by Karah Kruger
July 11, 2013
Politifact Deserves ‘Pants on Fire’ on Religious Liberty and Gay Marriage
Ken Klukowski, Family Research Council’s director for the Center of Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart addressing the media’s intentional downplaying of stories of Christians who have experienced persecution due to their opposition to same-sex marriage. We have been hearing about more and more incidents of Christian bakers, florists, and photographers who have been punished because of their refusal to cater to the wedding needs of same-sex couples because of their beliefs. As a result, many liberal media sources have not written on these stories, or have at least made them seem less serious than they actually are. Ken gave the following remarks:
“This is a big story—a serious story—and one that you can expect liberal media outlets to ignore or downplay in their efforts to avoid any negative stories involving supporters of traditional marriage. It’s harder to call someone an ignorant bigot when you see them suffering because they’re simply trying to live out their faith in their daily life.”
“Reporters without law degrees or law licenses presuming to dismiss the legal judgments of professional attorneys to promote a left-wing media agenda by saying traditional-marriage supporters’ claims are only “half true” might satisfy liberal editors and colleagues, but it is an appalling betrayal of the public trust because it deceives the public on the truth on a matter that impacts many millions of Americans. Such abysmal pseudo-journalism should be spurned for the toxic waste it is.”
“Americans seek the news to understand the truth about what’s going on in their world. Some outlets won’t give the people that, which is why we will.”
NC Same-Sex Marriage Case May Endanger Religious Liberty
Ken Klukowski, Family Research Council’s director for the Center of Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart about the recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against North Carolina, challenging their ban on same-sex marriage. Their basis is that North Carolina’s Constitution violates the fourteenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, by not allowing homosexuals to marry. ACLU is trying to create a constitutional right for same-sex marriage and strike down all 50 states’ right to choose whether they want same-sex marriage or not. This could be brought before the Supreme Court in the next two years. Ken made the following statements:
“Those in the new forms of marriage could demand all public, legal, and taxpayer rights for any marriage unit they choose to create. This could pose profound dangers to religious organizations (such as churches) and individuals (especially business owners) who refuse to recognize or participate in same-sex marriage.”
“Already, this issue is moving again through the court system, where its fate is uncertain.”
Transformation Through Christ, Not the State
Rob Schwarzwalder, Family Research Council’s Senior Vice President, wrote an article for Religion Today citing historic examples of communist individuals who claimed that man can achieve self-transformation into an overall improved person through external means, such as good economic or political conditions. Christ teaches just the opposite. It is only through Him that a person can find true fulfillment and change of the heart. We must internalize His law, not just outwardly obey its commands. Rob gave the following comments:
‘It is noteworthy that socialism, communism, fascism, emperor—worship and all other forms of totalitarianism displace God and elevate the state to His position of primary and central Lordship. Thus, invariably they lead to the crushing of freedom, economic stagnation if not collapse, and power concentrated in the hands of those relatively few who have seized authority and become “more equal than others.” This is because power, materialism, and god-like authority ultimately are irresistible to the unredeemed sons and daughters of Adam or at least to those not penned-in by allegiance to what they believe is a higher power.”
“Only God is infinite, which is why He ordained the family and interpersonal friendships: To enable finite and fallible persons who still bear His image to love and care for one another in small, knowable, intimate groups. For example, no one loves any child more than his own – this is an ineradicable feature of human nature. Attempts to change it are futile exercises in self-arrogation.”
Press Conference Media Hits
On Tuesday, July 9, Family Research Council joined Congressmen Fleming, Bridenstine, and Gohmert, and groups concerned about religious liberty, on Capitol Hill to participate in a press conference urging support for Rep. John Fleming’s (R-LA) military religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. In addition to the speeches given, Family Research Council released a new report consisting of incidents of hostility toward religious expression in the military. The following news sources covered our event:
CNS News- “There’s a long list of things that have been happening in very recent years that for those who do the most for us – uniformed members – who put their lives on the line and who have done that over 237 years, those who have fought for our religious liberties the most are the ones today who are having those very liberties taken from them,” Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said at the press conference.
The Christian Post- Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of FRC, explained in a statement the purpose of the press conference and its support for the amendment to the NDAA. “We must do all we can to ensure that our service members have the right to practice the very freedoms that they risk their lives to defend,” said Boykin.
Stars and Stripes - “We get calls all the time telling us how bad it is to be a religious person in the military,” said retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, now executive vice president of the conservative Family Research Council. “Political correctness has destroyed the ability to live your faith in the military.”
Navy Times - “The evidence is beginning to point to a clear and present danger to religious liberty in our nation’s military,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Perkins said there’s a “growing hostility toward religious freedom. Unfortunately, members of the military cannot speak out about these things.”
The Daily Caller - Lawmakers like Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, warned that recent examples in the media about religious freedom in the military could end up keeping people out of the armed forces.“ If this administration is going to continue to tolerate this kind of intolerance, we’re going to lose members of the military that cannot serve if their first amendment rights are not going to be protected with regard to religious,” he said.
The Oklahoman - In a message to the House last month, the Obama administration strongly objected to the language.
“By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale and mission accomplishment,” the White House message said.
Bridenstine quoted that message and compared it to a statement made in 1787 by George Washington that purity of morals was “highly conducive to order, subordination and success in the Army.”
“I don’t know about you, but I think President Washington was a little more qualified to discuss military matters than our current president,” Bridenstine said.
World Magazine- “We believe that those who are wearing the uniform, those who are putting their lives on the line to protect the religious liberties of all Americans should not themselves have to give up those religious liberties that they are willing to die for,” said Ron Crews, the alliance’s executive director, at a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday.
US News and World Report - The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty said Tuesday it planned to reach out to Christian members of the military in coming months to inform them of their “constitutionally guaranteed religious liberties.” The alliance will connect with those soldiers through its 2,400 member chaplains – which represent nearly half of the total number of chaplains in the military.
“They’ll receive a palm card… saying: here are your religious liberties and here is what to do if threatened,” said Ron Crews, the executive director of the alliance, at a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday. “They could receive counsel from chaplains, or legal representation.”
Fox News - Perkins and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, the FRC’s executive vice president, released a nine-page document detailing anti-religious behavior in the military.
“Unfortunately, pressures to impose a secular, anti-religious culture on our nation’s military services have intensified tremendously during the Obama Administration,” the FRC report states.
“We will stand with servicemembers who wish to exercise their First Amendment rights of religious liberty,” Boykin said. ‘We must do all we can to ensure that our servicemembers have the right to practice the very freedoms that they risk their lives to defend.”
The Family Research Council said it is evidence of an attempt to “scrub the military of religious expression, through which the chilling effect of punishment and potential career destruction lie at the back of everyone’s mind.”
The document, titled, “A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military,” dates back to 2005 when Mikey Weinstein became a major critic of the United States Air Force Academy.
The Washington Post - Fleming’s amendment has already passed the House, and a similar amendment by Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has passed the Senate Armed Services Committee. Fleming hopes the Obama administration will leave it intact after saying the amendment “would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.”
“We know the president is very uncomfortable with your religious liberty,” Fleming said.
Houston Chronicle - Obama objected to an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would allow individuals to express their faith. The president said that it would “limit the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units.” According to a White House statement, the provision would have an adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.
At the press conference, Gohmert spoke of the founding fathers and how they were actually able to attend church at the Capitol. The Republican lawmaker believes that the type of intolerance we are seeing mirrors the type of intolerance that forced Pilgrims to flee to America.