Conservative Christian Views on Anything Worth Discussing -- hopefully, usually, a Biblical rationale for faith and views on today's social issues and news events. Comments welcome regardless of your point of view.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
NOM on Barronelle Stutzman's Persecution by Wash. State' AG
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013 Dear Jonathan,
...the news this week [is]t hat Washington's Attorney General Bob
Ferguson is using taxpayer funding to bring a lawsuit against a small
Washington state florist named Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's
Flowers and Gifts. Stutzman's crime? Refusing to sell flowers for a gay
For this 'thought crime' against gay marriage, her whole livelihood is now put at the stake.
It was only a few months ago, before the November elections, when gay
marriage advocates were sanctimoniously getting on television and
reassuring voters that our claims of the religious persecution that
comes hand in hand with redefining marriage were unfounded. Made up.
Untrue. They knew at the time they were not telling the truth. Because
now, just a few months later, the ACLU and a State Attorney General are
the ones at the forefront of making sure that Christians who disagree
with gay marriage pay a price for acting on their convictions.
Failure to tell the truth—call it a lie—arises from the fundamental lie:
same-sex unions are not marriages because they cannot ever, under any
circumstances, do the fundamental, key, and irreplaceable work that
marriages do: bringing together under one home, in one family, the two
great halves of humanity, male and female—to create homes in which
children are known and loved by their own mother and father. Not
every marriage succeeds in creating the full range of goods that
marriage aims at. But when marriages succeed in doing so, it's because
they combine elements and circumstances that no same-sex couple can.
Suppressing the truth is what same-sex marriage advocates have to do to "win" the debate (temporarily, anyway).
How Truth is Suppressed
That's why, when a distinguished social scientist does an ordinary act
like publishing his research in a major peer-reviewed journal—all
pandemonium must break loose to discredit him. Not just disagree with
him. Not just contextualize or re-contextualize his data—that would be
normal scientific debate. But to smear him as a non-scientist and to
ignore his work.
That's the crucible University of Texas Prof. Mark Regnerus has been going through and still is going through.
C-FAM's Austin Ruse recently pointed this out in his piece on Regnerus: "Science Study Still Spooking Gay Advocates."
Ruse points to Dr. Susan Yoshihara, research director of C-FAM, who
used the Regnerus study before the legislature in Rhode Island.
So-called "fact-checkers" claimed her testimony was false:
Politifact, a self-styled watchdog of political truth, branded
Yoshihara's claim as false. Yoshihara, however, says the Politifact
piece itself backed up her claim when they quoted a "prudent scholar"
who said the issue is not settled in the scientific literature, which
was Yoshihara's claim in the first place.
Ruse also cites the
recent claim by former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, who
said that "The study was pretty well demolished by peers."
for me the worst was a claim in the LA Times that the Supreme Court was
just silly to entertain the idea children do best with a mom and dad.
Justice Scalia had made the assertion that "there's considerable
disagreement" about whether "raising a child in a single-sex family is
harmful or not," an assertion no doubt based in part on Regnerus's
"Those comments startled child development experts as
well as advocates of gay marriage, because there is considerable
research showing children of gay parents do not have more problems than
others," the LA Times went on to report with a straight face…. '"There
is a fundamental, scholarly consensus that children raised by same-sex
couples do just fine,' said Stanford sociologist Michael J. Rosenfeld."
Yet I know of—and I'm no sociologist—at least 5 studies published in
peer-reviewed journals whose results contest the "no difference claim":
Mark Regnerus (2012), Loren Marks (2102), Douglas Allen (2012), Daniel
Potter (2012), and Theresa Sirota (2009).
science is not a "hard science," and I don't need to know from merely
scientific evidence what I know in my heart from my own experience and
the experience of so many children raised in fragmented families:
children long for and need their mother and their father. But simply as a
statement about the scientific literature, the claim there is now a
"consensus" is untrue. The claim can be made only by ignoring the
reputable scientists whose works disagree with that claim.
Truth matters to us, but it's not clear it matters to gay marriage advocates.
If you doubt me, listen to the voice of the extraordinary British
writer Brendan O'Neill—a one-time Marxist, a man of the Left, who has
spoken out repeatedly against the use of elite power to shut down the
debate over same-sex marriage across the pond:
I have been
doing or writing about political stuff for 20 years, since I was 18
years old, during which time I have got behind some pretty unpopular
campaigns and kicked against some stifling consensuses. But I have never
encountered an issue like gay marriage, an issue in which the space for
dissent has shrunk so rapidly, and in which the consensus is not only
stifling but choking. This is the only issue for which he has been not
only booed but threatened with death.
"Is it a good thing,
evidence that we had a heated debate on a new civil right and the civil
rights side won?" O'Neill asks. And then he answers his own question:
I don't think so. I don't think we can even call this a 'consensus',
since that would imply the voluntaristic coming together of different
elements in concord. It's better described as conformism, the slow but
sure sacrifice of critical thinking and dissenting opinion under
pressure to accept that which has been defined as a good by the upper
echelons of society: gay marriage. Indeed, the gay-marriage campaign
provides a case study in conformism, a searing insight into how soft
authoritarianism and peer pressure are applied in the modern age to
sideline and eventually do away with any view considered overly
judgmental, outdated, discriminatory, 'phobic', or otherwise beyond the
"Gay marriage," he writes, "brilliantly shows how
political narratives are forged these days, and how people are made to
Narrative is the relevant word here. Not hard
truths uncovered, but stories created to whose allegiance people are
held by threats, by bribes, and by conformist pressures.
editor of First Things, Rusty Reno, has a similar set of concerns for
what all this means for our democratic society. "If government can
reshape marriage, it can reshape everything," his article explains:
Tyranny isn't just a situation in which the government is telling you
what to do at every moment. It's also a society in which government says
that, if necessary, it can. In this respect gay marriage reflects a
dramatic enlargement of government. If legislatures and courts can
redefine marriage, what can't it intervene to reshape and re-purpose?
The tyranny of the conformists, backed by government's coercive power,
were on display in Washington State when the ACLU decided independently
to sue the same florist the Attorney General is pursuing.
But first they sent this poor woman a letter:
Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed's lawyers, working with the legal
powerhouse at the ACLU of Washington, sent a letter today to Arlene's
Flowers owner Baronelle Stutzman saying she has two options: (1) She can
vow to never again discriminate in her services for gay people, write
an apology letter to be published in the Tri-City Herald, and contribute
$5,000 to a local LGBT youth center, or (2) she can get sued for
violating the Washington State Civil Rights Act. Conform to our falsehood. Pretend you believe things you do not. Or face the consequences. George Orwell, call your office.
But here's the good news in all this: It's going to get bad, we already
know this. But in the end truth has a power that no narrative, no story
can compete with. Our job is to remain firmly fixed on the truth
about marriage, to speak up for it with love in in our heart, and with
the courage to never bow before the false gods, the untruths, the
made-up stories offered to us in place of reality.
I am so
honored to be fighting shoulder to shoulder with you for God's truth
about marriage. Thank you for making this enormous megaphone possible.
I treasure your friendship, your prayers, your words of encouragements,
your sacrifices of time and treasure on behalf of this great cause. Bless you!
Brian S. Brown President National Organization for Marriage
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible