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April 1, 2015

RFRA Uproar Is the Definition of Insanity

Ben Shapiro: “Same-sex marriage, it turns out, was never designed to grant legal benefits to same-sex couples. That could have been done under a regime of civil unions. Same-sex marriage was always designed to allow the government to have the power to cram down punishment on anyone who disobeys the government’s vision of the public good. One need not be an advocate of discrimination against gays to believe that government does not have the ability to enforce the prevailing social standards of the time in violation of individual rights. There are many situations in which advocates of freedom dislike particular exercises of that freedom but understand that government attacks on individual rights are far more threatening to the public good. You do not have a right to my services; I have a right to provide my services to whomever I choose. If you believe that your interpretation of public good enables you to bring a gun to the party, you are a bully and a tyrant. So it is with the modern American left, to whom freedom now means only the freedom to do what it is the left wants you to do at point of gun.”

Jonah Goldberg: “In 1997, the Supreme Court held that RFRA was too broad and could not be applied to states. So, various state governments passed their own versions. Twenty states have close to the same version as the federal government’s, and a dozen more have similar rules in their constitutions. These states include such anti-gay bastions as Connecticut, Massachusetts and Illinois, where, as a state senator, Barack Obama voted in favor of the law. The law says nothing about gays and was most famously used to keep the Obama administration from forcing Hobby Lobby and nuns from paying for certain kinds of abortion-inducing birth control. … Why a gay couple would want a photographer who is morally opposed to their wedding to snap pictures of it is a mystery to me. But we live in an age where non-compliance with the left’s agenda must be cast as bigotry. Everyone is free to celebrate as instructed. This is what liberals think liberty means today.”

Tony Perkins: “The reality is, if there weren’t a hostility toward faith, there wouldn’t be a need for RFRAs. As Americans, we have a proud tradition of respecting each other’s differences. But, under the policies and influence of the Obama administration, religious intolerance, especially toward Christians, has grown significantly. The various states that have passed RFRAs are simply extending the same courtesy of tolerance to men and women of faith that the Left now enjoys. As even the Wall Street Journal points out in its defense of Indiana’s bill, ‘The paradox is that even as America has become more tolerant of gays, many activists and liberals have become ever-more intolerant of anyone who might hold more traditional cultural or religious views.’ The Left is no longer satisfied with coexistence. They want to demand acceptance from others – and use the heavy hand of government to get it. They don’t just want to have their cake and eat it too – they want to force Christians to make their cake before they do. … What is unfolding [in Indiana] shows the source of true intolerance: those who want the government to punish people for freely living according to their beliefs.”

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