DISCRIMINATION BY GOVERNMENT

Here is an email I got from Delegate Bob Marshall today.

Governor McAuliffe’s Misleading Message

Dear Friends:

Today I sent a Letter to the Editor to the Indianapolis Star in response to a letter Governor Terry McAuliffe sent attempting to lure Indiana businesses upset with Indiana’s recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to Virginia. The irony? Virginia has a similar RFRA, as do 19 other states. Virginia’s law passed in 2007. The sky has not fallen!

Governor McAuliffe wrote, “In light of … recent events in Indiana, I … welcome you to … Virginia’s open, inclusive and thriving business environment … we do not discriminate against our friends and neighbors, particularly those who are supporting local businesses and generating economic activity.”

Correct! Because even though we have a law just like Indiana’s, LGBTQ Virginians have jobs, eat at lunch counters and in restaurants, go to movies and shopping malls, own businesses, buy, drive and own cars, sit anywhere they want on a bus, take vacations across Virginia, buy stock, join country clubs, attend Virginia colleges, etc. The inflammatory LGBTQ rhetoric is nonsense.

Virginia’s law, just like Indiana’s, is amazingly similar to an Illinois law supported by Barack Obama when he was a state senator. The Illinois law is similar to one introduced in 1993 by liberal Democrat Congressman Chuck Schumer and signed by President Bill Clinton.

The point of these laws, now in 20 states according the National Conference of State Legislatures, is to afford individuals, businesses, or other institutions, a defense against government action that would substantially burden religious expression otherwise guaranteed by the First Amendment. The language is similar and the legal effects are the same.

The federal law states, “Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it … is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, wrote in the Washington Post that these laws “will hurt jobs, growth and the economic vibrancy of parts of the country … ”

Yet, Governor McAuliffe, in his pitch to Indiana businesses notes that Virginia is “home to 35 Fortune 1000 companies and 23 firms with annual sales of at least $5 billion.” Obviously “Religious Restoration Acts,” despite LGBTQ claims, have not hurt Virginia’s business profits or those of other states, facts neither our Governor nor Apple’s CEO will admit.

So, as long as Virginia or Indiana’s RFRA laws are not struck down by a Supreme Court bent on imposing same sex marriage on everyone as a Civil Right, a Muslim restaurant owner in Virginia or Indiana would be able to use such a law to defend against being compelled use food preparation methods contrary to Islamic practices and beliefs; a Jewish Deli owner could not be required to offer pork on his menu; and a Christian baker could use it to defend against being forced to participate in the “celebration” of a same sex wedding. Now, that is real tolerance.

Tonight at midnight is the deadline for my next campaign reporting period! If you would like to help me continue to stand up for these and other values of importance to you please donate to my campaign using the button below or mail a contribution to P.O. Box 421, Manassas, VA 20108.

Sincerely,

Delegate Bob Marshall

Think carefully about what the good delegate is saying.  The point of an RFRA law is to prevent people from using the GOVERNMENT to force people to violate their religious beliefs. Therefore, when homosexual rights activists, the corporate mass media, and Liberal politicians have conniptions over RFRA laws, what is their purpose? Do they want to use the GOVERNMENT to force people to violate their religious beliefs? Well, when homosexual rights activists try to force florists, bakers, and photographers to participate in same-sex weddings, what else could they be doing? Nobody is really getting married. Same-sex marriage is just an endorsement of sexual perversion, and homosexual rights activists want to force people to endorse their “lifestyle choice.”

Effectively, homosexual rights activists, the corporate mass media, and Liberal politicians want to use our government to discriminate against the right we all have to follow the dictates of own conscience. These people want the right to be perverts, but they don’t respect the right not to be a pervert. If that is not twisted, what is?

Do you want the right to follow the dictates of your own conscience? Then please don’t remain silent. If we want leaders willing to stand up for our rights, we must support them.

20 thoughts on “DISCRIMINATION BY GOVERNMENT

  1. Tom – you are quite correct to note that RFRA statutes are intended to protect citizens against government impositions on religious freedom. The catalytic case was one in which our federal Supreme Court (Scalia, J., for the majority) refused to protect the use of peyote in a Native American religious rite. Of course, the Indiana statute goes a considerable distance beyond that.

    Mr Marshall (as so often happens) is mistaken if he thinks Virginia has a law “just like Indiana’s”. One would think a member of our legislature would be better informed. Indiana passed its law in the aftermath of the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision and the New Mexico state supreme court decision and therefore loaded up its statute to reflect those rulings. I’m not at all sure what happened in Indiana that made that state’s legislature think that religious liberty needed this kind of “support.” I assume no one there was being forced by the state government to enter into same sex marriages or to engage in practices forbidden by their religions. If anyone has information to the contrary, I would be better informed to know about it.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Tom. It is very important that we all stop and think about what is taking place around us. May we all come to understand the need to take a stand for our freedoms now because they are quickly being taken from us. Lord bless you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it strange that legalizing discrimination on the basis of sexuality is being successfully sold as protecting ‘our’ freedoms?

      What freedom is being protected?

      Well, the freedom to reduce the legal rights of others and then use the law to protect those who have done this from legal consequences! This con job is being sold under the mantle of exercising religion rather than exercising what it actually is: legal discrimination. Legalized discrimination and religious freedom are being sold as if synonyms to a willing audience of gullible fools who think these actually ARE synonyms… right up until the time they are on the receiving end of someone exercising their ‘religious freedom’, reducing their legal rights, and then protected from legal consequences by the State. By then, of course, it’s too late for the hypocrite to have any legal recourse because they themselves helped to dismantle equality law all in the name of ‘religious freedom’. Fools, one and all, and deeply anti-American.

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      1. I am always intrigued that the Left pretends to absolutely stand for tolerance of opinion, and will happily destroy the careers of anyone who disagrees. But I have read Marcuse, and the doctrines of the Frankfurt School; I know the Left’s actual stance with regard to freedoms it considers to be “reactionary.”

        Here, you speak of a “right” to force someone to produce goods or services for you, and in fact you named your claim on their goods and services a “legal right” that would be “reduced” if they were allowed to decide who they wished to provide them to. Where did such a right come from, do you think? Does it apply to religious opinions? Political opinions? The right to keep and bear arms?

        I will give Marcuse credit for the notion of humans becoming extensions of the commodities they buy. He died just before the rise of cellphones, but that description certainly applies. But his idea that any art, or any other form of expression, must be destroyed or suppressed if it did not support his totalitarian ideals … we are seeing that coming into play increasingly on college campuses, in media coverage, and in the attacks on businesses like Chick-Fil-A.

        It is thus not surprising to me that the only group of people who make a career out of attacking and destroying the careers of gays are hard-left Democrats, who endeavor to make life miserable for any gay who happens to be conservative. The attackers have never been very successful, as conservatives are far more tolerant and “outing” a gay employee does not cause them much heartburn. But it certainly burns the Left that a gay, a woman, a black is conservative and thus “off the plantation.” Somehow, among the “rights” that the Left has claimed is the right to attack such people and deny them a livelihood.

        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The principle remains the same about selling in the public domain: you cannot discriminate on private domain reasons. This was the heart of the case whereby white restauranteurs refused service to black customers. All the rest of your comment about the Left neither addresses the principle at stake nor why protecting arbitrary discrimination by law is harmful. This issue isn’t about Left and Right, Democrat and Conservative differences of philosophy and politics; to steer it in that direction is a diversion. The issue is about the principle of equality law and either maintaining it in practice or subverting it under the guise of ‘religious freedom’ in this particular case.

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    2. Thank you for your comment.

      It is very important that we all stop and think about what is taking place around us. May we all come to understand the need to take a stand for our freedoms now because they are quickly being taken from us.

      Worth saying more than once.

      May our Lord bless you and yours too.

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  3. I read the S.B. 101 signed into law by Governor Pence. The law in Indiana mirrors the federal and other states’ RFRA law, although broader. This law applies to whom? Section 1 of the law states, “This chapter applies to ALL governmental entity statutes, ordinances, resolutions, executive or administrative orders, regulations, customs, and usages, including the implementation or application thereof, regardless of whether they were enacted, adopted, or initiated before, on, or after July 1, 2015.” Section 6 defines “governmental entity.” Section 7 defines “person.”

    Section 8 states what a governmental entity may or may not do, to wit “(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability. (b) A governmental entity may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

    If a governmental entity burdens a person’s exercise of religion without demonstrating (b), then the person “. . .may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding” (Section 9). Section 10 illustrates the proper procedure seeking remedy.

    Where is the discrimination? Discrimination does not exist in the law. This law applies to governmental entities as stated in Section 1. The public reaction to this law is purely emotional and irrational. People need to read and rely on the law versus ill informed opinions and facts. The law is straightforward.

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  4. You missed the part extending the Act to individuals and to corporations, Matthew. It is significantly broader than either the federal statute or even the Hobby Lobby gloss on that statute. In Hobby Lobby, the Court only went so far as to extend the federal RFRA protections to close corporations (i.e., corporations held by a very few shareholders, often family members). The statute, by design and draftsmanship, is intended to go beyond the federal statute.

    In any event, the governor and the legislative sponsors have stated that they had no intent to authorize a denial of service to particular classes of individuals and that they will clarify it. Problem solved, I guess.

    I remain perplexed, however, at what the initial problem was that erupted recently in Indiana that made people think that this statute (the authors and sponsors of which deny having application to enabling businesses to turn away gay patrons or other groups) was necessary. Do you have any idea?

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    1. You missed the part extending the Act to individuals and to corporations, Matthew.
      No, I did not. I mentioned Section 7, which defines “person.” Your point?

      I remain perplexed, however, at what the initial problem was that erupted recently in Indiana that made people think that this statute (the authors and sponsors of which deny having application to enabling businesses to turn away gay patrons or other groups) was necessary. Do you have any idea?

      Personally, I think RFRA laws are unnecessary. RFRA simply rehashes (or reaffirms) the original intent of Amendment I, which is counterintuitive.

      Let us take Indiana’s RFRA law at face value. What would be the “compelling governmental interest” in the case of Memories Pizzeria?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My point is that you are ignoring or obscuring that the Indiana statute, presumably on purpose, greatly expands the reach of the so-called religious protection offered by the federal government. However, I do agree with you that RFRA statutes are unnecessary and the the First Amendment should be sufficient to defend our religious liberties. The Oregon peyote users may not agree, but, generally speaking, these laws are political catnip, and will serve no useful purpose other than to agitate certain blocs of voters on either side of the issue.

    As mentioned earlier, however, it appears that this has all gone away because the Governor has said that the legislature will “fix” the problems with the statute, and that the statute would not permit a denial of service or accommodations on religious grounds. We can all go back to our work, now.

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    1. My point is that you are ignoring or obscuring that the Indiana statute, presumably on purpose, greatly expands the reach of the so-called religious protection offered by the federal government.

      I read S.B. 101 and it is straightforward. The S.B. 101, as it currently stands, does not permit discrimination, nor denial of service. No such language exists. The law simply says that a governmental entity must demonstrate a “compelling governmental interest” to burden a person’s exercise of religion. So, what am I ignoring or obscuring?

      Plus, there is no need to “fix” the law because it is unambiguous. This so-called “fix” to the law is nothing more than caving to political interest groups, who are misconstruing the law.

      As for peyote, the federal RFRA was passed after a SCOTUS ruling, which limited religious freedom for Native Americans who smoke peyote as part of their religion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, apparently some folks thought that major “fixes” were necessary, Matthew. And they fixed it both in Indiana and in Arkansas, at least to a considerable extent. Quite quickly, it appears.

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        1. Why were these “fixes” necessary? Was it broad language? Nay. Broad language is immaterial. All RFRA laws on the state level mirror the federal RFRA, though some are broader than others. RFRA applies to governmental entities, NOT private entities. The nature of RFRA laws is this: a governmental entity must demonstrate a “compelling governmental interest” to burden a person’s exercise of religion. If the governmental entity fails to demonstrate a “compelling governmental interest,” then the person may seek remedy, which, by the way, does not guarantee a victory in court. As I noted earlier, RFRA laws merely rehash or reaffirm Amendment I, which is pointless.

          If Indiana and Arkansas had to “fix” their RFRA law, then the other RFRA laws must be amended. Why single out Indiana and Arkansas? Why is no one crying to “fix” the other RFRA laws? These “fixes” were purely motivated by emotions and irrationality of political interest groups, who misunderstood the RFRA law. These “fixes” have no relevance to the nature and context of RFRA.

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        2. Matthew assure us that These “fixes” were purely motivated by emotions and irrationality of political interest groups, who misunderstood the RFRA law.

          Is this true?

          From a lawyer:

          “It actually isn’t similar to the Federal law passed in the 90’s. Section 5 of the law provides an expansive definition of what “exercise of religion” means, which by necessity can broaden its availability to be used. Section 7 expands the scope of what a person is, as well as possibly allowing new religious practices to become exercises of religion. And last, but certainly not least, is section 9. It allows IRFRA to apply to private actions (cases where there is no government involvement), and it allows people to claim exercise of religion as a defense.

          All that said, I’d also like to say that I had a problem with section 8. It provides something a legal professional might call “strict scrutiny” to laws that touch on exercising religion. Strict scrutiny is the most restrictive test that a law can have. Very rarely does a law survive that level of scrutiny. Because the definition of “exercise of religion” is so wide, naturally this puts a big protective dome over a lot of religious acts.

          Are these reasons motivated only by emotions and irrationality of political interest groups? Is this legal understanding requiring fixes based only on misunderstanding?

          Come on Matthew. You know perfectly why this law was brought in (if you bother to look at who is responsible and what the goals really are) and you understand perfectly well that the intention is to shield religious people exercising bigotry against gays and lesbians and transgendered from legal prosecution. What most needs fixing is the religiously motivated disrespect for equality laws and treating others as fairly as we would like to be treated. Shocking, I know.

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        3. Tildeb, have you read S.B. 101 signed into law by Governor Pence, before the so-called “fix?” The law did not (and does not) license discrimination, nor deny service to whomever. Again, the fact remains: a governmental entity must demonstrate a “compelling governmental interest” to burden a person’s exercise of religion. Why is this so hard to understand? One does not have to be a lawyer or experienced in jurisprudence to understand. The “fix” was motivated by emotions and irrationality because special interests and the public misunderstood (and continue to misunderstand) RFRA. Geesh.

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