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Right Opinion

America Gives Libs a Pizza Their Mind

Tony Perkins · Apr. 14, 2015

When Memories Pizza reopened late Thursday afternoon, everyone wanted a slice of the action! The Walkerton restaurant became the biggest story of the Indiana religious liberty debate when its Christian owners were asked a hypothetical question about catering a same-sex “wedding” ceremony. When Kevin and his daughter Crystal O'Connor answered truthfully that they wouldn’t, the tiny town was overrun by protestors. The threats from the “tolerant” Left were so vicious — everything from burning down the pizza parlor to killing its owners — that the O'Connors closed the store and went into hiding.

Fortunately, the Blaze got a hold of the story and rallied tens of thousands of people to their side. Through a GoFundMe account, donations started pouring in to the family at a pace no one expected. In just 48 hours, supporters blew past the original $25,000 goal into an $842,000 explosion of generosity for the O'Connors — stunning the mainstream media and turning the narrative of marriage and the notion of nationwide acceptance on its head.

Now, after two weeks of absolute turmoil, the O'Connors are back in business, reopening to huge and enthusiastic crowds. Ken Gumm was just one of the hundreds of Hoosiers who drove miles to repay the O'Connors for their stand. “We couldn’t wait to get down here,” he told reporters. “To us, this whole thing isn’t about gay marriage. It’s mostly about freedom of religion.” With the kitchen buzzing and the seating area jam-packed, Crystal and her dad, Kevin, say they want to return the favor by giving a share of the near-million dollar gifts to another sister in persecution, Arlene’s Flowers owner Barronelle Stutzman. Faced with losing her home, her shop, and her retirement savings for turning down a same-sex “wedding” request, friends like the O'Connors want to pay America’s kindness forward.

“… God has blessed us for standing up for what we believe, and not denying him,” an emotional Crystal said. “I’d do the same thing again,” Kevin explained. “It’s my belief. It’s our belief. It’s what we grew up on. I’m just sorry it comes to this because neither one of us dislike any of those people. I don’t hold any grudges.” For the rest of the country, the Memories Pizza story is an important one. Apart from rebutting the argument that the marriage debate is a settled one, it’s an important reminder that bullies only win when people lose their voice. As Christians, we need to stand up with those who speak up. Not only do we need to support those who are viciously attacked by the Left, we need to stop supporting the businesses enabling these bullies.

And thanks to organizations like 2nd Vote, it’s a lot easier to know where your money is going. With apps like theirs, you can ensure that your dollars aren’t lining the pockets of companies that contradict your values on marriage and religious liberty. In the lead-up to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on marriage, 2nd Vote just released a special Marriage Values Page that ranks businesses on how vigorously they advance a far-Left agenda. For most CEOs, the bottom line on these issues is their bottom line. So don’t just voice your values — shop them!

Hillary Clinton’s Typo Writer

For once, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be telling the truth — and on her campaign website, no less! In one of the most ironic blunders of the First Lady’s career, her new Hillary Clinton for President website stated, “She’s fought children and families all her career.” Newsbusters caught the mistake — which conservatives would argue was anything but.

Over her long career as a senator and America’s top diplomat, Hillary Clinton has been a global advocate for abortion-on-demand and the complete demolition of the natural family, making her anything but an ally of children or the family. Even her presidential announcement video made a point of elevating the homosexual agenda above other key American priorities. “I’m getting married this summer to someone I really care about,” says one man in the video before the camera pans to him holding hands with another man. “When families are strong,” viewers hear Mrs. Clinton saying, “America is strong.” In the next frame, another same-sex couple is featured. Proving once again just how out of touch the Left is with mainstream America, the ad ignores the military and the global threat in favor of radical fringe issues.

If the two minutes of Hillary’s YouTube announcement demonstrated anything, it’s that Republicans need a candidate who is in clear contrast to the Obama-Clinton agenda — not just in rhetoric, but in record. After the failures of the last two Republican bids for the White House, a number of GOP hopefuls seem anxious to verify their conservative credentials on a full-portfolio of issues. Obviously, they’ve gotten the message that voters are not looking for a Republican, they are looking for a conservative leader who has the courage to act and undo what this administration has done. We need a leader who will not apologize for America’s exceptionalism, but embrace the source of it. And we need a leader who will contend with those in far away places trying to kill people because of their religion — while also contending with those here at home who want to kill the freedom of religion. In this year’s field, there is reason for optimism with candidates who have fought for children and families.

The Pelicans’ Big Bill…

After the last few weeks, Christians in the Pelican State want to put as much distance between Louisiana and Indiana as possible. The two states are already separated by miles — but most voters are hoping they’re even farther apart on religious liberty. Cowering under the Left’s pressure, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) agreed to gut what would have been a powerful affirmation of the Hoosiers’ first freedoms. After a barrage of misinformation and outright lies, Indiana’s leaders ran for the cover of “compromise,” and instead ended up compromising freedom.

Now, as the smoke starts to clear from Indianapolis, homosexual activists are on the move again — this time to my home state. Emboldened by their success in Governor Pence’s backyard, they’re on the march to Louisiana to deny basic protections for people to live and work according to their personal beliefs. Fortunately, Louisiana already has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), but state Rep. Mike Johnson (R) is making sure the government can’t discriminate against individuals, businesses, or organizations based on their religious beliefs that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. He’s introduced The Marriage and Conscience Act to stop the government from penalizing Americans who believe marriage is the union of a man and woman. Under this measure, the state couldn’t punish a person’s marriage views in tax, grant, contract, or other program decisions.

Of course, liberals are already out in full force claiming that the bill is somehow “discriminatory” — when in fact, it aims to end discrimination by the state against anyone with orthodox views on marriage. Contrary to some of the Left’s claims, this legislation doesn’t change any law to allow people or businesses to do anything that’s currently against the law. Ultimately, it has no effect on the private transactions of the citizens of Louisiana.

But homosexual activists never let the facts get in the way of good, old-fashioned fearmongering. The bill will face one of its biggest tests right away, in committee. After leaders in Indiana sold out at the last minute, Christians across the country are learning — fast — that we need to speak up. Governor Jindal and elected officials are already hearing from liberal activists. Will they hear from you? If you’re from Louisiana, click here to make sure they do! For more on the Louisiana bill, check out Travis Weber’s column, “Why Do We Need Louisiana’s Marriage and Conscience Act? Ask Indiana Pizza Owners.”


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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