March 19, 2016

GA Bill a Real Peach of Work

If you’re looking for a clue behind the inexplicable rise of Donald Trump and his support among “evangelicals,” look no further than Georgia. It’s called Republicans. In a state where protecting religious liberty is as popular as peach pie, Republican Governor Nathan Deal (R) and House Speaker David Ralston (R) are presiding over the demise of Georgian’s First Freedom.

If you’re looking for a clue behind the inexplicable rise of Donald Trump and his support among “evangelicals,” look no further than Georgia. It’s called Republicans. In a state where protecting religious liberty is as popular as peach pie, Republican Governor Nathan Deal (R) and House Speaker David Ralston (R) are presiding over the demise of Georgian’s First Freedom.

After weeks of working on HB 757, a modest bill that would have provided protections against the growing threat to religious freedom in the wake of the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, timid lawmakers caved to misinformation campaigns from the Left and threats from big business. The bill, which was never as strong as it should have been, is now a tattered fig leaf now that House Speaker David Ralston has gutted the real protections for Georgia’s men and women of faith. In this latest “compromise,” only a fraction of faith-based groups and churches would be protected from the government’s merciless attacks on Christians. If this measure is enacted, shop owners like Melissa Klein and public officials like Kelvin Cochran would still be left twisting in the wind while the state fires, fines, and punishes Georgians to forced acceptance of same-sex marriage.

And even now, after the bill has been watered down so much that it’s unrecognizable, big business is still complaining. Companies like Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Arby’s, and Sales Force are either intent on strong-arming Christians or too lazy to get the facts, because all are threatening to pull out of Georgia if it won’t allow the bullying of believers to continue. “Once again,” Sales Force CEO tweeted, “Georgia is trying to pass laws that make it legal to discriminate.” He’s right. But the discrimination is against Christians. What happened to protecting minority rights, Heritage’s Ryan Anderson asks. Didn’t that used to be a hallmark of American tolerance? “This is yet another example of cultural cronyism. Businesses in Georgia were always free to embrace gay marriage — to bake wedding cakes for gay marriages and make floral arrangements for same-sex nuptials — and many do, but now they want the government to force everyone in Georgia to do the same. The hypocrisy of big business lobbying against the law is astounding. They want to be free to operate in Georgia according to their values, but they don’t want small-business competitors to be free to operate according to theirs.”

And here’s the irony. These executives are making a stink about a bill that’s actually less inclusive than the First Amendment! Religious liberty, as outlined in plain text less than a half-mile from FRC, is for every American. For Georgia to argue that religious freedom should be limited to the four walls of the church is like saying the Second Amendment only applies in gun clubs.

What’s unfolding in the Peach State shows the source of true intolerance: those who want the government to punish people for freely living according to their beliefs. This is why conservative voters are sick and tired of Republicans who are lions for freedom on the campaign trail, but once in office are like de-clawed house cats. Once again, this reveals that the Left’s agenda isn’t about tolerance; it’s about forced acceptance — and the government is going to do the enforcing. If you live in Georgia, tell Speaker Ralston and Governor Deal you want them to protect your religious freedom.

Originally published here.

‘The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert’

Earlier this week, FRC had the distinct honor of hosting Rosaria Butterfield, author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey to Christian Faith and Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ for an encouraging and challenging lecture about post-Obergefell America: “How Sexual Orientation Became the Idol of Our Day and What Christians Need to Do About It.” If you’re unfamiliar with her powerful story, Dr. Butterfield was once a tenured professor of English at Syracuse University who identified as a lesbian and worked to advance the cause of LGBT equality. After her conversion to Christ in 1999, she came to see the sinfulness of having any identity apart from Him. She now writes about sexuality, identity, Christian community, and seeks to encourage all in faithful Christian living and service.

The recurring theme of Rosaria’s presentation was that “by defining humanity according to sexual desire, we eliminate the image of God. Sexuality [in this age] has become the divine core of a person [instead of God’s image].” Our response to this new idolatry must be to look past labels of sexual identity where we and our neighbors are concerned, and to acknowledge that we have all been called not to heterosexuality, but to “holy sexuality, in the form of either fidelity in matrimony or chastity in singleness.”

Making a conscious choice to see our neighbors and ourselves as image-bearers of Christ first (rather than as defined by sexual identity) frees us to share the gospel with grace, truth, and authenticity. Take the time to view this special event and allow your heart to be challenged by Rosaria’s refreshing perspective. You’ll be glad you did.

Click here to view.

Originally published here.

Cruz Couldn’t CAIR Less

If you’re being attacked by Muslim activists with ties to terrorists, you must be doing something right! Or so FRC’s Lt. General Jerry Boykin must think, now that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is blasting his appointment to Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) newly unveiled National Security Coalition. General Boykin, who sacrificed 36 years defending America against radical Islamists, would almost certainly consider it a compliment that extremists view him as a threat to their plans.

Almost immediately after the announcement, CAIR demanded that Senator Cruz drop FRC’s Special Forces vet. “Who a candidate picks for his or her advisers says volumes about that candidate’s worldview.” Let’s hope so! Senator Cruz responded by heaping praise on Boykin and the other 22 members selected to help correct the miserable foreign policy failures of the current administration. “I am honored to have a range of respected voices willing to offer their advice,” Senator Cruz said. “This is a moment for all those who believe in a strong America that is secure at home and respected abroad to come together and craft a new path forward.”

Originally published here.

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