Friday, August 30, 2013

Matt 24 watch, 218: The other shoe drops in New Mexico, USA as a panel of judges -- using an inappropriate, loaded analogy to racism -- tells a Christian photographer: your conscience or your livelihood . . .

(NB: CP has a useful related article here;
particularly see the comment war there
in light of the disproportion noted below.
Todd Starnes documents further cases here.)

It is a classic of law, that if a stick-up man points a gun to your head and tells you, your money or your life, he is in fact threatening both.

Just so, we must now clearly understand that:
He who would rob me of my livelihood . . . 
      threatens my life;
He who would rob me of my conscience . . .
     threatens my soul:
He who would rob me of my children . . .

     threatens my posterity.
This is blatant in the case we looked at yesterday, with Asia Bibi of Pakistan, who sits in a gaol cell that is threatening her health. For, she has been dragged away from her family and put there by an unjust judge who has sentenced her to death on a false charge of blasphemy. A false charge that was brought against her by a rampaging mob that -- acting through a local cleric they dragged Asia to (while beating her) -- had demanded that she convert to Islam (in violation of her conscience) or face such injustice under a false charge of blasphemy brought under a law that is itself unjust.

That is part of why I told her story yesterday, and it is why I then asked all people of decent conscience to pause and sign a petition for her release, then see if the authorities in our own region would be willing to act in the name of decency, justice and principle with an innocent woman's life so obviously at stake.

However, we face very similar challenges today, much closer to home -- threats linked to the radical agendas of the sexual revolution that (as we looked at a few days past) Gabrielle Kuby so solemnly warned us against. (The difference in our own civilisation is that things are a tad more subtle.)

Q: What am I getting at?

A: The manipulation of public opinion and eduction, leading to abuse of human rights law to rob Christians of livelihood, and threaten conscience by unjust judgements under false colours of law.

Courtesy Christianity Today, this development in a New Mexico "civil rights" case is an apt case in point:
Elaine and Jon Huguenin of Elane Photography
(HT: Women of Grace)

In a closely watched case on gay rights, religious freedom, artistic freedom, the speech rights of businesses, and a host of other legal hot button issues, the New Mexico Supreme Court today ruled that wedding photographers could not refuse to shoot gay ceremonies.

"When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the [New Mexico Human Rights Act, or NMHRA] in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races," the court said in a unanimous verdict.

The court rejected each of photographer's Elaine Huguenin's arguments, particularly one in which Huguenin had argued that her refusal did not discriminate against same-sex customers. Huguenin had argued that she would happily photograph gay customers, but not in a context that seemed to endorse same-sex marriage. Likewise, she said, she wouldn't shoot heterosexuals in a context that endorsed same-sex marriage. [More details courtesy ADF, here.]
As the CT article continues:
. . . it is Justice Richard Bosson's concurring opinion, not the majority opinion, that is already getting the most attention. The Huguenins, he wrote "now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views."
All of this is an outrage.

The solution to this is very simple, and should have been done before injustice like this was enshrined under false colours of "law" and "rights": consider the asymmetry in impact of the two alternate decisions before the court, in light of impact on right to livelihood and right to conscience

That is, if photographer A, for reasons of principled conscience objects to taking photographs in a given situation -- say, refuses to photograph nudity (and there are nude weddings and there is such a thing as nude photography or even pornography that has been made acceptable under law. . . ) or any other morally questionable event E -- the person seeking a photographer, X, could easily go elsewhere, to photographer B who would be happy to get the additional business. In short, A is doing no significant material harm to X by giving up the opportunity to have X as a customer for event E, as an alternative is readily available

Plainly, A is not sitting on the only source of food or water for miles around in the middle of a desert and is not acting in defiance of obvious and legitimate universal human needs. 

A is simply saying, that under circumstances E, on principle, I am willing to forgo money as I refuse to endorse E. 

That is, A is expressing principled freedom of conscience and of conscience-guided speech, at cost to themselves of business foregone.

In this case, X -- in the teeth of easily available alternatives --  is obviously saying: I demand that you endorse E, and will resort to force to make you violate conscience, or go out of business or face the force of the state acting under colours of law.

This action of X is blatantly wrong.

Do I dare call it by name?


And X did go to the state to intervene to enforce such censorship, under what is now so plainly unjust law -- under false colours of "rights."

(Where, if you have been taken in by the talking points on how homosexual behaviour and choosing to identify oneself by one's questionable sexual proclivities are genetically innate so a right that justifies a demand for "marriage equality," etc etc, I suggest you take a moment to read here on the "my genes made me do it" claim, and then ponder the other matters addressed in the list of links appended below. {U/D, Nov 28}  Likewise, the just linked online book shows just how unjustly the bench of judges acted to make a false and loaded analogy between (a) objecting to morally questionable and socially destructive volitional behaviour that simply does not bear the marks of unalterable genetic stamping and (b) improper bias against people exhibiting particular racial/physical characteristics evident from birth that have no reasonable moral questions attached to them whatsoever. Junk science -- multiply refuted junk science -- is here being used to prop up injustice based on popular myths promoted in the media and under false colour of education. This is a sad day for our civilisation, and for justice.)

So also, if a Judge, J, now intervenes and demands that photographer A lend her skills and effort to the promotion of that which is offensive to her conscience, or go out of business or suffer penalty under colour of law, that is a direct threat to both livelihood and conscience, as well as to freedom of speech guided by principled conscience.

Jesus' statement about what value must come first if we are forced to choose (even on pain of death) is plain:
Matt 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  

25 For whoever would save his life[g] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  

26 For 
what will it profit a man 
if he gains the whole world 
and forfeits his soul? 
Or what shall a man give 
in return for his soul? [ESV]
Conscience guided by the Word of God comes first, period.

And, he who would rob me of my conscience, threatens my soul.


And, no, the half-baked notion that putting up a statement on a web site is sufficient to compensate for stifled conscience and censored freedom of expression, as the New Mexico ruling put forth, simply does not address the material issue of the REAL violation at stake here.

This violation is here multiplied by the slanderous pretence that principled objection to perversion of sexuality and marriage from creation order into that which is inherently, inescapably disordered and patently damaging, is the moral equivalent of racism.

"Racism," being the Western equivalent of  Pakistan's laws on "blasphemy."

I am sorry, I must speak out as a black, Christian man who sees the pivotal importance of creation order for sexuality for the survival of our civilisation and the safety of our souls: hiding a blatant and unnecessary threat to livelihood and conscience under the pretence that  this is just "views" -- views seemingly equated to racism -- to be trumped by "gay rights," is an outrage.

I therefore solemnly say to the judges of the New Mexico Supreme Court and elsewhere: the God of heaven who made us male and female and created marriage as the union of man and woman through which the race may be propagated and sustained, will hold you to account, individually, for justice. And -- whether or not you believe it, you will one day stand before HIS bar of justice. 

Of this -- cf. here on -- God has given assurance to all men by raising Jesus of Nazareth, the prophesied messiah,  from the dead, with over 500 witnesses who simply could not be broken in the face of dungeon, fire, sword and worse. 

If you doubt me on this or are tempted to dismiss it out of hand, I suggest you take time to inform yourself more adequately by watching and reflecting on this video:

Likewise, many are tempted to dismiss biblical strictures on homosexuality and objections to the perversion of marriage by suggesting that Jesus of Nazareth did not object to homosexual conduct. They are wrong, he plainly stood foursquare in the defense of the creation order institution of marriage and the linked designation that the act of union is intended for the context of Creation Order, God blessed covenantal union of man and wife. 

That is why we read:
Matt 19:4 . . . [Jesus said] “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” [ESV]
In short, marriage between man and woman is embedded in the order of creation for the propagation of the race and is  blatantly evident from the things that have been made, here, that we are made from the beginning in two complementary sexes meant for marital union and family. 

So, what God joins, let not man separate; which is exactly what the counterfeit distortion of marriage under false colours of "equality" and "rights" is now doing and is obviously doing under false and unjust colours of law.

Nor is it a reasonable retort to suggest by way of a smear that standing by such compellingly evident Creation Order principles is the moral equivalent of "racism. "

Such a false accusation -- our culture's equivalent of blasphemy -- simply reflects viciously slanderous malice,  verging on hate. 

That sort of malicious slander against principled conscience is the REAL hate speech.

Where also, in regards to the vicious suggestion that Christians are racists or the moral equivalent of racists, we should note how in the very same passage where Paul pointed out that we face judgement before God by the standard of Jesus of Nazareth, the Mars Hill Discourse of Acts 17, that Apostle first says:
Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

Then, he goes on to call the nations to repentance:
Acts 17:29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” [ESV]
The attempt to smear the Christian faith and gospel-based principles of sexual ethics with the taint of racism is a blatant, vicious, hateful, spiteful slander.

It is high time for such to stop, in the name of common decency and basic respect.

But if not, let it be known, that we will not violate Word of God-enlightened conscience before the bar of injustice under false colours of law


For, we must all -- including the legislators that pass wrong in the name of law, and the judges who set out to enforce wrong under false colours of law -- . . . we must all answer to A  Much Higher Court and its Just Judge.

And, if some of us Christians are tempted to waver in the face of threats and false accusations designed to make sound moral principles seem to have the odium of racism, let us reflect on Asia Bibi who -- beaten, falsely accused of blasphemy and sentenced to death under unjust law -- has remained steadfast in witness to our common Lord.

So, let us now take courage and remain steadfast, recognising that some pretty ugly things are being done today in our civilisation, through the imposition of radical and destructive but favoured agendas under false colours of law and rights.

Therefore, we must insist that nothing done under the name of "rights" for politically correct causes or on any similar excuse, should put us in our region in the position where principled people of conscience face the sort of threat to livelihood and conscience we see exposed here. 

Last but not least, we here see openly revealed the plain end-game of the homosexualist agenda: the outlawing of the gospel and of principled conscience under the gospel, under false colours of rights and law.

Let us be vigilant and let us be steadfastly faithful, as the heirs of the apostles, martyrs and confessors of The Faith once for all delivered unto the saints. END

PS: Here are some links for onward reading on this important but widely misunderstood matter and linked issues:

Answering the porn-perversion agenda: