February 25, 2016 - Thursday
Kasich Pushes Christians to the Baking Point
If you like President Obama's position on religious liberty, then Governor John Kasich (Ohio) is the candidate for you. At yesterday's University of Virginia event, Kasich's remarks on the clash between sexual liberalism and personal freedom were so extreme that they could've been mistaken for the current administration's. In one of the more stunning moments of the Buckeye's campaign, Kasich took direct aim at people like Aaron and Melissa Klein, who were ordered to surrender their First Amendment rights as a "price of doing business." (Watch their moving story here.)
The young Christian parents of five have suffered through the shuttering of their bakery, a $135,000 fine, and years of costly court battles, all because a handful of Oregon tyrants feel as Kasich does: that the government should be able to punish Americans who believe differently about marriage than the radical Left. In his talk Wednesday, Governor Kasich pulled back the curtain on what his administration would do to stem the tide of this religious hostility: Nothing. It's time for Christians to get over their convictions, he argued. "I think frankly," he told the audience in Charlottesville, "our churches should not be forced to do anything that's not consistent with them. But if you're a cupcake maker and somebody wants a cupcake, make them a cupcake. Let's not have a big lawsuit or argument over all this stuff. Move on. The next thing, you know, they might be saying if you're divorced you shouldn't get a cupcake."
Move on? From what? The Bill of Rights? Our deeply-held beliefs? We already knew a Kasich administration wouldn't defend marriage ("the Court has ruled," he insisted), but who could believe that it would continue the Obama's war on religious freedom? Amazingly, what the governor advocates is licensing the same discrimination against Christians that this coercion is supposed to spare others from. In the meantime, no one is suggesting that any person -- homosexual, divorcee, or adulterer -- be denied service at a sandwich or cupcake shop, hotel room, or anything else. That's a convenient -- and patently false -- line of the Left. If the governor had familiarized himself with the stories of these shop owners before attacking them, he would know that people like Barronelle Stuzman actually offered to sell unarranged flowers and other goods to the same-sex couples in question. What they object to is being forced to use their God-given creative skills and talents in an event that violates everything their faith stands for.
"Marriage is not like a hamburger or a taxi ride," the University of Illinois Law School's Robin Fretwell Wilson points out, "it's a deeply intimate service that is religiously infused. This is one of the places where the law can temper bad impulses. We don't want to run religious people out of the public square, nor do we want to drive lesbians and gays out of society." Unfortunately in this case, Kasich believes as President Obama does -- that faith should be quarantined to the four walls of the church. That's not only a fundamental misunderstanding about the Constitution, but a dangerous one.
Work is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a faith-free zone. A plain reading of the law makes it obvious that the Kleins, Stuzmans, Adamsons, Odgaards, Giffords, Hugenins, Millers, and dozens of others are under no obligation to use their talent to communicate a message at odds with their convictions. That kind of viewpoint coercion belongs in communist regimes, not the United States of America. Unfortunately, Kasich, like the rest of the P.C. police, views this issue through the lens of political correctness -- not the Constitution, which protects the expression of personal views, even in the marketplace. (That's why they call it the free market!)
But be advised: this thinking not only puts Kasich on the wrong side of the law -- but the wrong side of voters too. Strong-arming Christians hasn't exactly been a political winner in America. A whopping 85% of Americans believe what Governor Kasich apparently doesn't: that a Christian business owner has the right to say no if her religious beliefs clash with a same-sex "marriage" client. If 2016 is, in fact, a religious liberty election, then John Kasich may want to rethink his strategy -- and soon.
"DISCLAIMER: Tony Perkins has made an endorsement in his individual and personal capacity only, and it should not be construed or interpreted in any way as the endorsement of FRC, FRC Action, or any affiliated entity."