The Indiana “religious freedom” law is bad, but not for the reason you think

Everyone is flipping out today over the new religious freedom act signed into law in Indiana by Governor Mike Pence. Literally everyone of those people is missing the point. Everyone.

Everyone.

Truly, the left’s panning of this law is both comical and hypocritical. For the people who claim to be all about tolerance, they’re advocating forcing people to do things against their religious beliefs. The obvious cause of this is things like Christian bakers not wanting to endorse a gay marriage, Christian lodge owners being screwed by the government for turning down a gay wedding ceremony, or any combination of the florists, bridal shops, photographers, or T-shirt makers who have been legally boned for not wanting to celebrate homosexuality.

What the left is calling the “victims” in these case is missing is Freedom of Association and Freedom of Religion, also known in the United States as the First Amendment. If I sell a guitar on Craigslist, I can sell it to whoever I want. If a potential buyer says they’ll just destroy the guitar or kill someone with it or use it in an explicitly Satanic band and I decide that makes me uncomfortable, I can refuse to sell him my goods and/or services. That’s okay; he can go elsewhere.

The same applies with a cake. As a Christian who has actually read the Bible, I believe it would be wrong for me to endorse a gay marriage by supplying much of anything for the celebration. I would not sell them the cake, because it would violate my convictions. Likewise, a gay baker shouldn’t be forced to sell a cake to anyone, just like anybody can refuse service to anyone for any reason.

Immediately, people will scream how it’s not fair. Get over yourself and let the free market sort out your offense. If it’s truly an egregious offense, people will care and boycott a business. If not, then whatever. Go somewhere else or learn how to make it yourself.

swanson

Here’s an example that literally no one can say is wrong. A vegan cake shop would never, ever bake a cake for someone with bacon on it, no matter how hard they protested. Why? Because they’re vegan. And while they’re missing out on the best food on earth, that’s their right as a business owner. Bacon makes him uncomfortable, so he declines the business. End of story.

The basic premise of this bill is that you need to stop using the government to regulate others’ actions when you don’t get your way. If someone declines you service, nut up and move on. Don’t pitch a tantrum like a toddler.

Stop it.

 

But after 450 words, I digress. This new law is still garbage for one reason. I’ll copy and paste from Indiana’s own summary:

“Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides a procedure for remedying a violation.”

For something touted so much by conservatives, this actually increases government. They can still tell you what to do whenever they feel like it.

So we’re no better off.

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Marriage is not a right

There’s this little debate going on about marriage in South Carolina today. Something about marriage rights.

I recently got married.

Really, I did.

I’m by no means an expert on this whole marriage thing, but I can tell you one thing: I didn’t have the right to get married.

This will sound asinine to many. Of course, I had the right to marry whoever I wanted. This is America. But that’s not how marriage works.

Marriage is not a right. Rights belong to individuals; marriage by definition must involve two people.

When I proposed to my now wife in April, she could have turned me down. When we asked our preacher if he would do the counseling and ceremony, he could have told us to take a hike or refused on grounds that we weren’t good for each other (That should happen more often.). The venues we used for said celebration could have been booked or not felt like having wedding related things that day or time. We could also have never been able to get to the county offices to get a license, and if we did, the judge could still have refused for various reasons.

Rights are also inalienable, regardless of what a government says. No one can rightly force you to adhere to a religion you don’t believe, nor can they rightly go through all your crap without cause. Rights aren’t dependent on what year it is or on getting a piece of paper from someone whose salary is derived from the forced redistribution of the citizenry’s incomes.

However, there are cases when one can have a marriage rightfully terminated, namely in the case of divorce over unrepentant adultery.

My wife didn’t have to assent to my marriage request. I couldn’t legally stop her if she left. I have no right to be married. If anything, I gave up rights in order to be married, because my marriage is ultimately not about me.

Let the record show that even as a theologically conservative Christian, I’ve gone this entire blog without bringing up biblical passages addressing the complimentarian nature of marriage, which would have made this blog easier.

Nevertheless, the point stands that marriage is not a right for anyone. It can rightfully be refused to you, and your feelings on a subject or biological rumblings don’t get to define what it is.

I’d like to know your reactions to this, but keep it civil.

Fred Phelps kicked the bucket, but you missed the point

Infamous Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps assumed room temperature today. Most people’s responses have generally been along the lines of, “Good,” “Rot in hell,” “He was a douche,” etc.

I’m not arguing that he wasn’t a douche.

Lost among the “God hates fags” signs, general assishness and media attention, however, is the fact that their very, very, very core theology is actually pretty solid Reformed theology. The problems arise when they start working out from the core and applying and communicating it.

You don’t say.

In fact, they actually made some good points. Allow me to explain before you take metaphorical and literal dumps on my doorstep.

1) Repentance is vital to the Christian life. – This often gets lost, especially in the mainstream/liberal Christian crowd. They’re not just ripping on gay people; they’re calling people to turn from sin and trust in Jesus. That’s a good thing. It’s all in the delivery, kind of like Aroldis Chapman (shameless plug).

2) America is a corrupt nation. – If you don’t believe that, you haven’t been paying attention for the last couple hundred years or so. We’ve endorsed treating people as property, cheating people out of their property, murdering babies, unjust wars, etc.

3) America will be destroyed sooner or later. – Before you go all GOD BLESS MERICA on me, just understand that we’re a nation full of corrupt people doing corrupt things in corrupt ways. It’s bound to happen one day.

4) People are inherently evil. – Yes, this partially goes back to the first point, but they actually do understand that God must do the regenerating. Salvation isn’t based on what we do, but we do choose to give God the finger and send ourselves to hell.

5) God is sovereign over every single event in human history. – God didn’t send someone to shoot up a school, but he had to allow it in order for it to happen.

6) God finds sin and the sinner hateful. – A lot of people trip over this. God is love, but he’s not all-loving. He can’t love sin, since it spits in his face. There really are verses in the Bible about God hating people, but we have to remember that his hate is different than our hate. Our hate creates bitterness, but God’s hatred of sin spawned his eternal plan to send Jesus as an atonement for our rebellion. Really, God’s hate is rooted in love.

7) God’s sovereign grace through Jesus is the only hope for anyone. – Believe it or not, this is actually what drives WBC. They claim their tactics have worked in bringing about repentance and trust in Jesus. If they believe it works, then of course they’re going to do what they do. They may act like a bunch of dicks, but they at least have the core message down: The only hope for anyone is in Jesus, but most of us are content to fart in his general direction while playing in our own filth.

Thank God for a dead Fred Phelps, if only so we can reorient the discussion.

The Dalai Lama’s endorsement of gay marriage is hypocritical

The Dalai Lama came out last week in support of homosexual marriage, saying that sex of any kind is fine as long as it’s consensual.

I have to take this opportunity to show you that this stance is entirely hypocritical. In fact, Buddhism itself is illogical.

And has some serious freakin’ ear lobes.

Buddhism’s chief goal is to eliminate desire, and it says that desire is the root of every problem. The inconsistency is that any kind of marriage, sex or relationship is based in some kind of desire. Mr. Lama is encouraging his followers to pursue the exact thing his religion is seeking to eliminate.

Oops.

Honestly, the problem lies within Buddhism itself. It’s goal is to end desire, but that’s a desire. It’s a self-defeating system.

I know I’ll piss off a few people, but I have to call them as they are. Dalai Parton is the head of a religion that literally works against itself, and he just encouraged more failures of his own system.