Barber Declares Himself a Prophet

After Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT people, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel declared himself a prophet and reprinted an “eerily prophetic column” about gay rights and religious liberty from April, 2013.

“Gay pride” necessitates anti-Christian hate. It must.

Uh, what? Why? Because you don’t want them to show pride and therefore by doing something you don’t like, they have to hate you? In what alternate universe is that a reasonable claim?

“Gay marriage” and other “sexual orientation”-based laws do violence to freedom and truth. They are the hammer with which the postmodern left intends to bludgeon bloody religious liberty and the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic.

So much stupid. First of all, I have always been irritated by people like Barber using phrases like “postmodern left,” as if every leftist is a postmodernist. That is nonsense. I am quite the opposite of a postmodernist, as are most liberals I know. Second, how exactly can anyone “bludgeon…the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic”? No one is forcing you to violate your sexual ethics. You are free to have or not have sex in all the ways you think God approves of. You just deny that freedom to others.

According to the unequivocal moral precepts of the Judeo-Christian tradition – explicit throughout both the Old and New Testaments – homosexual behavior is sin. Sin is evil. Homosexual behavior is the central, defining characteristic of so-called “gay marriage.” Therefore, “gay marriage” is evil. Christians are obligated to avoid sin – to “do no evil.”

Which is why you should absolutely, positively, definitively not get gay married.

As a result of her constitutionally guaranteed religious free exercise, Washington state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed charges against Ms. Stutzman, seeking both a monetary judgment and an injunction to physically force her to violate her Christian conscience. He would compel her to either lend her artistic expression in support of counterfeit “gay marriage” – something Christianity steadfastly recognizes as mortal sin – or face further charges.

Speaking of steadfast, to her credit, Ms. Stutzman has stood firm. She has refused to cave under Ferguson’s tyrannical torment. Ferguson, on the other hand, has revealed himself a creep and a coward – a “progressive” bully who apparently gets off on abusing elderly women. He’s a disgrace to Washington state and should be thrown out of office and disbarred.

Still, this type of government persecution must be expected. Ferguson is a liberal. The liberal viewpoint is that any viewpoint, save the liberal viewpoint, must be criminalized and prosecuted.

Like many of us, Joseph Backholm, with the Family Policy Institute of Washington, has long warned about the consequences of radically deconstructing the institution of natural marriage. “Now that the law says marriage is genderless,” he recently wrote of Ms. Stutzman’s ongoing abuse, “those who think otherwise [must] … conform or be punished. … Now liberals believe they are legally entitled to someone else’s labor.”

We are all entitled to someone else’s labor. If you open a business, you cannot discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender and, in some states, sexual orientation, no matter how strongly you believe your religion demands such discrimination. The florist in question could not legally refuse to provide flowers for an interracial wedding or a Muslim wedding. They could not refuse to hire women or black people. And the fact that they may have “sincerely held religious beliefs” is irrelevant.

Let’s try to put this in the form of a syllogism:

1. Some people have “sincerely held religious beliefs” that require them to discriminate against gay people.

2. Forcing them not to discriminate against gay people thus violates their freedom of religion.

3. Thus, the government should not force them not to discriminate.

That is the argument being put forward. But that argument is absolutely identical in all the other forms of discrimination.

1. Some people have “sincerely held religious beliefs” that require them to discriminate against women.

2. Forcing them not to discriminate against women thus violates their freedom of religion.

3. Thus, the government should not force them not to discriminate.

1. Some people have “sincerely held religious beliefs” that require them to discriminate against Muslims.

2. Forcing them not to discriminate against Muslims thus violates their freedom of religion.

3. Thus, the government should not force them not to discriminate.

1. Some people have “sincerely held religious beliefs” that require them to discriminate against black people.

2. Forcing them not to discriminate against black people thus violates their freedom of religion.

3. Thus, the government should not force them not to discriminate.

And yet these people only apply their arguments to discrimination against gay people. We have prohibited discrimination against all these other groups of people for half a century now. If their argument that this is “tyranny” or “fascism” is correct, we’ve been a fascist tyranny for 50 years now.

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  • Snoof

    If their argument that this is “tyranny” or “fascism” is correct, we’ve been a fascist tyranny for 50 years now.

    I expect you could find at least a dozen pundits, authors, journalists and lobbyists who’d make that exact claim.

  • bahrfeldt

    For Barber, it’s all about the profit.

  • Michael Heath

    I think what’s important here is to acknowledge these bigots rights’ are being infringed upon and to insist we frame this around how the government should act. We need to acknowledge the reality that in some cases, the government-protected exercise of some rights will infringe upon the rights of others.

    Too often liberals will defectively claim bigot A has no right to discriminate; that’s a massive category error. Instead we have some civil rights laws in place that protect the individual rights of some groups at the expense of the rights of bigots who hate them and seek government protection to ostracize and cause these hated others to suffer. So in this context is whose rights are protected by the government.

    A common error by conservative Christians is the argument that their being unable to discriminate against those they hate is a violation of liberty. That’s correct and we should acknowledge this. But we also need to point out two other premises that they commonly avoid that make their argument structurally unsound:

    1) Their ability to exercise their right to discriminate against those they hate simultaneously infringes on the rights of those they hate.

    2) In this sort of competing rights context, the federal courts must and do consider whose rights to protect.

    So should the courts protect the rights of people in certain groups that conservative Christians hate in order that those people have equal access to goods, services, and employment? Or should the courts instead protect the right of conservative Christians to discriminate and harm those groups they hate?

    I argue the former. If we are what nearly all politically active U.S. citizens claim, a country dedicated to liberty and individual rights, the position in this controversy appears to me to be a no-brainer. That is if we’re to adhere to the principles of equality expressed in the Declaration of Independence and more importantly, expressed as the highest law of the land in the U.S. Constitution.

    A government that protects the religious freedom rights of religious bigots at the expense of equality is theocratic fascism. It is not liberty; where in the real world, there can be no absolute liberty precisely because the unlimited expression of liberty by some is guaranteed to infringe upon the liberty of others. So we require realism, logic, honesty, and ethics – qualities I don’t see emanating from any conservative Christians.

  • minusRusty

    Can I just bump this?? My next steps are going to be how to remove or reduce my brain cancetr.

    Thx!

    -Rusty

  • raven

    According to the unequivocal moral precepts of the Judeo-Christian tradition – explicit throughout both the Old and New Testaments – homosexual behavior is sin. Sin is evil.

    According to the xian magic book, we are all sinners!!! That is what the whole jesus thing was about.

    In the bible gays are right up there with adulterers, nonvirgin brides, disobedient children, witches, false prophets, sabbath breakers, atheists, heretics, and apostates. If you add all these up, it comes to around 99% of the US population.

    And we can toss in the 10 commandments as well. And the ones from jesus in the NT, about taking care of the poor and the golden rule.

    If Matt Barber isn’t going to associate with sinners, he isn’t going to associate with anyone. Including and especially himself. Works for me. This guy needs to separate himself for the good of society. It’s a win-win outcome.

  • raven

    One again, xianity fails. It’s just one big failure on any level, fractally failed.

    The central idea of xianity is that we are all born sinners. Jesus had to die on the cross to atone for our sins so we had a chance to go to heaven.

    For fans of bible trivia:

    Romans 3 NIV

    22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,

    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i]

    Hate the sin, love the sinner (which isn’t in the bible but from St. Augustine). Although this is all through the NT as the idea anyway.

    Judge not, lest you be judged. Matthew and Luke. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, John.

    Fundies quote mine the bible. And pick out the worst parts and ignore the best parts. It’s almost an anti-xianity. They really didn’t need to elevate satan to godhood. Their Sky Monster god does this part well enough.

  • hunter

    A couple of points: In the case of Ms. Stutzman, it’s called “work for hire.” Ask any freelancer: you accept a job to write, photograph, or do whatever it is you do, to the client’s requirements. You don’t get to dictate content or final presentation, and you retain no rights.

    And so some interpretations of Christianity consider homosexuality a sin. So what?

    “Entitled to someone else’s labor”? It’s called, in its basic form, “sociality.” I suggest Barber and Backholm (who from all accounts is really out there) look it up.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … radically deconstructing the institution of natural marriage.

    If they’re gonna use the lingo, they really oughta learn what the words mean.

    Yeah, yeah, I know – whatever they want the words to mean.

  • raven

    … radically deconstructing the institution of natural marriage.

    Just like bicycles, trains, cars, and jet planes…radically deconstructed the institution of natural transportation.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I expect you could find at least a dozen pundits, authors, journalists and lobbyists who’d make that exact claim.

    More like 150 years.

  • Al Dente

    hunter @7

    Barronelle Stutzman is a florist who refused to create and deliver floral arrangements to a same-sex marriage. She is being prosecuted for violating the Washington state anti-discrimination law which forbids discrimination by a business for sexual orientation.

  • matty1

    “Gay marriage” and other “sexual orientation”-based laws do violence to freedom and truth.

    I think this is a form of projection, after all Barber himself is known for supporting those who want to do violence, not in some weird metaphorical way but very literally using the power of the state.

  • howardhershey

    I would not be surprised if there is a search for some way for the bigots among the owners of florist shops or bakeries to produce the equivalent of “segregation academies” (the start of many of the “Christian” schools in the South) by ceasing to be a ‘public accommodation’. Perhaps by closing their public shop and only working with and advertising in like-minded churches for wedding services and putting up a sign stating that they will only provide wedding-related services in those churches.

  • imthegenieicandoanything

    What someone as twisted a Xian as this considers to be “sexual ethics” is something I never want to imagine. Just his including the word “bludgeon” in the same statement is… disquieting!

  • http://reasondecrystallized.blogspot.com andrew

    Let’s not forget either that there are Christians on the receiving end of this sort of behavior in other countries, whether at the hands of other religions or different kinds of Christians. To argue that Christians don’t have to serve gays is to argue, on some level, that Muslims in Burma don’t have to serve Christians.

  • raven

    Deuteronomy 22:20-21

    New International Version (NIV)

    20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the

    young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

    I’m so sick of xian’s hypocrisy and ignorance of their own religion.

    The same bible that says they are supposed to stone gays to death because it is a sin, also has a dozen other categories of sins punishable by death.

    One of them is being a nonvirgin bride. If they aren’t going to sell to gays they shouldn’t sell to nonvirgin brides either. 85% of brides in the USA aren’t virgins. It’s higher for males. Of course, this will cut into their income but so what. Their gods will be happy and they will be true martyrs for their religion instead of fake ones.

    You must purge the evil from among you. Good luck with that xians. Stone all your nonvirgin brides to death and your religion will be dead in one generation.

  • dan4

    @16:”…ignorance of their own religion.”

    Uh, the book of the Bible you cite actually predates Christianity (“…their own religion”).

  • dingojack

    Dan – so why do Christians get to use someone-else’s religion to bolster their own prejudices?

    Dingo

    ——–

    If their are going to quote Leviticus, they’re going to have to abide by the dietary (and other) rules too. (Or at least explain why some rules are sacrosanct and some are to be ignored).

  • gopiballava

    @Michael Heath:

    “A common error by conservative Christians is the argument that their being unable to discriminate against those they hate is a violation of liberty”

    I would suggest a change of phrasing: It’s a reduction of liberty, not a violation. You no longer have the liberty to do this particular thing.

    Perhaps there’s some sort of clever sound bite or slogan that could be based on the phrase “taking liberties”.

  • Nomad

    Incidentally, I may have gotten a particular bigot to actually say that he thinks that businesses should be able to discriminate against anyone.

    In response to a post in which he seemed to argue that discriminating against gay people is okay because they’ve never really been persecuted, unlike black people, I kept asking him and the others that agreed with him whether it’s okay to refuse to serve black people. He was sort of implying that he was opposed to discriminating against black people because they had been slaves at one point, but he never quite came out and said that you shouldn’t be able to discriminate against them.

    He followed that post up with another one in which he says that businesses should be able to refuse service to anyone, calling it the simple solution to the problem. So some of these people are willing to go there. I admit, I was surprised, I never thought they’d dare actually say it, even if they believed it.