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  • "Blatant Religious Hatred" in California

    Just before the elections, The Heritage Foundation published a paper I wrote about how redefining marriage to include same-sex unions would threaten religious liberties and foster a climate of contempt for people who continue to believe marriage involves a man and a woman. As the paper explains, once courts conclude that traditional marriage laws discriminate against homosexuals, public officials and others in society will come to regard continued support for traditional marriage as a form of bigotry that should be purged from society.

    A full page ad in the New York Times Friday marks the truth of that theory in a black and white way. The ad, which was spearheaded by the prestigious public interest law firm The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, calls attention to the bigotry, intimidation, and violence directed against individuals and institutions – especially Mormons – who defended traditional marriage in California by actively supporting Proposition 8.

    For example, opponents of Proposition 8 ran a TV ad that depicted two Mormon missionaries invading the home of a lesbian couple and ransacking their belongings. Maggie Gallagher, no stranger to mean-spirited attacks for defending marriage, described the ad as “ugly in the extreme” and said she had never witnessed such “blatant religious hatred” in American politics.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2b5xjX7yAQ[/youtube]

    Then, after it became clear that more than 5 million Californians had voted to defend marriage, the “protests” started. One protest at a Mormon temple included signs with slogans like “Mormon scum” and a protest in Los Angeles grew so threatening that police had to call a tactical alert. News stories reported that suspicious white powder had been sent to Mormon temples. Videos from California show a crowd of angry opponents of Proposition 8 screaming at an elderly lady carrying a cross and then someone apparently knocking the cross out of her hands and stomping on it:

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VziklUbtHAE[/youtube]

    People who donated to Proposition 8 have been pressured out of their jobs. Their businesses have been systematically targeted. Churches have been vandalized. I received an email today saying that some pastors in California have felt the need to arrange for bodyguards.

    Some of this backlash is illegal, some of it is not. But, as Becket Fund’s ad says, even though sometimes the “crudest anti-religious propaganda isn’t illegal, and may not constitutionally be outlawed,” it is still “wrong” and “has no place in a civilized society.” Indeed, the marriage debate in this country is becoming more and more a referendum on the rights of religious people to engage in the political process and freely express their views without being subjected to contempt, intimidation, and even violence.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    31 Responses to "Blatant Religious Hatred" in California

    1. John, NJ says:

      You reap what you sow. Blatant hatred from religious folks deserves blatant hatred from gay folks right back. Repeal Prop. 8, and we'll leave you alone, which is all we've asked of you from the beginning.

    2. Nick, Leesburg says:

      "You reap what you sow. Blatant hatred from religious folks deserves blatant hatred from gay folks right back. Repeal Prop. 8, and we’ll leave you alone, which is all we’ve asked of you from the beginning."

      This is very revealing, since it makes an explicit threat. It also requires two flawed assumptions: 1) that prop 8 voters were motivated by hatred, and 2) that deeply held religious beliefs are subject to change due to intimidation.

      For most people, marriage is a concept that is central to their religious beliefs as well as to their overall concept of society. Is it so hard to understand that people would resist the attempt of a special interest group to redefine this word that holds so much intense and emotional meaning for them?

      Prop 8 was a defensive measure against the attacks on marriage by the LGBT community. It is being portrayed as an offensive measure, but people who voted for it don't see it that way.

      It's ironic that the LGBT community loudly protested the pro-8 claim that gay marriage would ultimately result in the LGBT community trying to take away tax-exempt status from churches who wouldn't perform them. Clearly, the LGBT community has shown their hand, since this is exactly what they are now trying to do, contrary to their previous protestations.

    3. Max says:

      They didn't get their way. Then the mask slipped. See them as they really are.

    4. Barb -mn says:

      Freedom to choose is a blatant hatred? From religious folks? The hatred was blatantly gays not getting their selfish ways. Grow -up and take that log out of your eye. Why do you insist on challenging a word that has a definition? Just to cause trouble, money and fear the elderly?

    5. Tom, California says:

      The 1,138 benefits and protections provided by the United States government are provided ONLY to legally married couples. Among them are, according to the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. General Accounting Office: Sick Leave to Care for Partner, Bereavement Leave, Access to Military Stores, Assumption of Spouses Pension, Immigration Insurance Breaks, Medical Decisions on Behalf of Partner, Social Security Survivor Benefits, Tax Breaks, Veterans Discounts, Visitation of Partner in Hospital, or Prison.

      In addition, many benefits are denied at the state level, including Assumption of Spouses Pension, Automatic Inheritance, Automatic Housing Lease Transfer, Bereavement Leave, Burial Determination, Child Custody, Crime Victims Recovery Benefits, Divorce Protection, Domestic Violence Protection, Exemption from Property Tax on Partners Death, Immunity from Testifying Against Spouse, Insurance Breaks, Joint Adoption, Joint Bankruptcy, Joint Parenting, etc.

      Also, any benefits available to unmarried couples at the state or local level are subject to federal taxation.

      It is unconstitutional to discriminate against a category of people in the United States of America. Equal protection under the law is a constitutional guarantee in our country. The issue of same-sex marriage for gay Americans should not be subjected to a vote; the majority should not have be able to vote away the rights of any minority.

      Gay Americans were disenfranchised and deprived of a legal and human right by being denied their constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender. Equal protection should not be afforded based on the vote of the majority.

      The decision by California's Supreme Court earlier this year didn't GIVE gay people the right to marry someone of the same gender. Rather, it affirmed that not allowing them to marry each other is unconstitutional. The California Constitution, Article 1, Section 7. (a), Declaration of Rights, says "A person may not be denied equal protection of the laws."

    6. JoAnne - CA says:

      **You reap what you sow. Blatant hatred from religious folks deserves blatant hatred from gay folks right back. Repeal Prop. 8, and we’ll leave you alone, which is all we’ve asked of you from the beginning.**

      Wow. Just WOW. That is a blatant THREAT!

      I don't "H-8" you. Grow up. Marriage is marriage – always has been, always will. No matter what you do – even if you succeed in your mean-spirited attempts to co-opt the word, you won't change the meaning of marriage to Christians and others who value the tradition it represents. Just as those who abuse the idea of marriage by engaging in serial marriages haven't changed the true meaning. It is a cherished belief. It is a way of life. It is what it is.

    7. JB says:

      "It’s ironic that the LGBT community loudly protested the pro-8 claim that gay marriage would ultimately result in the LGBT community trying to take away tax-exempt status from churches who wouldn’t perform them. Clearly, the LGBT community has shown their hand, since this is exactly what they are now trying to do, contrary to their previous protestations."

      Actually this is flawed and a very untrue twisting of the facts. The reason the LGBT community is trying to "take away" churches tax-exempt status is NOT because the churches would not perform gay marriages. It is because the LDS church conducted a national broadcast to every temple, calling on members to organize and write checks to the Prop. 8 campaign. Additionally, members donated more than half of the $40 million behind Prop. 8, even though California Mormons represent just 2 percent of the state's population.

      I don't think that the LGBT community will win this arguement as the IRS rules make it clear that contributions towards ballot initiatives cannot exceed 10 to 15 percent of a religious organization's total budget. I think the LDS church is in the clear there.

      BUT your statement that the LGBT community is trying to take away the LDS churches tax-exempt status because they will not perform gay marriages is patently false.

    8. Braun, Santa Rosa says:

      Tom, Propositon 8 was solely about rights of California Residents for which homosexual couples share the same rights as married couples. There's no need to redefine a word or concept just because you think you're being deprived (you're not). Prop 8 did not take away any rights; it simply affirmed what is true.

      If you're upset that nationally there are no rights to protect homosexual couples, take it up with the legislators, don't highjack a perfectly legitimate and sacred institution that Americans have enjoyed for centuries.

    9. Barb -mn says:

      It is unconstitutional to discriminate against a category of people in the United States of America? So a category of pedophiles should be able to babysit? A category of corruption should sustain the government? A category of terrorists should be ignored? What the heck. The rights of marriage were constituted under the definition of a man and woman. If you want the rights get married and take your selfish act outside your marriage… The government has no right to discriminate based on race, creed or culture. Discrimination is very important in many other areas to keep a civil society civil.

    10. Sean, Japan says:

      So the key question is: What does the gay community really want? What is the agenda?

      Do they want the same benefits as married couples and equal protection under the law? If so, civil unions approaches this, and it would be easier to optimize this route. The majority of those who disapprove of redefining marriage support civil unions.

      Or do they want full recognition of the gay lifestyle as good? This is a much bigger issue. It requires pressuring out any mention of the gay lifestyle as wrong from the public discourse. Churches are decried for calling homosexuality as a sin. Schools that promote marriage must include the gay lifestyle, otherwise they're prejudiced.

      In this new world, anyone that calls gay wrong is a bigot or full of hate.

      Forcing religions off the stage, the source of their angst and turmoil, is the true agenda. Only a fraction of gays want to wed for life. But everyone hates to be called a sinner.

      Watching the events of the last month has cemented the following:

      The gay community is an unresting advocate for pushing the moral envelope. They will not rest until traditional religious morals are no longer acceptable in the mainstream. Then they are free to do what they wish without guilt or difficulty. The concept of "absolute good and evil" must be done away with. They advocate "separation of church and state", but this leaves secular organizations unopposed to say whatever they want.

      During prop 8, the gay community decried ads as lies that stated that gay marriage would be taught in schools. But why did other states adopt that same curriculum? Because once the camel got his nose in the tent, the work begins. So the wise person recognizes the pattern:

      - Gay advocates cannot succeed at the ballot box

      - So drive the issue through courts who are more liberal

      - Change the laws at local levels using "gay marriage" and "anti-discrimination" as the hammer.

      - Influence local schools and governments.

      - Teach acceptance of the gay lifestyle in every way possible.

      Who would disagree that these are the tactics?

      The true gay agenda is full acceptance of the gay lifestyle at every level. The only way to achieve this is to redefine the institution of marriage.

    11. Bill, Los Angeles says:

      Actually, Nick, it's you (and Thomas Messner) who's shown their hands. It's standard operating procedure of bigotry to take the unsavory aspects of a minority within a minority and extrapolate that the community at large. Of the hundreds of protests, and thousands upon thousands of protesters, the number of ugly or unfortunate incidents were quite small, and the number of arrests were less than a dozen. Few people against Prop 8, gay or straight, condone violence or vandalism. The handful of incidents described by Messner no more define the protest against Prop 8 than the handful of pedophile priests define the priesthood.

    12. Pingback: We once were red…. » “Blatant Religious Hatred” in California

    13. Johanan says:

      Oh the joys of a free society:

      Clashes like this are inevitable in a democracy…I just really hate to see violence enter the picture, because when it does, BOTH parties, independent of who is right and who is wrong, will end up getting hurt…

      Can't we keep our politics civil and restrained and peaceful? Can't we avoid the pathway to violence that now dominates the dark places of the earth (like the Middle East and Africa)?

      If America wants to avoid descending into complete chaos and gangs, she had better live up to her Constitution.

    14. Dave, Ann Arbor says:

      I wish the gays hadn't bullied and lobbied the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to change homosexuality from a mental disorder in 1973. The change from "mental disorder" to "normal" was not based on any new research, but by the gay activists bullying the APA. If the APA hadn't given in to their demands, then maybe the gays in society would be getting the treatment that they need instead of threatening the majority of the American population.

    15. Scot,Boston says:

      Hey John in LIBERAL New Jersey YOU biggots forget to mention that GOD created marriage between a man and a women in Genesis 2-24.That truth is eternal and unchangable.YOU ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE here.PERIOD!

    16. David MN says:

      Here you have a low percentage of the general population attempting to railroad the due prosess of the people. A clear majority of Californians in 2000 and recently with prop 8 in November, 2008 took clear action and voted to declare MARRIAGE as the union between One Man and One Woman.

      The LGBT agenda is to continue to soften and doop the world to their lifestyle via the courts, media and aggressive tacticts to wedge into moral living.

      There will be a final judgment for this world, death or life, will you be ready for eternity?

    17. Shelly, Cleveland says:

      Scot and Dave-I agree 100%. A democracy is where 51 percent of the people can overrule 49 percent of the people. I think it is true that most of us who think that gay 'marriage' is wrong would be ok with homosexuals getting a civil union. I personally could care less. But-to redefine the word marriage, to teach that homosexuality is a good thing-no way! God defines marriage as a union between and man and a woman. Traditional Values define marriage as a man and a union. LGBT community is a very small minority of the US. I think we should not discriminate, but to give in to their demands is not a option.

    18. Jonathan, Virginia says:

      For folks who oppose hate crimes legislation, you sure do pull out the "hate card" at the drop of a hat. Let's see, first there was Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse and the facebook Ruth Youth group, then Maggie Gallagher and abovethehate.com, then a N.Y. Times ad and the web site nomobveto.com, and now this. It's an impressively well coordinated campaign.

      Do you all remember the shooting at the UU church in Knoxville TN? See:

      http://www.equalityloudoun.org/?p=724

      Nary a peep was heard from the so-called promoters of "family values" and protectors of the right to marry many wives (as long as you are a man) (oops…I let that slip).

      btw, whatever happened to the slippery slope?

      There is love, and there is hate. It's not too difficult to tell them apart. This attempt to stand reality on its head is rather pathetic.

    19. Duane Phinney Pensa says:

      This just proves that the APA was correct in the first place. All you have to do is, watch and listen to them.

    20. JP, Minnesota says:

      Minnesota has a very large gay population. Our liberal gov't won't even let in a vote on gay marriage.

      Someone said that the majority can't vote to take away the rights of a minority. That is a democracy. There are always two sides to any issue. The issue is not a "rights" issue. It is a definition issue. Marriage is a defined as between a man and a woman. Gay people just need to get their own term. Stop the jealous acts of your people and find something good in your own lives. You are just hurting yourselves. You have come a long way. Leave marriage alone. It is our term. Not yours.

    21. Simone, Oklahoma says:

      It appears that people are forgetting two important facts: First, the US Constitution does not guarantee anyone the right to marry-period. That fact eliminates the civil rights argument. Marriage therefore becomes a matter of accepted norms and traditions, religious ceremonies, or civil ceremonies. In California and other states the people have spoken, they don't want homosexual marriages determined to be any of the above. Democracy wins the day.

      Secondly, if all of the thousand instances where gays are supposedly discriminated against is true, (as indicated from a previous blogger) Go to an attorney and draw up your power of attorney papers. Settle the legal issue through the legal processes.

      As far as this hate towards the church and Christians go-any Christian anywhere can give donations to whomever or whatever-just like non-Christians. The church may suggest donations to a cause, that doesn't mean the church benefits financially from that cause. To attempt rescinding the church's tax exempt status is a waste of time.

      There has been extreme hate-filled speech on the part of the gay community toward Christians since the proposition. This is unacceptable on any level. Many of those voters were not Christians. Many were people who have traditional beliefs unrelated to religion.

      So, sometimes we just have to suck it up and accept our lot in life-or move to a place where we can live the way we want.

    22. duelles says:

      dear John,NJ: Leave the 500 year old definition of marriage alone and it will leave you alone. I do not go to church, but simply prefer to keep words meaning what they were meant to mean. After all the marriage between oregano and garlic is really a metaphor! Is that what you wish.

      Any contract lawyer can provide what is needed. You do not need the defeat of prop 8. Simone knows and so do you!

    23. Francis Beckwith, In says:

      "It is unconstitutional to discriminate against a category of people in the United States of America."

      That's actually not true. For example, people under 18 are discriminated against by not being allowed to vote. Polygamists, both Muslim and Fundamentalist Mormons, cannot have their unions approved by the rest of the community under the rubric of religious liberty or the equal protection clause.

      Right now, several groups are denied marriage in California: minors, the already married, and close relatives (that is, to each other). Homosexuals are not denied marriage, since marriage between a man and a woman is not limited to only heterosexuals. The problem is not that the law discriminates against gays. It doesn't. The problem is the nature of marriage recognized by the law. This is why equal protection cannot be the basis for allowing citizens to marry persons of the same sex. For under the current law no citizen is denied access to marriage for reasons relevant to entering that institution. So, the case that has to be made by gay rights activists is why citizens who do not see marriage as gender-irrelevant are irrational. Calling such citizens "hateful" does not do the trick, for two reasons: (1) their underlying rationale is part of their basic beliefs about the nature of men, women, and the family, and regardless of what you may think of the veracity of those beliefs they are not obviously irrational; and (2) virtually all of these citizens are decent people who simply are not hateful on this matter. To think or say otherwise reveals, I am afraid to say, a real immaturity on the part of gay rights activists who offer this account.

      Remember, many people, rightly or wrongly, see homosexuality as a sort of arrested adolescence that fears the other and is drawn toward the self, and thus has produces and reinforces narcissistic tendencies. That may or may not be true. I am no psychologist. But it seems to me that the way in which the prop-8 losers have behaved since November 4 has done nothing to cast doubt on that understanding.

    24. Pingback: Pages tagged "blatant"

    25. virginia beach, VA says:

      The PEOPLE of CA voted in support of Prop 8, not the Mormon church, the Catholic church, Presbyterians, Methodists, or any other religious group. Californians as a WHOLE voted on the measure..place the blame where the blame is due!!! This isn't blatant "religious hatred". YOUR Californians voted against this…not the church!! Sorry, but the truth hurts!!!

    26. Sam Farmer Lancast says:

      "As the paper explains, once courts conclude that traditional marriage laws discriminate against homosexuals, public officials and others in society will come to regard continued support for traditional marriage as a form of bigotry that should be purged from society."

      If the article had replaced GAY with OBESE or Handicapped the argument would be the same.

      Discrimination is wrong, not Christian.

    27. Randal, Salt Lake Ci says:

      Jesus Christ did NOT get Married, thus, ALL marriage must be outlawed.

      My religion is the only true religion and all of You must follow by the laws of what i believe. More people believe what i believe, thus my religion has the only right to tell You what Your "pursuit of happiness" can be. Only my religion can enable Your civil rights. Only my God is right, not Your's, unless Your beliefs are the same as mine. American Civil liberties are only for the population at large, never for the minority. i'm right, You are wrong, and You are going to hell for not believing what i believe and doing what i say You have to do. This is the American way.

      Jesus Christ did NOT get Married, thus, ALL marriage WILL be outlawed.

    28. Claude Cornell says:

      Man may argue and fight over what they think is right, but the only thing that really matters is what God thinks, and he voted for traditional marriage a long time ago.

    29. johnna , Florida says:

      As I see it, the rights we protect when we protect the definition of "marriage" are those of children. Every child is entitled by the laws of nature (created by God) to both a father and a mother. That is why marriage should be defined as the union of a man and a woman. There is no hatred involved in this claim. I am not saying that gay or lesbian couples can not provide stable, loving, family enviornments. I am just saying that I believe, the basic building blocks for creating human life involve a man and a woman and every life created using that God-given power is entitled to rights and protections defined by marriage. As a society we have blurred the definitions of so many things. Why create more confusion for ourselves by changing the definition of marriage, which by the way, is not an American Institution, it exsits across every culture and time period of our World's history. How arrogant are we to think we have the "right" to redefine it!? There are ways to afford couples rights and privilges without redefining marriage. Citizens have every right to vote to defend this position without being identified as "haters".

    30. Bill, PA says:

      "Prop 8 was a defensive measure against the attacks on marriage by the LGBT community. It is being portrayed as an offensive measure, but people who voted for it don’t see it that way."

      Attack on marriage? Strange…there are now six states where gay marriage is now government-sanctioned…and somehow, my marriage is still surviving. I don't know how though…

      "It’s ironic that the LGBT community loudly protested the pro-8 claim that gay marriage would ultimately result in the LGBT community trying to take away tax-exempt status from churches who wouldn’t perform them. Clearly, the LGBT community has shown their hand, since this is exactly what they are now trying to do, contrary to their previous protestations."

      Are they trying to take tax-exempt status away from churches who wouldn't perform gay weddings, or away from churches who were politically active on Prop 8?

      If it's the former…then I agree with you. They're wrong.

      If it's the latter…then the churches should have their statuses reviewed.

    31. CG, NJ says:

      –If the APA hadn’t given in to their demands, then maybe the gays in society would be getting the treatment that they need instead of threatening the majority of the American population.– Being gay isnt something that can be treated, and they are not threatening the majority of anybody or anything

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