The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ordered Jack Phillips to back cakes for same-sex weddings.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ordered Jack Phillips to back cakes for same-sex weddings.
The U.S. Civil Rights Commission approves of his civil rights being violated.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a new briefing report last week entitled Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Policies with Civil Liberties. If a peaceful coexistence exists it leans toward LGBT rights, not religious liberty.

The report presented testimony from 11 different experts, statements and rebuttals by Commission members, highlighted public comments. Here are the reports findings:

  1. Civil rights protections ensuring nondiscrimination, as embodied in the Constitution, laws, and policies, are of preeminent importance in American jurisprudence.
  2. The U.S. Supreme Court has recently reaffirmed the foremost importance of civil liberties and civil rights, including non-discrimination laws and policies, in three significant cases: Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch Stores, Inc., and Obergefell v. Hodges.
  3. Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.
  4. The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause constricts the ability of government actors to curtail private citizens’ rights to the protections of non-discrimination laws and policies. Although the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) limit the ability of government actors to impede individuals from practicing their religious beliefs, religious exemptions from non-discrimination laws and policies must be weighed carefully and defined narrowly on a fact-specific basis.
  5. With regard to federal government actions, RFRA protects only First Amendment free exercise rights of religious practitioners and not their Establishment Clause freedoms.
  6. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2751 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court recently affirmed the narrowness of the analytical framework within which claims of government interference with the free exercise of religion must be construed under RFRA.
  7. The Commission endorses the briefing panelists’ statements as summarized at page 21 of the Report in support of these Findings.

They further write:

(1) schools must be allowed to insist on inclusive values; 2) throughout history, religious doctrines accepted at one time later become viewed as discriminatory, with religions changing accordingly; 3) without exemptions, groups would not use the pretext of religious doctrines to discriminate; 4) a doctrine that distinguishes between beliefs (which should be protected) and conduct (which should conform to the law) is fairer and easier to apply; 5) third parties, such as employees, should not be forced to live under the religious doctrines of their employers [unless the employer is allowed to impose such constraints by virtue of the ministerial exception]; 6) a basic [civil] right as important as the freedom to marry should not be subject to religious beliefs; and 7) even a widely accepted doctrine such as the ministerial exemption should be subject to review as to whether church employees have religious duties.

Further, specifically with regard to number (2) above, religious doctrines that were widely accepted at one time came to be deemed highly discriminatory, such as slavery, homosexuality bans, and unequal treatment of women, and that what is considered within the purview of religious autonomy at one time would likely change.

They then offer their recommendations:

  1. Overly-broad religious exemptions unduly burden nondiscrimination laws and policies. Federal and state courts, lawmakers, and policy-makers at every level must tailor religious exceptions to civil liberties and civil rights protections as narrowly as applicable law requires.
  2. RFRA protects only religious practitioners’ First Amendment free exercise rights, and it does not limit others’ freedom from government-imposed religious limitations under the Establishment Clause.
  3. In the absence of controlling authority to the contrary such as a state-level, RFRA-type statute, the recognition of religious exemptions to nondiscrimination laws and policies should be made pursuant to the holdings of Employment Division v. Smith, which protect religious beliefs rather than conduct.
  4. Federal legislation should be considered to clarify that RFRA creates First Amendment Free Exercise Clause rights only for individuals and religious institutions and only to the extent that they do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights protections against status-based discrimination.
  5. States with RFRA-style laws should amend those statutes to clarify that RFRA creates First Amendment Free Exercise Clause rights only for individuals and religious institutions. States with laws modeled after RFRA must guarantee that those statutes do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights with status-based discrimination.

No surprise in their view religious exemptions should be narrowly limited and should not apply to Christian-owned businesses. So forget religious conscience protections for those business owners.

Their statement: “religious doctrines that were widely accepted at one time came to be deemed highly discriminatory, such as slavery, homosexuality bans, and unequal treatment of women.”

There has always been disagreement in the church over the role of women and slavery. In fact, many of the abolitionists and women’s suffrage advocates were in fact Christian, and this report totally glosses over that fact. There has been and continues to be consensus over homosexuality. Those who have dismissed that consensus have also rejected scripture’s inerrancy in such matters. The Bible for instance addresses slavery, it never advocates for it.  Also, scripture addresses gender roles as they pertain to the Church and home, but it is silent in terms of the civil realm, work and voting.

Scripture never condones homosexuality.

Basically you have a federal agency that is telling the church that its view of homosexuality is “highly discriminatory” and will likely change.

We definitely see that happening in liberal mainline churches, but like I said they rejected the authority of scripture long ago.

Also you have the fact that one’s race and one’s biological sex (I would also add gender) are immutable. LGBT persons choose to be that way. There is still no evidence that suggests otherwise, and a recent study affirms this.

Also I don’t want to neglect pointing out that sexual orientation and gender identity are still NOT protected classes under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Obama administration by executive order has attempted to extend protections, but that language has not been codified. So I have to ask under what constitutional and legal mandate is the U.S. Civil Rights Commission pursuing the protection of LGBT rights? There is none.

Martin Castro, an Obama appointee, is the chair of the commission. In the report he made the following statement.

The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.

Religious liberty was never intended to give one religion dominion over other religions, or a veto power over the civil rights and civil liberties of others. However, today, as in the past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality. In our nation’s past religion has been used to justify slavery and later, Jim Crow laws. We now see “religious liberty” arguments sneaking their way back into our political and constitutional discourse (just like the concept of “state rights”) in an effort to undermine the rights of some Americans. This generation of Americans must stand up and speak out to ensure that religion never again be twisted to deny others the full promise of America.

If that statement doesn’t encapsulate the radical, and frankly biased, direction of the USCCR I don’t know what will. Religious liberty isn’t about diminishing the rights of others. It’s about protecting the religious conscience for people who do not want to participate in activity that violates scripture. It isn’t about Christian supremacy. It’s about making certain a Christian’s civil rights are protected as well.

1 comment
  1. Separation of Church and State—the mutual exclusion
    of “God and Country”

    By Samuel A. Nigro, MD copyright c December 13, 2012

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    The First Amendment in the Days of the Those Who Wrote It

    The Constitutionally supported “free exercise” of religion, means an unqualified “freedom” indistinguishable from the “freedom” as used for speech and press, except when specific acts effectively prescribe (makes a) “law respecting an establishment of religion.” That is, “being religious” (by “free exercise”) is not the same as “establishing a religion.” For the Framers, there was no conflict or contradiction between “free exercise” and “respecting an establishment of religion.” They themselves proved it by open religiosity on government grounds time and time again. A case can be made that they were led by the Ten Commandments, because that is all anyone knew in those days. The religiosity of the Framers was never prohibited or protested wherever it occurred over and over. The Framers would never have given a “free press” if they knew the peace-disturbing craziness now offered as “art”, “news”, and “information.”

    Any review of religious acts, by the signers of the Constitution, clearly proves they did not consider themselves, when being religious, to be unconstitutional or to be making any “law respecting an establishment of religion,” and religious they were (1)! Obviously, the religious words and acts of the writers of the Constitution considered their prayers and invocations to be part of the “free exercise” of religion which could not be “prohibited by law” any more than required by any law. In fact, one wonders if there has ever been any law proposed which did either, as required by the First Amendment which exactly precisely focuses on “laws” rather than general behavior.

    Clearly, the contemporary use of the phrase “separation of church and state” (which is not in the Constitution) would be seen as “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion by those who wrote the Constitution. But if that phrase, “separation of church and state,” cannot be used justly against those religious acts common to the framers of the Constitution, it cannot justly be applied to comparable religious acts of anyone today (unless imposed by law as the First Amendment requires). Again, for the framers of the Constitution, making laws “respecting the establishment of religion” was more than praying, appealing to God, using religious names, or attending or witnessing religious ceremonies, officially or unofficially. “Making laws” is not the same as thanking Jesus…or acknowledging any other religious figure or prayer.

    After the British surrender at Yorktown on September 17, 1781, George Washington, his staff, Congress, French military leaders, and many others including soldiers and citizens, attended the Philadelphia Cathedral Mass to celebrate the end of the Revolutionary War. George Washington spoke and mentioned the French admiralty, French generals and their staffs, specifically thanking “a nation in which the Roman Catholic religion is professed.” All knew that the Mass celebration was not a “law respecting the establishment of religion.” It may have been a brief establishment of “religiosity” but in no way was it considered to be an unconstitutional violation of the prohibition clause. This was a full Catholic Latin Mass of the highest religious order giving thanks for the establishment of the United States of America. Everybody was there. Everybody prayed. Everybody was blessed. Joy and serenity reigned. And no atheists were yelling for “separation of church and state” because there was no such thing.

    But today, the ugly “One Commandment” of atheists (“Thou shalt always separate church and state”) seems, itself, to have become “a law…prohibiting the free exercise” of religion today, and, in such regards, if legalized, “separation of church and state” is itself against the First Amendment.

    In addition, legalized or not, “separation of church and state” today renders the First Amendment to be self-contradictory in that, now, the non-legalized mere free exercise of mentioning any thing religious is spuriously and un-historically decreed equivalent to passing a “law respecting the establishment of religion.” And, if such is so, then necessarily also prohibited is all religiosity from any source…not only Christianity but also from the Holocaust and other Jewish entities as well as the Koran, Mohammed, Sharia, and many Eastern meditations. But, technically, where are the LAWS which respect the establishment of religion, such that the “separation of church and state” canard is justified? Technically, how can the “separation of church and state” idolatry, prohibit the non-legalized free exercise of religion when the religion is not imposed by a law as the First Amendment requires?

    God without Country and Country without God—Complete Separation

    Completely over looked has been the FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, which, thankfully, is not in the Constitution. After all, “separation” should be a MUTUAL and equal separation of church and state, or not at all. “God and Country”?—forget about it! Prohibited from all church grounds should be national flags, pledges of allegiance, national anthems, military recruiters, and any sort of publicly provided documents concerning the function of the government or any member of the government in any capacity. Get the state off of church grounds in every way! At all levels! On church grounds, no one should be subjected to anything mentioning “the state” because, dare I say, every thing for the “state” in religious contexts, upsets me and others as much as the word “God” upsets atheists. State “holidays” will be ignored. And the state will be required to drop “Sunday” from the “week” and delete it from all calenders, legal books and government documents because “Sunday” has always been the day to honor God which allegedly should not be part of the government anywhere. Please separate church and state now in all ways. I did it in part after Roe v. Wade when I dropped all my Navy uniforms and materials off at the Federal Building in Cleveland, Ohio, wrote a new “American Anthem” and designed the Flag and Pledge of Mankind…(See The Death of America, pages 188-193 and Soul of the Earth) and no one gave a damn—and it was not worth reporting—so maybe I should have burned myself up in sacrifice, but with today’s press, that would have been censored as too religious, i.e., a religious person really separating himself from the state should not be acknowledged by the state because his is a religious act.

    Actually, millions of religious people would be alive with real mutual separation of church and state, because better jobs would have been found than with the government or military service (The US Marines were over 50% Catholic for years—Actually the religious composition of the armed forces is no longer available because the religious presence used to be embarrassingly high, something I discovered with vigorous questioning during the Vietnam War when I found the Catholic military presence to be far above the Catholic percent of the population). No more. Put all this state stuff in state and in atheist-run institutions instead. Catholics and other religious have carried unjustly more than their expected state burden.

    I have a vague memory of being in 4th grade at St. Elizabeth Grade School in Kansas City. The local public school just up the street was apparently getting bus rides and turned down such for St. Elizabeth School. The Monsignor marched the 5th grade over to the public school to enroll them. This was pretty disruptive, and he planned to follow up with the 6th grade and the rest of us later. I believe bus service was established rather quickly. That was probably some time in 1946 and thus my memory may be somewhat inaccurate. But I realized as a kid that the Church was doing a lot for the state by educating me without much reimbursement.

    There is more to be learned about the cost burden relief and benefits for the state by the lack of mutual Church-state separation. These “illegal (not-separated)” Church benefits to the state continue: In 2010, there were 2.6 million children in 6980 catholic schools saving public schools approximately $18 billion dollars. This does not include 230 colleges and universities. The Catholic Church also provided 625 hospitals – one of five hospital beds in the US are in the Catholic hospital system serving over 35 million admitted patients annually and over 98 million patients in out patient care. The cost to operated Catholic hospitals is about $100 billion dollars yearly of which 10% is unreimbursed donation by the Church. Catholic Social Service Agencies provide 2.3 billion dollars per year for down-and-outers in our society. This all is provided by some 20,000 churches supported by about 68 million Catholics. Continuing, the military support given by the Catholic schools and universities, results in about 520,000 Catholic families in the military, 204,000 Catholics in reserves, and 66,000 Catholics in government service overseas, and 29,000 Catholics are patients in the Veterans Administration.

    These are actual facts, and reparations are to be demanded. It is not unreasonable to project backwards, at least 100 years for the Catholic Church’s contribution to American society such that the state benefited. Monies should be paid for these past services and for each year in the future. For each student each year, $1000 (which is about 1/4th actual cost) should be paid to the Church including students from every Catholic school that has closed (For 2010, the “each student” public service reparation would be $2.6 billion dollars—generalizing for 100 years, the Church is owed $2.6 trillion dollars for primary and secondary schools alone). The reparation for the 230 colleges and universities should be $10,000 for each student for each completed year since the founding of each institution. For each patient ever served in or at Catholic hospitals, $2500 should be paid to the Church. In fact, these numbers are a dramatic under payment. Everyone should figure out just what the state did not have to do because of the social benefits from the Church. And let’s have the biggest flag sale in history: atheists will buy them by the dozen–$1000 apiece and we promise never to fly the flag again –nor mention “God” in a public venue unless historical quotes of statesmen such as the “Universal Invocation” (2) anywhere and everywhere on public grounds. Military movies which extol the state should be prohibited on church grounds. Churched kids should be helped to stay out of the military. The closing of the Archdiocese for the Military Services would save the Church some money too.

    Leviathan Lives

    Some teaching about “the state” is appropriate. Emphasize that our politicians (they are the “state”) in Washington, DC (and likely everywhere else) are “royalty” with health care, retirement and salary plans that few others in the country have. This royalty exempts themselves from laws passed for the common citizen and pass laws giving themselves special rights, privileges, and benefits. Remind that politicians all are by necessity Machiavellian liars, vicious schemers, and intrinsically corrupt (3, 4). Public servants (more of “the state”) cannot be trusted; they are out to control you; they create unfreedom in spite of themselves; and whatever they do is always subordinate to helping themselves. Let the state defend the state–the ACLU and atheist organizations can do it all. Rarely is it worth defending when those running it do so for primarily self-serving reasons as in Washington DC.

    Remember that the LAW applied is often an intellectual charade giving legalisms which deprive freedom by oppressing people with an avalanche of papers undecipherable except by lawyers, who tend to be the world’s biggest parasites after our politicians in DC. Virtue is rejected by a press & media undeserving of the First Amendment. The press and media have failed to maintain a moral people hardly needing laws as de Tocqueville described—and when the people are not good, nothing works well, as we are finding out. Anti-life, especially abortion and contraception, have turned America into a culture of masturbation where one’s preferred way of masturbating is now one’s “gender” and the only allowed “freedom” is what the press says. The country is not worth defending because it is neither the country of your birth nor of the Declaration of Independence nor of the Constitution lived by the Founders of America. In fact, without explicitly declaring so, the Ten Commandments were “the Common Good” for the Founders and the people in those days–that is all they knew–but now the “Common Good” is whatever the liberal press editors and atheist tyrants proclaim. To hell with them all. The state must be separated out of churches and leave God alone.
    Please help with your own way to separate Church and state. Begin by marching every six months, just to peaceably assemble, all the Catholic school kids over to the nearest public school, all college and university students to the nearest public equivalent, the patients over to the nearest public hospital, all church based ROTCs to your local newspaper and media center (journalists and editors rarely do anything for the state except promote the First Amendment for themselves). Be non-threatening because Machiavellian outcomes await as “those must be destroyed who criticize the government (which now includes the liberal press)”—Be especially careful about criticizing public servants because they typically retaliate when unable to defend themselves—For public servants with their limited educations often do not know that being criticized is part of their job description.

    Let the atheists and the ACLU do all the Church does. The old country is gone. To defend it is to be used. Pretend for your safety. But get all you can and help believers—who have the right to “free expression” equal to the meaning of “free” for speech, press, and assembly. Claim “minority status” so you do not really have to assume responsibility and duty. Play the poor-me, victimhood role…it may even help control the selfish, arrogant ROYALTY in DC. “God and Country”—forget about it. “God and Family”–Such is “separation of church and state.”

    Summary:

    If “separation of church and state” is “the law,” then it is unconstitutional because it prohibits the “free expression” of religion, which was not believed to be the case as witnessed by the Framers of the Constitution; and “separation…” reveals an illogical unreasonable contradiction in the First Amendment itself, totally rejected by the Framers. Furthermore, if “separation of church and state” is “the law,” then it should be implemented equally with reparations due the church for all past, present, and future benefits provided to the state by the church; and the church must stop supporting any and all state propaganda. If “religiosity” is prohibited by the state, then “stateism/patriotism” must be prohibited by the church. Otherwise, “discrimination” and “exploitation” are the correct words to describe the treatment of the church by the state. The Church and State must decide if the real First Amendment governs without laws which prohibit or establish religion; or if the unhistorical “separation of church and state” reigns. The Church must take appropriate action.

    References:

    (1) To grasp the extent of the religiosity of the Framers, refer to “America was Created by Christians for Everybody…Period” on the World Wide Web and the book referenced therein). Again: The Ten Commandments were “the common good” in the days of the Founders.

    (2) Samuel A. Nigro, MD, Everybody for Everybody—expanded edition, page 342. Universal Invocation: Let us repeat President George Washington’s proclamation designating a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving as requested by the House of Representatives: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor…That great and glorious being, who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that ever will be, that we may then unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks for his kind care and protection of the people.”

    (3) Samuel A. Nigro, MD, “Corruption and Justice…to prevent the establishment of “Royalty”, February 5, 2012:
    1. All politicians and their families are not exempt from any laws.
    2. All politicians (and family members if employed) are to be paid only by a base salary determined by procedure and service codes which will be the only source of paying for personal benefits received when in office.
    3. All politician’ and their families’ retirement, health care, and any other benefits are determined by the same laws and rules which govern the common man.
    4. All politicians and their family members will be taxed at a 90% rate for any and all increases beyond salary based assets accrued while in office and for five years after leaving office.
    5. All politicians’ children and grandchildren must serve in the military for 3 years without special consideration.
    6. All politicians; and family members’ estates will be taxed at 90% at death for all assets over 3 million dollars.
    7. All laws will be repealed which give any politician any benefit not given to the common citizen.

    To SERVE THE PEOPLE is a privilege to be paid for…SERVING THE PEOPLE is not a method of becoming ROYALTY.

    Similar rules are needed to prevent the corruption in the legal system because attorneys especially have innate conflict of interest in that the more they complicate and aggravate the problem, the more fees they can charge. Federally defined and fee-fixed procedure and service codes are needed for every attorney, judge, and bureaucracy member. Essentially, THE SYSTEM only works well for those IN it, i.e., politicians, judges, attorneys, and those in the bureaucracy. For the rest of us, THE SYSTEM is basically anti-freedom and anti-independence because it exerts fascist-like self-corrupting control almost automatically oppressive. In a real way, almost all those IN the “bureaucracy” regress into the “guard power” role described in the horribly depressing “Stanford Prison Experiment” of Phillip Zimbardo (Check this on the World Wide Web and find out how so-called “public service/servants” almost always become dominating fascists imposing arrogant legalisms).

    (4) John Schrems, Understanding the Principles of Politics and the State, and personal communication of
    “Principles of Politics
    1. Get elected, this is the first priority, then
    2. Get re-elected. All else follows:
    3. We know how to spend your money better than you do
    4. The rules/programs we establish do not apply to us
    5. We will be out of office before you catch on
    6. If you ask us we will deny it, and
    7. Don’t ask, we know what is going on and we represent you
    8. Our pension and health benefits are better than yours
    9. Any alternative is worse”

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