KANSAS STATE REPS: RELIGION CAN JUSTIFY ANTI-GAY DISCRIMINATION
By Rev. Ted Pike
17 Feb 14
In response to mounting outrage by the Christian community, the Kansas House of Representatives has passed HB2453, a bill allowing Christian business owners and government employees to discriminate against homosexuals who would force them to render services contrary to their consciences. Arizona is considering a similar bill.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its amendments gave black Americans superior rights and advantages over whites in businesses of 15 or more employees. It gave similar privileges to homosexuals, primarily by stimulating state “anti-discrimination” laws, which made it illegal for American business owners of any size company to refuse to hire or to fire LGBT applicants because of “who they are.” Such laws also criminalized any refusal of service to homosexuals on this basis.
“Gay rights” really means a superior legal status that does not honor the religious convictions of employers or business owners-- nor does it honor the age-old American right of business owners to "refuse service to any customer at any time for any reason." Pro-homosexual “anti-bias” laws severely punish and fine businesses that will not endorse homosexuality with such services as printing wedding invitations, baking wedding cakes, and photographing weddings. (See Christian Photographers Ordered to Shoot Homosexual 'Weddings' Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court, Investigators: Oregon Bakery Discriminated Against Lesbian for Declining to Make 'Wedding' Cake and Christian Baker Ordered to Make Cakes for Same-Sex Ceremonies or Face Fines Files Appeal)
The Kansas bill would defend the rights of business owners. It reads in part:
"No individual or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity to do any of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender:
"Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges; provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services; or provide employment or employment benefits, related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement."
The bill is now proceeding in the Republican-dominated Senate but is sending shockwaves through the LGBT community.
Can This Bill Withstand Judicial Review?
If this bill is signed into law, can it withstand powerful attempts by liberal media and the legal establishment to overthrow it on appeal? In addition to the homosexual lobby, its greatest adversary will be the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, self-proclaimed architect of hate and bias crime laws internationally. This bill threatens to reestablish all the rights ADL has undermined through its bias-crime legal system and propaganda program in western nations over the past half century. HB2453 boldly says: Yes, it is permissible to be biased and discriminate based on religion.
But this bill's chain of reasoning does not stop there. Religious conscience and simply “conscience” are closely related. If the precedent is set that Christian businesses may discriminate against homosexuals out of religious conscience, then shouldn’t non-Christian business owners whose only authority is natural law (even redneck disgust) also have the right of discrimination?
For the present, this bill wholesomely points a legal system gone far astray back toward the traditional Constitutional right of all property owners to use their property and businesses as they wish, refusing sale or services to anyone they please.
If such a policy is offensive to some, the First Amendment, in effect, replies: "Let the public, through free speech and expression of bad publicity and boycott punish the discriminator, not the government!" The Constitution never envisioned the state as an avenger of those deprived of their "right" to goods and jobs created by others. That is socialism at its basest.
Reviving a Constitutional View of Property Ownership
Passage of the Kansas bill is an excellent opportunity to begin to roll back hate and bias crimes statutes, including the federal hate crimes law. For the first time on the state legislature level, a major clash looms between the entrenched bias crime legal system and the historic First and Fourteenth Amendment, private property liberties enjoyed before 1964.
The gulf between these two systems is vast. The fair housing and employment provisions of the Civil Rights Act assert that business owners really do not own their businesses but must allow government-exalted classes to benefit from them through jobs and services. Traditional law, however, says a man's business is his castle, protected from public or government intrusion (except upon court order and probable cause). He is entitled to post, “No shoes, no service,” discriminating against people who like to walk barefoot. The business owner can also put up another saying, “This business has the right to refuse services to anyone, homosexuals in particular!”
Does this seem reminiscent of signs in buses and lunch counters in the Jim Crow segregationist South? Perhaps. But the increasing aggressiveness and harshly punitive efforts of homosexual activists and “human rights” divisions of state governments to prosecute and even put out of business Christian entrepreneurs who defy intimidation by homosexuals is also very reminiscent. It strongly reminds of the Christian-persecuting policies of the old Soviet Union and present day Communist China and North Korea!
Concerted efforts are being made among Kansas state representatives and senators to find a compromise between HB2543 and the ADL/Civil Rights Act bias crimes systems which give virtual rights of enjoyment of our property to protected groups. A compromise is not really workable. We are either free or servants of the state. Statism says we do not really possess our land, wealth, or businesses, but it should all eventually revert back to the good of the state and the masses. Yet the government, phony "civil liberties" fronts like ADL and their specially protected groups did not invest perhaps a lifetime of blood, sweat, and tears in acquiring and maintaining businesses we own. And it is the law of God and nature, as Jesus said in the parable of the vineyard owner (Matt. 20:15), that we may do with what is ours as we will, as long as we do so justly.