Homosexual Activists Target Jim and Beth Walder, Illinois B & B Owners, for Denying ‘Civil Unions’ Ceremony

“Civil Unions” law cynically named “Religious Freedom Protection Act” now used to force Christians to violate their moral conscience

Jim and Beth Walder and their five children. The Walder's, owners of a Paxton, Illinois bed and breakfast, believe homosexuality is sinful and do not allow "civil union" ceremonies to be held at their establishment. Because of that they now potentially face years of litigation after a homosexual activist couple filed a legal complaint againt them with state authorities.

Dear AFTAH Readers,

On Tuesday, March 1, I and an AFTAH volunteer visited Jim Walder, who with his wife Beth is owner of the Timber Creek Bed & Breakfast [e-mail: info@timbercreekbb.com] in Paxton, Illinois and the latest victim of the homosexualist legal-political agenda in the United  States. Below is an article by my friend Laurie Higgins of Illinois Family Institute about how Walder and another Illinois bed & breakfast owner are being sued by a homosexual activist couple because they will not allow a same-sex “civil union” ceremony to be held at their establishments.

The well-financed, big-city “gay” agenda is rolling into small town USA, and it will crush religious freedom in its path if it is not defeated. Paxton is a quiet farming community in central Illinois with a population of 4,600 – and here it is embroiled in the “culture war” battle of our day: whether homosexuals’ supposed “right” to have their sexual lifestyle and relationships affirmed supersedes moral-minded citizens’ First Amendment right to disagree with sexual immorality. (And their right to live out their beliefs: freedoms for beliefs that must be kept “personal and private” and that cannot be acted upon are not real freedoms.)

Here’s the bitter irony: the law being used by the homosexual couple attempting to force Walder and all Illinois B&B owners to allow homosexual “union” ceremonies on their property was named the “Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.” It doesn’t get much more cynical and dishonest than that; no wonder Americans don’t trust politicians.

Walder is being represented by Alliance Defense Fund, and he is not doing interviews at this time, but his disturbing case classically illustrates why “sexual orientation” laws — especially combined with “civil union” or “gay marriage” laws — are so dangerous to our God-given liberties, and why they must be repealed. Legal “rights” based on changeable, aberrant and unhealthly sexual misbehavior (sin) are destined to collide with genuine First Amendment liberties, which are rooted not in government but in God Himself.

Illinois' Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed the ironically named "Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act" into law Jan. 31. Photo: Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth.

As Gary Glenn correctly said in my recent interview with him — confirmed by homosexual legal activist and Obama appointee Chai Feldblum below – pro-homosexual “sexual orientation” laws naturally discriminate against people of faith. A few weeks ago, Jim and Beth Walder hadn’t given that much thought. Now they and their family (see photo below) are living out this painful reality caused by modern secular liberalism. All who cherish religious freedom and American liberty must stand with the Walder’s. AFTAH will closely follow this story. God bless you. – Peter LaBarbera, www.aftah.org; copy me with your encouraging notes to Jim and Beth at americansfortruth@gmail.com.

TAKE ACTION:

  1. Please pray for the Walder’s;
  2. Send Jim and Beth a note of encouragement (info@timbercreekbb.com) and pass this article on to your friends and family. Better yet, stay a night or two at the Timber Creek Bed & Breakfast in Paxton (it is wonderful and comes highly recommended);
  3. Write or call Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and urge her to respect the Walders’ freedoms of religion and association; and
  4. Inside llinois: call your Illinois state representative and senator (217-782-2000) and educate them on the Walder’s victimization at the hands of aggressive “gay” activists, and urge them to REPEAL both the Illinois “sexual orientation” law and the “civil unions” law – each of which was passed in a lame-duck session and signed into law by Democratic governors. Outside Illinois: call your federal, state and local representatives and urge them to oppose ALL homosexuality-based “sexual orientation” legislation because the evidence is in: these laws will destroy religious freedom in America.

______________________________________

Homosexuals Sue Christian Bed & Breakfast Owner for Refusing ‘Civil Union’ Ceremony

A Christian family being attacked by radical homosexual activists demanding they violate their faith

By Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute; 2/24/2011 [emphasis author's]

Attacks on religious liberty and freedom of conscience have started — mere weeks after Governor Pat Quinn (D) signed the ‘civil unions’ bill into law — just as we warned.

While many conservatives think wisdom and political pragmatism dictate a “truce” on the social issues, liberals, including homosexuals, see this time as ripe for an all-out frontal assault on virtually every issue pertaining to homosexual practice.

The most recent assault by those who view our side’s cowardly truce as their golden opportunity is taking place in Illinois. Just one month after Governor Patrick Quinn signed the civil union bill into law, a homosexual couple has filed complaints with both the Illinois Attorney General and the Illinois Department of Human Rights for the refusal of two innkeepers to rent out their privately owned bed and breakfasts for a civil union ceremony and reception.

Todd Wathen and his [homosexual] partner hired attorney Betty Tsamis, who claims that “it is unlawful for a business open to the public to deny goods and/or services to someone on the basis of sexual orientation.” Since neither owner rents his facility out for either homosexual or heterosexual civil union ceremonies, one wonders how they can be accused of discriminating against homosexuals.

One of the bed and breakfasts, Timber Creek in Paxton, Illinois, is owned by Jim Walder, a Christian father of five children who has been deluged with vicious, hateful emails and phone calls. This comes as no surprise to those of us who spend much of our time exposing and opposing the homosexuality-normalizing juggernaut, but it’s been an emotionally devastating experience for the Walders who did not ask for this battle. [Editor's note: since Higgins' article was published and the case got national attention, Walder has received hundeds of encouraging notes -- far outnumbering the homosexual hate mail; write him and his wife Beth at info@timbercreekbb.com.]

The desire and efforts of parents to protect their children from exposure to ceremonies and celebrations on their property that honor conduct which God finds detestable are noble desires and efforts that must be supported. I have said many times that there is no greater threat to First Amendment speech and religious rights and parental rights than that posed by the movement to normalize homosexuality. We need look no further than Springfield and Paxton, Illinois for proof.

There are more fundamental issues at play than whether the bed and breakfast owners are discriminating based on “sexual orientation.” First, there’s the issue of why homosexuality is included in anti-discrimination policies and laws in the first place. The concocted term “sexual orientation” came to be included in anti-discrimination policy because conservatives were bamboozled into accepting the utterly specious comparison of homosexuality to race. Homosexuality is not an ontological condition analogous or equivalent to race and, therefore, should never have been included in anti-discrimination policies in the first place.

Race or skin color is 100 percent heritable and carries no behavioral implications that are legitimate objects of moral assessment, whereas homosexuality is not biologically determined and is centrally defined by subjective experiences and volitional behavior that is open to moral assessment. There is no justification for that analogy, and it must be challenged.

In the homosexual newspaper, the Windy City Times, Wathen expressed the foolish notion that discriminating between moral and immoral sexual acts is equivalent to racial discrimination:

[W]hat will be next, if we let them discriminate against us. Are these businesses going to go backwards and start discriminating [based on a person's] race, color, sex, national origin, or what if they don’t like your religion, [will they] discriminate because of that? Since homosexuality is not ontologically equivalent to race, disapproval of homosexuality is not equivalent to racism.

Second, arguing that business owners are legally prohibited from making moral distinctions among volitional behaviors undermines the religious liberty of people of faith. Homosexuals and their ideological allies seek to blur the critical distinction between non-volitional, non-behavioral conditions and volitional acts. Whereas it is unethical to condemn and treat people differently because of non-volitional, non-behavioral conditions like eye color, skin color, or disability, it is not only permissible but wise and necessary to make moral distinctions among volitional acts.

How can Christians live out their faith if they are legally required to support with their time, their labor, their goods, and their services behaviors that they know to be an offense to God? This country was founded on a commitment to protect religious liberty — something that homosexual activists believe should now be subordinate to sexual liberty.

Former Georgetown University law professor, lesbian Chai Feldblum, who was an Obama recess appointment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year, explicitly stated this belief in 2006:

[F]or all my sympathy for the Evangelical couple who may wish to run a bed and breakfast from which they can exclude unmarried heterosexual couples and all gay couples, this is a point where I believe a “zero sum” nature of the game comes into play. And in making a decision in this zero sum game, I am convinced that society should come down on the side of protecting the liberty of LGBT people.

We should pay closer attention to the words of homosexual activists.

The [homosexual newspaper] Windy City Times also reports that,

Todd Wathen and his partner “are seeking a personal apology “and want to be treated with dignity and respect….Not only do we ask this for ourselves, but we ask this for every gay and lesbian person in Illinois.”

Wathen presumptuously seeks not only to compel people to violate their consciences in order to serve his desires, but he expects an apology from them for holding different views on the nature and morality of homosexual acts than he holds. What does the concept of respecting diversity mean to Wathen? It seems to mean that everyone must hold the same beliefs he does or at least act like they do.

Moreover, disapproval of the beliefs or behavioral choices of other people does not constitute disrespect of them, dislike of them, or hatred for them. It’s not only possible to treat with dignity people whose beliefs and behavioral choices we find objectionable, it’s commonplace.

Area behind the Timber Creek B&B lodge where weddings are held. Should a Christian or moral-minded business owner be forced to allow his own property to be used to celebrate homosexual "civil unions" or "same-sex marriages" -- if he regards such unions as gravely immoral?

It has been reported that Mr. Walder responded to Mr. Wathen’s request to hold his civil union at Timber Creek by quoting the Gospel, which irritated Wathen. But citing the source of one’s Christian beliefs is not an insult. It is an act of love and compassion, and an affirmation of the dignity and worth of those who have chosen to center their lives around sinful impulses. Christ’s words to the adulterous woman, “Go, and sin no more,” were the antithesis of disrespect.

Wathen also said that he wants “other gay people to be aware of this class-based discrimination and we want to encourage members of the LGBT community to come forward if other businesses discriminate against them.” So, according to Wathen subjective experiences and volitional behavior now constitute a “class” against which no one in society can discriminate. If society were to apply this perverse idea consistently, no one could make rational moral distinctions about any behaviors because behaviors would constitute protected classes. For example, caterers, florists, disc jockeys, bed and breakfast owners, photographers, fertility doctors, private adoption agencies, calligraphers, graphic designers, doulas, nannies, and maids could not refuse to provide their goods and services to those who are members of a class constituted by behaviors they find profoundly immoral.

The remarkable and inspiring victory by and for home schooling families [recently] has also been a source of agitation to me. Four thousand home schoolers showed up in Springfield to demonstrate their opposition to a bill that would have required them to register with the State Board of Education — 4,000! Amazing.

And what keeps churning through my head is why 4,000 or 8,000 conservatives didn’t show up in Springfield to oppose the civil union bill or the disastrous anti-bullying bill that will ultimately result in elementary school children being exposed to resources that affirm homosexuality and cross-dressing as normative and good. When will the loss of speech rights, religious liberties, and parental rights rouse the righteous ire of conservatives? What assaults on innocence and truth will have to take place in our tax-supported schools before conservatives will get over their inertia, laziness, pride, and fear to boldly, vigorously, and tenaciously oppose dangerous legislation built on fallacious assumptions? The home schoolers showed us by example what we should be doing and what we can accomplish.

The time for tsk-tsking about the degradation of our culture is long past. The time of blaming this degradation on others is over. We are at least as culpable as homosexual activists and their ideological comrades — if not more so — because we know the truth and do little to preserve, protect, or promote it. Those of us who are Christians know that God expects us to protect children and we know that we must be willing to suffer for Him.

Our purportedly conservative leaders need to remember that a truce calls for both sides to agree to a cessation or suspension of hostilities or aggression. When only one side suspends their actions, it’s a forfeit.

Please pray for the Walder family, and if you’re vacationing in Illinois, please consider spending some time at the Timber Creek Bed and Breakfast.


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