Thursday, September 20, 2007

Why The Right of Conscience Is At Risk

Why The Right of Conscience Is At Risk

We've had a long history in the U.S. of struggling over the question of what constitutes the right of individuals to disagree. Thomas Jefferson's famous saying that:
The error seems not sufficiently eradicated that the operations of the mind as well as the acts of the body are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
applies to this case, where homosexuals are intent on forcing their will on those who do not agree. From the September 18, 2007 New York Times:
A boardwalk pavilion in the seaside town of Ocean Grove, N.J., that has been at the center of a battle over gay civil union ceremonies has lost its tax-exempt status because the state ruled it no longer met the requirements as a place open to all members of the public.

In a letter to the administrator of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist organization that owns the pavilion property, the state commissioner of environmental protection, Lisa Jackson, declined to recertify the pavilion as eligible for a real estate tax exemption it has enjoyed since 1989 under the state’s Green Acres Program, but did renew the tax-exempt status of the rest of the boardwalk and the beach, also owned by the association.

The issue arose after the association, which has owned the land, the beach and 1,000 feet of the sea itself since 1870, rejected the requests of two lesbian couples to have their civil union ceremonies at the Boardwalk Pavilion.

The couples complained to the State Division on Civil Rights, which began a discrimination investigation. The association sued the state, claiming that the investigation violated its First Amendment rights because civil unions were contrary to the beliefs of the United Methodist Church.
Imagine if, during the 1960s, the U.S. government had revoked the tax exempt status of the Mennonite or Quaker Churches because they were morally opposed to war, and refused to allow military recruiters into their churches. Here is an example of a group (and United Methodists are a very, very liberal denomination) that has a moral objection to homosexuality that is being blackmailed into smiling and pretending that everything is okay.

It is for this reason, and because it violates federalism, that I oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that is currently before Congress. It seeks to add sexual orientation to the list of protected groups under federal law. At least the version that I have seen is unlikely to impair the right of conscience--but if there is any lesson to be learned from watching the very creative laws demanding the courts impose same-sex marriage around the country, it is that homosexual activists will take any opportunity to twist the laws far and above what they were intended to do. Why make it easier for them by passing ENDA?

If you live in Idaho, you need to email Rep. Mike Simpson and let him know that ENDA needs to come to an end, and to vote no on it.

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