Tuesday, October 21, 2014
This nightmare began Oct. 7, when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated Idaho's marriage laws and legalized same-sex marriage in that state, which allowed Idaho county clerks to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses a week later. On Oct. 17, the Knapps declined a request to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony.Limbaugh opens his column by asking, "Where are all the atheist freedom lovers we always hear about?"
According to a lawsuit filed by the Knapps, the city of Coeur d'Alene is "unconstitutionally coercing" them to perform these weddings at their Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in violation of their religious beliefs, their ordination vows and their consciences. City Ordinance Section 9.56 bars sexual orientation discrimination in public accommodations, which forces the Knapps to choose between betraying their religious convictions and following them and facing up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. According to their complaint, they arguably commit a separate and distinct misdemeanor each day they refuse to perform such ceremonies, with the potential criminal penalties piling up cumulatively. [links removed, bold added]
To Limbaugh, I say, "Yoo-hoo!"
For the same reason -- the individual right to make contracts with others or not -- I support government recognition of same-sex unions and I oppose the government forcing someone who does not wish to officiate same-sex marriages to do so. Limbaugh is correct that this latest leftist crusade has nothing to do with freedom, although freedom does entitle some people to form unions that others may find abhorrent for whatever reason. The left has such a long history of perverting just causes that I am amazed that anyone accepts its help anymore: Racial equality has practically come to mean government handouts and quotas; reproductive rights somehow became the "right" to purchase abortions with other people's money; and now, same-sex unions have been perverted into micromanagement of marriage chapels (among other things).
Limbaugh blathers on about the scriptural basis for the Knapps' objection to performing these ceremonies (as if nobody knew about this), but the truth is, the government has no business forcing them to perform a ceremony for anyone for any reason whatsoever. But Limbaugh's blathering is worse than superfluous, or pandering to theocrats, or baiting the non-religious: It distracts from the fact that the causes of same-sex unions and what we could call "freedom of conscience" since the issue is bigger than religion are one and the same: the cause of the individual.
First they wouldn't let the gays marry, and I said nothing. Then, they came after the chaplains, and I said nothing. Is the picture getting clearer now? One man's rights do not diminish another's and certainly do not call for the violation of another's. To fail to make this connection does not impugn the stated cause of the advocate, but it does raise suspicions of the advocate and his actual cause. Limbaugh is right to impugn the left, but this "atheist freedom lover" has his own doubts about someone who makes more noise thumping a Bible than advocating individual rights.
10-23-14: Noted missing format edit note in block quote.