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August 16th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My Take: President Obama's assault on Americans' first freedom

Editor's Note: Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

By Tony Perkins, Special to CNN

President Obama has shifted centuries of U.S. diplomatic parlance. We no longer speak of freedom of religion; now, it is only freedom of worship that our government defends.

This is a radical departure, one that threatens to make true religious liberty vulnerable, conditional and limited. As some have said, it is a freedom "only within four walls." That is, you are free to worship within the four walls of your home, church or synagogue, but when you enter the public square or go abroad, leave your religion at home.

In international forums, President Obama and Secretary Clinton repeatedly have retreated to this "freedom of worship" formulation. This is no accident.

Now, President Obama's representatives at the United Nations have shifted ground. The U.S. delegation to the U.N. recently spearheaded approval of the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). This outfit has just been recognized as a non-governmental organization accredited to the U.N.'s Economic and Social Council.

It's part of the Obama administration's campaign to press the U.N. to affirm the homosexual lifestyle worldwide. For example, IGLHRC members refused to answer the following question put to them in the U.N. last June: Would a member of the clergy be prosecuted for human rights violations if he or she preached on the sinfulness of homosexuality? No response.

Their silence is deafening. No wonder the NO votes plus abstentions exceeded the YES votes for seating this radical group. Significantly, the Egyptian delegate noted that his questions had not been answered. He charged the IGLHRC with violating tenets of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the U.N. Charter itself. (Coming from Egypt, itself a persistent violator of these U.N. documents, the charge must have stung.)

With President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, the potential erosion of religious liberty only increases. Ms. Kagan has argued that incorporating foreign law into U.S. Supreme Court rulings would be "a good idea." She maintained in a legal brief that not only must U.S. institutions be barred from expressing disapproval of the homosexual lifestyle, but that a “society that tolerates (such) discrimination by its members is not a just society.”

To Kagan, any public disapproval of sexual relations between men and men or women and women, or any attempt to give preference to marriage as the union of one man and one woman, will inevitably be seen as a form of invidious discrimination-and must be banned.

America's First Freedom–freedom of religion–is in danger of being hounded out of public life, expelled from the public square. The word to millions of believers–Evangelicals, Catholics, Lutherans, Orthodox Jews–is this: Be Amish or be quiet. Keep your quaint religious practices, mumble your odd prayers, but do so in private.

Think of the implications: You try sharing the Gospel with someone, and are accused of "hate speech" and told to be quiet. You have a Bible on your desk at work, and are told this is an aggressive display of a controversial faith–and to remove it. Your church has a float in the local Fourth of July parade and it's denied admittance next year because someone says the float violates his or her private convictions.

The above examples are hypothetical, but here are three that have already happened:

–You express disapproval of homosexual conduct and are summarily dismissed from your counseling degree program. This has happened to Julea Ward at Eastern Michigan University, and Jennifer Keeton at Augusta State University is under the same threat.

–Say you are a wedding photographer. A same-sex couple comes through your door demanding you provide photos for their commitment ceremony. You politely decline, stating that your religious convictions prevent you from entering into that contract. And you are promptly hauled before a human rights council. This happened to Elaine Huguenin in New Mexico.

–You object to your kindergartener being propagandized with a book titled King and King, which details the romance between two imaginary royal young men. You find yourself arrested and jailed when you go to your son's school to protest. This happened to David Parker in Massachusetts.

These things will become the norm in American life if the radical impulse to criminalize opposition to homosexuality is not thwarted.

As a candidate for president, Barack Obama pledged to bring "fundamental change" to America. He is doing that. Constitutional liberties that we have enjoyed for 219 years are being overthrown or reinterpreted with stunning speed.

Every poll shows Americans are resisting President Obama's agenda. But many in the mainstream media largely downplay these questions, dismissing them as mere "wedge issues."

For people of faith, these matters of faith and family go deeper. They are "bridge issues" that unite races and ethnicities, men and women, education and income groups.

The radical changes President Obama and his allies advocate threaten the America we love and the way we express our most deeply held moral and religious convictions. We will be neither silent nor inactive in the face of these challenges. With courtesy and civility but with unflinching determination, we will oppose them.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tony Perkins.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Homosexuality • Politics • Religious liberty

soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Sue

    Change the word "ho mose x ual" with "person of color" in each of the 3 examples above........the author would probably still think it was ok for the photographer to turn away a mixed race couple.........sorry Tony, it's really hard to take you seriously.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Sue,
      Changing the words to suit a scenario does not equal what happened; adding ‘probably this or probably that’ does not take away from what actually happened to the photographer.

      August 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Matt J.

      That is the popular fallacy of your political movement. But no, it is not true. On the contrary: a great many people who were in the forefront of the fight against racial prejudice came out in SUPPORT of Proposition 8 in California. They all knew right away what you so blindly and groundlessly deny: there is a huge difference between racial prejudice and defending the social institution of marriage against homosexual corruption.

      August 16, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • Bob

      CatholicMom, do you not see the gay couple as people too?

      You have decided in your own mind that what they're doing is wrong. And do you base this on logical reasons? No, you base it on a book that was written 1800 years ago by sheep herders.

      Christianity is the belief that God impregnated a virgin with himself to give birth to himself so he could sacrifice himself to himself to create a loophole in a rule that he himself created. He created this rule because a woman he created was tricked because of her intellectual flaws, which he created by a snake that he created to eat an apple that he created on a tree that he created. Makes perfect sense to me.

      August 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Matt J.

      No, the illogical one is the one who dismisses the Bible as the product of "sheepherders". Those 'sheepherders' knew a lot of things you don't. They knew better than to do as you did, dismissing a great work because it was allegedly written by 'sheepherders'.

      August 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt J.

      No, the sheepherders were ignorant. Sorry, man.

      August 16, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Bob,
      Yes, I see gay persons as people; especially good people who have an especially heavy cross to bear.

      Violating the holiness of a Sacrament for a secular purpose is piling sin upon sin. I know, no one wants to be reminded of sin but we all have to deal with it daily. Gay persons have their cross to bear….we each have our own crosses….no one is alone in the fight against evil.

      If all the Bibles were burned and we could not read them, we still have the Truth written in our hearts by God and we have our conscience also, a gift from God to help us see our way; besides the Church and Tradition will always be with us as it was for hundreds of years before the Bible.

      Just because man has ruled against God’s law about divorce has not made divorce right. If man rules against marriage as being between a man and a woman, that will not make it right. Why does man think he can break God’s laws; if he can get enough people to say ‘we can do this’ as if that will then make it right?

      August 17, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • Sue

      CatholicMom – so why are you not fighting against divorce ? Why vent your anger on one select group of people and label them "evil", while heteros can go about divorcing happily ? Do you protest against that ? No ? Well then, sorry, it's hard to take your biased opinions seriously.

      August 17, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Sue,
      Like you say, heteros go about divorcing as if it is okay; I know. Once they went down that road many people jumped on that bandwagon. So knowing it is wrong, people still do it anyway; ‘it has become easy’….as if they have no consciences. It used to be wrong to divorce….nothing has changed to make it right.

      Some people used to sneak around to fornicate. It used to be wrong….nothing has changed to make it right….but now those that wish to fornicate, announce it to the world….’we are going to ‘live’ together ‘first’ to make sure we love each other;….how many are riding that bandwagon down that slippery slope?

      So now we have another bandwagon going down the road…. men and men, women and women doing acts that used to be wrong…..nothing has changed….it is still wrong. But now they want to take a Sacrament and twist it into something it isn’t to try to make the act right.

      Then on top of it, they will want the divorces, too! Why would anyone want to follow that bandwagon into the ditch? To be living the life style of some heteros who have already turned their ecclesial communities into a circus?

      None of the above are Christian acts so if you want to be Christian use your freewill and do what is right.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  2. Reality

    One more time especially for CatholicMom's benefit who obviously still suffers from the RCC form of the 3B Syndrome:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No clerics, imams, rabbis, professors of religion and priests needed or desired. Ditto for their houses and classes of "worthless worship". It will be called the great "Pink Slipping" of religion and its leaders.

    As per James Somerville, Philosophy professor emeritus from Xavier University, Cincinnati,

    "The faith of the vast majority of believers (and non-believers) depends upon where they were born and when."

    It is very disturbing that such religious violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of it all.

    And with respect to the g–ay un-ion debate:

    The general population to include many of the voters in California, rightly or wrongly, find g-ay se-xual activities, "unionized" or not, to be "yu-cky" and unusual and typically associate such activity with the spread of A-IDS which is of course wrong. Said A-IDS epidemic in the g-ay male community at the start of the A–IDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stigma on the g-ay community.

    " No simple cause for se-xual ori-entation has been conclusively demonstrated, and there is no scientific consensus as to whether the contributing factors are primarily biological or environmental. Many think both play complex roles.[1][2] The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have both stated that se–xual ori-entation probably has multiple causes.[3][4] Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of a het-eros-exual, hom-ose-xual or bis–exual or-ientation. These include genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure. Conclusive proof of a biological cause of se–xual orientation would have significant political and cultural implications. [5]"

    August 16, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Matt J.

      You call yourself 'reality', but your whole post shows how very far away from reality you really are!

      I don't have time to refute all your fallacies, so I will stick with just one: the philosophy professor you quote does not understand what he is talking about. Both you and he have completely missed the significance of the factoid he presents.

      The REAL significance of the factoid is that most people are not that serious about seeking out the truth. Why, you present a good example of that yourself, since YOU have in a single post shown a repeated failure to seek out the truth.

      Now given that the majority, no matter what religious surroundings they are born into, are not serious about seeking out the truth, then of course they just go along with the crowd. And in the process of doing so, they often exhibit only a poor understanding of whatever religion they are in. The perfect and topical example of this is all those poor suckers duped into believing that by violating the commandments of Islam, they can nevertheless inherit 70 'houri' in Paradise, vainly imagining that those houris are virgins - when they might just be dates, the fruit (if the word really is from Syriac rather than Arabic).

      This is an example of another important fallacy: confusing righteous religious zeal with fanaticism. They two are often confused, not just in Islam, but Islam has built its foundation on this very confusion!

      August 16, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt J.

      You said, "I don't have time to refute all your fallacies, so I will stick with just one: the philosophy professor you quote does not understand what he is talking about. Both you and he have completely missed the significance of the factoid he presents."

      Gee Matt are you related to Mike?

      The point is, that the religion you embrace is largely based on where you were born and when. I think it depends more on where you were born and what religion your parents practice.

      If we lived in Iran, you would probably be shouting, "God is Great!" and abusing women.

      There have been tribes in rain forests, that have had little or no outside contact. They worshiped trees, as had their ancestors.

      So Matt: What religion you are, is largely a matter of where you live (U.S. predominately Christian), and what religion your parents are. Are there exceptions? Yep. The virtually everything. But they are outliers. Cheers!

      August 16, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt J

      You said, " The perfect and topical example of this is all those poor suckers duped into believing that by violating the commandments of Islam, they can nevertheless inherit 70 'houri' in Paradise, vainly imagining that those houris are virgins – when they might just be dates, the fruit (if the word really is from Syriac rather than Arabic)."

      Yeah, 70 virgins is a lot to believe in. Lets look at the 'ol King James:

      A young earth, a 6 day creation, a talking snake, knowledge and eternal life giving fruit, a global flood requiring that every species of animal be collected by twos, a fish that ate a man and then spit him up alive, 3 days later, a tower that god was afraid might actually reach heaven, a virgin birth, people rising from the dead, flat earth, unicorns, satyrs, the leviathan that god defeats in battle.

      WoW! You are sooo right. The stories of the King James are ever so much more believable than the 70 virgin story.

      You have no basis to claim Christianity is any less worthless than any other religion or denomination. The bible is the sole document in the support of the God of Abraham and supernatural Jesus. Cheers!

      August 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
    • Reality

      More from the writings of Professor Somerville:

      John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today

      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed.

      August 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • jonathan

      Matt j you have just stuck a spear up the keyster of Reality...you have exposed this real fart to the fool that he is..LOL

      August 16, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Reality, …..you said….."The faith of the vast majority of believers (and non-believers) depends upon where they were born and when."

      So if 'where' you live has everything to do with one’s orientation, are there more atheists, say, in warm weather states or cold weather states? ….or does it have more to do with who you ‘rub elbows with’ as to whether you are atheist or not?

      Were more atheists born yester year or today? Do they continue living where they were born or do they migrate to areas heavily populated with atheists?

      You don’t need the Professor, you can give your honest opinion or belief.

      August 17, 2010 at 10:17 am |
    • Grant

      Hi CatholicMom.

      I believe the geographical aspect is quite useful when used as a probability indicator. As a child, you will be brought up based on the beliefs of your parents, as your family is your immediate social influence. As you get older, you will spend time with peers and begin to share ideas, eventually leading to introspection due to a mixing of ideas, which ultimately leads to a decision on which religion to follow, if any,

      The reason geography plays a part is because people tend to associate like with like socially. Diversity may be common in the work place, but in social circles, there tends to still be a lot of hom.ogeneity. As such, if you are in a predominantly white, christian area, chances are your parents will be christian and you will, too.

      This is an instance of correlation vs. causality. It's not that America will yield nothing but Christians or that Iran will yield nothing but Muslims, it's just that given the population and the religiosity of the areas, the likelihoods are high, and the predictions become more accurate the closer in you look.

      August 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • BobRoss

      @ David Johnson
      "So Matt: What religion you are, is largely a matter of where you live (U.S. predominately Christian), and what religion your parents are. Are there exceptions? Yep. The virtually everything. But they are outliers. Cheers!"

      David, the same thing can be said of atheist/agnostics, if you were born in the Middle East you would probably be a Muslim as well. However, this argument does nothing to disprove the truth claims of the various world religions or provide proof for a humanist/atheist worldview. One still has to consider the different views and beliefs to see what fits best with what we see in the universe.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      I liked what Grant said, but I would add this. Which, you have read before in my posts.

      No child is born a Christian, a Muslim, a hindu etc. The parents, as soon as possible, begin to transform the child into a little Catholic or little Buddhist. We have church and Sunday school and bible study and Summer bible school etc.

      Some believe that a child's personality is formed by the time they are six.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Reality

      CatholicMom,

      The correlation between geography and religious beliefs is changing rapidly because of the increased education of the proletariat. More education, more questions resulting in answers that will lead to more people becoming agnostics and atheists who follow some basic rules of morality that have been around since the time of the Babylonians and Egyptians. And as noted many times before:

      No clerics, monks, evangelists, imams, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired. Ditto for their houses and classes of "worthless worship". It will be called the great "Pink Slipping" of religion and its leaders.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  3. Reality

    One more time especially for CatholicMom's benefit who obviously still suffers from the RCC form of the 3B Syndrome:

    Recognizing the flaws and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers" Ahmed), "kneelers" and "pew peasants" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No clerics, imams, rabbis, professors of religion and priests needed or desired. Ditto for their houses and classes of "worthless worship". It will be called the great "Pink Slipping" of religion and its leaders.

    As per James Somerville, Philosophy professor emeritus from Xavier University, Cincinnati,

    "The faith of the vast majority of believers (and non-believers) depends upon where they were born and when."

    It is very disturbing that such religious violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of it all.

    And with respect to the gay union debate:

    The general population to include many of the voters in California, rightly or wrongly, find g-ay se-xual activities, "unionized" or not, to be "yu-cky" and unusual and typically associate such activity with the spread of A-IDS which is of course wrong. Said A-IDS epidemic in the g-ay male community at the start of the A–IDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stigma on the g-ay community.

    " No simple cause for se-xual ori-entation has been conclusively demonstrated, and there is no scientific consensus as to whether the contributing factors are primarily biological or environmental. Many think both play complex roles.[1][2] The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have both stated that se–xual ori-entation probably has multiple causes.[3][4] Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of a het-eros-exual, hom-ose-xual or bis–exual or-ientation. These include genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure. Conclusive proof of a biological cause of sexual orientation would have significant political and cultural implications. [5]"

    August 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  4. Jen

    Does the photographer in question reap the benefits of the taxes paid by gay people? YES, in the form of public accomodations. I'm sure that there is a publicly maintained roadway that will deliver potential customers to the photographer's office. I'm sure that these potential customers will probably wait at a red light or two that is paid by taxes which are paid by gay and strait citizens alike.

    My question is Why did the photographer feel the need to tell the couple the exact reasoning behind not accepting the job? This is where the "Don't preach at me" comes in. Respectfully decline the business and leave it at that. How hard is it to say "We appologize that (such and such company) will not be able to assist you with your photography needs for this event" WHY LIST THAT YOU JUST DON'T LIKE GAY PEOPLE? Unless you are in fact attempting to be a martyr for your cause.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • Jerry

      Tony Perkins and a lot of his ilk are a lot like the people who crucified Jesus. They see religion as their property and no one should ever disagree with them.

      August 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  5. Lois E McDade

    My president, with whom I am well pleased, said any religion had the right to build a mosque, or a church, or a wigwam lodge lodge anywhere in this country on private property in accordance with the local laws and ordinances. He is right. Completely. He DID NOT SAY, I think the people should build their mosque two blocks from ground zero, and in fact he went a step further the following day and said he :questions the wisdom of such a decision:. This is what my husband and I fear there are a lot of crazy people out there who would feel like heroes should they bring down such a mosque, We fear for the safety of the Islamics who wish to build there, we do not judge their right to build their, because as Americans, that is not our right.Go President Obama, you are the wise and capable man we stumped for and elected. You are doing an excellent job. Ignore the naysayers, there will always be naysayers, democrat, republican, independent, or tea party.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Lois E McDade

      You said, "This is what my husband and I fear there are a lot of crazy people out there who would feel like heroes should they bring down such a mosque,"

      I share your fear. Haven't we had doctors and nurses gunned down by religious nuts? I wonder, does religion make them crazy or are the crazy just attracted to religion?

      I loved what you said about President Obama. I think he may go down as one of your finest presidents.

      August 16, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • Luke

      David Johnson – Most doctors, particularly psychiatrists, think it is a two way Street. Religion warps the mind at a young age. Those that do not break free are merely indoctrinated. The weak minded, additionally, tend to be attracted to religion. The data, of course, is open and is not fully conclusive. You just have to look at like this:

      Is a child born of a Wall Street banker automatically a banker? Are children of carpenters automatically in the unions? What makes a child born of Jews, Jewish?

      August 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,

      You said, 'I loved what you said about President Obama. I think he may go down as one of your finest presidents.'

      Isn't he your president, also?

      August 18, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  6. Jeremy Reger

    This has been happening since the late 60's early 70's... I dont think Obama had that much influence back then..

    Really hard to place the blame on him

    August 16, 2010 at 11:32 am |
    • Bob

      You miss the point. Christians tend to put their faith not on actual world events or things they observe, but rather on things that make them feel good. In this case, it makes them feel good that Obama is the scapegoat.

      You know, because those sneaky democrats voted him in. He's really not born in this country you know. He's alos Islamic and wil ruin the country by forcing us to have healthcare. He's both a socialist and a facist, and dollars to doughnuts that Sarah Palin would do a better job at running the country.

      The Tea Party having Sarah Palin showed that the group is populated by morons. How do you elect someone who doesn't have the slightest idea about the office she's running for?

      TV Journalist: "What do you think about the Bush doctorine?"
      Sarah Palin: "herp derp."

      August 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Bob

      Dude, I love what you said.

      August 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  7. David Johnson

    This article enlists many strawman cases. The whole idea, is to make the religious feel like they are under attack. This is the same tired rhetoric. Hate gays, hate pro-choice. These people want this country to be a Christian Nation, with no separation between church and state.

    I see no reason why all religions cannot be practiced in the homes and churches. They can spout all the hate speach there, that they like.

    If you love your freedom, vote for the Dems in November. The Republicans are the puppets of the religious right.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:01 am |
    • CatholicMom

      The Catholic Church does not hate gays, but it does hate abortion and sin.

      August 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • Matt J.

      You say 'strawman', but it is your post that is full of fallacies, not the article, which has smaller and fewer fallacies.

      But yours really is worse, because you merely repeat without rebuttal the one point the article refuted well: that religion can be free if confined to the home and to a place of worship.

      You are either very ignorant or very dishonest. Are you really so ignorant, that you do not know the difference between 'religion' and 'worship'? Religion is not just worship. It is what guides a believer's life - public and private.

      August 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Bob

      Matt J, if you are the one who believes in Christianity, you're the ignorant and dishonest one. You're ignorant of what the bible is, despite it sitting right in front of you and you're dishonest to yourself about what it preaches.

      How do you like that?

      Tell me again how it's moral to sell your daughter to her rapist for the cost of a regular slave.

      BUT BUT BUT, IT"S THE OLD TESTAMENT, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRIST!

      LOLZ.

      August 16, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt J.

      You said, "But yours really is worse, because you merely repeat without rebuttal the one point the article refuted well: that religion can be free if confined to the home and to a place of worship.

      You are either very ignorant or very dishonest. Are you really so ignorant, that you do not know the difference between 'religion' and 'worship'? Religion is not just worship. It is what guides a believer's life – public and private."

      Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or in general a set of beliefs explaining the existence of and giving meaning to the universe, ...

      Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed to one or more deities

      Again, you can be whatever religion you want. There is no god. You are only hoping. LOL

      The bible is the sole document in support of the god of Abraham an supernatural Jesus.

      You can worship at home or in your church to your hearts content. You can gay bash, You can pretend there is a god. You can lie on the floor and shake. Who cares.

      But you should be content to carry your folly no farther. Don't poison society with your silly hate speach and myths.

      August 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt J.

      You said, "But yours really is worse, because you merely repeat without rebuttal the one point the article refuted well: that religion can be free if confined to the home and to a place of worship.

      You are either very ignorant or very dishonest. Are you really so ignorant, that you do not know the difference between 'religion' and 'worship'? Religion is not just worship. It is what guides a believer's life – public and private."

      Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or in general a set of beliefs explaining the existence of and giving meaning to the universe, ...

      Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed to one or more deities

      The bible is the sole document in support of the god of Abraham an supernatural Jesus.

      You can worship at home or in your church to your hearts content. You can pretend there is a god. You can lie on the floor and shake. Who cares?

      But you should be content to carry your folly no farther.

      August 16, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      Abortion is an important part of family planning. Cheers!

      August 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Most animals protect their young. They protect the life of their off-spring with their lives if they have to. They even stay by the side of a dead baby for some time....

      Man is a strange animal....

      August 17, 2010 at 9:52 am |
    • Grant

      Hamsters and Guinea Pigs eat their babies

      August 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      You said, "Most animals protect their young. They protect the life of their off-spring with their lives if they have to. They even stay by the side of a dead baby for some time...."

      I think it depends on when you believe life begins. Certainly, after the child is in middle school...

      August 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,
      I know you are trying to be cute but you know it isn't funny. Life is precious from its very beginning to its very end.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  8. Acroyear

    Doesn't it just suck when people stop allowing you to use religion to justify hate and bigotry?

    August 16, 2010 at 10:54 am |
    • David Johnson

      Yes, and the Christians have gotten so good at it. Such a shame to stop them now. LOL

      August 16, 2010 at 11:03 am |
    • Matt J.

      You are yourself an example of the attack on religious freedom he is worried about. You lie when you accuse him of "hate and bigotry". It is a pernicious lie to call every condemnation of homosexual behavior 'bigotry'. But it it even worse than that. It IS an attack on religious freedom, since religious freedom MUST include the freedom to state that the religions condemns homosexual acts as sinful.

      August 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  9. Jamie Chandler

    Really incredible that you've been able to parlay your hate organization into a seemingly credible "policy think tank." Which clearly not the case as your publications are mere rehash of 1950s anti-gay propaganda. You do not merit feature on a National News Media site. At at some point soon, media organizations will realize this and kick you off the national stage.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Jamie Chandler

      Please do not underestimate the power the Religious Right has. They are attacking our freedoms using the Republican Party. They have already started trying to convince the public the founding fathers never meant there to be a separation of church and state. They would outlaw all abortions, even for incest and rape. Evolution would be excluded from the schools. Instead, the Creation fairy tale would be taught. School prayer would be reinstated, but only the Evangelical god would be prayed to .

      We all need to be afraid. We must vote against the Republicans in November. Please...

      August 16, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  10. Embarcadero

    Actually, the opinions expressed in this piece are not solely those of Tony Perkins. These opinions are also expressed by other leading hate groups that seek to impose their extremist religious beliefs on the rest of us. Tony's opinions are shared by the Westboro Baptists, who continue to protest military funerals precisely because they agree with Tony's outrageous claim that the US is trying to "affirm the homosexual lifestyle". Their response? To hold up signs that say "God hates fa•s" at military funerals. While I would defend their right to free speech, Tony would likely put these folks in charge of our department of Health and Human Services.

    Tony's opinions are shared by certain legislators in Uganda, where the Family Research Council aided and abetted the promotion of legislation that sought the death penalty for homosexuals.

    Rather than make wild accusations about the president, cabinet officials or IGLHRC, maybe Tony ought to be explaining his enduring obsession with making life unpleasant for lesbians and gays, or even ensuring that legal provisions are made so that they can receive the death penalty. Perhaps he should explain why he insists on pretending to campaign for religious freedom when his organization is solely organized around the fight to promote homophobia in law, in social life and in public debate. This isn't an activist for religious freedom, Tony Perkins leads an anti-gay hate group. Religion is their excuse, and it's wearing thin.

    Maybe Tony is just upset because the outright lies, misstatements and half-truths that the FRC cited in their Amicus brief against recognition of same-sex marriages in Maryland would not stand up to the scrutiny applied to them by Vaughn Walker.

    Your cause is doomed Tony. If you want to continue at the helm of a right wing extremist hate group., you'll need to find some other cause, as we no longer accept you as a spokesperson for religion.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  11. Frogist

    If you have homophobia issues, you have no place being a counselor. If you're an artist of any ilk, you would relish the opportunity to witness something different. And if you are being disruptive in public, whether you're at a protest or just raving by yourself on a corner, yes, you go to jail. Your religious right ends where it infringes on my civil rights

    August 16, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  12. Mrnifty246

    This is a pretty interesting article because it addresses an issue that Americans have been battling, opponents versus proponents, for such a long time. In this day and age, it is finally being more publicly exposed. I do have a comment to make and it is what i personally think; i am entitled to my opinion. So if you have a problem with it; GET OVER IT.

    Once upon a time, different religions were really just philosophies; different beliefs of how to live life and they were sought by people looking for answers on wide-opened questions like "what is the meaning of life?". It was never meant to be conjoined with politics and power and consequently be the main culprit in slavery, inhumane mistreatment, genocide, cruel methods of punishment, discrimination, inequality, and so many more issues. When it comes to domestic behavior and policies, i think this "change" that is occuring under the Obama administration is simply amazing. It is completely STUPID for people to think that one race is superior over another, that certain sexual orientations should be shunned simply because it is a subject that is not in our everyday conversations. And what is behind all of the hate: religion. As always, for example WBC in Kansas, a pro-hatecrime organization that tours the country to soldier's funerals and HIGH SCHOOLS (why!?) to protest against, as they call us, "fag enablers". (I speak from experience, I am in high school and I decided to be in a vigil against them). Coming from a buddhist family, our religion preaches equality and love for our family and friends, environment, and acceptance for everyone. Yet, why are so many buddhist members against GLBT individuals let alone blacks? (Yeah it is stereotypical that Asians for teh most heart dislike black people and everyone else in the book, yes it is unbelievable but it cannot be ignored because clearly it is there for a reason). Then you have the Taliban, driven by their hardcore beliefs in their own religion, who is constantly stoning women for yes, unscrupulous deeds, but issues that can be addressed less violently and more diplomatically.

    I personally think that religion should be a personal thing. Religion = philosophy = an individual's belief of how to live life. So then live the way you want to live your life, but do not go around preaching it to everyone and spreading hate for reasons that are just farfetched and simply put, dumb.

    You are basically saying that it is unreasonable to lightly punish people for denying other peoples rights simply because they are different from the norm that everyone's been growing up with. You are basically saying that you advocate those people's actions; so in the case that human right councils leave those cases alone, that is downright saying "oh yeah, thats alright, just go ahead and deny their rights"

    Stop being afraid of change people. Stop being afraid that this country is going somewhere it hasn't been before; change is only a good thing, it never is a bad thing because if anything, we learn from change and that is something we can take with ourselves everyday.

    And to drift away from the way i've been typing (Because i dont talk like that) people have been seriously pissing me off these days because people think and act stupid on the littlest of problems.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  13. David in Houston

    The second Tony uses the phrase "homosexual lifestyle", he loses all credibility. A person's sexual orientation is not a lifestyle or a choice. Until ignorant people like Tony are willing to acknowledge that simple fact, there is no point in discussing the issue.

    Tony's arguments are laughable. Because he CHOSE to be religious he feels that he has the right to discriminate against gay people where ever he wants. If our country was a theocracy, he might be able to do that. Thank "God" it's not a theocracy. Your rights end when they trample on the right's of others.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  14. Jeremy

    Where in the Bible does it say thou shalt not take photographs of same-sex couples?

    August 16, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  15. CatholicMom

    Artists! Your creativity is on the line! You may not be in control of what you create….you may not want to do certain portraits, paintings, or sculptures and will be hauled off to human rights councils for refusing! Just because artists offer services, pay taxes, etc., do they lose their rights to choose jobs?

    The photographer most likely was good and sought after and did not have to ‘accept’ every job offer.

    Will the best architects be hauled off because they don’t want to design mosques or churches?

    Will school boards be hauled off because they hire teachers and librarians who will up hold the standards set by the people of the communities?

    August 16, 2010 at 9:21 am |
    • Frogist

      This is not about art, it's about business. And if you refuse service to a potential client on the basis of their gender, race, orientation etc. you are being biased. If they refused you because you are catholic, I am sure you too would feel very put out. My creativity is not being curtailed in any way by someone's civil rights being upheld.
      Now I'm sure we would all appreciate it if you stop being melodramatic and start being realistic.

      August 16, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • Embarcadero

      Catholic Mom, I take it that you speak from experience. Coming from a church that disavowed Copernicus, that refused to believe in gravity, that burned people at the stake for having ideas that differed from those your church held to be sacred, I'm sure you're very sensitive to this issue.

      If there's one thing I like about Catholicism, that has to be its role as a cautionary tale about the dangers of religious obscurantism, especially when we think about religion as a state power. There are still some Catholics today who do not want the bible to be translated into modern languages, lest people actually read it. Similarly, there are many today who believe that our government ought to operate as a theocracy, imposing the religious beliefs of a few onto society as a whole.

      While I actually think that the NM HRC went too far in its decision, I find it telling that "freedom activists" like Catholic Mom seem completely unmoved by the fact that laws in this country discriminate against lesbians and gay people in housing, in taxation, in employment and in the allocation of federal benefits paid for by the very taxpayers who suffer discrimination. What have you done, Catholic Mom, to ensure that lesbians and gays get the Social Security benefits for which they've paid, but to which they have no access because of DOMA?

      What was that? Silence? Denial?.

      I suppose you supported the FRC when they paid their henchmen $25,000 to lobby Congress against passing the resolution condemning Uganda's "kill the gays" legislation? Did you support Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council when they complained that the Obama administration had "come off the rails" because of an Amtrak ad campaign encouraging gays and lesbians to engage in paid travel on trains?

      By attempting to associate themselves with the cause of religious freedom, the FRC cheapens the meaning of religious liberty. They are just another anti-gay hate group.

      August 16, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Embarcadero

      Dude, I salute you!! Cheers!

      August 16, 2010 at 11:05 am |
    • Luke

      Embarcadero – Well said.

      She won't reply by the way. I've posted similar things, all of which go ignored or done off with an obscure quite from the bible unrelated to the topic. Others notice, however. Do not be discouraged.

      August 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Embarcadero,

      The Church speaks on spiritual matters in due time. Silence may upset those eager to hear what She has to say but be patient in all things.

      Are you happy with how the Bible has been taken, and taken apart, Books thrown out, words changed, added, and subtracted….just because people could get them printed the way they wanted? Not me. It has caused grave problems for all who trust that the Bible they are reading is the Truth just because it is a Bible. People are confused about which Bible is 'THE BIBLE' and it has caused division upon division; people are forming ever new denominations, all claiming to be Christian. It is a man made mess because the Holy Spirit did not give each one of them a differing Truth….there is only One Truth….it is not that hard to figure it out….

      Just what is it that you propose that I do to insure lesbians and gays get their SS benefits? There are single persons who always feel slighted but getting married does not solve SS problems. Work towards contracts to insure what you want. If there isn’t a document for it, have one drawn up. You don’t have to violate the sanctity of a Sacrament for a secular need.

      I didn’t hear that Obama told gays and lesbians to ride the Amtrak….why not encourage everyone to ride it, not just gays and lesbians; why descriminate?

      August 16, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Embarcadero,
      The Church speaks on spiritual matters in due time. Silence may upset those eager to hear what She has to say but be patient in all things.

      August 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Embarcadero,
      Are you happy with how the Bible has been taken, and taken apart, Books thrown out, words changed, added and subtracted….just because people could get them printed the way they wanted? Not me. It has caused grave problems for all who trust that the Bible they are reading is the Truth just because it is a Bible. People are confused about which Bible is THE BIBLE and it has caused division upon division causing people to form ever new denominations all claiming to be Christian. It is a man made mess because the Holy Spirit did not give each one of them a differing Truth….there is only One Truth….it is not that hard to figure it out….

      August 16, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      not give each one of them a differing Truth….there is only One Truth….it is not that hard to figure it out….
      Embarcadero,
      Just what is it that you propose that I do to insure lesbians and gays get their SS benefits? There are single persons who always feel slighted but getting married does not solve SS problems. Work towards contracts to insure what you want. If there isn’t a document for it, have one drawn up. You don’t have to violate the sanct i ty of a Sacrament for a secular need.

      August 16, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Embarcadero,
      Just what is it that you propose that I do to insure lesbians and gays get their S S benefits? There are single persons who always feel slighted but getting married does not solve S S problems. Work towards contracts to insure what you want. If there isn’t a document for it, have one drawn up. You don’t have to violate the sanct i ty of a Sacrament for a secular need.

      August 16, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Embarcadero,
      I didn’t hear about Obama telling gays and lesbians to ride the Amtrak….why not encourage everyone to ride it, not just gays and lesbians; why discriminate?

      August 16, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Embarcadero,
      You do not need to violate the san c t *ty of a Sacrament when you have a secular need.

      August 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  16. Darlene

    Darlene

    Mayby people are leary because of what the IMAM said
    http://weaselzippers.us/2010/08/12/sean-hannity-looks-at-the-imam-behind-the-ground-zero-mosque-video/

    He says we are responsible for the 9/11 attacks

    August 16, 2010 at 9:12 am |
    • Matt J.

      You are confusing what the Imam actually said, with the SPIN that Hannity put on it.

      I watched as much as I could stomach of the Faux video. Predictably, Hannity is just being unreasonable. The Imam did the
      right thing by refusing to be backed into a corner. There is nothing wrong with refusing to call Hamas names, when such name-calling will unavoidably interfere with the bridge building the State Department
      has asked him to do.

      Hannity just does not understand what the State Department does. No surprise there: he has always been hostile to diplomacy.

      Similarly with the 911 remarks. Again, Hannity has failed to understand - true to form. Yes, the Imam's views are a little
      disappointing, but only a little. They are not as disappointing as Hannity's own views. US Foreign Policy IS to blame for a lot of
      problems, including attacks on America.

      I am glad that the Imam and not Hannity, is "chosen to represent us
      overseas". And it was quite telling when Hannity said, "Forget the
      bridge building. I'm not interested in that".

      We can tell, Hannity. We can tell.

      August 16, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  17. David

    It is the very attacks on other people using religious justifications that makes people perceive evangelising or public displays of religion as aggressive and unacceptable in public. If religious organisations were benign and did not seek to stigmatise and attack and remove or limit the rights of others then public displays of religion would not be seen as attacks or dangerous for some. Can you imagine what it is like being a vulnerable gay man who relies on carers for their life. if that carer is overtly religious and evangelising then how can that person be sure that they will be treated with respect or that they can be themselves or receive the care they need if the carer knows that they are gay. Can you imagine how hurtful it is to be denied a service you need because of who you are. When the religious demand to be excluded from treating others with decency, when they demand a special right to demonstrate their dissaproval by harming others while conducting public business then lets call it what it is, discrimination and hatred. There is no absoloute right to manifest religious beliefs, polygamy is not allowed in the USA and neither is stoning to death, animal slaughter is regulated. When the expression and manifestation of religious beliefs harms others surely it is unacceptable or at the very least should be questioned. The Family research council should think about how their lobbying negatively effects others.

    August 16, 2010 at 8:53 am |
    • CatholicMom

      David,

      Your fear is very justified. You should not be confronted by anyone who is providing you with the care you expect and deserve.

      This is a dilemma that people who have to go into a nursing home for care have to deal with:
      There are nursing home workers who look upon the suffering like this:

      The more the people have to suffer the worse their sin must have been and they neglect these poor suffers as much as they can…and say to themselves, ‘You must have done something really bad for God to be punishing you this much’ and become hateful and hurtful. The suffers are abused in every way by people with this kind of distorted thinking. It is most dreadful to think that there are people who actually think this way and find jobs in supposedly caring facilities. I heard this from the very mouth of one who thought this way and she was a nurse! This person did reform her thinking to become compassionate but she could not be the only one out there that thinks/thought this way.

      People need to be screened heavily about their beliefs for such jobs because it can affect the care they will give people.

      I can tell you that Catholics do not look upon suffers as having done dreadful deeds at all; in fact, suffers are looked upon with compassion and love. We remember how Jesus suffered and he was perfect in every way.

      When I suffer myself I find peace in it, knowing that God can take any suffering and turn it into good for all of humanity.

      I hope you never have to encounter a person who tries to do anything other than care for you…..like Mother Teresa…..

      August 16, 2010 at 10:00 am |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      You said, "Your fear is very justified. You should not be confronted by anyone who is providing you with the care you expect and deserve."

      You should explain this to your church that allows priests to attack children whose souls they are entrusted with.

      August 16, 2010 at 11:12 am |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      You said, "When I suffer myself I find peace in it, knowing that God can take any suffering and turn it into good for all of humanity."

      Suffering must be one of god's favorite "good things for humanity". He certainly allows/causes enough of it.

      Tell me, when you have a headache do you take an asprin? When you are thirsty do you drink water? What about when you are hungry? Eat a burger, maybe? Or do you mean special pains like stubbing your toe or having your house fall on top of you, in an earthquake?

      August 16, 2010 at 11:32 am |
    • Frogist

      CatholicMom, I am glad you respond with sympathy to those who also suffer. I think you are right that people esp in the medical field need to take a moment and divest themselves of their personal feelings before caring for those they may see as deserving of suffering. I'm sure it is a difficult thing to do, but it is a necessary part of their profession.
      However, I have to disagree with you that Catholicism is different than other religion. IMO each religion has people who will use their religion to justify their biases and unjust acts.

      August 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Matt J.

      I won't support everything the FRC says and does. On the contrary: they are often quite misguided in their actions, though I do support their fundamental purported goal: the defense of that crumbling yet vital social institution, the family.

      August 16, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      You said, "When I suffer myself I find peace in it, knowing that God can take any suffering and turn it into good for all of humanity."

      I just have to understand your comment. How does god turn human suffering into good, for all of humanity?

      Please explain. I promise I won't challenge your explanation. I really want to understand this concept.

      August 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Frogist,
      If people use their religion [and I am talking Catholic now, because I know what it stands for], to harm or hurt another person in any way, they are piling sin upon sin. When you sin against Truth and claim it as a reason to hurt or harm another, you are not only hurting the person who has been on the receiving end of the sin, as well as hurting the Body of Christ.

      August 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,

      God showed us how His suffering a horrid death on the Cross caused the greatest good of all….that we all might have life everlasting because of what He did for us. His suffering provided the greatest good for mankind beyond anything we can imagine.

      Because of our Baptism we have the Holy Spirit living in us…Him in us and us in Him. We make up the Body of Christ with Him as the Head of the Body. This is called the Mystical Body of Christ. We are also called the Family of God because of how we are ‘joined together in Spirit’.

      When someone suffers, the whole Body of Christ suffers just like when you stub your toe…your whole body is in anguish! Since Jesus Christ’s suffering was for the whole world, bringing good to mankind….when any member of His Body suffers, the suffering is joined to the pain Jesus Christ suffered for us. Thus our suffering pain, misery, sorrow, etc. will work for the good of humanity along with His suffering.

      So you can see why Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles and their successors to go out and Baptize all nations. Our sufferings cannot be joined to Jesus Christ’s sufferings without Baptism. It is only with Christ working through us that we can apply our sufferings for the good of all of mankind; and we know it is not anything we do that is good but by the grace of God that good comes from anything.

      August 16, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      Thank you.

      August 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,

      You are most welcome.

      August 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
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      October 8, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  18. Melissa

    What's wrong with keeping your religion private? Isn't it supposed to be the most personal thing in your life, anyway?

    August 16, 2010 at 8:30 am |
    • Mike

      You confuse the definations of the two words, private belonging to or concerning an individual person, company, or interest

      personal: relating to an individual or an individual's character, conduct, motives

      so you are correct religon is presonal that is why it can not be private.

      August 16, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Mike

      I think you missed the point. Melissa is asking why religion cannot be "practiced" in the home and in church. Why can't religion accept and respect the separation of church and state?

      Good Question Melissa! Cheers!

      August 16, 2010 at 11:17 am |
    • Matt J.

      No, Melissa. You are confusing 'personal' and 'private'. They are not the same. Just as "freedom of religion" and "freedom of worship" are not the same.

      Of course, those who hate religion, or are embarrassed by it, would just love for us all to believe the fallacy that "freedom of religion" and "freedom of worship" are the same. Just as they would love it if religion really was something we all keep to ourselves.

      But it just is not so. The whole POINT of most religions is that the belief must guide the acts of the believer. This is true in Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. But these acts include both public and private acts.

      August 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt J.

      You said, "The whole POINT of most religions is that the belief must guide the acts of the believer. This is true in Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. But these acts include both public and private acts.'

      The problem is, that if you don't maintain the separation between church and state, then we must choose whose religion, we will respect. There are 5 main religions with the Christian religion having over a thousand different denominations. Which god will we establish as being the one true god?

      We may practice our religions at home and at church. We may pray as much as we like in these places. If we insist on prayer in school, then whose god do we pray to? We may decide to not get an abortion. We may watch one station and not another.
      If our public acts infringe on the rights of other believers or non-believers, then they should be left at home. All religion is fantasy.
      Why trouble our house with which fairy tale is less silly? Cheers!

      August 16, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • Bob

      Matt J. The freedom of religion is also the freedom from religion. The case of the wedding photographer, were her clients "free" from her religion? What if that couple were a black man and a white woman, would it be acceptable to say "I can't marry you, I don't agree with that" as well? Of course not.

      The real question is when are people going to smarten up and realize the bible is a book of nonsense written by sheep herders 1800 years ago.

      An undead lord died for your sins and you shall live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood to be forgiven for the sin of a woman being tricked into eating an apple by a serpent.

      Makes perfect sense to me.

      August 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • Frogist

      Sorry matt J.
      But when you step into the public life of business you can no longer claim personal or private concerns. To do that you take some personal time, step outside of the business world, and conduct your private matters on your own dime. Anyone who has ever had to contend with the coporate world can tell you that. So your choices are to uphold the laws of the land when in the public sphere by leaving your bias at home, or push your private belief out into the public world and deal with the consequences.

      One other thing... where in the bible does it say not to do business with gay people?

      August 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • jonathan

      because I want every one to know who Jesus is to me and to them whether they like it or not..I am happy to pay the cost be it spit or a blow to the face or even death for his name's sake..Jesus said we must confess him to men..

      August 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Why do we have to keep secret who we are?

      August 17, 2010 at 9:45 am |
    • JimmyG

      @CatholicMom
      Would you let your pride be your undoing?

      August 17, 2010 at 9:50 am |
    • CatholicMom

      JimmyG,
      Please clarify.

      August 17, 2010 at 9:55 am |
    • JimmyG

      @CatholicMom
      Isn't humility a good thing? Doesn't pride lead into a pit? If you have your reward on earth, isn't it kept from you in Heaven?

      August 17, 2010 at 10:01 am |
    • Erik

      @Melissa: Too much time and money has been spent for way too long confusing religious beliefs with religious institutions. Religious institutions involve quite a bit of politics, not all of it internal. Since they want to grow, a number of them hype up the need to proselytize and attempt to turn all their faithful into salesmen. And even more resort to various forms of exclusionary tactics which at heart don't make a whole lot of sense when you consider that the core message is generally about respecting and caring for your fellow man. Trying to fill the pews just to fill them is neither respectful nor caring nor does it promote real faith. This is the public action they're trying to protect here.

      Religious beliefs on the other hand are very personal and tend to be pretty private. Not every person in the same church believes the same thing. People find their own answers to important questions and have different ideas about which questions are important.

      August 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @jonathan

      You said, "because I want every one to know who Jesus is to me and to them whether they like it or not..I am happy to pay the cost be it spit or a blow to the face or even death for his name's sake..Jesus said we must confess him to men.."

      All this, for an imaginary sky daddy? How are your "feelings" any different from Muslims?

      August 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      JimmyG,
      Yes, humility is a good thing. Yes, pride can take you off the right path. Keep your heart and mind on the things of Heaven not of earth.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  19. Eric

    I believe children should be told that while most people are not gay, there is about 5% of the population who are gay.
    This information will not change a hetro child into a homo child, but is the truth and will let the gay children know they are not "the only ones."

    August 16, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  20. Steve

    While I respect your right to worship as you please, we live in a democratic republic, not a theocracy. The wedding photographer story is interesting. Could they refuse to photograph a mixed race couple or mixed religion couple? Kind of the same thing. Not only is it unwise for a business to refuse business, but who wants their pictures taken by an unwilling photographer? The pictures would likely be terrible.

    August 16, 2010 at 7:39 am |
    • Matt J.

      No, it is not the same thing. Stop mindlessly repeating the drivel of the SSM movement, and the difference will then be obvious to you. Until then, no amount of explanation will work.

      August 16, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Grant

      No, they are not the same thing, but...too bad.

      All rights ensured under the const. can be extended only so far as to not infringe on the rights of someone else. So now we have an impass. Freedom of Religion or the right to not be discriminated against.

      Logically, religion loses. And this is why: everyone is a person, but not everyone shares the same religion. Insofar as equality goes, equality to people must trump since everyone is on the same page in regards to that.

      And if you say religion must trump, well then you are simply stating that not everyone deserves to be free of discrimination, which is just wrong.

      August 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • Eric

      Why didn't the photographer just say "I"m not available to take pictures on the date of your wedding." Why did they add "because you are gay?" As if that statement was suddenly going to make the gay couple turn straight.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:07 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Maybe the photographer did just say they couldn't do it and were pressed for a reason why not. Being fined $7500 is unfair.

      August 17, 2010 at 9:43 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.