Quite awhile ago, I said that the legal march in the US towards equality and non-discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation is continuing, perhaps accelerating, and fervently opposed by the über-conservatives which World Net Daily embodies. And because of that, I was getting somewhat annoyed with the broken-record that I was reporting on here. So this is just a summary of some of the news I flagged over the last two weeks (yay TAM break!).
First off, on July 6, we had Scott Lively write, “‘Gay’ Agenda? What ‘Gay’ Agenda?” Which under normal circumstances I would think is a skeptical look at the vast conspiracy thinking that holds that a massive number of gays and their supporters are trying to take over the world. But this is Scott Lively writing on WND:
Mentioning the “gay” agenda in the presence of an LGBT activist or any other cultural Marxist is like pulling the string on a Sheriff Woody doll. You hear precisely the same recording each time: “What gay agenda? There is no gay agenda.”
But, of course, the audacious lie that the now-global LGBT political movement has “no agenda” is as transparent as the emperor’s new clothes. Indeed, their agenda is not only undeniable, it has unfortunately become unavoidable.
The rest of the post is an attempt to support his concluding paragraph, which I summarized in one sentence above:
In summary, the “gay” agenda is to eliminate the existing Judeo-Christian model of civilization, grounded in marriage-based procreative sexuality, to make way for an irrational and impossible cultural Marxist model which imagines family-less, unlimited “sexual freedom” (anarchy), while somehow preserving orderliness in every other aspect of human society. It reflects an insane and Satanic delusion that breeds chaos, and can only be stopped by unceasing reaffirmation of biblical values and the natural family by the rest of us.
It’s difficult to try to make light, humorize, or parody this kind of thing because it is its own parody. “Insane and Satanic delusion”? Really?
Moving on, in the totally not-gay business of baking cakes and decorating them with colorful icing, Bob Unruh on July 7 informed us that “Another Baker Ordered to Endorse Homosexuality.” In Northern Ireland. Grand! But there’s hope in the US, because Bob reported on July 17 that in Colorado, “Baker Appeals Government Re-Education Order.”
A Lakewood, Colorado, bakery owner has appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals an order from the state’s Civil Rights Commission that he take his employees through a mandatory re-education process because of his religious objections to promoting same-sex marriage, which the state constitution does not recognize.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, who represents Masterpiece Cakeshop artist Jack Phillips, says the order by state bureaucrats requires Phillips to “re-educate” his employees so that they “endorse all views.” Phillips also must file quarterly reports for two years proving that the “re-education” has been implemented.
The title is a clear allusion to Communism and totalitarian societies.
Meanwhile, Selena Owens declared on July 8, “Marriage: Not an Experiment!” She’s correct, it’s not. It’s a social and religious contract that has been a tradition only in its coarsest of ideas for thousands of years, but the specifics have varied not only by society and country, but by almost decade after decade. It was when governments got involved and granted literally hundreds (and in the US, over 1000) legal rights to people who are married (such as hospital visitation, joint tax filing, can’t be compelled to testify against spouse, etc.) that those legal protections were wanted by same-sex couples who love each other just as much as opposite-sex couples who have >50% divorce rate in the US. (And let’s not forget Britney Spears’ 54-hour “just for fun” totally-not-an-experiment marriage from a decade ago.)
But no, totally not an experiment, totally set in stone and totally unchanging. But I digress, since her column is actually about a stupid new reality TV show:
“Married at First Sight” is a new “social experiment” show from A&E’s new FYI network, (based on a Danish version of the show) that pairs three couples who agree to marry upon their first initial meeting. That’s right; the very first date for these couples will be when they actually walk down the aisle to join together in matrimony. The show “will follow the classic lifestyle stories of newlyweds – from the honeymoon to early nesting to other relatable events of married life. After several weeks together, the couple must make a decision: Do they remain together or do they separate?”
But since I already wrote my rant, I’ll leave it in.
In the continued march towards state recognition of marriage equality, on July 9, “Judge Tosses Colorado ‘Gay’-Marriage Ban,” and on July 18, “Federal Court Rules for ‘Gay’ Marriage in Oklahoma.” But just like last time when there was a flurry of judicial rulings that pointed out the prohibited discriminatory nature of not letting same-sex couples wed, Bob Unruh charged in on July 19 to remind people, “Activist Judges Push ‘Gay Marriage.'”
The reason I’m not talking about the comments on these, like the 624 (so far) on Bob’s story, is that they are exactly what you would expect from WND, complaining about judicial activists or crying about Jesus being banned.
Speaking about Jesus being banned, Joseph Farah used his July 11 column to remind us, “Christians Are Not Hostile to ‘Gays.'” Nope, and the very fact you put scare-quotes around “gay” just proves how loving you are. (Remember: Farah is the founder and CEO of WND.) Farah takes the common BS reminder that Christians hate the sin, not the sinner:
The job of evangelicals is to evangelize.
You don’t evangelize non-sinners. The act of evangelizing is to confront sinners with their fallen state – their shortcomings, their appointment with death. It is that act that brings sinners to salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. That’s why He died on the cross – to give sinners a chance for eternal life. He died for them, us, you and me. And He conquered death for them through this sacrificial act when He rose from the dead.
Neither Jesus nor any true evangelical would ever be “hostile” to sinners. In fact, it is an act of love to share the gospel with them. But sharing the gospel means confronting the reality of sin, not excusing it, condoning it, glorifying it or participating in it.
The problem with this is found in the Bible itself, in Matthew 7:16: “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (NIV) So you can preach whatever “love” you want, but when your actions are hostile, violent, and denying of basic human equality, they belie your tender words. But of course, Christians think that it’s them who are under attack: “Left Moves to Outlaw Christianity,” by Matt Barber, also on July 11.
But The Gay is permeating society, with beloved comic character Archie from the eponymous comic series sacrificing himself: “‘Archie’ Dies Saving ‘Gay’ Friend.” Sigh.
And while we’re talking about WND devolving into a tabloid, also on the LGBT “news” track is a story form July 15 by Joe Kovacs, who wrote “Ellen’s Wife ‘Secretly Filmed Abuse to Expose Her.'” And so far as I can tell, this is one source from one celebrity rumor site with no substantiation and no public confirmation by anyone. But as I have pointed out many times on this blog, Joe Kovacs, despite being “an award-winning journalist and, since 1999, executive news editor of WND,” tends to report rumors that are completely unsubstantiated that would make even most bloggers blush at trying to report as genuine.
Also on July 15, it was announced that the town of Salem, MA, is terminating (really, just not renewing) its contract with Gordon College because Gordon College discriminates against LGBT people (and it’s allowed because it’s private, and it does it because it’s Christian; don’t’cha feel the love?). In particular:
That changed last week when the president of the small Christian college on the North Shore, D. Michael Lindsay, joined a group of 14 religious leaders in asking President Obama for an exemption from a planned executive order banning discrimination in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation. Surprisingly, such discrimination is not explicitly banned now.
The group sent the president a letter in which they tried to frame their request for an exemption as a matter of religious freedom. They claimed that the proposed ban would “come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom.”
So, what actually happened was: “Mayor Kim Driscoll sent a letter to President Lindsay this morning notifying him and his Board of Trustees of the City’s termination of their management contract of Old Town Hall due to the institution’s non-compliance with the City of Salem’s fully LGBT-inclusive Non-Discrimination Ordinance.”
What’s great about this – besides the obvious – is that Glen Beck decided to tell his massive audience about it, and the Salem Mayor’s office got a lot of angry phone calls. Why is that great? Because “Mayor Kimberly Driscoll pledged to donate five dollars to an LGBT youth charity for every angry phone call her office gets from conservatives bent on harassing city employees over the decision.” Ha!
But, on July 17, WND decided to try to remind people that they are being Oppressed by a tiny portion of society: “‘Gay’ Population Smaller than Thought.” This reports on a recently released poll:
Based on 2013 data collected by the government in The National Health Interview Survey, 1.6 percent of adults identify as gay or lesbian and 0.7 percent identify as bisexual. The numbers were lower than earlier approximations, which placed gay and lesbians at closer to 3 percent of the population. More than 96 percent identified as straight, and 1.1 percent did not provide an answer or said they were “something else,” or “I don’t know the answer.”
Personally, I think this under-estimates the population. That’s because there are many people who say they are straight but still “just have sex” with people of the same gender. I have a cousin who worked with an HIV clinic in outreach to that population of “men who have sex with men” but don’t consider themselves “gay.” Similarly, this was a survey conducted by the government. For a group that is actively marginalized and discriminated against, the idea that they are going to be 100% honest and tell the government if they’re gay is ridiculous. This may have been attempted to be corrected for (I haven’t read the analysis methods in detail), but it’s definitely something that must be considered.
For those reasons, at best, I would say this sets a minimum on the population. But let’s say that ~2-3% is accurate. So what? It’s okay to discriminate against 2-3% of the population but not 5%? Or 10%? Where’s the cut-off? Anything under 77% because it’s 77% that’s Christian? FYI, at that same link, only 1.7% of the population of the US is Jewish. Gays outnumber Jews. Hmmmmm…
Finally, today, Monday July 21, we finally have President Obama accomplishing via Executive Order what ENDA has been trying to do for decades but failing to get through Congress: A ban on LGBT discrimination in the federal workforce. As in, any government agency, and anyone who contracts with the government for that particular project, canNOT discriminate based on sexual orientation. AND, he did not include any exception for religion (which would have made it a toothless EO).
WND reported on this in a snippet from NBC News (“Obama Signs Ban on LGBT Discrimination”). People who are less familiar with how the US government works (such as those on WND) may wonder how he can do this. It’s because the Executive branch of government is the one that implements and enforces the laws. While the Legislative makes the laws, it’s the Executive who, well, executes them. While Congress designates what receives funding, the office of the President is the one who distributes them. And unless there is a law against it, he can choose how to do that within the scope of what Congress said. And since even the current Congress wouldn’t be stupid enough to explicitly say that LGBT persons must be discriminated against in the workplace, then Obama can emphasize the opposite.
It also has a huge amount of precedence. For example, this EO is just an amendment: “In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson signed an order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating “against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Obama’s executive order added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories.”
Or, in a completely different example, while Congress approves money for federal medical research, the Executive works within that to appropriate funds. And in 2001, President G.W. Bush issued an EO stating that NO federal money could be used for stem cell research other than already-existing lines.
So, this bit of good news – that is fully within the Executive branch’s power, is what I’ll wrap this particular update post up with.