Court’s defense of religious liberty for profit-making companies could help Christian small businessmen oppressed by “gay rights” laws
Current U.S. Supreme Court: left to right in back: Sotomayor, Breyer, Alito, Kagan. Front, left to right: Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Ginsburg. Alito wrote the Hobby Lobby decision, and Kennedy is lionized by “gay” activists for writing last year’s decision striking down DOMA. Click to enlarge.
By Peter LaBarbera
It’s easy to understand why hard-core feminists with their frenzied, overblown “War on Women” rhetoric would be outraged by the Supreme Court upholding Hobby Lobby’s right as a Christian-run corporation not to be forced to provide abortifacients to its employees through an Obama-care mandate. (See Hillary’s misinformation on the decision HERE.) But why are liberal “gay” activists freaking out over the Hobby Lobby ruling?
The case was never about denying women birth control, but you wouldn’t know that from the “reporting” by liberal media and hyperventilating “progressive” bloggers. Hobby Lobby still provides 16 forms of birth control as a health benefit to its employees, but its founders—along with another Christian-owned corporation, Conestoga Wood Specialists—sued HHS over being forced to provide four contraceptive methods that could terminate a fertilized egg.
Hobby Lobby’s founders, David and Barbara Green, are committed Christians who believe that life begins at conception and should be protected. To quote the Court decision, “Hobby Lobby’s statement of purpose commits the Greens to ‘[h]onoring the Lord in all [they] do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.’” So strong is the Greens’ commitment to Jesus Christ that they have lost countless millions of dollars in profits over the years by closing their 500 craft stores nationwide on Sunday.
Now, one would think that obtaining cheap, subsidized contraception would be low on the priority list for homosexuals, seeing that two men or two women by themselves cannot produce a child. Nevertheless, Big Gay Inc is in a tizzy over the Supreme Court decision—because Burwell vs. Hobby Lobbyisn’t really about contraceptives but rather whether Americans like the Greens will be free to live out their religious convictions.
Immediately after the decision, feminists flew into a rage, circulating crude versions of Justice Ginsburg’s dissent and distortions about women being denied birth control by their “male bosses.” Too bad most Americans will never read the actual Hobby Lobby decision—which lays out two diametrically opposed, competing visions about freedom of conscience and the role of government in these United States.
Freedom of conscience vs. Big Government
Hobby Lobby’s owners, David and Barbara Green, seek to use their business to glorify Jesus Christ. Their 500 stores across the country are closed on Sundays, costing the Greens many millions of dollars in profits.
On the side of preserving and even expanding Americans’ religious liberty were five judges: Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas. In his concurring opinion Kennedy writes:
“In our constitutional tradition, freedom means that all persons have the right to believe or strive to believe in a divine creator and a divine law. For those who choose this course, free exercise is essential in preserving their own dignity and in striving for a self-definition shaped by their religious precepts. Free exercise in this sense implicates more than just freedom of belief….It means, too, the right to express those beliefs and to establish one’s religious (or non-religious) self-definition in the political, civic, and economic life of our larger community.”
On the other side—of Big Government overriding citizens’ religious beliefs, restricting conscience exemptions to federal mandates, and putting federal power behind expanded access to entitlements–were Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan. In fact, Ginsburg spends nearly two pages in her dissent [see pp. 24-25] defending the idea that Obama-care’s provision of subsidies for IUD’s (intrauterine devices) –one of the four contraceptives resisted by Hobby Lobby as a potential abortifacient—is a “compelling government interest.”
As much as Ginsburg believes the majority’s “immoderate” reading of Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is too broad, hers is too narrow: she ends by arguing that exemptions under the RFRA should be limited to explicitly religious organizations—leaving for-profit Christian businessmen like the Greens unprotected.
The bigger government gets–in both its “social justice” mission and the amount of goodies it gives out as “entitlements”—the greater the threat to Americans’ right to freely exercise their faith. This is precisely why homosexual activists are nervous about Hobby Lobby’s victory. If the nation’s highest court grants that even very large “closely held” family businesses like Hobby Lobby (which has more than 13,000 employees) possess a religious liberty claim under RFRA, then surely small family businesses like Elane Photography in New Mexico—owned by Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin—should have the right not to use their creative talents to serve homosexual “weddings,” which violate their Christian faith.
Jack Roeser, a phenomenally successful entrepreneur, leading Illinois conservative philanthropist and a faithful AFTAH and pro-family benefactor, passed away June 13 at the age of 90.
I got to know Jack long after he had achieved his business success. I remember a decade ago when he gave me a tour of Otto Engineering–which he started humbly in his basement in 1961 in Park Ridge, Illinois (childhood home of Hillary Rodham Clinton)–and which makes specialty electronic and communications products, including control switches for American fighter jets. Though by this point Jack was retired from day-to-day operations at Otto, he was hardly detached as he proudly explained the history of Otto, including products he invented that were still key to the company’s success.
It was Jack’s ingenuity and determination that builtOtto. A friend, relaying a conversation with Jack, told how he was awarded a coveted supplier contract by simply out-hustling much larger, competing corporations and by demonstrating Otto’s ability to rapidly turn around his innovative switch design. Jack was truly a classic American success story–a living testimony of what one person can accomplish in a free society that rewards hard work and creativity. [See this Breitbart tribute to Jack.]
A little-known legacy of Jack’s is how Otto’s continued growth and success dramatically transformed the small town of Carpentersville, Illinois, where it is based. Otto, now run by Jack’s son, Tom, employs around 600 people in its beautifully-restored factory complex on Main Street along the Fox River. In 2008, Tom and Jack launched a remarkable home renovation project, Homes by Otto, that has rejuvenated Carpentersville, one gutted-and-rebuilt house at a time. It is a model for private industry and charity doing efficiently what governments the world over have failed to do despite their profligate spending of taxpayer dollars (think HUD projects). [See this FOX News interview with Tom Roeser.]
So Jack’s legacy of productive and compassionate conservatism lives on through his son. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree after all.
You can watch a short video celebrating Jack’s fascinating life produced before his death below.
Fighting the Left
Jack was an engineering genius with more than 50 patents, but he was no fan of the Left’s social engineering. He possessed the wisdom and common sense of a more grounded and God-fearing generation that instinctively knows the difference between right and wrong. Scoffing at the idea of legal “same-sex marriage,” he didn’t need to be convinced of the immorality of homosexuality–and the folly of promoting it through the government as a “civil right.”
No ray of sunshine, no warm ocean breeze rustling through the palm leaves can bring cheer to Isla Vista. A cloud of sorrow covers the picturesque college town and seeps though every fastened gate, through every locked and bolted door, and pierces every bewildered heart.
Nothing is more precious than the life of a young woman who eagerly awaits the joys of life. And no hurt exceeds the pain of a father or mother who sees a cap and gown replaced by a funeral shroud.
America should weep bitter tears over this. America must. Like the Prodigal Son who abandoned his father’s ample table to feed on the husks of swine, America has exchanged traditional views on marriage and the family for an unworkable code of sexual liberation. Under this dubious code, each man and woman becomes a law unto himself. If anyone doubts this, let him contemplate the words of the perpetrator. In his final message to society, Elliot Rodger declared himself to be beyond the commands and prohibitions of any law, human or divine.
Elliot Rodger’s understanding of human existence and sexual morality was gleaned at random from pop culture, lurid movies, and violent video games. Far from regarding women as a helpmate, life-long companion, and future mother of his children–which is the Christian view of marriage–Rodger saw women as a potential sexual conquest, a sort of prey.
In my 30-year battle for the family and marriage, insofar as God gave me the strength and wisdom to do so, I warned of the extreme danger which results from a wrong understanding of human sexuality. My warnings were rejected, both by society at large and by the pro-family movement, as alarmist, intolerant, and divisive.
Even since the recent recording of this video interview by Monte Larrick of the Illinois Family Institute (published June 21, 2014 and recorded the week before), yet another Republican governor has capitulated to judicial activism on same-sex “marriage.” Go HERE for a local CBS-Pittsburgh TV news report on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett deciding not to appeal U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III’s ruling imposing homosexual “marriages” on Pennsylvania. Note that Corbett–like Illinois GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, as well as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder–does not want to discuss “gay marriage” publicly. Since when did defending marriage as between a man and a woman become the third rail in Republican politics?–Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH
Thank you to AFTAH Board Member John McCartney for concisely injecting some clarity into the recent tragic resignation of Brendan Eich as Mozilla CEO in the face of a pro-homosexual pressure campaign. The following open letter was sent to Mozilla employees in the last couple of weeks:
An Open Letter to Mozilla Employees
This letter is addressed to those who agitated against Brendan Eich’s promotion to Mozilla Firefox’s CEO. Considering that he was the business’s co-founder and the provider of your livelihood, right order would have required you to resign in protest, but that would have taken courage of your convictions, which was apparently in short supply at the time.
The issue: Eich’s donating $1,000 to [California's 2008] Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, which is what marriage has generally been throughout the ages and ever should be. Same-sex “marriage” is an absurdity (Pope Francis calls it anthropological regression), which even “gays” joked about in the ’70′s. Proposition 8 was the people’s initiative opposing institutionalizing a man’s using another man as a woman, and a woman’s using another woman as a man. This has neither the support of nature, morality, normality, even health. Three hundred twenty-five thousand (325,000) men having sex with men (MSM) have died of HIV/AIDS since 1980. Of the 1.2 million HIV/AIDS victims in the United States, 532,000 are MSM–who comprise a mere 2 percent of the population. The malady is now spreading fastest among MSM 13-29 years old. What’s homosexual “marriage” going to do for this?
What the media don’t know and the “gay” community won’t admit (the American Psychiatric Association’s non-scientific pronouncement notwithstanding), is that “gay” activists are forcing on this country an adaptation to earlier trauma and/or emotional deprivation. Instead of focusing on the source of such, thereby gaining understanding leading to freedom, they are using politics and media to make it the norm. From this: Spare us, O, Lord.
President, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH)
LYING PROF DOUBLES DOWN: April 17 tweet by Sinclair Community College professor Kate Geiselman, who made up a preposterous “effing” quotation by guest speaker Peter LaBarbera to humiliate him and make him look like an angry “homophobe.” LaBarbera said “effing” only to relay to the audience that one of its members had angrily used the real F-word to attack his speech. Pro-family attorney Charles LiMandri has written Geiselman and Salon Magazine to demand an apology and retraction.
In this post:
2-minute video of Sinclair Community College professor-led “walkout” [begins at :16 point of video];
Part One and Part Two of YouTube videos of Peter LaBarbera’s talk at SCC, sponsored by the Traditional Values Club;
Copy of April 24 web post by SCC professor Rebecca Morean on Salon.com, backing up the “effing” lie told by fellow SCC prof Kate Geiselman in her Salon hit-piece against LaBarbera;
Go HERE to read AFTAH attorney Charles LiMandri’s letter to Geiselman and Salon.com demanding a public retraction and apology.
Dear AFTAH Readers,
Refuting a leftist lie is hard work, but it must be done.
Below is the video of the Sinclair Community College walkout on my speech at the Dayton, Ohio college April 9, 2014–provided by the Traditional Values Club, which sponsored the talk. As you can see, the professor-led walkout began right after I started speaking–and ironically, after I had commended the audience for demonstrating true tolerance by listening to a dissenting viewpoint!
Note that I did not come even close to uttering the quotation absurdly attributed to me by SCC writing professor Kate Geiselman in the liberal online magazine Salon. Geiselman accused me (the “antigay bigot” in the headline) of responding recklessly to the walkout: “You’re leaving? Are you ‘effing’ [substituting for the F-word] kidding?”
Below is a transcription of my remarks at the podium as the professor-led walkout begins–painstakingly produced by pro-family writer Gina Miller [see Miller's excellent piece on the controversy on Barbwire.com HERE]:
“I suppose this is a walk-out. Well, this is, this is what I say, not, not even people willing to hear from the other side. I think this is, this is regretful. [heckler interjects F-word] ‘Your message is ‘effing’ garbage,’ that guy just said. Yeah, yeah this is a shame, but, well, those of you who remained are exhibiting true tolerance… I mean this is—this is the Left in action; I’m sorry. You know, tolerance for me but not for you. Don’t even want to hear a viewpoint. That’s their right, and I just think it’s immature…”
[See my attorney Chuck LiMandri's letter demanding a retraction and apology from Geiselman HERE.]
Constructing a bogus narrative
Honestly, I think the admittedly hard-of-hearing Geiselman heard me say “effing”–I was merely relaying a barb from a man in the audience who hurled the real F-bomb to denounce my talk–and then used that to concoct a bogus narrative casting me as the angry “homophobe.” Later, Professor Rebecca Morean, who can be seen leading the walkout in the video below, repeated the Geiselman’s lie [see graphic at bottom of this article]. Morean has boasted about her role in the walkout.
What these politicized professors–who greatly dishonor their noble profession–fail to appreciate is that real tolerance and diversity were on display at their college that day, between conservatives like me and the few liberals (including some students) who did not take part in Morean’s cowardly exercise in leftist groupthink. We went back and forth on the homosexual issue, and perhaps emerged with the same views with which we came–but also with greater understanding of the other side’s position. In other words, we had a civil, lively, yet respectful discussion at an institution of higher learning. Imagine that. –Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH
Read the Traditional Values Club’s description of their YouTube video of the professor-led “walkout” below. The walkout begins at :16 point of video; notice Prof. Morean standing up and signaling the mass exodus:
For Mother’s Day Starbucks released the commercial below, voiced by Oprah Winfrey and hawking a new “Oprah Chai” tea. The ad celebrates all sorts of moms–including the “two moms are better than one mom”–shown with the affectionate lesbian “moms” at right and the “M’s” in “MOM” in what I suppose is an alphabetic homoerotic embrace (see :24 point in ad). [Watch ad on Starbucks YouTube page HERE.]
Messages like this no long shock a post-Christian America shaped in part by decadent corporations pandering to the highly organized LGBT lobby. Starbucks already has sold its corporate soul (is that an oxymoron?) to the homosexual agenda. Its executives made that clear in 2012 when they defiantly rebuffed a boycott threat by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and affirmed that support for homosexual “marriage” is a “core” Starbucks value.
The NOM “Dump Starbucks” boycott that followed seems anemic two years later (only 68,200 pledges)–but Starbucks [877-421-9062] remains a plump target for a more effectual and better organized boycott. Let’s face it: finding substitutes for overpriced yuppie coffee is pretty easy. We’ll see what happens, but one thing is certain: Starbucks execs are not backing down in their support of sexual sin and they surely aren’t acting like they fear the consumer power of mobilized religious conservatives.
As for the content of the ad, Oprah and Starbucks are dead wrong: Two lesbians “moms” are NOT better than one mom–especially one raising children with her husband and their father in a real marriage. And if higher numbers are better, wouldn’t three or four lesbian moms be best? We used to take it for granted that kids do better with a married mother and father, but now that’s a point of contention and marriage itself is being radically redefined. The reality is, this liberal social engineering is bad for kids: Kansas State professor Walter Schumm confirmed ”[Paul] Cameron’s (2006) hypothesis that gay and lesbian parents would be more likely to have gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure (of sexual orientation) sons and daughters.”
As for single moms, our hearts go out to the many women who find themselves struggling to provide for their children with no dad in the house. But at least in most cases, single moms did not set out to deny their kids a father–just as single straight dads–unlike homosexual two-”dad” households–did not intentionally create motherless homes. And unlike those snuggling Starbucks lesbians in the ad below, single moms are not modeling deviant and immoral behavior condemned by God to their innocent children. –Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH
Taking Social Conservatives for Granted? Some leading Indiana grassroots, pro-family conservatives have complained that Gov. Mike Pence (above)–a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016–did not use his office more boldly and effectively to help push through an amendment, HJR 3, that would preserve the sanctity of marriage as one-man, one-woman in Indiana.
Congratulations to Micah Clark, the Indiana Family Association, and all Indiana pro-family and pro-life conservatives for their resounding victories on Election Day! Gov. Mike Pence, here’s the bottom line: are you listening to the people of your state, or the ‘liberal-tarian’ or “moderate” Republican elites and left-leaning media pundits inside the Beltway? The latter’s tired mantra to “avoid the social issues” is–like so much that goes on in Washington, D.C.–out of touch with the GOP’s grassroots conservative base. Yes, we needed this good news! – Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
This article is taken from AFA-Indiana e-newsletter, May 7, 2014:
Huge Wins for Conservatives; Vindication in Primary Results
[The May 6, 2014 Indiana] primary election was as close to an across the board sweep as you will ever see in politics. Republican voters finally got their chance in a few state legislative districts to express their anger over the failure of the GOP-dominated statehouse to pass a marriage protection amendment [HJR 3]. If only there had been more conservative challengers in legislative races where establishment Republicans had voted for the unraveling of marriage.
In addition, incumbents targeted for their defense of social conservatism won as well. You may recall when Rep. Bob Morris stood alone under immense criticism for pointing out that the Girl Scouts of America’s national organization had grown closer and closer to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. The establishment loathes conservatives whom they cannot control and Bob is one of those. In spite of a misguided high-profile pro-life endorsement of his pro-homosexual “marriage” opponent, Bob won the primary re-election yesterday.
Likewise, same-sex “marriage” supporters targeted Rep. Milo Smith, who chaired the committee that passed HJR 3 on to the House floor after Representatives Torr, McNamara and Leonard blocked it in the House Judiciary Committee. Liberals, who claim to support homosexuals, viciously “outed” Rep. Smith’s son–trying to personally hurt the Smith family and Milo’s re-election. Milo’s challenger was an executive with Cummins Engine, a key proponent of homosexual “marriage” in Indiana. Yet, when all was said and done, even in the sometimes more moderate Columbus area, Smith won with 59 percent of the vote.
The House author of HJR 3, Rep. Eric Turner, was tarnished with an ethics investigation that the media covered extensively. Yet, when he was exonerated of any wrong doing last week, the media coverage was incredibly thin. (Pro-same-sex “marriage” Republican legislators may have leaked his privately speaking about a bill upon which he did not even vote.) Rep. Turner also won with 59 percent opponent who had ironically called Turner’s authoring of HJR 3 “an abomination.”
The biggest victories for conservatives came in northern Indiana where the Chair of the House committee on Family and Children, Rebecca Kubacki, was trounced nearly 2-1 by her opponent. She had voted against the marriage amendment after previously campaigning as “a Catholic who would defend marriage” when first elected. She then seemed to lie about the entire process the amendment went through. Curt Nisely hammered Kubacki on her voting record, which included votes against natural marriage, against religious freedom for church childcare ministries, and for the Common Core.
Nearby, Rep. Kathy Heuer in Whitley and Allen Counties lost big as well for the same three issues. Chris Judy, an outstanding candidate, surprised even his own team by winning 60% of the vote, even handily defeating Heuer in her home county. Not even an endorsement from the Governor helped Rep. Heuer, in fact, it may have hurt her. (More on that later.)
The third establishment candidate mutually targeted by pro-family activist groups, including the AFA of Indiana PAC was Rep. Casey Cox. He was gifted with a three-way primary in which both candidates split the protest vote that came mostly from our radio exposure of Casey’s flip-flop in support for homosexual “marriage.” Even though neither of his opponents did any mail or radio, Cox ended the night with less than 50 percent of the vote in a race that he should have easily won with his significant money and campaign staff advantages.
Yesterday’s primary also saw the selection of two outstanding pro-family newcomers to the State Senate who should win their Republican districts this fall. The first is Liz Brown in Fort Wayne who replaces the retiring state Senator Tom Wyss. The other newcomer is Jeff Raatz in Richmond who won in the seat of retiring Senator Allen Paul. Jeff Raatz will bring a good perspective on education, charity and family with his work with New Creations Ministry for troubled teens.