This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 1, 2015:
In their rush to “do something” to fend off some of the negative impacts of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that are certain to fall on individuals and institutions reluctant to climb on board the same-sex bandwagon, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Utah) have offered a bill that would cement that ruling into place.
Called the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), the bill, if passed into law, would “prevent any agency from denying federal tax exemption, grant, contract, accreditation, license, or certification to an individual or institution for acting on their religious belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.”
This was Lee’s answer to his own rhetorical question about what people of faith are to do in light of this decision:
If five judges on the Supreme Court have pronounced, in a breath-taking presumption of power, that all 50 states must redefine marriage, what does that mean for the countless institutions within our civil society – churches and synagogues, charities and adoption agencies, counseling services and religiously-affiliated schools – that are made up of American citizens who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman?
Will federal agencies follow the heavy-handed approach taken by the present majority of Supreme Court justices – say, by revoking the non-profit, tax-exempt status of faith-based schools that continue to operate on the basis of their religious beliefs about marriage?
FADA would codify the Supremes’ decision on Friday and only offer a wrist-slap to those agencies eager to exercise their powers to make sure that people of faith don’t step out of bounds. It would be a per se acceptance of an outrageous overreach by the Supreme Court. It would have no effect on states eager to inflict punishment on those people, nor would it neutralize private lawsuits that are certain now to inundate local, state, and federal courts as supporters of the new ruling seek vengeance against those who, by faith, strongly disagree with the Supremes’ edict.
Just ask Catholic Charities of Boston, which was forced to stop providing adoption services because they wouldn’t bend to the culture’s insistence that children be placed in the homes of those practicing sodomy – i.e., same sex couples.
Ask Aaron and Melissa Klein, who were forced to close their Oregon bakery after being fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony.
Ask the United Methodist Church in New Jersey, which suffered an adverse ruling from a judge when its retreat house refused to hold a same-sex ceremony on its premises. Ask former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran of Atlanta, who was fired by the mayor for expressing his personal beliefs on the matter in a Bible study publication.
Some are certain that it’s just a matter of time before ministers of the Gospel will be forced, under penalty of law and heavy fines, to sanction and perform same-sex marriages in their holy houses of worship. When hanging an American flag will become illegal as representative of “old fashioned” ways of thinking that are now unacceptable in the brave new world of “everything goes.” Even Mike Lee sees what’s coming:
The next controversies will … be over whether people who don’t think so may keep their business licenses, whether colleges that don’t think so will be able to keep their accreditation, whether military chaplains who don’t think so will be court-martialed, whether churches who don’t think so will be targeted for reprisal by the state, whether heterodox religious belief itself will be swept from the public square.
What Lee and Labrador have overlooked is a simple bill, offered back in April by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that would, utilizing powers granted to Congress under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, strip the power from the Supreme Court “to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage.”
Whether this can be done retroactively is unclear, but to claim that the FADA would actually provide any defense against this overreach is to twist the English language into a knot as grievous as the one tied by the Supremes to come to its outrageous, egregious and freedom-threatening decision on Friday.
Daily Caller: Republicans Push Religious Liberty Bill On Capitol Hill
The Federalist: Same-Sex Marriage Won’t Bring Us Peace
The New American: Supreme Court Rubber Stamps Same-sex “Marriage” — Time for Nullification