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Monday, August 26, 2013

Say Goodbye, Freedom

Justice Richard Bosson of the New Mexico State Supreme Court wrote a "specially concurring" opinion of the ruling last week against Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin, the owners of Elane Photography. Elaine is the one who refused to photograph a same-sex couple's commitment ceremony on the grounds that doing so would require her to function as a celebrant in the event which would violate her religious beliefs and, thus, her conscience. The court held she had no such right and unanimously agreed that her right to religious beliefs was superceded by the same-sex couple's right to be served. (Yes, friends, that banging you hear in the background is the beginning efforts of the common culture to tear down your religious freedoms.)

I was interested in some of what Justice Bosson had to say. He wrote, "If honoring same-sex marriage would so conflict with their fundamental religious tenets . . . how then, they ask, can the State of New Mexico compel them to 'disobey God' in this case? How indeed?" Bingo! You got it! But he went on to explain that they could and would compel them to disobey God.

He went on to say, "At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others." Now that is an interesting use of a word. The word, "compromise", means "to settle differences by mutual concessions." In this case, then, the Christians will concede their religious freedoms, their beliefs, and their obedience to God along with a fine and, potentially, their business. And the other side will concede ... oh, yeah ... nothing at all. No, wait, they will actually gain rather than concede. They will gain rights over the beliefs of others and the conscience of others and, in this particular case, they will gain the standing equivalent to a racial standing. They will, simply by being sexually attracted to the same gender, be able to force people to bend to their desires and support their whims. So ... where exactly is the mutual concession?

"Oh," some will say, "you can't do that. You can't stand on religious grounds and do harm to them." Well, I suppose so, except the couple hired another photographer without a problem. There wasn't any delay, any injury, any problem caused. They didn't sue because there was a loss, in fact, but because they didn't want to allow anyone to be able to stand on their religious views on this subject. Justice Bosson wrote, "There is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life." In this case, it is the First Amendment right, not to save a minority from harm, but to remove the right of an individual to hold their religious belief. (Is that banging getting louder?)


Danny Wright said...

I don't think their definition of "compromise" and the dictionary's definition is the same thing. But even if it were, the answer to problems is not always compromise.

Stan said...

No, the judge (and those who think like him) certainly don't define "compromise" in the same way that the dictionary does. Or "tolerance". Or "judgmental". (Hey, I have an idea! Why don't you start a blog named something like The New World Order American Dictionary where you can illustrate some of these radical redefinitions??!!)

In this case, the "answer to the problem" is "compromise" meaning, "Your side gives up everything and the other side takes it all." Whew! Problem solved. Now, let's tackle the rest of that pesky "Freedom of Religion" problem ...