September 15, 2016 Gerry Wagoner
Last week, the United States Commission on Civil Rights handed down a report called Peaceful Co-existence. This report addresses the cultural clash between non-discrimination principles and civil (or religious) liberties. This report is a bombshell.
Included in the introductory report is this sentence “Civil rights protections ensuring nondiscrimination, as embodied in the Constitution, laws, and policies, are of preeminent importance in American jurisprudence” (Page 25, item 1). This statement by chairman Martin Castro may sound innocuous to you. It isn’t. Note the words “are of preeminent importance.”That means that non-discrimination is more important than anything else—the anything else being religious liberty.The report goes on to say: Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights” (Page 25, item 3). What was implied in the first statement, is absolutely stated in the second statement. In other words, religious exemptions to sexual orientation and gender identity rights “significantly infringe on these civil rights.”
Religious liberty is thus identified as “the problem” to an encroaching immoral culture protected by a progressive permissive federal government. Religious liberty is heading towards an inevitable train wreck with Licentious (or erotic) liberty. And in our current culture, Licentious liberty (identified by the initials LGBT) trumps everything else, in spite of the fact that LGBT is not mentioned in the Constitution, and religious liberty is explicitly affirmed and protected there.
Furthermore, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report, Martin R. Castro goes on to say: “The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”
By putting religious liberty and religious freedom in scare quotes, Castro denies that these freedoms are objective Constitutional realities. A rare form of candor indeed. In fact, it caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal. William McGurn writes: Mr. Castro is chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a venerable institution dating to 1957 that has helped America kill Jim Crow and make good on our founding promises. An Obama appointee, Mr. Castro last Wednesday made public a report on nondiscrimination protections—increasingly about gender preference and sexual orientation—that in its crassness rivals Hillary Clinton’s belittling of Donald Trump supporters.
Here’s Mrs. Clinton: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.”
Here’s Mr. Castro: “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”
Mr. Castro’s is the prevailing view among progressives. Barack Obama alluded to it when he derided small-town Americans bitterly clinging to guns or religion (i.e., the Second and First Amendments). Ditto for Mrs. Clinton, who in a remark about reproductive rights declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
Mr. Castro’s contribution, by contrast, is so bad it’s good. For, he confirms that the progressive argument is mostly about insulting Americans with differing views.
Translation: Nuisances, including the First Amendment’s “free exercise” of religion guarantee, take a back seat to the rapidly multiplying non-discrimination causes such as the “right” to coerce any baker you want into baking the cake you want for your same-sex wedding.
In the meantime, we’re left with this: The melancholy spectacle of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issuing a report trashing the first civil right enumerated in the Bill of Rights. This commission report is now seen for what it clearly is—a blunt instrument of the political left. Your freedoms are hanging on a tenuous thread that the John V. Stevens’ of this church never foresaw—recommending as they did that Adventists should vote Democrat as a safeguard against religious persecution.We must ask, where do we stand in relation to this tyrant as the government goes where it has never gone before? Few people seem to understand that we have arrived at a place where–just last week, the United States Commission on Civil rights issues a report with the Federal Government’s authority, clearly stating that–contrary to the Constitution of the United States, religious liberty is going to have to take a back seat to Licentious liberty. Going back to Castro’s opening statement, it is fascinating to observe that religious exemptions are claimed to be the problem. One word sums it all up. Ominous.
“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11).“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7).