Here’s Selwyn Duke:
As our Great Sexual Heresy continues its march onwards and downwards, state governments have forced bakers, wedding planners, florists and other businesses to service faux weddings. This is unprecedented, as never before were Americans governmentally compelled to participate in events they found morally objectionable. Yet when some project out on our cultural trajectory and say churches one day will be subject to the same coercion, they’re met with laughter; this will never, ever happen, they’re told. Yet this is an illogical and inconsistent position.
Prefacing a statement in opposition to the hapless bakers at a campaign stop a while back, presidential contender John Kasich opined, “I think, frankly, our churches should not be forced to do anything that’s not consistent with them.” That such a statement need be made — and that it was said so lukewarmly — indicates we’ve already taken the first step toward just such coercion. Yet the main point is that the position reflects fuzzy thinking.
The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no laws respecting the establishment of religion of prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Of course, the wording informs that this constrains only Congress — the federal government’s lawmaking body — not state governments. But since the “Theory of Incorporation” (a judge-spawned rationalization) has applied the above to the states and, more significantly for the principled, since most if not all state constitutions offer the same religious protections, this isn’t relevant to our discussion here.
Now, “exercise” is action, not just belief or expression. Of course, this freedom of action labeled “religious” isn’t absolute; human sacrifice is prohibited, for instance. (Thus do I have a philosophical problem with the First Amendment, but that’s grist for a different day.) Yet the relevant point is this: human sacrifice, or anything else gravely evil and therefore beyond First Amendment protections, is prohibited to all. It’s not as if you can offer up a virgin (even if you could find one today) on an altar because it happens to be in a church. A corollary of this is that anything protected by the First Amendment is allowed to all.
After all, neither the First Amendment nor any state constitution I’m aware of dictates that “government shall make no laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion — in church.” There is no such limitation. Conclusion?
Any type of exercise or conscience-driven policy, such as rejection of homosexual events protected within the church sphere is protected outside of it.
In point of fact, note that institutions, churches or otherwise, do not have constitutional rights. People have constitutional rights. So it’s completely irrelevant whether people are exercising their religious rights within a church or a bakery, or as agents of a synagogue or owners of a flower shop. Their freedom from government compulsion in this area follows them wherever they go — and whatever their caste or station — in these United States.
Read more: American Thinker
Image credit: www.barbwire.com.