No Religious Left “Split” On Anti-LGBT Religious Exemption

This weekend, the day before President Obama signed an executive order barring federal contractors from engaging in employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the Atlantic’s Molly Ball published a piece asserting that a “controversy” was emerging in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case that “has split gay-rights and faith groups on the left, with wide-ranging political fallout that some now fear could hurt both causes.”

That statement has slim, if any evidence to support it. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence against it.

“There is no division on the left,” Sharon Groves, Director of the Religion and Faith Program at the Human Rights Campaign, told me, referring to the overwhelming progressive religious opposition to the inclusion of a religious exemption in today’s order. Obama signed the order without a religious exemption.

As I reported two weeks ago, 100 religious leaders signed a letter to  Obama unequivocally opposing a religious exemption in the order. Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Dignity USA, a pro-LGBT rights Catholic group, told me that letter garnered “quick, rapid support” within a day or two of being drafted. “Everyone was on exactly the same page,” she said.

That letter was followed by a letter from civil liberties and diverse pro-LGBT religious groups, initially collecting 69 signatures, and later 98.

“I don’t know any people on the left who were for the [executive order] religious exemption,” said Duddy-Burke, adding that advocacy groups may differ on questions of strategy—such as whether to drop support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act if the bill includes a religious exemption. That assessment was echoed by other leaders I spoke with, who all emphasized those differences were ones of strategy in the post-Hobby Lobby legal landscape, not over whether there should be religious exemptions to laws guaranteeing LGBT rights.

Ball’s first piece of evidence is a quote from the centrist think tank Third Way, long a player in efforts to find “common ground” on hot button culture war issues, an effort that in the area of LGBT rights, at least, has been rapidly sidelined. Mystifyingly, Ball—who I must add here is a reporter I have long admired—describes Third Way’s “research and activism on gay marriage” as “instrumental to that cause’s mainstream acceptance.” (If anyone can point me to evidence that description is true, I’m all ears.)

“The narrative that’s now beginning to form is that Democrats are against religion. It’s not true, and it’s very dangerous,” Third Way’s Lanae Erickson Hatalsky tells Ball.

That’s so 2006! Who is pressing that narrative, aside from the religious right? Just because conservative religious figures were pressing for an exemption most certainly doesn’t mean that was the religious view. There was overwhelming religious support for the executive order, minus the exemption, and Obama embraced the presence of religious leaders at today’s White House signing. Someone in the audience even shouted “amen!”, to which the president responded, “Amen.  Amen. . . . Got the ‘amen’ corner here.”

The Rev. Canon Susan Russell, Senior Associate Minister at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, attended the White House signing today. Ball, said Russell, “got it wrong.”

Ball cites the abandoned effort of Sojourners’ Jim Wallis to send a letter to Obama urging the inclusion of an exemption, as well as the letter organized by former Obama campaign and White House staffer Michael Wear, signed by 14 religious leaders, as evidence of this alleged division on the left. As I wrote two weeks ago, the letter organized by Wear isn’t evidence of Obama allies cutting against the president’s pro-LGBT action; it’s evidence of one former staffer, who now consults for religious organizations, pressing the president to take a position that is at odds with the overwhelming unanimity of pro-LGBT religious leaders and advocacy organizations.

“There was certainly no division over what should happen with the executive order from what I consider long-term activists for LGBT equality,” said Russell. “I think it’s delightful that Jim Wallis has decided to come along, and he’s welcome along the 21st century train towards making liberty and justice for all actually mean all.” (Ball reports that Wallis and Wear “see themselves as deeply, spiritually committed to gay rights.”)

“But the fact that Jim Wallis and some other folks would prefer a broader religious exemption,” said Russell, “that’s not splitting the religious left.”

Speaking of the religious left that advocates for full equality for LGBT people, Russell said, “We’re not in disarray.”

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email

  • Jim Reed

    This seems like such an important development. The progressive split with conservative Christianity has been such a long time coming. Progressive Christianity did not want a fight with their conservative brothers in Christ, so they just let things continue without ever standing up and saying NO. Now they have done that on an issue, and surprise, they found out they don’t need conservatives, they don’t have to find any common solution with them. They finally can see they are better off just doing what is right. Once they have done this on one issue, the floodgates are open, and there is nothing to stop them from doing this on every issue.

    Jim Wallis has always wanted to find a compromise between progressives and conservatives. Now he is a man without a middle.

  • https://www.facebook.com/etseq97 etseq

    Thank you Sarah! Steam was coming out of my ears when I read Ball’s article – it seemed like it was dictated by Wear and his right wing co-religionists. Ball is generally a good reporter and I was shocked that she was seemingly snookered by her sources. I kept yelling at the screen – if you read Sarah Posner you would know that this is crap!

  • G. W. Markle

    The Christian Dilemma:

    The greatest threat to America, and indeed to the rest of world, at this point in history, comes from the staunch advocates of right wing ideology, and I must submit this warning to you: There is a grave problem with the right wing movement, in that; they seem to possess a distorted sense of entitlement. They’ve set themselves apart, and seem to think that their faith
    gives them the right to view the world from a platitude of conceit, through condescending eyes, and with a false sense of superiority. They actually believe themselves to be superior beings, with a manifest destiny and some strange notion that God is on their side. A people with a desire to conquer, under the false guise of Christianity, seeking to dominate in the name of
    Christ, their view of humanity being reduced to nothing more than a matter of “us” and “them”.

    What they fail to realize is; if the Christ you believe in leads you to view other humans as lesser beings, then you are a follower of the anti-Christ. The plain truth is; God doesn’t have a religion and God doesn’t discriminate. Any religion that professes to be the only true religion, or that they‘re special in the eyes of God preaches false doctrine. If the Spirit of God is truly with you, it will only be known by acts of “unconditional” love and charity. No religion can claim exclusive rights to God. He belongs to all that He has created, and to foster a belief in “us” and “them” is to divide humanity, not unite it.

    And so it will be, in The End, that those who have set themselves apart from their fellow man will find that they have set themselves apart from God. The worth of a soul will only be measured by how much it has loved, nothing more, nothing less. Woe to those who have taken the widow’s mite and built castles and empires in His name. They have incurred a great
    accountability, their suffering will be unending.

    Even Jesus will not claim to be Christian, but will only proclaim the glory of the Father. And when He returns they will shout: “Here we are Lord!” And He will respond: “I never knew
    you”. They have forsaken the Word and have become prisoners of the Numbers.

    Those who have put themselves first will be last.
    ~

  • Jim Reed

    This might have always been true, but in modern times the problems really appeared when Christianity sold their soul to the party of the rich. Christian vanity wedded to Republican greed created the current monster.

    That said, it may be time to face the fact that Jesus is not coming, and stop speculating about what he will say when he returns. It has been nearly 2000 years, and that is more than enough time to know it is not going to happen.

  • Arachne646

    Jesus is here, Jim, and the Kingdom of God is inbreaking now. It’s not something that happens on another level of the sky called “Heaven” when we die, or another time called “tomorrow” we can predict with signs when He will return. What Jesus preached about most was God’s realm, as opposed to Caesar’s, where the first would be last, and the last would be first; and Christians’ work is to make it come into being here and now. Every bit counts. It may not be what Evangelicals like Rick Warren or even Jim Wallis believe, but there are lots of progressive Christians working on it–in God’s world.

  • http://www.devonnollforpresident2012.org Devon J. Noll

    Thank you. This is beautifully said, and is all that I know and understand of God. In fact, it is exactly what His message to me was and it is what I preach in my sermons. You have clearly stated God’s Message, and it is refreshing to see someone who can put words to it so well.

    Rev. Devon J. Noll
    New Word Universal Fellowship Church
    http://www.newworduniversalfellowship.org

  • Jim Reed

    Jesus is here now seems more like another step in the evolution of Christian belief. Now that it is becoming clear Jesus is a myth, we can no longer bank on him coming, so the fallback position becomes Jesus is already here. It might be kind of a backdoor way for Christian dogma to back down.

  • G. W. Markle

    ~ JESUS THE COMMODITY ~
    ~ As Seen On TV ~ Televangelists, selling Jesus by the gram. Mega-churches ministered by evil men seeking wealth and power, deceiving those seeking spiritual guidance. Stealing their wages, stealing their souls and telling them how they want them to vote. All in the name of Jesus. ~ Anti-Christians ~ The scriptures flow as sweet as honey from their lips, seducing and robbing in the name of God. These are the ones Jesus spoke of that would come in the End Times and deceive many in His name. Anti-Christians: You will know them by their bigotry, their hatred, and their

  • G. W. Markle

    Eventually you have to look up from your Bible and encounter humanity, that’s where salvation lies, in the interaction of life. One must teach by example, not by placing oneself on a pedestal and spouting scripture in an effort to appear holy, thus preaching with the intention of spiritual gain and to glorify oneself.

    Live the Word and the Spirit will be with you. Those who live in the Spirit do not boast or seek rewards in Heaven, nor do they fear the punishment of Hell. Their hearts, their minds and their Souls have expanded, matured beyond the prejudice, beyond the confines of religious discrimination, beyond all labels. They live the Word, they live in Awareness, their Souls are free to share God’s love unconditionally.

    ~”Above all else, I command you love one another”~ Would the water taste any sweeter or quench the thirst any better if given in the name of Jesus, or simply in the name of human kindness? Where there is love they will follow. When it is done with love, it is done in the Lord’s name, and that name is “Love”.

  • Jim Reed

    There is a real question if there was any Jesus to say anything, but people did speak that about End Times. They weren’t talking about today. Whatever they meant by “End TImes”, the time is long past. It is pretty clear now, the world will continue. Global warming and trashing the environment might be big trouble for everyone, but it will not be end times. We are no longer in danger of a total thermonuclear exchange between two superpowers that would cause nuclear winter, and certainly look like end times. Today, even nuclear war would not come close to killing everyone, and would not bring anything that looks like end times. It is time for Christianity to face the facts. The world is going to continue no matter how much damage they cause.

  • Jim Reed

    Doesn’t it kind of blow it when you talk of love for love’s sake, then say “it is done in the Lord’s name”? It seems like you are trying to get beyond the religion, but still keep the religion.

  • Christopher

    The left just doesn’t get it. I have no objections to hiring anyone that can do the job. My daughter is gay and we work our small business together. My granddaughter is Black and my grandson is Chinese. My adopted daughter is Mexican with special needs. Which one of my children or grandchildren would I discriminate against? I am not a racist or a homophobe. Dr. King and Malcolm X are heroes of mine and my grandfather was a member of the KKK. I am not like my family was.

    What I find religiously objectionable is when the government FORCES me. I don’t care if I am already doing it. If the government says “Do this or you will be punished” then I will refuse. That is Socialism and I am required by my faith to eschew socialism. If I do’t eschew socialism my religion says I have embraced the plan of Satan and I will be damned. So it isn’t a hobby to me. It is a fact and I must act on it.

    When the government tell me to file a tax return I tell them to shove it. I haven’y file in over 3 decades. I cannot and go to Heaven when I die. My God is a strict God that supports negative rights and not Socialist positive rights where other pay for your choices. That was Satan’s plan. That is why there was a war in Heaven.

    When I pay for gasoline I am HAPPY to pay the tax because it is voluntary. I choose to pay it when I buy the gas. The same is true of sales taxes. I often buy used so I can avoid taxes because I want small government. But when the government tells me I have to have a number that is tied to 666 by statute and that I have to pay for other people’s religion then I say. Live Free Or Die. and I would rather Die than pay for Socialist positive rights. But I need not die because Congress gave me the RFRA.

  • Christopher

    I read her and I know her crap is for the government to FORCE people to live her religion.

  • Christopher

    You mean the real threat is allowing me to have the choice to keep my property?AMAZING. You sound like any thief I ever knew. And I am no one with no power to control or discriminate against anyone. But I will be DAMNED if I will let you take any of what I do have so you can have your religious positive rights. The RFRA gives me the power to fight against your establishment of the religion of socialism and I am going to take FULL advantage of its protection against Leftist and Rghtwing thieves. And by the way. The Republicans just want to steal what little I have to give to the International bankers so I despise them too.

    If God doesn’t discriminate then why are people born into different nations? Are you saying a person born in Bangladesh is as blessed by their government as much as a person born in Argentina?

    Christ supports VOLUNTARY “us” not FORCED TOGETHER “us”. Force is Satan’s plan.

  • Christopher

    And what of the Democrat religion spoken of so eloquently by Kara Loewentheil (Columbia Law School) on Sarah Posner’s show: http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/30143

    Starting near 33.00 Kara Loewentheil (Columbia Law School) says:

    “It easier for our legal system to understand a boss who says I don’t want to pay for X because that violates my religious beliefs than it is to understand an employee who says, I need my boss.to pa… no I need to be able to get this thing in this in this particular way for my religious belief. So that’s kind of part of the problem. If this was like a a ban on contraceptives then that would be a different story but part of the problem is with the positive and negative rights is that technically you can get contraception somewhere else.”

    Did you see YOUR Democrat religion EXPOSED: “I need to be able to get this thing in this in this particular way for my RELIGIOUS BELIEF.”

    “[V]anity wedded to [Democrat] greed created the current monster.”

    I have been preaching for decades that Marxism was a religion and the Supreme Court is establishing it here in American with help from the Rpubicrats twin party system.

    Democrats are working hard to FORCE their “positive rights” religion (Thanks Kara for teaching about your positive rights religious doctrine) on Americans. And you don’t like it that some of us are trying to protect our GOD GIVEN “negative rights”. Well too bad because the legal WAR is on and you folks started it. NOT US.

    Just keep talking leftists. I am saving every word for my RFRA lawsuit.

  • Christopher

    And Democrat selling their religion of Socialism and “positive rights from the halls of Congress and the White House. Stealing and enslaving the next generation so that they can “be able to get this thing in this in this particular way for my religious belief.” (Kara Loewentheil) And they do it all in the name of Equality and justice while the steal and enslave using law as their weapon. You are the ones Jesus talked about that would be Marked by the Beast. Positive Rights are Satan’s counterfeit to God’s unalienable rights.

  • Christopher

    Only a question for those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ. Like the flat earth society folks because they have not seen it they cannot believe it. Most anti-Christs are much like the Flat Earth Society.

    My family suffered from Global Warming when they lived in Greenland before the Ice Age returned and forced them out of their homes. What cause that? Coal burning or cow farts?

    So a nuclear war could fix Global Warming. Maybe you are on to something?

    Scientist are clear that the odds are that we will be hit by the same kind of asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. When it does humans will be nearly or completely wiped out. What are you some kind of anti- Science nut case?

    The scriptures say the earth will be rolled together as a scroll. That is a good description of what happened to earth when the moon was formed. Don’t you study science? Don’t you believe? You anti-Science “nut jobs” crack me up. Get off your religion and face the facts!

  • Christopher

    You can’t count on Him coming. True. But I KNOW He is. Too bad He has never sent miracles into your life as He has into mine but then not even Jesus Christ can love everybody equally. He mostly loves and helps the ones that believe in Him and keep His commandments. That’s is fair that you are left out. Right? After all…You don’t want Him in your life so He stays out. Its kind of like people that ask where God was during the school shootings. Well He doesn’t go where the Supreme Court tells He isn’t allowed. He respects the free will, even of fools.

  • Christopher

    But of course they need the Conservative. Someone has to PAY for YOUR religion. You know… People that work. You had best pray to your god of government that enough people keep paying and not taking because that is going to change soon because of the Baby Boomers and then your religion isn’t going to be able to steal enough from the young people because your religion aborted the next generation as a part of their Blood Sacrifice to the Gospel of Positive Rights. Amen Brother Reid. Amen and let the finical collapse start when it is fully ripe. Man this is going to be as fun to watch as it was for Noah watching the flood from the ark. Let it rain. Let it Rain!

  • Jim Reed

    This is really an American problem. The rest of the developed world has figured out how to implement universal health care.

  • Jim Reed

    According to the Bible, there is no Jesus of Nazareth.

  • Christopher

    And the Beast will be in charge of the whole world. That is prophesied. Almost everyone will take the Mark of the Beast and will need it to buy or sell just like in America you have to give your Social Security Number to get a State license to Buy or Sell. It right there in Black and White at 42 USC 666.

    I saw recently that Greece is having no problems and neither is Spain but then everyone is begging to have Germany pull their debt ridden butts out of the latrine. Oh Yes. It is working just like it was meant to. And that is what it was meant to do. Enslave through debt bondage. And you are one GREAT Evangelical preacher for your religion of Positive Rights Through Debt. I am impressed with your dedication to an obviously failed religion. Your faith in things unseen amazes me! Few Christians could have such faith with such facts flying in the face of their beliefs. Impressive.

  • Christopher

    You don’t think I believe in a inerrant Bible do you? That is funny. I am not some blind believer in Roman created fantasies. That is a politically created law book by a corrupt priesthood devoted to priestcraft and not Christ. It was demanded by a non-Christian Roman Emperor. Then King James used his translation to grant him more control over his serfs. And yes. I know that verse in the New Testament is not found in the Old Testament. Neither is the Book of Enoch (see Jude) and dozens of others including missing epistle by Paul. Would you like me to name 10 more missing books of the top of my head? How abut Jasher or the Book of the War of the Lords or the Sayings of the Seers?

    My faith is not in the Bible. I have a personal relationship with Christ repeatedly confirmed with personal miracles and revelations. How sad that you don’t have my knowledge of Christ. Not faith…KNOWLEDGE, like I know the stars are in the heavens and Global Warming is a Socialist lie used to frighten people into more slavery to benefit the super rich. And you believed it. Sad.

    It is so comforting to know the truth while you and so many like you wallow in the myths of Marx and Lenin believing they will give you a secular salvation. May Dialectical Materialism bless you as it was created to bless its believers and unaware followers and practitioners.

  • maryf

    We should be so lucky that enough people would realize that single-payer is the only logical way to implement this. But that wouldn’t leave enough ways for greedy bastards to make money on health care.

  • Rick L.

    I read that article and could not for the life of me make heads or tails of it.

  • Christopher

    Single payer would be Socialist. The Democrat and Republican masters (the Rothschilds and other rich powerful behind the scene devils) like Fascism better (they make more) and so that is what they are trying to impose on us. Fight back. Pay for yourself and your own religion. Don’t try to get me to pay for your religion of government required healthcare and positive rights. I certainly will not try to get you to pay for my religion of self-reliance. Together we can beat this! Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God!

  • Jim Reed

    I can believe the New Testament was created for priestcraft. That is one thing we can agree on. I know there are books left out of the old and new testaments. Much of that is explained in a new book by Richard Carrier on the historicity of Jesus. It is a great book for understanding where Christianity came from, and how it developed. It shows how the concept of Jesus of Nazareth and all the gospel stories were missing from the letters of Paul, and missing from any writings for most of the first century. Christianity started with celestial Jesus found by searching old testament scriptures, and found in visions of heaven which were more popular in those days.

    Those people also had faith in a personal relationship with Christ, only it was not the Jesus we think of. Our Jesus was created at the end of the first century when the gospel writers started making up the story. They copied the story from one to another, and expanded on the story, and adjusted things to fit their view

  • Lamont Cranston

    Your god isn’t a strict god; your god is a genocidal jackass. You are welcome to him.

  • Lamont Cranston

    A conservative more concerned with his PROPERTY than with PEOPLE? Again, I am shocked. Get some therapy.

  • cranefly

    So basically you’ll be damned if you pay taxes?

  • Christopher

    Thanks. I like my God. He is kind to me and my family. Unlike the U.S. government that tries to force me to worship at the alter of Socialism.

  • Christopher

    No. I pay taxes that are not Socialist/Marxist taxes. I support government that works for the General Welfare and as to what it meant in 1787 A.D. and not the verbicided meaning that was changed circa 1910 A.D. to mean individual poor relief and corporate bailouts. I total oppose Income taxes where I am forced to commit perjury to file a 1040 and it is the 2nd plank of the Communist Manifesto. I oppose Social Security taxes that are obviously a part of the Socialist Religion as they are a “sacred obligation” (according to Democrat leadership) as they grant “positive rights” to the elderly while ensuring Voluntary slavery and debt bondage on the young.

    I am not opposed to government. I am opposed to a government that takes from me to give to other “persons” directly, as High priestess of Positive Rights,(Kara Loewentheil,explained, so they can; “be able to get this thing in this in this particular way for my religious belief.” Like the women’s positive rights groups wanted Hobby Lobby to pay for their religious right to specific contraceptives.

    I am required by my faith to “eschew socialist” s it has been declared to be the religion of Satan as it forces people to be charitable instead of allowing for the blessings.

  • Christopher

    I am anything but a conservative. I am 100% pro-choice. I believe all drug laws that criminalize their use should be abolished.i totally oppose marriage licenses because I believe that anyone that wants to be married should get married as per their faith and not by the government. I have a small business that I work with my gay daughter that lives with me with her girlfriend. I simply believe that people should not be forced to pay for other people’s religious practices. I don’t want you to pay for mine and I don’t want to pay for yours at the point of an IRS gun. I am a Jeffersonian liberal and fully support “negative rights” like free speech and search warrants, but I am not a Marxist liberal demanding “positive rights” like Corporate welfare or Social Security or ObamaCare.

    I also totally oppose huge interstate corporations and believe that they should be taxed to death or ear to death. A 1% tax on every additional State they do business in would work perfectly. Wal-mart would owe a 49% tax while the Ma and Pa store would pay nothing. Same for McDonalds and Sears and Apple and GM and etc. Corporations should not have rights but only privileges.

    If I cared more for my property than people I would not have adopted a special needs child and would have become her foster parent letting the government foot the bill as was suggest to me by the government. In doing so I saved the government well over a million Federal Reserve Notes in medical costs that I obtained through donations and my own wallet. I have repeatedly opened my home to the homeless even to atheists that needed help. One young man I helped lived with us for 4 years after being abandoned when at 15 by his atheist parents split up. He never joined my church but stopped being an atheist after he personally witnessed miracles in our home repeatedly.

    I currently have an elderly man living with us that needed help for just a few weeks as he is waiting on his first paycheck in months. My daughter and I were trying to remember how many homeless people had lived with us for more than a month in the last 30 years and we gave up after 25 but knew there were more.

    You Marxist liberals want others to pay through taxation after the government takes a LARGE cut. I just pay it directly without a middle man. I believe in personal face to face help of those in need not government assistance taken at gun point. Voluntary charity is Christian. Forced benevolence is Satanic.

  • Christopher

    My Jesus is the Christ. My Jesus is the Son of God. He is not the Catholic/Protestant Jesus. He is closer to the Gnostic Christ. You know…the ones the Catholic Church had slaughtered. He did not inspire only the Jews but other religious leaders all over the earth.

    He came to my daughter when she was 7 and held her on His knee to comfort her when she was very worried about the health of her very ill mother and was praying and crying for help. He told her that everything would be alright if she just loved everyone. Her mother is still with us.

    He sent His angels to help me repeatedly and saved my life and the life of my son on dire rent occasions.

    When I could not decide if I should adopt my special needs daughter because the expense would be more than I could possibly afford and was praying for an answer, I was told, in clear auditory language as though someone was standing directly behind me, “You’d Better.” We received what we needed through the voluntary help from the medical community and from an increase in my business that came on suddenly. All things are possible with Christ.

  • Jim Reed

    The Gnostic Christ is the Christ of Paul. Paul knew nothing of the gospel Jesus or the stories of what he said or did, or miracles he worked. That is because those stories were written decades later. Paul’s Jesus was a heavenly Christ who spoke to apostles and appeared to them in visions and dreams and sometimes did miracles. That sounds like what you are describing. Visions and magical revelations were more accepted and therefore common in those days. Hopefully nobody will believe it today when you talk about those things. We should be beyond that now.

  • Jim Reed

    Actually the concern about the number 666 is unfounded. It is a perfectly good number. So don’t put down people who have some association with that number, either purposefully or just by accident.

  • Frank2918

    Very well said!

  • cranefly

    “it has been declared to be the religion of Satan…”

    Passive tense is your friend. It means you can avoid naming the modern prophet you follow without question, who has “declared” such a thing.

    You misrepresent the Hobby Lobby debate. Women are only demanding equal positive rights to the positive rights that have been granted by law to men. Take away any health care mandate, and women don’t have any reason to demand equality in mandated health care coverage. But if the state gives free health care to men, it should have to give it to women too. Yet somehow, the misogynists won this case. So what are you complaining about? Now I am forced to pay taxes to a sexist government, and that violates my religion.

    “General Welfare” is a very subjective term, and I am no closer to understanding your idea of what it means than I was before this paranoid rant of yours.

  • cranefly

    Frank, is that all it takes for you to support gay equality?

    Calling it anti-Marxist?

  • Christopher

    It is the combination with not being able to buy or sell that makes it too difficult for me to ignore. You cannot get a license to buy or sell in any State without supplying the SSN IF you have one. My friend’s License plate is 3 letters and 666. He decided that if he had to a license plate he should advertise for it REAL creator.

  • Christopher

    I believe Paul was Gnostic but then the Catholics got what he wrote, deleted what they didn’t like and threw the stuff they couldn’t change to their advantage in the trash.
    You seem to believe that Paul never discussed the Gospel with Matthew and Peter and Thomas and.,, f hat’s what makes you feel okay then go for it.

    Were the Gospels written by the power of God or notes or memory? Moses wrote the books of Moses after seeing what occurred in the spirit. Wy couldn’t the Gospels have been written in the same way?

    Being beyond the truth is something modern day folks are good at. You seem to be very good at it.

  • Christopher

    What if you only got a tenth of the Word and that part was corrupted.

    If the Bible were a receipt for hamburgers and you followed it you end up with a salad.

  • Christopher

    Paranoid? What am I afraid of? ObamaCare does not apply to me and I haven’t filed a return in over 35 years and I have never paid.

    You are correct. The government is definitely violating your “right” as per RFRA. Will you act on your faith or just let the government force you to pay for the violation of your religion? That is the difference between me and most Americans. I do and did something to stop the reduction of my rights by government.

    If paying those taxes violates your religion then you should do what I did and STOP PAYING. With footnote 43 of Hobby Lobby you have a good chance of winning such a case. I would be happy to work with you to stop paying.

    Yes. Passive tense is my friend. I have been researching Christian religions for 45 years. I now have my own. I have especially studied new Christian religions to see how they came to be. That is how I learned to start my own. I can pick and choose my Scriptures just like the Catholics did in reducing the scriptures of the Bible. Or more expansively like Joseph Smith did with the “Mormons.”

    I did not misrepresent the Hobby Lobby case or debate. I have read all of the Amicus briefs. I have read and reread the ruling and the dissent. I have been an RFRA expert and predicted this outcome since 1998 A.D. following the Bourne ruling. It was obvious what would happen and now it has.

    I am totally opposed to “positive rights” for men or women. “Positive rights are pure Socialism where the government takes from one “person” to gives them a right to the property to another. In 1776 A.D. it would have just been called theft.

    General welfare was NOT a very selective term in 1787 A.D.

    The word “Welfare” was verbicided starting in in 1903 A.D. Government doles such, as Social Security and Food Stamps were not even a small part of the “welfare” definition. The term “Welfare work” is reported as first being mentioned in 1903 A.D. in Review of Reviews, stating: “The term ‘industrial betterment’, or “welfare work,’ is used in a wider sense to include all of those services which an employer may render to his work people over and above the payment of wages. It has even been used to include the provisions of homes for employees, kindergartens, schoolhouses [etc.]”

    It was Roosevelt who, more than any other man in American history, used this verbicide so effectively to bypass the Constitution (he was sworn to uphold) and usurp authority by increasing federal power without properly amending the Constitution.

    In a letter to Henry Lee, James Madison wrote: “I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution … What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in the modern sense.”

    It is not paranoia. It is all based on history and facts and legal research that I have used to win in courts.

  • maryf

    Typical Republican nonsense.

  • Taylor

    She’s a hack.

  • Christopher

    It cannot be typically Republican since I am not a Republican and never have been. I believe the Republican party is more evil than the Democratic party. They are the Fascist party.

    What it is is a response from a free man that refuses to be a part of the filth that is socialism. I don’t support your government theft and don’t let them steal from me.

    The Hobby Lobby ruling is something I predicted would happen in 1998 AD following the Bourne ruling. I predicted the RFRA would eventually overturn Lee. Hobby Lobby did just that at footnote 43.

    I am anything but typical and especially not typically Republican in any way.

  • cranefly

    I haven’t worked out the most consistent way to live according to my principles. I’m glad you’re living yours.

  • Christopher

    Oh PLEASE! You mean trying to even decide if my principles are ones I should maintain. And then I fail to live by them daily. So far I have never murdered anyone and pray I never even kill anyone. I’ve done pretty good on that one. And I have never committed adultery. So there is two I’ve been able to practice so far. I am a weak human, fraught with failure. For it is by grace alone we are save AFTER ALL WE CAN DO.

    I have a deep respect for you. You are trying to better yourself. So many people just give up on eternal improvement. I think God cares more about the direction you are headed than the way you are trying to get there.

  • Jim ‘Prup’ Benton

    Christopher, you continue to be among the most fascinating people I see here, and someone I can’t figure out. You may
    a:) be a ‘pure troll’ who doesn’t care if what he says is true, if it pushes the right buttons. If so, you do a first rate job of it, as good as anyone I can think of, and you serve as a reminder that trolls are not always negative presences, that it is good to have someone challenging our assumptions, whatever his purpose;
    b) be not just a mixture of brilliance and utter stupidity — we are ALL that — but someone whose two sides are locked in a death grip, each side with his hands around the other’s throat, teetering on the edge of the Reichenbach Falls, or;
    c) simply be someone who has done a very good job of constructing a building without ever exploring the foundation and seeing how rotten it is.
    The last would be the most sensible, and I hope it is true. If it is, ‘come, let us reason together.’ Let’s start with the first elementary mistake you make, Governments WILL ‘force you to do things, and punish you if you don’t do them.’ That is the reason why government exists — because anarchy simply doesn’t work.
    Let’s take a simple, non-controversial situation, one where there is no technical ‘moral component’ to the decision. Which side of the road should people drive on? There is no ‘right answer’; no reason in the abstract to prefer one to the other. (No, not even which side of most cars is the steering wheel. That decision is a reflection of the original one and can’t ’cause’ it.) Yet I think you can see that such a decision must be made — and that people who choose to break it must be punished. And this is what government does — and it doesn’t matter what kind of government it is. It could be neo-Pharaohism, the communalism of the “Jerusalem Group” in Acts, Jacksonian Democracy, Bryan’s populism, monarchy, fascism whatever, it still needs to make — and enforce — that decision — and needs to be able to decide as well to refuse to enforce it where necessary. (You don’t punish ‘first responders’ for driving on the wrong side of the road, for example. And all but the most absolutely corruption-free (to a level never seen in reality) have certain people who are ‘privileged’ and whose ‘offenses’ get overlooked.
    [Let me break this here and go on in Part 2]

  • Jim ‘Prup’ Benton

    I’m replying to myself to keep this in order. Okay, let’s show you just how childish your ‘rebel without a cause’ position is. One simple question. How many murders, rapes, or robberies have you committed in the last week. Surely the answer can’t be ‘none’ if you are living up to your own position. The government says you can’t do these things and punishes you for doing them. Therefore, you are obligated to do them, right?
    The irony — at least to a Progressive and ‘Social Democrat’ like myself — is that the group that seems to get this the best is classic ‘center-right thinking.’ Sometimes, frequently, their solutions don’t work, and they are too fond of both ‘hierarchies’ of various kinds and overestimate the need for order and the rigidity required for a functioning society, but they start out from a sensible realization that ‘evil’ and ‘crime’ can be deliberate choices and not just responses to societal failures.
    Each step you make towards either the left or towards any religiously oriented governmental philosophy — regardless of the religion or whether the particular speakers are on the ‘left’ or ‘right’ of their religion — gets away from this fact towards a ‘utopianism’ that never actually works out — and frequently can be a horror when the leaders discover it is failing and decide they have to ‘temporarily’ reinstitute a strict governmental and legal structure until ‘people can be taught the advantages of behaving correctly.’
    (The right makes the opposite mistake, cracks down so harshly it creates its own opposition, and creates the exact situation where your type of ‘rebellion’ is actually sensible — in moderation. And despite my comments above, I can think of no actual case of a center-left or socialist government turning tyrannical. Instead, they too create their own opposition and, if they remain weak and — much more importantly — fail to convince the populace/electorate that, despite the imperfections that are showing, an ‘open and democratic and equalitarian society is, overall, the most sensible and beneficial way to be — they fall to have any way to protect themselves against the ‘false logic’ of the tyrannically ordered right.)
    Your turn…

  • Jim ‘Prup’ Benton

    Christopher, I just wrote a long piece — possibly for use by a political campaign I am supporting — in a far-off state from my NY — dealing with just your objection. ,My, candidate hasn’t decided whether or when to post it, and it is far too long to copy here even if I were free to. But I can make the key point, which is that your philosophy about ‘taking your money’ — for any purpose, given — as has already been pointed out — the ambiguity of ;general welfare’ — makes sense only is ‘economics is a zero-sum game’; AND IT SIMPLY ISN’T.
    The fact is that, theoretically — and in most cases factually — when th government takes your money, it actually increases your wealth — and I am not speaking in some cloudy metaphorical way. You accept the need for paying taxes for the general welfare — BUT YOU DON’T DO IT — because you haven’t filed in three decades. But your property and business are worth more because government pays your fire department, your police department, the inspectors that check the building next door to make sure it is safe and wont burn down and take yours with it, etc. You are wealthier — if you drive — at least theoretically because anyone who causes an accident to you is REQUIRED (by the govt.) to have accident insurance.
    I just saw an old movie with a scene showing someone with polio in an ‘iron lung’ and I am old enough to remember when the polio vaccine was introduced. You may not be financially wealthier’ because of it — though if your family had ever been touched by polio you might argue you were — but it is certainly a better society when no one has to worry about going through that horrible experience. A better society because government REQUIRES you to get vaccinated — and the evidence of some diseases that have reappeared because of religious exceptions is worth knowing — and better because government took money from you — or the equivalent you of the time — and gave it to Dr. Jonas Salk to help with his research.
    One last quick example of how wealth is created. Let’s say you live in a small rural community, and the roads are unpaved, both within the community and leading to it. The government comes along, gets money from the state — which means people who will never go near your community — and the nation — which means people who will never hear of your community — and paves the roads. That’s all. It doesn’t take one step on your property, doesn’t give you a cent, doesn’t even take much because you aren’t worth much. And, as soon as those roads are built, your property is suddenly worth more, much more, your business is both worth more because of its building and the roads, and because your shipping costs go down and speed and efficiency go up — and maybe you have to pay people less because they no longer have the extra gas and wear on their cars.
    Your property is worth more, yes, but without — ‘economics is not a zero-sum game; — anyone else becoming less wealthy. Even the taxpayers from far away will benefit from the growth (and taxes paid) by your improved business.

  • Christopher

    Hi Prup,

    Obligated to NOT do. Interesting concept.

    How about this: If I take away the rights of others then 12 sovereigns will sit in judgment of me? I can refuse to allow that by declaring war on all other sovereigns but that is a hard choice probably ending in my death as I would be outnumbered. Foolish choice in my way of thinking. But if our government can declare war then they were granted that power from the sovereignty, aka, Americans which we retain since “sovereignty itself remains with the people.”

    In Yick Wo v. Hopkins, Sheriff, the Supreme Court ruled: “Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to the law, for it is the author and source of law, but in our system, while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government, sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts…

    If I violate the laws of God the 12 OTHER kings/queens, will sit in judgment of me to defend themselves from a possible unalienable rights violator. A king that has declared war (murder, theft, rape) on other sovereign and therefore threatens their unalienable rights because “sovereignty itself remains with the people.”

    “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    “[I]t is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it” because “sovereignty itself remains with the people.”

    Progressives want to TAKE natural/unalienable rights from a group and give them to another. That is why many are atheists because they do not WANT Creator Granted unalienable rights as those interfere with “positive rights” aka theft. They call it taxation and they LOVE the 2nd plank of the Communist Manifesto income tax because it is so intrusive that it can be used like no other tax. Of course in the USA it is a voluntary tax. But how do you volunteer? I know how so I don’t.

    Look at the debate over Hobby Lobby with progressives saying their religious “positive” rights are violated because Hobby Lobby cannot be FORCED to pay for their “religion” of free contraceptives. I don’t care what they do with their own bodies, abortion, euthanasia, drugs, tattoos, multiple sexual partners, but I will not pay for it. Their choice, their payment. Otherwise it is theft.

  • Christopher

    If financial wealth from the government comes from a loss of personal liberty then I agree with Sam Adams: “If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.”

    Living without the Mark of the Beast, the Social Security number is, without question, VERY expensive and time consuming. But my eternal wealth is worth far more to me.

    Nephi 13:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal; 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…

    The General welfare was defined by the Founders. It was then verbicided by FDR to get his welfare state of evil and hereditary bondage in his aptly named: “SACRED TRUST.”

    I pay EVERY TAX I OWE. Get that through your mind. Just like Hobby Lobby I take all legal exemptions and exceptions. I avoid, I do not evade, taxation.

    Do you pay Utah income taxes? No. You avoid them by living in another State. Nevada has no income tax. I avoid State income taxes.

    Have you read the Declaration of Taking up arms by the Founders in 1775 AD? Read what they (especially Jefferson) considered to be “voluntary slavery.” When you say “required” it means I have no choice. I do. I have AT LEAST the same choice they took.

    Car insurance is a joke. It is a feel good law and a revenue enhancement law. In a serious accident medical costs could run into the millions. In Nevada mandatory insurance covers 15,000 FRNs. But if you get caught not having it the government gets to fine you 800 FRNs. It is NOTHING but a tax scam. Detroit has no limits and few can afford to get insurance so they risk the fines or people move away. Many are leaving.

    On your road example I will let Justice Louis D. Brandeis explain what I do. I should be commended because I know there is a “free bridge.” I am sorry others do not take it but instead choose the “voluntary slavery” bridge.

    “I live in Alexandria, Virginia. Near the Supreme Court Chambers is a toll bridge across the Potomac. When in a rush, I pay the dollar toll & get home early. However, I usually drive outside the downtown section of the city and cross the Potomac on the free bridge. This bridge was placed outside the downtown Washington DC area to serve a useful social service getting drivers to drive the extra mile & help alleviate congestion during the rush hour.
    “If I went over the toll bridge and through the barrier without paying the toll, I would be committing tax evasion. If, however, I drive the extra mile & drive outside the city of Washington to the free bridge, I am using a legitimate, logical & suitable method of tax avoidance, & I am performing a useful social service by doing so. For my tax evasion, I should be punished. For my tax avoidance, I should be commended. The tragedy of life today is that so few people know that the free bridge even exists.”–Justice Louis D. Brandeis

  • Christopher

    How is being anti-Marxist supporting gay rights? Am I missing something or are you making a joke? The old USSR and Russia today was/is anything by anti-gay. Is that it?

    My beloved daughter is gay and she is also my business partner but I don’t understand any connection between supporting gay rights and anti-Marxism.

    Can you explain?

  • Christopher

    Prup,

    I do not accept that Nazis are to the right and Marxists are to the left. Tyrants are to the left and anarchy is on the right. I am not an anarchist. I believe in the basic Constitutional republic established by the Founders is the best shot at liberty but that always depends on the people remaining vigilant and they NEVER do. People do not want liberty historically. They want kind masters.

    I hate it that slavery was allowed in the deal made to get the Constitution passed. I am appalled by what was done to the Indians. But I do think that the separation of powers with many States is better than the powerful Federal government of today. I am a big Jefferson fan. I despise Hamilton. I like Madison.

    Government FORCE to make me do things is unconstitutional. If the sovereignty of We the People have no authority to FORCE people into involuntary servitude then they could not give the power to their servant government. Also the 13th Amendment does not allow for involuntary servitude. Being FORCED to work to pay the government is unconstitutional as that is involuntary servitude. That is why income tax is “voluntary.”

    Our system of taxation is based on voluntary assessment and payment, not upon distraint. –United States v. Flora,
    362 US 145 (1958)

    We have a voluntary compliance system. –Fred Goldberg, IRS Commissioner, Nightline with Ted Koppel, Apr.13, 1990

    I can give you 20 more similar quotes from the IRS.

    Social Security is also voluntary. If not it would be a violation of the 13th Amendment: Involuntary servitude. Plus no law requires any natural born American to obtain one or sign the card. It is all voluntary.

    Gas taxes, sales taxes and even some property taxes are also voluntary. You can avoid them.

    If you voluntarily join the military your rights change to privileges. You no longer have freedom of speech or of the press. You no longer get a civilian court. You have to do what you are told to do. When to get up. When to go to bed. Voluntary slavery. Many love it.

    When you voluntarily join the Social Security system you become, by law, Federal Personnel (see Title 5). Then you are subject to an “internal” revenue tax. You sell your God given rights for privileges. You enter into VOLUNTARY servitude. You have the RIGHT to sell yourself into slavery because you have the unlimited right to contract.

    You move from God given sovereignty to government servitude voluntarily so the 13th Amendment no longer protects you. In fact the Bill of Rights is lost to you. You have moved from unalienable Creator granted rights to Congressionally created “rights”. Big difference. The United States Supreme Court in Northern
    Pipeline Const. Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co. addressed the issue:

    “[W]hen Congress creates a statutory right, it clearly has the discretion, in defining that right, to create presumptions, or assign burdens of proof, or prescribe remedies; it may also provide that persons seeking to vindicate that right MUST do so before particularized tribunals (like Tax Court) created to perform the specialized adjudicative tasks related to that right. Such provisions do, in a sense, affect the exercise of judicial power, but they are also incidental to CONGRESS’ POWER TO DEFINE THE RIGHT that it has created. No comparable justification exists, however, when the right being adjudicated is not of congressional creation. (emphasis added)

    Read Bowen V Roe. It explains how you lose your rights asking for benefits.

  • cranefly

    I don’t know either. Frank is usually extremely socially conservative, but he loved your anti-socialist, gay-affirming comment about your daughter.

    He didn’t answer my question, so I guess we’ll never know.

  • Christopher

    How can anyone with intellect not be many faceted? If you want to confirm your beliefs just look up what Jefferson wrote. You should be able to find a quote that will support your beliefs. Anti-Christian? CHECK! Pro-Christian? CHECK! Racist? CHECK! Anti-racist? CHECK! He hated Adams until they became best of friends. Adams last words were, “Thank God Jefferson still lives.” So your enemies today may be your friends of tomorrow.

    A man that died in the Hunley submarine that sunk a U.S. Navy ship died with his U.S. Navy Pea Coat. He was a Northerner but repented and became a Rebel. People’s beliefs change.

    My grandfather was a member of the KKK and yet I never heard him say a racist word in his life but my mother was so racist that she wouldn’t watch a TV program with a “Negro” in it. My darling granddaughter is partially black. I wonder what my mother would say? Oh My!

    I used to be a bit of a sexist until I did my genealogy clear back to 1064 AD. The women in my line were far more impressive, as a group, than the men that were always dying in wars. Then I had two granddaughters and now I know how wrong I was in my early years. Women are a gift of God to men. Adam would still be in the Garden doing nothing if not for Eve and then his sons would still in caves after that. They make men better creatures than they are alone.

    My sister was/is a flaming “dyke” that will not admit it so she has a “beard” and HATES Fags. Sad.

    My beliefs are in flux as were Jefferson’s and Madison’s. I am always open to truth. If we are becoming gods, as I believe we are or have the potential to become, then we have much to learn and most of our beliefs we have today will have to be discarded eventually. This life is but a stepping stone. Eternal growth is coming for all that desire it. Once again it will be a matter of free will. Your choices in this life MATTER eternally because you are becoming what you are.

    The gods of the Norse were believed to have been men that did such great deeds on earth they became gods. I am Norse. Hail Thor.