sacrifice once, gaining eternal redemption for all who come to God through Him (Hebrews 9:12).

One other important point about Jesus’ priesthood—every priest is appointed from among men. Jesus, though God from eternity, became a man in order to suffer death and serve as our High Priest (Hebrews 2:9). As a man, He was subject to all the weaknesses and temptations that we are, so that He could personally relate to us in our struggles (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus is greater than any other priest, so He is called our “Great High Priest” in Hebrews 4:14, and that gives us the boldness to come “unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 KJV).

~~

What does it mean that Jesus is our High Priest?